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Tips for Visiting the Ancient Roman Colosseum

Make the most of visiting the Ancient Roman Colosseum by utilising our travel tips to your advantage to avoid the crowds.

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Ancient Roman Colosseum

We have only been in Italy for a few days and I think I may have found what is highly likely to be my favourite building. Not just in Italy, but the entire world. It’s a bold statement to make but my god the Ancient Roman Colosseum is beautiful.

Ancient Roman Colosseum

 

Tips for Visiting the Ancient Roman Colosseum

Yes I know that is the most cliche and overused word in the whole world to describe a scene, but it honestly just works. I could have easily used extraordinary, spectacular, stunning, gorgeous, dazzling or even statuesque. But beautiful it is!

Since it is so beautiful it is definitely one of the most visited attractions in Rome. So if you plan on visiting the Ancient Roman Colosseum then hopefully some of our tips will help you maximise your time there so you will fall in love with is as well.

Ancient Roman Colosseum

When to visit the Ancient Roman Colosseum

Get there early. No I don’t mean have a leisurely breakfast and then stroll down at 9am! Because at 8.30am the doors will swing open and the crowd will surge forward. Any time around 8.15am will be fine if you follow our secret travel tip below.

We rocked up at 8.25am and I was starting to fume as Adela has slept in and we had missed breakfast to get here early. And now we were about 150th in the queue.

Luckily we brought tickets the day before when we visited the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill ruins which are adjacent to the Colosseum. So our secret travel tip for you is to make sure you head along to the road and get your tickets the day before.

Even though we had to queue to get in (it took about 3 minutes) everyone else was basically running to the queues for tickets. We strolled on past, up the stairs and were one of the first into the Colosseum!

Inside the Colosseum

Where to go in the Ancient Roman Colosseum

Since we were so quick to get in we had a prime opportunity to take a bunch of photos before the crowds piled in. The key here is figuring out where to go first.

As you walk in you will be guided up the first flight of steps. Once at the top then bypass all the information panels (you can come back to them after the photo taking) and head around to the right. Other people naturally turned left.

But I knew exactly where the sun was shining so with it at our backs we had the Colosseum lit up in all it’s glory rather than shooting into the sun and ruining our photos.

Visiting Ancient Roman Colosseum

Provided you were here early with pre-purchased tickets then you will have enough time to take your photos on the top level before descending down to the bottom and getting some more uncrowded shots. About half an hour all up.

It is ridiculous how quickly the Colosseum fills up with tour groups and they are a pain in the ass to get around so don’t dilly dally.

Spend the next hour casually strolling around taking a few more photos and reading up on the history of the Colosseum Games, animal spectacles and construction.

Ancient Roman Colosseum

Price to visit the Ancient Roman Colosseum

It’s only €12 for an adult ticket and like we said it will also get you access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. They are well worth the visit and we spent 3 hours there alone!

The beauty is that your ticket is valid for 2 consecutive days so you can visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill on the first day. Then visit the Ancient Roman Colosseum on the second day bypassing the horrendous queues.

You will queue for no more than 10 minutes and then when you arrive the next morning at the Colosseum you will be straight in once the doors part. This will give you more than enough time to join the daily Rome hop on hop off tours.

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41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. Shanna Schultz

    June 11, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Those pictures of the Colosseum without tourists in them are amazing! We had an equally easy time getting into the Colosseum when we went because we had a Roma Pass.

    The admission is included in the cost of your Roma Pass (30 euros) and you get so skip right on past the queue in the Colosseum because Roma pass holders have a special line to get in (we came in the middle of the afternoon and walked right past people who had been waiting in line in the hot sun).

    The Roma pass is valid for three days, so if you are planning on seeing a few more sights in Rome, it is a great deal!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      We considered the Roma Pass actually Shanna but just decided that we wanted a bit more freedom. Definitely recommend it for others though so thanks for the recommendation 🙂

  2. D.J. - The World of Deej

    June 13, 2012 at 3:56 AM

    Great stuff as always…one day I’ll get to put this to use…

  3. Alexandra

    June 13, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Still need to make it to Rome one of these days! Jealous you are getting to explore so much of Itlay right now! Have a cannoli for me 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      June 13, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      Haven’t seen Cannoli yet but will be sure to try it 🙂 And definitely head to Rome as it is incredible.

  4. Laurence

    June 13, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Great tip. I’ve been to the Colosseum a few times (and can never work out how to spell it properly), and have always been amazed by the sense of history in the place. The things this building has been around for!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 13, 2012 at 7:05 PM

      Hahaha I had to google it every time I wrote it down as well but going with “Colosseum”. It’s ridiculous that these buildings has been around for thousands of years before our country was even discovered.

