Catacombs of Rome – tours, ticket prices, hours, how to reach

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Catacombs are underground passageways used as a place of burial by Pagans, Christians, and Jews.

These Catacombs also had relics of martyrs and saints, because of which the early Christians used these underground sites for worship as well. 

The Catacombs in Rome were in use from the second century to the fifth century.

Catacomb comes from Greek kata (near) and kymbas (cavity), meaning ‘next to a cavity.’ 

No wonder then that the earliest Catacombs were in the outskirts of Rome, next to quarries.

Tourists love Roman Catacombs because they reveal the darker side of the city. 

In this article, we share everything you must know before booking a tour of Catacombs in Rome.

How many Catacombs are in Rome?

Archeologists have unearthed more than sixty catacombs under the city of Rome. 

These run into hundreds of kilometers of underground tunnels with thousands of tombs – mostly ordinary folks and some Popes and Martyrs. 

Of these, only five catacombs are open to the public now. They are – 

Out of these five, the catacombs of San Sebastiano and the Catacombs of San Callisto are most popular. 

That’s why more than 80 percent of the Roman Catacombs tours take you to these two sites. 

Visitors can’t explore these underground burial sites by themselves. 

Everyone must book guided tours of these catacombs, which usually last 30 to 40 minutes. 


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Catacombs of San Sebastiano

San Sebastian catacombs are the world’s first underground burial sites. 

The Catacombs of San Sebastian are along the first 6 km (4 miles) stretch of Via Appia.

These 12 kilometers (7.5 km) long catacombs owe their name to San Sebastiano, a soldier who became a martyr for converting to Christianity. 

Reaching San Sebastiano Catacombs

The Catacombs of San Sebastian is right next to the Catacombs of St. Callixtus on the Appian Way.

You can board Bus Route 118 From Colosseo or Circo Massimo metro station on Line B to get to the San Sebastian Catacombs.

Or you can board bus route 218 From San Giovanni station on Line A.

Opening hours

The Catacombs of San Sebastiano are open from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm, every day of the week.

The last entry into the underground burial site is at 5 pm.

Tours of San Sebastiano Catacombs

The Catacomb of San Sebastiano organizes guided tours in English, Italian, French, German, and Spanish.

When you buy the tickets at the venue, they will cost you €8 for adults 17 years and above. 

Kids aged seven to 16 years, students with valid ID cards, and priests get a €3 discount and pay only €5 to enter. 

Most users book tours that include transport from the city and visits to nearby attractions.

Tours
St Sebastian Catacombs and Appian Way
Catacombs and Roman Countryside
Private tour of the Catacombs of Rome
Catacombs tour for cruise passengers

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Catacombs of San Callisto

Crypt of the Popes at Callixtus Catacombs. Image: Dnalor 01, Wikipedia

The Catacombs of San Callisto are also known as the Catacombs of Callixtus and are a network of 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) of underground passageways. 

These Catacombs were the official cemetery of the Church of Rome in the 3rd century AD.

St Callixtus Catacombs on the Appian Way is the final resting place of half a million Christians, including 16 Popes. 

Reaching Callixtus Catacombs

Visitors can board Metro A (towards Anagnina) from Termini station and get down at San Giovanni (in Laterano). 

From there, get on to bus number 218 (towards Ardeatina) and get down at the Fosse Ardeatine stop.

The catacombs are a quick walk from the bus stop.

Metro A train going towards Anagnina can drop you at Arco di Travertino station, from where you can board bus number 660 and get down at the Appia Pignatelli/Appia Antica bus stop.

From the stop, the attraction is less than 300 meters (950 feet). 

Opening hours

From Thursday to Tuesday, the Catacombs of St. Callixtus open at 9 am and close at noon. 

After a two-hour break, the Catacombs re-open at 2 pm and close for the day at 5 pm. 

The tourist attraction along the Appian Way remains closed on Wednesday. 

Tours of Callixtus Catacombs

The guided tours at the Catacombs of St Callixtus in Rome begin every 30 minutes and take around 40 minutes to complete.

The catacombs can only be visited in groups of at least two persons, accompanied by the guides. 

When you purchase at the venue, the entry tickets to St Callixtus Catacombs costs €8 for adults 17 years and above. 

Kids aged seven to 16 years, students with valid ID cards, and priests get a €3 discount and pay only €5 to enter. 

Since visitors can explore St Callixtus Catacombs in 45 minutes, tours usually include many nearby attractions like the Appian Way, Capuchin Crypt, Roman Aqueducts, etc. 

Tours
Guided tour of Callixtus Catacombs
Tour of Callixtus Catacombs with transport
Catacombs of Callixtus + Appian Way
Catacombs + Capuchin Crypt + Roman Aqueducts

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Catacombs of Priscilla

Catacombs of Priscilla are located on the Via Salaria, an ancient road leading north out of Rome.

Its main draw is the Cappella Greca (or Greek Chapel) and the many intricate frescoes featuring women.

These frescoes hold great importance for art and religious history. For instance, it has the first representations of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding baby Jesus.

