Long opening hours and cheap combination admission tickets make seeing the early Christian monuments and Late Antiquity (and Byzantine) mosaics in Ravenna easy. Time-slot reservations are essential.
Ravenna in northeastern Italy between Venice and Bologna has some of the most splendid monuments from the Late Antiquity period. Eight sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list as superb examples of early Christian monuments and Late Antiquity and Byzantine mosaics. Opening hours are generally long without a closing day. Five of the sights are seen on the same combination ticket, one is free, and the other two offer various options.
Due to social distancing requirements, time-slot reservations are currently essential to see the top sights in Ravenna. Guided tours are available too.
Combination Tickets for UNESCO Sights in Ravenna
The UNESCO-listed monuments may be divided into the sights in central Ravenna, which use a single combination ticket, and those outside the center, which may be seen on individual or combination tickets.
Tickets for Sights in Central Ravenna:
The Basilica San Vitale, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Neonian Baptistery, and the Archbishop’s Chapel may only be seen on a combination ticket. Single admission tickets are not available.
Time-slot reservations are essential to see top sights. This is easiest done when buying the tickets online. When making time-slot reservations, add children in the number too, and bear in mind:
The Basilica San Vitale and Mausoleum of Galla Placidia are next to each other, it is around a 15-minutes walk to the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, and another 15 minutes to the Neonian Baptistery, which is next to the Archbishop’s Chapel, and about 15 minutes from San Vitale. Allow 10 minutes for the mausoleum and baptistery and around half an hour for the other sights. Add walking time and break for coffee, lunch, and other activities en route.
The combination ticket is available from any of these sites (for the Neonian Baptistery buy at the Archbishop’s Museum). However, only one person is allowed into the ticket office at any given time — buying on a phone on the day of the visit may be faster.
The ticket is currently €10.50 (€9.50 for children 6 -18) and valid for a single entry per site within a week of purchase. At times, usually, March to mid-June, a €2 surcharge is payable to see the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia — DON’T save on not seeing this magnificent site!
Admission to the Arian Baptistery is free, which helps to explain why it is the first site to close if there are any personnel shortages.
The National Museum in the San Vitale complex uses a separate ticket (€6).
Tickets for Sights Outside Central Ravenna
The UNESCO-listed sites outside central Ravenna may be seen on individual or combination tickets.
- Admission to the Mausoleum of Theodoric is €4.
- Admission to the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe is €5.
- Combination tickets for the Mausoleum, Basilica and the National Museum of Ravenna (at San Vitale) are €10. (Note that the museum is closed on Monday.)
Opening Hours of Monuments in Ravenna
Opening hours of all sights are long but time-slot reservations are currently essential — out of season usually not a problem if not made in advance but it is simple and free when buying tickets online.
Opening hours of the UNESCO-listed sites in Ravenna are generally long with sights open daily, with the notable exception of the National Museum of Ravenna that is closed on Monday.
Expect sites to be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and some other holidays. If visiting on a public holiday, or December 24 or 31, a phone call may save unnecessary disappointment, as even the official publications and websites in English fail to mention hours on these days.
Last admissions are officially 15 minutes before closing time but the ticket offices at some close 30 minutes before closing time.
The top sights are open daily, although some smaller sights may have shorter hours in the off-season (especially the Mausoleum of Theoderic).
Note that the changeover days below are approximate — the exact days change every year and are rarely as simply as the first or last day of the month:
|March to Oct||Nov to Feb|
|Basilica de San Vitale|
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
Archbishops Chapel with Museum
Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
|9:00 – 19:00||10:00 – 17:00|
|Mausoleum of Theoderic||8:30 – 19:00||8:30 – 16.30|
|Sant’Apollinare in Classe||Monday to Saturday|
8:30 – 19:30
13:00 – 19:30
|National Museum of Ravenna||Tuesday to Sunday|
8:30 – 19:30
|Closed on Monday|
Ravenna is hugely popular with tour groups and cruise boat excursions. When arriving at the same time as a cruise excursion group, the sites can get crowded. However, don’t despair, as groups generally move on fast.
Even better, temporarily join the group and get a free guided tour. Italian historic sites generally control strictly who may give guided tours. The guide will most likely be a specialist giving facts and pointing out interesting bits in a melodic Italian accent. Enjoy the monument in peace when the group moves on.
More Articles on Ravenna, Italy
Time-slot reservations are currently essential to see the top sights in Ravenna. This is easiest done when buying the tickets online.
- Top Sights to See in Ravenna
- UNESCO-Listed Sites in Ravenna
- Visiting UNESCO-Listed Sites in Ravenna – Opening Hours and Tickets
- The Neonian Baptistery & Archbishop’s Chapel
- The Arian Baptistery
- Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
- Basilica of San Vitale
- Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
- Mausoleum of Theodoric
Book Guided tours of Ravenna — tours are generally three hours. For tours not including admission fees, around €10 per person must be added. Small groups and families may find better value on private tours.