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How to Buy Tickets for the Colosseum and the Vatican

The Colosseum and the Roman Forum were the epicenter of Ancient Rome. The Vatican, with its Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica are the greatest works of art in the city. Both places are essential in Rome. I tell you how to take advantage of them by making a combined visit.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

How to Buy Tickets for the Colosseum and the Vatican

View of the Vatican | © Mathew Schwartz

To the question "what can't I miss in Rome?" The answer is indeed "the Colosseum and the Vatican". No trip to Rome is complete without a stop at these two iconic landmarks of the city.

Both the Colosseum in Rome and the Vatican Museums receive many thousands of visitors every day and that, in both places, you have to access with a ticket and, if you do not want to spend hours in a queue or run the risk of running out of tickets, it is advisable to book in advance. That is why I recommend you to buy online and in advance this combined ticket for the Colosseum and the Vatican.

The best option

Rome Combo: Vatican Guided Tour and Colosseum Tickets

Get entrance to the Vatican and the Colosseum at the best price, with this savings pack.

Perfect if you do not want to leave Rome without visiting two of its most emblematic places: the Vatican, with its famous Sistine Chapel and the Roman Colosseum with its Forum, where you will make a real trip back in time.

With this option you will gain peace of mind to make the most of your time in the eternal city, ensuring the visit, without kilometer-long queues in the sun, to its two main landmarks. Plan these two visits in advance and dedicate the rest of your time to walk the streets of Rome, to look up and marvel at its statues and buildings, to feel the essence of history in every corner and to taste the best pizza and pasta dishes without rushing. It will be worth it.

The best thing about this option is that you will be accompanied by an expert local guide who will explain the most relevant of each of the places you visit. In addition, by concentrating the two visits in one day, you will free up your travel schedule for the following days and you will be able to explore the city at your own pace, calmly.

Recommended if... you are thinking of visiting both places. You should also know that this is the most economical option, since if you book both tours separately, you would end up paying a higher price.


What is included in the combined ticket to the Colosseum and the Vatican?

St. Peter's Basilica| ©Unsplash
St. Peter's Basilica| ©Unsplash

Guided tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

The Colosseum ticket is a complete ticket that also includes a visit to the Roman Forum, the huge esplanade with the archaeological remains that was once the epicenter of the social life of the city, and to the Palatine Hill, the most central of the seven hills of Rome and one of the oldest points of the city. These three points are very close to each other and are included in the tour.

Guided tour of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica

When we talk about tickets for the Vatican we are actually referring to the entrance to the Vatican Museums, one of the largest art collections in Europe. The area in which the Vatican City is located has basically two points of interest: the Museums and St. Peter's Basilica, whose entrance is free of charge. The joint tour of the Vatican and the Colosseum also includes a visit to the Basilica.

Buy tickets for the guided tour of the Vatican and the Colosseum

How much does it cost to buy a ticket to the Colosseum and the Vatican?

Detail of the Colosseum| ©Unsplash
Detail of the Colosseum| ©Unsplash

Buying the combined ticket to the Colosseum and Vatican will cost you around 100 € in Hellotickets and you will have, in addition, access without queues and you will make the visit accompanied by an expert local guide who will explain the most relevant of the Vatican and the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

It is best to book this option in advance and online to be able to compare schedules and availability and above all, not to end up paying the price of the tickets separately after long queues at both ticket offices. You can always book a guided tour of the Vatican and a guided tour of the Colosseum separately, but doing it in combination will save you time and money.

Buy tickets for the guided tour of the Vatican and Colosseum

Is it worth buying a combined ticket?

Sistine Chapel| ©Unsplash
Sistine Chapel| ©Unsplash

Yes, if you had to buy both tickets separately or book the guided tours separately, you would end up spending more time and more money. Here are the main advantages of having the combined ticket:

  • Saving hours of waiting (yes, hours, plural) at both sites, since by reserving tickets in advance you can access both points immediately and in perfect order.
  • Better organization. Particularly I always like to leave room for improvisation when I travel and let myself get carried away by the city in question. However, there are always places that you have to see and the fact that they are so mythical makes them full of tourists and visiting them sometimes involves added stress (you have to calculate the times, how to get there, schedules, waiting ...) that can even tarnish the experience of the visit.
  • Access to a specialized guide who will explain interesting things about the places of interest and who, in addition, you can ask for curiosities or local recommendations so that your visit to the city is even more authentic.
  • Guided tours included: If you decide to buy the combined ticket for the Colosseum and the Vatican, guided tours to the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill, the Arch of Constantine and the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica are also included.

