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Built almost 2,000 years ago using the spoils of war in Jerusalem, the Colosseum’s official name is actually Flavian Amphitheater— named after the Flavian dynasty of Emperors who ordered its construction. The ancient arena once held up to 85,000 spectators and hosted bloody gladiator battles, wild animal hunts, public executions, and was even filled with water for a mock sea battle on at least one occasion! Admission to the Colosseum includes entry to Palatine Hill and Roman Forum, among the world's most significant archeological sites. The structures are right in Rome's center and easy to get to. Most of our tours include all the archeological sites at varied durations, but three hours on average. If the word "tour" is in the title then it definitely includes an English-speaking Colosseum guide. The Colosseum Underground tour is perfect for anyone who wants to do the most exclusive product, but be prepared to jump through some hoops. Tickets are difficult to come by so all visitors are asked to leave the purchase date of the tour open in case of a time change. The Arena floor is the second most exclusive product which visits the same stage the gladiators fought on. Finally, our Privileged Entrance Colosseum tour is our most affordable tour and a great value! It's easy to find our meeting points, and you'll always find an attendant with a sign reading "The Tour Guy" or "The Roman Guy" on it. Our Welcome Staff are friendly and will improve your overall experience. Our guides are knowledgeable and passionate about what they do which shows in the reviews. With special access and our expert guides, you can get more from your Colosseum tour. Explore underground tunnels, walk through the Gladiator’s Gate onto the battle floor, or take in the beauty of the Colosseum under lights on a night tour. Just choose your ideal Colosseum tour and leave the rest to us!
Rome is busy in the summer, which can be a challenge for visitors. Our Colosseum tours include skip-the-line entry which gives you a break from crowds. We also offer special access to areas like the underground and the arena floor. All tours include admission tickets to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum. Look out for tours like Rome in a Day which also includes the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Built almost 2,000 years ago using the spoils of war in Jerusalem, the Colosseum’s official name is actually Flavian Amphitheater— named after the Flavian dynasty of Emperors who ordered its construction. The ancient arena once held up to 85,000 spectators and hosted bloody gladiator battles, wild animal hunts, public executions, and was even filled with water for a mock sea battle on at least one occasion! Admission to the Colosseum includes entry to Palatine Hill and Roman Forum, among the world's most significant archeological sites. The structures are right in Rome's center and easy to get to. Most of our tours include all the archeological sites at varied durations, but three hours on average. If the word "tour" is in the title then it definitely includes an English-speaking Colosseum guide. The Colosseum Underground tour is perfect for anyone who wants to do the most exclusive product, but be prepared to jump through some hoops. Tickets are difficult to come by so all visitors are asked to leave the purchase date of the tour open in case of a time change. The Arena floor is the second most exclusive product which visits the same stage the gladiators fought on. Finally, our Privileged Entrance Colosseum tour is our most affordable tour and a great value! It's easy to find our meeting points, and you'll always find an attendant with a sign reading "The Tour Guy" or "The Roman Guy" on it. Our Welcome Staff are friendly and will improve your overall experience. Our guides are knowledgeable and passionate about what they do which shows in the reviews. With special access and our expert guides, you can get more from your Colosseum tour. Explore underground tunnels, walk through the Gladiator’s Gate onto the battle floor, or take in the beauty of the Colosseum under lights on a night tour. Just choose your ideal Colosseum tour and leave the rest to us!
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19 results found
Skip the Line
Rome in a Day Tour with Colosseum and Vatican Museums
Explore the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and more!
( 1185 ) as low as $161.12
Special Access Colosseum Arena Floor Tour through the Gladiator's Gate
Walk in the footsteps of gladiators on the Colosseum floor and see the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
( 1436 ) as low as $72.23
Privileged Entrance Colosseum Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Skip the line at the Colosseum, plus Arch of Titus, Temple of Julius Caesar, and more!
( 450 ) as low as $55.67
Colosseum Underground Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Get special access to the Underground dungeons and Arena Floor on this guided small group tour
( 783 ) as low as $122.05
3-Hour Scenic Golf Cart Tour of Rome in a Small Group
Experience the Eternal City in complete comfort with stops at 8 iconic UNESCO World Heritage sites
( 12 ) From: $166.50
Private Rome in a Day Tour with Colosseum & Vatican Museums
See the best of Rome your way with a private guide at the Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain, and more!
( 48 ) From: $1,041.18
VIP Colosseum at Night Tour with Underground and Arena Floor
See a different perspective of the Colosseum and Roman Forum with no crowds at night
( 111 ) From: $99.85
Private Colosseum Tour with Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill
See the Colosseum and ancient Rome like a VIP, the Temple of Caesar, and more!
( 173 ) From: $395.16
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Best Colosseum Tours of 2023
Learn all about one of Rome's most famous attractions
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“As long as the Colosseum stands, Rome shall stand; when the Colosseum falls, Rome will fall; when Rome falls, the whole world will fall,” goes the quote by the eighth-century saint known as Venerable Bede. Constructed between 70 and 80 CE, the Colosseum has been standing for nearly 2,000 years as a symbol of Rome’s enduring might. Today it’s one of Italy’s most visited tourist attractions . In its heyday as an amphitheater, it could host around 50,000 spectators who flocked there to see exotic animals from the far-flung corners of the Roman Empire as well as the famed gladiator fights immortalized in movies like Ben Hur and Gladiator .
The Colosseum’s construction began under emperor Vespasian between 70 and 72 CE on top of an artificial lake built by emperor Nero. Also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, it was inaugurated under Vespasian’s son Titus in 80 CE with 100 days of games and later completed by his other son Domitian. After the fall of the Roman Empire, it was used as a quarry, its marble plundered and recycled to construct churches, including St. Peter’s Basilica. In the Medieval period, it was repurposed as a church and a fortress by two powerful Roman families.
Visiting the Colosseum today, there are very few signs explaining its fascinating history, which is why we recommend taking a guided tour. The best Colosseum tours will put your visit to Rome into context, explaining how it was used in its heyday and what happened to it after it fell into disuse.
The Best Colosseum Tours of 2023
- Best Comprehensive Tour: Timeless Tales of Gods and Laymen by Imago Artis Travel
- Best Budget Tour: Rick Steves' Colosseum Audio Tour
- Best Small Group Tour: Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill via GetYourGuide
- Best Private Tour: Half-Day Tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill by Roma Experience
- Best Night Tour: The Moon Over the Colosseum
- Best Tour for Kids: Fun Games Colosseum & Forum Kids/Family by Pinocchio Tours
- Best Self-Guided Tour: Roma Pass
- Our Top Picks
- Timeless Tales of Gods and Laymen by Imago Artis Travel
- Rick Steves' Colosseum Audio Tour
- Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill via GetYourGuide
- Half-Day Tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill by Roma Experience
- The Moon Over the Colosseum
- Fun Games Colosseum & Forum Kids/Family by Pinocchio Tours
- See More (4)
Methodology, best comprehensive tour : timeless tales of gods and laymen by imago artis travel.
