The Colosseum is one of the most popular monuments in Rome (and the whole world) and every day it receives thousands of visitors eager to know its galleries, its intricacies, and its spectacular stands.
Getting your tickets for the Colosseum is easy, there is a quite varied offer on the Internet (I 100% recommend you to avoid going through the long queues at the ticket offices) and unfortunately, it is difficult to find discounts and practically impossible to find free tickets.
Still, there are always exceptions. Read on to see if you are one of those who have access to get cheaper tickets for the Colosseum.
How to buy cheap or reduced rate tickets for the Colosseum
Certain groups are entitled to get free or reduced-price tickets. This is, broadly speaking, the list of people who could benefit from discounts:
- Teachers from Italy who are properly accredited.
- Teachers specializing in History of Art who accompany a group can also check if they are entitled to free or reduced-price tickets.
- Disabled persons and accompanying persons who benefit from health and social services.
- Official guides and tourist interpreters from the EU who are in the course of their professional activity.
- Art history and secondary school teachers who are properly accredited.
- Teachers and students of Architecture, Conservation of cultural heritage, Educational sciences and Literature or literary subjects with archaeological or art-historical direction.
Children have access to cheaper tickets, at a reduced rate
Children under 18 years of age will not have to pay the full rate when purchasing their tickets to the Colosseum. However, they must always be accompanied by an adult.
Also in the guided tours of the Colosseum they are entitled to get the tour at a discount. For example, for a guided tour that costs $ 50 for an adult, a child under 18 can get it for $ 44. Of course, you will have to bring an identity document so that the Colosseum staff can verify your age.
How to get cheap tickets to the Roman Forum
For this, you are in luck: practically all Colosseum tickets and guided tours include also the visit to the Roman Forum, so you won't need to queue any more or pay extra to visit the archaeological area of the Forum.
Therefore, the discounts and reduced rates mentioned above will also apply to access the Roman Forum. The Mount Palatine is also included in the vast majority of tickets and visits to the Colosseum and Forum, although if you want to visit the Palatine Museum you will need to make sure that your ticket includes Full Access to all areas of the Colosseum and its surroundings.
When is it free to enter the Colosseum?
On the first Sunday of every month the Colosseum opens its doors for free to all visitors who want to tour inside. As you can imagine, the queues are enormous and the large crowds can take away from the visit.
If you are determined to make the most of the occasion, I recommend that you get up very early and be there early in the morning: it will be the only way to secure your place in the most coveted amphitheater in the world.
How can I save on tickets to the Colosseum?
Another way to reduce the costs of your visit to the Colosseum is by purchasing the Roma Pass tourist card. If you plan to visit several museums and monuments in the city, you may want to buy this tourist card, which gives you access to them at a "flat rate" price.
If you want to read more details, you can check my article how it works and everything you need to know about the Roma Pass.
Save money with your combined ticket to the Colosseum and the Vatican
Italians are into everything, and being the Vatican and the Colosseum the two most visited monuments in the city, there is the possibility to purchase a combined ticket for the Vatican and Colosseum with which you will do both visits in one day and be accompanied by an expert guide at all times.
The best thing about this option is that you will save not only money but also time, as you will be able to skip the lines at both the Colosseum and the Vatican. Highly recommended!
So what can I see for free in the Colosseum area?
If you are on a really tight budget and want to keep your spending to a minimum when you visit the city, you can always go to the area to get the best images of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum in your mind. One option is to buy a single ticket to the Colosseum (around $ 20) and just see the rest from the outside.
Take note of the following places that will be essential for free sightseeing in and around the Colosseum:
The best views of the outside of the Colosseum
Going around the huge perimeter of the Colosseum will help you get an idea of its magnificent dimensions and the enormous capacity of its stands. In addition, it will allow you to see it from different angles (some parts are better preserved than others, and you will find impressive views when walking around this massive landmark).
You can also go up to the stairs that go up to the Monti district (you will find them easily because they are just at the top of the Metro stop of Piazza del Colosseo) and stop there to enjoy the view.
Being quite elevated, traffic and pedestrians won't get in the way of your views, so you'll be able to take some nifty pictures. The sunset from there is magical and the colors of the sky with the Roman Forum and the Colosseum in front of you will not leave you indifferent.
The best panoramic view of the Roman Forum
There is a large part of the Roman Forum that can be seen perfectly from the Via dei Fori Imperiali as you stroll between the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. If you can make this tour on a Sunday, you will see that the great avenue is closed to traffic to become pedestrianized. A real treat for tourists and Romans, who take the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and these magnificent views.
Another key place that I encourage you to visit is the highest part of the square where the Capitoline Museums are located (take the opportunity to see the symbolic statue of Romulus and Remus with the she-wolf). If you go up here late in the afternoon, when the Colosseum and the Forum are already closed and empty of tourists, you will be practically alone in front of the immensity of Ancient Rome.
It is true that from here you will not be able to have a detailed close-up that a walking tour inside the Forum offers you, but I assure you that the panoramic view has nothing to envy to the walk through the Roman Forum.
A relaxing stroll through the Circus Massimo
The Circus Massimo, where the popular horse races were held in Ancient Rome, is relatively close to the Colosseum and next to the Roman Forum. Unfortunately little remains of the site that once housed 250,000 spectators, but in exchange, no entrance fee is required and it is free to move around.
You can walk around it how and when you want, and the green area that surrounds it makes it a very pleasant stroll and of course, free of charge.