The 101: visiting Rome's Colosseum
If you’ve found yourself in Rome, you just CAN’T miss out on visiting the Colosseum. But make sure you read my tips below, otherwise it can be a crowded, frustrating and less magical than what it can be (and what you probably see in your head!)
Top tips for making the most of your visit:
Book tickets online in advance at this site. Having pre-purchased (and pre-printed) tickets in advance will save you a ton of line time. And aim to show up about 30-45 minutes before your scheduled visit so you have ample time to navigate all the security lines.
I’d suggest you either walk, or take the Metro to the Colosseum. The Metro stop (called ‘Colosseum’) has an exit steps from the entry area.
As you’re walking up to the Colosseum you’ll probably be asked no less than 20 times if you have a ticket, if you’d like to buy a ticket, if you’d like to join a tour, or if you’d like to buy a ‘skip the line’ ticket. I’d suggest declining all these offers and make your way to the official ticket line as fast as you can. And be sure to look for the line for people who have pre-purchased ticket.
You can book a tour through a variety of tour companies but I recommend doing a self-guided tour, and inviting Rick Steve to join (JK – invite him along via his audio guide) to give you a tour. Download his audio guide in advance (click here for instructions) and then just listen in on your headphones. The storytelling is easy to digest, fun to listen to, and you can easily hit pause on the narration as you walk between locations.
Go early in your visit to Rome, as your ticket also includes entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The ticket is good for 2 days from when you first scan your ticket at one of these three sites.
Try to snag coveted tickets to see the underground and Third Ring —- tickets sell out FAST, but if you’re diligent in your search, you’ll be rewarded! Check out this blog (paragraph #3) for a great overview of the process. Alternatively you can book a spot on a tour of these areas offered by an outside company, but they are quite expensive! So try to get tickets for the tour offered through the official ticket outlet first.
Watch the Gladiator before your visit. It will make the visit more exciting and visual
And if you’d like to join Living Big on a trip to Italy, click here to learn more about the trip we’re hosting in Sept. 2018. Alternatively, you can work with Living Big to design your own trip to Italy. Click here to learn more about our custom Travel Design services.
Cheers to travel, adventure and soaking up all that Italia has to offer
Living Big Founder + Chief Adventurer and Travel Designer