Founded by art historians, this high-end tour company offers VIP service and some of the best guides in the business
Private, bespoke tours are customizable
Guides are extremely knowledgeable and engaging
Customer service is excellent
VIP service comes with VIP prices
A member of the Virtuoso network, Imago Artis Travel is a top-notch destination management company trusted by A-list celebrities like Angelina Jolie and athletes like Tom Brady. The company organizes multi-day bespoke trips through Italy, but if you only have one day, request the “Timeless Tales of Gods and Laymen” tour, which will bring you to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill before heading over to the Pantheon , which was built during the reign of Augustus and dedicated to the pantheon of gods before becoming a Catholic church that now houses the remains of Renaissance painter Raphael.
Best Budget Tour : Rick Steves' Colosseum Audio Tour
Trusted travel authority Rick Steves has a well produced free audio tour, so you only have to purchase a ticket to enter.
Listen on Rick Steve’s app, your favorite podcast app, or download the MP3
Go at your own pace
The audio tour is free
No skip the line access
No guide to answer questions
You still have to book an entry ticket online
The absolute cheapest way to visit the Colosseum is to simply purchase a ticket online for €16, and with guidebook author and television host Rick Steves’ audio guide, you can learn fun facts about the Colosseum at no extra cost. The audio guides you through to the arena and upper level while Steves regales you with tales of the emperors who built it, the gladiators who fought in it, and the spectators who watched the games. This audio tour packs a lot of fascinating history into just 40 minutes, so it’s also ideal if you’re short on time.
Best Small Group Tour : Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor , Roman Forum , and Palatine Hill via GetYourGuide
These small group tours get rave reviews from participants who love the friendly, knowledgeable guides.
Easily bookable via GetYourGuide
Tours vary in length and group size
Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Access to the Colosseum’s underground and upper level aren’t included
One of the most popular tours on the global booking platform GetYourGuide, these small group tours can be booked for a duration of one, two, or three hours. You can also choose from the available group sizes of up to 30 people (from €54), up to 20 people (from €57), up to 10 people (from €74), or private tours (from €150). GetYourGuide works with a number of different tour providers, depending on availability.
Best Private Tour : Half-Day Tour of the Colosseum , Roman Forum , and Palatine Hill by Roma Experience
For history buffs, it doesn’t get much better than touring ancient Rome’s most significant sites with an archeologist who participated in digs in the Forum.
Tours are private, so you get Elisa’s full undivided attention
Tours can be customized to your interests
Elisa Valeria Bove, CEO of Roma Experience, is not your average tour guide but a trained archeologist. Her private tour starts at the Roman Forum , where she made a significant discovery during her Ph.D. fieldwork, and continues to the Palatine Hill and finally the Colosseum. Along the way, she recounts the stories and myths behind the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus, its development under Julius and Augustus Caesar, and what the experience of watching the games at the Colosseum was actually like. The tour generally takes around three hours, but Elisa has the exhaustive knowledge and passion to conduct full-day tours of ancient Rome for visitors with enough interest and stamina.
Best Night Tour : The Moon Over the Colosseum
World's Greatest Dream Trips: The Colosseum
The Colosseum’s official night tour gives you privileged access to this monument without the crowds.
Tours are available in English or Italian
Groups are small
Some guides are better than others
Tour doesn’t go to the upper levels
Not available from January through May
In the summer, when temperatures in Rome can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, a night-time tour is a great way to see this ancient monument in the evening, when it’s cooler. The official tours are divided into English-speaking and Italian-speaking groups, each of which has a guide that passes out headsets so you can hear everything clearly. This tour lasts one hour and focuses on the underground passageways and the arena, so it’s great if you want to get a nice overview without spending too much time. However, just know that you’ll be missing out on visiting the upper levels, where some exhibits showcase ancient artifacts and archival photos of the Colosseum. The official tour costs €25; be wary of resellers that charge a premium for this tour and book instead on the official website .
Best Tour for Kids : Fun Games Colosseum & Forum Kids/Family by Pinocchio Tours
Pinocchio Tours specializes in experiences for kids with stories, games, and quizzes designed to engage little ones.
Guides have lots of experience with kids
Games and visual aids keep kids engaged
Kids under 6 are free
Tours may be a bit long for kids under 6
This tour is ideal for elementary and middle school-age kids who are eager to learn about the Colosseum and Ancient Rome while playing games. There are a handful of guides who aim to keep kids engaged with games, books showing what Ancient Rome looked like, and even props like a wooden tablet with wax and a stick to show how kids learned to write in Ancient Rome. The tour lasts 2.5 to 3 hours, so it may not be the right choice for very young children or teenagers with short attention spans.
Best Self-Guided Tour : Roma Pass
For people who prefer to go at their own pace, the city’s official Roma Pass offers discounts to archeological sites and museums as well as public transport.
Pass includes unlimited public transit for the course of its validity
Discounts available at lots of museums and tours
No guided tours included
It’s only worth it if you plan to use public transit and visit multiple museums
If you’re the kind of traveler who prefers to take public transit and wants to visit monuments and museums at your own pace, the official Roma Pass is a good option. It’s available for either 48 hours (€32) or 72 hours (€52). The 48-hour pass includes free admission to one monument/museum while the 72-hour pass includes free admission to two monuments/museums. After that, you can use the card to get discounts at many other museums and attractions, including must-visit sites like the Galleria Borghese and Capitoline Museums . Note that you still need to book tickets in advance to visit the Colosseum. The pass doesn’t include a guided tour, but will get you a discount on the official audio tours.
The best Colosseum tours offer you the kind of insight into this world-renowned monument’s fascinating history that you won’t get just by wandering around on your own. Luckily, there’s a tour for every budget and price point. Short on time and on a tight budget? Book an entry ticket and download Rick Steves’ free audio guide. Interested in going deeper into Ancient Roman history and willing to splurge on the best guides in Rome? Book a private tour with Imago Artis Travel or Roma Experience. Bringing the whole family? Pinocchio Tours has an offering specifically designed for kids, with games and visual aids that will make history come alive.
