Is the Roma Pass worth it? A comparison to other Rome city passes
When planning a trip to Rome, one of the first questions most travelers ask is: “Is the Roma Pass worth it?” The answer is not as easy as one might think. One reason is that there is no longer just one tourist pass for Rome.
In recent years, a few additions to the Roma Pass have been developed to give visitors a greater choice when sightseeing in the Eternal City. This Roma Pass review is intended to help you make sense of it all.
Let’s look at the different options and how you can benefit from them or not.
Update: Some passes have been updated on February 19, 2020 and are no longer really advantageous, such as the Roma Pass. Let's see why.
- 1 Rome tourist passes – how does it work?
- 2 Free tips in our guide to get the most of Rome
- 3 Why use a city pass to visit Rome?
- 4 When you shouldn’t buy the Roma Pass ?
- 5 All the Rome tourist passes at a glance
- 6 Rome Tourist Card
- 7 Rome City Pass (Turbopass)
- 8 Comparison of the Rome city cards: which is the best to buy?
- 9 Why is the Roma Pass worth it?
- 10 How to buy the Roma Pass?
- 11 Tips to get the most out of the Roma pass
- 12 Conclusion to the Roma Pass review
Rome tourist passes – how does it work?
The Rome tourist passes were developed to offer visitors a tourist package with the major benefits being quick and easy admission to a choice of popular attractions. Free public transport or airport transfers is another important component of the Rome city passes.
The Rome city cards are valid for between 48 hours and 6 days, or illimited for the Rome Tourist Card, making it possible to choose one that will be valid for the duration of your visit.
But is the Roma Pass worth it for everyone? Maybe not. You may not want to visit that many attractions or use the public transport very often.
However, if you’re in Rome only for a short period during a busy time, the biggest benefit of the Roma Pass and other city cards is this: They include skip the line tickets or fast-track entry to the popular attractions. As a result, you get to see more by spending less time in ticket lines. In other words, the convenience factor is big.
Before you make up your mind, here is our full Roma Pass review detailing all the benefits as well as the possible reasons why it may not be worth it for you.
Free tips in our guide to get the most of Rome
Why use a city pass to visit Rome?
Roma Pass Benefits
Some of the benefits of having a Roma Pass or another Rome city pass in your pocket include. Let's check why the Roma Pass worth it :
If you’re serious about visiting popular attractions such as the Vatican Museums, Colosseum, Borghese Gallery and Castel Sant’Angelo, you can seriously save money on admissions fees and getting around.
The Rome tourist passes offer skip the line access at all the included attractions.
The priority access together with free public transport or Rome hop-on-hop-off bus tickets frees up more time for sightseeing. This is huge, as people can queue for up to 4 hours in the ticket lines of the Vatican and Colosseum during the peak tourist season. That is the main point why Roma Pass worth it.
You can choose between 45 museums, monuments, and archaeological sites to visit with your Roma Pass alone. These include the popular Vatican Museums with Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Roman Forum, Castel Sant’Angelo, and Capitolini Museum.
And some new offers since 2020:
- Circo Massimo Archeological visit
- Carcalla 4d and Circo Massimo Experience
- Forum Pass Super (Foro Romano, Fori Imperiali and Palatino e Ville)
With a valid Roma Pass or one of the other tourist passes you choose what you want to see and when.
Getting to the attractions included in the Rome tourist passes is easy with free public transport and hop-on-hop-off bus tickets.
When you shouldn’t buy the Roma Pass ?
No Roma pass review is complete or trustworthy if it doesn’t mention examples when it’s not worth buying. Here are some instances where it may not be worth it.
- You are booking Rome guided tours which already include the admission fees.
> This point does not concern the Colosseum guided tour if you take the Rome Tourist Card.
- You fall into a category which qualifies for free or reduced entry. For example, all children and youths under 18 may visit state-run museums and archaeological sites for free. In addition, European citizens between 18 and 25 qualify for discounts at some attractions.
