Buying Tickets for the Colosseum in Rome

Avoid the Ticket Lines at the Roman Colosseum

The Roman Coliseum during a warm spring sunset
Doug Ogden/Design Pics/Getty Images

Visiting the Roman Colosseum is tops on the list of must see Ancient Rome Sites, but the ticket lines can be long and nobody wants to spend their vacation waiting in line. A ticket to see the Colosseum also includes admission to the Roman Forum, which is no longer free, and Palatine Hill and Museum.

There are several ways to avoid the long ticket lines at the Colosseum:

  • Buy a combination ticket for the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum at the nearby entrance to the Palatine Hill. This entrance rarely has a line at the ticket window. The combination ticket is good for two days so you don't have to get to all three sites in one day.
  • Buy a Roma Pass or Archeologia Card. In order to avoid the Colosseum ticket line, you'll need to buy the pass or card before you go to the Colosseum. If you buy a Roma Pass, be sure to go to the Colosseum as one of your first two sites (the first two are free). Colosseum admission, with no line, is also included in the Vatican and Rome Card.
  • Want to skip the line? Take a guided tour of the Colosseum. We recommend Viator's Ancient Rome and Colosseum Half-Day Walking Tour, which starts with the Colosseum and also includes a walk through the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
  • For full access to the Colosseum, including underground areas that are normally closed to the public, check out Viator's Underground Chambers, Upper Tier and Arena Colosseum Tour. This 3.5-hour tour takes you through the tunnels where gladiators awaited battle, underground chambers where animals were caged, and the Colosseum's top tier and its spectacular views.   After the tour, you can continue exploring the Forum or Palatine Hill on your own with the ticket provided.
  • Take an audio tour of the Colosseum. In her suggested 4-hour walking tour of Rome, Monica Hildebrand says you can avoid the ticket line by going to the Guided Audio Tour window and buying your ticket with the audiotour.

If you plan to visit other sites you might want to consider buying one of these Rome Passes, Discount Cards, and Combination Tickets. Be aware that the area around the Colosseum is often very crowded so please take precautions to avoid pickpockets.