Rome sees thousands of visitors each year so ticket lines for top sites and museums can be very long. Nobody wants to spend their vacation standing in line but luckily tickets can be bought in advance to allow you to skip the ticket lines. These are the 3 most important tickets to buy before you go to Rome:
Roman Colosseum Tickets
The ancient Colosseum is Rome’s most visited site and it can be very crowded. When you buy a ticket in advance, it will have a specific entrance time so you can skip the ticket line and go straight to the security line to enter. Starting in March, 2019, all visitors must reserve their entrance time in advance. All visitors must go through security. Your ticket, called the Colosseum and Roman Forum pass, also includes entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill which you can visit any time within 48 hours.
Skip the ticket line and go through security more quickly by booking a guided tour. Use promo code ITALYMARTHA for 5% off these tours:
The Roma Pass also allows you to skip the ticket line. You can buy a 48 hour or 72 hour Roma Pass online through Tiqets or if you also want to take the 48 hour hop-on-hop-off bus, buy a Roma Pass with Sight-seeing Bus Tour from Viator.
- More information: Colosseum Security and Tours
Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
A visit to Rome often includes seeing the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel which see about 5 million visitors a year. Because the huge complex is so popular the ticket lines are very long.
The Vatican Museums are huge and almost always very crowded so it’s a good idea to book a tour to have someone guide you through the highlights (and skip the ticket line). For the best experience, take a before or after hours tour. The Roman Guy’s Pre-opening Vatican small group tour or the Super Early Vatican Gold Tour let you see the Sistine Chapel before the crowds by entering 60 or 90 minutes before the museums open to the public (use promo code ITALYMARTHA for 5% discount).
- Small group Pre-opening and Skip-the-line Vatican Tours with the Tour Guy (formerly the Roman Guy) are eligible for a 5% discount – use promo code ITALYMARTHA when you book online. (Discount applies only to small group tours)
For the ultimate experience, take the Vatican Under the Stars Private Tour. Being a guest on an after-hours tour with The Roman Guy was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’ll never forget.
While there’s no ticket line to avoid, reservations are mandatory to visit the Borghese Gallery. Entrances are every 2 hours. The number of guests allowed to be inside is limited so when your 2 hours are up, you need to exit. It’s recommended to be at the museum 30 minutes before your reserved time in order to be assured of entrance.
Buy Borghese Gallery Tickets from Tiqets or on the Borghese Gallery website. Or for an educational and entertaining look at the Baroque masterpieces, book The Roman Guy’s private Borghese Gallery Story-tellers Tour.
Security has been tightened at many sites in Rome and the Vatican. You may have to go through a metal detector. Luggage, backpacks, and other big items are not allowed. Be sure to arrive well in advance of the entrance time on your ticket.
In crowded tourist areas such as around the Colosseum or the Vatican, take precautions to avoid pickpockets. Keep valuables, including your passport, where they can’t easily be stolen. It’s a good idea to use a security pouch that can be worn under your clothing for carrying your passport, credit cards, and extra cash and always keep an eye on your belongings.
Plan Your Visit to Rome
- Where to Stay:
JK Place, near the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon, is a top boutique hotel.
Near Termini station, Starhotels Metropole is a good choice.
For more luxury, try the 5-star Grand Hotel Via Veneto.
- See and compare more Rome hotels.
- See Rome train, rail stations, and booking train tickets information on Rail Europe.
- Find out how to get around the city with our Rome Transportation Map
- Colosseum Top Levels Tour Review
- 5 Rome Combo Tickets and Passes
- 5 Famous Rome Monuments
- 3 Florence Museum Tickets to Buy Before You Go
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