Rome attraction tickets: the ultimate guide

Rome is a favorite destination for many travelers. It's one of the busiest cities in the world. At any given time there are hordes of tourists visiting the capital of Italy, and of course all those people want to visit the highlights of Rome... You should expect long queues, busy places and buying a lot of tickets. Or not?

To make your city trip a little less stressful I give you some tips on buying tickets for the attractions of Rome. That way you save time and money. And that will make your vacation a lot more pleasant, don’t you think so?

Tickets for the Colosseum

One of the most visited monuments in Rome is the Coliseum or Colosseum. It’s not every day that you see a wonder of the world!
Every year, millions of visitors come and visit this Flavian amphitheater, but what many people don’t know is that they often wait way too long in the queues.

There are three ways to significantly shorten your waiting time!

Tips for saving time

  • Buy skip-the-line tickets – For a few euros more you get the admission tickets for the Coliseum in your electronic mailbox and you can walk past the queues. Please note: the control of weapons and hazardous substances still needs to be done, but you also get a different queue for that. And this one is much shorter!
  • Book your tickets or tours online – You often get advantageous rates when booking online. Besides, you no longer need to wait in line and you also have many more options. For example: you can also book tickets online to visit the dungeons of the Colosseum.
    Take a look at these websites to find tickets: GetYourGuide, Tiquets and Viator.
  • Buy your tickets at the main entrance of the Palatine Mountain – Right across the Coliseum you’ll see three small cabins. Here you can buy the same tickets that you can also purchase inside the Colosseum. Such a ticket gives you access to the Colosseum, the Palatine Mountain and the Roman Forum. On average, you only have to wait fifteen minutes to half an hour to get tickets for the Coliseum. Do you purchase your admission tickets in the amphitheater itself? Then you sometimes have to wait a few hours…

» All tickets for the Colosseum

Tips to save money

  • Show your identity card – If you’re a member of the European Union (if you have an EU identity card) and are between 18 and 25 years old you’ll get a nice discount! Instead of €12 you now only pay €7.50. Usually the counter staff asks for your ID, but keep them ready just in case…
    People under the age of 18 may enter free of charge, but still need tickets.
  • Go the first Sunday of the month – Every first Sunday of every month, all public museums and sights in Rome are free. This is also the case for the Colosseum. Unfortunately, the queues for the Flavian Amphitheater are even longer than usual on these free days …
waiting lines colosseum

Waiting in line to enter the Colosseum can take up several hours! But these queues are quite easy to skip with the tips I mention above…

Tickets for the Vatican Museums

When I saw the queues in front of the Vatican Museums I was slightly shocked. The waiting lines went around the block… And then yet another block… And another one! Although the Vatican is beautiful, I don’t think I would wait this long to visit it. After all, there is so much more to see in Rome and the Vatican. Fortunately there are easy ways to skip the lines for the Vatican as well.

Tips for saving time

  • Book your tickets online in advance On the website of the Vatican you can buy all kinds of tickets to visit the Vatican museums. All these tickets are priority tickets, or in other words: you don’t need to wait in line any longer. You’ll be assigned a fixed time, and you are asked to be present half an hour / fifteen minutes in advance.
    These tickets are also quite popular, of course, and it’s therefore advisable to book your admission tickets a few days in advance. On average, tickets are sold out three to five days in advance. So plan ahead!
  • Check out combined tickets – If all tickets for a guided visit (or whatever you want to book) have already been sold out, I recommend looking at the other possibilities. For example, priority tickets with breakfast at the Vatican are sold out less quickly. Are all tickets gone? Then take a look at the Rome attraction tickets on other websites. I trust GetYourGuide, Tiquets and Viator. Often you pay only a few euros extra. The surcharge for a skip-the-line ticket is four euros per person.

» All tickets for the Vatican museums

Tips for saving money

  • Show your student card – All students up to 25 years of age receive a discount on the official rate. Instead of €16 they only pay €8, or €12 if they choose the skip-the-line ticket.
  • Go the last Sunday of the month – All Vatican museums are completely free to visit on this sunday. Please note that the queues are huge, and it also gets incredibly busy inside the Vatican museums.
tickets vatican museums

I ordered my ticket for the Vatican museum online and didn’t have to wait for more than five minutes in total.

Tips for other sightseeing tickets in Rome

There are of course a lot more things to do in Rome, but the mentioned activities are among the favorites of many people.
Yet that doesn’t mean that the other sights of Rome don’t get visitors. Here I give some general tips for if you want to buy other tourist tickets for Rome.

Tips for saving time

  • Buy skip-the-line tickets – These tickets are often a few euros more expensive, but you won’t have to wait for hours before you can enter… If you waste a few hours every day because of the long queues, it’s impossible to see everything that Rome has to offer.
  • Book online – Many attractions in Rome also offer tickets online. This way you won’t lose time with queuing and picking up your tickets. Websites that I trust are GetYourGuide, Tiquets and Viator.

» All tickets for tourist attractions in Rome

Tips for saving money

  • Go the first Sunday of the month – All public museums are completely free to visit on the first Sunday of the month. Please note: this only applies to Rome! Vatican City is actually a different country, and here the museums are only open for free on the last Sunday of the month.
    Be aware though! During these free days it gets more crowded than ever…
  • Show your identity card when you are -25 years old – Young adults up to the age of 25 who have a European identity card can visit almost all museums and sights of Rome at a reduced rate. In most cases, it’s half the price, and if you plan to visit a lot, it’s an easy way to save a lot of money!
  • Buy the ‘Vatican & Rome City pass‘ – There are many things that you can visit with this special card. For this card you pay a one time €113 / $135 / £100. With the card you get access to a lot of interesting tourist attractions throughout Rome. On top of that, you also get priority access to the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums + St. Peter’s Basilica. Moreover, you can also explore Rome for free with hop-on hop-off buses, which is useful if you plan to visit a lot. After all, many of Rome’s highlights are located quite far from each other.
    Check in advance which sights you want to see, and then see if you can also visit them with the ‘Vatican & Rome City Pass‘. Is the answer yes? Then this card is cheaper than buying all tickets separately.
st peters basilica waiting lines buy tickets online

The longest queue is definitely the one in front of the St. Peter’s Basilica. Why would you wait in line if it’s so much easier?

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In this article you'll find a few affiliate links. When you book something with these travel organizations, I get a small commission. You don't pay anything extra for that. You can thus see it as a way to support this blog if you found the information helpful. I use all of these travel organizations myself, and I will only recommend the ones that I really like.

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