Useful tips on how to save in Rome 2023

how to save in Rome

The Roma Pass and the Omnia Vatican and Rome Card are great tips to save a lot of money on sightseeing and public transport when you visit Rome. Which card will you choose?

Your eyes may be spinning as you calculate the entrance fees to the must-see sights in Rome. I don’t blame you. We had it exactly the same way. We wanted to see everything.

But how to make it so that there is enough left for that delicious Italian ice cream everyone is talking about? Italian gelato is a must, as is a visit to the Colosseum.

One way to save money in Rome is with the Roma Pass and the Vatican and Rome Card. And in this article, we’ll take a closer look at them.

How to save in Rome: the Roma Pass

The Roma Pass is a handy contactless card that gives you free or discounted entry to more than 45 monuments and museums in Rome. You can visit the most famous sights such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Castle of the Angels for free. The card also gives you unlimited travel on Rome’s public transport.

The Roma Pass can be purchased in two variants:

Option 1: ROMA PASS for 72 hours

With the Roma Pass 72h you get free entry to two selected monuments and reduced admission to more than 45 places for 72 hours. The time starts from the first activation, which counts the entry to the first monument or the first public transport ride.

What is the price of the Roma Pass 72 hours for 2023?

You will pay €53 for the Roma Pass in 2023 .

What are the benefits of the Roma Pass 72h?

Free entry to 2 museums or architectural sites. Vybrat si můžete z těch nejznámějších míst, jako je Koloseum, Forum Romanum, Andělský hrad, Římské muzeum, Galerie Borghese a další. This does not include the Vatican, but more on that in a moment. Free entry applies to the first 2 monuments you visit. I recommend choosing between the more expensive ones to save as much as possible with the Roma Pass.

Combination tickets are a special case. With one ticket you can visit several places and still only 1 entry is deducted. This includes:

  • Colosseum + Forum Romanum + Palatine Hill (without museum)
  • Villa Torlonia museum: Casina delle Civette at Casino Nobile
  • National Museum of Rome: Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo, Diocletian’s Baths
  • National Gallery of Ancient Art: Palazzo Barberini to Palazzo Corsini

Once you have used up your two free admissions, you get reduced admission to the other attractions. You come to the ticket office, present your card and buy a ticket at the reduced rate, where you can get up to 50% off. The reduced admission also applies to current exhibitions, events and services in Rome. You can find a comparison of full and reduced admission prices in one place here: overview of admission prices for sights in Rome (in aj).

Another great advantage is the free use of public transport for the duration of the card’s validity. What does it all include?

  • buses, trams
  • metro A, B, B1, C
  • trains within Rome on the lines Roma – Lido, Roma Flaminio Piazza del Popolo Viterbo, Roma Giardinetti
  • bus line 720 between Ciampino Airport and Laurentina, where it is possible to connect to metro B
  • bus line 520 between Ciampino Airport from/to the Subaugusta bus terminal, located directly in front of the metro station, or Cinecittà bus stop.

Attention:if you take a ride with the special connectiontpl ATAC, it does not apply the Roma Pass. This also applies to ALL connections to/from Fiumicino Airport.

An extra bonus isthe free use of P.STOP information points, where you will find underground public toilets, WIFI or water vending machines. Those who travel to cities probably know that this can contribute a lot to mental and physical well-being ?.

P.STOP

2nd option: 48 hours ROMA PASS

With the Roma Pass 48h you get free entry to one selected monument and reduced admission to a number of other places for 48 hours. The time starts from the first activation, which includes entry to the first monument or the first public transport ride.

What is the price of the Roma Pass 48 hours for 2023?

You will pay €33 for the Roma Pass in 2023.

What are the benefits of the Roma Pass 48h?

The benefits are identical to those of the Roma Pass 72h, with one difference: in this case, admission is completely free to only one museum or monument. I recommend using the free entry for the Colosseum, where you save the most. In one ticket you also get the adjacent Forum Romanum and Palatine Hill (without the museum). At the other monuments, you can always just show your card and get reduced admission, which is usually more than 50% less.

What sights, museums and attractions are included in the Roma Pass?

