If you hate waiting in lines and having to make reservations and be in a certain place at a certain time, then city passes are almost a necessity when visiting museums overseas.
I personally don’t exactly like being told when I have to be somewhere. Call me difficult or a free spirit or whatever…there’s probably a therapy session that needs to be had there. But, I like the freedom to meander and get where I need to be at my pace.
On a recent trip to Rome, we explored our pass options and settled on the Roma Pass.
In Roma, the particular pass we purchased limited us as far as museums and time, but the public transport option was appealing and we ended up really being grateful for the purchase.
What is the Roma Pass?
The Roma Pass is a Rome city card that offers a limited number of free admission to a selection of museums, public transportation, and additional discounts.
The card is constrained to a fixed amount of time. Tourists can purchase either a 48-hour city card or a 72-hour card. The card is activated on first use.
How much does the Roma Pass cost?
The 48-Hour Card is currently 28€ and the 72-hour card is 38€. (Click here to go the Google Currency Converter)
This is quite a bit more affordable than other cards on the market, such as the Rome City Pass-TurboPass, but I will weigh the pros and cons of this further on in the post.
We purchased the 72-hour card and at 38€ it is one of the most cost-effective city passes we have used to date.
What is included in the Roma Pass?
The 48-Hour Roma Pass will give you free admission to the first included museum or archaeological site that you visit, plus free public transportation for the active time period. After you have used up your free admission, you will also receive discounts at additional sites throughout the city.
The 72-Hour Roma Pass features all of the same benefits as the 48-hour card, however you receive complimentary admission to two sites instead of one.
Along with the card, you will receive a map and a guidebook which will list all of the available attractions, discounts, and information on how to use the pass.
Depending on your card selection, your free entry can be utilized at one or two of over 45 points of interest, museums and archaeological sites in Rome. These include the top picks of:
- The Colosseum/Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
- Borghese Gallery
- Capitoline Museums
- National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo
- Museum of Rome
- Carcer Tullianum
We utilized the pass for free admittance into the Colosseum and Borghese Gallery, which, in my opinion, are the best two uses of the Roma pass.
Note: If using the pass for the Borghese Gallery, you MUST make a quick call and make a reservation. The number is in the booklet you receive with the pass. Keep your confirmation number and make sure you take it with you to check in. You can read more about our experience at the Borghese in my Rome Itinerary post.
How do I buy the Roma Pass?
The Roma Pass can be purchased online and picked up at one of the several Tourist Info points in the city.
Alternatively, you can purchase the pass right at the airport upon arrival. This is probably the easiest method of purchasing.
If you are flying into Fiumicino:
Head out of baggage claim, but do not leave the airport. There will be an airport information desk. Turn right and you should see the ticket office.
Note: The office is only open from 8:00 a.m.- 8:45 p.m.
If you are flying into Ciampino:
The ticket office is just outside the International arrivals area.
Note: The office is only open from 8:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
You can also purchase the pass at Termini station and other points around the city.
We just found it easier to buy it as soon as we arrived so the purchase was done. Your time of activation will not begin until first use.
It’s important to note that if you purchase the Roma Pass at the airport, you will still be required to purchase transportation from the airport into the city, as the pass only covers public transport within Rome city limits.
Though not the most affordable option, the easiest way to get from Fiumicino to Rome is to take the Leonardo Express train directly from the airport for 14€.
How do I use the Roma Pass?
As soon as you receive your Roma pass, you need to fill it out with your first and last name, and the date that you first plan to use the pass ( the date of validation).
As mentioned before, activation is the first date of use, regardless of whether it is for public transport or for entrance to a site.
For most attractions and museums, there is typically a line for Roma Passholders that allow you to easily skip the line. This was incredibly beneficial at the Colosseum.
On public transport, simply scan the Roma pass like you would any other metro card.
The Roma Pass may not be right for you if:
- You don’t plan on seeing more than two sites in the time frame of activation.
- You are a student under the age of 18 or are an EU Resident. In these cases, check the sites that you are interested in for discounts and calculate your cost of purchasing separately.
- Do not need or plan to utilize the public transportation option.
Another note to consider, many museums in Rome are closed on Monday.
The Colosseum and Vatican are open. So, if you are traveling on a Monday or holiday, plan accordingly and double check the hours for the museums and sites that interest you.
My Final Verdict
If you only plan on staying in Rome for a couple of days, the pass is a great buy.
The Colosseum, if booked separately would be 19€, and you would have to show up at a scheduled time. The Roma Pass gives you the flexibility to arrive at your leisure.
The Borghese Gallery is 15€, which brings the total of both sites to 34€. in 72 hours, we definitely used far more than 4€ worth of public transportation.
Tickets to the Vatican do need to be booked separately as it is not included in this card. (I found this process relatively easy, but if you want an all-in-one card, the Omnia Pass costs a bit more but may be the way to go for your travel needs.)
But if you end up in Rome for two or three days and want an affordable way to see some of the city, I think you will find the Roma Pass to be a solid deal and worth the money.
Click here to go to the official site of the Roma Pass and to check out their Frequently Asked Questions.
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