The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. Made entirely of sand concrete, the oval amphitheatre was designed to hold up to 70,000 spectators, all at a single time! With accommodation for 60,000 seated and 10,000 standing, guests could enter and leave in a matter of minutes, courtesy of 80 entrances. At 157 feet, the Colosseum is the tallest amphitheatre ever built, falling only 26 feet short of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. An architectural feat like no other, it’s no wonder this ancient Roman building attracts a constant flow of crowds year round.
Each year, over 5 million people visit the amphitheatre. These numbers translate into crazy lines at the Colosseum entrance, with a waiting period that can last anywhere between 2 to 4 hours. Unless you enjoy spending your precious time waiting in line, there’s a solution to the serpentine lines waiting for you at the entrance. We’re talking about Skip the Line Colosseum tickets.
A Skip the Line Colosseum ticket works on multiple levels to ensure that you have a great experience in Rome. From how to get ahold of these quick-entry tickets to insider tips on how to make the most of your Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum experience, here is your ultimate guide to exploring the famous ruins of Rome's ancient empire.
All Colosseum Ticket Options
Choosing Between Entry Tickets and Guided Tours of the Colosseum
Skip-the-Line Entry Tickets
There are several ways to get ahold of Colosseum tickets. The first and most obvious option is to get your tickets straight from the Colosseum entrance. While this is definitely an option, it's not the best one. A regular entry ticket for one adult costs €12 (plus €2 processing fee), but you will have to stand in a very, very long line to get them.
To purchase a regular entry ticket, you can expect a waiting time of anywhere between 2-4 hours, depending on when you’re visiting. (Weekends and anytime during the holiday season generally see the longest waiting times.) You will first have to stand in a line to buy your ticket, again in another line to enter, and after that, you guessed it - one more line to pass through a security check.
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to avoiding the Colosseum’s dreaded lines! Your answer: skip-the-line Colosseum tickets. A standard skip-the-line ticket includes priority entry to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. It costs €15 (plus €3 processing fee). This is only €4 more than the onsite ticket - a price well worth the skip the line perks.
Keep in mind - regardless of where you get your tickets from, there are no tickets that allow you to skip the security line. This is mandatory as a safety regulation. In addition, skip-the-line tickets (again, irrespective of where you book them) means that you get to skip the ticketing line - not the entry line. The ticketing line is what will easily add hours to your wait time - so avoiding it will make a huge difference.
Any tour of the Colosseum will be an incredible experience. However, while a self-guided tour is the cheapest option, there is not much information provided at any of the three sites. On a guided tour, you will not only get to see the Colosseum, you'll get to experience it. The explanations and stories you get with a professional guide make the arean come to life and undoubtedly enrich the experience. In addition, on a guided tour only will you get the chance to explore areas off limits to the general public - the underground tunnels and the upper tier. A visit to the Colosseum will likely be a once in a lifetime experience, so if you have the time and money to spend on a guided tour, it is definitely the way to go.
What’s so incredible about the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill?
There’s a reason the Colosseum is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world. Constructed in 70 AD, the amphitheatre once served as Rome’s epicenter for entertainment, hosting regular gladiator contests and other public spectacles such as animal hunts, mock sea battles, and more. Two exclusive areas of the Colosseum have only recently been opened for the public - the Underground and the Belvedere (the top level). Travel back in time with these fast-facts and get a glimpse into this fascinating arena.
- In 86 AD, the Colosseum was filled with water to stage a full naval battle. Yes, imagine that!
- The fact that Gladiator battles were fought on the Colosseum is no secret. Here’s a certainly dark fact about how the arena managed the post battle clean up; the Latin word arena means sand and we get it’s modern definition because Romans covered the colosseum floor with sand to absorb blood.
- The Colosseum was funded by the riches found in the Second Jewish Temple (site of Jesus’ final week in the New Testament).
- The Colosseum had 28 lifts which hoisted animals 24 ft up, then cage lids and trap doors in the arena floor opened simultaneously, unleashing beasts to fight each other or men.
- The Colosseum’s night time lights are turned golden whenever a death penalty has been reduced or eliminated anywhere in the world.
- Rome celebrated a victory by releasing 1,000 ostriches, 1,000 boars, and 1,000 deer into the Colosseum before the people were admitted to take whatever they could kill.
- Back in the day, the Colosseum had a cloth roof that covered most of the arena. It was engineered to keep sun and rain off spectators, provide a pleasant breeze for the audience, and be retractable in the case of bad weather.
- One of the reasons the Colosseum is in ruins today is because it was used as a quarry for several centuries for its stone.
Above and beyond the facts of its existence, what really propels the Colosseum into legendary status is the fact that it provides visitors a chance to actually experience the wonders of history first hand. Being one of the oldest preserved monuments in the world, the Roman Colosseum stands tall as an architectural marvel from a time long past. Each nook and corner in the 6 acre area has a story to tell and a page from history waiting to be explored!
Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Tickets to the Colosseum also grant access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill - two areas that should not be missed. The Roman Forum is something straight out of a fantasy movie. With tall sprawling buildings, pillars, columns, and archways - this sprawling network of ruins once operated as the social, political, and commercial hub of the Roman Empire. The architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations might not be in tip-top shape, but there’s still plenty left to admire. An opportunity to step back in time to ancient Rome, the forum attracts over 4.5 million tourists visit it every year!
The Palatine Hill - one of Rome’s seven famous hills - offers perhaps the best view of the Colosseum in the entire city. It also overlooks the Roman Forum from one side, and the Circus Maximus from the other. There are numerous exciting legends associated with the Palatine Hill. One such legend tells the tale of when Hercules struck Cacus with his characteristic club. The blow was so hard that it formed a cleft on the southeast corner of the hill, where later a staircase bearing the name of Cacus was constructed. Discover more intriguing legends when you visit the glorious Palatine Hill.
Have to visit here while in Rome. Get a guide. You pay slightly more but you not only get the info, you bypass at least an hour of lines (one to get tickets and one to get in). Pair it with the Forum and Palatine Hill for the best overall deal. Swing by at night for great pictures, too.
A highlight of our entire Italy trip. We booked skip-the-line colosseum tickets with Headout and it was such a time saver. Bring lots of water, since your ticket will also include entry to Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Also, the best photo spot is on the top of the hill, so try and plan that portion of your tour for sunset. Pics are incredible at that time!
Read what others have to say about the Colosseum on TripAdvisor.
- While it might seem silly and rather obvious to mention, previous tourist accounts clearly tell another story -they’re tip: be sure to eat a big meal before starting your tour. The area is large and you’ll be walking a lot; the last thing you want is to hamper your experience by feeling super hungry mid-way through the tour.
- As mentioned above, snacks are highly suggested. However, try and avoid buying food/drinks from vendors right outside the Colosseum. The prices are quite exorbitant.
- Visiting any place late in the night offers an enticing thrill and the Colosseum is no exception. Amp up the excitement with a nighttime Colosseum tour. In addition to the unique experience, you can enjoy a relatively private tour, as the crowds will be at a minimum. The view of Rome at night alone is worth the price of admission!
- If you are planning on visiting the Colosseum during the day, arrive before 8:30 AM to avoid the mad crowds. Even if you have a skip the line ticket, coming in early will only allow you to have a considerably peaceful experience exploring ancient Rome.
- Pre-purchase your tickets online. The ticketing office line is not something you want to deal with, especially on a hot day! Online tickets offer a fast-track pass into this popular attraction.
All You Need to Know
Seeing that the Colosseum is an uber popular tourist destination, there are plenty of ways you can reach the attraction. While you can always opt for a cab from wherever you’re staying, expect to pay a pretty penny. Cab fares are not cheap and it’s not uncommon for tourists to get overcharged. Instead, checkout some of the (cheap) public transport options below that’ll get you to the Colosseum easily and safely.
Line 75, 81, 673, 175, 204
Line B “Colosseo”
The metro runs from 5:30 AM to 11:30 PM, Sunday to Thursday, and until 1:30 AM on Friday and Saturday.
If you have reached the Termini train station, the main railway station of Rome, there are two ways you can reach the Colosseum:
1. Via Metro
If you’re short on time, taking the metro from Termini train station would be your best bet. When you disembark the train, follow the white-on-red M signs towards the metro station. Once there, you'll find ticket vending machines. Get your tickets, proceed to the fare gates, insert your ticket and.you’re good to go. Be sure to take the correct line (line B with blue signs) in the right direction (southwards towards Laurentina). The Colosseum is only two stops away. When you exit the station, you will see the monument directly across the street.
2. Via Foot
If you’re in the mood for a leisurely hike through the charming lanes of Rome, you can walk from the train station to the Colosseum. The average walking time is 30 minutes, so only go for this option if you have ample time on hand.
Colosseum Timings and Hours
The Colosseum is open every day of the year, no matter the weather, except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
from January 2 to February 15
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
from February 16 to March 15
8:30 am - 5:30 pm
from March 16 to last Saturday of March
8:30 am - 7:15 pm
from the last Sunday of March to August 31
8:30 am - 7:00 pm
from September 1 to September 30
8:30 am - 6:30 pm
From October 1 to last Saturday of October
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
from last Sunday of October to December 31
The entrance to the Colosseum is on Piazza del Colosseo
The only entrance to the Roman Forum is at Via Fori Imperiali
Palatine Hill can be accessed through Via S. Gregorio.
Rules and Regulations
- Please note that for safety reasons the Colosseum can only accommodate up to 3,000 people at once. If there’s an increased demand on any particular day, expect delay in access to the site. (Another reason to pre-book your tickets online and secure your spot.)
- All visitors and their belongings will be screened at the security checkpost outside the Colosseum.
- It is strictly forbidden to enter with backpacks, handbags and luggage. There is no storage facility at any of the three sites. If you come with a bag that is too large you will be denied entry.
Know More About Rome Attraction Tickets
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