If you’ve ever seen the movie Gladiator, you probably have some idea of the intensity that occurred inside the Colosseum in Rome. Today it’s one of the most famous sights in the Italian capital, and for good reason! This is an impressive monument not only of architectural brilliance, but of the culture at the time. People come from the world over to visit this famous sight and if you come to Rome, you must put it on your list! Follow our guide to visiting the Colosseum for a great experience you’ll never forget.
How to get to the Colosseum
You have several options for making your way around Rome. The city does have a metro system, although it’s not as comprehensive as it could be. Still, you can easily take the metro to Colosseum station on the blue line. Local buses also run to the Colosseum, and you can simply ask when you arrive which bus line can take you there. Or if you like, sign up for a double-deck bus tour which stops at the Colosseum along the way.
Most people don’t know this straight away, but a 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. Instead, buy your ticket at the gate of Palatine Hill and you’ll get right in, or just book it in advance, even easier.
What to expect during the visit
After buying your ticket, you’ll go through a quick security screening before actually entering the Colosseum. Depending on the season you visit, you may spend more time in line than you do actually inside (unless you follow our advice and buy your tickets at Palatine Hill!) You can sign up for guided tours or audio tours, or you can opt to just experience the grandeur of the Colosseum on your own. In 80 AD when the construction was finished, the Colosseum was the largest amphitheater in Rome, holding 50, 000 people. Mainly, it was used for entertainment by putting on brutal and barbaric games, either with animals or human on human combat in gladiator matches.
Opening Hours and other notes
The Colosseum opens starting at 8:30 am, and it’s recommended to visit as early as possible to avoid the massive crowds and hot weather if you are visiting in the summer. If you are very interested in history, you might want to allow extra time to soak in the experience and read all of the material that is available on the history of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. While guided tours can provide lots of helpful info, be prepared to be on your feet for most of the day if you choose to go this route. Still, if you don’t know much about Rome or the Colosseum, it might be worth it to take this type of tour.
You can also purchase a Roma pass which offers discounted rates to visit many of the famous sights in Rome. With this pass, you have free access to the first 2 museums or sites you visit, and then after that you’ll get discounted rates.