We evaluated 24 Colosseum tours before settling on the best one for each category. We considered each tour’s overall reputation, guest reviews, ease of booking, quality of service, and price. We relied heavily on our expert’s first-hand experience, but also consulted dozens of guest reviews and considered whether the tour operator has won any awards in recent years.
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How to Visit the Colosseum in 2023: Tickets, Best Tours & Tips
Julie Last updated: September 1, 2023 Italy 32 Comments
The Colosseum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. If you are planning your first trip to Rome, most likely the Colosseum is on your to-do list. In this guide, we cover what you need to know about how to visit the Colosseum, including what to do when you are here, the best time of day to plan your visit, and whether or not it is worth it to take a tour.
The Colosseum is Rome’s most popular landmark to visit. Lines to enter can be enormous and the last thing you want to do is spend your valuable time waiting in line.
Fortunately, with proper planning, you can avoid this long wait and have a great experience at the Colosseum. We have visited the Colosseum twice, on a self-guided visit and on a tour, and have a lot of helpful tips to share with you.
Table of Contents
Interesting Facts About the Colosseum
Completed in 80 AD, the Colosseum (also called the Flavium Amphitheater ) is the largest amphitheater that was ever built at the time. It could hold up to 80,000 people, spectators who were drawn here to watch gladiatorial contests, executions, animal hunts, and re-enactments of famous battles.
It gets its name from the “colossal” bronze statue of Nero, which sat right next to the Colosseum. The statue no longer stands but the name remains. In Italian, you will see the Colosseum written as Colosseo.
In medieval times, once the Colosseum was no longer used as an amphitheater, it was used as housing, a fortress, a quarry, a cemetery, and a small chapel was built inside of the Colosseum.
In 1349, an earthquake damaged much of the structure and the stones that fell from the Colosseum were then used to construct other buildings in Rome.
Beginning in the 17th century, efforts were made to protect the Colosseum, as people realized the importance and history of this building. Between 1993 and 2000, it underwent a major renovation, and smaller projects continue today.
It is one of the seven New Wonders of the World and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Things to Do in the Colosseum
There are several levels of the Colosseum: the underground, first level, second level, and the third level (top tier). There are several different ticket types and which one you choose determines which of these levels you can visit.
First Level of the Colosseum
This is the level of the arena floor. From this level, you can walk the circumference of the Colosseum, with several viewpoints into the underground. The arena floor was once made of wood and covered with sand, but this disappeared once the Colosseum was no longer used as an amphitheater. From this level, you look down into the inner workings of the underground rooms and hallways.
First level | How to Visit the Colosseum
Cross on the first level | How to Visit the Colosseum
The Arena Floor
Part of the Arena Floor was recently rebuilt, giving visitors a sense of what it is like to stand in the arena. This is also the best spot to look into the Underground. For entrance onto the Arena Floor, you will need a special ticket.
View from the Arena Floor | How to Visit the Colosseum
The Underground, also called the hypogeum, is the area under the Arena Floor. This is where the animals were kept and where the gladiators waited to be released. It’s a maze of underground tunnels and rooms and can only be visited on a guided tour. This is one of Rome’s best history lessons and well worth it, in our opinion.
Underground tunnel | How to Visit the Colosseum
Colosseum Underground and the bottom of the Arena Floor
View from the Underground | How to Visit the Colosseum
The Second Level
On the second level, now that you are higher, you get one of the best views of the Colosseum. There are various viewpoints into the Colosseum, but one of the best is from west side of the Colosseum, where you get a panoramic view of the interior plus the Arena Floor.
The second level is included on the standard ticket.
Second Level | How to Visit the Colosseum
View from the second level | How to Visit the Colosseum
Second Level Terrace
On the west end of the second level, once you take your photos of the interior of the Colosseum, turn around and walk towards the exterior of the Colosseum. This takes you to a terrace that overlooks the Arch of Constantine, with views of Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. Here is the view.
Arch of Constantine
For more clarification, below is a photo of the Colosseum, taken near the Arch of Constantine, with a view of the terrace.
Museum of the Colosseum
On the second level is the Museum of the Colosseum, which displays archaeological artifacts, mosaics, and graffiti from the Colosseum. It is included on the standard ticket.
Museum of the Colosseum | How to Visit the Colosseum
Third Level (Top Tier) aka the Belvedere
This is as high as you can go in the Colosseum and the top tier can only be visited on a tour. Currently, it is closed for renovations, but you can check the official website for updates as to when it will reopen.
Things to Do Outside of the Colosseum
The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch that is dedicated to Constantine the Great. It is the largest Roman triumphal arch and it was built between 312 and 315 AD. It is located next to the Colosseum and free to visit.
The Roman Forum is located just a short walk from the Colosseum. This is ancient Rome, a complex of government buildings, temples, and marketplaces from 2000 years ago.
From the Colosseum, you will enter the Roman Forum by walking along Via Sacra and entering at the Arch of Titus.
Via Sacra | How to Visit the Colosseum
Notable things to see in the Roman Forum include the Via Sacra, the Temple of Venus, the Temple of Romulus (the bronze doors date back to 309 AD), the Temple of Antonius and Faustina and its “hanging door,” the Temple of Vesta, the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Septimius Severus, and the Temple of Julius Caesar.
A visit here lasts anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how many sites you visit and/or your tour.
The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are included on the standard Colosseum entrance ticket.
Sitting on Palatine Hill is a complex of archaeological excavations, the remains of temples and palaces, and a museum. During the time of the Roman Republic, many imperial palaces were built here, including palaces for Augustus, Tiberius, and Domitian.
There are several sites on Palatine Hill, such as the House of Augustus, which requires an additional ticket (it is included on the S.U.P.E.R ticket, also called the Full Experience ticket).
While on Palatine Hill, make sure you visit Terrazza Belvedere del Palatino for a bird’s eye view of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. It’s one of the best views in Rome. Here is the view:
View of the Roman Forum from Palatine Hill
PRO TRAVEL TIP: Since Palatine Hill is included on a ticket with the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, grouping these three sites together makes the best use of your time. To visit all three, plan on spending anywhere from 3 to 5 hours, depending on how quickly you move.
Viewpoints of the Colosseum
For close up views of the Colosseum, take some time to walk around the entire building. This takes about 15 minutes, depending on how frequently you stop for photos.
View of the Colosseum near the intersection of Via Nicola Salvi and Via Labicana
View of the southern side of the Colosseum
For one of the best views of the Colosseum, to go Giardinetto del Monte Oppio. This small park is located next to the Colosseo metro station, it’s free to visit, and this is the view that you get:
The view from Giardinetto del Monte Oppio
How to Get to the Colosseum
METRO: The closest metro stop is Colosseo, on line B. This metro station sits across the street from the Colosseum, and once you exit the station, the Colosseum will be right in front of you.
