Most Rome passes are still available. However, many attractions in Rome are currently closed due to COVID-19. Last update: 01/2021.
What’s a Rome City Pass?
A Rome city pass is a sightseeing ticket for numerous museums, sights, and other tourist attractions in the Italian capital. Holders of a Rome city pass can visit many attractions free of charge and use Hop-on Hop-off buses or public transport in Rome. Some of the most important attractions covered by some city passes include the Colosseum including the Roman Forum as well as the Vatican with its museums and the Sistine Chapel.
On this page, we present the five most important Rome city passes. However, no two passes are the same, as they each contain different services, are valid for different periods of time and the price range is wide. The cheapest Rome city pass costs only 32 euros. The most expensive version, however, costs 182 euros. This alone tells you how different the city passes are. On this page, we will work out the differences. Ideally, you will then know which Rome city pass is the best for your journey.
All city passes can be bought on the Internet. Some of them can be downloaded to your phone or printed out after purchase, others you have to pick up in Rome.
This page contains partner links. This means that we receive a commission when you buy a product through an affiliate link (e.g. a Rome City Pass). This does not make the product more expensive for you.
When Is a Rome City Pass Worthwhile?
When You’re in Rome for the first time
All Rome city passes include some of the city’s major attractions. The Colosseum incl. Forum Romanum for example is included in each of the five city passes we present on this page. Other attractions included are the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica, Galleria Borghese, etc. Therefore a city pass is often only worthwhile if you have not yet visited these attractions.
When you’d like to do intensive sightseeing
Most Rome city passes are limited in time. This means that you can theoretically visit numerous attractions, but you have little time to do so. Often you can decide for yourself how long your city pass should be valid. The longer it is valid the more expensive it is. City passes can therefore only be worthwhile if you can accommodate a lot of sightseeing in a short time.
When You’re Interested in Museums
Three of the five most important Rome city passes grant free entry to numerous museums and exhibitions such as the Galleria Borghese, the Capitoline Museums, or the Museo Nazionale. If you want to visit several museums in Rome, these city passes could be worth your while (especially the Roma Pass).
When You Like Riding Hop-on Hop-off Buses
The tourist buses, which you can get on and off as often as you like within a day, are among the most popular offers for travellers. Four city passes provide at least one day of free travel on the Hop-on Hop-off buses. If you want to explore Rome on these buses anyway, these Rome city passes may be worth your while.
When you know what you want
The best way to get the most value out of any city pass – no matter what city – is to know what attractions you want to visit and compare your wish list with the services provided by city passes. The more of your favourite attractions a city pass includes, the more likely it is to be worthwhile for you.
When you travel unprepared
However, there is also the opposite view. You can get inspired by the offers of a city pass if you don’t know what you want yet. You probably won’t save any money with the pass, but it will make sightseeing easier because it will take some decisions off your shoulders.
When you don’t want to buy single tickets
A similar argument is put forward by many buyers of Rome city passes when they rate the passes on the Internet. Although they do not save much money with the city passes, they write, it was very convenient to get all tickets and passes from one source. This is another argument for a city pass. You don’t have to worry about individual tickets and passes.
When you buy your pass weeks in advance
If you want to enjoy the full benefits of the Rome city passes, you should buy them several weeks before your trip. Especially in the high season, tickets for the Colosseum and the Vatican are booked out weeks in advance. If this is the case, you will not be able to get in even with a city pass. Some of the passes can only be booked if tickets for the top attractions are still available.
All Rome City Passes at a glance
In the following section we briefly introduce the four most important tourist cards for Rome.
No Rome city pass is like any other. You can see from the table above that the services included, the validity and the prices differ significantly. In this section, we would like to point out the most important differences of the Rome tourist cards.
Validity: The city passes are valid for different periods of time. There are only two options for the Roma Pass: 48 hours or 72 hours. The Turbo Pass Rome is slightly more flexible (1-7 days), but these are calendar days and not 24-hour units. Therefore you should start your sightseeing in the morning. The Omnia & Vatican Card is only available with a 72-hour validity period.
The Rome Tourist Card is the only city pass without a fixed term. You can take advantage of all services when you need them. In this respect, it is similar to the Rome Explorer Pass. It is valid for a full 30 days. During this time, however, you cannot visit as many attractions as you would like, but only as many as you have paid for.
