Rome, the capital of Italy, is the largest and most populated city in the country. With the presence of two well-connected international airports - Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport and Ciampino–G. B. Pastine International Airport, thousands of tourists from around the world visited Rome every year. One of the most prominent attractions in Rome is the all mighty stadium, the colosseum which is a must for all visitors due to its amazing architecture and history. The colosseum is possibly one of the most photographed sites in the world.
One of the world’s greatest structures
The colosseum, also known as Flavian Amphitheatre, was built around A.D 70 by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty. In A.D 80, Titus, Vespasian’s son opened the colosseum to the public for gladiatorial and wild animal fights. The award-winning Hollywood movie in “The Gladiator” starring Russell Crowe gave the public a glimpse of the colosseum as well as the gladiator and wild animal fights back in those days.
Getting to the colosseum
To get to the colosseum, you can take the Metro: Line B to the station “Colosseo”. The attraction is located a few steps away. The best timing to go is in the early morning. The colosseum opens at 8.30am while the official tours start from 9.20am. The crowd, especially tour groups, starts flocking over in the late morning and afternoon, so it is best to be there earlier.
Pre-book your tickets
This is one of the world’s most popular attractions, so tickets to the colosseum are snatched up very quickly, especially by tour companies. Every first Sunday of the month, there is free admission for all visitors including tourists. However, as the venue allows only 3,000 visitors at each time, you can expect a long waiting time during the free admission day. If you are on a tight timeline during your trip, queuing in line is not recommended.
You are highly recommended to pre-book your tickets online since you may not be able to purchase the tickets on the actual day if they have hit the limit. If you do a search, you will find many online tickets operators for this attraction but Coopculture is the official ticketing agent. The non-official ticketing agents often charge a higher price for the tickets or offer package tours at a premium price. If you are unable to get hold of any tickets for the dates of your choice, the non-official ticketing agents will be your next best option, but only if you are willing to pay more. Alternatively, you can try your luck at the venue on the actual day but be warned that the queue could get really long after 10am.
How to get your tickets
Coopculture, the official ticketing agent, will open its online sales two weeks before the admission date. Each time, it will offer tickets in a block of two months. For instance, if you are looking for tickets for January and February (1st block of the year), the online tickets will be on sale only 2 weeks before the start of January. You will not be able to buy any tickets for dates after February. Typically, online buyers will encounter technical error in logging into the website during the first day. That is normal because visitors and tour companies from all over the world are trying to purchase their tickets at the same time. You will most likely be able to log onto the portal after few hours with its launch but your preferred day or timing may be selling out fast.
The booking portal can be slightly confusing but the general ticket cost 12 EUR (13.50 USD) each plus a reservation fee of 2 EUR (2.25 USD) per ticket. The reduced admission fee of 7.50 EUR (8.40 USD)is for For members of the European Union, ranging between 18 and 25 years old, you are in luck for the discounted admission fee of only 7.50 EUR (approximately 8.40 USD) per person. Tourists from countries that are outside of Europe may not be entitled to this discounted price but the experience gained from this historical and magnificent site at a full fare is definitely worth the bucks!
These tickets also allow you to visit the Roman forum and the Palestine hill, which are next to the colosseum. You should expect a waiting line at both attractions, so be prepared to spend almost the entire day at these 3 attractions.
Join the guided tour
To achieve a deeper understanding on the amazing history of the colosseum, you can choose to join the guided tour at an additional 5 EUR (approximately 5.60 USD). You do not need to pay the reservation fees again since you have paid for that in the regular ticket purchase. The tour lasts for about 45 minutes where you can learn about the main structures around the colosseum. You can also choose from the available timing based on your language preference.
In addition, there is another special tour that brings visitors around the colosseum and the Underground and Third Ring tours that cost another 9 EUR (approximately 10.10 USD). Regular visitors will not be able to access the underground and third ring without purchasing this tour. The underground tour, capped at 25 participants, brings you to the basement of the colosseum where the gladiators and wild animals used to be enslaved in the past. The underground has now been revamped for the tours but it was said to be very dark and cold in the past. The gladiators and animals do not have access to the natural light at the underground. The guide of this tour will also bring you to the third ring, the upper level of the colosseum, where you get a bird-eye view of the colosseum and the surrounding Roman forum and Palestine Hill. This is a highly recommended tour if you have strong interest in the colosseum but do note that tickets of this tour get sold out online very quickly.
Book your tickets now!
Outside the colosseum, there will be many selfie-stick sellers approaching you. If you are not interested, you may decline politely and they will walk away. Also, do take note that there will be some, dressed in the gladiators suit, wanting to take pictures with you for a fee. They are not the official staff of the colosseum.
As one of the world’s most amazing structure, the colosseum is not to be missed during your visit in Rome. You should remember to get your tickets online to avoid the queue and disappointment!
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