roma pass review

Omnia Card vs Roma Pass review : tips to enjoy a Villa Borghese tour


So you are heading to Rome and the Vatican City? Nice! Before you go, you will likely do some research – perhaps that is why you are visiting this site. It is a bit overwhelming – Rome certainly packs a punch when it comes to attractions  – but we are here to help you out. Today we will guide you through one of Rome’s great attractions – The Villa Borghese.

We will give you an overview of the Villa Borghese, the Borghese Galleries and what the best Roma pass is to get you there.  We will compare the top three city passes in our Roma pass review – the Omnia Card,  Roma Pass and the Rome Tourist Card. In short, we will help you navigate the maze that is in front of you when planning a trip to Rome!

The Villa Borghese – What’s it all about

The Villa Borghese is the former home of Cardinal Borghese. Over the years, the Borghese family added to the gardens surrounding the villa. At the turn of the 20th Century, the State took over the ownership of the gardens and the villa, and it is now opened up to the public.

Borghese Gallery

The Villa is home to the famous Galleria Borghese, which houses a great collection of art, mosaics, sculptures and much more. This museum is certainly in demand – only a few hundred people are granted access every two hours.

Borghese Gardens

The Borghese Gardens are also one of the attractions. – the best part about them is they are free! There are walkways bordered with Roman sculptures, fountains and lakes. You will see people enjoying a relaxing stroll or a more energetic bike ride. Others prefer to sit around, enjoying the view and eating a picnic.

Great with kids

The Borghese Gardens are an excellent place to visit if you are travelling with kids. There is a carousel here, as well as a puppet show. There is even a zoo – although you will have to pay about 14 euros – book here to enter.

And that’s not to mention the fact that the gardens are teeming with places that kids just want to explore. If you have older children that are proving hard to keep entertained, why not let them rent a Segway and enjoy the part at their own speed.

roma pass review Villa Borghese Gallery
Villa_Borghese_Gallery

visit borghese gallery travel tips Roma Pass review: Tips for visiting the Villa Borghese

If you want to visit the Villa Borghese read on for some key tips:

  • You must book in advance – there are only several hundred people admitted in 2 hour slots, so book early to avoid disappointment
  • The Galleries are closed on Monday, Christmas Day and 1st January
  • Tickets, if you do not have the best Roma Pass, cost €13
  • If you are lucky enough to be in Rome on the first Sunday of the month between October and March access is free!
  • Free Sunday access must however still be pre-booked.
  • Under 18s get free access
  • The gardens are free – so enjoy, even if you decide not to visit the museums!

Roma Pass review: What is the best Pass for visiting the Villa Borghese?

The Omnia Card – which somewhat confusingly contains the Roma passwas the best option if you wanted to couple a visit to the Villa Borghese with multiple other attractions. Unfortunately, the Roma Pass no longer contains free access to the Borghese Galleries – what a disappointment!

But you may be interested in the Rome Tourist Card, which offer a discount price on your entry to the Borghese Gallery.

How it works

  • Go for the Omnia Card (which includes the Roma pass) if you want to knock off a few big attractions (but unfortunately not the Villa Borghese) AND the Vatican Museums.
  • Go for the Roma Pass only if you are not intending to visit the Vatican and use the Hop On Hop Off Bus that comes with the Omnia Card.  That is really the difference between the Omnia Card vs Roma Pass.
  • Go for the Rome Tourist Card if you want to have a 100% mobile and unlimited pass, access to Rome top attractions and enjoy a one-way transfer from Rome airport to the city center.

Validity of the cards

  • Roma Pass – choose from a 48hour of a 72 hour pass
  • Omnia Pass available for 72 hours only. There are no shorter duration options available, so not suitable for really short stays.
  • Rome Tourist Card – unlimited

Price

  • Roma Pass  €28 for a 48 hour pass, €38.50 for a 72 hour pass. No child price, but children under 10 get access to  public transport and state owned museums for free anyway, so not strictly necessary
  • Omnia Card  €113 per adult, €80 per child. Again, do the math if you are travelling with kids to see if it is really worth getting them a pass.
  • Rome Tourist Card €69,50 per adult, €52 per child, without access to the Vatican Museums. €101,50 per adult, €73 per child, with entrance to the Vatican Museums.

