Tips on Visiting the Colosseum

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Think of Rome and the mind immediately turns to the grand, breathtaking image of the Colosseum. The 2,000 year-old amphitheatre is undeniably the symbol of Rome, the most famous and lasting example of the Roman Empire’s phenomenal reign. Even by today’s standards, the architecture is outstanding and enough is left to envisage how it must have looked at the coliseumheight of the Empire, when it accommodated over 50,000 spectators for gladiatorial matches, Classical mythology dramas, battle re-enactments and executions. It is a must-visit when in Rome so make sure it is top of your itinerary. However, for this reason it is also a priority for many other tourists so it is worth considering a few tips before visiting this iconic Roman landmark.

Avoid the ticket lines

Queues for tickets at this popular site can be astronomical, especially in the busy summer period, but there are ways to avoid them. Buying your tickets online will save you time waiting in line not just at the Colosseum but at Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum if you purchase a combination ticket – it’s valid for two days so you don’t have to visit them all in one go. If you opt for an audio tour – recommended to understand the history behind this architectural marvel – you can avoid the long queues at the main ticket office by going straight to the Guided Audio Tour window and buying your ticket there. If you are staying in Rome for at least 3 days, the Roma Pass is excellent value – costing €25 it provides free public transport, complimentary entry to two museums or historical sites and discounted entry to all others and can also be bought online.

Pay for a guided tour

Often guided tours can be a real waste of money, a tourist trap that should be avoided. However, to get a full appreciation of the history of this 2-century year-old monument, a guided audio tour or walking tour is in this case well worth shelling out for. The audio tour is mentioned above; walking tours can be booked through a number of organizations but Italy With Us is excellent – their tour takes in the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Circus Maximus, led by an experienced, knowledgeable expert.

Stay near the Colosseum

Lastly, if you only have a day or two in the city it may be wise to consider booking into one of the many Rome hotels close to the Colosseum as the monument is slightly outside the main city centre. This way, you won’t have far to go, enabling you to spend more time marvelling at the spectacular icon of Ancient Rome.  If you are staying in one of the hotels in Rome city centre, the easiest and most scenic mode of travel is by foot, through the ancient Roman Forum – ask your hotel to give you a map and point out the route for you.

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