November 23, 2016


A visit to the Colosseum is at the top of the list for any first time visitor to Rome. Located next to the Colosseum is the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill and your admission ticket covers all three places.  You can go between all three places at your own pace.

The Colosseum - What To Expect When You Visit

The area around the Colosseum is quite huge and will probably be filled with people, even if you go during the middle of the week during a school day.  You will see the usual mix of visitors posing for pictures and many vendors offering group tours.  I understand that some days you will see locals dressed in Roman costumes though we didn't see any the day we were there.  Keep in mind that most of the people charge a fee to pose for these photos.

You also need to be prepared for long waits even if you have prepurchased your tickets.  We were approached by someone selling private group tours at the cost of €30 with the promise of skipping the two-hour wait in line.  We decided to join a small group of English speaking visitors and though we didn't completely skip the line, we did get in after only a short wait.  The guide we had in the colosseum was OK but nothing to brag about but we switched guides before moving on to the forum we got this wonderful Canadian lady that gave us a great tour of Palatine Hill and the Forum.  For me, it was well worth the price difference.

My three traveling companions.


You can join group tours that will allow you to walk out onto the area you see above and tour the grounds below.  There are several companies that offer the tours and you should be able to find one easily with a simple google search.

Originally a marsh, the Romans drained the area and turned it into a center of political and social activity. The Forum was the marketplace of Rome and also the business district and civic center.

We didn't have much time to explore this area since it was so late in the day when we arrived.  I did get a few photos and we enjoyed our hearing about the history from our guide.

How to get to the Colosseum

Getting around Rome can be challenging if you are traveling on the public bus system.  Hands down, of all of the places I have traveled, Rome is the hardest to get around.  There doesn't seem to be a lot of signage directing you where to go and to let you know when you arrive at your destination.  Fortunatley, there are many buses that stop directly in front of the Colosseum and traveling this way is extremely cheap.

There are other options for making your way around Rome. The city has a metro system which you will take you to the Colosseum (on the blue line). You can also sign up for a double-decker bus tour which stops at the Colosseum along the way.

Buying Tickets

As I mentioned earlier, your ticket into the Colosseum also grants you access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Most people buy their tickets at the Colosseum, because this is the most famous sight – but this is where you could potentially spend hours in line.  I read where you can purchase your tickets at the gate of Palatine Hill and save a lot of time.

What to expect during the visit
I covered much of this at the beginning of this post but I wanted to add a couple of things.  After buying your ticket, you’ll go through a quick security screening before actually entering the Colosseum. If you opt not to do a guided tour, you can sign up for an audio tour or just enjoy the beauty of the coloseum on your own.  

The most important tip is to bring an empty water bottle!  There are  plenty of places to fill your water bottle once you are inside of the colosseum.  


  • ADULTS € 12,00.
  • REDUCED FEE € 7 for European Union citizens between 18 and 25 years old and for EU teachers.
  • FREE ENTRANCE Visitors 17 and under.

The ticket is valid for two days and allows for one entrance to each one of the two sites (Colosseum and Forum/Palatine hill)
Opening hours:
8:30 am - 4:30 pm from January 2 to February 15
8:30 am - 5 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 last Sunday of March to August 31
8:30 am - 7 pm from September 1 to September 30
8:30 am - 6:30 pm from October 1 to last Sunday of October
8:30 am - 4:30 pm from the last Sunday of October to December 31
I have added the photo below which shows the location of the bus stop and the metro stop.

Colosseum Service Map

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