How to Skip the Line at the Colosseum – Best Tips to Save Time and Money

by Olivier De Winne
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I love Rome and I’m not the only one. If you’ve read our post about 21 reasons to visit Rome, you will already know about all the best places to go and what we like and dislike about the city. The big problem in Rome is the queues everywhere.  So, if you are like me and don’t want to waste time queuing, I’m going to share some useful tips about how to Skip the Line at the Colosseum.

How to Skip the Line at the Colosseum
How to Skip the Line at the Colosseum

Why Do You Need to Skip the Line at the Colosseum?

When I first visited Rome, I wasn’t aware that I needed to skip the line at the Colosseum.  As a result, I was very disappointed during my first visit to the Colosseum because I lost time queuing.  In fact, I was obliged to rush my visit of the Colosseum and I even skipped the Palatine Hill to be able to see just a little bit of the Forum.

Things to Know When Visiting the Colosseum

When you buy a ticket to the Colosseum, you don’t just buy a ticket for this iconic Roman monument.  In fact, the same ticket gives you access to the Palatine Hill and the Forum and, what’s more, the ticket is valid for two days! These other two sites are right opposite the Colosseum and are also well worth a visit. You can read more detailed information about these sites in our dedicated article about Rome: Is Rome worth visiting?

Best Way to Skip the Line at the Colosseum

In order to help you, I’m going to explain how to Skip the Line at the Colosseum .  There are different options available which will enable you to either enter without queuing or queuing for a short period of time.

Different Types of Tickets for the Colosseum

There are different ticket options or combinations for the Colosseum, so you do need to decide exactly what you want to see. You can opt for the basic ticket (ordinary admission) with access to the three sites or add an option to visit these areas: The Arena, Underground or the Belvedere (Level III).  Don’t forget that your ticket is valid for two consecutive days


For information, the Arena option allows you to visit the partially re-created arena floor.  Interestingly, this features a lift which allowed animals to be brought to the arena floor during the games.  The Underground visit allows you access to the under-arena area where the slaves and animals were kept.  The Belvedere option gives you access to level 3 of the arena to give you a bird’s eye view of the arena.

Normal ticket: Colosseum – Forums – Palatine ticket

The ordinary admission ticket gives you access to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Forum. This ticket is very good if you want to explore the first 2 levels of the Colosseum and the temporary exhibition.  With this ticket, you don’t have access to the Arena, Underground or the Belvedere.

Full Experience ticket: Colosseum with Arena, Underground or Belvedere – Forums – Palatine ticket

The official full experience ticket allows you to add one more area to visit inside the Colosseum. This ticket is the same as the normal ticket, but you need to select an extra area to visit. You have the possibility of visiting the Arena, Belvedere or Underground. You will be given a time to visit according to the option you choose.  Your name will be on a list and you will skip all the lines.

This type of ticket needs to be booked a long time in advance because there are limited tickets available on the official website.  If you want to book a particular day, plan in advance.  Don’t worry if you can’t get the tickets you want form the official website as there are other solutions.

Italy Colosseum with Level 3 visit

It’s worth knowing thatif you book a ticket with a visit of the Arena, Underground or Belvedere areas, you will be accompanied by a guide.  However, he or she is just there to open the gate and to guide you to the site and won’t give you any information about the Colosseum! After you’ve finished your special visit, you will be free to visit and enjoy the rest of the Colosseum like any other ticket holder. If you buy a full experience ticket, you need to go to the Stern Gate where you will be guided to the right area.

How Long Do I Need to Arrive Before My Tour Starts?

Be aware that whether you have a skip the line ticket or not, you still need to go through the Colosseum’s security and navigate to your rendez-vous point.  To do this comfortably, you need to allow 20 minutes before your tour starts.  On the website, they advise 15 minutes but from our experience 20 minutes is better and will cause you less stress.


What to Do if You Can’t Find a Ticket for the Colosseum

The company managing the Colosseum has changed how tickets are sold on the website.  Unfortunately, it has become increasingly difficult to buy tickets for the date of your visit.  For this reason, we recommend that you book your tickets as soon as possible. However, if you can’t find the tickets you want, you can use a private guide. We used GetYourGuide for our visit and had a great experience.  Having an informative guide with us made a big difference as we learnt a lot about the Colosseum during our visit.  Yes, it is a little bit more expensive, but it’s worth it for these reasons:

  • First, you are in small group and the guide is an expert on the Colosseum.
  • Secondly, you don’t queue, and you don’t lose time.
  • Thirdly, you have peace of mind as you don’t need to worry about where you are going.  You just need to follow the guide!
  • Finally, depending on the tour option you choose, you can visit areas others can’t visit with an informative guide(not just a site official who unlocks doors and ushers you from place to place).

Below are a selection of guided tours, you may be interested.

An alternative possibility is to use a tourist card, like the Roma Pass. With this card you can visit the Colosseum and skip the line, but you can’t access the Arena, Underground or Belvedere areas of the Colosseum. In addition, you can’t be a group larger than 13 people.  You need to use a dedicated entrance and will be accompanied by an authorized tour guide.

Even with the card, you need to book in advance for a time slot to visit the Colosseum and pay an extra two Euros as fee. You will need to have the card with you to be able to enter even if your name is on the reserved time slot list. You won’t be able to enter without it.

What are the Colosseum Opening Times?

The Colosseum is open every day as follows:

  • From the last Sunday in October to the 15 February: 08:30 to 16:30
  • From 16th February to 15th March: 08:30 to 17:00
  • From 16th March to the last Sunday of March: 08:30 to 17:30
  • From the last Sunday of March to 31st August: 08:30 to 19:15
  • From 1st to 30th September: 08:30 to 19:00
  • From the first to the last Saturday in October: 08:30 to 18:30

Does the Colosseum Have Disabled Access?

Yes, it is possible to visit the Colosseum if you have reduced mobility. There is an entrance for wheelchairs and inside there is an elevator to navigate between the different levels. The site isn’t completely even but it is better than the nearby hilly sites of the Palatine hill and Forum.

How Long Do I Need to Visit the Colosseum?

This depends on different factors.  First, are you going to opt for ordinary admission to the Colosseum, or do you plan to visit the Arena, Underground and Belvedere? The other factor is how much you will be interested in the history of the site.  There is plenty to learn and to discover, but some of you may just want to see the inside and be amazed by the site. The other factor is if you are planning to visit the Palatine Hill and Forum at the same time.

It is worth knowing that the Forum is attached to the Palatine Hill.  It is part of the same site and shares the same entrance just across the road from the Colosseum.

On average, you will need 3 hours to visit the Colosseum site with Palatine Hill and the Forum.

Can I Visit the Colosseum with my Backpack?

The security at the Colosseum has increased over time and now everybody needs to pass through a security gate even if you have skip the line tickets. In general, backpacks, suitcases, large handbags and luggage aren’t permitted inside the Colosseum.

Final Thoughts on Visiting the Colosseum

In ourexperience, most of you will visit the Colosseum just once in your lifetime, so you really won’t want to waste time queueing on the day!  Plan this visit in advance to make it an unforgettable experience! Remember that the Colosseum is one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, and there is a reason for this!

Our motto is to Pay Less, Travel and Experience More.  We think it is important to spend money where it is important. For this reason, we suggest you take a fully guide tour of the Colosseum with GetYourGuide.  We use this company when we want a better experience and we have never been disappointed.  Of course, it is a little bit more expensive than the official ticket price, but you get good value for money as an expert explains to you how the Colosseum works and shares their knowledge with you. See below for a selection of tours which may interest you.

For more information about Rome you can visit the tourist information

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