Hop on hop off Rom Big Bus

Hop on Hop off Rome · 2 routes 5 providers compared

Hop on hop off Rome tours offer routes for tourists and pilgrims. Get a first overview of the city center and glide relaxed in the open bus through the chaotic Roman traffic.

Overview

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.

These are the main lines:

The Pilgrim Line: Vatican & Rome (yellow) stops at various churches, 16 stops, no stop near the Spanish Steps

Tourist lines, 8 stops:

Green Line offers buses also with a stop at the gastronomic temple Eataly at Ostiense station and a night tour to Eataly. At Eataly you can buy food from all over Italy and there are restaurants and stalls to eat at.

City Sightseeing (red), also allows the use of Big Bus and thus more frequent buses

Big Bus (brown), the tickets Standard, Premium and Deluxe differ by the validity period 24/48/72 hours

Gray Line (pink), offers various options from single ride without disembarkation to multi-day tickets.

Routes and lines

Due to the introduction of a pedestrian zone, the Trevi stop on Via del Tritone has been gone since 2018Due to the introduction of a pedestrian zone, since the year 2018, the Trevi stop in Via del Tritone no longer exists. We have to mention this here, unfortunately, because even in 2022 some websites still list the Trevi stop.

The pilgrimage line Vatican & Rome

The service begins at 9:30 a.m. with a departure from Castel Sant’Angelo and at 10 a.m. with a departure from Termini Central Station. The intervals between buses are 45 minutes in winter. In summer, more buses are in service and the intervals are correspondingly shorter. After Castel Sant’Angelo (Vatican), there are stops on one of the main axes in the center, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, at Piazza Navona / Campo de’ Fiori and at Torre Argentina (Pantheon). For the Trevi Fountain, the closest stop is at SS. Apostoli. From Trevi Fountain you can continue to the Spanish Steps. The line is the only one that passes by the Quirinal, the palace of the President of the Republic. The Quirinal was the Seat of government of the popes in the Vatican State. Next stops are Piazza della Repubblica, Termini and Santa Maria Maggiore. The yellow line is the only line that goes to the Basilica of St. John. It then continues 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, outside the high season also around 50 minutes. The differences between these providers are small.

  1. Departure: Termini central station
  2. Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore – Monti district
  3. Colosseum – Imperial Forums, Palatine Hill, Oppius Hill and Caelius Hill
  4. Circus Maximus – Aventine, Bocca della verità
  5. Piazza Venezia – Capitol, ghetto, city center
  6. Castel Sant’Angelo (Vatican) – Piazza Navona
  7. Ludovisi – Villa Borghese, Spanish Steps, Via Veneto
  8. Piazza Barberini – Trevi Fountain, bottom of the Spanish Steps, city center

Green Line

Green Line runs daily the route with 8 stops 9 – 18:30. Some Green Line buses go to the gastronomic temple Eataly. At Eataly you can find specialties from all over Italy. There is hardly an Italian specialty that you cannot find here. There are also stalls and restaurants where you can eat. Therefore, a visit to Eataly is an interesting experience.

Normal route – Route with Eataly – Night tour

Big bus

The Big Bus open buses are brown. Children under 5 years are free, between 5 and 15 years they pay about one third less.

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.

Free walking tours are included with all tickets. You get digitized tours in 7 languages:

  1. Imperial Rome
  2. Secret Rome
  3. Squares and fountains
  4. La Dolce Vita

Tickets

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. John. The yellow line in the only one to pass at the Quirinal Palace. It has more stops and the journey takes around 90 minutes. It has free wifi on board.

Green Line offers connections to the gastronomic temple Eataly, where you can buy gastronomic specialties from Italy. There is also the possibility of eating at various stalls and restaurants.

With the tickets of the red line City Sightseeing you can also use the buses of 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)

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 walking tours are included with all three tickets. You get digitized tours in 7 languages:

  1. Imperial Rome
  2. Secret Rome
  3. Squares and fountains
  4. La Dolce Vita

Tickets

Is Hop on Hop off Rome worthwhile?

Opinions differ widely on the usefulness of the hop on hop off buses in Rome.

Some complain that the buses are quite long at the stops and the entire round takes 90 minutes. In addition, you can not get directly into the center to the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. For quick transportation, public transportation is faster.

Others are quite enthusiastic about the hop on hop off buses because in 90 minutes you get a first overview of the city center and pass many sights that you wouldn’t have time to visit anyway. Besides, it is an indescribable feeling to ride in an open bus and to be able to take pictures without disturbing windows.

What is true is that the buses are no longer allowed to go through Via del Corso and the tourist route with 8 stops now has one stop above the Spanish Steps, in Via Ludovisi, and one below, in Piazza Barberini. This is also the closest stop to the Trevi Fountain. You can also get to Piazza Navona only on foot from the stop at Castel Sant’Angelo, and from Piazza Navona it is better to continue on foot to the Trevi Fountain.

It is a little different with the pilgrimage route, which has several stops in the center. So one stop is almost directly between Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza Navona and another near Via del Corso. In total, the yellow bus stops at 16 stops in 90 minutes.

Our recommendation

Our recommendation is to do a first round of hop on hop off to get to know the city center. Hop on hop off can also be useful to break up long walks without having to rely on the often crowded and unsafe public transportation. For example, you can get off at Piazza Venezia, walk through the ghetto and on to Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza Navona, and hop back on at Castel Sant’Angelo. For information on popular routes on foot, see our article on Rome city center.

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