This Roma Pass review covers all the great ways you can save money and time in Rome. But, is there a better option? Read more to find out!
Rome is my favorite city in the entire world. It’s steeped in ancient history, full of awe-inspiring beauty, and brimming with an energy like no place I’ve ever been. Quite simply, visiting Rome is nothing short of incredible.
Traveling isn’t cheap, and when you travel as often as we do, you’ve got to find ways to save. But it’s not just about saving money. While staying on budget is a must, saving time can be just as important. That’s why we’re always sure to check out the city passes wherever we visit.
Before making our first journey to the Eternal City, we considered the city passes Rome had to offer. The first pass we found was the Roma Pass. It looked like a great pass on its own, but there seemed to be a few things missing. Like any first time traveler to Rome, we really wanted to visit Vatican City as well. Since the Roma Pass didn’t offer any special discounts to Vatican properties, we continued our search for a pass that did.
Enter the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card.
Is the Roma Pass Worth It?
If you’re searching for a city pass that offers everything you need in Rome, the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card is it. The Omnia Vatican and Rome Card is actually 2 passes in one: The Roma Pass and the OMNIA Card. Thus, you have the full Roma Pass at your disposal. Like with all 72-hour Roma Passes, you get to choose free entry to 2 of Rome’s best tourist attractions. Additionally, you gain “Fast Track Entry” to the busiest sites, which could literally save you several hours of standing in line.
What sets the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card apart is the OMNIA Card. With it, you receive free admission and Fast Track Entry to the top attractions in Vatican City, including the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums, and St. Peter’s Basilica. So, if you’re looking for the best city pass in Rome, I’d go with the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card.
How Does the Roma Pass Work?
With the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card, you’ll use each pass at specific locations. Use the Roma Pass for admission to important sites throughout Rome, many of which include Fast Track Entry. This card also acts as your public transportation pass for bus fares and subway rides. Simply swipe your card on the way in, and you’re good to go.
Admission to 2 of the following 6 locations is included with the Roma Pass portion of your travel card. You’ll also receive a discounted admission rate at those you don’t choose, plus discounts on admission at about 30 other sites. (Current as of August 2016.)
- The Colosseum
- Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
- Borghese Gallery
- Capitoline Museum
- National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo
- Museum of Rome
- The Roma Pass is a 3-day consecutive pass. That means it expires 3 days after you use it. Don’t activate it late in the day, even on public transportation. That will count as a full day, which could mess up your plans.
- Admission to The Colosseum and the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill is counted as one entry if you visit them both on the same day. I highly recommend you do so. (FYI, the Forum is my favorite place to visit in all of Europe.) Make sure to give yourself plenty of time at these locations because you’re only allowed one entry per site with the pass.
How Does the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card Work?
As we mentioned, with the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card, you get access to everything the Roma Pass has to offer PLUS it includes Vatican City attractions not offered by the Roma Pass alone. Like the Roma Pass portion of the pass, the OMNIA Card is also good for 3 days once activated. With the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card, you get free admission and Fast Track Entry to all of the following (Current as of August 2016):
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- Sistine Chapel
- Vatican Museums
- St. John in the Lantern and Cloister (Located in Rome)
- Unlike the attractions in Rome, entry into Vatican City locations is timed. You need to visit the office in St. Peter’s Square to schedule a time to enter the Vatican Museums/Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Time slots are available on a first come, first serve basis. Keep this in mind before planning your time in Vatican City. (Entry to St. John in the Lantern does not require scheduling.)
Fast Track Entry
The OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card saves you money, but that isn’t the biggest draw. Your time in Rome is precious. The last thing you want to do is waste it standing in line. In my eyes, having the Roma Pass and the OMNIA Card is imperative because you get Fast Track Entry to the busiest sites.
Seriously, I can’t stress this enough: Get the card if only for the Fast Track Entry! The last time we visited was in mid-November. Lines to the Colosseum and Vatican Museums were literally hours long, even during off-peak season. I’m talking at least a 2-hour wait (or more) just to get in! Be a savvy traveler and skip those excruciatingly long lines.
The Roma Pass affords you Fast Track Entry to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill. With the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card, you’ll also gain Fast Track Entry to the Vatican Museums/Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and St. John in the Lantern and Cloisters church. Trust me on this. It’s well worth the money.
You already know that the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card offers free entry to some of Rome and Vatican City’s most popular destinations. You also know about how important it is that the cards also offer Fast Track Entry to the busiest sites. But, that’s not all that the card has to offer. Here are a few other awesome perks:
Free Travelcard – With your Roma Pass, you also get access to Rome’s public transportation system. Hop on a bus or train to quickly get where you want to go. Just swipe your card, and you’re on. Remember, if you use your card first on transportation, the clock starts ticking on your 3 consecutive days limit.
Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour – Make your way around Rome and Vatican City using the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour. You get free access to the tour for 3 days. Pick up a bus on the way to your next destination, or ride the loop to see all 12 sites at once. The tour also includes a free audio guide. Just look for the white and yellow buses at 12 different locations!
Free Guidebook and Map – When you purchase the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card, you’ll also receive a complimentary guidebook and map. Use the guidebook to help plan your Roman holiday. Check the map for getting around Rome and Vatican City, plus use it to find the hop-on-hop-off bus stops.
Free Audio Guide – Use your OMNIA Card to get a free audio guide at St. Peter’s Basilica. Audio guides are a great way to add more depth to what you’re seeing.
Discounted Admission – Yes, the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card offers free entry to many of the top destinations in Rome and Vatican City. However, once you use all of those, you still get discounted pricing at about 30 different sites. Just be sure to use your card within the 3-day activation period!
Roma Pass Pricing
No Roma Pass review would be complete without pricing details! So, how much does this bad boy cost? Here you go! (Current as of August 2016.)
- 3 Day OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card (Adult): €108.00
- 3 Day OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card (Child): €67.50
Let’s compare that to regular entry at the popular locations:
- Colosseeum/Roman Forum/Palatine Hill (one-day): €12.00
- Sistine Chapel/Vatican Museums: €29.00
- St. Peter’s Basilica: Free (Audio Guide €15.00)
- St. John in the Lantern: €10.00
- Capitoline Museums: €15.00
- Rome Bus Tour: €35.00
Entry fees to these attractions alone would cost you €101.00. Add the audio guide at St. Peter’s and you’re now at €116.00. That doesn’t even include your transportation throughout the city.
With the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card, you’ve already saved at €8.00 on these attractions PLUS access to Rome’s public transportation system is included. Most importantly, the combination of the Roma Pass and the OMNIA Card gives you Fast Track Entry where you need it most, saving you hours and hours of standing in line. For me, the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card is a no-brainer.
How to Get the Omina Vatican and Rome Card
Ordering your OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card is easy. Personally, I never travel without ordering my card first. Simply head over to the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card website by clicking here now. Click “Buy Now” and you’re all set.
Once you’ve ordered the card, you can pick it up at one of four locations throughout Vatican City and Rome. Here they are:
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- The Pantheon
- Fiumicino Airport, T3 Arrivals Terminal
- St. John in the Lantern
Personally, I’d pick mine up at the office located inside St. Peter’s Square near St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. That way, you can pick up your passes plus schedule a time to see St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums/Sistine Chapel. Here’s a map to help you find it:
To get there, you literally walk into the area known as St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro). If you’re coming from the east, walk into the square and look at the offices in the building immediately located to your left. (If you walk into the circle, you’ve gone too far.) Coming from the south, follow the outside of the circle until you’ve come to the center on the east side. Look to your right, and you’ll see the office. Head in and pick up your passes at the desk. Then make your appointment to see the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Related: The Complete London Pass Review
Other Resources to Save in Rome
If you’re looking for some other ways to help you save in Rome, consider applying for a great travel credit card. These cards will help you build points you can use to save on flights and hotel rooms. And when you save on the big costs, you have more money to spend while in Rome.
My favorite travel card of all is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This card is currently offering a 50,000 point bonus when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Redeem your points for $500 in gift cards or $625 in travel through the Chase portal. The points also transfer to 11 different loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio. Some programs include United Airlines, British Airways, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, and more. The card does have an annual fee of $95, but it is waived for the first year. Read our full review.
Don’t want to mess with points and miles? Try the Discover it® Miles Card. This card offers an unlimited 1.5X miles on all purchases. Even better, Discover doubles your miles after your first year. So, you’re essentially earning a 3% travel credit on everything you purchase during year one. When you’re ready to go, simply pay for your hotel or airline fees on your Discover it® Miles Card, then redeem your miles as a statement credit. There are no blackouts, airline restrictions, or annual fees, so you can redeem your miles at any time. For more info, read our full review or get yours now!
Roma Pass Review: The Verdict
If you just want to see the sites in Rome, the Roma Pass is great. But, if you want to visit Vatican City while you’re there, I’d definitely go with the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card instead.
The OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card gives you access to everything on the Roma Pass plus some. In fact, the Roma Pass is part of the package. You also get the OMNIA Card, which allows you to enter the great Vatican attractions as well. Better yet, you get Fast Pass Entry to all the most popular places. So, why get just the Roma Pass when you can have it all with the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Roma Pass review! Have a wonderful trip to Rome, and please let us know if you have any questions. Happy traveling!