TAXI OR UBER: It’s possible to take a taxi or Uber to get to the Colosseum. Taxis can be hired from taxi stands throughout the city.
BUS: It’s also possible to get to the Colosseum by bus, whether it is by public bus or on a hop-on hop-off tourist bus.
ON FOOT: Depending on where you are staying in Rome, or what you plan to do before your visit, you can walk to the Colosseum. We use Google Maps for walking directions in Rome.
ENTRANCE INTO THE COLOSSEUM: The entrance into the Colosseum is on the west end of the building. These GPS coordinates ( 41°53’26.5″N 12°29’28.6″E ) give you the approximate location.
How Much Does It Cost to Visit the Colosseum?
The answer to this question depends on which levels you want to visit. Here are the Colosseum ticket types.
Cost: €18 (€16 entrance fee + €2 reservation fee) Includes: Level 1 and Level 2 of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Valid: Valid for 24 hours
Standard Ticket + Audioguide
Cost: €23.50 (€21.50 entrance fee + €2 reservation fee) Includes: Level 1 and Level 2 of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, audioguide for the Colosseum Valid: Valid for 24 hours
Full Experience Ticket
Cost: €24 (€22 entrance fee + €2 reservation fee) Includes: Level 1 and Level 2 of the Colosseum, Arena Floor, guided visit to the Underground, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, entrance into the S.U.P.E.R sites (Casa Augustus, Palatine Museum, House of Livia, temple of Romulus, Santa Maria Antiqua, Criptoportico neroniano, and Aula Isiaca) Valid: Valid for 48 hours
FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH: Admission is free the first Sunday of every month. Expect BIG crowds on this day. It may sound like a good idea to visit the Colosseum for free, but lines can be long to enter and the crowds can take away from the overall experience.
If you have a Roma Pass, your entrance fee is included. However, you will still need to book a time slot to enter the Colosseum. This must be done in advance and there is a €2 reservation fee. Click here for more information.
Tickets for Children
Children can enter the Colosseum for free but you will still need to book a time slot in advance, which you can do on the official website.
The Colosseum at Night
Evening tours of the Colosseum are offered, which allow you to see the Colosseum illuminated at night. These tickets sell out far in advance, so if this sounds like something you want to do, make your reservation as soon as you know your dates of travel. Learn more here.
You can also take this tour, which includes a nighttime visit to the Colosseum plus the Underground and the Arena Floor.
Arena Floor | How to Visit the Colosseum
Purchasing Your Colosseum Tickets
For the best experience, book your tickets in advance, ideally at least several weeks before your visit (but even 4 weeks is better, especially from April through September). Tickets go on sale one month in advance as of April 2023 (you can read about when and how tickets are released here ).
In helping people purchase tickets, we have noticed that tickets are being purchased as soon as they become available, especially the Full Experience tickets. For example, on April 8, tickets become available for May 8 (and sometimes selling out within 24 hours of becoming available). The earlier time slots of the day sell out almost instantly, so set a remimder on your calendar to purchase your tickets as soon as your date becomes available.
Tickets to the Underground are limited and sell out fast. It can also be difficult to get tickets to the nighttime tours of the Colosseum.
Purchase your tickets on the official website. When you make your booking, you will also reserve a time slot. We recommend reserving the first time slot of the day for the lightest crowds (opening time is at 9 am). On our most recent visit to the Colosseum, we entered at opening time and there was no line (this was in September 2022).
What if Tickets are Sold Out?
If tickets on the official website are sold out, we recommend booking a guided tour of the Colosseum.
A portion of the entry tickets into the Colosseum are sold to third-party providers, who then resell the tickets at a slightly higher price or as a guided tour. It will cost you more money, sometimes just a few extra euros, but it is worth it to get the time slot you want and not miss out on this experience.
This skip-the-line guided tour includes your entrance into the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill and is one of the cheapest tours that we found of the Colosseum.
This skip-the-line tour includes entrance into the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill and has the option to add on the Arena Floor.
This tour only includes the Colosseum but takes just one hour of your time, so it’s a good option for those who want a quick visit to the Colosseum.
If you want to tour the Colosseum at night, this tour gets rave reviews and includes the Underground and the Arena Floor.
Finally, if you want to tour the Colosseum and the Underground, take a look at this tour.
PRO TRAVEL TIP: You cannot just show up at the Colosseum and expect to purchase a ticket. You have to make a reservation in advance in order to enter.
When is the Colosseum Open?
The Colosseum is open every day of the year except for Christmas.
It opens at 9 am everyday but closing time varies by season. The Colosseum closes between 4:30 pm and 7 pm, depending on the month. Last entry is one hour before closing. Get updated hours here.
Best Time of Day to Visit the Colosseum
I recommend visiting first thing in the morning, at the first time slot of the day, to tour the Colosseum with low crowds. Crowds also tend to be lighter at the end of the day, just keep in mind that the last entry is one hour before closing.
What We Did
We have visited the Colosseum twice.
Our first visit was in 2014. We entered midday and toured the Colosseum on our own, without a guide. We realized that there is a lot to see and without a guide, you don’t really know what you are looking at.
In 2022, Tim and I returned to Rome and took a guided tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, including the Arena Floor and Underground. This tour lasted 3 hours and we got a lot out of it. The history of the Underground is fascinating and we learned a lot, not just about the Colosseum but the other ancient archaeological sites on Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum.
Skip the Line Tours of the Colosseum
It is well worth it to take a tour of the Colosseum. This allows you to visit the Underground, but if you visit the Colosseum with a guide, you also learn a lot about the history here (and the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, if you add those to your tour).
The cheapest “tour” is to book a standard ticket into the Colosseum plus the audioguide (€23.50).
We wanted to take a nighttime tour of the Colosseum, but these tickets sell out far in advance so we were unable to do this, but it’s a unique way to tour the Colosseum and people rave about this experience.
If you are unable to purchase entrance tickets into the Colosseum or you prefer to take a guided tour to get the most out of your visit, here are some highly rated tours of the Colosseum.
Helpful Tips for Visiting the Colosseum
There is no dress code for the Colosseum. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
Backpacks & Luggage
Large backpacks and luggage are not permitted inside of the Colosseum. Small backpacks are allowed.
What to Do After Your Visit
Here are a few nearby places to visit. For a more complete list, read our article Best Things to Do in Rome.
