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TRAVEL: How to visit the Colosseum in Rome

If you're visiting Rome for the first time, you won't want to leave without making a trip to the Colosseum. Here's what you need to know.

Here's what you need to know about visiting the Colosseum.
Here's what you need to know about visiting the Colosseum. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP.

As many people plan to visit their favourite sites in Italy this year after a long absence, we’re putting together our own quick guides to some of the country’s most-loved attractions. If you or someone you know is planning a trip to the Colosseum, here’s what to know before you go.

Opening hours

The Colosseum opens to visitors at 9am and closes at different times depending on the time of year – till as late as 7.15pm in the spring and summer and till 4.30pm in the winter (see a full breakdown of seasonal opening hours here).

The complex is open almost every day of the year apart from December 25th and January 1st, and on June 2nd, Italy’s Republic Day, when it’s usually only open in the afternoon.

On certain days in the spring and summer, the Colosseum is open for night tours, running from around 6-10pm. More information here.

On the first Sunday of every month, entry is free; expect to fight your way through hordes of crowds if you choose to visit on one of these days.

READ ALSO: Nine tips for making the most of a Rome city break

In warmer months, the Colosseum is open for night tours.

In warmer months, the Colosseum is open for night tours. Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP.

Tickets

Tickets can be bought online via the official website here or on the ParcoColosseo app.

The standard ticket is the 24-hour one which is valid for one entry to the Colosseum within 24 hours of your ticket’s start time. Find full details on the official website here.

  • Full price €16
  • Reduced price €2 for 18-25-year-olds from an EU country (proof of age and nationality required via photo ID)
  • Free for under-18s (ID required).

A €2 per ticket reservation fee is charged to book online in advance.

With this option, you’ll have access to the first and second floors of the Colosseum, as well as entry to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, situated on either side of the amphitheatre.

The other option available is a two-day ‘Full Experience’ ticket, which costs:

  • Full price €22
  • Reduced price €2 for 18-25-year-olds from an EU country
  • Free for under-18s

As well as being valid for an additional 24 hours, this ticket allows you to access the arena level and underground (‘hypogeum’) area of the Colosseum, as well as a range of other lesser-known sites that you can find listed on the official website here.

Going on a tour will usually get you access to higher floors of the Colosseum, including all the way up to the fifth tier – but make sure to check with your operator that the area isn’t closed for maintenance before booking.

READ ALSO: TRAVEL: How to visit Rome’s Vatican Museums

The Colosseo metro stop is right next to the Colosseum.

The Colosseo metro stop is right next to the Colosseum. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP.

How long to budget

It takes about an hour to visit the Colosseum itself on a standard ticket, factoring in time for photographs. Budget extra time if you buy a Full Experience ticket; the official website suggests at least an extra 15 minutes.

The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are very large complexes and if you’re planning to see all three in one go, you’ll want to budget the best part of a day.

How to get there

The Colosseo metro stop on Metro Line B conveniently opens up right in front of the Colosseum.

READ ALSO: Five easy day trips to make from Rome by train

There are multiple overground transport routes, including the 3 tram and the 75 bus, that go right by the Colosseum; check an app to see which is the most convenient for you (Moovit offers the most accurate prediction times for Rome’s public transport).

If you’re on foot, the Colosseum is about a 20-25 minute walk from other major Roman sites like the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain or the Pantheon.

Member comments

  1. I was hoping this article would include info on buying tickets. I’ve been seeing people online saying they are very difficult to get.

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TOURISM

Italy’s Capri lifts tourist ban as water shortage resolved

The Italian island of Capri lifted a ban on tourists Saturday after problems with the water supply to the holiday hotspot were resolved.

Italy's Capri lifts tourist ban as water shortage resolved

Capri’s mayor, Paolo Falco, said the ban was “revoked” after a technical issue preventing the arrival of water from the mainland was fixed.

The ban was announced early Saturday, forcing several morning ferries on their way to the island from Naples and Sorrento in southern Italy to return to port.

In justifying the ban, Falco warned of “a real emergency” and said that while there was still water on most of the island on Friday, local tanks early Saturday were “running out”.

“The emergency would be worsened by the arrival of the thousands of tourists who arrive on Capri daily,” he said.

Locals, not targeted by the ban, were permitted to collect up to 25 litres (6.6 gallons) of drinking water per household from a supply tanker.

Capri, in the Bay of Naples, is famed for its white villas, cove-studded coastline and upscale hotels. It has around 13,000 permanent residents but attracts huge numbers of day-trippers in summer months.

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