The top tips for visiting the Colosseum to get the most out of your Colosseum visit.
Tips for Visiting the Colosseum in Rome: Tickets, Tours & More
The Colosseum is the most famous monument of Rome. It is one of the 7 New Wonders of the World.
The Colosseum is a World Heritage Site and the most visited attraction in Rome, Italy. More than 6 million people visit this wonder of Ancient Rome each year. Visiting the Colosseum is an essential part of any Rome itinerary.
Thus, it is necessary to plan to visit the Colosseum in advance. Here are the top travel tips to help you plan a visit to the Colosseum.
But, first let’s explain what the Colosseum is, where in Rome it is located, and how to get to the Colosseum.
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- What is the Colosseum
- Where is the Colosseum located in Rome?
- How to get to the Colosseum
- 19 TOP Tips for Visiting the Colosseum in Rome
- 1. Choose how you want to visit the Colosseum
- 2. Book Colosseum tickets online in advance
- 3. Decide what you want to see
- 4. Book a guided tour of the Colosseum to get valuable expert insights into the history of the Colosseum
- 5. If you decide not to take a guided tour, book your Colosseum tickets online (not at the site)
- 6. Book a tour of the Colosseum underground to see the best of Colosseum
- 7. Plan to visit the Colosseum in the afternoon and the Forum and the Palantine the following morning
- 8. Carry your ID to the Colosseum
- 9. Consider getting a Roma Pass
- 10. Visiting Colosseum with kids
- 11. Visit the Colosseum for free
- 12. Keep in mind that the Colosseum might be closed on certain days
- 13. Wear comfortable shoes when visiting the Colosseum
- 14. Remember that large bags are not allowed in the Colosseum
- 15. Allow yourself enough time to visit the Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill
- 16. Visit the Colosseum early in the morning
- 17. See the Arch of Constantine
- 18. Inspect the viewpoints of the Colosseum
- 19. Best time to visit the Colosseum
- The Colosseum tickets
- The Colosseum’s opening hours
- Colosseum hours of operation
What is the Colosseum
The Colosseum is the most famous ancient Roman amphitheater. This three-tiered Roman theater was built between 72 and 80 AD. It is the largest amphitheater ever built. The Colosseum in Rome had enough space to receive more than 50,000 spectators.
The Colosseum had 80 entrance arches that let people enter and exit the theatre smoothly. This Amphitheatre was mainly for gladiator fights, animal fights, and public executions.
The Colosseum got its name after the ‘colossal’ statue of Emperor Nero that once stood next to it. Today, the Colosseum in Rome is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
Where is the Colosseum located in Rome?
The Colosseum is in the Piazza del Colosseo, 1, in the center of Rome. The Colosseum is only a one-minute walk from the Forum in Rome and a 1-minute walk from Palatine Hill in Rome.
How to get to the Colosseum
You can take a metro to the Colosseum (which is in the heart of the city center). Take the B Line to the “Colosseo” metro station. As soon as you exit the Colosseo station, you will see the Colosseum across the street.
Of course, a Hop-on Hop-off bus tour will stop at this famous site in Rome. Or you can take a taxi to the Colosseum.
19 TOP Tips for Visiting the Colosseum in Rome
Here are the tips for visiting the Colosseum to help you get the best out of your Colosseum visit.
1. Choose how you want to visit the Colosseum
There are two ways to visit the Colosseum. You can visit the Colosseum on a guided tour or independently (by purchasing a Colosseum ticket directly and not via third parties).
2. Book Colosseum tickets online in advance
Whether you choose to visit the Colosseum independently or on a tour, purchase your Colosseum ticket online in advance!
Although there is a ticket office right at the Colosseum, you’ll most likely have to wait in line to purchase a ticket, since tickets are timed and visitor numbers are capped at 3,000 a day. We strongly recommend buying your Colosseum tickets online.