- After your visit to the Colosseum, visit Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum.
- For lunch, we recommend La Prezzemolina. This small restaurant is within walking distance of the Colosseum and Roman Forum and serves delicious Roman style pizza. It’s one of the best cheap eats in Rome.
- Visit the museums and viewpoints on Capitoline Hill.
- Visit the Altar of the Fatherland for 360° views of Rome.
- Have a cocktail at The Court at Palazzo Manfredi for views of the Colosseum (the bar opens at 5 pm).
- See the Ludus Magnus (the remains of the gladiator school), which are located a short walk east of the Colosseum
Roman Forum from Capitoline Hill
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to see the Colosseum?
The best way to see visit the Colosseum is on a guided tour. On a guided tour, you can visit the Underground and tour the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill with a knowledgeable guide, so you get the most out of your visit.
How long does it take to visit the Colosseum?
It takes 1 to 2 hours to visit the Colosseum. With one hour, you can tour the first and second levels, visit the museum, and take photos from the Arena Floor. A tour of the Underground adds on roughly 30 minutes to your visit to the Colosseum.
Can you just turn up at the Colosseum?
No, tickets must be purchased in advance.
Can you visit the Colosseum without a tour?
Yes, you can purchase a ticket online in advance and visit the Colosseum without taking a tour.
More Information about Rome
For a full list of things to do in Rome, check out our article Best Things to Do in Rome. For the best viewpoints of Rome’s famous landmarks, take a look at our article Best Views of Rome.
Learn how to plan your time with our One Day in Rome Itinerary , 2 Day Rome Itinerary, 3 Day Rome Itinerary and 4 Day Rome Itinerary.
In our article How to Visit the Vatican Museums & St. Peter’s Basilica, we cover what you need to know to plan your visit, including if a tour is worth it, how to avoid the lines, plus information about the “secret rooms” in the Vatican.
For advice on where to eat, read our guide about Where to Eat in Rome, that has restaurant recommendations near the Colosseum, Vatican City, and the historic heart of Rome, plus some great rooftop restaurants. We also have a guide to the Best Rooftop Bars in Rome.
Get recommendations on where to stay in Rome in our Rome Hotel Guide.
If you have any questions about how to visit the Colosseum, let us know in the comment section below.
More Information for Your Trip to Italy
ITALY ITINERARIES: If you are just beginning to plan your Italy itinerary, take a look at our 10 Days in Italy Itinerary for five different ways to spend 10 days in Italy. We also have a detailed 10 day itinerary that includes Rome, Florence, the Cinque Terre, and Venice. For those with more time, check out our 14 day Italy itinerary, which covers the highlights of Italy.
VENICE: Learn more about Venice in our article Best Things to Do in Venice. We also have guides about How to Visit St. Mark’s Basilica, where to get the Best Views of Venice, and how to spend Two Days in Venice.
FLORENCE & TUSCANY: If this is your first visit to Florence, read our guide to the Best Things to Do in Florence and the best rooftop bars in Florence . If you plan to visit Tuscany, learn about the Best Things to Do in Tuscany , how to spend One Day in Siena , how to plan your Tuscany itinerary , and check out our guide to the Best Day Trips from Florence.
VERONA: Verona is a beautiful city in northern Italy. Learn how to spend one perfect day in Verona.
AMALFI COAST: Find out the best way to get around the Amalfi Coast and what it is really like to drive the Amalfi Coast. Learn about the best things to do on the Amalfi Coast , how to hike the Path of the Gods, and things to do in Ravello and Positano, and how to visit Paestum , an archaeological site that is located just outside of the Amalfi Coast.
We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, and Puglia.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these affiliate links, we get paid a small commission at no extra cost to you.
All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.
tickets can be purchased at the door from May, as well as for children.
Have a nice day!
Which tour did you take? I’m struggling to find a guided tour that includes arena floor and the underground.
We took a private tour through LivItaly which costs 400 euros. I found this tour on GetYourGuide which is similar but by a different company that includes the underground and arena floor. It is a small group tour so it is not as expensive as the one we took. Cheers, Julie
Thank you so much!
Hi Julie, I booked a guided tour of the Colosseum with Arena, Roman Forum, and Palatine hill, unfortunately, no underground tour is available on that day. It costs around 89 Euros, is it worth to spend that much money? Plus, the full experience ticket mentions a guided tour to the underground, does it provide so? Because it only costs 24 euros.
We thought the Underground was worth it but it’s really up to you if you want to spend that much money to tour the Colosseum. You can book an underground guided tour on the official website and is worth considering, but when you do so make sure you get the time slot that works with your schedule (sometimes this can be easier to do with a third party seller, which is why their price is higher). Cheers, Julie
unfortunately, i’m struggling to find a tour that has availability in mid-september that combines both the arena floor and the underground. if i had to choose between one or the other, which would you suggest?
If I had to choose between the two options, I’d take the tour of the Underground, since the history is fascinating and it’s interesting walking through those underground walkways. You get a nice view from the Arena Floor, but it’s not a whole lot different from the walkway on that same level, so you don’t lose much by not standing on the Arena Floor, in my opinion. Cheers, Julie
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Colosseum tickets and tours
Gladiators tended to be criminals, prisoners of war or slaves who were trained to fight in professional schools. As their fame increased, some men eve...
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OMNIA Vatican and Roma Pass 72 hours with transport
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Colosseum skip-the-line walking tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
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The inside story
Gladiators tended to be criminals, prisoners of war or slaves who were trained to fight in professional schools. As their fame increased, some men even volunteered for the job. Trained gladiators would often fight unskilled criminals and slaves as a form of public execution, though winning a fight against a gladiator could earn a slave his freedom.
Archaeological remains show that gladiators were often overweight, perhaps in order to build a layer of protective fat. They tended to eat a vegetarian diet of fresh vegetables, dried fruit, barley and beans to grow strong bones that would heal quickly.
Gladiators would fight barefoot in pairs for around ten minutes while the audience chanted like modern football crowds. A common chant was "habet, hoc habet” (he’s had it!). A defeated gladiator would raise a finger (if he had any left) and might be pardoned by the games’ sponsor.
In 107AD, the emperor Trajan celebrated a victory with a show that included 5000 pairs of gladiators – the largest contest known to history.
