Want to visit Pantheon in Rome? The former ancient Roman temple stands majestically at Piazza Della Rotonda, and it’s one of the best-preserved structures from the Roman Empire.
I’ve been here several times, and it’s definitely one of the best attractions in Rome. Here’s a guide with everything you need to know before you visit Pantheon, including opening hours and interesting facts.
Pantheon Tickets and guided tours
Pantheon is one of the most iconic landmarks in Rome along with the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Vatican. Millions of people come here every year, and it’s a good idea to book a guided tour to Pantheon in Rome in advance.
The entrance is free since it’s a working church, and there’s no need to buy any tickets. However, if you want a guided tour to learn more about the history as well as more about the architecture, you should book this in advance.
Many tourists will just enter for a short time, which means that even if there are long lines, you don’t have to wait too long.
History and architecture
Pantheon was originally built as a temple around 27 years BC. The current building was completed about 100 years later by Emperor Hadrian, between 115-125 AD, and it’s one of the best-preserved buildings from the Roman Empire.
The Romans built Pantheon to honor the Roman gods, but since the 7th century, it has been used as a church, under the name Santa Maria ad Martyres. At the beginning of the 600s, the building was donated to Pope Boniface IV, who turned the temple into a church.
The interior is dominated by the large dome which has a diameter of 43 meters. Even today, almost 2000 years later, the dome of Pantheon is still one the largest masonry domes ever built.
If you feel that the exterior and architecture of Pantheon reminds you of other buildings around the world, you’re not wrong. The building has namely been a major inspiration for many architects around the world. Several city halls, universities, and libraries have a similar appearance.
In addition to the majestic dome, visitors can also see beautiful frescoes and statues inside Pantheon. But of course, the main attraction is the dome and the fact that the building has survived for so long.
The dome’s opening measures about 9 meters in diameter and when the temple was originally built, this was the only source of light.
General information about Pantheon
“M.AGRIPPA.L.F.COS.TERTIVM.FECIT” is the well-known inscription that goes all the way back to the first construction from 27 years B.C. If translated to English, the text means something like “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, built this temple when he was a consul”.
- Construction year: 113–125 AD
- Architect: Apollodorus of Damascus
- Type of building: Roman temple and church
- Location: Piazza Della Rotonda in Rome
- Length: 84 meters
- Width: 58 meters
- Height: 58 meters
Pantheon is open all days year-round except the following dates: 1 January, 1 May, and 25 December. However, tourists are not allowed to enter the mass that takes place every Saturday at 17:00.
Additionally, the opening hours might differ during the Holidays. Otherwise, it’s open from 08:30 to 19:30 from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, it’s open from 09:00 to 18:00.
How to get to Pantheon
There is no metro station or bus that stops outside Pantheon, but there is a bus station called Argentina a few minutes away on foot. Many buses stop here, such as 40, 60, and 64 which go to many popular areas in the city.
Pantheon is close to the Trevi Fountain as well and you can easily walk between these. Spagna is the closest metro station, which is located about 15 minutes on foot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the pantheon free in Rome?
The entrance is free to visit Pantheon, and you don’t need to book any tickets. However, if you want a guided tour, it’s recommended to book this in advance.
How old is the Pantheon in Rome?
Pantheon is the oldest building in Rome and was originally built in the year 27 BC. As of 2020, it will be 1993 years old.
Does it rain inside the Pantheon?
When it rains outside, it also rains in the Pantheon. This is due to the fact that there’s a hole in the dome.
However, the architects were aware of this and included an effective drainage system with a slightly convexed floor. This allows the water to flow away when it rains.
Is there a dress code for the pantheon?
There is no strict dress code for the Pantheon, but short skirts, short shorts, and bare shoulders are not allowed. Visitors should be mindful and dress modestly since it’s used as a church.
How long time do you need for a visit?
Unless you have a specific interest in something related to Pantheon, and you just want to see the building on the outside and inside, I would say that about 20-30 minutes is enough.
What time of the day is best to visit Pantheon?
If you want to avoid lines, it’s best to visit Pantheon when it opens in the morning. However, even during the daytime, most people will just visit for a short while, which means that you won’t have to stand in line for long.
With that said, a lot of people come here to see the sunlight entering the dome. For this, the best time to visit is between 11:00 and 13:00. The weekends are usually busier than weekdays, and I recommend to visit during the weekdays if possible.
Interesting facts about Pantheon
- The temple burned down twice in history before it was built by Emperor Hadrian
- The church is dedicated to St. Mary of the Martyrs
- Michelangelo described Pantheon as “angelic and not human design”
- The name comes from ancient Greek where pan means “all” and theos means “god”
- Between the 1500s and 1883, there were two bell towers added to the building, but they were removed in 1883
- Raphael, Annibale Carracci, Arcangelo Corelli, and Baldassare Peruzzi are some of the famous people buried inside
- The doors of the Pantheon are 6.4 meters high (21 feet)
- The Portico boasts 16 massive columns
- It’s the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world
- Only Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence has a larger brick dome
- The dome is estimated to have a weight of 4535 metric tons
Do you have more questions about Pantheon in Rome before you visit? Leave a comment below!