Public Transport: Sightseeing an public transport in one ticket – this is very convenient and only available with the Roma Pass and Omnia Card. With these you can use all public transport within Rome. With the Rome Turbo Pass you can book a ticket as an option. However, it is cheaper to buy your ticket at any vending machine. With the Rome Tourist Card you cannot use public transport.
Hop-on Hop-off Bus: The trip with the tourist buses is often the most expensive attraction included in the city passes. The passes are therefore only worthwhile if you take the ride. This is possible with the Rome Tourist Card as well as with the Turbo Pass Rome. The Roma Pass does not include the Hop-on Hop-off bus – but you do not pay for it either. The Rome & Vatican Omnia Card, on the other hand, includes a three-day ticket for the buses. With the Rome Explorer Pass, you don’t have to use the buses to make the pass worthwhile. They are just one of the many attractions you can choose from.
Included Attractions: An important criterion for choosing a city pass is the number of top attractions you can visit free of charge with the pass. In Rome, this mainly concerns the Colosseum including the Forum Romanum, the Vatican with its museums and the Sistine Chapel, possibly St. Peter’s Basilica, Castel Sant’Angelo and Galleria Borghese. You can see which top sights are included in which pass in the table above.
Fast Track Entry: Rome is one of the most popular cities for tourists in Europe. Especially in the high season, the city is almost overflowing with visitors. That’s why you have to put up with long queues at many attractions. Even with a city pass, you will have to queue up most of the time. Only in a few exceptional cases do you enjoy fast-track admission. To find out which Rome city pass will get you into which place faster, please refer to the table above.
Airport Transfer: It is particularly convenient if a city pass also includes a transfer from the airport to the city. But from our point of view, this should not be a purchase criterion for Rome. Indeed, the Rome Tourist Card includes such a transfer, but only for one direction. Thus, for the way back you would have to buy a ticket anyway. With the Rome Turbopass you can book the airport transfer as an option, but this option is quite expensive.
If you choose attractions wisely, you will save a lot of money with the Roma Pass.
Public transport can be used free of charge for up to 72 hours.
The discounts on museums are sometimes very attractive.
The Roma Pass allows fast track admission to some important attractions.
Disadvantages of the Roma Pass
Admission to the Colosseum must be reserved in advance. There is a booking fee of €2 per ticket and the reservation must be made several weeks in advance.
The Vatican and its museums are not included in the Roma Pass.
Although the pass can be purchased online, it must still be picked up in Rome. This is quite cumbersome.
Advantages of the Rome Turbopass
The Rome Turbo Pass includes the main attractions of Rome.
Partially you benefit from fast track admission without queues.
The Turbo Pass is convenient: you’ll get different tickets from a single source.
The Rome City Pass is available digitally on your phone.
Disadvantages of the Rome Turbopass
The possible savings with the Turbopass Rome are very small.
Visits to the Vatican and Colosseum may not be possible, as the contingents are very limited in the high season. But you will find that out before you buy it.
It is not worthwhile to book additional tickets for public transport and airport shuttle buses. It is cheaper to buy these tickets separately.
Advantages of the Omnia Card
The Omnia Card compensates for the shortcomings of the Roma Pass by adding three major attractions.
You can visit the main attractions of Rome with the Omnia Card: St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican, Colosseum and Hop-on Hop-off Bus.
The validity is calculated in 24-hour units. The Omnia Card is valid for 72 hours in total.
You won’t save much money with the Omnia Card, but you will receive all the essential services in one convenient package.
You can also use public transport free of charge for 72 hours.
No need to be spoilt for choice: there is only one pass with one term and one price.
Disadvantages of the Omnia Card
The Omnia Card only pays off if it is offered at a 10% discount. Otherwise, it is cheaper to buy the Roma Pass and tickets for the three additional attractions separately.
The card is not flexible in terms of time. It is always valid for 72 hours. A longer or shorter validity is not available.
The included Hop-on Hop-off bus is not too popular with customers. Other companies operate better buses.
You must pick up the card in Rome. There is no mobile version of the Omnia Card.
Advantages of the Tourist Card
The Rome Tourist Card focuses on essential attractions in Rome and omits many less interesting offers.
The tickets can be conveniently downloaded to your phone.
This city pass has no fixed term. You can take advantage of each service when you need it.
Disadvantages of the Tourist Card
It is not a real city pass, but four individual tickets.
The Rome Tourist Card is quite expensive. You only save money with it if you buy more tickets with 20% discount.
In the high season, the card is only available several weeks in advance, as the Colosseum is also fully booked in the long term.
