UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the most visited attraction in Italy in 2018. If you are organizing a weekend in Rome and have decided to visit the Colosseum, here are some tips to follow for an unforgettable experience.
- Colosseum, Rome: Tickets skip the line and queues at the entrance
- What if I don't get my ticket online?
- Visit the Colosseum in summer and with the rain
- Return to the Colosseum after restoration
- Colosseum and accessibility: visit with pushchairs and wheelchairs
- Where to eat: "Pizzicherie" and restaurants near Colosseum
"His Majesty" the Colosseum is a piece of history, a timeless myth. The worldwide fame it enjoys, makes the symbol of Rome a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, with consequent discomforts of all kinds: from the endless lines at the box office, to the chaos that reigns in Piazza del Colosseo and near the entrance to the monument. But don't panic! After reading this article you can be worry-free.
Colosseum, Rome: Tickets skip the line and queues at the entrance
Once you get off at the metro station located right in front of the attraction, as you approach the Colosseum, will appear to your eyes more and more majestic and stunning, as well as stunning will be the line that you will find at the box office!
Be careful not to fall into the classic tourist traps: in the square you will be targeted by many cunning people who propose to be your guide or by street vendors who will try to sell you everything (from selfie sticks to batteries for mobile phones).
Buy your ticket online to get priority access to the Coliseum. Doing so, you'll avoid waiting in the queue and miss the hustle and bustle of street vendors and goofy guides by heading straight to the entrance.
If you buy your ticket in advance, consider that the booking fee must be applied (a few euros more than taken on the spot): just print it out and once at the entrance, pass the barcode under the optical reader. There is no need to go to the ticket office to change or collect your ticket. Even if you book in advance, you will still have to queue up for security checks (generally quick and non-invasive): arrive at least 30 minutes before the selected visiting time.
- For children under the age of 18 and citizens of the European Union with disabilities, entry to the Coliseum is free but not fast (to take advantage of the "skip the line" option you must book your ticket online and a small surcharge will be applied to the booking fee);
- EU citizens aged between 18 and 25 can benefit from a reduction on the ticket;
- Tickets for the Colosseum (both online and on site) also include a visit to the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. The Palatine Museum and the Imperial Forums are connected and the visit is a bit long, keep in mind that the ticket is valid for 48 hours (from the first use and not from the time of purchase), so if you do not have time to see them (or vice versa, to see the Colosseum) you can go back the next day.
If you want to access the Arena and the Cavea too, you must book a guided tour among the many types of tours available: these areas can not be visited with the ordinary ticket.
For safety reasons, it is strictly forbidden to bring bulky bags, trolleys and suitcases to the Colosseum; you can only take medium/small sized backpacks with you, which will be subject to the classic metal-detector checks. For this reason, if you have travel luggage with you, the advice is to leave it temporarily in one of the luggage storage areas around the monument (always check the times online before using the service).
What if I don't get my ticket online?
If you don't have a ticket, the ideal time to visit the Coliseum is early in the morning, around 9:00 a.m., or late in the afternoon, in this way you don't have to queue up too much. Every first Sunday of the month admission is free for all visitors, but on those days it is not possible to make a ticket reservation and the ideal time is late morning (expect to stay in line anyway).
A small tip to save time: buy your ticket where there are fewer people, usually at the ticket office of the Fori Imperiali.
Visit the Colosseum in summer and with the rain
Whether it's a rainy or sunny day, the Colosseum is always a monument of disarming beauty. If you decide to visit it in the summer months, don't underestimate the heat factor.
Light clothes, hats, fans and umbrellas are recommended (if you are travelling with small children you also need sunscreen), as most of the visit takes place open air and in some areas the sun is shining.
Inside the attraction you will find many fountains available for free
Don't be frightened by bad weather, the organization is very efficient and the show is incredible even with the rain (which could leave room for wonderful rainbows to photograph!).
Return to the Colosseum after restoration
According to many who have returned to visit Colosseum after so many years, the recent restoration and cleaning works have made the experience even more complete and fascinating, bringing the Amphitheatre back to its former glory.
An excellent strategy has been to leave open to the public also the underground spaces and the areas formerly occupied by gladiators and beasts, visitable with an underground tour.
The only flaw, according to some tourists, is the general disorganization due to the confusion created by the massive influx of people and, in some areas, the inaccuracy of internal signs.
Colosseum and accessibility: visit with pushchairs and wheelchairs
If you are travelling with small children or have reduced motor skills, don't worry! The Colosseum is an excellent monument in terms of hospitality and accessibility, where those who travel with buggies or wheelchairs can move without problems thanks to a series of slides and lifts that allow you to reach almost every area of the Amphitheater.
Completing the entire visit is undoubtedly a bit tiring but at the end of the day it will be worth it. The staff at the Colosseum is friendly and attentive to every need, especially when waiting in line and in the most uncomfortable stretches of the route.
Where to eat: "Pizzicherie" and restaurants near Colosseum
Near the Colosseum you will find many places where you can stop for lunch or dinner and enjoy an incomparable view.
Rione Monti, Via Cavour and the nearby streets are full of excellent restaurants.
If you prefer something faster and cheaper to eat while walking, you can opt for the classic pizza cut in one of the many "pizzicherie" or for a good quality sandwich in the grocery stores that you find in the area.
Do you have the opportunity to move around? Not too far from the Colosseum, there is the Testaccio district where the culinary traditions have remained almost intact or, alternatively, you can go as far as the Trastevere area to eat well without spending a fortune.