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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
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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
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!
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.
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We purchased the Roma pass at a TI and skipped the line at the Colosseum,etc. Also, we pre-booked a wonderful early morning guided tour of the Vatican that got us into the Sistine Chapel before everyone else.
I was talking with a friend of mine and she said that her and her husband also purchased that early Vatican tour – when we went it was definitely crowded! Pretty much the entire Sistine Chapel was filled with people (and guards SHHHHHHHHHing everyone :-D)
This is an excellent tip, luckily some friends have us the same advice and we also got to skip lines. If they hadn’t, we wouldn’t have known and wasted HOURS waiting in line with the others
Fairly straight forward Rick Steve’s trick. That book sure pays off in Rome.
Sweet, sweet tip! I think we bought our passes at the Forum last visit but the line was not too bad.
Thanks! It probably depends a lot on time of day and time of year that you’re there.
You can prebuy your tickets ahead of time on the official coloseum website and avoid having to go to Palatine first 🙂
That’s true. Isn’t there an extra fee if you buy them online though?