The Colosseum is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in all of Rome. It’s also one of the most popular destinations for travelers from all over the world! That said, it’s only natural to have a few questions about this enduring wonder especially before you set out on your maiden voyage.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find out about some of the most frequently asked questions about this iconic landmark? Given its popularity, you’ll surely find helpful information in our article! We have gathered all the useful information you are going to need if you are planning a trip to the iconic Colosseum. You will be able to find super useful things that will help you through out your journey and you will be able to make the most out of it.
Just what is the Colosseum? Well, as you may have guessed from its name, it’s a coliseum built by Emperor Vespasian. This Roman amphitheater was designed to host gladiator battles, public executions and animal hunts. We’re not going to get into the details of that, though.
With a seating capacity of over 75,000 people, the Colosseum was truly huge! Designed with seven entrances and nine exits, it had several functions, including public executions. The arena could also be used for animal hunts and gladiator battles.
However, after being destroyed and repaired several times, the Colosseum eventually fell into disrepair. Emperor Domitian eventually demolished it in the early first century.
How To Get There?
The Colosseum is located in Central Rome, on the Via dei Fori Imperiali. The entrance to this attraction is between Piazza Venezia and Piazza della Repubblica. From here, the Colosseum stands out like a sore thumb. You won’t be able to miss this mammoth of a building.
Much of the building is open to public viewing, though it is best to check before you go! Some sections require tickets, which can be bought at ticketing booths and souvenir shops. If you are visiting on a day when admission is free, you may have a few hours at your disposal. But if you want to see everything, buying your tickets in advance is best.
How Long Should I Wait In Line?
The best way to avoid the long, winding lines is by buying tickets ahead of time! However, booking a tour or tickets in advance is best if you end up in line. If you don’t, You might be waiting for a while! Check the times and days before you go, as most attractions have free entry on certain days.
How Can One Be Sure To See The Colosseum?
The first thing you should be sure of: is what type of ticket you’re buying. There are three class tickets for the Colosseum: standard, express and skip-the-line. You can find the differences here—Standard and Express tickets are assigned entry times, whereas “skip-the-line” describes a special entry pass that may save you some time in line.
The Colosseum is open between 9:00 am and one hour before sunset. If you’re planning to visit during the daytime, you can purchase a standard or express ticket. The respective pass gets you into the Colosseum up to 45 minutes earlier. However, this requires purchasing a separate ticket for an express ticket. You’d find this at both ticket booths and souvenir shops.
The best option for visitors is buying a skip-the-line Colosseum Tickets in advance. With this, you’re allowed to skip the long lines. This can be bought at ticket booths but also from other souvenir shops.
What Should I Pack?
First, bring good walking shoes! Most of you may have walked around the city and perhaps even done some exploring in Italy—but climbing the Colosseum is another story altogether! Make sure your soles are up to the task. Bring water, sunscreen (given Italy’s weather!), and some snacks.
How Many People Should Attend?
As far as crowds go, the Colosseum is one of the most popular attractions in all of Rome. Even on a weekday, it’s best to visit around mid-morning or after 4:00 pm. If you plan to visit on the weekend, you’ll want to come before 11:00 am or after 1:00 pm. You may even see people waiting outside the Colosseum during the day. If you do, you should bring a good book or your favorite music player!
On average, about two million people visit the Colosseum every year. However, this number is usually higher during the summer months. Many European travelers also flock to this attraction during their holidays—so if you’re visiting Italy in July or August, it might be best to avoid long lines.
How Much Time Should I Allow?
If you’re visiting the Colosseum regularly, you can expect to spend between five and six hours here. That also includes the time spent waiting in line to get in. If you’re visiting with a skip-the-line ticket, you could be at the Colosseum well within one hour.
What Should I See Inside the Colosseum?
You’ll need to bring a good book or your favorite music player! The Colosseum is best seen from the “tribune,” one of the seven seats in the center. It also offers awesome views from its top platform. You can sit on a throne or an elevated platform with perfectly obstructed views.
Rather than listening to the incessantly blaring sounds of the organ and guitar, you’re treated to a more mellow experience. The famous sound system plays several classical compositions ranging from baroque to Roman melodies. It’s an exquisite experience that’s hard to describe but priceless for history buffs.
If you are visiting during the day, be sure to visit the Colosseum’s underground floor and basement levels. On the basement level, you can see where the animals would wait out of sight from the audience. The underground floor is filled with cages—the place where humans and animals alike were killed.
What Does The Colosseum Look Like?
The Colosseum is a hexagonal-shaped building with a large central opening. It faced east and was constructed using travertine stone, which gives it its ivory colour. In Roman times, the Colosseum looked more like a Roman triumphal arch. A yellow stone was used in some parts of the Colosseum, giving it its distinct look today.
The inside of the Colosseum is packed with intricate designs and plasterwork that reflects its use as an arena for gladiatorial battles or as a place where various animals were broken and killed. Several frescos and paintings on the walls tell stories of actual Roman history. Many struck fear into the hearts of all gladiators and animal fighters.
Though the Colosseum has been repaired multiple times since its use as a gladiatorial arena, it still holds much of its original features. You can still see the marble floor, bronze railings and even wooden gates that protected those sitting in the audience—mainly rich nobles. Most gladiators would sit with only their owners in the upper tier, or “tribune”. The middle tier is where the nobility would sit. They’re surrounded by exclusive railings and have better views of the arena below. The first level, or “podium”, is where enslaved people and women would sit—with lesser views but still with some exposure to the arena below them.
What Time Of Year Should I Visit?
Most tourists visit the Colosseum during the summer, probably because that was when Rome was most active during Roman times. However, spring and fall are also good times to visit. The weather is cooler, though the crowds are still manageable.
If you’re visiting in the winter, you can expect to see snow on the rooftop of the Colosseum. You can also see this with a skip-the-line ticket in the summer—though it wasn’t uncommon for fights to end up both in and out of the Colosseum during Roman times.
What Other Attractions Should I See?
For those who want to see more of the city, you should consider visiting Vatican City. This small country has a lot more than the Vatican Museum. There’s also St. Peter’s Basilica, which houses the grave of Peter, a New Testament saint. The Basilica is located in Vatican City, which means “the city of Peter” in Latin. The Square before it is called “St. Peter’s Square.” St. Peter’s Basilica is a masterpiece built by popes over centuries, starting in the 8th century.
Another great way to spend an afternoon is to visit the Forum. This is perhaps Rome’s most famous landmark and was used as a meeting place for ancient Romans to discuss things from politics to law and religion. You can visit various archaeological excavations, including a massive Roman market.
The Colosseum is an incredible place to spend a day. You’re treated to many of Rome’s most famous sights, including the main viewing spot for gladiators and animals. It’s also where Julius Caesar was made a senator by the Romans and where Mark Antony was buried. You can also take Colosseum Tour to make the journey comfortable.
If you need help planning your visit to the Colosseum, you should look at our full guide for everything you need to know about travelling in Rome.