These underground pathways hold at least 40,000 tombs, including the tombs of seven popes.

Reaching Catacombs of Priscilla

Catacombs of Priscilla are at via Salaria, 430 – away from the catacombs on the Appian Way. 

 S. Agnese Annibaliano station and Libia station, both served by Line B, are closest to the Priscilla Catacombs. 

Both the subway stations are around a km (.6 miles) from the attraction, and you can walk the distance in less than 15 minutes. 

If you prefer a bus, board Lines 63 and 83 from the city center, or lines 92 and 310 from Roma Termini.

Opening hours

From Tuesday to Sunday, the Catacombs of Priscilla are open from 9 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 5 pm.

They remain closed on Mondays.

Morning’s last guided tour starts at 11.30 am and evening’s last tour starts at 4.30 pm.

Priscilla Catacomb tickets

Visitors can purchase tickets to the Priscilla Catacombs at the venue. 

For adults 17 years and above, the catacomb tickets are priced at €8.

Kids aged seven to 16 years, students with valid ID cards, and priests get a €3 discount and pay only €5 to enter. 

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Catacombs of Domitilla

The Last Supper at Catacombs of Domitilla. Image: Wga.hu

Domitilla Catacombs is one of the largest and the most ancient underground cemeteries, and it gets its name from Flavia Domitilla, who initially ordered the site’s creation. 

Flavia Domitilla was the granddaughter of emperor Vespasian (builder of the Colosseum), who had converted to Christianity and, as a result, exiled.

Saint Domitilla Catacombs are situated 16 meters (52 feet) underground and are 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) in length. 

It has more than 26,000 tombs and, unlike other Roman catacombs, still has the remains of humans.

Reaching Catacombs of St Domitilla

The Catacombs of Domitilla are in the southern outskirts of Rome on Via delle Sette Chiese, 282. 

You can take bus number 714 from Termini station and get down at Navigatori bus stop.

From the stop, the ancient burial place is a brisk ten-minute walk. 

Bus number 716 from Piazza Venezia in the city center and bus number 218 from San Giovanni metro station can also drop you close to the Catacombs. 

Opening hours

From Wednesday to Monday, the Catacombs of Domitilla are open from 9 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 5 pm.

They remain closed on Tuesdays.

Morning’s last guided tour starts at 11.30 am and evening’s last tour starts at 4.30 pm.

Domitilla Catacomb tickets

Visitors can purchase guided tour tickets to the Catacombs of St Domitilla at the venue. 

For adults 17 years and above, the entry tickets are priced at €8.

Kids aged seven to 16 years and students with valid ID cards pay a discounted price of €5 for their admission.

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Catacomb of St. Agnes

Image: Wikipedia

The Catacomb of St. Agnes has three levels and is divided into four regions. 

After being a martyr because of her Christian faith, Saint Agnes was buried in these catacombs, which eventually took on her name. 

Agnes died at just twelve years of age and underwent tremendous torments – fire, decapitation, etc. before she was murdered. 

Because of how she died for her devotion to Jesus, Agnes became an influential figure immediately after her martyrdom. 

Byzantine Basilica, built right above her tomb, is dedicated to her.

Reaching Catacomb of Saint Agnes

The Catacomb of Saint Agnes is at the second mile of via Nomentana.

You can board bus number 60 Express from Piazza Venezia in the city center or Line 90 from Rome Termini station.

You must get down at the Nomentana/XXI Aprile bus stop, which is just 250 meters (800 feet) from Saint Agnes Catacombs.

If you prefer the Metro, board the B1 train and get down at St. Agnese/Annibaliano, which is 400 meters (1300 feet) from the Catacombs.

Opening hours

From Thursday to Saturday, the Catacombs of Saint Agnes is open from 9 am to 12 pm and 3 pm to 6 pm.

On Sundays, the Catacombs open at 3 pm and close at 6 pm.

The underground burial site remains closed on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Saint Agnes Catacomb tickets

Official guides lead tours of Saint Agnes Catacombs, and to join the group, visitors can purchase tickets at the venue. 

For adults 17 years and above, the tour tickets are priced at €8.

Kids aged seven to 16 years and students with valid ID cards pay a discounted price of €5 for their entry. 

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What to wear to Catacombs in Rome

Catacombs anywhere in the world are considered a holy place and a site of worship. 

That’s why visitors must dress up appropriately – no shorts or sleeveless tops are allowed for both men and women. 

Women must cover their shoulders. If you plan to wear a skirt or trousers, please ensure it is below knee-level.

Don’t forget to take a jacket with you because the temperature inside most Roman catacombs hovers around 16 ° C (60 ° F) with high humidity.

Popular attractions in Rome

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# Roman Forum
# Castel Sant’Angelo
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# Pantheon Rome
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Anmol Sabharwal: She is a finance graduate with a bucket list full of places to visit and historic cities to explore. She loves to chat up and strike friendships with other travelers when she is on the move. Favorite Cities: Antwerp, Koyoto, Muscat, Bangkok

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