Travelers always dream of visiting Rome when on an Italy holiday. This eternal ancient city has a history of beautiful monuments, restored ruins and churches that provide you glimpses of life during Roman Empire. Amongst the various places that grab the fancy of avid travelers, Colosseum ranks as the number 1 attraction in Italy. The amazingly ancient monument provides testimony to the architectural brilliance of Roman people and their amazing skills.
A magnificent arena that provides thrilling sights of the ancient City of Rome, the Colosseum is a destination that can never be kept out of your Italy tour list. Initially called Flavian Amphitheater, the vast arena was inaugurated way back during AD 80. The Colosseum has 50,000 seats and is travertine (a white, calcareous rock used to build ancient structures) clad, with a huge canvas covering it. It has a “Hypogeum” that is an underground complex that rests below the arena, where animals were kept in cages to fight gladiators during games inside the arena.
So if you are planning to visit Colosseum soon, I’ve listed some valuable tips that can make your Colosseum trip easy.
What are the timings for visiting the Colosseum in Rome?
The Colosseum in Rome is never closed except for New Years, Christmas Day and the 1st of May. The opening timing each day is 8.30am and closing is at sunset. During winter, sunset being early, the Colosseum closes at 4.30pm. During summer months and late spring, the timing is extended till around 7.00pm. Remember that ticket counter will shut an hour before close time of Colosseum.
When is the best time for visiting the Colosseum?
The Colosseum being the topmost attraction in Rome, is always flooded with hordes of tourists. However, there are times when tourists and visitors to this place are less. So if you are someone who hates crowded places, then November to February are the right months to be here.
Winter months are less crowded and you can find solace here. However, remember that during these months, Colosseum will be shut at sunset. So ensure that you visit sometime during the day. If by any chance you are not able to visit during winters, one thing is guaranteed; lots and lots of people will be here. During other months than winter, do not visit this place in the afternoon as there is no shade here and due to large crowds, you won’t find place to sit and rest.
Visiting Colosseum during peak season? At least stay away from long queues.
If unfortunately you cannot visit Colosseum during winter season due to varied reasons such as not getting your Italy visa or any other thing, then there are various methods to adopt for at least avoiding long ticket queues.
- Getting hold of tickets from Palatine Hill or Roman Forum – Here you can get just one ticket that is sufficient for 2 days in a row. This ticket is enough for visiting Palatine Hill, Roman Forum and Colosseum. However, if your Italy itinerary does not include the above mentioned places, then you can choose some other option as mentioned below.
- Make booking for Italy package tours – When you visit some travel agency for booking tickets for your tour, ensure that tickets to Colosseum are included in it. This will help in avoiding the never ending queues.
- Roma Pass – Roma Pass is actually one tourist package that is provided by the City of Rome for helping visitors in getting bargains. This pass allows you to visit different destinations in Rome along with providing handy tools to smoothen your visit here. This pass already includes your visit to Colosseum.
- Get tickets online – This is the safest thing to do – re-purchase tickets to the Colosseum and stay away from the rush. You can buy online at CoopCulture at a regular price of € 12.00. If you want to opt for an insider tour and see every crooks and crannies of the Colosseum, a 1-hour, 30-minute tour of the Colosseum, underground, and third ring can be bought for and extra € 9.00.
- Can you get in for free, you ask? Of course, you can! Visitors under 18 years old can enter for free. For adults like us, we can get in for free every first Sunday of the month.
- If there would be any delay on the queue to the entrance, probably it’s because of the fact that the Colosseum can only accommodate 3,000 visitors at a time. So be there real early!
Is it possible to visit the Colosseum at night?
It is definitely possible to visit the Colosseum at night. The illuminated view of the Colosseum is quite stunning. More importantly, this place is devoid of crowds at night. Night visits are open from Thursday to Monday with exclusion of Sunday.
Is the Colosseum’s underground tour possible?
After many years of waiting, the underground tour of the Colosseum is now a reality. You can roam through tunnels and experience this place where animals were once caged for Gladiator games. Ancient civilization echoes inside the tunnels.
While you are underground, the sweat smell, hot atmosphere of ancient Roman times can be experienced. You can feel the gladiators with you along with the roars of lions, marching and thumping sounds. The very feeling will take you back in ancient times and the entire experience will be nothing but thrilling.
Thinking about food? Be prepared.
Well, as the tour encompassing Palatine Hill, Roman Forum and Colosseum takes around 3 to 4 hours, ensure that you tummy is full before coming here. You can stuff in some snack inside your backpack if you feel hungry. Once the tour is done, there are restaurants in Colosseum’s neighborhood for enjoying lip smacking food.
These are my personal tips for your tour to the Colosseum in Rome. So book your tickets soon and embark on this amazing tour of the City of Rome where the archaeologically brilliant structure, the Colosseum, awaits.