- 8.30am-7.15pm – 30 March-31 August
- 8.30am-7.00pm – 1-30 September
- 8.30am-6.30pm – 1-30 October
- 8.30am-4.30pm – 31 October-15 February
- 8.30am-5.00pm – 16 February-15 March
Ticket office closes one hour before closing time
About the Colosseum
This massive 50,000-capacity amphitheatre was inaugurated in 80AD with games that lasted 100 days and cost the lives of over 5000 animals. Entrance was free back then, though ‘tickets’ written on pieces of pottery were handed out with seat numbers, presumably to control numbers. The poor, and women, sat on the upper tiers, while senators and equestrians had seats closer to the action (protected from flying weapons and body parts by a net).
Entertainments varied. Some featured animal on animal, others were people fighting animals, and others were people fighting people – usually gladiators, but sometimes slaves/prisoners.
Gladiators probably did not fight to the death because they were valuable and popular commodities, though death was naturally an occupational hazard.
Today, the vast Colosseum easily swallows the thousands who visit, though it’s advisable to buy tickets in advance if you want to skip lines. There’s little to actually ‘do’ once inside other than look at the spectacle, though you can maximise your visit by booking special tickets with privileged access to the hypogeum or the upper levels. It’s also advisable to arrange a local or audio guide if Roman history isn’t your subject.
Tickets to the Colosseum often include access to the Forum and Palatine Hill and can be valid for two days, so it makes sense to plan your time wisely. Arrive early for the busiest places and enjoy the Palatine Hill at your leisure in the afternoon when the tourist hordes are elsewhere. Even with advance skip-the-line tickets and German-level planning, you may still discover that organisation at these venues is not entirely like clockwork, so be flexible.
Piazza del Colosseo, Rome
- MEB, MEB1: Colosseo
- 51, 75, 85, 87, 117,118, N2
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Visiting the Colosseum in Rome 2023: A Detailed Guide to Help you Plan Your Visit
Last updated: October 7, 2023 . Written by Laurence Norah - 35 Comments
Visiting the Colosseum in Rome is probably high on your list of sightseeing priorities for your trip to the Italian capital. It’s a fantastic ancient structure which has stood at the heart of the city for over two millennia, and history practically seeps out of it.
Of course, you won’t be the only person with the thought of visiting. The Colosseum is one of the most popular attractions in Rome, and has thousands of visitors a day. So many in fact, that in 2019 a visitor cap was imposed, limiting visitor numbers to 3,000 at any given time.
This means that it’s more important than ever to properly plan your visit to the Colosseum. If you don’t, especially in the busy summer months, you run the real risk of missing out on going inside and exploring this incredible building, and learning first-hand about its history. Tickets regularly sell out, so you want to plan ahead to avoid disappointment.
We’ve visited the Colosseum many times, and based on our experiences visiting as well as our time exploring Rome and Italy in general, we wanted to share with you a detailed guide to help you plan your own Colosseum visit.
We’re going to share how to get Colosseum tickets, how long to visit for, our tips for the best guided tours of the Colosseum, the options you have for what to do at the Colosseum, how to skip the lines at the Colosseum, what to do if Colosseum tickets are sold out, and much more.
We’ll also share our tips for visiting the Colosseum, and some more practical information so you get the most out of your time. First though, let’s take a look at what exactly the Colosseum is and why it’s a must visit for your time in Rome.
An Overview of the Colosseum
Built during the height of the Roman Empire , in around 70 AD, the Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre ever built. In Italian, it’s called the C olosseo.
It was built primarily as a venue for spectators to watch events, most famously gladiator style combat matches. It also played host to battle re-enactments, executions, and theatre dramas. Some also believe it was used for mock sea battles although there is little evidence of this.
The name comes from the fact that it was built next to a gigantic statue of the Emperor Nero which was referred to as the Colossus of Nero, although this statue no longer exists. However, the name Colossus somehow ended up being transferred from the statue to the Colosseum, probably in reference to the large size of the amphitheatre.
When it was built, the official name of the Colosseum was the Flavian Amphitheatre, although it is believed that Romans of the time would have referred to it as the Amphitheatrum Caesareum. It’s also often referred to as the Coliseum, which is a general term for large outdoor stadiums.
The Colosseum was designed to house up to 80,000 spectators (although some say 40,000), putting it on a par with today’s modern sport stadiums. Average audience attendance for events was around 40,000, with attendees including everyone from emperors to working class people.
Following the fall of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum continued to be used as a space for workshops and other events. In the 12th century it was used as a fortified dwelling by a wealthy family.
Unfortunately, a major earthquake in the middle of the 14th century caused serious damage, and parts of the Colosseum were destroyed. Over the years, the stone of the Colosseum was used for other buildings, leading to much of the structure disappearing.
It wasn’t until the mid 18th century that the value of the Colosseum was recognised, and efforts were put in place to protect it. It was deemed a holy place by the Pope, due to the many Christians who were believed to have died on the arena floor. However, evidence for this is also limited.
The church made efforts to protect the building, and reinforcements and repairs took place throughout the 19th century.
Today, the Colosseum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome, and is visited by millions of people every year. It forms a part of the Historic Centre of Rome UNESCO world heritage site .
Where is the Colosseum
The Colosseum is in the heart of ancient Rome, near other impressive ancient structures like the Roman Forum and Circo Maximus.
The full street address of the Colosseum is Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Comune di Roma RM.
The Colosseum is a little way south-east of attractions like the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. Expect it to take around 25 minutes to walk from this part of the city to the Colosseum.
From the Vatican, it’s more like an hours walk to the Colosseum, so public transport, hop on hop off bus or a taxi is definitely going to save you some time.
How to get to the Colosseum
There are a number of options for getting to the Colosseum depending on where you are coming from.
From the popular area containing the Pantheon and out to Piazza Navona, where we often recommend folks look for accommodation, it’s around a 20 – 30 minute walk.
The Colosseum is also served by the Rome Metro , with the Colosseo stop being directly across the street from the Colosseum. Currently, Line B serves this stop.
There are also a number of bus routes that stop at the Colosseum. If you are using the Roma Pass or Rome and Vatican Pass (also known as the Omnia Rome and Vatican Card) these include public transport in the city, making this a cost effective option for getting to the Colosseum.
If you are using one of the Hop on Hop off bus services in Rome, the Colosseum is a stop for the majority of these services. A Hop on Hop of bus is included with the Rome and Vatican Pass, or you can buy a ticket for the HOHO bus here .
Finally, Rome has a lot of taxis, so you can use one of these to get to the Colosseum. Always ensure the meter is running when taking a taxi in Rome.
Colosseum Opening Times
The Colosseum is normally open every day of the year with the exception of the 1st of January and 25th of December.
It opens either at 10.30am or 9.30am depending on the time of year and usually closes an hour before dusk. The last admission is an hour before closing time.
