No, it does not make sense to buy Roma Pass
For most, 72 hour Roma Pass is not useful
There are two versions of Roma Pass – 72 hours and 48 hours. Most visitors to Rome stay for 3 full days. Of the three days, a day is spent visiting the Vatican. Thus you have two days at Rome. Roma Pass does not include Vatican museums, thus there is no need to consider 72 hours Roma Pass.
Roma Pass does not deliver cost advantage
As far as the 48 hour pass is considered. Let us work the arithmetic.
- Over two days in Rome, an average tourist will visit Colosseum, Galleria Borghese museum and spend rest of the time admiring major plazas and fountains. The entry to the Colosseum is 12 € and that to Galleria Borghese museum is 16€. Thus, if you were to book directly you will have to pay 28€
- The Roma Pass for 48 hours is 28€. With the 48 hour pass, you get to visit one museum free but have to pay reduced entry fee while visiting other attractions. Thus, you can visit Colosseum for free but have to buy the reduced ticket of 6.5€ for the Galleria Borgese. Thus, with Roma Pass, you would have spent 34.5€ visit Colosseum, and Galleria Borghese vs. 28€ (direct purchase).
Free Public transport with Roma Pass does not add up
With Roma Pass, you can use public transportation for free.
- Rome is a compact city; you will not need to use public transport too often. Even when you do, tickets are very reasonable - A one-way bus/metro ticket costs only 1.50€. Thus, unlikely that you will travel in public transport for 6.5€.
- Most transport options between Rome airport and the city centre is not covered by Roma Pass.Thus, no additional advantage with regard to transportation cost.
There are better ways to skip the line
People end up buying Roma Pass for ‘skip the line privilege’. In Rome, you will find long lines at the Vatican Museums (not covered by the Roma pass) and the Colosseum. You can skip the lines at either of the places by buying individual tickets online. Also, at the Colosseum, Roma Pass does not include night tours. If you wish to go on Colosseum tours, you need to make separate for the underground tour.
Thus, Roma Pass is not recommended for tourists.
Museum junkies can consider Roma Pass
However, if you are into museums in a big way or can cram up more attractions, then you can redo the arithmetic. This is the rate card that lists entry fee to museums with Roma Pass (reduced rate) as well as the corresponding full rate.
Buying a Roma Pass can be an easy and economical way to see the most important sights during your trip to Rome, especially if you only have a short amount of time. The best way to use a Roma Pass will depend on what you want to see the most and how long you have.
When to buy a 72 hour Roma Pass
If for example you have one full weekend in Rome (Friday to Monday) the you would probably get the most use out of a 72 hour pass. These passes include two free admissions to either archaeological sites or museums (with discounted prices after that), free use of public transport, and skip-the-line privileges at certain places.
When to choose a 48 hour Roma Pass instead
The 48 hour pass only allows one free admission, so if you are wanting to fit as much into your days as possible then it is probably worth getting the extra day. It should be noted however that the use of public transport is not extended to airport transfers. So if you are a bit closer to the attractions you want to fit in and don't think you will use the train as much, then it could be more economical to keep it to two days.
Roma Pass is ideal for a weekend in Rome
In the morning, you could head to the Vatican, which is not included in the Roma Pass, but things like the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum are not open on Sundays so it is a good day to fit in this attraction if it is on your list.
From the Vatican, it is an easy walk to Castel Sant Angelo, where you could use your first free admission and skip-the-line to check out this ancient monument.
On Sunday morning you could use your second free admission to see The Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. Use your skip-the-line privileges (which will be important when visiting attractions such as the Colosseum), then go through the gate and across the road to Palatine Hill, then keep following the gate through to the Roman Forum - this will all count as 1 free admission.
On Sunday afternoon you could use your discounted concessionary prices to go and see Galleria Borghese to finish off your fully packed weekend of exploring. Remember that you must book your place in advance even if you have a discounted price.
Alternatively, you could get the 48 hour pass and spread out your sightseeing for a more relaxed weekend:
You could use this day for The Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum as a way to maximize your one free admission.
You could still use Sunday to book a time in at the Galleria Borghese at a discounted price and perhaps have more energy to spare in order to enjoy the surrounding areas.
Make the most of your Roma pass by deciding how much you want to see and at what pace you want to discover this beautiful city.
If you are only in Rome for a few days and want to maximize your time, the Roma pass can help you do this. As well as free and discounted admission fees to some of the best attractions in Rome, you also get skip-the-line privileges with the Roma Pass, and this will be useful if you are visiting popular attractions such as the Colosseum. The best way to use your Roma Pass will depend on how many days you are staying in Rome and what you want to see.
If you buy the 72 hour pass:
If you are in Rome for the weekend for example, you can use your Roma pass to see all the main attractions. On the Saturday, you can head to the Vatican for the morning. The museums are not included in the pass, but you cannot do this on the Sunday. After this, you can head to the magnificent Castel Sant Angelo and use your first free admission. You can use your unlimited access to free transport to explore the city for the evening, taking advantage of the nightlife in the Trastevere neighbourhood for example.
On the Sunday, you can use your second free admission to see the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. You can use your pass to skip the lines at the Colosseum, then walk through the gate and across the road to Palatine Hill, then continue through the gate to the Forum. This will all count as one admission and it is a good way to maximize your access with the Roma Pass. In the afternoon you can use your pass to get a discounted entry to the beautiful Borghese Museum (but just be aware that you need to book a time to see this even if you have a Roma Pass). It would be worth using public transport to get from the Colosseum area to this museum. After this you can see free attractions like the surrounding Borghese gardens and then head to the Spanish Steps for the late afternoon and evening.
If you buy the 48 hour pass:
The 48 hour pass would be good if you are planning on having a more relaxed couple of days exploring, or if you want to use public transport to get to some of the smaller attractions that are around the city. The Vatican is visited by thousands of people every single day and so this can be a long day if you only have a couple of days in Rome.
You can still use your one free admission to see the three sites around the Colosseum, and a discounted entry to the stunning Borghese museum. These four attractions can be covered in one day, so for the rest of your time you could use your unlimited transport privileges to visit some of the lesser known churches and areas of Rome, and discover some of the free activities and more off-beat attractions around the city.