tips on visiting the vatican

Tips on visiting the Vatican with the Omnia card Rome

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Is the Omnia Card the pass to buy for those wishing to incorporate the Vatican into their city break? This may be the case for you! Read on for our visiting the Vatican Tips for those with an Omnia Card and get planning your trip today.

Trying to decide whether an Omnia Card is worth the money if you wish to visit the Vatican when in Rome? Or perhaps you already have your Omnia Card in hand and are trying to understand just where to go next? Or find out what you need to do to visit the Vatican?

Never fear – we’re here to set you up with the best itinerary to visit the Vatican and Rome with the Omnia card. Read on to get the best structure for your itinerary.

Vatican City travel tips Visiting the Vatican Tips

visiting the vatican tips skip the line

We’re old pros here with plenty of tips on visiting the Vatican. This includes information such as the best times to visit the Vatican and the main attractions to see. We also have lots of secret hints and tips for bypassing the queues.

We know what city passes are best, when to use them and when to not, and can help you decide on what to see and when. Read on for our tips on visiting the Vatican for the full lowdown.

Why using the Omnia Card allows you to better enjoy the Vatican ?

tips on visiting the vatican audio guide rome

Optimize your Budget

With skip the line Vatican Passes included with the Omnia Card you won’t be tempted to purchase overpriced fast track passes from “tour guides” at the Vatican. And, with your travel included you won’t need to worry about getting from A – B and back again after.

On top of that, the Omnia Card comes packed with hidden extras. There are audio guides, access to lesser known attractions such as the Cloister at St Paul’s Basilica, and a number of other benefits.

With the initial outlay looking a bit eye watering, you’ll need to plan appropriately to make sure you get the best value out of your Omnia Card. But it is worth it if you plan to hit all the sights.

Save Time when visiting Vatican

Queues at the Vatican Museums can last for hours in the peak season and other busy periods. There is so much to see that one of the best tips on visiting the Vatican is the advice to secure a fast pass ticket.

You will still need to queue, but the waiting times will be vastly reduced on those purchasing their tickets at the gates.  The Omnia Card (see price here) claims to save you up to 4 hours in queues during the busy periods. It also includes fast track entry to the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica.

More Convenience

Tickets, transport and access to a number of added perks such as audio guides and entry to Vatican ‘outside the wall’ attractions are included with the Omnia Card. You’ll not have to spend time on different websites booking Vatican tickets, or queuing at the bus station for a travel card.

And if you are anything like us, you will appreciate one card that gets you access to multiple attractions. No more fumbling amongst 5 or 6 different receipts in your wallet to find your tickets!

The Omnia Card gets you everything you need for your trip to the Vatican in one place!

Omnia Card : How it works ?

tips on visiting the vatican omnia card rome

Visiting Rome with an Omnia card: how many days does it cover?

The Omnia Card is offered with a duration of 72 hours – so is perfect for those on a visit to Rome of 3 days or more. The ideal city break card, you will have three days with free transport. You’ll also have a guidebook, access to the Vatican City and 2 other splendid attractions of your choice.

It’s the best card for those in Rome for 3 days who want to pack in as much as possible and still get a good in-depth understanding of the main attractions.

Suggested itineraries may include 1 full day at the Vatican, 1 at the Coliseum* and one of the other free attractions on the list. Then, pick a third day exploring the Vatican’s “outside the walls” attractions such as St John the Lateran or St Paul Outside the Walls.

* This is not a good option anymore. We explain why in detail later in the article. So better allow one day visiting the Borghese Gallery and it Park.

You could take half a day on the hop on hop off bus tour too, taking in an overview of the city and listening to the audio guides. Or you could explore the city on Rome’s extensive public transport network.

Who can benefit from the Omnia Card?

An adult Omnia Card pass is €113 (you can buy it here), and is available to all. With a number of great benefits and a 72 hour duration, plus the added convenience the card brings, it’s seriously worth considering when planning your trip to visit the Vatican with the Omnia Card.

Vatican City travel tips Visiting the Vatican Tip 1

A tip though – those travelling with children should think carefully before purchasing the children’s version of the Omnia Card. At 80€ it’s not cheap, especially if you have a couple of sprogs in tow.

In addition, the majority of state run attractions are FREE for children under 18. The Vatican public transport network too is free for those under 10, so weigh your options up carefully. This is especially important if you are travelling with the family to ensure you are getting the best value for money.

Vatican City travel tips Visiting the Vatican Tip 2

Another tip – Are you in a special group that benefits from discounted entry? Pilgrims and school groups benefit from discounts at the Vatican, and archaeology students already get discounts across a number of sites. You should do the math to see if the card really makes the most sense for you and your travel companions.

Omnia Card Review : Attractions included / not included

The Omnia Card is stuffed with attractions, so much so that you may find it hard to fit them all in! Read on to check out the full list of benefits with the Omnia Card….