The Roma Pass includes entry to more than 45 venues in Rome, including:

  • Colosseum, Forum Romanum and Palatine Hill (all seats for 1 ticket)
  • Trajan’s Markets
  • Angel Castle
  • Capitol Museums
  • Borghese Gallery
  • Caracalla Baths
  • Circus Maximus
  • National Museum of Rome: Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo, Diocletian’s Baths(all places on 1 ticket – you have one week to visit)
  • MAXXI
  • …and many others

Where do I need to make a reservation even if I have a Roma Pass?

In the current situation, you need to make reservations for several venues – below is the procedure for the most popular ones if you have a Roma Pass. Whether you have a card or not, always book at least 10 days in advance. Especially if you are planning to visit Rome for a weekend or holiday.

  • Colosseum – on the ecm.coopculture.it website, select the date and time, confirm and scroll down the menu in the new table to click on the reservation for Roma Pass holders. Reservation is required for all, i.e. Even children are admitted free of charge. The reservation fee is always 2 €.
  • Borghese Gallery – send an email to [email protected] with the number of people, age, date and approximate time that would work for you. In high season, book at least 10 days in advance.
  • Mausoleo di Augusto – at romapass.vivaticket.it select “PRENOTA” in the right corner and choose the day and time of your visit.
  • Capitoline Museums (reservation is not necessary, but recommended) – on romapass.vivaticket.it, click on “PRENOTA” in the right corner and select the date and time of your visit.

Where to buy the Roma Pass?

The easiest way is to order your Roma Pass online. All you need is a credit card. The card(s) can then be picked up after a minimum of 24 hours at the tourist information office in Rome (see below for details). You can also cancel your reservation up to 24 hours in advance for free via this link.

Where to pick up a Roma Pass?

You can pick up a card at the tourist information, which you can find in several places:

  • Tourist Information Fori Imperiali, Visitor Center Via dei Fori Imperiali 10:30-20:00 (5 minutes from the Colosseum towards Piazza Venezia on the right hand side)
  • Tourist Information Minghetti, Via Marco Minghetti 9:30 -19:00 (information stand on the corner with Via del Corso)
  • Tourist information Castel Sant’Angelo (Angel’s Castle) 09:30 -19:00 (information stand to the left of Angel’s Castle)

All places are well marked, you will not miss them. Along with the Roma Pass, you will receive a detailed map of Rome.

How to save in Rome:Rome & Vatican Pass

Rome & Vatican Pass is a combination of two tourist cards – the Roma Pass and the Omnia Card. You will have 2 cards in your hand, with the Omnia Card for free entry to the Vatican and the Roma Pass for all other benefits. Hence, unlike the Roma Pass itself, the Rome & Vatican Pass includes far more benefits, which we’ll talk about in a moment.

What are the benefits of the Rome & Vatican Pass?

The main advantage over the Roma Pass is free entry to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Other places you can enter for free with the Rome&Vatican Pass are the Basilicas of St. John in the Lateran and the Convent, the Carcer Tullianum and Santa Maria in Via Lata.

In addition to admission to the Vatican, admission to 2 museums or architectural sites remains free. Again, you can choose from the most beautiful monuments in Rome – the Colosseum, the Forum Romanum, the Castel Sant’Angelo, the Roman Museum, the Capitoline Museums, the Borghese Gallery and more.

Anyone who has ever seen the queues for the Vatican or the Colosseum will appreciatethe priority entry to Rome’s busiest attractions, such as the Basilica of St. Peter’s Basilica (currently limited due to circumstances).

For 3 days you can enjoy unlimited rides in the sightseeing bus, which normally costs €32. The bus will take you around the most famous sights and you also have a guide in several languages. More information about the sightseeing bus is forthcoming.

The Rome&Vatican Pass also includes unlimited use of public transport in Rome (save €18), covering all modes of transport except to/from Fiumicino Airport. If you’re arriving at Ciampino Airport, the Roma Pass allows you to save money on transport from the airport to the city centre by taking the 520 or 720 buses and then transferring to the metro.

Summary: with the Rome&Vatican Pass you get 2 cards: the Omnia Card, which you show when entering the Vatican, and the Roma Pass, which you show at all other places. Present the Roma Pass at the entrance of the two monuments you have chosen for free entry. Once you’ve used up these two free passes, you’ll go to the ticket office at each of the other sights and present the Roma Pass to get a reduced rate ticket (sometimes 50% off).