  5. Andrea

    June 13, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    I always regret skipping the line for this and missing out when I was in Rome. Have to go back someday…

    • Cole Burmester

      June 14, 2012 at 4:50 PM

      Oh wish you had gone Andrea! You guys have to go back and check it out. One of our highlights.

  6. Brock - Backpack With Brock

    June 13, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    Great tips, especially for avoiding crowds!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 14, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      Thanks Brock. Have you been before? Any other tips you can add?

  7. Steve

    June 15, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    Getting there early is key for good pictures–We got there too late and there was a LOT of photo shopping tourists out of ours haha…

    • Cole Burmester

      June 15, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      I hate being a tourist in touristy places! Good work on at least being able to photoshop them out though Steve 🙂

  8. Ali

    June 15, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Great tips! I haven’t been there since 1999, and I’m really looking forward to getting back soon. I could visit Italy a million times and not get sick of it, so a trip to Rome is definitely in my future. I don’t remember the little details of buying tickets or getting into the Colosseum, so this was helpful.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 18, 2012 at 7:57 AM

      We have fallen in love with Italy and only been here 10 days. Still got another 2/3 weeks so definitely going to be in love even more by the end. Hope you head back soon 🙂

  9. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)

    June 17, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    I’ve always wanted to visit Rome and the Collosseum! Looks like it’s worth the wait in line, even if you don’t follow your tip! Good thing you guys had your ticket the day before 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      June 18, 2012 at 8:05 AM

      Get to Rome as soon as you can Ellen! So many amazing sights to see even though the Colosseum was my favourite!

  10. Angela

    June 18, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Beautiful pictures of one of my most favorite ancient sites in Rome!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 23, 2012 at 6:47 AM

      It’s definitely my favourite as well Angela! And thanks 🙂

  11. Kristen

    June 21, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Great tips and beautiful photos. Rome is really a great place. I’d go back in a second.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 23, 2012 at 7:17 AM

      We love the whole of Italy but Rome has definitely been a highlight for us so far!

  12. Josh @ Green Global Travel

    June 25, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    Sounds like a great visit to the Colosseum! I will make sure to follow these tips when I visit Italy so I can see this extraordinary site more easily.

  13. Matthew Hutchins

    June 26, 2012 at 6:25 AM

    Nice pics, when did you go? Doesn’t seem to crowded.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 26, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      We were there 2 weeks ago. So pretty much the height of the summer tourist season. The key is just to be there early with pre-purchased tickets 🙂

  14. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family

    July 4, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Gosh, I’m hanging out for another visit to Europe. I just adore Rome and what I’ve seen in Italy.

    • Cole Burmester

      July 10, 2012 at 7:27 AM

      We have to leave Italy in a few days and so don’t want to! Would love to stay here forever. Although our waist lines keep expanding 🙂

  15. Daisy de Plume

    July 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Yes, the two day ticket makes it really cheap. A picnic atop the Palatine is pleasant, too, overlooking the empire!

  16. Jenna

    July 16, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    It is such an overwhelming place, mostly because of the crowds, so thank you for providing tips to make it easier for everyone to visit! And I agree, it is really an amazing building.

  17. Vegemitevix

    July 16, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Great tips Cole, especially as we are heading to Rome next week! Got any more tips for us? Vix x

  18. Margaret Bourne

    July 17, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Great tips – as they say, “The early bird, gets the worm.” My husband and I are big fans of getting there early, beating the crowds and then getting out of any hot attraction spot.

    How is the pickpocket situation around the Colosseum? I remember it being very bad back in 2000.

  19. Surminga

    July 19, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Italy and Rome are amazing places to visit, we went to Rome a few months ago for a quick city break from the UK, so it was a long weekend and managed to fit everything in we intended – but would still love to go back and do it again

  20. Audrey

    July 29, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    I agree with you guys! I’m all about getting to a popular attraction early and being one of the first ones in. It’s such a different experience have the whole place to yourself. 😀

  21. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    August 6, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Great secret tip. I’m all about traveling during shoulder season. When I went in March a few years ago, there weren’t huge crowds.

    • Cole Burmester

      August 7, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      We were just in Barcelona and the crowds were terrible. Really wish we were not there during the peak season as it kind of ruined it for us!

  22. Tash

    August 18, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    It’s such a rush, just walking into it, imagining the roar of ancient crowds!
    I count this as my favourite sporting venue….

    • Cole Burmester

      August 19, 2012 at 9:58 AM

      It’s definitely one of my top 3 favourite buildings in the world!

