The Pantheon in Rome is almost 2000 years old, making it the oldest building in the world still in use today.
Pantheon is derived from the ancient Greek words ‘Pan’ (all) and Theos (God) and was used to worship all Gods.
Since the 7th century, it has been a Roman Catholic church.
More than seven million people visit the Pantheon each year.
Table of contents
- How to reach Pantheon in Rome
- Pantheon Rome hours
- Best time to visit Pantheon Rome
- How long does Pantheon Rome take?
- Tickets for Pantheon Rome
- Pantheon Audio Guide Tour
- Guided tour of Pantheon Rome
- What’s inside Pantheon Rome
- Pantheon Rome’s dress code
How to reach Pantheon in Rome
The Pantheon is in Piazza della Rotonda, Rome. Get Directions
Barberini subway station serviced by Line A is around 700 meters (half a mile) from the Pantheon.
Bus numbers 30, 40, 62, 64, 81, 87, and 492 can drop you at Largo di Torre Argentina, which is about 400 meters (a quarter of a mile) from the Pantheon.
Pantheon Rome hours
The Pantheon Basilica in Rome is open from 9 am to 7 pm, daily.
The last entry is at 6.30 pm.
The Pantheon in Rome is also a working church called the Basilica of Sancta Maria ad Martyres and conducts regular mass.
On Sunday and public holidays, mass is at 10.30 am. On Saturdays and pre-holidays it is at 5 pm.
The monument remains closed on 1 Jan, 15 Aug, and 25 Dec.
Best time to visit Pantheon Rome
The best time to visit the Pantheon in Rome is between 9 am and 11 am, when the crowd hasn’t started coming in yet.
Large tour groups start streaming at around 11 am and continue till 4 pm.
If you can’t make it in the morning, 4 pm and 6 pm is the next best slot.
Just that after the sun goes down, you won’t be able to see the light entering the oculus and its reverse sundial effect.
Roman Pantheon is much busier on weekends than it is during weekdays.
How long does Pantheon Rome take?
Most visitors spend around 30 minutes exploring the Pantheon in Rome.
The duration of Pantheon’s audio guide, which you can book in advance, is 35 minutes.
Since the Pantheon doesn’t take much time, some tourists club it with other nearby attractions such as Piazza Navona, 300 meters away, Trevi Fountain, 700 meters away, and the Spanish Steps, a little more than a kilometer away.
Tickets for Pantheon Rome
At the beginning of 2018, the Italian Culture Minister had announced entry tickets for Pantheon Rome.
He had cited the need to cover the high costs of running the historic building in the center of Rome and proposed a €2/person entrance fee for the Pantheon.
However, entry tickets for the Pantheon are yet to be implemented, and visitors can enter the monument for free.
To capitalize on this confusion, some scamsters hang around in front of the Roman monument and try to sell Pantheon Rome tickets. Please don’t fall for their tricks.
However, we recommend you get the audio guide tour, which helps you understand the significance of the 2000-year-old monument.
For an even memorable visit, you can opt for the guided tour of Pantheon.
Pantheon Audio Guide Tour
Pantheon Rome’s 35-minute audio guide tour helps visitors unravel the obscure history of the monument.
The audio guide talks about the revered temple and mausoleum and its fascinating architectural features such as the oculus, dome, etc.
The tour also offers 15 listening points and a map to locate points of interest inside the Basilica.
Visitors can collect their audio guide at the desk inside the Pantheon after showing their audio guide voucher and an ID with a photograph.
It is better to bring your wired earphones with a jack for Android devices (no Bluetooth, no wireless, no iPhone). Else, you can buy them at the audio guide help desk for €1 apiece.
Update: Because of the pandemic, it is mandatory to reserve a slot for weekend visits to the Pantheon. However, when you book an audio guide, you don’t need to reserve your entry slot – you can show the voucher in your email and walk in.
Guided tour of Pantheon Rome
For the most memorable experience, we recommend a guided tour of the Pantheon.