The reduced admission fee also applies to current exhibitions, events and services in Rome. You can find a comparison of full and reduced admission in one place here: overview of admission fees for sights in Rome(in aj).

For easier planning and orientation, you will also get a detailed guide and a map of Rome with the card. Again, you can use free P.STOP information points with underground toilets, WIFI and water vending machines.

The card is valid for 72 hours from the first activation (entry to a monument or public transport). The card can be activated up to one year after purchase.

What is the price of the Rome & Vatican Pass for 2023?

The OMNIA card costs €129 and €59 for children aged 6-9.

How to buy the Rome & Vatican Pass?

The easiest option is to order the Rome&Vatican Pass online. You will then receive an email confirmation with full instructions, and you can pick up your card free of charge from one of these locations in Rome:

  • O.R.P. – Piazza Pio XII 9 (St. Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City) – opening hours: MON – SUN 09:00 – 16:00
  • O.R.P. – Piazza di Porta S.Giovanni 6 (Lateran Basilica) – opening hours: Mon – Sun 09:00 – 16:00
  • O.R.P. – Largo Argentina, Via dei Cestari 21 (a short walk from the Pantheon) – opening hours: MON – FR 09:00 – 17:00
  • O.R.P. – Clivo Argentario (Cancer Tullianum – turn left after the Forum Romanum if you go from the Colosseum) – opening hours: MON – SUN 09:00 – 16:00

Most of us probably head for the Colosseum first – here you can pick up your card just after the Forum Romanum. From the Colosseum you go up. Go around the Forum Romanum on your left and turn left just after it. I have attached a link to Google maps.

Please note: When filling in your details, you will be entering the date of your visit to Rome. If you don’t know it yet, nothing happens. Give an approximation. The date you enter is for information purposes – if there is any change, Rome&Vatican Pass staff will inform you (this also applies to the Roma Pass).

Hop On Hop Off sightseeing bus in Rome

The Rome&Vatican Pass includes a sightseeing bus. It stops in Rome at 12 stops, such as the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica or Piazza Navona.

Departures

  • First sightseeing tour starts at 09:00 from Termini Station or at 09:30 from St Peter’s Basilica.
  • You can take the last sightseeing bus at 18:30 from Termini Station and 18:45 from St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • Buses run every 10-15 minutes.

What language is the guide available in? English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, French, Japanese and Russian.

Is the Roma Pass or the Rome&Vatican Pass worth it?

It was worth it for us, but it depends on what you plan to visit. Let’s take a simple example of a Roma Pass for 72 hours (3 days), which costs €53. The card gives you free entry to 2 selected sights. The Colosseum will definitely be one of them, along with the Forum Romanum and the Palatine Hill (€16). From here, it’s just a short walk to the Capitoline Museums (€12).

We have used up 2 free entries and now you have everything at a reduced price. We already saved 30€ on sightseeing and 18€ on public transport for 3 days. We check out free places like the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon and just wander the streets.

The next day we head towards the Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo and the Borghese Gallery, where we pay a reduced entrance fee and save €6.50. From now on, the Roma Pass is starting to pay off and we have only visited 3 paid sights so far. We stroll through the gardens around the Borghese Gallery, enjoy the view of Rome and continue to the Castle of the Angels, where we save another €6 on admission with the card. And the rest of the day we just wander the streets and enjoy a meal in the Trastevere district across the river.

On the last day we head south of the Colosseum to the Baths of Caracalla and the Roman arena Circus Maximus, where we save a total of €7.

Even at a relaxed pace, you can save a lot of money with the Roma Pass 72h, so we can definitely recommend it.

Is the tourist card worth it for children under 18?

Children under 18 years old can enter most of Rome’s monuments and museums for free. Children under 10 years of age accompanied by an adult can travel free of charge on public transport in Rome. A tourist card for children will not bring the same savings as for adults.

Just be warned that even though children get in for free, you still have to make reservations for some sights (usually for a fee of €2). This applies to the Colosseum, the Baths of Caracalla, the Vatican Museums or the Borghese Gallery – see the previous article for where to go and how to do it.

Which card to choose? Roma Pass or Roma Pass including Omnia Card (Rome&Vatican Pass)?

