Explore Rome’s Most Iconic Attractions With the Rome Tourist Card
- Imagine the roar of thousands of spectators as you circle the upper floors of the Colosseum.
- Marvel at the breathtaking ceiling frescoes of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.
- Explore the ruins of the Roman Senate and ancient temples as you roam around the heart of Rome at the Roman Forum.
The Rome Tourist Card includes entrance to some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world. This is what is included:
No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Colosseum, and the Rome Tourist Pass grants you skip-the-line access tickets to Colosseum.
This ancient arena, built between AD 70-72, was once the stage for bloody gladiator fights and staged hunts. Though the ruins are crumbling, you can still envision the Colosseum filled with crowds of people, and the roar of 50,000 spectators, as you walk around the upper floors. In its heyday, the emperor would attend the games and order elaborate spectacles to celebrate events and victories. You can learn all about the Colosseum from information signs and displays as you walk around the amphitheater.
For an additional price, you can enter the labyrinth beneath the arena where gladiators would await their fates and access the arena floor itself. These aren’t included in the skip-the-line ticket available with the Rome Tourist Card but can be purchased as extras; it’s well worth the additional cost if you’re interested in the history of the Colosseum!
Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
These attractions are included in the same ticket as the Colosseum – you must visit them within the same 48-hour period. Though they are part of the same ticket, they are not on the same site. The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are next door to the Colosseum but have separate entrance points.
You can walk freely between the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill once inside the site, though these are again technically separate attractions. The Roman Forum was the heart of Ancient Rome; the center of all commerce, politics, and religion. It was here that the Vestal Virgins tended to the eternal flame of Rome, Julius Caesar was cremated, and the ancient kings of Rome lived.
Neighboring Palatine Hill is the birthplace of Rome, where, according to legend, Romulus and Remus were raised by the she-wolf Luna in Lupercal Cave. It is here, on the most central of Rome’s seven hills, that Romulus founded the city. It was the most exclusive neighborhood in Ancient Rome, though the ruins of opulent palaces are all that is left. It is worth the climb for the panoramas over Rome alone.
St. Peter’s Basilica: Guided Tour
Renowned as the greatest church in Christendom, St. Peter’s Basilica holds a unique place in the Catholic religion: it is supposedly the burial site of Saint Peter.
Lavishly decorated and filled with spectacular works of art, St. Peter’s Basilica is one of Rome’s most popular attractions. It is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in the city; it was built using many materials sourced from other ancient ruins around the city – the bronze in Bernini’s baldachin came from the Pantheon, while much of the marble was originally in the Roman Forum.
One of the highlights is Michelangelo’s sculpture Pietà, one of his earliest works. Entrance to the basilica is free, but the Rome Tourist Card includes a guided tour of the church. With a guide, you can get insight into the history of the church and notice things you may have otherwise missed.
Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
The world’s smallest official country holds its own in cultural impact: is there anywhere with more beauty and historical significance per square mile? If there is anywhere in Rome you will need pre-booked tickets, it is here. Queues can take hours to enter the Vatican Museums: booking a time slot with your Rome Tourist Card allows you to skip all the stress.
Inside the Vatican Museums, you can expect an opulence unlike anywhere else in Rome. The palace houses one of the greatest art collections in the world – with paintings from Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci – as well as artifacts like Egyptian mummies and Roman sculptures.
Every corner of the Vatican Museums holds an item of great historical significance: when in Rome, it is a sight you just can’t miss.
The most famous of all is the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo’s masterpiece is the series of frescoes painted onto the ceiling: the Creation of Adam stands out as recognizable the world over. It gets incredibly busy, but witnessing the beauty of the Sistine Chapel is a moving experience that you should enjoy at least once in your lifetime.
Pantheon Audio Guide
Entrance to the Pantheon is free regardless of purchasing the Rome Tourist Card, but the audioguide included with the pass gives you some fascinating insight into the history of the building.
The Pantheon was built as a temple for the Roman gods, with the current iteration constructed during the reign of Hadrian – it was one of the first examples of a temple open to the people for worship (previously, access had been limited to priests and vestals).
What you will immediately notice is the Pantheon’s impressive domed roof. The huge dome is made entirely of brick and concrete and isn’t reinforced in any way; it’s an architectural and engineering feat that still has not been matched.
How Does It Work
You purchase the Rome Tourist Card online, and upon purchasing, select first the date of activation and then the individual tickets and timeslots for each activity. There’s no time limit on the Rome Tourist Card once activated – you could be in Rome for weeks and spread the attractions across that time; validity isn’t an issue.
Once you have selected the date and time slot for a specific tourist attraction, it works as an individual ticket. You will receive a digital pass on your phone, which will allow you to skip any purchasing queues – which are particularly long at the Colosseum and the Vatican – and head into the site; for certain attractions, you will meet a guide (meeting points will be mentioned in the pass).
There is little flexibility once you have chosen your time slots and dates, so you must stick to them, and you should bear in mind the individual validity of each attraction.
For instance, the Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill ticket is valid for 48 hours upon activation, while the Vatican Museums ticket entrance is only valid on your chosen date.
- No time limit – validity isn’t an issue for the card itself.
- You use the Rome Tourist Card to ‘purchase’ individual tickets for attractions on a certain date and timeslot.
- Includes skip-the-line access.
- It is a digital pass.
- You may be asked for a photo ID at attractions.
- Audio guides can be downloaded to your phone.
- The Rome Tourist Card can only be purchased a few weeks in advance of your visit.