  23. Arti

    August 19, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    Great tips there! I would really love to visit Rome someday.

    • Cole Burmester

      August 19, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      Hope you get the chance to visit Arti. Just don’t go in the middle of summer as it’s too hot and crowded.

  24. Starsha

    January 23, 2014 at 5:12 AM

    I am a major planner and worked on my Disney World plan for months! I love this tip! I was hoping you could dummy it down for me a little. I get what your saying but I have read on other places that the lines are confusing and even after buying ahead they wasted time waiting beacause they didn’t know where to go. I really don’t want that to happen to me;)

  25. Alina

    April 3, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    My family and I are leaving for Rome in just a few LONG days. Thank you for this information! it really helped me a lot plan for the trip!

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Europe

Tips for Making Any Overseas Trip a Romantic One

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Vacations are a great way to leave our everyday lives behind to spend some stress free time with the one we love. Travel in itself can be quite romantic but there are definitely ways you can spice up your holidays even more.

Follow these helpful tips to make sure your romantic holiday gets off on the right foot and continues to head down the tunnel of love and passion. You can easily turn any part of your travels into a special romantic affair.

Choosing the Right Destination

A romantic trip starts with selecting the right destination. There are definitely cities and regions which are much more prone to sparking romance than others. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but generally destinations such as popular European cities, beach getaways, Asian resorts, luxury ski resorts, or tropical islands make for a good choice.

Couples should pick a destination which they both will enjoy as this will of course make it far easier to express their love for each other.

Choosing the Right Time

It is a good idea to select a time that will be most appropriate for your holiday. Choose a time that is easy for you in regards to taking time off work or from household duties. This will make it far easier to feel relaxed while on your holiday, allowing you to focus more on fuelling the romance.

You may also want to research when the best time is to visit your chosen destination so as to avoid peak crowds or unideal weather conditions.

Choosing a romantic date to travel such as an anniversary, honeymoon, or birthday can also turn any holiday into one filled with more passion. Travelling during Valentine’s Day can make for an especially romantic holiday of which there are many perfect Valentine’s Day destinations.

Fly Business Class

Although your destination may be exhilarating, the flight or flights to get there can be stressful. Minimise the stress of flying by booking business class where you’ll enjoy the VIP treatment with far more comfortable seats which many times convert into a bed allowing for a decent rest while in the air.

As a bonus you can many times be granted access to luxurious airport lounges when flying business class which makes waiting for your flight much easier as you are treated to free food and drinks along with clean bathrooms and seating areas.

Private Transportation

Public transportation can not only take longer to get to your hotel or attractions in your chosen destination, but they can also kill the mood for you and your loved one. By booking private transfers via your hotel or on your own, you can avoid buses, trams, and trains which can be crowded and noisy.

Choose a Nice Hotel

It may be difficult to find romance if you are staying in a dodgy motel or hostel. Be sure to book quality accommodation which has private en suites and clean furnishings. Remember that your vacation is supposed to be an escape, so make that escape the best it can be with premium toiletries, fancy marble bathroom floors, plush pillows, quality linen, and a nice hotel room view. All of these luxuries will make for a far more romantic getaway.

Eating Out

Nothing can ignite romance more than delicious food although preparing it isn’t always that much fun. One of the best aspects of travelling is that it gives us an excuse to not have to cook.

Seek out popular restaurants that offer a romantic setting, quality service, and mouth watering flavours that will leave you passionate for more than just satisfying your hungry stomach.

Get Dressed Up

Although you and your loved one may look good in any light and attire, it is never a bad idea to put on your Sunday’s best. It can sometimes be difficult in our everyday lives to find occasions to get all dressed and made up, so why not make your holiday abroad an excuse to do so.

Although clothes may not necessarily make the person, a nice dress or suit and tie can go a long way to giving us a little extra special glow to spark a bit of romance.

Log Off and Put the Phone Away

Nothing can kill a romantic dinner or event than the sound of message notifications, phone calls, or emails. Any holiday should be an excuse to remove the stress of the online world or work and with romantic holidays this becomes even more paramount.

You want to be focusing your attention on the love you and your partner share or if travelling solo you want this time to focus on the beauty of the destination you have selected which may in turn bring you a bit of romance. Disconnecting is all about reconnecting; so log off and put the phone away!

Reduce the Risk of Stressful Situations

Stress can kill romance very quickly. When we are stressed we can easily find ourselves getting into silly arguments or bouts of criticism. Your holiday is supposed to be an enjoyable experience so don’t let it turn sour by making the possibility of stress to creep on in.

Don’t try to overload your itinerary with too much and avoid setting too rigid of a timeline. Prior planning is important to avoid any unwanted surprises or disappointments when it comes to securing reservations for flights, hotels, or activities.