You can see full opening times for the Colosseum on the official website here .
Note that sometimes public holidays and events can affect opening hours. For example, Republic Day (2nd June) normally involves a large parade, and the Colosseum is often only open on the afternoon on this day. So always check in advance before planning your visit.
What to see and do at the Colosseum
The Colosseum was the largest amphitheater ever built, and as you might imagine, there is lots to see here.
It is divided into a number of main areas. There’s the exterior of the Colosseum, which you can visit without a ticket just to see how impressive this building really is.
Inside the main sections are like a traditional amphitheater or more modern day theatre. There’s the seating section, which is spread across four main levels – with the higher quality seating closer to the arena floor.
There’s the arena area itself, although the floor for this was made of wood and the majority of this has long since perished. A small recreated section can still be seen to get an idea for how it would have looked.
Below the area where the arena was is the hypogeum. This large two storey part of the Colosseum, was originally entirely underneath the arena floor. This was where the combatants, animals and scenery pieces would have been kept.
It is said that in the first design for the arena, this area could be flooded and used for mock sea battles. However, there is little evidence to support this claim, and even if this did happen it was likely very impractical and quickly repurposed with the walls and holding pens as you see it today.
The hypogeum was originally covered by the arena floor, but as that is largely gone now, it is open to the air. So it is quite easy to see into as you tour the upper levels.
When visiting the Colosseum on a normal ticket you get access to first and second floors of the public spectator area, which gives you excellent views of the structure.
It’s also possible to book tickets and take guided tours that include the arena and underground areas. In mid-2021, the underground area that visitors can access expanded greatly following a two-year restoration project.
For a period there was also the possibility to go higher up to the fourth and fifth floors, but this area is under construction as of 2022 and it is unknown if the upper floors will reopen.
See our guide to ticket types and tours for more information.
Finally, it is worth noting that whilst not part of the Colosseum, all tickets to the Colosseum include same-day access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, which is right next to the Colosseum. This is where the business of Rome happened, and should also be part of your visit.
You can visit the Roman Forum before visiting the Colosseum as long as you visit on the same day, and remember to observe the timeslot for your Colosseum entry.
How Long to Visit the Colosseum For?
We would suggest that you allocate at least 2 hours for visiting the Colosseum. As well as time spent exploring the actual structure, you also need to consider that it might take a bit of time to get through the security line.
When is the Colosseum Free in 2023?
The Colosseum is free on the first Sunday of the month. On these days, entry is on a first come first served basis with free tickets available at the ticket office in Piazza del Colosseo, located near the Temple of Venus and Rome.
In addition to the first Sunday, in some years the Colosseum has a number of free days each year. However, these have been put on hold as of 2021.
For reference, in 2020, the following dates were free for visiting the Colosseum:
- 5th January 2020
- 2nd February 2020
- 1st March 2020
- 9th May 2020
- 5th June 2020
- 29th June 2020
- 23rd September 2020
- 4th October 2020
- 4th November 2020
- 18th December 2020
Note that on the free days, including the free Sunday each month, it is not possible to book a timeslot or reserve access. However, the limit of 3,000 people inside the building still applies.
This means that wait times can be very long and we would generally advise against visiting on the free days if you can help it, unless you are on a very tight budget and have lots of time to spare. In this case, go as early as you can.
Note that the majority of information in this post regarding timeslots, fast track entry and pricing do not apply on the free days. It’s just a question of showing up and waiting in line.
Do You Need a Ticket for the Colosseum?
Everyone visiting the Colosseum needs to be in possession of a ticket, or at least a reservation to visit. If visiting on one of the free days, you get a ticket on site on a first come first served basis.
There are a variety of ticket types available depending on what you want to see, and different prices apply for these.
Even those visitors eligible for free entry need to reserve a timeslot, including children who are eligible for free entry. We cover this process below.
How Much does it Cost to Visit the Colosseum?
Pricing for the Colosseum in 2023 is as follows:
- €18 for adults
- €4 for EU citizens aged 18-25
- Free if under 18
There are a number of other concessions available which you can read about here .
Note that these are the prices if booked on the official website. Third party ticket sites tend to be slightly more expensive, but are a good option if there is limited availability on the official site, as there often tends to be.
All visitors, including those eligible for free entry, need to book a timeslot for entry.
If you are using the Roma Pass which includes entry to the Colosseum, then you just have to pay a €2 fee to reserve your timeslot online.
See more on how to reserve a time for the Colosseum in the section below on timeslots.
If you choose to take a guided tour of the Colosseum, or want to visit some of the more special areas in the Colosseum, then this will cost more. For example, on the official website, a ticket which includes the Underground and Arena areas costs €22 (plus €2 reservation fee).
How to Schedule a Time for the Colosseum
If you are visiting the Colosseum as an individual, rather than as part of a pre-booked guided tour, then you need to schedule a time for your visit (except on the free days). Everyone needs to book a timeslot, regardless of age.
Scheduling a time for your visit to the Colosseum can be done on the official ticket website . When you purchase your ticket, you will be asked to select a time. You will only be able to buy a ticket for available times.
There are two other websites we recommend for booking the Colosseum. They also normally have more availability than the official site which can sell out very quickly. We suggest checking on both of these as the prices tend to vary.
It’s important to note that as of 2023, the Colosseum requires third-party sites to include an additional product when selling an entry ticket. So this might be a guided tour, or an audio guide, or something similar.
This does mean prices are a little higher than the official site, but you are getting more for your money and the availability tends to be a lot better as well.
First, we recommend checking the products on GetYourGuide here . These allow you to specify a time for entry and their tickets also normally include free cancellation up to 24 hours before your visit. In our experience these products tend to have better availability.
Next, you can also book to visit the Colosseum on Tiqets here . It’s also little more expensive than the official site (although you get a 5% discount on their normal price with our link), but like GetYourGuide is a lot more user friendly in our experience.
Note that at busier times of year tickets sell out far in advance, so we advise booking your time as soon as you know when you will be visiting. Tickets are released on a schedule throughout the year, which varies depending on the ticket type.
If you are travelling with children who are eligible for free entry, you also need to reserve a timeslot for your entry, which you can do either on the official site (using the guidance for free entry), or you can reserve a fast-track entry for children on this website .
If you choose to buy the Rome Tourist Card for your time in Rome, which includes entry to the major attractions like the Vatican, St. Peters and Colosseum, you will pick your Colosseum entry time on purchase. This makes this pass very convenient and easy to use.
