WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO VISIT THE COLOSSEUM?
The Colosseum attracts millions of visitors every year and is one of Rome’s most popular sites. That being said, it is also home to some of the longest lines in the city. In order to get the most out of your visit to Rome, it is vital that you plan your Colosseum visit in advance. Early birds usually have the shortest waiting time but, keep in mind, traveling during peak season means crowds no matter the time of day.
The entrance fee to the Colosseum also includes a visit to the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill. The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are technically two different sites but, because they are situated next to each, they are considered one area. This means that the Colosseum ticket can be used twice: one entrance into the Colosseum (at the specified reservation time) and one entrance to the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill (either the same day or within 24hrs of the reservation time). Keep in mind that the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill is a large area and usually requires at least an hour to explore – so plan your itinerary accordingly.
The Colosseum and Roman Forum/Palatine Hill open everyday at 8:30am and the last entrance is about an hour before dusk (see chart below for time schedule). All visitors are allowed to remain in the site one hour after the last entrance. Due to the significant size of the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill, the custodians will direct visitors to exit the area early in order to ensure the site can close on time – this can happen even 30 minutes prior to closing time, so be sure to allow plenty of time to visit the site.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THE COLOSSEUM?
There are many ways to visit the Colosseum. Every reservation ticket has a timed entrance for the Colosseum so be sure to check your ticket and arrive with plenty of time to spare. Each ticket also includes one entrance to the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill, as stated earlier. You can enter the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill on the same day or within 24hrs of the reservation time.
Let’s say, for example, you have a 2:00pm entrance for the Colosseum. You will need to be at the main entrance of the Colosseum closer to 1:30pm, show your ticket to the Colosseum staff and they will let you enter into the security line (you may have to wait until 10 minutes before your reservation time). The Colosseum entrance time is non-negotiable. The Roman Forum/Palatine Hill entrance is up to your discretion. You could use it in three different ways: on the same day but in the morning and arriving to the Colosseum entrance at 1:30pm; on the same day but after you have finished your visit to the Colosseum and before the last entrance time for the Forum/Palatine; the following day but entering the Forum/Palatine before the ticket expires at 2:00pm.
In addition to the standard ticket option, there are restricted-access tickets available for purchase. These upgraded tickets include access to the Colosseum’s Arena Stage, the Dungeons/Underground level of the Colosseum, and the Colosseum’s Upper Level/Third Tier. These VIP areas are accessed via the Stern entrance, commonly referred to as the Gladiator Gate entrance. This separate entrance has much shorter security lines than the main entrance. Check out the TICKETS page for a detailed list of ticket options.
Allowed / Not-Allowed
ARE THERE THINGS I CANNOT BRING INSIDE THE COLOSSEUM?
The Colosseum requires all visitors to pass through a security checkpoint. Much like the security checks at the airport, the process is basically the same. Small trays are provided for visitors to empty their pockets and all belongings must pass through the x-ray machines. It is not uncommon for visitors to be forced to choose to either throw items away or not enter the Colosseum. In order to ensure an easy entry, here is a list of what is and is not allowed in the Colosseum:
- small/medium bag and backpacks (no roller-bags of any size are allowed)
- Plastic water bottles (you may be asked to empty them, but you can refill inside)
- Non-aerosol sprays*
- Large bags/backpacks or any kind of wheeled/roller bags
- Glass containers/bottles
- Weapons (including pocket knives)
- Aerosol sprays
*It is advised to leave sentimental items at your accommodation.
**Please note: what is/is not allowed is decided by the Colosseum’s security staff and can change at their discretion. In the past, there have been times when no liquids, even water, was allowed to be brought into the Colosseum (including makeup, sunscreen, etc.). In this case, you can empty your water bottles and keep them with you to refill them inside the Colosseum.
WHAT TIME DOES THE COLOSSEUM OPEN/CLOSE?
The Colosseum opening hours vary depending on the time of year.
|Date From||Date to||Timing|
|2 January||15 February||8:30AM – 3:30PM|
|16 February||15 March||8:30AM – 4:00PM|
|16 March||last Saturday of March||8:30AM – 4:30PM|
|Last Sunday of March||31 August||8:30AM – 6:15PM|
|1 September||30 September||8:30AM – 6:00PM|
|1 October||last Saturday of October||8:30AM – 5:30PM|
|Last Sunday of October||31 December||8:30AM – 3:30PM|
Visitors are allowed to remain inside 1 hour after closing time.
The Colosseum is closed on 1 January, 1 May, and 25 December