Visiting the Colosseum: 5 Ways To Skip The Line and Useful Tips

Who I am
Aina Martin
@ainamartin
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Il Coliseum, one of the most recognizable symbols of the Roman Empire, should be at the top of the itinerary of anyone visiting Rome for the first time. Also known as Flavian Amphitheatre, this ancient arena was the scene of countless and bloody battles of gladiators and wild animals.

Although many people say to look for, when they travel, what to see off the tourist routes, I strongly believe that no one with a minimum of salt in their guts would ever dream of going to Rome and skipping the visit to the Colosseum.



Anyone wishing to buy the ticket online (recommended to avoid the queue and crowds at the entrance), can do so by clicking on the red button below.

COLOSSEUM TICKETS

ROMA TOURIST CARD

ATTENTION COVID 2021 UPDATE

From 29 Maggio 2021 the Archaeological Park of the Colosseum has reactivated the entrances but Reservation is compulsory online and by telephone also for the same day.

From Monday 3 May the Southern slopes of the Palatine with the following timetable: from 10:30 am to 18:45 pm with last admission at 18:15 pm and public exit at 18:30 pm.

The Park areas can be visited only and exclusively by booking your entrance online.

Ahhh, Rome, the Eternal City! Rome is a city that is so dear to me, that I love madly and the city that I think is the most beautiful in the world. It has no equal, but I'm not the only one who thinks it, I know. This is why it is so crowded at times.

And how many things are there to do in Rome? I believe that not even a whole week could be enough to see everything.


However, if you have only one day, or a whole month, it does not matter: for sure the visit to the Colosseum, UNESCO World Heritage Site and among the most famous attractions as well as the most iconic and photographed, you just can't miss it.


And being also one of the most popular attractions (and therefore with very long queues) here is this post that I hope will give you some useful tips on how to visit this wonder (trust me, no photos you will see will ever do it justice) in the best way and why not , avoiding the endless lines you might find.

  • 1 - Visit to the Colosseum
    • The Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill
  • 5 ways to skip the line
    • SOLUTION 1. Buy your ticket at the entrance to the Roman Forum
    • SOLUTION 2. Buy official tickets online
    • SOLUTION 3. Buy tickets Skip the line
    • SOLUTION 4. Buy the Roma City Pass
    • SOLUTION 5. Buy the Colosseum Tour at night with access to the underground
  • Useful Information for Visiting the Colosseum

Visit to the Colosseum

Surely the most exciting moment of a visit to the Colosseum is the part in underground, as it is the only part that has remained practically completely preserved.


Please note:: the underground, as well as the arena floor and the third ring, cannot be visited with a standard ticket, but a guided tour that includes them must be purchased.

The basements in fact remained buried immediately after the end of the Roman Empire until a century ago. Inside you can see the marble coatings, some structures commissioned by Domitian and the traces and remains of the freight elevators that carried animals and gladiators on the arena floor.

The canals that carried water inside the Colosseum are also still visible (did you know that even the arena was flooded to create real naval battles?) And the sewer system thanks to which many objects were found (exposed in the display cases) that were able to shed light on the different lifestyles of the spectators.


Unfortunately the rest of the Colosseum is a bit of an architectural skeleton as over the centuries it has been robbed of both the marble and the various coatings, and the stones that made it up when in the Middle Ages the amphitheater became a sort of quarry within the city.

Al third level is accessed via a steep staircase, but from the top you can enjoy not only the most spectacular view of the Colosseum, but also of the Roman Forum and the neighbor Arch of Constantine.

Like the underground, the third ring cannot be visited with a standard ticket. In any case, trust that even from the second ring you can enjoy a super view!


While visiting the Colosseum, the emotion is enormous. Listening to the guide's tales (for this I absolutely recommend a guided tour) it almost seems to see the ancient arena come back to life, with the spectators shouting, the people crowded in the stands, the beasts and the gladiators.

The Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill

Il Roman Forum it's one of the coolest things to see in Rome, and it's right next to the Colosseum - so most people visit on the same day. In the early days of the Republic this was a chaotic place with food stalls, brothels, temples and the house of the Senate. Eventually the food stalls were replaced by shopping malls and courts and the Forum became a ceremonial center under the Empire.

Il palatine it is one of my favorite places in Rome. According to legend, this hill is where the twins Romulus and Remus were raised by the she-wolf and where Romulus, having killed his brother, founded the village which later became Rome. Historically speaking, the Palatine Hill was once the residence of emperors and aristocrats.


5 Ways To Skip The Line

The Colosseum has around 11.000 visitors a day on average and this number increases more during the high season, reaching 30.000 people a day!

Le queues to enter the Colosseum they can therefore be very long and if one has limited time in the city, this can be very annoying, and it becomes even more so in the summer season when you have to stand in line under the scorching sun.

Personally I always believe that buy a guided tour online with a Skip-the-line ticket is the best choice. First of all a guided tour is useful and secondly it also offers another advantage and that is that the guided tours usually include a tour of the arena floor, the third level and even the dungeons.

MOST POPULAR TICKETS AND SKIP-THE-LINE TOURS

    • ☞ TOUR Colosseum, Vatican, Forum and Palatine Hill. Skip the line
    • ☞ Ticket Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill with expert guide

Please note:: from 30 September 2018 you can only buy tickets with hourly admission for groups and individuals, with various solutions for the visit.