Wondering which card to use more during your visit to Rome? That depends on whether you plan to visit the Vatican. If you’re not going to the Vatican, buy the Pass separately. Roma Pass.

However, if you plan to enjoy Rome to the fullest – without the hassle of getting from one place to another, visiting the Vatican and seeing the historic centre from a sightseeing bus, it will be ideal for you OMNIA card.

A clear table that compares the main advantages of the cards will help you decide:

Do I need a reservation at the Colosseum if I have a Roma Pass or OMNIA Card?

Yes, you must make a reservation before visiting the Colosseum. You can purchase the Roma Pass or the OMNIA Vatican and Roma Card.

On the official website of the Colosseum, you can then buy your ticket online for an additional fee of 2 € (the fee applies to all tickets, whether you have a Roma Pass or not). You choose a date, a specific time, and scroll down to the bottom of the new table to select a ticket for Roma Pass holders.

You fill in your details, pay and your tickets will arrive in your email. From there, you can print them out or download them to your mobile phone. You scan the barcode on entry and you are ready to explore.

Detailed directions to the Colosseum can be found in my previous article: Colosseum in Rome | Guide (tickets, opening times, tips)

Do I need a reservation for the Vatican if I have an OMNIA Card?

Yes, but it’s simple. Instructions on how to do this can be found directly in the confirmation email after purchasing the OMNIA (Rome and Vatican Pass).

For whom are tourist cards worthwhile?

You’re not a student or a child – most places offer free admission for children under 18 and reduced admission for students. It’s a good idea to check in advance the status of the sights and museums you plan to visit.

It’s your first time in Rome and you’re planning to visit more sights – if your goal is to soak up the atmosphere, wander the old streets and visit only a minimum of sights, the card won’t save you money.

Summary

With the Roma Pass you get free or reduced admission to over 45 monuments and museums in Rome, including unlimited public transport travel around Rome and other benefits. In addition, the Rome&Vatican Pass gives you free entry to the Vatican and unlimited sightseeing bus travel for 3 days.

Where to book tickets in advance in Rome?

Neither of the tourist cards are worth it? For some places it is mandatory or recommended to book a ticket in advance to avoid long queues. These include:

  • Colosseum – the number of visitors to the Colosseum has been so enormous in recent years that they have made it compulsory to book tickets in advance.
  • The Borghese Gallery – one of the finest art collections in the world – attracts many visitors, but the gallery tries to maintain a limited number of visits per day. So you have to book your ticket in advance.
  • Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel – in the current situation, reservations must be made in advance for a specific date and time.
  • Capitol Museums reservations are not required, but recommended.
  • Angel Castlereservations are required on weekends and holidays.
  • National Roman Museum – it is better to make a reservation in advance.

Choose from a selection of popular tickets in Rome:

These were our tips on how to save in Rome. Do you have a question? Ask in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

More about Rome

THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN ROME: In our article on what to visit in Rome, you will find detailed descriptions of the most beautiful places, including information on admission fees and opening times. We also have special guides for the monuments of ancient Rome or the best museums in Rome.

Read the guides for the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum to avoid queues on site. What not to miss in the Sistine Chapel is covered in a separate article.

ITINERARY FOR ROME: Get inspired by our itinerary for Rome in 3 days. You only have one day? See the itinerary for Rome in 1 day.

HOW TO ENJOY ROME: For tips on the best things to do in Rome, check out our article on what in. We also share more than 35 tips for travelling around Rome. In a separate article, you can find out about all the ways to get from Fiumicino Airport to the centre of Rome.

FAQ: How to save in Rome

How can I save money on sightseeing and public transport in Rome?

The answer is the Roma Pass and Omnia Card, which can save your wallet a lot of money. Read more about tourist cards in Rome.

What are the benefits and price of the Roma Pass?

With the Roma Pass you get free entry to Rome’s most famous monuments and discounts on a wide range of other sites, exhibitions, events and services in Rome. Prices for the Roma Pass vary according to the period for which you purchase the card. Read more all the benefits and price of the Roma Pass .

What are the benefits of the Omnia Card?

The Omnia card combines the benefits of the Roma Pass, plus you get free entry to the Vatican. Read the complete guide to tourist cards in Rome.

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