Best Rome Catacombs Tour 2023 – Ultimate Visiting Guide
With a history of over 3,000 years, it is no surprise that Rome is known as the Eternal City. Besides iconic landmarks like Pantheon and the Colosseum, the catacombs of Rome also offer a fascinating glimpse into the city’s glorious past. Several of these historic catacombs are open to the public, allowing visitors to explore the fascinating underground tunnels. There are many wonders to be found at each complex, from ancient artworks to underground burial chambers that once housed Christian martyrs and early popes. If you plan to explore ancient Roman catacombs, we recommend you to keep reading our insightful guide, which contains everything you should know before visiting.
Why should you visit the Roman Catacombs?
During ancient Rome, burial places within city walls were forbidden. Due to this, early Christians could not bury their dead, so they built catacombs outside the city. Catacombs derive their name from the Greek words katà (under) and kymbe (cavity), and their origins date back to the first burial grounds built nearby natural caves. As time passed, the underground tunnels and galleries became more extensive.
Today, Rome has more than 50 catacombs built along routes leading out of town, including Via Appia, Ostiense, Labicana, Tiburtina, and Nomentana. Few of them are open to the public, and they are definitely worth a visit.
How to visit Roman Catacombs?
By far, the best way to explore Rome’s Catacombs is by going on a guided tour. That way, you will be able to explore those fascinating burial sites to the fullest. Expert guides will show you all the interesting points of catacombs since they know them like the back of their hand. There are also some well-preserved frescoes inside the catacombs that you will have a chance to see. In order to fully comprehend what these murals mean, it is best to take a guided Roman Catacombs Tour.
How to get to the Catacombs?
GUIDED TOUR: Going on a tour is the easiest way of visiting the catacombs and monuments on the Via Appia. Book a Rome Catacombs tour which includes transport, entrance tickets, and a tour guide.
BUS: Despite being the cheapest method of transportation, you’ll lose a lot of time going there on your own. The 118 and 218 lines go to San Calixto and San Sebastián, and lines 218 and 716 go to the Catacombs of Domitila.
TAXI: Alternatively, you can take a taxi, but keep in mind that this is the most expensive option, and finding a taxi for the return trip to Rome can be quite challenging.
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Rome Catacombs Guided Tour
Take a guided tour of Christian catacombs and discover the immense underground cemetery with skip-the-line access. Travel in an air-conditioned coach and learn all about the tragic persecution of Christians by Roman emperors with an expert tour guide. Along the way, marvel at the Christian frescoes discovered in the 3rd century.
Skip the line
Valuable tips for visiting the Roman Catacombs
Plan your trip ahead!
Planning your trip to Rome Catacombs beforehand will allow you to avoid all possible complications and have a completely stress-free visit. You can start planning your trip by selecting a date of visit and purchasing your Rome Catacombs tickets or tours in advance.
Roman Catacombs are sacred places, so make sure to wear appropriate clothing when visiting. Please keep in mind that your shoulders and knees must be covered. Also, it is quite cold under the ground, so we suggest bringing a sweater.
Book a tour that includes direct access
The catacombs attract a large number of visitors, especially during the summer months. So, you might wait for a longer time at the entrance. Although, if you want to avoid that, we recommend booking a hand-picked tour that includes skip-the-line access.
Bring enough water and snacks
Most catacombs are far away from restaurants and shops, so bringing enough water and snacks is essential.
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THIS TOUR INCLUDES
- Access to Capuchin Crypt (the Bone Chapel)
- Entrance to Catacombs of Rome
- Live tour guide
- Small group
- Transport from the meeting point
- Drop-off: Bus / coach
See what others have to say about Rome Catacombs Tour!
Best tour guides
Angela was a fantastic guide! She seemed to genuinely enjoy talking to us and answering our questions. She was very passionate and knowledgeable about the sites we visited. The catacombs were eerie yet beautiful. It felt like a privilege to visit such relics!
Worth your time and money
Tour was amazing! We were divided into small groups, which made it easy to hear the guide and ask questions if required. Catacombs are very interesting to visit! Our tour guide "Alan" was amazing and great at answering questions!
FAQ – Visiting Rome Catacombs
Are the Roman catacombs worth seeing?Yes! Roman catacombs are definitely worth your visit. You will have an amazing opportunity to learn more about parts of the city’s history you might not otherwise come across.
Can you tour the Roman catacombs?Roman catacombs can be explored on your own or on a guided tour that includes transport to all catacombs. To get the most out of your visit, we highly advise you choose a guided tour. By doing so, you will be able to explore catacombs with an expert tour guide who will give you a better insight into their history.
What is the best catacomb in Rome?There is something special about every single Rome Catacomb, and we highly recommend visiting them all. And you can do that by going on our selected Rome Catacombs Tour. Visit numerous iconic sites, including the Catacombs of San Callisto, the catacombs of Domitilla, and the basilica of San Pancrazio.
What was the purpose of the Roman catacombs?During the second to fifth centuries, Christians and Jews used the Catacombs of Rome as underground burial grounds.
What else should I visit while staying in Rome?Rome has many incredible landmarks that you should visit while staying there. You can choose between numerous Rome tours. But visiting Colosseum, going on a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica or Vatican Museums is simply a must-do!
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