Roma Pass Review  – is it better to book ahead?

  • It is not strictly necessary to book the Roma Pass or the Omnia Card in advance, although it certainly is an advantage to get the pass mailed to you beforehand so you do not need to go and collect it (works only for the Omnia Card).
  • Hit the ground running if you have the pass already in hand. You will not need to waste an hour on the first morning of your trip finding where to get it. Even if you still need to collect your Roma Pass on site, you will be relaxed if you book ahead.
  • Otherwise, you can collect the Omnia Card at the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi desks at the Vatican, St John the Lateran and the Pantheon
  • The Roma Pass is a bit easier to collect – you can get them at any Tourist Info Point across the city
  • Important: if you book online you cannot collect the Roma Pass until after 24hours
  • As for booking attractions ahead – yes. The following attractions should be or need to be reserved in advance
  • Borghese Gallery (no longer free with the card) – book your dedicated entry here or use the 20% off with the Rome Tourist Card
  • Vatican and Sistine Chapel fast track (available on the Omnia Card only)
  • Colosseum (this is accessed using the Roma Pass)
roma pass review Roma Pass
Roma_Pass

So what city pass should I to visit Villa Borghese? About the Rome Tourist Card

With the Omnia Card and Roma Pass out of the running, your next best option is the Rome Tourist Card.

The Rome Tourist Card does not give free entry to the Villa Borghese either, but it does offer discounted entry – 20% off – the gate price. Of course, the card also offers many other attractions, including:

  • 20% off a wide range of attractions
  • 1 day hop on hop off bus
  • Free transport from the Roman airports – something the other passes do not offer.
  • Entry into the Colosseum
  • Does not include Vatican, unless you specifically buy the Vatican add on. But does include the St Peter’s Basilica!
roma pass review Rome tourist card
Rome_tourist_card

In summary… our Roma Pass Review

 Omnia Card

The Omnia Card is a good deal, but only if you intend to visit the Vatican and use the hop on hop off bus. It contains the Roma Pass too. Therefore, whilst it does not include free entry on the Roma Pass to the Villa Borghese, it is worth it for the entire package.

Book online

Roma Pass review

In general, the simple Roma Pass works out a much better deal than the Omnia card, as it includes access to the transport network and the big hitting attractions, from which you can choose two if you buy the 72hr pass.

Book online

Rome Tourist Card

If you only intend to see the Colosseum and Villa Borghese, you should use the Rome Tourist Card. The best part about the Rome Tourist Card is there is no fixed expiry date! So you can stay in Rome and use the 20% off until you have seen all of the attractions!

And remember – the stunning grounds of the Villa Borghese are free year round – so you do not need a pass to access these. So if you find the Roma Pass offers you better value for money, go for it. Then, just pay on entry to the Borghese Galleries. Make sure you reserve in advance though….

Book online

roma pass review
Colosseum@mathew-schwartz

Omnia Card versus Rome Tourist Card versus Roma Pass Review

Omnia Card review

omnia card vatican and rome pass roma pass review
omnia_card_rome

Why is it worth it

  • The Omnia Card is the whole package. It is worth it for those who intend to pack as much as possible into a 3 day weekend in Rome.
  • Hop on Hop off Bus, transport network access and audio guides will help you get your bearings as soon as you arrive
  • Skip the line passes at the Vatican will have you whizz through the galleries and into the Sistine Chapel – you’ll avoid 4 hour long queues in peak season
  • The Roma Pass is contained within the Omnia Card – so choose from 2 of the top attractions in the city for free entry (eg, the Colosseum and the Capitolini Museum for example)
  • Price – €113 per adult, €80 per child
  • Be careful – weigh up the cost  of your child’s tickets before purchasing the Omnia Card – kids under 10 get free access to the public transport system and free entry to state museums

