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Tips for Families Visiting the Colosseum

by Eugenia Lazaris

Aug 18, 2023

© Eugenia Lazaris

Destinations / Europe

The Colosseum is one of the most recognizable archaeological sites in the world, visited by millions of tourists each year. But visiting such an ancient site isn’t without its challenges, especially for family travelers. What is the best time to go? What should I know before I visit? These are just some of the many questions travelers have when planning their trip to the Eternal City’s most famous monument. Read on for tips and tricks that will make your family’s visit to Rome’s Colosseum a fantastic memory that will last a lifetime:


Begin with Planning Ahead
Tickets to the Colosseum tend to sell out, especially during high season from June through August. Tours, especially popular ones like night tours offering access to the site when the crowds are smaller, often sell out months in advance, so be sure to book early to get the tour your family is most interested in.


Research Your Tour Company
If you plan to take an organized tour, be sure to research your tour company well as they are not all created equal. Dozens of companies offer tours but while all promise great itineraries, they are not all well-organized, and it is easy to find yourself on a pricey tour that doesn’t deliver what was advertised. If you want to ensure you have plenty of time to explore on your own, plan a tour early in the day, as later tours, often billed as “sunset” or “twilight” tours, can sometimes get delayed, causing guides to rush through the tour rather than leave free time. In addition, tours including surrounding areas like the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill cover a lot of ground and can be quite exhausting, especially on warm days. These tours, while informative, are not always ideal for families with small children or elderly family members due to the excessive walking on uneven, often steep ground.


Dress Accordingly
Be sure to dress accordingly as there is a lot of physical activity involved. Visiting the Colosseum involves exposure to the elements, climbing a lot of steps and walking on uneven surfaces. If you are visiting in the summer, be sure to wear light clothing and hats, and don’t forget the sunblock. If you visit in winter, dress in comfortable layers. No matter the time of year, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of water. If you don’t have a refillable water bottle, you will have plenty of opportunity to pick up a cold bottle of water from a vendor on the streets outside of the Colosseum, usually for the cost of a single euro.


Visit Early Morning or Late in the Day
The Colosseum gets crowded, which can make it difficult for families to have the freedom to enjoy the site the way they would like. To make sure your family’s visit is as pleasant and fun as possible, visit either early in the morning or late in the day, avoiding the middle of the day when the crowds are at their largest.


There’s an Elevator On-Site
If you are visiting the Colosseum with a family member that has a mobility concern, there is no reason your entire family can’t still enjoy the monument. A convenient elevator is available for anyone who requires assistance for either a disability or a medical reason, so simply ask a Colosseum staff member to point you in the direction of the lift so the whole family can enjoy this amazing site of ancient history.



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