Rome is a city with a great variety of things to see and activities to do, and many times the tourist card can be a great ally, but other times not so much. Undoubtedly, everything will depend on what you want to do, the attractions you want to see in the city, the amount of days you plan to travel and your budget, among other things.
So, if you want to know whether it's worth it or not, here are the pros and cons of the Rome Tourist Card.
When is the Rome Sightseeing Card worth buying?
The Rome Sightseeing Card is ideal if you plan to spend short periods of time in the city, as you can purchase passes from 48 to 72 hours that include the main attractions.
By purchasing the Roma Pass, you will not only have access to the main attractions of the city, but you will also save money and time, two fundamental things to take into account when travelling and even more so if it is for a few days. But to define whether or not it is worth it for your particular case, I suggest you evaluate some fundamental aspects.
Tourist attractions you want to visit
If you are the type of traveller who wants to visit several of the typical places of interest that require an entrance ticket, you will undoubtedly get a lot out of the Rome Tourist Card, as it includes entrance to the city's must-see sites. I leave you with this article where you can find the best monuments of the city to build your itinerary.
But if this is not your case, and you prefer to walk the streets of the city and visit a particular attraction, it is probably more profitable to buy the ticket on your own and not buy the city pass that will include many sites that are not of interest to you.
Number of days you have to visit the city
You can buy the City Pass for two or three days, which makes it your ideal ally if you have little time to visit the city, so you can organise yourself better, visit all the sites of interest that are included and avoid buying all the tickets at the time and standing in long queues. If you organise yourself well, you can even visit Rome's essential sites in one day.
On the other hand, if you plan to travel to Rome for a week or longer, you will not find it very useful to buy the tourist card, as you will only use it for part of your trip and you may be able to organise yourself better to visit the attractions on your own and at your own time.
Waiting times at tourist attractions
Keep in mind that at many attractions, if you buy the tourist pass you will have exclusive access through a special place, avoiding long queues to get in. This happens in the most popular and crowded places of the city such as the Roman Colosseum, Castel Sant Angelo and the Capitoline Museums. So if any of these sites are on your bucket list, you may want to take advantage of the tourist card.
On the other hand, if you are not interested in these places or you prefer to buy your tickets on your own without worrying about the queues, the tourist card may not be useful for you.
What transport will you use to get around Rome?
It is important to note that the Roma Pass includes free transport on the metro and city buses, so you can save money by purchasing the pass and move around the city for free.
Otherwise, if you plan to stay in the centre of Rome or have another means of transport in mind such as a private car or Rome sightseeing bus to get around the city, you will miss out on one of the main benefits of the City Pass.
Special discounts on attractions
Please note that many attractions in the city have an age or profession discount and one of the main benefits of the Roma Pass is the 20% discount on admission to museums and monuments. Considering this and the fact that discounts are NOT cumulative, you will have to do the maths to see if the tourist card will pay off or not.
Is it worth buying the tourist card to visit Rome just to see the main attractions?
Without a doubt the answer is yes! Of course it is worth it if you want to see Rome's main attractions. With the Rome Sightseeing Card you will have access to most of them, with a special discount and avoiding the queues to get in. Saving time and money on your trip to Rome is essential.
With the City Sightseeing Card, you will have included access to 2 of the 6 main attractions in Rome, including:
But that's not all, you will also get discounts at more than 30 other attractions in the city. On the official Roma Pass website you will find the full list, but among the most important sites, you will find:
- Ara Pacis Museum
- Palazzo Barberini
- Baths of Caracalla
- Trajan's Market
- National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia
- Baths of Diocletian
- Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
- Palazzo Altemps
- Crypt Balbi
- National Gallery****of Modern Art of Rome
- Palazzo Venezia
- Galleria Spada
- Museum of Rome
If you decide to purchase the Omnia Card you will have included everything you need to enjoy the Vatican City. You will be able to enter all the monuments and main places of interest such as the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica.
Is it worth buying the tourist card to visit Rome with children?
Let me tell you that I don't have the exact answer to this question, as it will depend a lot on the type of trip you want to do with your family.
First of all, I would like to clarify that Rome is a very well prepared city and offers an interesting variety of activities to do with children. However, keep in mind that Rome's tourist card includes cultural and historical attractions so that you can get to know the main sites of the city, so it is possible that many of the activities you plan to do with children are not included.
However, if your children are interested in learning about the origins of the city and are fun to learn about Rome, it might be a good option to buy the tourist card to visit the main attractions as a family.
