GETTING THERE: ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED
The Colosseum is centrally located and easy to access no matter where you are staying during your time in Rome. If you prefer to explore the city by foot, nothing beats walking down the Imperial Forum Road with the Colosseum awaiting you in distance. If you are coming by way of Rome’s metro system, you will practically run right into the Colosseum as you exit the metro station. Whatever means you prefer, the following section will provide all the essential information you will need:
Keep in mind that, although the Colosseum might seem straightforward, you should still allow yourself extra time to arrive at the Colosseum - especially if you have a reserved-time ticket. You should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your reservation time time in order to find the correct entrance, grab an extra bottle of water and/or use the restrooms (be sure to check the list of allowed items before you leave your accommodation).
If you plan to visit the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill before the Colosseum, you will still need to allow around 30 minutes to exit that area and make your way to the Colosseum entrance/security check.
In general, the staff at the security check will allow visitors to enter the security line about 5 - 10 minutes before the reservation time stated on their ticket. The time spent in the security line can vary based on the number of visitors. In high season, the security check can take more than 30 minutes even if you have a reserved ticket - those without reservations will wait much longer. If/when the number of visitors inside the Colosseum reaches its capacity of 3,000 people, the entrance will be blocked (and the lines will be at a standstill) until enough visitors leave the monument and normal entrance will resume. This can happen multiple times throughout the day during peak season. Check the list of tours and tickets to see how you can avoid these lines.
WALKING TO THE COLOSSEUM
Walking to the Colosseum, and around Rome for that matter, is one of the best ways to experience the city. It is a great way to avoid the sometimes-crowded buses and metro system and it allows a sense of wonder as you approach its magnificent facade. Depending on where you are coming from, check the map and always allow more time than you think you will need. If you are coming from the Historic Center, you should allow at least 30 - 45 minutes to walk to the Colosseum. This will ensure you arrive without haste and you can enjoy your meander through city streets.
The main entrance of the Colosseum is on the northern side near gate 52 - written in Roman numerals, of course. The stern entrance is exactly on the opposite side of the monument, this is a VIP stern entrance and your ticket will specifically state if you need to use the entrance (see a list of VIP tours and tickets).
USING THE CITY BUS
Rome has a comprehensive public bus system that is fairly simple to use. The easiest way to navigate the bus system is to download one of many apps onto your smartphone (Google maps, Roma Bus, Moovit, etc.) and plan your route. There multiple bus stops that are convenient for the Colosseum:
COLOSSEO MB* (Colosseum metro): use bus #51; 87; 75; 117; 118
SAN GREGORIO OR CELIO VIBENNA (Palatine Entrance): use bus #81 or 75
COLOSSEO (for Trams): use tram #3 coming from Trastevere/Ostiense direction
COLOSSEO/SALVI N. (for Trams): use tram #3 coming from Valle Giulia/San Giovanni direction
*ON SUNDAYS: the buses will use a deviated route and will not stop at the metro station bus stop. Instead they will stop behind the Colosseum and you can get off at either SAN GREGORIO or CELIO VIBENNA
USING THE METRO/UNDERGROUND
The metro system in Rome is straightforward and it has 3 different lines: A, B, and C. The Colosseum stop is located on the “B” line. Keep in mind that, if you don’t mind a 15-20 minute walk, you can get off at nearby stops instead of switching metro lines. Also note, any time you “switch” lines you should never exit the metro system as this means you will have to purchase another ticket.
If you are coming from the “B” line: simply check that you are taking the metro the right direction and get off at the stop Colosseo.
If you are coming from the “A” line: you will need to take the metro to Termini station and switch to the “B” line (follow the signs) and take the metro in the direction of Laurentina. Get off at the stop Colosseo. Walkable metro “A” line stops: Manzoni; San Giovanni.
If you are coming from the “C” line: you will need to take the metro to San Giovanni and switch to the “A” line and take the metro to Termini station (direction Battistini). Get off at Termini station (but stay in the metro system)and then switch to the “B” line in the direction of Laurentina and get off at the stop Colosseo. Walkable metro “C” line stop: San Giovanni.
BUS/METRO TICKET INFORMATION
COST: €1.50/ticket can be used on buses, trams and metro (just one trip underground per ticket). Valid for 100 minutes consecutively.
BUS/TRAM: 1 ticket is valid for 100 consecutive minutes from the time it is first “stamped” or validated. This means you can use it on as many buses and trams as you please for 100 minutes but can only use it for 1 trip on the metro/underground. The time starts from the moment you validate your ticket (look for the small yellow and black boxes in the bus/metro). The time is consecutive, so after 100 minutes the ticket will expire.