Advantages of the Explorer Pass
The pass offers many interesting services that are not available in any other Rome Pass. As a holder of the Explorer Pass you often do not get the standard tickets but premium services.
If you visit attractions that individually cost more than €26, you will save money with the Explorer Pass.
The Rome Explorer Pass can be loaded onto your phone and used immediately after purchase.
You have 30 days to visit up to seven attractions.
Disadvantages of the Explorer Pass
The Explorer Pass is relatively expensive. If you mainly want to save money, you can visit Rome cheaper with other passes – but then you will only get the standard tickets.
Children from 7 years on have to pay full price. Therefore, the Explorer Pass is hardly suitable for families.
Some of the included attractions are too cheap to use the Explorer Pass.
You cannot use public transport with the Explorer Pass.
Fast track admission is only granted to a few attractions, but the most important ones are the Colosseum, St. Peter’s and the Vatican.
Which Rome City Pass is the Best?
For Rome, we find it difficult to choose the best city pass, as the five available Rome passes are very different in their services and prices. The Rome Turbopass and the Omnia Card offer the largest range of services. The Roma Pass, on the other hand, is the only city pass that allows you to save some money. However, these three passes are not suitable for every visitor. In this section we recommend the best city pass depending on your personal situation:
I would like to visit only the most important attractions
The Rome Tourist Card is the narrowest of all city passes. With it, you can visit the Colosseum and get preferential admission to St. Peter’s. A city tour with the Hop-on Hop-off bus is also included.
The Roma Pass contains many more attractions, but it is worth it if you visit about four sights (including e.g. the Colosseum, Castel Sant’Angelo).
With the Explorer Pass, you will only visit a limited number of attractions. It can be worth it if you only take advantage of two offers. However, these are usually premium services. These are more expensive than standard tickets.
I would like to visit as many attractions as possible
The Roma Pass includes the most attractions or all city passes, even if they are mainly museums. The Rome & Vatican Omnia Card is an extension of the Roma Pass with additional benefits. Similarly diverse is the Turbo Pass Rome, which includes a city tour, the Colosseum, the Vatican, and some important museums.
I would like to save a lot of money with a city pass
The only Rome city pass with which you can save some money is the Roma Pass. For a moderate price, you get a ticket for up to three days, up to two free admissions and attractive discounts on museums and historical sites.
You can also save some money with the Rome Explorer Pass compared to single tickets. However, the pass includes many premium services (e.g. with guided tours). This makes it more expensive than if you bought standard tickets.
I would like to visit museums
The Roma Pass is the best museum pass. With it, you can visit the Capitoline Museums, the National Museum, and many other museums.
I don’t want to walk a lot
If you cannot walk far, you will want to use public transport in Rome. Only two passes grant free travel on local transport: the Roma Pass and the Omnia Card.
I’m in Rome for two days only
If you are short on time, the Rome Tourist Card might be suitable for you, as it only includes a bus tour, the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica (as well as an airport transfer).
But even better, the Roma Pass for 48 hours could suit you as it allows you to use public transport quickly and flexibly.
I’m in Rome for up to 7 days
None of the Rome city passes are suitable for a whole week. Although the Rome Turbo Pass is valid for up to 7 days, from our point of view it includes too few services to be worthwhile for such a long period. The Rome Turbopass is most worthwhile for three to four days. In addition, you could buy a public transport ticket for a complete week and continue exploring Rome on your own after the Turbo Pass expires.
I want to visit Rome with kids
Which Rome city pass is worthwhile for a trip with children, unfortunately, can not be answered in a blanket way. It depends on how old your children are, as well as which sights you would like to visit.
For children under 10 years of age, none of the city passes are worthwhile, as Rome generally offers very family-friendly prices. Children under 10 accompanied by an adult travel free on public transport and on some Hop-on Hop-off buses. Also, sightseeing attractions are often free or significantly reduced.
The Rome Explorer Pass is probably the least worthwhile for families, as children from 7 years on have to pay full price.
I just want to stroll through the streets
If you only want to explore Rome from the outside without going into the sights and taking the long queues, you don’t need a city pass. A public transport ticket for several days could still be worthwhile.
Alternatives to Rome City Passes
We have presented the five most important Rome city passes on this page. You will find more detailed information on the respective subpages of the passes.
If none of the Rome city passes suit you, you can also buy single tickets for the main attractions. We recommend doing this online several weeks before your trip, as some attractions are fully booked weeks in advance: