Information about visiting the Colosseum
If you travel to Rome, you can't leave the city without visiting the Colosseum. The old amphitheater is very impressive and still attracts lots of crowd from all over the world, even though there are no more gladiator fights. More than seven million visitors explore the old building each year, and it is, therefore, advisable to prepare well for Colosseum visit. Below you can find all the tips and tricks which you need to know before visiting Colosseum in Rome.
What can be visited in the Colosseum?
Before entering the impressive construction, take a moment, and enjoy the monument from the outside. The best way to realize its enormous dimensions is to access the Colosseum through the Via dei Fori Imperiali. From this street, you have a superb view of the best-preserved facade of the Colosseum.The Colosseum had 80 entrances, and its system of corridors and stairs still serves as a reference for the construction of football stadiums. At the time, 50,000 spectators could fill the amphitheater in less than 15 minutes. Today, visitors of the Colosseum enter the building on the south side. Also, access is not as fast as at the time of the Roman Empire, and it is necessary to arm with patience to overcome the long queues. The visit to the Colosseum begins on the 2nd floor. The different levels (there are 5 in all) were built in different styles.
The Colosseum Arena
The spectators sat according to their social rank. The emperor and the senators took place on the 1st floor and the well-off citizens on the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor was reserved for locals, the 4th level held the marketplace, while the top floor was a place where the poorest citizens, gathered and watched the show. Besides the seating area, there is the Arena area itself – a place where gladiator fights and other events took place. During your visit, you will probably wonder why it is not flat? How could gladiators fight with all those walls and columns? What we can see today is called the Hypogeum. Hypogeum is a vast network of rooms, cells, and tunnels where the animals and combats have been kept. Back then, the Hypogeum was covered with a wooden floor and sand, and that was the place where, not only gladiator fights but many other diverse entertainment programs, took place. According to some sources, it seems that the Romans developed a system which enabled filling a pit with water, so they also organized small naval battles in the middle of the Colosseum.
A regular Colosseum ticket, will grant you an access to the first and second floor of the spectator area. Also, it is possible to book a guided tour which includes the arena visit and the underground areas, as well as tours which will lead you to the higher levels. All Colosseum tickets include access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, which are not the part of the Colosseum but are placed right next to it. This is the place where all Roman business was happening, and therefore, should also be a part of your visit.
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Colosseum and Ancient Rome Walking Tour (3h)
How long will it take to visit the Colosseum?
If you visit the Colosseum without a guide or an audio guide, you will need around 1 hour for a visit, which also includes enough time to take some photos, and of course, selfies.Guided tours usually last between an hour and a half and an hour and 45 minutes.
Do You need a ticket for the Colosseum?
Everyone who is visiting the Colosseum needs to have a ticket or at least a reservation to visit. There is an exception to this rule on the free days. There are different Colosseum ticket types available, depending on what you would like to see, and regarding that, different prices apply.
Opening hours of the Colosseum
The working time of Colosseum is from 08:30h. During the winter it usually closes at 17h, and in the rest of the year, it can be open until 19h, depending on the exact time of the year Except for December 25th and January 1st, The Colosseum is open every day of the year.
Waiting Time at The Colosseum
There are three monuments in Rome for which the waiting times are extremely long: The Vatican (and in particular the Vatican Museums), the Borghese Gallery (if you do not have a ticket, it is better not to visit it) and the Colosseum, which is also one of the most visited monuments in Rome.In summer, during the high season and the school holidays, count about 2 or 3 hours of waiting. The wait can be extremely uncomfortable since it is necessary to wait in full sun, whereas it can make up to 30 ° C during the summer in Rome. There are several reasons for these very long waiting times. First of all, a large number of visitors, then the security checks at the entrance and finally the maximum number of visitors at a given moment, which cannot exceed 3000 people.On busy days, when this limit is reached, there is a traffic jam at the entrance to the Colosseum. A new visitor will only be able to enter if another person leaves the Colosseum.
