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Visiting the Colosseum in Rome

Visiting the Colosseum in Rome is something nobody skips when they’re in Italy. The Colosseum is one of the the 7 new wonders of the world (check out them all here) and it was a real highlight of my time there. Sure it’s cliched, and sure there are hordes of tourists but it’s famous for a reason and that’s because it’s awesome! Now telling me eating a slice of pizza, drinking an espresso while soaking up the views of the Colosseum doesn’t get your wanderlust juices flowing?

Visiting The Colosseum in Rome
Visiting The Colosseum in Rome

During the days of the Roman Empire the Colleseum, biggest amphitheater ever built,  would be used to for public displays and gladiator contests where up to 80,000 people would pack themselves into the Colosseum to come and watch, starting in 80AD. Throughout the years the Colosseum has seen a great deal of damage and it is no longer functional and around 25% of it has been destroyed. In spite of the damage, the giant theater is still an impressive site and attracts millions of tourists each year.

WHERE IS THE COLOSSEUM AND HOW DO YOU GET TO IT?

johnny ward the colosseum
Me at visiting the Colosseum in Rome!

The Colosseum is in Rome’s city centre, and it’s super easy to access. Jump on the metro and head to Colosseo, from there the Colosseum is literally 2 minutes away, as you can see from the google map below.

The directions I’ve included in the google map though are an awesome trip. They go from the Colosseum, and then a 5 minute walk to Palatine Hill, where you can buy a Colosseum ticket without the crazy queue. You’re weclome!

HOW MUCH ARE THE TICKETS FOR THE COLOSSEUM?

Tickets are €12 per person (€9 EU citizens ages 18-24, free for EU citizens under 18 or over 65) and give you access to The Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.

You can buy the tickets in a  few ways:

A) You can buy the tickets right outside the Colosseum. NOT RECOMMENDED, there are massive queues.

B) You can buy the tickets online herea and print your ticket (€2 extra)

C) The easiest option is to walk 5 minutes to Palatine Hill (or at the Roman Forum), buy your ticket there, walk back to the Colosseum and stroll right in. Boom!

Colosseum queues
Avoid the Colosseum queues!

COLOSSEUM OPENING HOURS:

Oct-15 Jan 09:00-15:00

16 Jan-15 Feb 09:00-16:00

16 Feb-17 Mar 09:00-16:30

18 Mar-16 Apr 09:00-17:00

17 Apr-Sep 09:00-19:00

TIPS:

  • Go either first thing in the morning, ticket office opens at 8.30am so get there around 8.15am and there’ll just be a handful of people to share the experience with
  • Alternatively, if you’re not a morning person, go an hour before sunset so you get the day and night versions of the Colosseum, when they light it up it is spectacular!
  • Remember the ticket hack – go to Palatine Hill for your ticket, not the Colosseum ticket office!
Colosseum at night
The Colosseum at night

My experience at the Colosseum

I had 4 days in Rome before I headed off to San Marino and then onto Northern Italy. I was backpacking solo throughout the country so occassionally you can get a bit lonely doing that, but not in Rome! There are so many amazing things to see and do in the city that you don’t have time to think. Of course, you’re always meeting other people on the road too, but my point is that in Rome, you’re run off your feet from World Class sight to World Class sight. Trying to soak it all up is an activity in itself. It’s truly one of the most impressive cities in the world.  The Colosseum was my number 1 thing to see when I was in Rome though so I was

The Colosseum was my number 1 thing to see when I was in Rome though so I was super excited to go. As soon as I left the metro stop you get struck by the huge building. Sure, there’re loads of tourists, but you don’t even notice them. The Colosseum is staring right back at you. At the time, I didn’t know about the little ticket hack so I queued up like an idiot and waited my turn.

Entering the Colosseum is a magical experience, considering what went on here literally 2000 years ago. 50,000 people crammed in to watch the most barbaric of entertainment. It only took 10 years to build and to do this day it’s in great condition (admittedly with a touch up here and there!).

Now I know just how crammed a Rome schedule needs to be, I would have woken up super early and hit the Colosseum first thing but no matter what time you do, it’ll blow your mind. I went back in the evening to have a beer and see it all lit up at night too, and that is spectacular. Give yourself maybe 2 hours for the Colosseum (unless you’re a history buff, then it could be all day). And enjoy, it’s something else.

Colosseum inside view
The Colosseum inside view
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