3. Decide what you want to see
Colosseum has three levels: The First Level with the Arena Floor and the Underground (which are not included in a general ticket), the Second Level with the Museum of the Colosseum (included in a general ticket), and the Third level (also called Belvedere; not included in the general ticket).
To visit the First Level and the Third Level, you need to get special tickets. Both levels can only be visited on a tour. As you might expect, they are the best parts of the Colosseum. The most interesting part of the Colosseum is arguably Colosseum Underground.
4. Book a guided tour of the Colosseum to get valuable expert insights into the history of the Colosseum
While you can pre-book tickets online and visit this site independently, you will have a far better experience with a guided tour. You will get information about Roman history and the Colosseum from an expert guide. Nevertheless, taking a guided tour is always an option if there are no available tickets on the official site.
You can book a Standard Colosseum tour, a Colosseum Underground tour (the best part of the Colosseum), a Kid-Friendly tour of the Colosseum, a Full Experience Tour that includes Arena floor and Underground area, and a Colosseum by Night Tour(with Arena Flora and Underground).
The most popular is Rome: Priority Access Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Tour.
5. If you decide not to take a guided tour, book your Colosseum tickets online (not at the site)
You can plan your Colosseum visit and book tickets to the Colosseum through the official website. The general admission ticket gives you entry to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Check out the Colosseum’s Official site.
6. Book a tour of the Colosseum underground to see the best of Colosseum
The general admission ticket to the Colosseum does not include access to the Arena floor, the Underground area, and Level 3 of the Colosseum. You must take specific tours that include entry to these restricted areas.
The Underground area is not accessible via the general entry ticket to the Colosseum. The Colosseum Underground is a network of tunnels and cells where gladiators stood before appearing on the Arena Floor in front of the audience. The Colosseum Underground is the most exciting part of the Colosseum if you want to learn about the inner workings of the Colosseum and hear the stories about gladiators. You can access this restricted area only via a specific underground tour of the Colosseum. The Colosseum Underground Tour is a must-take if you want to get deeper insights into the Colosseum and ancient Rome.
7. Plan to visit the Colosseum in the afternoon and the Forum and the Palantine the following morning
The ticket is valid for 24 hours. A general ticket includes a visit to the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Palatine Hill. All three places are worth seeing.
Since the Colosseum ticket is valid for 24 hours, you do not have to visit all three sites on the same day. If you want to stagger your visit, you can go to the Colosseum on Day 1 evening and head to the Forum and the Palatine area the next morning.
The Roman Forum is situated next to the Colosseum. You can see this vast complex with remains of public buildings, shops, temples, and public spaces from 2000 years ago. The best views of the Colosseum and the Forum are from Palatine Hill, the oldest of the seven hills of Rome.
8. Carry your ID to the Colosseum
Take your ID with you on your visit to the Colosseum. Just your printed ticket would not be enough to enter the Colosseum.
9. Consider getting a Roma Pass
The Roma Pass is a sightseeing pass designed for tourists in Rome.
It includes free access to public transport in the city. It also has discounts and entry to some of the most famous attractions in Rome, including the Colosseum.
If you have a Roma Pass, you do need to book a time slot to the Colosseum online in advance.
10. Visiting Colosseum with kids
Kids (under 18 years of age) can enter the Colosseum for free. But you will have to collect their tickets at the counter once you show your ticket. If you visit the Colosseum on a guided tour, the tour can arrange free tickets for your kids.
Sadly our young daughter wasn’t interested in seeing any of the museums in Rome on our trip. But, the Colosseum and the open sites at the Forum were different. Our daughter was hugely interested in learning about gladiator fights and public marketplaces.
11. Visit the Colosseum for free
On the first Sunday of the month, entrance to the Colosseum is free. On the first Sundays, visitors can get tickets only at the Colosseum ticket office.
On June 2 (Republic Day) and November 4 (National Unification and Armed Forces Day), entrance to the Colosseum is also free. But expect crazy crowds waiting to get tickets and enter the sites on the free days.