- In Rome for one day only, in which case it would be cheaper to buy individual tickets for the one or two sites you want to visit.
- You’re traveling on a budget and have time to stand in line for individual tickets.
- Visiting on the first Sunday of the month when admission to most state-owned museums is free (expect long lines though).
- It’s your second or third visit to the Eternal City and you already visited all the top attractions included in the Rome tourist passes.
All the Rome tourist passes at a glance
Roma Pass details
Prices have been revised and are now more expensive. The classic Rome tourist pass come in two versions:
- 48-hour Roma Pass: first 28€, now 32€
- 2-hour Roma Pass: first 38,50€, now 52€!
|ROMA PASS 48H||ROMA PASS 72H|
|FREE FAST-TRACK ENTRY||1 attraction||2 attractions|
|TRANSPORT||Free metro, buses, trams||Free metro, buses, trams|
|OTHER||Discount to more attractions, events, exhibitions + free map, travel guide||Discount to more attractions, events, exhibitions + free map, travel guide|
|BOOKING||Check prices||Check prices|
Top attractions included in the Roma Pass are the Colosseum (standard ticket only), Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, Castel Sant’Angelo, Borghese Gallery*, National Museum of Rome and Capitoline Museums.
*Update February 2020: The entry to the Borghese Gallery is AGAIN included with the Roma Pass
Note: Since November 2019, the Colosseum has reduced the number of admissions per day through its offer of standard tickets. And as the Roma Pass only include a standard ticket to visit the monument, this mean you won't necessarily be able to access it. Even less in high season…
You should better consider the Rome Tourist Card which is the perfect solution to this problem. We'll tell you more in the rest of the article.
Where to buy the Roma Pass ?
It’s easiest to buy the Roma Pass online (on this website)and simply collect at one of the Rome tourist INFOPOINTS when you arrive in the city. The pass is also on sale at all participating museums and attractions, but this may result in long waiting times in ticket lines.
No children’s version of the Roma Pass is available. The reasoning is that children under 10 already have free access to state-owned museums and public transport.
Omnia Vatican and Rome Card
A definite option for those who want the benefits of the Roma Pass combined with admission to the Vatican Museums with Sistine Chapel.
For €113, the Omnia Card includes:
- Admission to the Vatican Museums (with Sistine Chapel). While entering St Peter’s Basilica is free, you do receive a free audio guide to download for your visit.
- Entry to your choice of 2 out of 7 top Rome attractions. They are the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, Capitoline Museums, Borghese Gallery, National Museum, Castel Sant'Angelo, and Carcer Tullianum.
- Priority access to the Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica and the Colosseum, greatly reducing waiting times.
- A hop-on-hop-off Rome bus tour ticket for 3 days.
- Free public transport for 72 hours.
- A detailed guidebook to help with your planning.
- Discounts to 30 more sights and attractions in Rome.
The Omnia Card offers a reduced tariff for children. Children between six and nine years old pay €80. But because many attractions and public transport for children in this age group are already free, you must seriously consider whether it’s worth it for the skip the line benefit.
Where to buy the Omnia Vatican and Rome Card ?
The Omnia Vatican and Rome Card can be bought online and picked up at one of three redemption desks in the city. It’s also possible to buy the pass directly at one of these desks. Cards bought online can also be shipped to you for an additional fee.
Rome Tourist Card
An exciting new addition to the Rome city passes is the Rome Tourist Card, which is completely digital. That means you don’t need a physical card. The pass can be scanned from your mobile at all participating attractions or museums.
Like the other passes, the Rome Tourist Card includes skip-the-line entrance to the city’s most famous attraction, Rome airport transfers, and discounts to countless further attractions. But what makes it different from the others is that there’s no time limit attached to it.
This is definitely the Pass we recommended!
Let’s look at some of the major benefits of the Rome Tourist Card:
- Free skip-the-line tickets to the Colosseum with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
- Fast-track entry to St Peter’s Basilica.
