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Written by Savi, 19 Comments


Rome – where do I start? There’s nothing that hasn’t been said about Rome – every area has been covered by magazines and newspapers, its attractions have been listed in every possible brochure, and each offbeat attraction has been dissected numerous times. Despite all this, it is so easy for a short weekend break to Rome to go wrong? Wonder why?


A visit to the Colosseum is the focal point of a weekend break or cruise stop-over in Rome. Yet the Colosseum can be every tourist’s nightmare – think lack of food, long queues, and longer waits. If you don’t want to be squashed in queues or be forced to pose with faux gladiators and plastic grapes (aah, the things one witnesses while travelling 😉 ), you could either take one of the Colosseum tours or better still follow our top 5 tips for planning a visit to the mighty Colosseum 🙂


1) Avoid the queues and buy a 2 day ticket

The mile-long queue in front of the Colosseum is enough to send anyone in a tizzy. Do yourself a favour and buy your tickets at the counter in front of Palatine Hill. Buy a combination ticket that is valid for 2 days and includes entry to The Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and The Roman Forum. The ruins of The Roman Forum are spectacular – keep at least half a day for them.


Planning your visit to the Colosseum
The spectacular Roman Forum with the Colosseum in the background



2) Carry snacks and wear comfortable shoes

Trust me when I say this, you do not want to be tottering on the stairs of the Colosseum wearing heels. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes because the sun can be harsh in the summer.


Make sure you carry snacks and drinks to the Colosseum – you will need them even if you’ve had a heavy breakfast. It is easy to the better part of the day exploring the amphitheatre, The Arch of Constantine, and The Roman Forum. You will welcome granola bars, sandwiches, and chocolates. Hungry = Grumpy. Don’t say we didn’t warn you 🙂


Planning your visit to the Colosseum
Planning your visit to the Colosseum? Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.



3) Explore the surroundings

It’s hard to believe that there is a quiet neighbourhood, bedecked with bougainvillea vines, literally 5 minutes away from the Colosseum. Turn left on exiting The Colosseum Metro Station. You will find a flight of stairs. Climb the stairs and follow the path. It will lead you to a quaint Italian neighbourhood – perfect for letting off steam once the crowds thronging the Colosseum have gotten to you. There is no dearth of great hotels in Rome and you can easily find one that suits your budget in the vicinity of the Colosseum


Planning your visit to the Colosseum
Planning your visit to the Colosseum? Explore the surroundings



4) Don’t eat in the vicinity

It goes without saying that most restaurants around the Colosseum are overpriced. Moreover, their food is about as authentic as the pastas and pizzas stacked in the aisles of your local supermarket.


We suggest avoiding the area completely. Head to Testaccio or Trastavere for generous portions of authentic Italian food. The Eating Italy Food Tours offer a variety of tours in these areas. These offbeat, unique tours offer a perfect introduction to local Italian food. They are a feast for the senses like no other. Nom! 🙂


Planning your visit to the Colosseum
Freshly-made Tiramisu (image courtesy – Eating Italy Food Tours)


Planning your visit to the Colosseum
Authentic Pasta (image courtesy – Eating Italy Food Tours)



5) Return at night

The Colosseum is magical at any time of the day but the romance gets amplified at night when the crowds have dispersed. It is the perfect time to tiptoe around the circumference of the mighty amphitheatre. Run your fingers along its walls while imagining gladiator combats in full swing.


Planning your visit to the Colosseum
Planning your visit to the Colosseum? Return at night


Want to read about some of our favourite Italian eats? Hop over to our article about Genoa  *cue drooling* 🙂


19 thoughts on “Rome – Planning your visit to the Colosseum

  1. Actually we did find a few places near the colleseum which weren’t pricey, but they were kinda ‘hidden’. We found using tripadvisor most helpful during our Italy trip. We found a lot of local joints with amazing food and without the hefty price tags.

    1. Trip Advisor is amazing 🙂 To be honest, we’ve never found good food around the Colosseum, but maybe that’s just us

  2. Planning a trip to Rome this summer with family and the part about a quiet neighbourhood is definitely going to come in handy!
    I’ve been looking for some information about the Colosseum at night. Could you help me here?
    How did you buy the tickets? Did you do so in advance or only after getting to Rome? If yes to the latter, are the tickets available at the counter in front of Palantine hill?

    Thanks in advance! 🙂

    1. Hi Nethra,

      If you want to see the Colosseum at night, you’ll have to book a guided tour in advance. If you want to visit during the day, you can just go to the entrance and get the tickets from there – these are valid for 2 days. There is a queue – we had to wait for around 45 minutes before entering the Colosseum. A lot of companies offer “skip the line” tours which are more expensive. We did not opt for these and just bought our tickets on the day we visited the Colosseum. Hope that helps.

      If you have any more questions, feel free to drop us an email 🙂

  3. Hi guys! Very useful info and especially when I and my husband are planning to visit Rome! While I was reading this post, I reached Rome almost already 🙂

    Can you guys let me know what are the must places to visit in Rome? We are planning to visit for 3 days, are they good enough?

    1. Hi Anumeha,

      3 full days should be enough to get a good enough feel of Rome 🙂 There is so much to see and do in this city that you could spend a week and still not see everything. The best part about Rome is that a lot of places are in walking distance of each other. Just get out at Colosseum ( a must see ) and walk around the Roman forum.

      You should also pay a visit to the Vatican.

      Have a great time in Rome 🙂

  4. Hey have noticed in many of your post specially for PISA ,Colloseum ,Louvre you have suggested to visit these at night . Thats sound great !! 🙂 🙂
    But any comments on safety part ? Are these places safe to go to at night ?

    1. Yes they are safe during night. Of course common precautions need to be taken, which you would in your own hometown too 🙂

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