Roma Pass - what is it good for?

Oct 5th, 2014, 12:29 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
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Roma Pass - what is it good for?

Hi all,

planning to head to Rome for 4 days in October, I have heard about the 3 day Roma pass and am tempted to buy it but seriosuly is it a good purchase??

I am staying near the pantheon-via del Seminario - and do not anticipate taking a lot of trips on the metro.

Should I just pay a la carte for the attractions - Colosseum, Forum and others OR get the pass?
chicagoJay1039 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2014, 01:36 AM
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Here is the website that tells you what is included...look up the prices of what you want to see and compare
jamikins is offline  
Oct 5th, 2014, 03:34 AM
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its main advantage is that it gets you into the Colosseum without having to join the awful queue so long as you go there as one of the first two sights you visit, but there are other ways of doing that - buying tickets in advance on line, buying tickets at the entrance to the Forum, etc. if you use it for entry to the Colosseum and Castel San Angelo for example, [both €12 last time we were there] and take advantage of the transport pass, then it can be good value, if only because it gets you past the queues.

public transport in Rome is useful - if you want to get from St Peter's to the Colosseum for example, that's quite a hike and just walking round Rome can be tiring in itself. if you have a pass, use it!
annhig is offline  
Oct 5th, 2014, 05:17 AM
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I have yet to find any of these city passes that pay for themselves. And you can almost always get individual advance tickets to places you want to go without having to buy this pass.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 5th, 2014, 08:20 AM
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except, nyt, having the pass means that you don't have to go to the trouble of getting individual tickets, you can just turn up more or less when you like. I'm sure that had we had a transport pass, we'd have used the buses more and our feet would have been less sore at the end of our stay!

Anyway, here's what TA thinks of the 3 day Roma pass, and its little sister, the 48 hour version.
annhig is offline  
Oct 5th, 2014, 09:24 AM
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Worth every dime in the time it saves you. When we went to the Coliseum, the ticket line was at least 100 people long--and that was in October. We walked right in just by showing our Roma card. Even if you don't use it enough to save money, it's worth it in convenience and it's not very expensive. You might also use more public transportation than you think.
happytourist is offline  
Oct 5th, 2014, 09:42 AM
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It's usually worth it if you visit at least two of the more expensive covered sites and use public transportation at least twice a day. If the only covered site you're visiting is the Colosseum/Roman Forum/Palatine Hill (all covered by a single ticket), it's really not worth getting, even if you use public transporation. You can buy the ticket to those sites online at . If you choose the "ticket on-line" link, you can print the ticket at home, and then can visit the sites in any order you want, on any two consecutive days, through the end of 2014. You get one entrance to the Colosseum and one entrance to the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill joint site. If you want a tour, you have to book it by calling them. You can do that after you've bought the tickets; just tell them you already have the tickets, so they don't charge you for them.
bvlenci is offline  
Oct 5th, 2014, 09:45 AM
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I bought the Roma Pass only once, and I really didn't save any money, mainly because I didn't do as much as I had planned. I almost broke even, though, so it might have been worth it for the convenience. It's more likely to pay off than most of the other city passes I've seen.
bvlenci is offline  
Oct 5th, 2014, 11:20 AM
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oops - forgot the link:
annhig is offline  
Oct 5th, 2014, 11:45 AM
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We are huge users of public transportation. In Rome we took the subway, full-size surface busses, electric mini-busses, and many tram rides, so the pass paid for itself before we used it on any of the historic sites.
Ackislander is offline  
Oct 5th, 2014, 02:22 PM
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The Roma Pass costs €34, while a 3-day public transportation pass costs €16.50, so the pass can't pay for itself just on transportation.

A single ticket in Rome, unlike in most cities, is time-based. It's good for 100 minutes, for unlimited trips on buses and trams, and one entrance into the metro system. You could take a bus to the metro station, ride the metro (both lines, if you change at Termini station), and then take a tram from the metro station to where you're going. All for €1.50. You'd have to make four such trips each day for three days to make even a 3-day pass pay off.

Very few people can get their money's worth on transportation with any pass in Rome, but if you think you'll be using buses and the metro a lot, all day long, it would make sense to buy a three-day BTI pass. It would make sense to buy the Roma Pass only if you were also going to at least two of the more pricey museums or archaeological sites.
bvlenci is offline  
Oct 5th, 2014, 11:32 PM
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It's self-deluding at best, and usually a real holiday destroyer, to think you can predict to the last bus ride how you're going to spend your days in a real city - especially one you've not visited before.