Should anything go wrong during your travels, you want to have the peace of mind you are protected by travel insurance from InsureandGo. Travel Insurance can help when the unforseen happens while you are overseas.

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Europe

How to Plan a Trip to Iceland

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If you have ever heard the amazing stories about Iceland, they are all true!  If you’ve come this far into doing research about how to plan a trip to Iceland, I’m here to help you cross the bridge and fill in gaps so you can make your dream a reality.

As someone who has done this trip, I’m able to assist in every step of the journey.  I’ve boiled this down into cliff notes so you can do your own research after reading them and dig deeper into tours that will fit your personal preferences and budget.

First off, you are going to need to trust the Internet.  It’s a big place with a lot of information that can help you get there in one piece and not be stressed out.  Long gone are the days of visiting a travel agency and having someone plan everything for you – for a fee!  It’s your adventure, and you can know that every item is covered online, you just need to know how to look for it.

The best tip I can give you is to leverage the various Facebook Groups about Iceland.

Resource:  When In Iceland Facebook Group.

Next, you’ll want to decide when to visit Iceland.

The winter months will allow you to have more freedom as the tourism numbers are down.  However, this comes with the caveat that it will be below freezing and there will be very little sunlight!  The sun is only out for approximately six hours during the month of December!

On the positive side, this allows you a great opportunity to view the Northern Lights, which is a marquee attraction in Iceland.

Conversely, the Fall and Spring will bring you better temperatures and less snow, but there will be a much slimmer chance of viewing the Northern Lights.

Lastly, there are the Summer months.  While you will see a greener country and experience a lot of beauty on that end of the spectrum, it does come with a much higher price tag.  Be prepared to spend more money if you choose to visit Iceland in the Summer.

Also, you’ll want to have an agenda.  If you are one to take things in on your own and adventure into the wild, Iceland will be a perfect escape for you.  There are also guided tours that you can hire and they will accommodate to your every need or desire.  Simply ask anyone in the aforementioned Facebook group and they can steer you in the right direction.

You can of course, do public transportation in Iceland.  It’s entirely safe and used by many people.

Iceland is a fantastic, unique place to visit.  If you need any help planning your trip, please visit my Iceland Tour guide resource and leave a comment.  Happy Travels.

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Europe

Overlooked and Underrated Euro Vacations

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Here’s a quick list of places to possibly include in your next European itinerary. 2018 is the year of the underrated vacation spot in our humble opinions, and we want to honor it.

Basque Country:

This place is in this author’s humble opinion easily and hands-down the most underrated little corner of Europe.

And honestly, between the two, the Spanish side of Basque country is going to cost you probably around 50% what the French side will, and most people in the know will agree that the Spanish side is at least 100% more fun!

 

Canary Islands:

There are two ways to do the Canaries: simply fly in and enjoy them, or treat yourself and a loved one to a romantic Canary Island cruise.

Best time to visit is definitely either spring or fall, as it does get quite cold in the winter and quite hot in the summer. If you are a beach bum, on the other hand, summer is best (but there will be a lot more tourists in the summer).

 

Siena, Italy:

This city is often overshadowed by Rome, Florence, and Venice, but it actually is arguably the best-preserved city in Italy and has the best historic city center. The cuisine here is absolutely to die for, and you won’t have to pay inflated tourist prices like you will in the aforementioned places either!

If you can, try to make it for the famous Palio, a horse race that has been going on literally for centuries.

 

Brussels:

Just as Siena is overshadowed by other bigger Italian cities, Brussels tends to stand forgotten next to London and Paris. But Brussels has key elements of the two metropolises, as well as its own unique and delicious cuisine, its own beer (considered by more than a few experts to be the worlds best), and easily the worlds best chocolate, both in solid and drinkable form. Belgian chocolate will seriously change your life forever.

 

Istria, Croatia:

This is one of the world’s best summer beach destinations. It’s incredibly beautiful, and by Western European standards, almost outrageously cheap.

Hipster tourists are starting to come in and drive prices up, but it still remains a great bargain by any standards, and most importantly, it’s a bargain without really having to give up any of our beloved amenities.

 

Budapest:

Budapest could be called the poor man’s Prague, but in reality that name isn’t very fair. For one thing, Hungarian culture and Czech culture are actually extremely different (for one thing, the Hungarian language isn’t in the same family as the rest of Europe, it’s its own thing completely, like the Basque language).

Prague is gorgeous, but it’s getting almost as expensive as the rest of Europe too, and honestly Budapest’s history and culture is much more interesting, especially for the seasoned traveller.

 

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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