How to Skip the Line at the Colosseum

by Olivier De Winne
Published: Updated: 0 comment

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. One of the big problems with Rome is that there are queues everywhere, so it is great to know how to skip the line at the Colosseum.

To skip the line at the Colosseum, you need to arrive really early or buy your tickets in advance.  The best way to skip the line is to plan ahead by buying tickets from the official Colosseum website or by pre-booking a guided tour.  If you have purchased a Roma Pass, you still need to book ahead.

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 so much time queuing and had to rush my visit. So, let me help you learn from my mistake with these 3 simple ideas 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

How to Skip the Line at the Colosseum

It is useful to know that when you buy a ticket for the Colosseum, you don’t just buy a ticket for one Roman monument.  In fact, the same ticket gives you access to the Palatine Hill and the Forum. In addition, some tickets are valid for two consecutive days!

The Palatine Hill and the Forum are located 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?

In order to help you make the most of your time in Rome, here are my 3 simple ideas about how to skip the line at the Colosseum.

1. Buy Official Tickets in Advance of Your Visit

There are different ticket options or combinations available for the Colosseum, so you need to decide exactly what you want to see during your visit.

Normal 24 Hour Ticket: Colosseum – Forums – Palatine

The ordinary 24 Hour 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 tiers of the Colosseum and the temporary exhibitions.  With this ticket, you will NOT have access to the Arena or Underground areas of the Colosseum.


Full Experience Ticket: Colosseum with Arena and Underground – Forums – Palatine

Alternatively, the Full Experience Ticket is valid for two consecutive days and offers an in-depth visit. This ticket gives you access to both tiers of the Colosseum, plus the Arena and Underground areas, and a visit to the Roman Forum and Palatine.

The Full Experience Ticket allows to 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.  It also includes the Underground visit that gives you access to the under-arena area where the slaves and animals were kept.

Italy Colosseum with Level 3 visit

You will be given a fixed time to visit the Colosseum according to the ticket 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 from the official website because we outline alternative solutions below.

2. Book a Private Guided Tour of the Colosseum

Unfortunately, it has become increasingly difficult to buy tickets to visit the Colosseum for the date of your visit.  They sell out so quickly! 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 book a reputable private guided tour. One of the benefits of opting for a guided tour is that you will learn a lot more about the Colosseum and the other archaeological sites during your visit. This is because the ticket options offered by the official website do not include a guide.

Other benefits of booking a guided tour include:

  • Being in a small group led by a guide who is an expert on the Colosseum.
  • Saving valuable time by avoiding the queues.
  • Having peace of mind as you don’t need to worry about where you are going.  You just need to follow the guide!

If you want to be sure of visiting the Colosseum during your trip to Rome, check out this selection of guided tours:

3. Use a City Pass

An alternative possibility to skip the line at the Colosseum is to use a city pass, like the Roma Pass. With this card you can visit the 2 tiers of the Colosseum and skip the line of people queueing for tickets. However, you cannot visit the Arena or Underground areas of the Colosseum.

Even with Roma Pass, 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 Roma Pass with you to be able to enter the Colosseum even if your name is on the reserved time slot list. You won’t be able to enter without it.

How Long Do I Need to Arrive Before the Start of My Colosseum Tour?

You need to head to the Gates of the Colosseum (Sperone Valadier) to gain entrance to the Colosseum with your pre-booked ticket. 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.  It is impossible to skip all the queues!

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 are the Colosseum Opening Times?

The Colosseum is open every day (apart from Christmas Day) as follows:

  • From 30th October to the 28th February: 08:30 to 15:30
  • From 1st to 25th March: 09:00 to 17:30
  • From 26th March to 31st August: 09:00 to 19:15
  • From 1st to 30th September: 09:00 to 19:00
  • From 29th October to 31st December: 09:00 to 16:30

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?

On average, you will need about 3 hours to visit the Colosseum site including the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. However, the amount of time you spend visiting these historical sites will vary depending on your level of interest and the ticket you opt for.

It is worth knowing that the Forum is next to the Palatine Hill.  They are part of the same site and share the same entrance just across the road from the Colosseum.

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 our experience, 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 your 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 at Off the Tourist Treadmill 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 the history of the Colosseum to you and shares their knowledge. Click on the banner below for some great prices:

For more information about Rome, visit the Rome tourist information website.

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