The Roma Pass costs roughly €11 a day, and a public transport pass €6 a day. How much or how little you think you're going to use public transport - you've got no idea whether it suddenly decides to pour (it does), or when a visit somewhere turns out to need a two mile slog home at the end of the day. I honestly can't imagine spending time in a real city (at least one that has all-transport day passes) without carrying that insurance round with me.

Few routine holiday frustrations rankle as much as realising you can't get that bus in a downpour or on a hot afternoon - because you've not got the right change, or there's no nearby ticket vendor. The resultant €15 cab ride (if there is one, which there never is when it's raining) gets almost as costly as the prices the umbrella touts start demanding.

In Rome that leaves an incremental €5 a day for the museum bit of the Roma Pass. Again, my view is that it's worth it: I simply never really know when a day's going to take me somewhere I might as well pop into for a few minutes. One of the huge joys of Rome is that, with this card, you stop having to decide whether to shell out to see something.

Rome's unusual because it's big enough for a transport pass to be essential and the museum increment on the Roma Pass is trivial. That contrasts with Florence (where the Firenzecard is €24 a day, but there's little point in the transport bit, so €24 a day is just the insurance for casual visiting and that starts getting steep), or London, where most museums, art galleries and churches are free and the commercial London Pass is an eye-watering 24 POUNDS a day for really not very much.

The question, to my mind, isn't whether you'll get "value" in Rome: only an automaton, foolishly following to the letter a programme devised in ignorance, can possibly predict that. It's whether the benefit of being able to adapt your programme to changing conditions and knowledge is worth €5 a day.

In Rome, to my mind, that's a no-brainer. In other cities, the similar question is often harder to answer - and in some (like London) it's usually just as big a no brainer to avoid the museum pass.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 6th, 2014, 02:04 AM
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The alternatives aren't "pass or no bus ticket in the rain". When I visit Rome, I usually start by buying half a dozen bus tickets, which I replenish when they're running low. I rarely spend more than €3 a day. On my early visits to Rome, I used to buy passes, but I stopped when I realized that I was spending twice what I needed to spend on transportation.

Occasionally, I have a few extra bus tickets when I leave Rome. Rather than save them for the next visit, I usually give them to someone at my last bus stop.

There is also a weekly pass, the CIS, which is more likely to save money, because it pays its way with fewer trips per day, I think an average of 2.5. It would certainly be a better buy than two three-day passes.
bvlenci is offline  
Oct 6th, 2014, 03:17 AM
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well, the OP is only going for 4 days, so I would advise getting the Roma Pass and using it for the first 3 days; after that just using individual tickets as the OP wishes.

i agree that if you were going for a week, the balance is finer.

The thing to remember though is that if you want to use the pass to get past the colosseum queues, you have to make it the first or 2nd place you visit using the pass.
annhig is offline  
Oct 6th, 2014, 03:51 AM
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Thank you, flanneruk, for explaining in detail what I did not spell out.

I would add only that I am interested in the neighborhoods of cities and how they are connected. With a transit pass in hand, one simply hops on the next bus with an interesting destination. In London, I remember thinking, "Hmmm, Fulham Broadway, wonder what that's like?" So, I got on the bus and found out. In Paris, I am gradually circumnavigating the city by tram. In Rome, we took the tram from the end of the line in Trastevere through the University neighborhood and well beyond. In NYC, we took that bus from Lexington Avenue to The Cloisters and back on a bus that ran a very long way on Broadway to our apartment on West 73rd.

Exact change doesn't make it if you like this sort of thing.
Ackislander is offline  
Oct 6th, 2014, 06:49 AM
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Bus tickets in Rome are sold at newsstands, in tobacco shops, and in metro stations. Exact change isn't needed at any of those places. And since the ticket is good for 100 minutes, you can do a fair amount of exploring with one ticket. And with two or three of them in your pocket, you can explore all day and still spend less than you would on a pass. You must remember than central Rome is nothing like London or Paris, which are much more spread out.

Chicago Jay has mentioned only one place he wants to visit that would be covered by the Roma Pass: the Colosseum. Since the ticket to that (including the online reservation fee) is only €14, and will allow him to bypass the queue, I think it would be rather a waste to spend €34 on the Roma pass unless he wants to visit other covered sites, or unless he wants to spend an awful lot of time riding buses.
bvlenci is offline  

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