By most people’s reckoning the Colosseum is one of the 7 wonders of the world, and while you have to take these lists with more than a pinch of salt, there’s no denying that it’s a must-see attraction for first-time visitors to Rome. Unfortunately, every other visitor in Rome is also determined to visit this 2,000-year-old arena and as a result, huge queues form outside the ticket office and waiting times of over an hour in the often-scorching Roman heat are not uncommon. Here are a few tips, some based on my own mistakes on our recent visit to Rome, on how to make the most of a visit to the Colosseum.

 

1. Book Online

If you book your tickets online you can walk past the long queue and go straight to the security screening. There’s a €2 booking fee and it may involve you deciding in advance which day you’ll visit the Colosseum, but it’s a small price to pay compared to the option of turning up and queuing.

 

2. Anywhere but the Colosseum

The ticket for the Colosseum is €12 and includes entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. This is important, as you can buy your ticket at any of the three sites. The quietest is by far the ticket office at Palatine Hill, despite the fact that it’s barely 5 minutes’ walk from the Colosseum. So even if you do turn up on the day, go instead to the quieter ticket office and spend your first hour exploring the birthplace of the Emperor Augustus, before joining the chaos at the Colosseum with a ticket in hand.

 

3. The Colosseum queue

If you do have to join the queue at the Colosseum (and given the first two options, there’s really no reason to do this), then arriving early is strongly advised. The site opens at 8.30 am, and by 10 o’clock the queue is horrendous, as we discovered to our cost. Not only does an early start mean that you don’t need to queue for long, but once you’re inside you will be able to enjoy the site without the massed hordes of tour groups.

 

4. Beyond the stones

The story of what went on inside this hugely impressive building is remarkable, but you won’t get much of the story by simply staring at the rocks. One suggestion is to make use of one of the many guides who tout their wares outside the gates. By all accounts the quality of the tour you’ll get is a bit of a lottery, with many guides doing little more than reciting guide book material. You can hire a professional guide to show you this and other sites of Ancient Rome; it will cost more but you will know what you’re getting for your money. There’s also the option of the audio guide at the site, which costs €5 and does a very good job of setting the scene and telling some of the background history of the Colosseum, and of the Rome in which it was built.

 

5. Step back from the chaos

The easiest and hardest tip of all. It’s hard enough to negotiate the narrow paths around the Colosseum without getting stabbed with other people’s selfie-sticks, or getting in the way of their snaps. Take the time to lurk in the background, find a seat if you can, and just absorb the place; not only is the enormity of the 2000-year-old site mind-boggling, but the horrors of what went on in the name of entertainment become particularly hard to swallow when you look around you and see the colourful and cosmopolitan buzz that’s going on around you. It’s a truly special site, but to make the most of it it’s worth stepping back from the main crowds and finding your own bit of solitude to try and soak it in.

 

 

 

The Sunvil Family

By The Sunvil Family

17th June 2015



The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

Sunvil's holidays are designed by passionate travellers just like you. Our reservations experts and product teams, many of whom have been with us for many years, are passionate about our destinations and, through their personal, first-hand knowledge can answer any questions that you may have. They are well qualified to advise and recommend, based on your own holiday criteria. We can point you to those special, little-known places, some not found even in guidebooks.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

020 8568 4499

We open today at 9:00 AM

Make an Enquiry

Please use this form to request further information about a Sunvil holiday or destination.

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify

Details

Preferred departure date *
Duration *
Preferred UK departure airport *
Party size *

Back

  • Adults(12+ yrs)
  • Children(2 to 11 yrs)
  • Infants(Under 2 yrs)
Budget range
Other comments:

Email newsletters

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify
Booking reference number *
Alternatively, please enter your query in the box below:

Email newsletters

Thank you for your enquiry

Thank you for your enquiry. A member of our specialist reservation teams will be in touch shortly.

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Your details have been saved

Feel free to continue to browse the site and add to your enquiry. Don't forget to send the enquiry before you leave!

My Suitcase

We understand that so much choice can be overwhelming which is why we have developed 'My Suitcase'. This facility allows you to save and compare your favourite holidays, and even allows you to return to your selection at a later stage.

Why not use 'My Suitcase' to compile a wish list of your future Sunvil holidays?

 

Sign in


New to Sunvil?

Create Account


Already have an account?

Password reset

Back

Close

Close