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Hop on Hop off Bus Tours in Rome

Hop on the Rome sightseeing bus to discover the charm of the Eternal City! I tell you how to book your tickets and how to get the most out of this experience.

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

8 min read

Hop on Hop off Bus Tours in Rome

Hop on Hop off bus | ©Chris Sampson

Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world, so it has a vast historical and cultural heritage.

Enjoying the many treasures it possesses on foot can be exhausting, especially in summer. So how do you cover them all in a short visit without being exhausting? With the Rome sightseeing bus!

The best option

Rome Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour

Tour Rome by bus for 1, 2 or 3 days at the best price

If you feel like discovering the Eternal City while avoiding long walks or the summer heat, with this option you can choose the duration of your ticket (24, 48 or 72 hours). It also includes audio commentary during the tour explaining the most important points of interest.

If you've never ridden a sightseeing bus I'll start by telling you how it works. Before your trip you can book your ticket online for the sightseeing bus and activate it once you are in the city, when you board the vehicle on the day you want to do the activity. Depending on the option you have chosen**(24, 48 or 72 hours**) you will be able to use it unlimited for the selected time from the time of its first use.

You can use this tourist bus in two ways. On the one hand, you can use it as a means of transportation to get quickly and easily to the tourist attractions you want to visit. With the system of free stops you can get off at the stops you want to explore the area at your leisure and then get back on to continue your tour of Rome.

Another interesting way is to do the entire route at least once: it will allow you to discover the city of Rome from another perspective and enjoy the panoramic views of the landscape while you travel comfortably seated listening to the audio guide's commentary on the different monuments of the city.

Why I like this option: in addition to being the most economical, it is a flexible option.

Recommended if... you are thinking of booking tickets in advance for the tourist bus at the best price.


What is included in your ticket

Tourist bus| ©Chris Sampson
Tourist bus| ©Chris Sampson

You should know that if you opt for a 48-hour ticket, you can choose the superior option that includes the entrance to some very popular tourist attractions in the Italian capital such as the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums or St. Peter's Basilica.

  • Audio guide on board in eight different languages (Spanish, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Russian and Traditional or Simplified Chinese).
  • Free Wi-Fi on the bus: it always comes in handy if you want to search the Internet for a nearby restaurant where to eat after the tour or to share your photos instantly on social networks without using your mobile data.
  • Free mobileapp "Sightseeing Experience".
  • Tickets to some attractions (if you have selected them) such as: the Vatican, the Colosseum and St. Peter's Basilica. No-queue entrance to the Colosseum (if selected).

Book the Big Bus tour of Rome

Why do I recommend you to see Rome by sightseeing bus?

Sightseeing bus on your tour of Rome| ©Chris Sampson
Sightseeing bus on your tour of Rome| ©Chris Sampson

First of all, because I think it is the most practical way to get to know Rome if you have little time or if it is the first time you visit the Italian capital, since on board the tourist bus you can admire in a complete tour several of the main attractions of the city such as the Vatican City, the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain (one of the most beautiful fountains in Rome) among others.

Secondly, because you can use the bus as transportation. This is a very comfortable and fun way to explore Rome, especially if you are traveling with children. They will not get tired walking from one monument to another because with this tour bus you can get off at any stop on the itinerary to explore an area and then get back on to continue the tour to the next attraction.

Thirdly, because with this tourist bus you can download the free mobile app "Sightseeing Experience" that shows you an interactive map with the position of the buses in real time and the waiting time at each stop so you can better plan your route. In addition, this app includes a free walking route through the center in five languages, which I think is a very good idea if you don't know where to start your visit.

And finally, because if you opt to purchase a ticket on the 48-hour Rome sightseeing bus you can choose the top option that includes entrance to the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums or the Sistine Chapel. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Book the Big Bus tour of Rome

What will you see during the tour?

Trevi Fountain| ©kat kye
Trevi Fountain| ©kat kye

Trevi Fountain

The most beautiful baroque style fountain in the world. Its origins date back to 19 BC although the actual monument dates back to the 18th century.

It is a wonderful outdoor work of art attached to the facade of the Palazzo Poli representing the god Neptune taming the waters. Legend has it that if you want to return to Rome you must throw a coin into its waters.

To learn more about the beautiful Trevi Fountain, do not miss the article Trevi Fountain: stories, curiosities and what to see near the fountain in Rome.

Circus Maximus of Rome

Today there are hardly any remains of what was once the Circus Maximus, the largest in the city, so you have to imagine what it was like in its time of splendor. Here the public games were held, consisting of chariot races pulled by horses, pedestrian races, equestrian exhibitions or mock battles.

