Colosseum and Archeopark in a morning. Here’s how to get the most out of a morning at the Colosseum.
Ancient finds are everywhere in Rome, but nowhere as concentrated as at the Coliseum. The Italian Ministry of Culture has therefore created an archeopark that includes the Colosseum, the Palatine, the Roman Forum, the Domus Aurea and the Meta Sudans.
Admission to the Colosseum is strictly regulated due to the large number of visitors. On the internet you get tickets with a fixed entrance time and the visitors have to keep the reserved time window. In addition, there are open tickets to visit the Colosseum on a reserved day after 2pm without having to queue. Holders of the Roma Pass have preferential entry at any time. Without a reserved ticket you have to line up in the queues and that can often take longer than the visit to the Colosseum.
The visit of the Colosseum, Palatine and Roman Forum fits well in a morning. In the summer it is cooler in the morning than in the afternoon. However, sometimes guided tours are only available in the afternoon.
Colosseum Archeopark in the morning · The meta Sudan
The meta Sudan was an ancient monumental fountain. It consisted of a 55 feet high cone at the base of 23 feet in diameter, standing in a pool of water with a diameter of 52 feet. Its remains have been excavated in front of the Arch of Constantine.
The Domus Aurea was the huge palace of Nero, which he had built after the fire of Rome in 64. The Palace was spread over 80 acres on the Palatine and the Esquiline. Where today is the Colosseum, was an artificial lake. After Nero’s death, the Palace was destroyed, filled up and overbuilt. The land expropriated by Nero was returned to the Roman people and the Palace fell into oblivion. In the 15th century a boy fell into a hole and the palace was rediscovered. Today the palace is in restauration and can only be visited on weekends. The guided tour takes place in English and virtual reality takes visitors back to Nero’s time.
The tour starts on Saturday and Sunday at 8:30 and includes a visit to the Domus Aurea, the Coliseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine. The tour has a duration of four and a half hours. Domus Aurea Info & booking>
In order to better manage the large number of visitors to the Colosseum and to provide visitors with reserved tickets and guided tours with a quick and pleasant access to the Coliseum, some new offers have recently been introduced.
The Coliseum has three entrances:
- The entrance of the Gladiators “Stern”: at this special entrance you enter the Coliseum directly on the level of the arena and you can see the Colosseum like the gladiators once when they entered the arena. The ticket to the arena also allows access to the 1st and 2nd floors of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Forum. Also the tours in the underground of the Colosseum and the guides to the 3.-5. Floor start at the entrance “Stern”.
- The group entrance.
- The entrance for all other visitors. At this entrance there are three subdivisions, depending on whether and which ticket you have.
Colosseum · Tickets without guide
If you don’t want a tour, the ticket with time reservation is recommended. However, you may not be late for more than 15 minutes, otherwise the ticket will be forfeited.
An alternative is the ticket for the gladiator entrance. This is an accompanied entrance, but without guide.
More tickets can be found on my page Colosseum Tickets.
Colosseum · Tickets with guide
For the Colosseum I would like to point out three special tours. These three tours have interesting features:
- Visit of the underground of the Colosseum. Duration of the tour including the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill three and a half hours. There are various start times. The German Archaeological Institute has been working here for a long time.
- Express tour with Gladiator entrance. Duration of the tour one and a half hours.
- Four-hour tour with Gladiator entrance, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
Colosseum · Tour combinations
For the Colosseum, there are also some interesting guided tour combinations:
- Three-hour family tour, specially designed for families with children between 6 and 12 years, with Colosseum and Roman Forum
- Three-hour small group tour to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Circus Maximus.
- Three and a half hour small group tour with Colosseum and Roman Forum. Continue to the Capitol, Piazza Venezia, Torre Argentina, Pantheon and Piazza Navona. You have to be good on foot.
The Palatine is one of the seven hills of Rome where the city was built. On the Palatine there are several interesting viewpoints. On one side you can look down to the Circus Maximus and the Baths of Caracalla, on another you have a nice view of the Capitol hill, there are viewpoints on the Roman Forum and on the Coliseum. It is very pleasant and quiet there and you can enjoy nature. If you want, you can even go through at the Forum Romanum. For the Palatine you should definitely take the entrance at Via di San Gregorio.
In the area of the Colosseum there are few gastronomic highlights. On Via Labicana, on the upper floor of the Palazzo Manfredi hotel, you will find a top restaurant, Aroma, overlooking the Coliseum. In the Via di San Giovanni in Laterano and in the side streets there are some pretty nice places. For a wider choice, take the Via dei Fori Imperiali and then turn right onto Via Cavour. There and in the surrounding quarter Monti you will surely find something. You can also go down Via dei Fori Imperiali to Piazza Venezia and then left to Torre Argentina and left again to the ghetto. There you will find mainly Roman cuisine.
To get to the Coliseum, take the metro line B station Colosseo. Many buses stop at Piazza Venezia and from there you can take Via dei Fori Imperiali to the Colosseum. The tram line 3 stops at the Coliseum. It goes in one direction to San Giovanni and on to the zoo, in the other direction to the Pyramid, Testaccio and Trastevere.
After visiting Coliseum, Roman Forum and Palatine, what’s next?
After visiting the Coliseum, you have a variety of options. The obvious choice is a visit to the Celio with the beautiful churches that are located there. You can also continue your tour towards Monti or the city center. If you want to see more ancient ruins, you can also go to the Baths of Caracalla. Nice is a trip to the catacombs on the Via Appia Antica by bus 118 from Circus Maximus. Or you look at some basilicas. To San Giovanni, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme and St. Lawrence, take the tram line 3, to St. Paul outside the walls takeb metro B. In my suggestions for the afternoon you will find enough ideas.
To mention is also the Bocca della Verità behind the Circus Maximus. Whether this is really worth it, however, is questionable. Mostly you have to wait a long time and then take a picture in a hurry. If you want to go there, you shall be there as soon as the church opens, at 9:30 in the morning.
My suggestions for the afternoon
An afternoon in the city center – monuments, shopping and parks> By bus 87 from the metro stop Colosseo to the Risorgimento stop near Piazza Navona
An afternoon on Caelius Hill and Oppius Hill> The Caelius Hill is right by the Coliseum
An afternoon with pope basilicas, pilgrimage route and catacombs of the Appia Antica> Take Metro B to the Basilica of St. Paul, for the catacombs walk to the Circus Maximus and take from there bus 118 to the catacombs, for the Basilica St. John tram line 3