Don't miss out! Join the thousands of people who subscribe to our once-daily email with all the best travel news

Having recently returned from a 9 day trip in Europe, I thought I’d share some of the things I figured out while we were there. Today’s tip comes from our 3 days that we spent in Rome. We arrived in Rome late on a Monday evening. After taking the bus from the Rome Airport to the City Center, we didn’t have much time to do anything but just hang out at our hotel. Our plan was Tuesday to visit Ancient Rome, Wednesday to visit Vatican City, and then catch our Thursday morning flight

The Colosseum is one of the best things to do in Rome Italy - here's my #1 travel tip on how to skip the lines.... for FREE!

Visiting Ancient Rome sites

Rome is so old that just about everything in the whole city has a LOT of history. You find yourself thinking – “oh, that’s ONLY from the 1600s? Booooorrrrrring” 🙂

But definitely the big attractions as far as visiting Ancient Rome sites goes are the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill


Those were the top things on our list as we walked down from our hotel near Termini station

Pro tip for visiting the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill

The Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill are all accessed with the same ticket, which costs €12 and is good for two days. My pro tip for visiting Ancient Rome sites is that there are 3 entrances to buy tickets, and one of them always has a TON of people in line to buy tickets, and one of them is usually super empty.

Any guesses? Maybe just think about those 3 Ancient Rome sites – Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill. Which one have you heard of? Which one do you think MOST tourists have heard of and so which one is the one that everyone lines up to go to. Hint: it rhymes with “Schmolosseum” 🙂

But, if you just walk down the street a bit to the Palatine Hill entrance,


not only will you have virtually no line, but you can spend your time walking on the Palatine Hill, including getting some amazing views of the Colosseum itself

Here's me on the Palatine Hill overlooking the Colosseum

Here’s me on the Palatine Hill overlooking the Colosseum

Then, when you’re done with the Palatine Hill and Forum, you can skip right past those long lines, show them your already purchased ticket, and after a brief security check, walk right in!


On the left, the line to purchase tickets and enter the Colosseum (it goes WAY past this). On the right, the line you walk through if you already have tickets

Skip the line tours when visiting Ancient Rome sites

A word on “skip the line” tours that are offered when you are visiting Ancient Rome sites (and at the Vatican). While waiting in line, and just walking around near the Colosseum and major tourist sites, you will be BOMBARDED by people telling you that you don’t have to wait in line.

We ignored them because we already had tickets, but while waiting in line at the Vatican, we were constantly badgered by people hawking them. I am assuming that these people are offering “group tours” that let you in without having to wait in line. You get taken to the group entrance, but you have to pay extra for a “guided” tour. If anyone has more experience with any of these “skip the line” tours, I’d love to hear it in the comments.


Sign up for our once-daily email with the latest tips and tricks on how to travel for free / cheap. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!