Rome passes and cards: what do they inlcude and are they worth it?

by marta

If you are visiting Rome for a limited number of days and plan on extensive sightseeing, you may be wondering about city passes and discount cards.

Rome has several solutions of this type and they combine access to public transport with discounted or even free entrance to museums and sights of interest.

Whether these passes are worth it or not depends very much on individual circumstances. To help you decide if and which, if any, of the Rome discount passes available is best for you, I have gathered info about the ones I know of in this article.

Colosseum - one of the sites included in all Rome discount passes

When evaluating the cost and advantages of a Rome discount pass, evaluate carefully how many sites you can realistically see in the time you have

Please note: the information on what each pass includes comes from the website of the relevant vendor.

You can find information on the standard public transport tickets available here.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links and, should you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

 

How to choose a Rome discount pass or card

To help you decide whether a Rome pass is a good purchase for your next trip, I have gathered info about the discount cards and passes currently available.

Roma Pass

The Roma Pass is a discount card issued by the City of Rome in collaboration with ATAC (Rome’s public transport authority) and comes in two forms: a 2-day or a 3-day pass.

Unlike standard  tickets and passes, this card combines a transport pass valid on all transport modes with access to some local museums and in particular:

  • 2 free entries (3-day pass) or 1 free entry (2-day pass) to participating museums or archaeological sites
  • Discounted tickets for all other museums that participate in the Roma Pass
  • Dedicated entry at the Colosseum, Castel Sant’Angelo, and Musei Capitolini

The Roma Pass is activated from the moment it is first used at an entry to a museum, an archaeological site, or when you first board public transportation and expires after 72 or 48 hours after initial activation.

You can buy the Roma pass online (see below), from museums and Tourist Information Points (kiosks), in metro and train stations.

Please note:

  • The Roma pass does not foresee discounts for children under 10 and it also not really suitable for them since they travel for free on public transport anyway and have free admission to most (not all) museums and sites
  • The Pass does not include guided tours and is only suitable for self-guided sightseeing

You can find info, prices and book you Roma Pass here

Roma Omnia Card

The Omnia Card is provided by the private organization Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi in collaboration with the City of Rome. it is the most expensive of the passes currently available and costs €113 for adults/€80 for children (ages 6-9) for 72 hours (3 day pass and €55 for adults/€34 for children (ages 6-9) for 24 hours (1 day pass).

The Omnia Card 24h includes

  • Entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel (with a free, downloadable audio guide for St. Peter’s Basilica)
  • Free hop-on-hop-off bus tour (Roma Cristiana, with free wifi) for 24 hours
  • Entry to the Cloister in the St. Paul’s Basilica outside the walls

While the Omnia Card 72 hours include:

  • Entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel (with a free, downloadable audio guide for St. Peter’s Basilica)
  • Roma Pass for 2 free entries to the museums or archaeological sites of your choice and free access to public transportation for 72 hours
  • Entry to the Cloister in the St. Paul’s Basilica outside the walls
  • Skip the Line advantage at St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum
  • Free hop-on-hop-off bus tour (Roma Cristiana, with free wifi) for 72 hours – see the route the bus takes here
  • Discounted tickets for all other museums that participate in the Omnia Card

You can find info, cost and what is exactly included here

Please note:

  • Access to St peter’s basilica is through security gates and no one skips the line here. The skip the line element of this card applies to the Museums but not the basilica itself (which is, incidentally, free)

Rome city pass / Turbo  Pass

The name of this pass is so similar to the one above I had to check once, twice and even three times to make sure I wasn’t mixing up the info about the several discount passes available in Rome but here we go. The Rome city pass aka Turbo pass is one more to add to the list and one that is appealing mostly thanks to its flexibility and price

Unlike the passes mentioned above, the Rome Turbo pass offers:

  • Entry to top attractions of Ancient Rome: including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill with skip the line priorities
  • Entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
  • Entry to Rome’s most popular museums and reduced entry into additional attractions and exhibitions
  • Use of public transport including the metro, buses (including Ciampino airport), and trams
  • Hop-on-hop-off bus tour in Rome
  • Map of Rome and Travel Information
  • Additional discounts and savings across the city at exhibitions, tours and shops

The Rome City Pass can be shipped by mail or can be picked up in the city center of Rome. You will have immediate access to the metro system and to buses and trains across the whole of Rome. You can order from the official website here.

The Rome City Pass is your all-inclusive ticket for 2, 3 or 6 days

Archeologia Card – not currently available

I include this card in the list even if currently unavailable because many traveler forum chats mention it and it had piqued my attention (and therefore, I presume, yours). The card is currently not operational, I will update this entry if / when things change.

Is it worth getting a Rome travel and museum pass?

With all these similar options the questions is legitimate and I know I am taking a risk giving one blanket answer to this question. However, I am going to put my neck on the line and say that in many cases getting this passes, especially the more expensive ones, it is not worth it, unless:

You visit pretty much all the sites they cover within their window of validity and do not take guided tours in any (guided tours usually include the cost of the site to visit)

You make extensive use of the hop on hop off bus option (please be advised that locations such as the Trevi fountains, and many others are inaccessible by bus and will require you to walk)

You are happy to pay a premium for the convenience of having a pass and not having to fiddle with tickets, change and cash as you go

What to consider when choosing a Rome discount card

  • Can you get a discount anyway? Some categories of visitors are already entitled to discounts (seniors, teachers, students, all with ID and depending on specific museums)

 

  • Are you traveling with kids? Kids under 10  do not benefit from these cards as they travel for free on public transport and often get discounts to Rome main sights and museums

 

  • Do you intend on taking a guided tour? These cards sometimes includes downloadable apps and maps but not access to a guide. If you are planning on taking a guided tour, it is better to book directly with the one of choice since the cost usually includes that of the skip the line ticket.

 

 

  • Will you be using the hop on hop off pass and for where. Hop on hop off buses can be great to get an overview of the city but not for small journeys. Be advised that some areas such as Spanish steps, Trevi and Pantheon are pedestrianized and inaccessible to buses

 

  • Will you be visiting on the first Sunday of the month? On the first Sunday of each month Rome municipal museums are free. Make sure you do not spend money on a card if your stay includes this day!

I hope you found this overview useful and helped answer the question: are Rome discount passes and cards worth it?

 

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