12. Keep in mind that the Colosseum might be closed on certain days
The Colosseum is closed on December 25 (Christmas Day) and January 1 (New Year).
13. Wear comfortable shoes when visiting the Colosseum
There will be a lot of walking around the Colosseum, Forum, and the Palatine Hill. So make sure you are wearing comfortable walking shoes for this trip. Flip-flops and high heels are a definite no.
Also, the Forum and the Platine Hill are all in the open air, so wear a sunblock and a cap for sun protection if visiting them on sunny days.
14. Remember that large bags are not allowed in the Colosseum
You can’t take suitcases and large backpacks with you inside the Colosseum. Do carry a light and small day pack with water and some snacks.
Keep in mind that all bags go through a thorough security check. Bringing sharp objects, selfie sticks, weapons, or spray bottles inside the Colosseum is not allowed.
15. Allow yourself enough time to visit the Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill
The Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill are big sites with enough history to keep visitors absorbed for several hours. Do not rush through these historic monuments.
16. Visit the Colosseum early in the morning
Plan to visit the Colosseum earlier in the morning before the crowds come! Aim for visiting the Colosseum in the first slot in the morning!
17. See the Arch of Constantine
The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch built to honor Constantine the Great. This famous Roman arch of Trimpuh was built around 312-315 AD. The Arch of Constantine is next to the Colosseum. Visiting the Arch of Constantine is free.
18. Inspect the viewpoints of the Colosseum
The Giardinetto del Monte Oppio provides the best views of the Colosseum. If you are a photography fan and you want to catch the best shots of the Colosseum, head to Giardinetto del Monte Oppio. It is a public park next to the ‘Colosseo’ metro station.
The best panoramic viewpoint of the Colosseum interior is from the west side of Level 2.
19. Best time to visit the Colosseum
The summer months of July and August are the peak of the tourist season. Even though the Colosseum and the surrounding sites see crowds in other months, these two months are the busiest. If you go in summer, plan a visit on a weekday and avoid the weekend and public holidays. Also, plan to visit the Colosseum during morning or late evening hours to escape mid-day crowds.
The Colosseum tickets
The Standard ticket costs 18€ (16€ entrance + 2€ reservation fee). It includes a visit to Level 1 and Level 2, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, and it is valid for the next 24 hours.
The Standard Ticket with Audio Guide costs 23.50€ (21.50€ entrance fee + 2€ reservation fee) It includes a visit to Level 1 and Level 2 with audioguide and a visit to Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
The Full Experience Ticket costs 24€ (22€ entrance fees and 2€ reservation fees). It includes a visit to Level 1 (with Arena Floor and a tour of Underground), a visit to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, and entrance to so-called S.U.P.E.R sites (Casa Augustus, Palatine Museum, House of Livia, temple of Romulus, Santa Maria Antiqua, Criptoportico neroniano, and Aula Isiaca).
The Colosseum’s opening hours
The Colosseum gets open for visitors at 9 a.m. every day 7 days a week.
Colosseum hours of operation
January to February: 9 am to 4.30 pm
March: 9 am to 5.30 pm
April to September: 9 am to 7 pm
October: 9 am to 6.30 pm
November to December: 9 am to 4.30 pm
What time does the Colosseum open and close?
The Colosseum opens at 9 a.m. throughout the year.
The closure time depends on the season and month. The Colosseum closes at 4.30 pm from January to February and from November to December, at 5.30 pm in March, at 7.15 pm from March to August, at 7 pm in September, and at 6.30 pm in October.
This post was written in collaboration with Shweta who blogs at Zest In A Tote to bring family-friendly itineraries and tips, destinations, and luxury stays to her readers. Having been to over 45 countries, she believes that family travel doesn’t need to be boring and that it can be done as a mix of local culture & food, adventure activities, and relaxation, all with family. Connect with Shweta on Facebook or Instagram
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