Organize your joint visit to the Colosseum and the Vatican

Old paper entrance to the Colosseum| ©Unsplash
Old paper entrance to the Colosseum| ©Unsplash

The good thing about buying this guided tour with tickets included for the Colosseum and the Vatican is that the organization you have to take care of will be minimal; just be at the meeting point at the agreed time and follow the guide through the headphones you will be provided with. Even so, I am going to explain several things you should know:

Meeting point

The meeting point may vary depending on the time of the year, but it will be a central location such as Piazza del Risorgimento so you will have no problem getting there either on foot if you are staying in the center of Rome (the city is generally quite accessible for walking) or by public transportation. In any case, once you book the tour you can ask how to get to the site and they will tell you how to get there without any problems.

Date of tickets

When booking tickets for the Colosseum and the Vatican on the joint tour you must book them for a specific day. If you have any unforeseen circumstances, please cancel 24 hours in advance for a full refund. The organizers of the tour will be in charge of scheduling the times to visit each of the points of the tour. Of course, the departure time will be early so get used to the idea that you will have to get up early.

Duration of the visit

The duration of the visit will be about nine hours in total for both places. Of those nine hours, 2 to 3 hours will be dedicated to the Colosseum and the same to the Vatican Museums. I'm not going to lie to you: it's going to be an intense day, but in my opinion it pays off more than doing Colosseum on one side and Vatican on the other.

Language

This tour includes a headset with audio available in several languages: Spanish, English, French, German and Portuguese.

Lunch information

Food is not included so, although you will be given a lunch break, I recommend that you take some snacks in your backpack and a couple of drinks, so you can kill your hunger if you need to. Although you will find several food stalls and restaurants in both areas. These are the best places to eat near the Vatican and these are the best places to eat near the Colosseum.

Visit the Colosseum and the Vatican with children

If you plan to do this tour with children, keep in mind that they can end up very tired... If they are interested in art there will be no problem because they will have many things to see, but if they are too small better choose another option for your visit to the Colosseum and the Vatican. If you are interested, you can read these tips for visiting the Colosseum with children.

About the Colosseum

Roman Colosseum| ©Unsplash
Roman Colosseum| ©Unsplash

The Colosseum is the past of Rome, a Rome of greatness, emperors and gladiators, but also a Rome of the people because it was precisely in this amphitheater where the Roman population was concentrated to attend the famous gladiator fights and wild animal fights. Something you should definitely see if you go to Rome.

Interesting details

  • It is the most visited monument in all of Italy.
  • It was built around 72 BC by Emperor Vespasian, who was a professional soldier who later became emperor.
  • That, in case you were wondering, it owes its name to the statue "Colossus of Nero" in front of the amphitheater.
  • Although now only 3,000 people can access it, its bleachers had a capacity for 55,000 spectators. If it were a soccer stadium, its capacity would place it in fifth place among the largest in Italy.

About the Vatican

Colonnade of St. Peter's Square| ©Unsplash
Colonnade of St. Peter's Square| ©Unsplash

The Vatican, for its part, exudes magnificence and ostentation; it is a present marked by the power of religion. The Catholic Church has its headquarters in the city of Rome (specifically in Vatican City, which is considered a separate state) and it is inevitable to be dumbfounded by the wealth of it.

You cannot miss St. Peter's Basilica, its dome, St. Peter's Square and the Vatican Museums, where you will find the wonderful Sistine Chapel. I will also tell you what you have to see in the Vatican Museums to make the most of your visit:

Interesting details

  • All the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel (highlighting 'The Creation of Adam' or 'The Last Judgment') by artists such as Michelangelo or Botticelli.
  • You cannot miss paintings by Raphael such as 'The Transfiguration' (his last painting), 'The expulsion of Heliodorus from the temple', 'Parnassus' or 'The school of Athens'.
  • Its museums house well-known sculptures such as 'Laooconte and his sons' or the 'Apollo of the Belvedere'.
  • In St. Peter's Basilica you will find the famous "Pietà" by Michelangelo.
  • The view from the top of the dome, open to the public, is probably one of the best in Rome.

Practical advice for your visit to the Colosseum and the Vatican

St. Peter's Square prepared for a religious celebration| ©Unsplash
St. Peter's Square prepared for a religious celebration| ©Unsplash

How to dress

If you go in summer, Rome is very hot. Specifically, in the Roman Forum temperatures are high and there is no shade, so you will need to bring water, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.

