All you need to know to visit the Colosseum with a toddler: how to get tickets, tours vs self guided, tips from a mama and free Colosseum scavenger hunt for your little one!
The Colosseum is at the top of the list of must see sites for all first time visitors to Rome but parents of very young kids are often daunted by the idea of tackling such a large, busy, and history heavy place with a little one.
The worry is valid. The Colosseum doesn’t immediately conjure up the image of a toddler friendly attraction.
However, you’ll be happy to hear the Colosseum is toddler friendly! And in more than one way!
The Colosseum welcomes toddlers with:
- Free tickets for little ones, issued on the spot
- Stroller friendly lifts
- Toddler friendly restroom facilities (inside)
By nature, the Colosseum is also easy to enjoy for toddlers as it is mostly outdoors, they can tot around and, there are several things to spot and keep them entertained.
However, there is no doubt that visiting the Colosseum with a toddler requires planning that is different from how you’d approach the visit with older kids.
In a previous article, we looked at visiting the Colosseum with kids in general.
Today, I want to focus on the toddder age. As a mama of two, I know the challenges an active toddler poses are very different from those posed by a baby or an older child!
To help you plan your visit at best, I have written down all my tips and I have also included a FREE printable scavenger hunt that you can use to keep your little one busy during your visit. Find it at the end of this page!
Guide to Rome for parents:if you are planning on tackling Rome with a little one, I have a guide that is just for you! It is an ebook, so you can keep it on your phone, and it has all my practical tips for a first visit to Rome with kids. Need to know where to find a toddler friendly restaurant neat the Colosseum? I have addresses! Need a playground fast? A gelato? A changing station? It’s all at your fingertips in my Guide to Rome with kids – practical guide for parents (I am a Rome mama so trust me, I know what I’m saying!)
This post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Visiting the Colosseum with a toddler: guided vs self guided
The biggest decision you are faced with, when planning a visit to the Colosseum in general and even more in the case of a Colosseum visit with a toddler is: shall I invest in a tour or is self guided better?
The answer to this is mostly personal, but my advice is to go self guided.
By going without a guide, you can take your own time visiting the Colosseum, pace your visit to what your toddlers need and, should all go completely wrong and you are facing a massive toddler meltdown, you can just leave.
The cost of the tickets, bough directly from the attractions, is reasonable enough that you will feel you got what you paid for even just with a short visit.
Good to know: to make the most of your visit without a tour guide, I recommend you equip yourself with some background info about the place. Useful Colosseum resources include:
- The free app Parco Colosseo, which has free guides written by the Colosseum administration itself
- These fast facts about the Colosseum for kids, useful if you have an older child. Going without a tour doesn’t need they need to renounce learning fun facts about the Colosseum!
If you prefer to have a live guide, I recommend the toddler friendly Express Colosseum Tour by LivTours which is absolutely excellent. My affiliate link with all the info is here >>> Express Colosseum Tour by LivTour
The tour is short enough to cover all the essentials without being exhausting. Since it is a small group of a maximum of 6 people, the guide is well able to accommodate toddlers’ needs.
You can also ask them to have you privately, if you want a guide all dedicated just to you (if budget allows, this is a fantastic option)
Good to know: I do not recommend to book a tour ‘for kids’ for a toddler. Kids’ tours are aimed at children in the sense that the guide presents facts in a language and a format that is appropriate to their age: however, toddlers are too young for those, the best age being from primary school age up (ideally from about 6 years of age on average).
How to get Colosseum tickets for toddlers
Toddlers enter the Colosseum for free. Standard entry tickets are issued on the spot and do not need to book pre-purchased online.
If you want standard entry tickets to the Colosseum and you have toddlers with you, you only need to book tickets for the adults. On the day, go to the gate with your tickets and show their your little one: they will wave you all right in, show you the ticket booth inside (no line there, don’t worry) and they will give you a free ticket for them there and then.
You can get adult tickets from the official Colosseum Site here >>> https://colosseo.it/en/opening-times-and-tickets/
Need to know: the Colosseum is divided I several areas, for ticketing purposes. General entry, general entry + arena, underground, attic. With toddlers, I recommend the general entry + arena one, which comes with the free ticket issued on the spot for your toddler. Please note that the other areas do require tickets for kids to be pre-purchased: you will find all info in the relevant ticket section of the official website, follow the prompts.
Strollers at the Colosseum
The Colosseum is stroller friendly.
Despite being almost 2000 years old, the Colosseum is equipped with elevators and ramps, so that strollers are not an issue.
If you have one you can fold easily, even better: if you can quickly close it, you will find you’ll have maximum mobility inside the amphitheater.
Good to know: if joining a tour, check the stroller requirements of the tour operator. While the Colosseum itself is stroller friendly, not all operators accepts strollers as not all follow the accessible path. Make sure you check before committing.
If bringing a stroller to the Colosseum, consider the following:
- You will pass airport style security so you may need to move bags etc from the stroller basket to the scanning machine. If possible, don’t overload the stroller so this will be a swift operation
- Do not leave your stroller unattended. If you change your mind last minute about bringing it in, do not leave it outside or even inside the Colosseum unattended as there is a very high chance you won’t find it upon your return. There is not stroller bay at the Colosseum.
Bringing a diaper bag or baby bag into the Colosseum
Bringing a normal size diaper bag, baby bag or day backpack inside the Colosseum is no problem. ‘Normal’ size in this case means the size of a standard diaper bag, a school bag, a day backpack like those you may have for sightseeing with snacks, water, tablet, etc.
The type of bag that is not allowed into the Colosseum is large backpacker style backpacks, as they are a safety hazard.
Need to know: there is no wardrobe in the Colosseum. if you have luggage with out you need to sort out storage beforehand.
Toddlers snacks, water and eating inside the Colosseum
There is a free drinking fountain inside the Colosseum that you can use to drink and refill your bottle.
Handing a non messy snack to a toddler inside is not a problem. However, to preserve the monument, pouches that can cause a sticky spill, very messy snacks that can cause crumbs and attracts pests, litter the place or cause inconvenience to other visitors are not allowed.
The nice park in front of the Colosseum is ideal for a picnic beforehand.
There are toddler friendly restrooms inside the Colosseum and a baby and toddler area specifically for families. You find it at on the second floor (ask the staff to open the sliding doors for you) and has changing stations, feeding area, seats and toys for older siblings.
Colosseum scavenger hunt for toddlers
Recently I was asked a very valid question: you can visit the colosseum with a toddler, but is there anything in the Colosseum to entertain a toddler?
The answer is: yes and no!
The Colosseum doesn’t have anything for toddlers as such; however, there are thing they can spot and that can make the visit enjoyable for them!
I made a toddler scavenger hunt to the Colosseum you can print, so to make it easy!
Realistically a toddler will be more interested in the seagulls and cars outside of the Colosseum than the construction techniques of the Romans, so my scavenger hunt for toddlers has several items that may look generic.
However, there is method in my madness and this scavenger hunt is not as random as it may seem! Click on the linkbelow to download it and print it for free, bring it with you to the Colosseum and I promise it will make sense!
Good to know: the file opens in dropbox, you DO NOT need to signup to dropbox or pay anything: ignore all the prompts and it will download for you!