A local expert takes you on a 40-minute tour of the monument and shares stories about the history, architecture, and personalities involved.
Besides learning about the ancient monument, a guided tour will also help you skip the long lines, especially if you are visiting during peak hours.
If you have more time, you can opt for the guided tour of Pantheon and surrounding squares and churches.
If money isn’t an issue, but you prefer one-on-one attention and tour customization, a private tour of Pantheon Rome is a better idea.
If you want to include surrounding areas and churches in your private tour of the Pantheon, check this out.
For a more elaborate tour, check out the 4-hour tour of Rome on a power-assisted electric bike, which includes a visit to the Pantheon. The bike tour is also available at night.
What’s inside Pantheon Rome
Pantheon in Rome follows the rules of Classical architecture laid out by Vitruvius, military engineer and architect for Julius Caesar.
The building is 43.2 meters (142 feet) tall and has the same width, giving it the impression of balance and harmony.
Made of bricks and concrete, the Roman Pantheon consists of three parts – a portico with granite columns, a massive dome, and a rectangular area connecting the two.
During your visit to Pantheon Rome, the first feature you spot is the beautiful portico in the front, supported by sixteen columns.
The shafts (cylindrical part of the column) are carved out of premium Egyptian granite, shipped from Egypt, over the mediterranean sea.
The capitals (decorative top of the column) and bases were carved from white Greek marble.
These Corinthian columns supporting the portico weigh 60 tons each and are 11.8 meters (39 feet) tall and 1.5 meters (five feet) wide.
Inscription at the entrance
The current Pantheon is the third building at the same site.
Marcus Agrippa built the first version in 27 BC, and after it burned down, Emperor Domitian rebuilt it.
Unfortunately, the second building was struck by lightning and subsequently destroyed.
King Hadrian built the current monument between 118-128 AD, which is still standing after 2000 years.
For reasons unknown, he reused the original inscription attributing the building to Agrippa.
Don’t forget to read the inscription before you step inside Pantheon Rome.
It reads: “Marcus Agrippa, the son of Lucius, three times consul, made this.”
The Pantheon has a hole in its dome that measures 8.2 meters (27 feet) in diameter.
The oculus in the dome’s center is also known as ‘The Eye of the Pantheon,’ and it was the only light source when the monument was built.
Since it is open to the elements, rain also gets inside the building from the massive hole.
However, a gently sloping floor and 22 well-hidden drainage holes ensure there is no waterlogging.
Pantheon’s dome, which measures 43.2 meters in diameter, held the record for the largest dome in the world for over 1300 years.
Its record got beaten when Filippo Brunelleschi got inspired by Pantheon and engineered the dome of Florence Cathedral.
However, it is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.
The Roman Pantheon’s dome was initially covered in bronze, but all of it got stripped away with time.
Tombs inside Pantheon
Inside the Pantheon, visitors can also see the tombs of many famous Italians.
It is the final resting place of Vittorio Emanuele II (in pic) and his son Umberto I, the first two kings of unified Italy.
Visitors can also see the tombs of painter Raphael, composer Arcangelo Corelli, architect Baldassare Peruzzi, etc.
Pantheon Rome’s dress code
The Pantheon is still a working church – its name is Santa Maria e Martiri (St Mary and all the Martyrs).
As with all religious places in Italy, visitors should dress appropriately to enter the ancient building.
Men should wear trousers or jeans and women should wear pants or skirts – anything that keeps their legs covered.
You must also cover your shoulders, so a tshirt or a wrap-around is usually fine.
It is better not to wear flip-flops and be quiet for the duration of your visit.
Popular attractions in Rome
# St Peter’s Basilica
# Vatican Museums
# Sistine Chapel
# Borghese Gallery
# Roman Forum
# Castel Sant’Angelo
# Capitoline Museum
# Catacombs of Rome
# Mamertine Prison
# Leonardo Da Vinci Experience
# Gladiator School Rome