By Expedia Team, on July 16, 2019

Costs, Passes and Queue Beaters: Budgeting for Rome’s Big Attractions

“Travelling around Rome is a bucket lister, no question, but it can get costly – especially when each attraction has its own tickets and entry fees. There are ways to sightsee your way around Rome for less, however, and many budget tickets will even let you jump the queues.

Here’s how to see Rome’s biggest attractions on a budget.

The Vatican and Rome Pass

If you’re planning to visit more than one museum while you’re in the Eternal City, the Vatican and Rome Pass – or a similar combined ticket – is well worth picking up. You’ll make a huge saving and whizz past the queues too. Guess that means more time to enjoy a gelato after.

This pass includes entry to most of the biggest attractions and museums in Rome and the Vatican, and it costs around £100 per adult, and around £72 for children aged between six and nine.

Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tours to Rome and Vatican City

Another budget-friendly way to tour Rome is to pre-book a hop-on-hop-off bus ticket for the ancient city. Like most major cities, Rome has a good selection of companies that will journey you from one iconic destination to the next.

So make sure you hop on the right company’s bus when you’re at the designated stop. Most of the operators put together packages of tours and museum entry fees, so all you have to do is pack your camera and follow the group.

To give you an example of how much hop-on-hop-off bus tours cost in Rome, they start at around £21 per day, or around £40 for a de-luxe three day ticket.

Rome City Pass

Pulling together public transport, bus tours and attractions on the Rome City Pass saves you more money the more you use it. You can save around €10 with a combined pass if you only visit the Colosseum and one other non-religious museum (such as the Galleria Borghese) and use the metro to get around for three days.

As well as including all your public transport and museum entry prices, the pass means you can skip queues in queue-heavy spots like the Sistine Chapel, freeing you up to explore even more of the city.

A one day Rome City Pass will cost an adult around £55, but there are discounts for multi-day passes. A two day pass is around £71, and three days will set you back about £80.

The Roma Pass

The city of Rome’s official pass is available at tourist information offices and at Termini railway station. Picking it up gives you 15% to 50% off entry at more than 45 museums and attractions. What the pass does not offer, however, is money off entry to the Vatican, the Vatican Museums or St Peter’s Basilica.

The Roma Pass lasts for 72 hours once you activate it. It costs around £100 per adult, and around £72 for children aged between six and nine years old.

The Colosseum and the Roman Forum

If you buy a museum pass or other pre-paid combined attraction ticket, one big way to save money is to visit the Colosseum and the Roman Forum on the same day – it counts as one visit. That way you can get into one more attraction than if you visit them on separate days.

5 Top Tips to Make the Most of your Passes and Pre-Paid Tickets

1. Start early. Most passes have a time limit or a maximum number of days you can use them. The later you use your pass, the fewer places you’ll use your pass.
2. Visit the most expensive attractions first – Capitoline Museums, Galleria Borghese, the Colosseum and Roman Forum – while you know your pass is valid.
3. Plan ahead and book online in advance. You can start using most passes and tickets up to 12 months after purchase, so you can really get organised before you reach Rome.
4. Look for the offers that suit your travel style. If only plan to visit a couple of museums, it might not be worth getting an all-inclusive pass. You might get more out of a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. Think about what you need before committing to a deal just because it seems too good to miss.
5. Take advantage of included travel tickets. It can be tempting to jump in a taxi, but remember that most passes include bus tours and public transport. Don’t spend money on getting around when you don’t have to – especially if you already paid upfront for it!

Planning an action-packed trip to Rome? Take a look at our hotels in Rome to find your ideal city base.

Note: All prices are subject to change.