Piazza Venezia

One of the most important squares in Rome that takes its name from Palazzo Venezia, the first Renaissance style square built in the city. In the center of the square stands the national monument to King Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the architects of the unification of Italy along with Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

It is considered the largest of the churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Rome. It dates back to the 4th century A.D. and legend has it that the Virgin herself appeared to Pope Liberius to give him instructions for its construction. The basilica presents very diverse architectural styles that reflect the stages of Christian art in Rome. It is one of the four Major Basilicas of Rome that you cannot miss.

The Colosseum

It is the emblem of Rome and one of the 7 wonders of the modern world. Almost 2,000 years old, it is the largest amphitheater built during the Roman Empire which hosted gladiatorial games, naval battles, animal fights and even executions of prisoners.

Want to see it in person without having to wait in line for hours at the door? Then take a look at the post Tickets Colosseum of Rome!

Piazza Barberini

It is one of the most iconic squares in Rome, famous for the fountains of the Triton and the Bees, made by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Near this place is located the Barberini Palace, which houses the National Gallery of Ancient Art.

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II

Also known as Piazza Vittorio, it was one of the main food markets in Rome. In the center there is a garden where you will see the remains of Alexander's nymphaeum and the so-called Magic Gate, the entrance to the ancient villa Palombara, which was the residence of the alchemist Massimiliano Palombara.

Vatican City

It is a city-state located in the heart of Rome and the headquarters of the Catholic Church.

Three are the must-sees during a trip here: St. Peter's Square and Basilica and the Vatican Museums where the Sistine Chapel is located.

If you are wondering how to get your tickets to see this jewel click on Where to buy tickets for the Vatican or The best guided tours of the Vatican.

Book the City Sightseeing Bus

Rome Sightseeing Bus Itinerary

Visit the Colosseum| ©Mike Swigunski
Visit the Colosseum| ©Mike Swigunski

Rome's classic open-top double-decker tourist bus awaits you for a fun, comfortable and dynamic tour of the Eternal City lasting 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Stops

  • Via Marsala, 7 - Terminal A
  • Via dell'Esquilino, 8 - Stop no. 2 Santa Maria Maggiore
  • Via di San Gregorio - Stop no. 3 Colosseum
  • Piazzale Ugo la Malfa - Stop no. 4 Circo Massimo
  • Via del Teatro di Marcello, 12 - Stop No. 5 Piazza Venezia
  • Lungotevere Tor di Nona, 7 - Stop No. 6 Vaticano
  • Via Ludovisi - Stop No. 7 Piazza di Spagna
  • Via Barberini, 2 - Stop No. 8 Piazza Barberini

Book the City Sightseeing Bus

Rome Sightseeing Bus Schedule

Tour Rome on the sightseeing bus| ©Chris Sampson
Tour Rome on the sightseeing bus| ©Chris Sampson

Winter 2020/2021:

  • Friday to Sunday: 9 AM to 7:30 PM every 30 minutes (lunch break from 1 PM to 2 PM).

Until March 31, 2021

  • Friday to Sunday: 9 AM to 7:30 PM every 30 minutes (one hour break from 1 PM to 2 PM).

Book the Big Bus Rome Sightseeing Bus

What to consider before booking this experience

Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, Piazza Venezia| ©Michele Bitetto
Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, Piazza Venezia| ©Michele Bitetto
  • Choose the date you want to do this activity and the number of people who will participate. Then select the 24, 48 or 72 hours option. You will be taken to a page where you will be asked for your personal information and an email address.
  • Important: enter a valid email address because you will receive a confirmation email at the end of the reservation. Check that all the information on your reservation is correct and keep this email to have it handy when you have to show it to the tour bus driver to get on board.
  • If you are unable to do this experience for any reason and you want a full refund, remember that you must cancel your reservation at least 24 hours before the start date of the activity. You will find the cancellation instructions in the confirmation email.

Isabel's Traveler Tip

I advise you to print out the ticket that you will receive in your email when you confirm your reservation to avoid any problems if something happens to your cell phone or if you are asked for it just in case.

If you are interested in the Rome sightseeing bus, you will also be interested in

Visit Florence| ©Jonathan Körner
Visit Florence| ©Jonathan Körner

Rome is an open air museum. In every corner there is a fountain, a palace or an ancient monument with a fascinating history.

If after riding the Rome sightseeing bus you feel like learning more about the capital of Italy, its culture, gastronomy and customs, I recommend you to take a guided tour.

The offer is super varied: on foot, by bike, by day, by night, in a small group, in a private group, gastronomic... Take a look at the article The best tours of Rome to choose the one you like the most.

And if you have enough time to leave the city during your trip to Rome, then don't forget to visit the surrounding areas, there are wonderful places that you will love! Check out the article The best tours from Rome for some of the coolest proposals.

Book the City Sightseeing bus tour