So take advantage of these mine tips to get the best out of your visit to the Colosseum (avoiding the queues)

SOLUTION 1. Buy your ticket at the entrance to the Roman Forum

Ok it may seem complicated, so let me explain: when you buy a ticket for the Colosseum, regardless of the option you choose, you will have automatically included the Roman Forum.

The Roman Forum tour includes the Palatine Hill and the Colosseum. And vice versa, the Colosseum tour includes Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

So what does it mean to us, smart travelers?

If you go first to the Forum and then to the Colosseum, you will pay a visit with a much shorter line!

Perhaps it is clearer if you look at the map below:

photocredit @romevacationtips

I therefore recommend that you take advantage of theentrance to the Roman Forum (located at the end of Via Cavour, see the map above): usually there is not a lot of crowds and confusion. Once you are done with the Roman Forum, go to the entrance to the Colosseum and you will enter without queuing because you already have your ticket!

By the way, you can also use the ticket the next day, it is valid for 48 hours, so you don't need to visit both attractions in one day if you are tired or just don't feel like it.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In April 2016, security measures at the Colosseum were increased. All visitors, including skip-the-line ticket holders and guided tour participants, must go through a security check which includes a metal detector. The security checkout queue can be very long, with waiting times of an hour or more, so plan accordingly. Backpacks, large bags and luggage are not allowed inside the Colosseum.

PRICE: the ticket costs 12 € and it doesn't matter where you buy it.

Dispassionate advice: if you decide to visit the Colosseum of the Roman Forum first, make sure you arrive well in advance: the ideal is half an hour before opening time.

SOLUTION 2. Buy official tickets online

This is the site where to buy i official tickets (yes, don't mind the strange web address, this is actually the official site). The price for the full ticket is 14 € (2 € more than buying on the spot due to a “booking fee”. Be prepared for these fees, they are apparently very normal for Rome). The price also includes an audio guide.

Print the pdf version and take it with you.

If you are under 18 (you or your children), you will get in for free!

PRICE: € 14 (€ 12 + € 2 online processing fee)

SOLUTION 3. Buy tickets Skip the line

I tickets Skip the line they are the best way to avoid waiting hours in line. There are both the simple ticket with entrance to the Colosseum or there are also other types of tours, group tours or private tours.

1. Guided Group Tours

It is much more interesting to discover something as old as the Colosseum with an expert guide, believe me! Having a live guide and not having to worry about queuing is, in my opinion, the best option.

Not only will you enter through a special entrance reserved for groups, but the wait at security checks will also be reduced to almost 0.

There are so many Colosseum tours that you might find yourself a little confused when choosing one, then which tour to choose?

I recommend doing a tour with access to restricted areas closed to the public. Your tour guide will take you underground where the wild animals used to be and up to the third level of the Colosseum for an incredible view!

PRICE: around € 45 per person depending on the tour

2. Private guided tours:

If you want to explore the Colosseum at your own pace with an expert guide, a exclusive private tour instead it is the one for you.

Of course, there is no waiting, you will be taken to all the secret places that you usually do they are not available and open to the public, you will not have to rush after others and the guide will be ready to answer any of your questions!

PRICE: from 70 € per person (it depends on how many of you are. If you are 2, the tour will be 150 per person, if you are 4, it is 90 per person)

☞ You can see and buy all types of guided tours available here

SOLUTION 4. Buy the Roma City Pass

Buy one of the Rome Pass it could be an excellent solution to skip the line at the Colosseum and numerous other important monuments of Rome.

There are currently 4 sightseeing tour passes on the market, but only 2 of them save you money.

Roma Tourist Card  - This ticket is pretty cool because it's 100% mobile, so you don't need to pick it up somewhere. It includes the major attractions of Rome, such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica. You also have a 10% discount on other attractions in Rome.

OMNIA Pass - if you want visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, this pass will save you over € 10 per person and, thanks to the preferential entry, it will also save you hours of waiting in line.

See here the DISCOUNT Cards for ROME

SOLUTION 5. Buy the Colosseum Tour at night with underground access

Il tour starts at 21:30 pm and lasts 2,5 hours. At this time of night, the Colosseum is practically empty, so you will have a truly rare experience as your guide will accompany you around telling you stories about Roman emperors and mighty gladiators!

During a visit to the Colosseum at night, you will visit the main levels (the first and second) of the Colosseum, which are the ones that are also done during the day.

But you can also go out on the "floor" of the Colosseum ... the arena floor, and you will visit the hypogeum just below it.

Dispassionate tip: Only a handful of groups are allowed, so it's a much more personal experience. Sometimes the “Pay more to see more” approach is really worth it! Book well in advance because otherwise you will not find a place.

PRICE: € 87 per person. I think this is the best tour in the market at the moment, mostly for the atmosphere and the beauty of experiencing such a place with no one around.

Visit to the Colosseum: useful information

Where is the Colosseum: Piazza del Colosseo. Metro line B, Colosseo stop or Tram line 3.

Schedule: open every day from 8:30 am until one hour before sunset (therefore the times vary according to the season), therefore the closing times are from 16:30 pm in winter to 19:15 pm in April until August. Last admission is 1 hour before closing.

Closed on January 1st, December 25th and the morning of June 2nd (usually opens at 13pm).

Entrance: 35 euros for a ticket that includes entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The ticket is valid for 2 days, with one entrance to each of the 2 sites (Colosseum and Roman Forum / Palatine Hill). Free on the first Sunday of the month (not recommended because it is super crowded).

La duration of the visit to the Colosseum it depends on the ticket or tour chosen, but lasts on average approximately 3 hours.

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