Getting to the Colosseum
So you’ve made it to Rome, what next? The major attraction on every visitor’s list is, of course, the Colosseum. No matter how you prefer to explore Rome – by foot, bicycle, public transport or taxi – the Colosseum is easy to find (it helps that you can see it from a mile away). However you decide to arrive, make sure you plan your route and check the reservation time on your ticket. Entering the Colosseum is not as straightforward as you may think, the following sections will give you all the information you need to make your Colosseum visit as seamless as possible:
Planning Your Arrival
Although built in ancient times, the Colosseum has to follow modern-day safety regulations. This means security checks and, subsequently, a list of items not allowed. Before heading to the Colosseum, be sure to check the list in the page Visiting the Colosseum and leave any forbidden items at your accommodation.
All pre-sale and reservation tickets to the Colosseum have reserved entrance times. Be sure to carefully read the ticket instructions: some tickets have a barcode and allow direct entry while others need to be picked up at the reservation desk, there is also a separate entrance for specific types of tickets – underground, third level, etc.. No matter what, each entrance has a security check and you should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the reservation time.
Colosseum by Foot or Cycle
Exploring Rome by foot is one of the best methods to experience the beauty of the city and approaching the Colosseum by foot is no different. Seeing it from a distance, as it dominates its surroundings, is nothing short of spectacular. If you are traveling in peak season, walking can be more comfortable and sometimes even faster than the overcrowded public transport. It is best to allow yourself at least 30-45 minutes to walk to the Colosseum, this way you can enjoy the surroundings without having to rush.
Exploring Rome by bicycle is another great way to arrive at the Colosseum. There are various electric bike rental companies in Rome that provide a fun and easy way to get around the city. The Uber “Jump” bike and the Roma Capitale bikes allow you to pay by the minute and you can park them almost anywhere so there is no need to worry about locking them up or having to pay for the bikes while you are inside the Colosseum.
Colosseum By Bus
The public transportation system in Rome is quite comprehensive and, if you plan your route in advance, can save you loads of time. Using a smartphone and downloading an app (Roma Bus, Moovit, Google Maps, etc.) is an easy way to plan your route. Keep in mind that there are multiple bus stops convenient for the Colosseum and, depending on which direction you are coming from, not all of them say “Colosseo:”
COLOSSEO MB* (Colosseum metro) : use bus #51; 87; 75; 117; 118
SAN GREGORIO OR CELIO VIBENNA (Palatine Entrance) : use bus #81 or 75
COLOSSEO (for Trams) : use tram #3 coming from Trastevere/Ostiense direction
COLOSSEO/SALVI N. (for Trams) : use tram #3 coming from Valle Giulia/San Giovanni direction
*ON SUNDAYS : the buses will use a deviated route and will not stop at the metro station bus stop. Instead they will stop behind the Colosseum and you can get off at either SAN GREGORIO or CELIO VIBENNA
Colosseum by Metro
Rome’s metro system is relatively straightforward and has three different lines: A, B, and C. The “Colosseo” stop is located on the “B” line. Keep in mind that, instead of having to transfer/switch lines in order to get to the “B” line, there are stops on both the “A” and “C” lines that are within a 20 minute walk of the Colosseum. Any time you switch lines, remember not to exit the metro system otherwise you will have to pay for a new ticket. Information on the different types of tickets and the costs can be found at the bottom of this page.
If you are coming from the “B” line: simply check that you are taking the metro in the right direction and get off at the stop Colosseo.
If you are coming from the “A” line: you will need to take the metro to Termini station and switch to the “B” line (follow the signs) and take the metro in the direction of Laurentina. Get off at the stop Colosseo. Walkable metro “A” line stops: Manzoni; San Giovanni.
If you are coming from the “C” line: you will need to take the metro to San Giovanni and switch to the “A” line and take the metro to Termini station. Get off at Termini station (be sure not to exit metro system) and then switch to the “B” line in the direction of Laurentina and get off at the stop Colosseo. Walkable metro “C” line stop: San Giovanni.
Once You Arrive at Colosseum
Whatever your preferred means of transportation, once you arrive at the Colosseum you will need to go to your specified entrance. The main entrance of the Colosseum is on the north-western side of the building. To pick up reserved tickets (without a barcode) you can go to the reservation desk just across the piazza at the base of the wall that separates the Roman Forum (look for the white awnings). Otherwise, have your ticket ready, show the Colosseum staff your reservation time and they will direct you to the correct security line. If you ticket specifies to use the Stern entrance, simply follow the building around to the opposite side (just keep walking and you will find it, the Colosseum is an oval after all).
Bus/Metro Ticket Information
Cost : a single ticket is €1.50. The ticket is valid for 100 consecutive minutes on buses/trams and is valid for 1 trip on the metro/underground.
Bus/Tram : single ticket is valid for 100 minutes (consecutively) from the time of validation. You can use the ticket for as many buses and trams as you like in the 100 minute time frame, but the ticket is only valid for one use on the metro/underground. When you get onto the bus/tram, look for the small yellow/black boxes and insert your ticket. The ticket will come back stamped with an expiry date/time.
Metro : single ticket is valid for 1 trip on the metro/underground (this includes transfers). If you plan to use the metro/underground twice, even within the 100 minute validity period, you will still need to buy two tickets. Be aware not to exit the turnstiles when switching/transfering metro lines, you will be required to purchase another ticket.
Where to buy : Metro stations, newspaper stands, tobacco shops and cafes (those that sell tobacco). Tickets cannot be purchased on the bus, so make sure to buy tickets in advance and keep a few extra on hand if you plan to use the bus often. The bus driver will not check your ticket and you are expected to validate your ticket when you get on the bus. While this is mainly an honor system, there are officials that will get on the bus and check that your ticket is valid. Any person without a valid ticket can expect to be kicked off the bus and given a fine of €50 – €100.
SINGLE-USE (100 minutes bus/tram + 1 metro ride): €1.50
24 HOUR (unlimited bus/tram/metro): €7.00
48 HOUR (unlimited bus/tram/metro): €12.50
72 HOUR (unlimited bus/tram/metro): €18.00
WEEKLY (unlimited bus/tram/metro): €24.00