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When is the best time to visit Colosseum Rome

For first-time visitors to Rome, the Colosseum is often top of the itinerary and for good reason. The gigantic amphitheatre, built over 2000 years ago, is the most recognizable icon of the Roman Empire.

There’s a lot on offer at the Colosseum and its surrounding attractions. Set aside at least half a day to explore the Colosseum’s vast arena, undergrounds, and upper levels. Close by are the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum where you’ll find more Ancient Roman ruins.

A visit to the famous amphitheatre is always going to be exciting, but if you want to really make the most of it, it’s worth planning ahead so that you can skip the queues.

Queues to the Colosseum are typically very long and no shade or sitting area, so the last thing you want is to spend most of your day waiting outside the amphitheatre.

Like most visitors, you probably have two or three days to explore the city so you don’t want to spend your precious time queuing. With a little forethought, you can select the best time to go to Colosseum and make your visit positively memorable.

When is the best time to visit the Colosseum ?

The best time to go to the Colosseum is during the low season from November to February. However, Christmas and New Year holidays are usually busy.

As for the best time of day to visit the Colosseum Rome, try to get there for 8:30am when the doors have just opened. At this time, the crowds aren’t as large as they are in the late morning hours through to the afternoon.

You could also visit 1-2 hours before the Colosseum closes. This is also the best time of day to visit the Colosseum Rome as the crowds are considerably smaller and, if you fancy a romantic visit, the golden glow of the setting sun will light up the Colosseum at this time.

The high season runs from March to October and may not be the best time to visit Colosseum. At this time of year you should expect to wait up to 2 hours in line to access the Colosseum.

best time to visit colosseum Low season rome

Top Colosseum attractions to include in your visit

Set aside a full day to explore attractions close to the Colosseum. In particular, be sure to check out the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Circus Maximus, and Forum Boarium.

The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum was the heart of political and religious life in ancient Rome. The plaza, now characterized by sprawling ruins of temples and statues, was once a meeting place, a platform from where emperors delivered their speeches, a hub of government buildings, and a nucleus of shrines and temples.

Palatine Hill

For a quiet evening walk, which is among the best time to visit Colosseum, make Palatine Hill your next stop. Nestled right in the middle of the seven hills of Rome and located just 40 meters above the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill offers a view of numerous ruins built over 1000 years ago by Italy’s opulent society. Take in the sights of the Domus Flavia, House of Livia, Palatine museum, and Farnese gardens among other attractions.

best time to visit colosseum the roman forum and palatine hill rome

Circus Maximus

Situated close to the Palatine Hill, the Circus Maximus was the largest in Roman history and hosted the city’s equestrian games and recreations of chariot races. Much of the circus’s ruins no longer exist but a walk through the lush green park is an exciting way to reimagine the roaring spectacles that took place here many centuries ago.

Forum Boarium

Away from the raging crowds is the Forum Boarium, the oldest forum in Rome presently located at the Piazza Bocca della Veritá. In ancient times, the forum was the city’s cattle market. At the plaza are the awe-inspiring Temple of Hercules and Temple of Portunus constructed in the second century B.C. but still in pretty good shape.

best time to visit colosseum forum boarium

Enjoy The Benefits Of The Roma Pass

The City of Rome sells the Roma Pass as a way to encourage visitors to sample some of the city’s cultural sites at a discounted price. The pass comes with a comprehensive map of Rome, a list of sites to visit, and a booklet outlining events and services.

The pass is valid for 2-3 days from the day of use and allows you two free visits to museums and historical sites, reduced entry prices to other sites, and unlimited use of public transportation in the city. You can use the pass to gain free access to the Colosseum, and more importantly, skip the long lines.

Purchase the pass at all participating sites, at the tourist information desks at the Ciampino and Fiumicino airports, or at the Tiburtina and Termini stations. For your convenience, consider buying the pass online.

best time to visit colosseum Roma Pass

Book Your Tickets In Advance

While you can book your tickets at the Colosseum, nearby ticket offices, or travel agencies, avoid the hassle of lining up for hours and instead choose your best time to go to Colosseum in advance online.

best time to visit colosseum

Getting Around

Rome’s public transport system is budget-friendly. However, it helps to familiarize yourself with the various options, which include the metro, bus, and taxis.

Although the metro is not very extensive, it has stops at some of the city's top attractions. A bus is also a great option for getting around especially in areas not serviced by the metro. For the Colosseum, you’ll want a bus or train that goes to Colosseo, as this stop is just outside the Colosseum.

Taxis in Rome can be quite pricey and should be your last resort.

best time to visit colosseum Metro rome termini

Places To Eat Near The Colosseum

You can find some great budget-friendly restaurants near to the Colosseum, or if you were hoping for something a little more luxurious, there are several different rooftop bars and restaurants.

Lunch and dinner are the best time to visit Colosseum eateries. There’s pizza, pasta, platters of seafood, homemade desserts, and of course delectable Italian wine. So if you decide to stop for a bite to eat during your visit you'll be spoilt for choice.

Some great eateries worth trying include:

Urban 47– Fresh pasta ($$)

La Taverna dei Quaranta– Traditional Roman food ($$)

Li Rioni– Pizza ($)

Aroma– Fine dining; traditional Italian cooking ($$$)

Luciano Luzzi Trattoria– Authentic pizza and pasta ($)

Caffè Propaganda– Casual contemporary dining, cocktails, savory ($$)


A trip to the Colosseum in Rome can be enchanting or disappointing depending on how well you plan your tour. Make the most of your time by booking tickets online. To save on costs, get around easily, and skip the lines, consider buying the Roma Pass.

Plan your trip for the low season if you want to avoid the heaving crowds that swarm Rome’s Colosseum in the summer months. The best time of day to visit Colosseum Rome is early in the morning or in the evenings when the waiting lines are considerably shorter.

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