Rome is one of the most visited cities in the world — which is why many people are curious about the Rome Pass. That’s why we wanted to do a Rome Pass review to determine if this popular sightseeing card is worth the money.
The OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card cost €113 (it’s a little more if you want it shipped to your home), or you can pick it up in Rome. As with every city pass (London Pass, Paris Pass, etc), the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card can be a good deal for some people but for a lot of people, it can be a waste of money. It all comes down to your travel style.
In this review, we’ll talk about who should and shouldn’t buy this city pass.
Super Quick Roma & Vatican Pass Review
Here is a brief overview of the pass’s value (we’ll go into more detail later).
In general, for most first-time visitors, the Rome and Vatican Pass does provide a lot of value in terms of money savings and convenience. In some cases, you might save a little money by booking everything separately but the pass saves a good deal of time by letting you skip the lines and you don’t have to deal with booking each attraction ticket individually.
This Rome Card + Vatican Pass can be a good deal if:
- You want to see the main sights of Rome and the Vatican in three days.
- You want to avoid waiting in long lines to buy tickets individually — which can get very long.
- You’re visiting in the busy summer.
- You want to do the extra activities (i.e. Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus).
- You like audio guides with your sightseeing.
- You don’t want to bother with buying separate tickets.
- You will use public transport multiple times a day.
This Roma + Vatican Pass may not be a good deal if:
- You’re only visiting a few sights.
- You don’t want to compress your main sightseeing into three days.
- You don’t plan on using public transportation.
- You’re on a tight budget.
- You’re visiting in the off-season (so the lines will be shorter anyway).
- You don’t mind getting to sights super early to avoid the lines or you don’t mind waiting in line.
In-Depth Roma & Vatican Pass Review
All right… grab an espresso because we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty about the Rome and Vatican Pass!
The Rome Pass is a little confusing. Basically, it is a combo pack of two different cards — the OMNIA Vatican Pass and the Roma Pass. And instead of giving you entry to dozens of sights and museums, these passes only cover the most popular sights. This makes it ideal for first-time visitors who want to see the highlights.
The Roma and Vatican Pass Includes:
- Entry to Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
- Entry for two out of six top Rome attractions. The Coliseum+Roman Forum+Palatine Hill (these three combined are considered one site), Borghese Gallery, Capitoline Museums, and National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo.
- Fast Track Entry to St Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel & The Coliseum. This means you can skip the lines to these sights.
- 3-Day hop-on-hop-off bus tour ticket of Rome for 3 days
- Unlimited 72-hour travel card for unlimited access to Rome’s public transport system.
- Discounted entry to another 30 plus sights, attractions, and museums in Rome. Note: it’s hard to find what these discounts are so we’re going to assume it is a very minimal discount.
- City Map and Guide Book
Rome Card Price Breakdown | We Do The Math
The price of the Rome Pass is €113.00 for an adult — which breaks down to €38/day. So let’s do some math.
Roma Pass (Choice Of Two)
- Coliseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill: €12 at the ticket office or €16 if you buy online (and skip the line — which can easily be 1-2 hours if you don’t get there early).
- Borghese Gallery: €15 at the ticket office or €17 if pre-booked online and picked up at the ticket office. Note: The museum limits the number of people who visit the museum each day and tickets sell out often. All visitors are required to make a reservation — even people using the pass. Rome Pass users can make a reservation in person or on the phone. People buying online can make it online.
- Capitoline Museums: €15 at the ticket window or €16 if purchased online (you skip the line).
- Castel St. Angelo: €10.50 at the door. You can buy them online from a 3rd party for €14 but there is rarely a line here so there isn’t really a need to buy in advance.
- Museum of Rome: €7 if purchased at the ticket window. Note: The National Roman Museum is actually five separate museums spread across the city (but one ticket gets you into all of them). The Palazzo Massimo alle Terme is the best of the bunch.
The OMNIA Vatican Pass Includes:
- Sistine Chapel & Vatican Museums: Normal price is €16 for tickets at the window or €20 purchased online (lets you skip the line — which can get very long). The audio guide is an extra €7. Note: you have to make a reservation to visit the Vatican Museum — even with the pass (you’ll be emailed instructions on how to do it if you buy the pass). Tip: you can download a free audio guide from Rick Steves.
- St Peter’s Basilica: The Basilica is free but the pass lets you skip the line — which is normally 30+ minutes or a lot longer in the summer. It also includes an audio guide (€15). Tip: you can download a free audio guide from Rick Steves.
- St. John in the Lateran: Normal price is €10.
Other Pass Benefits
- 3 Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour: €33. These kinds of tours are a nice way to see the city. There are multiple companies offering Hop-On-Hop-Off tours. The cheapest I’ve found is €14 for a single lap but most are around €20-€27 for 24-hours. Two and three passes are usually around €28-€45. You’ll have to decide how often you’ll use the bus to determine the value of this perk.
72-Hour Unlimited Public Transport Travel Card: €18. This is good for any public transport in Rome (but it doesn’t get you to the airport). So it’s basically €6/day.
LET’S ADD IT ALL UP!
The prices below assume that you’ll book all your tickets in advance (which costs a little more) so you can skip the long lines.
- Coliseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill (€16) + Unlimited Transport (€6) = €22 or €44 if you add 24-hour Hop-on-Hop-off bus tour (approx. €20).
- Borghese Gallery (€17) + Unlimited Transport (€6) = €23
- Sistine Chapel & Vatican Museums (€20) + Unlimited Transport (€6) + Line skip & audio guide at St Peter’s Basilica (€15) = €41 (€48 if you want an audio guide)
Adding up everything becomes a little confusing because there are so things to factor in. However, here are the most common scenarios:
- Scenario One — Low Budget: If you were to book all these tickets online (so you skip the lines), skipped the public transportation (a single ride is €1.50, by the way), and skipped the hop-on-hop-off bus you would spend around €70.
- Scenario Two — Normal Traveler: If you were to book all these tickets online (so you skip the lines), bought a 72-hour pass for public transportation and booked a one-day hop-on-hop-off bus ticket you would spend around €80-€90.
- Scenario Three — Do-It-All: If you were to book all these tickets online (so you skip the lines), bought a 72-hour pass for public transportation, booked a one-day hop-on-hop-off bus ticket, and included all the audio guides then you would spend around €120. If you wanted the three-day hop-on bus tour then you would spend around €130.
Remember, the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card costs €113. Therefore, if you take advantage of everything the pass offers, it ends up being a good deal. On the other hand, the pass loses its value if you don’t plan on utilizing the hop-on-hop-off bus, don’t use public transportation much, and don’t want the audio guides.
However, one benefit of the pass is the convenience — you don’t have to worry about booking everything individually, printing all your tickets in advance, buying your public transportation tickets, etc. So that extra hour you spend booking everything separately might be worth an extra €10-€15. Visit OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card website to dig deeper.
So, in conclusion, we found that the Rome Pass provided a good value and convenience factor — especially for first-time visitors. But, if you’ve been to Rome before then we suggest skipping the card.
Buying The Rome Pass
The easiest way to buy this sightseeing card is through the Rome Pass website. Then you can pick it up when you get to Rome or you can have it shipped to your home for a small charge (but you’ll need to buy it early cause it can take over two weeks to arrive).
More Rome Travel Tips
Check out our Rome Travel Guide for travel tips and money-saving advice.
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