The Roma Pass: Skipping the Tourist Lines in Rome

The Roma Pass was once a little-known trick of sophisticated travelers, but it has now become a must-have for anyone visiting Rome for the first time, especially during peak season. It saves you time and money, and makes it easy to use Rome’s public transportation. The Roma Pass costs 34 euro at the time of writing. The price includes, most importantly, free admittance to any two of Rome’s major sites and museums, discounts on all subsequent sites, and a three-day pass for Rome’s public transportation system, including buses, trams, and most Metro trains.

Roma Pass

Roma Pass

The Roma Pass is sold in a number of different locations, including all participating tourist sites and museums, and all tourist offices. I like to buy mine upon arriving in Rome at the tourist office in Rome’s main train station, Roma Termini. This allows me to immediately take advantage of the public transportation tickets. Further, the lines at the train station’s tourist office are usually shorter than those at popular sites and museums. To activate your public transportation ticket, fill out the back of the ticket with your name and the date. To get maximum usage, make sure you don’t fill out the ticket until you are ready to use the public transportation system.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the Roma Pass is that it allows you to skip the line into the Coliseum. The line to get into the Coliseum is often very long and the wait can take over an hour if you do not have the Roma Pass. The Ministry of Cultural Heritage has added a turnstile into the monument that is completely reserved for Roma Pass holders. It’s hard not to feel like a V.I.P. as you slip inside. If you do plan on visiting the Coliseum, make sure to visit it using one of your two free admittances: After visiting two sites for free, the Roma Pass offers discounts on all further sites, however you must stand in the usual ticketing line in order to claim them, negating the V.I.P. turnstile. Admittance to The Forum and Palatine Hill is included admittance to the Coliseum (15.50€).

The other major sites covered by the Roma Pass are the Galleria Borghese (reservation required ), Baths of Diocletian (6.50€), Castle Sant’Angelo (5.00€), Capitoline Museum (6.50€), and the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art (10.00€). Other discounts are offered for theater events, art openings, sight-seeing tours, dance performances, etc. Visit this site for for a full listing.

One final incentive for getting the Roma Pass is that it provides holders with access to the 24-hour Medical Call Center of Travel Health MET. The call center provides information on public and private medical services and lists of location-specific and symptom-specific care facilities. It also provides emergency and specialty services “after explicit request.” This benefit of the Roma Pass provides good medical information, but the 24-hour Medical Call Center is not responsible for any costs of emergency services and should not be confused with traveler’s insurance or traveler’s medical insurance.

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  1. says

    Hmmm…. that IS a good deal!! You make great use of a transportation pass; I always buy the three day one or other approriate pass, but did not know about the museum tix and esp the coloseum. Will retweet this one for sure. Thanks.

    PS – Naples has a similar pass called Campania arte card that is a similarly good deal.

  2. says

    I would like to buy 4 “Roma Pass” tickets, if I can go to Colosseum in Roma. My days in Rome will be May-02-2010 to May-05-2010.
    Would you advice, pease?

  3. says

    Hi Lila,

    You can purchase the Roma Pass at the tourist office in the central train station and at most major sites. If you go to the Coliseum without a pass, you can buy one at the nearby entrance to The Forum. The line is shorter there, so you won’t have to wait in line at the Coliseum.

    Have a great trip—Mattie

  4. Linda Ras says

    We want to buy a Roma Pass, but I’m not sure if I will be able to buy it before going and then use it on transport from the airport to Rome(city-Spanish Steps):-

    *which pass do I buy? (Roma Pass or Roma Pass +?)
    *which transport do I use? (from airport to Spanish Steps)
    *Is it possible to buy it on the airport?
    *Is it possible to buy before traveling to Italy?

  5. says

    Hi Linda,

    Here are some answers:

    1) I always buy the basic Roma Pass. Further, Roma Pass Plus is currently unavailable.
    2) The transportation from Fiumicino airport to Rome is not covered by the Roma Pass. The Pass only covers inner-city transportation. The best way to get to Rome from the airport is by train. From the central train station in Rome you can get to the Spanish Steps by bus, metro, or taxi. I suggest a taxi if you have a lot of luggage.
    3) Yes, you can purchase the pass in the arrivals area at the airport.
    4) Yes, you can purchase the pass online:

    I hope you’re excited for your trip. Rome is absolutely stunning!

  6. Terrie says

    I’m going on my first trip to Rome next May and would like some Hotel / Restaurant suggestions and anything else of help (like the Roma pass) that would make the most use of our time touring for the 3 days we have there! We will be flying into Rome and also going to other cities like Venice and Florence. Any tips on train travel or route of travel and any other neat citles would be appreciated!

  7. says

    Hi Terrie,

    Your first trip to Italy–How exciting! There’s a lot to see. Your question prompted me to write a blog post that focuses on the best route from Rome to Venice. It should be published on the front page of EuropeUpClose within the next week or two.

    As for hotels and restaurants in Rome, I think it’s all about location. The best hotel locations for sight seeing are near the Pantheon, the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, or Piazza Navona. My favorite restaurants are located in the trendy Trastevere neighborhood, which is located directly across the river. You can stroll the ancient cobblestone streets surrounded by locals and travelers alike. The outdoor patios will be in full swing in May. Take the bridges Ponte Garibaldi or Ponte Palantino to get to Trastevere.

    Finally, train travel is my favorite way to get around Italy. Rome’s main train station is called Termini. Buy tickets in advance using or by visiting a ticketing booth. You’ll find all the train information you need on that web site.

    Have fun planning!—Mattie

  8. Debra yazdani says

    hi does this Roma pass cover the Vatican or is there a separate one for that thanks Debra

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