Make sure to buy your skip-the-line tickets online before your visit!
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Tips for the visit
The waiting line to Forum and Palatine is never as big as the one for the Colosseum, you’ll probably spend no more than 20 minutes in low season, but in high season we’ve been warned of queues of 1h45. The ticket you acquire at any of these sites comprises access to the other two, that’s why we recommend you purchase it at Palatine ticket office (5 minutes walk from the Colosseum) where there is never a queue, or - an even better solution - to buy your ticket online and thus enter without waiting, at all three sites in whichever order you prefer!
Another way to guarantee a queue-free visit is to buy the Archaeologia card. It costs € 23 and gives you free access to the following sites: Colosseo, Palatino, Forum Romano, Terme di Caracalla, Villa dei Quintili, Mausoleo di Cecilia Metella, Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, Crypta Balbi, Terme di Diocleziano. Card holders will also be able to skip waiting lines at all the sites above. Good deal! You can purchase it at the ticket office of any of the sites.
The afternoon is the best time to go, and later is better. There’s a wave of tourist groups that arrive at 10:00 at the Colosseum, so they will appear at the Forum side by noon and cause big crowds. Another wave of guided tour groups prefer to start from Forum and Palatine leaving the Colosseum at lunchtime or early afternoon. In any case most of the groups, no matter which route they take, will leave by 15:00, and that’s when we advise you to come.
If you’re in Rome during the summer months and it’s way too hot - you can start your day with the outdoor sites (Palatine, Forum) and then head to museums and covered galleries, or wait until the evening to do the outdoor tours. Avoid being outside in the sun at noon: the visit of Forum and Palatine lasts about 2-3 hours on average, it’s already tiring in itself, with lots of walking and climbing the hill. Imagine doing it all under 40°C sun!
Avoid visiting the site when it’s raining: there will be lots of dust and there’s a risk of slipping. On the contrary, a dry cloudy day or a fine day without sun are great for the visit.
There are 3 different entrances to the site: the main one is located in Via dei Fori Imperiali and it’s where you can find a 15 minute queue during high season. You can access the Forum area via this entrance. The Palatine entrance is located in Via di San Gregorio, a couple of minutes down the road from the Colosseum. This is the least crowded entrance, keep that in mind. The third entrance can be found close to the Arch of Titus, it’s the closest one to the Colosseum.
Avoid visiting on the first Sunday of the month: the entrance is free for all visitors, and crowds may be very impressive.
The area is huge, and you can follow different routes while exploring it. So even when it’s very crowded, you’ll be able to find a quiet part of the site and avoid flocks of tourists. It’s not the Vatican where on peak hours the visitors are like sardines in a tin, therefore start your trip at these sites, where waiting and crowds can get more uncomfortable: the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, Borghese Gallery, Castel Sant’Angelo… And leave the Forum and Palatine for the other days!
Tips for a few days in Rome
This page will give you many tips to avoid crowds in Rome as well as crowd schedules for top tourist attractions in order to plan your visits.
Don’t forget to take a map with indications of exits, as you can’t always leave the site by where you entered.
Think about taking a guided tour or exploring the area with an book/audio-guide as there is no information about different columns, temples or other sites that you will see and you’ll miss all the background that makes this touristic spot so impressive!
There are no eateries on site, so plan your visit for before/after lunchtime or take a snack with you!
Having a bottle of water is always a good tip for Rome sightseeing, and comfortable shoes of course.
Combined ticket (Colosseum, Forum, Palatine)
Full price: € 12.00
Reduced: € 7.50 (EU citizens between 18 and 25)
Free: children under 18
Commission for online booking: € 2.00
Free admission for all visitors on the first Sunday of every month.
By metro: line B (‘Colosseo’ stop)
By bus: n. 75,81,673,175,204
By tram: n.30