What I am sure of is that you will save time and money buying the passes, instead of getting all the tickets separately. Also, keep in mind that the children's tourist pass has a reduced price.
Is it worth buying the Rome Sightseeing Card for a long or short trip?
It all depends on how much or how little time you want to spend in the city, but if you are going to make a short trip of less than 4 days in Rome, the Rome Sightseeing Card can be your best ally, as it will allow you to save time and money, which is what you need. Time, because you will be able to enter the main attractions without queuing for tickets. And money, because by buying the pass you will have access to the most popular sites without paying extra and you will have special discounts.
On the other hand, if you are planning a longer trip, more than a week, you will have much more time to explore the city at your own pace and you may not find the tourist card very useful. However, if you prefer to organise your trip by concentrating on the main attractions in the first few days, the pass will make a little more sense.
Is it worth buying the tourist card to visit Rome in summer?
The summer months are high season in Rome, so prices are much higher than at other times of the year and you are likely to spend more money on accommodation, food and attractions. For this reason, the tourist card can be your best ally to get around the city and visit the main monuments and museums at a cheaper price.
Another advantage will be to avoid the large crowds of people to enter the main attractions of the city, which is very common at this time of the year. On the contrary, with the tourist card you will be able to enter directly to these sites without wasting time.
To finalise whether or not it is convenient to buy the tourist card to visit Rome in summer, I recommend that you make an itinerary of all the things and activities you want to see and do in Rome at this time of the year and evaluate whether it will be profitable or not.
Is it worth buying a tourist card to visit Rome in winter?
The winter season is considered low season in Rome, so in terms of prices and accessibility to tourist sites, it will be less chaotic than if you travel in summer. You will be able to tour the city in a more relaxed way and the crowds of people entering the main monuments and popular sites will be considerably reduced.
For this reason, I cannot assure you if it is worth it or not, as it will depend on the attractions you want to visit and mainly the days you have to explore the city. To help you define your travel itinerary, here is a guide to the main things to do in Rome in winter.
Is it worth it if I'm going to visit the city in a weekend?
Definitely yes! The Rome Tourist Card is ideal if you plan to visit the city in a weekend, as you will get a lot out of it.
If you are going to spend two days in Rome, I recommend two fundamental things. Firstly, you need to plan your itinerary very well with the tourist attractions you want to visit, their opening and closing times and their locations on the map. This will be necessary so that you don't waste time and can just enjoy the city.
And secondly, you should check if the attractions you want to visit are included in the Rome tourist card. If your answer is yes, my advice is to buy the pass, as it will be your essential ally to save time and money on your weekend trip.
It will allow you not only to see the main sites of the city, but also to use public transport without paying extra and even get on the tourist bus routes that connect the main points of the city to move around Rome in the easiest way.
Is it worth buying the tourist card if I want to use the tourist bus?
Of course it is! The Rome Tourist Card has the particularity that it includes the Rome tourist bus. For this reason, once you have identified the attractions you want to visit and you have located them on the route of the tourist bus of the city, I recommend you to buy the tourist card. This way, you will be able to travel to the different points of interest of the city by tourist bus and enter the most popular attractions, avoiding long queues and saving money - great!
In case you want to use the tourist bus of Rome but, due to the type of trip you decide to do or the places you want to visit, you are not interested in getting the tourist card of the city, it is also a good plan to get it. This way you can get to know Rome at your own pace, using this bus to move from one side of the city to the other and choosing which sites to visit.
Why else is the Rome Sightseeing Bus Pass worth getting?
To help you decide whether or not the Rome Sightseeing Card is worth it for the type of trip you want to make, let me tell you what other benefits you will get included in your pass. In addition to 2 free tickets to the museums included in the pass, you will be able to access:
- A reduced rate, with a minimum 20% discount to the other important museums and monuments of the city for which you do not use the free ticket.
- Free public transport during the time the pass is active.
- Access to a map and a guide to the main tourist attractions of Rome.
- Special discounts on shows, some additional tourist services and exhibitions.
- Access without long queues to the Colosseum and other main attractions.
Other options that may interest you
If you decided that because of the type of trip you want to make or the attractions you plan to visit, the Rome city pass is not worth it, here is some information that may be useful for you to organise your trip in the best way without missing out on anything.
A must-see attraction on your trip to Rome is the Colosseum, so in this article you will find all the information you need to buy your tickets to the Colosseum at the best price.
Another must-see is the Vatican, so in this article you will find all the information you need to know about what to see and do in the Vatican.
Finally, I recommend you not to leave out of your itinerary the Capitoline Museums, here you have all the information you need to buy your tickets.