We had decided to save Rome for another trip as time was limited, but 11-year-old has since decided he "needs" to see the Colosseum. We are able make a 4 hour train stop in Rome on our way North. Can we walk there, hang out for an hour or 2, and make it back to the station in this amount of time?
I'm with Ellen on this - ride the metro. When I take friends to the Colosseum and we climb the stairs out of the Colosseum metro (no escaltor at this station), I say get ready for the best metro view in Europe - and WAM, there it is: the colosseum framed in the doorway.
Why walk when you can ride and see this great view? It's only 2 stops from Termini on the B Line!
It's a bit of a hike from the train station to the Colosseum. And since you might not be familiar with the shortest route to walk ---take the metro for fastest/cheapest way there. The metro station is just downstairs from the train tracks. No need to walk, or take an expensive taxi!
It's about 1E for a ticket, and will save you a bunch of time if you only have one or 2 hours.
You simply get off at the Colosseum stop on the Metro, it's right across the street! What fun for your son to walk out of the station and see the Colosseum right in front of him!
You can certainly walk there. It's about 1 mile from Termini Station to the Colosseum if you plan a direct route.
Keep count of how long it takes you to walk to the Colosseum. It will take a little longer than that to walk back to the train station since you'll be a little more tired and as best I can recall it's a little up hill from the Colosseum.
But this should still give 90 minutes or 2 hours at the Colosseum. In a pinch you could always take a quick taxi ride for the return to the train station.
Reasons to walk would be to see some of Rome as you go, and some folks, for example older people from rural areas, aren't accustomed to using subways. For those people, using subways can be hard to figure out and intimidating to use.
But in this case, with city folks young enough to have an 11-year-old, the Metro should be no problem.
It is not a far walk from the train station. Get a map from one of the bookstores in termini and you can probably walk their in less than 20 minutes. Or as others have suggested jump on the metro at termini and get off at the colosseum stop. Have fun!!
Thanks to all of you for your suggestions - very helpful, and the little man is very excited about getting to see the Colosseum.
I agree with the others - use the Metro! It's by far the easiest method. The Metro stations are about 2 levels down from the main station. You're looking for the "B" (blue) line, direction Laurentina (on the return trip to Termini, direction is Rebibbia). From Termini the Colosseo station is only two stops (be careful crossing the street).
If you want to go inside the Colosseum, I'd suggest using Rick's method to buy a combo ticket on Palatine Hill, or you could wait in the queue for a long time! Don't bother with the scammers outside offering "English language tours". Once inside you can either rent Audioguides or take the "official" Tour (which is what I would definitely recommend!). Look for all the "flashing lights" (Audioguides charging) to your right as you enter after the security checkpoint.
When you buy your ticket for the Metro, be cautious of the Gypsies who will offer to "help" you buy your ticket. They're a darn nuisance! Be sure to wear a Money Belt!
It is not a bad walk, almost straight down Cavour
street. However, going back is uphill if you are
tired and in a hurry. Also, be warned if you are
running late and try to catch a taxi back, most will not take you that short distance. Therefore, best to
use the metro as previously suggested.
Lyn, either way would work -- to ride or walk. I think the bigger question is what time of day you'll be there, and does your son want to see the inside of the colosseum also. The lines can take quite a chunk out of the time you have.