- Free downloadable audio guides for the Colosseum, St Peter’s and the Pantheon.
- 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus ticket.
- One-way airport transfer from either of Rome’s two international airports.
- 20% discount on other major attractions and tours.
- The Vatican with Sistine Chapel can be added for an additional amount.
The price of the Rome Tourist Card starts at €67,50. With skip-the-line tickets for the Vatican Museums included, it goes up to €96. You can buy this pass directly on this website.
Rome Tourist Card biggest benefit
The Rome Tourist Card is a great solution to the Roma Pass. As stated above, the Colosseum no longer offers as many entrances with a standard ticket as before, whereas the Roma Pass only offers this ticket.
What is great with the Rome Tourist Card, is that it offers 2 other types of Colosseum tickets, included in the pass global price:
- an audio guide ticket,
- or a guided tour.
Those tickets ensure your entrance to the Colosseum, even during busy periods. Why? Simply because the entries have not been reduced for this type of ticket!
In terms of experience as well as cost, it's a great way to ensure your visit on the date you wish to visit the Colosseum.
How does it work
- Book your Rome Tourist Card online here,
- Choose your arrival date,
- While you're booking, make sure to choose either an audio guide ticket or a guided tour for the Colosseum,
- After purchasing the Rome Tourist Card, you'll get a promo code to use for your visits reservations to get discounts.
Rome City Pass (Turbopass)
This Rome tourist pass, also called the Turbopass, comes in 3 variants: 48 hours, 72 hours days, or 6 days (2 x 72 hours). It’s very similar to the Omnia Card and includes.
- Fast-track admission the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.
- Skip-the-line tickets to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, with priority access to St Peter’s Basilica.
- Hop-on-hop-off Rome bus tour.
- Reduced entry to additional attractions and exhibitions.
- Rome map and travel guide.
- Free Rome public transport.
Rome City Pass (Turbopass) price structure
The Turbopass or Rome City Pass is the only Rome city card with reduced prices for both children (6 to 9 years) and teens (10 to 17 years).
Note: Some attractions, like Castel Sant’Angelo, are not included in the 48-hour pass. However, the Vatican Museums and Colosseum are included in all version of the Rome City Passes.
Where to buy the Rome Turbopass ?
Once again, it’s easiest to buy the Rome Turbopass online. You can also request to have it mailed to you for an additional fee or collect it at the only collection point in Rome’s city center.
Comparison of the Rome city cards: which is the best to buy?
Figuring out which Rome sightseeing pass to buy can be very confusing. The different providers all claim to offer the best value for money. But are all these passes really good value for money?
In our honest opinion, no.
Roma City Pass (Turbopass)
Take the Turbopass for example, if you add up the cost of individual tickets plus all the add-ons like public transport it comes to less than the price of the pass. There is always the convenience factor of priority access, but is it worth €15 or more? You decide.
Furthermore, there is only one collection point for the Turbopass in the city. Getting it mailed to you can be costly.
The Roma Pass was by far the cheapest and the easiest to collect or even buy when you’re already in Rome. But honestly, it isn't a good deal anymore.
The price increase is not really justified, especially since access to the Colosseum is no longer guaranteed. The Rome Tourist Card is, in our opinion, a better alternative.
While it only includes free fast-track entrance to one or two attractions over two or three days, you should seriously consider if you’re going to have time to see more anyway.
If you do, it may be worth simply buying individual tickets for the extra attractions rather than buying a more expensive tourist pass.
Rome and Vatican Pass
The one drawback of the Roma Pass is that it doesn’t include the Vatican Museums with Sistine Chapel. In this case, the 72-hour Omnia Card is an option. It includes all the benefits of the 72-hour Roma Pass with the added convenience of priority access tickets to the Vatican Museums (including an audio guide of St Peter’s Basilica) as well as tickets for a hop-on-hop-off Rome sightseeing bus.
