One of the most popular landmarks, visiting the Pantheon in Rome is a must for every first-time tourist of the eternal city.
A crucial temple since the 1st century, the Roman Pantheon has been devoted to all gods since its inception. Its grandeur is its reason for fame all over the world, its majesty and allure haven’t diminished in thousands of years.
Visiting the Pantheon in Rome means stepping back 2000 years to what’s been defined as the best-preserved building of imperial times. From the large dome still standing to the oculus that lets the light in, to the marvelous wall decorations, the Pantheon is a must for everyone to be admired inside out.
Even though so popular and always crowded, many miss the spirit of one of the most important monuments of the eternal city. This is why I hope my guide to visiting the Pantheon in Rome will help you make the most out of your time in this incomparable building.
Top tips for visiting the Pantheon in Rome
Best time to visit the Pantheon
The best time to visit the Pantheon is either early morning when it opens or in the evening before its doors shut. However, if you are visiting the Pantheon in Rome in the evening, make sure you arrive at least half an hour before closing time otherwise you won’t be allowed in anymore.
What to wear when visiting the Pantheon in Rome
Even though founded as a pagan temple, the Pantheon is now a Roman Catholic church. This is why to enter the Pantheon, a modest dress code is required.
For women, dressing modestly means no miniskirts and no shorts in summer, while for both men and women, sleeveless T-shirts are not welcome.
How to buy the tickets for the Pantheon
You can buy the Pantheon tickets at the entrance after queueing or online. On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, reserving your entrance is mandatory.
If you buy your ticket at the entrance, you can choose the individual ticket or add some optional such as audioguide or guided tours.
You can also decide to book your ticket online, either from the official website or on travel websites such as Get Your Guide. Booking from the official website, you have a few choices. You can book your spot by purchasing a ticket + audioguide for 15€, or an audioguide and paper guide together with your ticket for €19,50, or a 30-minute guided tour for €30,50.
If you are into gaining deeper knowledge and having a more complete experience, I suggest Take Walks’ Roman Icons Tour. In three hours, you will start at the Pantheon in the morning before the big queues, will carry on to Piazza Navona, and will end in the wonderful Castel Sant’Angelo, also known as the Hadrian Mausoleum.
I took this tour with my husband recently and absolutely loved it. We had both visited both the Pantheon and Castel Sant’Angelo but our guide added so much information that we didn’t have when we visited on our own that I never tire of recommending it. You can read all about our experience here.
What to see in the Roman Pantheon
Dating back to the 1st century AD, the Pantheon was built under the rule of Augustus, so the very first thing to admire is its ancient architecture, which is also why the building is so famous.
One of the most important temples of ancient Rome, you should start admiring the Pantheon from outside with the huge dome and the original door. From inside out, here are a few things you shouldn’t miss when visiting the Pantheon.
- The door. The huge door of the Pantheon is the original one. Even though so tall, heavy, and old, it’s so well built that it can be easily opened and closed by a single person.
- The dome. Measuring more than 43 mt, the Pantheon’s dome is the largest ever built in unreinforced concrete and the largest altogether in the ancient world.
- The oculus. The famous hole in the Pantheon’s ceiling is the way its first builders thought about connecting directly with the gods.
- The important tombs. Apart from the painter Raffaello Sanzio, the Roman Pantheon is the last resting place of some members of the Savoy former Italian royal family such as Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I, and Margherita di Savoia.
What is the best way to see the Pantheon?
The best way to fully enjoy your visit to the Pantheon is to go early morning before the crowds arrive. The landmark opens at 9 am so I suggest you show up at least 15 minutes earlier.
If you just want to admire its architecture and take your photos, you can just buy a single ticket and wander around the ancient temple.
Visiting the Pantheon in Rome, however, can become a richer experience if you get yourself a bit of extra information, for example with an audio guide. A private tour led by an expert guide is probably what will give you the best adventure because you can access a wider knowledge of how the Pantheon was built, why and by whom it was erected, what was its initial purpose, and how it was used.
For example, did you know that in ancient Rome, nobody was allowed inside the Pantheon because as a temple, only the emperor and the actual priests could access it?