In the Colosseum there are parts that are in the shade, but there is also more sun. You will think: great, I'll wear the coolest clothes I have for the day of the visit. Wrong! A tip for visiting the Vatican: you will not be allowed to enter with bare shoulders or with clothes that are too short. You will have to carry a scarf in your backpack and wear it over your shoulders to enter St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums.

An essential tip for visiting the Colosseum and the Roman Forum: wear comfortable shoes, otherwise the nine-hour tour can be very long. Although it may seem obvious, do not wear brand new shoes.

Do not bring a large backpack or luggage, as you will not be allowed to pass with these items in either place.

Don't get separated from the group

Keep track of your time during the tour. They will wait for you if you are a little late, but that means not only that you will delay the whole group, but also that at the next tourist attraction you see you will have less time and you will have to see it faster. Organized tours are not a time to buy gifts or explore the area at your leisure; you'll have time for that.

Photographs

Don't forget to charge your cell phone and camera. I'm not saying this (at all) because you will be looking at your phone; it would be a shame if you did. I tell you this because if you are going to take pictures of the tour (and not taking them will be very difficult) you may run out of battery (you are going to see many things). Personally, what I do when I travel, if I don't have my camera with me or I don't want to use my cell phone, is to put the phone in airplane mode (so I can take advantage of it and disconnect) and use only the camera.

Guided tours of the Colosseum and the Vatican

Visit to the Colosseum| ©Juliana Malta
Visit to the Colosseum| ©Juliana Malta

If what you are looking for when buying tickets for the Colosseum and the Vatican is a detailed and detailed visit, this option is not for you. The time to visit both places will be restricted as the priority will be to see all the points of the tour as comfortably as possible, but not to explore them in depth.

If you are looking for a longer and more detailed guided tour in which each of the wonders you are going to see will be explained, I recommend you to hire the Colosseum guided tour or the Vatican Museums guided tour, of which I have also written articles so you can evaluate all the information. Here you can read the The 2 Best Vatican Guided Tours ⛪ and here the one on Rome Colosseum Tours.

Roma Pass and Omnia Card: the tourist card for visiting the Colosseum and the Vatican

Interior of St. Peter's Basilica| ©Unsplash
Interior of St. Peter's Basilica| ©Unsplash

The best option to take advantage of the tourist pass at these attractions is the Roma Pass and Omnia Card, because with it you can choose to enter for free to two tourist attractions that do not necessarily have to be the Colosseum or the Vatican. In addition, with this card you can use the urban transport for free so you will use it to go to the meeting point of the tour and return from it at the end of the day.

In any case, my advice is not to get carried away and that before investing in a city pass you get well informed about it. You can read here all the detailed information about Rome Pass and other passes.

If you are interested in visiting the Colosseum and the Vatican, you will also be interested in

With this option you will see the two great wonders of Rome, but there is so much more to see. With the tranquility of having covered the essentials, my advice is to organize your visit for the rest of the days to locate the fountains, the sights, the palaces and the most important squares of the eternal city and you dedicate yourself to visit them walking.

If what you are looking for after this tour are more impressive monuments, do not miss the Pantheon, the Castel Sant'Angelo or churches such as Santa Maria Maggiore or Santa Maria in Trastevere. If, on the other hand, what impresses you most on this tour are the Vatican Museums, be sure to visit the Borghese Gallery. If you want, you can read more information in my post on Borghese Gardens and Gallery Tours & Tickets.

If what you want is a more extensive guided tour of the city, I have also prepared a post about my favorites, so read here everything you need to know about. Best Rome Tours.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the advantage of buying a combined ticket?

    If you want to visit the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums, buying tickets together will allow you to save money and enjoy a guided tour of both sites.

  • What is the etiquette for visiting the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum?

    For the Vatican Museums, the only rule is to have your knees and shoulders covered for both women and men. At the Colosseum there is no specific rule, so you can uncover your shoulders (if it is very hot you will appreciate it). However, I recommend that you bring a cap or scarf to cover yourself from the sun, as there is little shade in the Colosseum.

  • Is it possible to take pictures inside the Vatican Museums and inside the Colosseum?

    Inside the Colosseum you will have no problems, you can take as many pictures as you want. In the Vatican Museums, you will find restrictions only in the Sistine Chapel. The guide will remind you anyway.