What’s included with the Omnia Card

  • The Hop On Hop Off Bus – stops at dozens of attractions across Rome and includes an on board guide. Perfect to help you get your bearings
  • Access to Rome’s great network of buses and underground
  • Vatican Fast Track entry – see the Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica and the stunning Sistine Chapel without the queues
  • The Roma Pass – Visit 2 top attractions free of charge, then receive a decent discount on the remainder of over 30 Rome attractions

Roma Pass review

roma pass review 72 hours pass
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Why is it worth it – Roma Pass review

  • The Roma Pass is a much cheaper version than the Omnia Card, with prices starting at €28 for a 48 hour pass and €38.50 for the 72 hour pass
  • Does not include the Vatican City or the Hop on Hop Off Bus
  • Skip the line entry to the Colosseum
  • The 48 hour pass is a good option for someone who doesn’t have the full 72 hours to explore the city
  • Great for those on a budget who are happy skipping the Vatican
  • Good for those who are confident getting their bearings without the assistance of the Hop on Hop off Bus.

What is included with the Roma Pass

  • Access to Rome’s extensive public transport network
  • 1 free attraction (with the 48hr pass)
  • 2 free attractions (with the 72hr pass)
  • Discount off a large number of additional attractions across Rome

Rome Tourist Card review

rome tourist card roma pass review
rome_tourist_card

Why is it worth it

  • €69,50 – Cheaper than the Omnia Card
  • Download online – no need to queue on arrival to collect tickets
  • Includes free airport transfer
  • No time limit to use

What’s included with the Rome Tourist Card

  • Hop on Hop Off Bus for one day
  • 2 attractions free entry – (including Vatican only with the €101,50 card)
  • Discount for the Borghese Gallery
  • Transfer from the airport
  • Audio Guide
roma pass review Sistine Chapel
Sistine_Chapel

Omnia Card vs Rome Tourist Card vs Roma Pass review: which one should you take?

Roma Pass Omnia Card Rome Tourist Card
Adult Price €38.50 for 72 hours €113 for 72 hours €69,50
Kids Price No kids pricing €80 for 72 hours €52 (age 6-17) €5 (0-5)
Shorter durations? 48 hours - €28 No No – but no expiry either!
Hop on Hop Off Bus No Yes Yes – 1 day
Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel No Yes Yes – With add on - €28.50 for adults
2 free visits to major sites such as Colosseum Yes (with 72 hour pass only) Yes Yes
Discounted entry to numerous other attractions Yes Yes Yes
Positives Cheaper alternative Allows for those on very short visits to benefit Full package No option for those staying less than 72 hours No expiry date Free airport transfer
Negatives Does not include the Vatican City tour More expensive, may not use all the items you have paid for No transport included

Where to buy your Rome Travel Pass

Omnia Card

  • Buy it through the official website www.romeandvaticanpass.com or online here
  • Have it shipped to you (you need to allow up to 15 days for standard delivery)
  • Collect it a one of 3 Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi desks at the Vatican, St John the Lateran and the Pantheon

OR

  • Buy it when you arrive at the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi desks

Roma Pass review contact

  • Buy it through the official website www.romapass.it or online here – if you do, you must wait 24 hours until you collect or activate
  • Call the Roma Pass call centre on +39 060608.
  • Buy it when you get there across at any site that participates in the scheme
  • Buy it when you get there at Tourist Info points
  • Buy it when you get there at Trenitalia booths

Rome Tourist Card

  • You can only get the card only online here.
  • One of the best benefits of the Rome Tourist Card is that it is completely paper free! Unlike the Omnia Card, you do not need to get it delivered to your door.
  • Once you have selected the pass, you can choose to add on the Vatican Option and select your arrival airport.
roma pass review
Rome_tourist_card

Conclusion to our Roma Pass review

We hope we have outlined in detail the battle between the Omnia Card, Rome Tourist Card and the Roma Pass! Now, it is time to make a decision.

So – which one will you go for? Start planning today and get organising the trip of a lifetime to Rome! Oh, and let us know how you get on at the Villa Borghese. It is a real treat.

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