Vatican St Peters basilica inside

Vatican City package

The Omnia Card (more details here) is the one to pick if you are intending to hit several Rome sights and the Vatican in one trip.  The Vatican is a must-see for many visitors, and the Omnia Card does not disappoint, with the following included. This totals up to €45 of savings:

  • Fast track entry – bunk the queue and save hours in peak periods
  • Book your entry slot to the Vatican Museums for even more time savings
  • Entry to the vast Vatican Museums and their wonderful displays such as the Raphael Rooms, Tapestry Gallery and the Spiral Staircase
  • Sistine Chapel and its’ awe inspiring frescoes
  • Free audio guides worth €20, including one to St Peter’s Basilica and one for St John Lateran
  • Entry to the Cloister at St Paul’s Outside the Walls (usually costs €5), Picture Gallery and Chapel of Relics and a free audio guide

Other Rome attractions

The Omnia Card includes FREE access to any 2 of the following attractions:

  • The Coliseum*
  • Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
  • Capitolini Museums
  • National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo

All of the above are excellent places at which to spend a few hours – learn about Gladiator history in the Coliseum* or perhaps sample art with among the most ancient museums in the world in Capitolini Museums.

vatican museums ceiling painting

If you want to see more than 2 of these attractions you will need to pay. The best plan is to visit the most expensive attractions as part of the Omnia Card, and pay entry to the rest. The National Museum of Castel San Angelo, the Borghese Gallery and the Capitolini Museums are the most expensive, at €15 per attraction, with the remainder ranging from 7€ to 12€.

In addition to the above, there are an extra 30 other Rome Attractions available at a discount to those with the Omnia Card, from galleries and museums to other state run attractions.

*Omnia Card Update on 19th February 2020

The Omnia Card include the Roma Pass benefits as well. To make it clear, since the last updates, the Roma Pass, in addition to its fare increase, is no longer interesting.

Since November 2019, the Colosseum has been reducing the number of admissions per day through its offer of standard tickets.
The Roma Pass offers only standard access to the Colosseum. However, the Colosseum is a very popular monument and standard tickets are almost always sold out! This means that there is little chance that the date you want to visit the Colosseum will be available because of the high demand!

In brief, even if you choose the Roma Pass or Omnia Card, due to the lack of available entrances to the Colosseum, you may not even be able to visit the Colosseum, despite the special queue for Roma Pass holders.

And this is where the Roma Tourist Card solves the problem of availability in the Colosseum. It avoids the disappointment that Roma Pass holders can have if they are denied access to the Colosseum. The pass includes either audio guide ticket or guided tour to the Colosseum! This is a huge avantage compared to its competitors and we find that it brings a real added value to your visit.

Visiting the Vatican Tips : Skip the Line

The Omnia Card (buy it on this website) can save you up to 4 hours of queuing in the peak season! The Vatican Card included with the pass features fast track entry to the Museums and St Peter’s Basilica.

In addition, 2 of the “outside the walls” Vatican attractions also include skip the line entry – St John the Lateran and St Paul Outside the Walls.

The Vatican Card contained within the Omnia Card also allows you to pre-book entry to the Vatican Museums, saving you even more time away from the queues!

Other sites with fast track entry include the Coliseum and the Roman Forum. Which is not that true anymore. You now know we would recommend the Rome Tourist Card if you want your visit been guarantee!

Who is the Omnia Card good for?

We’d recommend the Omnia Card for those in Rome for at least 3 days, who plan to maximise their sightseeing experience by checking out at least 2 top sights plus the Vatican Compound. It is the card of choice for those who would make full use of the audio guides, fancy a round on the hop on hop off bus and like to explore a city on public transport.

It’s also a great option for those who prefer to spend a bit of money to avoid the very long lines at the major attractions. For first timers to Rome, it offers the ideal package and covers most of the city.

However, for those on a limited budget or who may avail of better discounts with student cards, you may find the Roma Pass to be more economical. Read on our review on the Roma Pass.

Vatican City travel tips Omnia Card : Visiting the Vatican tips and information you need to know

tips on visiting the vatican tomb of pope johannes paulusi
  1. For the Vatican, you can now pre-book an entry slot and arrive just before, saving you even more time away from the queues!
  2. You cannot just rock up and buy the Omnia Card – it needs to be booked in advance online so make sure you reserve before you leave for Rome to avoid disappointment
  3. If you are travelling over a Sunday try to use your Omnia Card on the 3 days before or after as a number of state attractions and museums are free of charge on Sundays.
  4. Not included in the pass at the Vatican is entry to St Peter’s Dome or the Vatican Gardens, neither are the Papal Tombs included.

How to get your Omnia Card ?

tips on visiting the vatican st peters square

As detailed above, you need to pre-book the Omnia Card in advance online. It cannot be bought at any of the attractions.

Once purchased, the best and most reliable way to pick up your Omnia Card (and the most cost effective option) is to collect it at one of the designated collection points on arrival in Rome. There are three collection points operated by Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi across Rome:

Collection Points

  1. Collection Point near St Peter’s Basilica in St Peter’s Square. Disembark at Metro Line A Ottaviano. Open weekdays until 4pm and 9-1pm on Sundays and holidays.
  2. Collection Point near the Pantheon at Via dei Cestari 21. Open weekdays until 4pm and 10-1pm on Sundays and holidays.
  3. Collection Point inside St John Lateran Basilica. Open weekdays until 4pm and 9-1pm on Sundays and holidays.

Do you have plenty of time before your trip and prefer to get your tickets in hand before you travel? Then you can avail of some of the shipping options available. However this does add to the cost of your ticket. It probably offsets some of the benefits you may have gotten by purchasing the card in the first instance. Be careful also of the delivery times – don’t risk any delays in the card arriving after your trip date!

Home Delivery

  • Express Shipping – can take up to 6 days via Fed Ex and cost up to €40
  • Standard Shipping – can take up to 2 weeks and cost from €3.95 to €9.95 depending on location

Final Thought on visiting the Vatican tips

We trust we have covered the main highlights and helped those wishing to visit the Vatican with the Omnia Card. It is fair to say there are a great number of benefits to selecting this great and flexible city pass. You can also check our comparison between the Omnia Card and the Roma Pass here.

Now, with our top tips in hand, it’s time to book your trip and plan your itinerary for your visit to Rome and the Vatican City.

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