Skip the line tickets for the Colosseum
Therefore, it is advisable to buy your Skip The Line Colosseum tickets online. With these tickets, you can skip lines and directly enter the arena. In short, you have priority!
How do these tickets work?
First, you need to select one of the ticket options available depending on what part of Colosseum you would like to see. Whit these tickets, you need to meet the organizer of the visit at the meeting point at the indicated time. He will then take you to a secondary entrance to the Coliseum, reserved for the holders of these tickets. You are here VIP and escorted to the entrance. In any case, the tickets are only valid for a specific schedule, so do not be late! Please note that due the safety reasons, the Colosseum can accommodate at once up to 3.000 people. This could sometimes lead to delays in access to the site, even for pre-booked visitors.
Good To Know
WCs and toilets in the Colosseum
Waiting time in front of the Colosseum is quite long, and therefore, the first question many visitors ask themselves when entering the Colosseum is: "But where are the toilets? The toilets are on the ground floor, not far from the entrance and the boxes. Be aware that you will not escape the second queue in front of the toilet, therefore, calculate a quarter of an hour waiting if you want to go to the bathroom.
Security check and searches at the Colosseum entrance
There are security gates at the entrance to the Vatican and many other monuments in Rome. The Colosseum is, unfortunately, no exception. The controls are comparable with those at the airport. You must empty your jackets and pockets of any metal object. Your backpacks and objects will pass through an x-ray machine, and you must pass through a metal detector. On the other hand, contrary to the controls carried out in the airports, it is not necessary to remove your shoes and belt.
Baggage and prohibited objects in the Colosseum
You are allowed to visit the Colosseum with a small backpack, but it is strictly forbidden to enter with large. All dangerous objects, such as weapons, knives, explosive objects, or fireworks, are obviously also prohibited. It is also forbidden to enter the Colosseum with a deodorant spray. Warning: You will not be able to enter the Colosseum with a full glass or plastic bottles. Empty or finish your bottle of water before entering the Colosseum, but do not throw it away. You can fill them in the Colosseum or the Roman Forum at one of the many water fountains (the "nasoni").
Watch out for pickpockets in front of the Colosseum!
Pickpockets are a big problem in Rome. These thugs are especially present near the famous monuments, where the concentration of visitors is extreme and where the physical contact goes unnoticed. This is the ideal work environment for them.
Colosseum for people with disabilities or wheelchairs
The Colosseum is suitable for visitors with disabilities or wheelchairs. The entrance is at ground level, and elevators will allow you to access the different floors. If you want to use a lift, ask one of the employees of the Colosseum for the assistance. The toilets are also adapted for the disabled. Admission is free for people with disabilities and a guide from a European Union country. If the guide comes from a non-member country, he will have to pay his ticket at the standard rate.
Top tips for visiting the Colosseum
Finally, here are three top tips to Colosseum visit:
1. Buy your tickets online!
Wait times at the Colosseum are incredibly long!
Without tickets, you will have to wait for long hours in the sun. Book a ticket online, and save your precious time.
2. Colosseum ticket = Roman Forum ticket
With your ticket to the Colosseum, you can also visit the Roman Forum, located next door. Although this
is explained during the buying process, it is not uncommon to see tourists buy a ticket for the Roman
Forum as well! If you have a ticket, you can visit the Roman Forum after the Colosseum without having
to wait at the checkouts. You can go directly through the security gates.
3. Book a guided tour to have a better experience.
Joining a group tour organized by the Colosseum management or through independent operators is an excellent option for skipping the lines as well. A competent guide will also provide a better sense of the site and its many uses. One more advantage of a guided tour is that your tour guide can take you to the parts of the Colosseum which are not accessible if you are alone. But if you would rather explore Colosseum at your own pace, download a free audio guide, and good headphones will do the work.
Did you know that the infamous Emperor never set foot inside the arena
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