Whatever option you decide to go for, when visiting the Pantheon in Rome, take your time to observe and enjoy the several parts worth paying attention to, including the tombs of the royal family, the tomb of Renaissance painter Raphael, the famous dome, the oculus, and the original ancient structure.
How much time do you need at the Pantheon?
To visit the Pantheon you need at least 30 minutes. This time slot is meant to exclude the eventual line you will find outside.
The only way to skip the line is to reserve your entrance beforehand online either by buying a fast-track entrance or by joining a private tour.
What to see around the Pantheon
When you are in the city center, apart from visiting the Pantheon in Rome, you can see many other attractions nearby.
- Piazza Navona. One of Rome’s most beautiful squares, Piazza Navona lies literally across the street from the Pantheon on the other side of Corso Rinascimento.
- Trevi Fountain. Another unmissable attraction, the stunning Baroque Trevi Fountain is very easy to reach from the Pantheon with a pleasant 10-minute stroll.
- Spanish Steps. Either before or after visiting the Pantheon in Rome you should head to yet another world-famous landmark, the monumental Spanish Steps and the beautiful Piazza di Spagna at the bottom. You will get there in around 15 minutes on foot.
- Centro Storico. When visiting the Pantheon in Rome, you are already in the heart of its Centro Storico. You might as well continue in this direction and explore the narrow alleys that so much history have witnessed and where so many important figures have gone past.
- Piazza del Popolo. Before leaving the city center, devote some time to exploring the wonderful Piazza del Popolo at the end of Via del Corso towards Flaminio. It takes some 20 minutes on foot from the Pantheon but it’s a pleasant walk across the streets of the historic center and the windows of important shopping hubs.
- Castel Sant’Angelo. Whether you are taking our favorite Roman Icons tour or not, I definitely recommend visiting Castel Sant’Angelo. Even though its exterior makes for fantastic postcard pictures, I suggest you don’t skip entering because it gives you a fascinating insight into the layers of history of the city. It takes some 15 minutes on foot from the Pantheon so quite around the corner.
Where to eat near the Pantheon
Visiting the Pantheon in Rome got you hungry? Fret not, I will give you plenty of options to fill up and keep going.
- Armando al Pantheon (Salita de’ Crescenzi 31). This is probably the most famous among the restaurants near the Pantheon. Famous for its traditional Roman dishes, reservation is mandatory otherwise you will hardly find any table available.
- Ginger (Piazza Sant’Eustachio 54-55). This is your choice if you want to eat light and healthy. Steamed veggies and fish, wholegrain rice, and plant-based alternatives are some of the options you will find at Ginger for a fulfilling yet light meal. Behind the Pantheon only a few minutes on foot.
- Retrobottega (Via d’Ascanio 26A). One of the favorite restaurants in Rome, Retrobottega serves innovative dishes blending modernity and tradition with the original touch of its chef.
- Coromandel (Via di Monte Giordano 60/61). This is easily one of our favorite breakfast places in Rome. Treat yourself to the dishes of Coromandel for breakfast before visiting the Pantheon or right after with their scrumptious brunch.
- Gunther Gelato Italiano (Piazza Sant’Eustachio 47). This is one of our favorite gelaterias in Rome where we always like to stop whenever we are in the city center. It’s right behind the Pantheon so quite an unmissable stop if you are a sweet tooth.
Where to stay near the Pantheon
Being right in the heart of Rome’s most touristy areas, it’s normal that there are plenty of hotels to choose from.
- High-end. Singer Palace Hotel.
- Mid-range. Albergo del Senato.
- Budget. Hub Pantheon.
- Guesthouse. Dimora degli Dei.
For more options, see our full guide to the best hotels near the Pantheon.
- Address: Piazza della Rotonda
- How to get there: Bus (30, 40, 46, 51, 62, 63, 64, 70, 81, 83, 87, 492, 628), Metro A (Spagna, Barberini).
- Opening hours: Every day 9 am-7 pm, last entrance at 6.30 pm. Closed on January 1st and December 25th.
- Entrance fee: 5€.
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