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Duration of the visits to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum

If you are planning your trip to Rome and want to know how much time you need to cover the whole area of the Colosseum and Ancient Rome, this is of interest to you - read on!

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

6 min read

Duration of the visits to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum

Views of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum | David Edkins

There is no time to waste during your visit to Rome. Its squares, little streets, colorful facades, terraces... will instantly steal your heart and you will want to enjoy the city for as long as possible. To organize your trip well and if you are wondering how much time you really need to enjoy the visit to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, I recommend you to read on.## How much time will I need to visit the Colosseum and the Roman Forum in total?

Roman Forum| ©Lucía García González
Roman Forum| ©Lucía García González

Generally speaking, you will need at least half a day to get a good impression of the whole area, visit the Colosseum inside and tour the Roman Forum. Of course, you can extend this time if you want to stop to contemplate in detail the archaeological remains of the Roman Forum, go around the Circo Massimo, stop to take pictures of the whole area...

I also recommend you to take the opportunity to walk around the outside of the Colosseum (it will take you about 20 minutes to walk around the perimeter) and see it from all angles. The views from the stairs leading up to the Monti district (you will find them just above the Colosseo metro stop) will give you a breathtaking view of the Colosseum. If you have not bought your tickets in advance, add to all the time you need for the visit, up to a couple of hours to queue at the ticket office.

Book a visit to the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill

How long does the guided tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill last?

Monte Palatino| ©Fred Romero
Monte Palatino| ©Fred Romero

Guided tours of the Colosseum vary in length depending on what is included in the tour, estimate between 1 and 3 hours in total. For example, there is an express guided tour of the Colosseum that lasts 1 hour and is ideal if you have little time in Rome, but usually the guided tours that include the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill last about three hours.

The good thing about these tours is that the tickets they include have priority access, so you will skip the long lines to access both the Colosseum and the Forum. There is also an even more complete (and therefore longer) option that combines the visit to the Colosseum with the visit to the Vatican, always accompanied by an expert guide. Both visits are done in the same day and the total duration of the tour is about 6 hours, so you can expect to spend most of the day busy.

Book your visit to the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill

How long should I spend inside the Colosseum if I visit it on my own?

Roman Colosseum| ©Martijn Vonk
Roman Colosseum| ©Martijn Vonk

Another option to visit the area on your own is to buy the tickets to the Colosseum on your own (for this I recommend you always do it online and in advance, so you can ensure availability and skip the queues the day of the visit. If you visit the Colosseum on your own, calculate that you will need at least an hour inside, 20 minutes outside and another hour touring the Roman Forum. In total, you will spend at least 3 hours in the area if you want to leave there having seen all the essentials. If you are walking from the center of Rome, it will probably take you about 30 minutes longer, but the views are certainly worth it.## How long does the visit to the Colosseum Arena last?

The arena of the Colosseum| ©Ruben Ramirez
The arena of the Colosseum| ©Ruben Ramirez

You can step into the Arena of the Colosseum with a guided tour that includes this part of the tour (be sure to check before booking, because not all guided tours include it). This stop is usually included in the 3-hour guided tour and will not add extra time to the duration of the itinerary, but it will allow you to have a different point of view of the stands, the subway labyrinths and will make you feel tiny in front of the immense size of the amphitheater. From here you will get to feel like the real gladiators of Ancient Rome when they went out to fight. Although the price of the visit with the arena included is a little higher than the standard visit (considering that it is an exclusive space with reduced capacity, the difference is understandable), it is highly recommended!

Book your guided tour of the Colosseum, the arena and the subways

How long does it take to visit the Roman Forum?

Discover the surprises of the Roman Forum| ©chrisobayda
Discover the surprises of the Roman Forum| ©chrisobayda

It will take you at least an hour to tour the Roman Forum, depending on how thorough you want to be with your visit. The archaeological park of the Roman Forum is located next to the Colosseum (you can't miss it, you'll see it right away) and with the Colosseum tickets you can access the paid part of the Roman Forum. Throughout the tour you will see the archaeological remains of what were its temples, basilicas and meeting places. What will catch your attention (especially because it is very well preserved) is the Arch of Triumph. Pay special attention to the dimensions of the remains of the columns that you will find along the way, they will give you an idea of the enormous dimensions of the buildings of the time. If you want to see the best panoramic views of the Forum, before or after your visit go to the top of the Piazza del Campidoglio (where the Capitoline Museums are) and look for the viewpoint to the Forum and the Colosseum. Simply spectacular.## How long does it take to visit the Circus Massimo?

Circo Massimo| ©Fred Romero
Circo Massimo| ©Fred Romero

With a capacity of 250,000 people you can imagine that the surface of the Circo Massimo is enormous. It is about 600 meters long and 250 meters wide, so a full lap around it can easily take you more than an hour. Unfortunately, today little is preserved of what was the most coveted track for horse racing in Ancient Rome, so today you will see only its surface and in my opinion, it is not worth too much to go around it. If you want to go there, see its panoramic view, be amazed by its dimensions and return, you should not need to spend more than about 20-30 minutes in total.

Book yourguided tour of the Circus Maximus

How long will it take me to walk along the Via dei Fori Imperiali?

Via dei Fori Imperiali| ©Shadowgate
Via dei Fori Imperiali| ©Shadowgate

The stretch of Via dei Fori Imperiali that connects Piazza Venezia with the Colosseum in Rome is about one kilometer long and will take you about 12 minutes to walk it. The best thing is that on Sundays they close this great avenue to traffic and you can stroll it quietly as you approach the Colosseum. The views from any point are spectacular, because you also have an elevated view over much of the Roman Forum, which will allow you to take the best pictures of the Forum. At first you will see the Colosseum in the distance and gradually you will get closer and realize the real dimensions of this huge amphitheater. On the other hand, here you will find some shade under a tree, but most of the tour is under the sun, so protect yourself from the heat and the sun's rays with sunscreen and some refreshments if you need them.## How long will it take me to get to the Colosseum from the center of Rome?

Trevi Fountain| ©Michele Bitetto
Trevi Fountain| ©Michele Bitetto

The "tourist" center of the city is relatively small and although there are hundreds of streets and squares worth a visit, if you want to walk from the city center, it will take between 20 and 30 minutes depending on where you are. If you want to organize your travels well I leave this brief guide on how to get to the Colosseum.