At €113, the Omnia Rome and Vatican Card doesn’t come cheap. You may be better off buying only the Roma Pass and book your skip-the-line tickets for the Vatican Museums separately.
Rome Tourist Card – the most interesting
The Rome Tourist Card is the only card which is serious competition for the Roma Pass. Since the latter's novelties in February 2020, the Rome Tourist Card came first in our recommendations and Roma Pass review.
The free Colosseum tickets options are much more interesting:
- you'll be sure to find availabilities at the time you want to visit the Colosseum
- and there is a real added value to your visit if you benefit either from the comments of the audio guide, or from an expert's narration
Moreover, it’s a digital pass which can be scanned by all participating attractions and service without the need of a physical card.
In option, Vatican Museums can be included for less than the Omnia Rome and Vatican Card.
The only negative thing to say about the Rome Tourist Card is that it doesn’t include free public transport. On the other hand, the fact that there’s no time limit on the card is a benefit. And it does come with a oneway airport transfer and 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus ticket, which is not insignificant.
Why is the Roma Pass worth it?
Of all the Rome city passes, the Roma Pass worth it for the following reasons.
- Skip-the-line access to your choice of free attraction/s. But as said above, a standard ticket won't necessarily save you up standing in line at the Colosseum.
- Hassle-free getting from one attraction to the next with a free travel card.
- Public bus transfers to and from Fiumicino or Ciampino Airport.
- Easy to collect at Rome tourist INFOPOINTS.
Roma Pass VS normal entrances price
|ATTRACTION OR SERVICE||REGULAR ADULT TICKET||BUY TICKETS|
|Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill|| €16|
(+€2 for booking skip-the-line ticket online)
|Castel Sant’Angelo|| €18,50|
(with online booking priority access)
|Roman National Museum||€16||Check prices|
|Caracalla Baths|| €8|
(+€2 for booking skip-the-line ticket online)
|National Gallery of Modern Art||€10|
|Circo Maximo Experience & Caracalla 4D||€12 + €9|
|48-hour travel card||€12,50||Check prices|
|72-hour travel card||€18,00||Check prices|
Roma Pass cost
With the 48-hour Roma Pass, you are saving money or breaking evening when visiting any one of the attractions except for the Colosseum. However, if you throw in the free map and travel guide and the reduced ticket prices to other attractions besides your chosen free attraction, it’s still worth buying the Roma Pass.
With the 72-hour Roma Pass, which includes free skip-the-line tickets to two top attractions + access to the Coliseum, you'll save a little money. If you buy regular tickets, a standard combination will cost you €66 (Colosseum, Capitoline Museum, Borghese Gallery and 72-hour travel card).
You'll save €14 which represents a pasta meal in an authentic trattoria for example.
Tip: If you want to visit the Vatican Museums as well, it will cost you €17 (plus €4 online booking fee including priority access) to buy and reserve your entry separately.
How to buy the Roma Pass?
Save yourself a lot of time and trouble by simply buying the Roma Pass online. After arriving in Rome, you can simply pick it up from one of these Rome tourist INFOPOINTS.
Tips to get the most out of the Roma pass
- Choose the most expensive attractions to see with your free priority access benefit. Good choices are the Castel San Angelo, Borghese Gallery and Capitoline Museums. If you do it this way the Roma Pass worth it.
- All the Rome city passes are hour-based passes. This means you should only activate it once you are ready to start using it.
- Rome gets really busy in the peak season. Prioritize your sightseeing by starting with the one you want to see most and go there early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Conclusion to the Roma Pass review
Before buying a Rome tourist pass you must do your research on what value you’ll be getting for your money. This Roma Pass review should help you decide which one you are likely to benefit from most.
Remember that while staying within your budget is important, saving time by skipping the lines in Rome can be just as valuable. If you only have two or three days to explore the city the roma pass worth it.