We are often asked whether a hop on hop off Rome tour pays off. Here you will find an overview of the lines and the routes on which Hop on hop off Rome lines are worthwhile.
The open bus ride is very impressive and you avoid the hustle and bustle of public buses. The most important lines run at regular intervals and you glide comfortably through the city, while others run off their shoe soles.
Visit the Colosseum Archeopark and drive through the city center to Castel Sant’Angelo. All buses have a multilingual audio system with information about the sights at the various stops.
Currently active lines:
Friday – Monday
Lines currently in operation
Routes and lines
Due to the introduction of a pedestrian zone, the Trevi stop on Via del Tritone has been gone since 2018. We have to mention this, unfortunately, because many Rome websites offer outdated information.
There are five providers for the open hop on hop off Rome buses, which can basically be differentiated according to the color of the buses: red, yellow, green, pink and brown. The yellow line of the Roman pilgrimage works a slightly different route than the other lines and is particularly practical with numerous stops in the center.
Roma Cristiana Route · the yellow bus
It starts at Castel Sant’Angelo (Vatican) and offers stops on one of the main axes in the center, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Piazza Navona / Campo de’ Fiori and Torre Argentina (Pantheon). For the Trevi Fountain you have to get off at SS. Apostoli. The Spanish Steps are further away from the yellow line stops. The line passes the President’s Palace, the Quirinal. The Quirinal was the seat of the popes in the area of the Vatican State. The next stops are Piazza della Repubblica, Termini and Santa Maria Maggiore. The yellow line is the only line to the Basilica St. John. The route continue to the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus, Piazza Venezia, Torre Argentina and back to Castel Sant’Angelo. – Tickets
All other lines
The other four providers travel to the same 8 stops within the city walls. The intervals are 15-30 minutes. The differences between these providers are small. The red Bus City Sightseeing and the brown Big Bus offer connections to the catacombs on the Appia Antica in high season.
- Departure: Termini central station
- Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore – Monti district
- Colosseum – Imperial Forums, Palatine Hill, Oppius Hill and Caelius Hill
- Circus Maximus – Aventine, Bocca della verità
- Piazza Venezia – Capitol, ghetto, city center
- Castel Sant’Angelo (Vatican) – Piazza Navona
- Ludovisi – Villa Borghese, Spanish Steps, Via Veneto
- Piazza Barberini – Trevi Fountain, bottom of the Spanish Steps, city center
Main differences between the lines:
With the yellow line you do not drive through the park of Villa Borghese and not to the stops Ludovisi and Barberini at the Spanish Steps. However, it offers stops in the center at Piazza Navona and at the Basilica of St. Johann. You also drive past the Quirinal Palace on the yellow line. Since the yellow line has more stops, the journey takes around 90 minutes. The yellow buses have free wifi on board.
With Big Bus you can book the option catacombs during the high season. Hop on hop off Rome night tours are run by Big Bus.
All stops of the different routes can be found on our hop on hop off Rome map.
Yellow: Roma Cristiana Route
Green: all other lines
Purple: Big Bus Catacombs Route (currently not active)
The yellow line of the Roman pilgrimage
You can buy day tickets for the yellow line.
The buses run daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (first and last departure from Termini and Castel Sant’Angelo) every 45 minutes.
Omnia Card: The complete package includes the Omnia Card: 72 hours hop on hop off + public transport, Vatican Museums, preferred entry to St. Peter’s Basilica and two Roman museums. That’s Full Immersion!
Children up to the age of 9 travel free on the yellow buses.
The Roma Cristiana hop on hop off bus ticket is valid immediately and does not need to be exchanged. The bus drivers accept the ticket on the mobile phone.
You can collect the Omnia Card at the ORP office in front of St. Peter’s Square on the left (Piazza Pio XII No. 9). It is open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A second office is located at Via dei Cestari 21, between Torre Argentina and Pantheon. It is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can take the yellow Roma Cristiana bus to the office for free if you show the driver the online booking confirmation.
Big bus with catacombs and Rome at night
The Big Bus open buses are brown. Children under 5 years are free, between 5 and 15 years they pay about one third less.
Big Bus offers three lines:
The red line – This line goes to the usual 8 stations: Termini – Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore – Colosseum – Circus Maximus – Piazza Venezia – Sant’Angelo Bridge – via Ludovisi above the Spanish Steps – Barberini. The buses run Friday – Sunday every 25 minutes from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Not currently active: The purple line – this line has a total of 10 stations: Termini – Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore – Colosseum, then it goes to the Park of the Appia: Porta San Sebastiano – Basilica and Catacombs of St. Sebastian – Caffarella – Quo Vadis park office and back to the city: Baths of Caracalla – Circus Maximus – Piazza Venezia and back to Termini. The buses run every hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. After 44 minutes you are at the catacombs. The last return trip is at 5:44 p.m.
Not currently active: Rome Hop on hop off at night – This line travels through the city on the route of the red line, without stopping. Departure at 8.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. from Termini Central Station
The most important tickets from Big Bus are:
Classic Ticket: Only for the red line 1 day
Premium Ticket: For the red and the violet line 2 days – with this combination you can also reach the baths of Caracalla and the catacombs in the park of the Appia Antica
Deluxe Ticket: For the red and the purple line 3 days + night tour
Free tours are included with all three tickets . They are digitized tours in 7 languages:
- Imperial Rome
- Secret Rome
- Squares and fountains
- La Dolce Vita
Green line runs the route with 8 stops daily from 9 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. Tickets
Is Hop on Hop off Rome worthwhile?
With the Hop on Hop off Rome buses you get a quick overview of the city and where the sights are located.
The Hop on Hop off buses are the most convenient and fastest way to travel from the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus to the Vatican.
The yellow line also stops between Piazza Navona and Campo de ‘Fiori and not far from the Trevi Fountain.
With Big Bus you get free digital tours of the center with your ticket.
In contrast to public transport, the Hop on hop off Rome buses run regularly. The public transport is often overcrowded and many buses are dilapidated. Taking pictures from public transport is practically impossible because the windows are covered with advertising. Many buses do not operate, although they have been announced at the stops. They are the so-called phantom buses.
The 2 best tickets
Our favorite is the yellow line. The route with 16 stops, on which a bus leaves from Termini and a bus from Castel Sant’Angelo, is very flexible.
The green line is currently the only line that runs daily on the route with the 8 stops. Big Bus only runs from Friday to Sunday.