If you have the Rome and Vatican Pass or the Roma Pass , which include entry to the Colosseum you still need to schedule your Colosseum entry and pay the small online reservation fee. I highly recommend checking there is availability at the Colosseum booking website before you buy one of these passes.
Note that availability for holders of the Roma Pass is different from general availability. Even if the site shows sold out for general admission, there might still be slots available for those with a Roma Pass.
You can check timeslot availability on the official ticket website .
On that page, there is a section for “Roma Pass Holders”, with a link at the end of the section which lets you book the entrance time.
You will be presented with the ticket screen for booking your ticket.
Scroll to the bottom of the screen, where you can select the time of your visit. This is easier if you check “available only” to only show available times.
When you have picked the time of your tickets, you will be given the option to select a product. Scroll down and choose the “RESERVATION OF ADMISSION FOR ROMA PASS HOLDERS” product option to reserve your timeslot. Make sure to reserve one for each member of your group. The cost will be €2 each.
Note that the Roma Pass only has free entry to the first attraction visited with the 48h Roma Pass, and the first two attractions with the 72h Roma Pass.
This means that if you do not use the Colosseum as your free entry, you have to pay a reduced entry. This can also be done online, using the “reduced ticket for Roma Pass holders” option which costs €11.50 at time of writing.
We strongly recommend that you reserve your Colosseum timeslot as far in advance as possible as tickets do sell out.
Official Colosseum Website
If you search for the Colosseum, you will likely be presented with a swathe of sites to choose from, and it can be tricky to know which is the official website.
There are two official websites for the Colosseum, which are as follows:
- Parco Archeologico del Colosseo: https://parcocolosseo.it/en/ – official information site for the Colosseum
- Coop Culture: https://ecm.coopculture.it/ – official ticket site for the Colosseum
There are many other sites which provide information about visiting the Colosseum (including this one) but the above two sites are the only official sites that I am aware of.
Where to Buy Colosseum Tickets
The first place to look when buying tickets for the Colosseum is the official ticket website . In our experience, this is where the best value Colosseum tickets are available.
You can normally purchase tickets on the official Colosseum website a month in advance. So each day a new day is made available the following month.
There are many third-party websites that will sell you tickets for the Colosseum, however if all you want is the regular individual access without a guide or other access, then the official website is definitely where you should start.
Unfortunately, tickets on the official website tend to sell out pretty quickly, especially at busier times of year. So if you have a date in mind, I recommend marking a date in your calendar a month in advance to check the official site. Sometimes last-minute tickets are available, but this is not guaranteed.
If you are struggling to find tickets, see the section of the post on how to get tickets when they are sold out on the official site. We also have more options below.
Our next choice for Colosseum tickets would be either these options on the tiqets website or these options on GetYourGuide . We use both these sites for tickets in cities across Europe and it is worth checking them both as prices and availability can vary.
Colosseum access is also included on the Roma Pass and the Rome and Vatican Pass , although you do still need to book a timeslot with these passes as described in the previous section. You can see more on the different pass options that include the Colosseum further on in the post.
Another thing to note is that tickets bought from the official website cannot be refunded, nor can you change the date and time. Some third-party sites do allow for refunds and changes, so if this is important to you do check the terms when purchasing.
Colosseum Tickets Sold Out? You still have options to visit the Colosseum!
If you are visiting Rome in the busier months, particularly over the summer and holiday periods, you might discover that there are no timeslots available on the official website, especially for the basic entry ticket.
However, there are still options available to you for visiting.
First, you might want to try some of the tickets available on the official website beyond the regular admission option. They are a little more expensive, but at least they might be available.
For example, there are tickets for the Colosseum which include an audioguide or a videoguide. They are not guided tours, so you go into the individual entrance, but there is a different allocation for these tickets. You can get these tickets on the official website, or sometimes from here .
There are also tickets available on the official website which get you into more areas, like the arena, underground area, or Bellevue area. Again, these are a little bit more expensive, but you will experience more, and visit some of the less crowded area.
There are also exclusive evening tours of the Colosseum, but in our experience these sell out even faster than the regular tickets due to limited availability.
If you are still struggling to get a Colosseum ticket, some websites we recommend you check are the following:
- This Colosseum ticket page on the Tiqets website, or this one which includes the Mamertime Prison
- This set of options for the Colosseum on GetYourGuide
- This ticket which uses the group entrance to get you faster access. This takes advantage of the tour ticket pool, meaning you might be able to get entry even if individual tickets are sold out.
If you still can’t find a Colosseum ticket using the above sites, then you might consider a pass. For example the Rome and Vatican Pass and the Roma Pass both include entrance to the Colosseum.
With these passes you just need to pay a €2 booking fee and make a reservation on the official site. These reservations come from a different pool and so might have availability even if tickets are shown as sold out on the official site. Definitely check availability first (click “Roma Pass holders” on this site) before purchasing though.
Another option for Colosseum entry if Colosseum tickets are sold out is to take a tour. We think this is a good option, even if tickets are available, as you will learn a lot more about the site.
Tours vary in price, from more basic tours which just see the Colosseum, and others which are more in depth and include some other sights.
Two we recommend are:
- This tour with Take Walks which includes arena floor access and the Roman Forum. We’ve done this tour and can highly recommend it.
- This tour on GetYourGuide which includes the Roman Forum.
We very much suggest you use a reputable company like Take Walks (which we’ve used many times) when booking a Colosseum tour so you can be confident of a good experience with professional guides. We also have a more complete section on recommended tours further on in the post.
It’s a little more expensive than booking an individual ticket, but lower priced than most tours. Good if you just want to visit the Colosseum without a tour, but can’t find an individual ticket option for the day and time you want.
Finally, if you absolutely cannot get Colosseum tickets, you might instead consider this ticket which will at least get you access to the Roman Forum, which is right next to the Colosseum and well worth visiting.
Can you skip the lines at the Colosseum?
It’s possible to get much faster access to the Colosseum by reserving your ticket and timeslot in advance, but you can’t skip the lines entirely due to security checks and the need to validate tickets.
There are two main lines at the Colosseum for individuals – one for those with a booked timeslot and a ticket, and one for those who want to buy a ticket.
With your ticket and timeslot reservation, the former is the line you should aim for. Whilst it is fairly fast due to the timeslot system, there are still security checks to go through. In addition, if you are eligible for a concession or are a child, you will need to provide proof in the form of a government ID.
If you are using the Roma Pass to enter, you will need to show this as well as your timeslot reservation.
The official Colosseum website recommends that you turn up 30 minutes earlier than your reservation, and no later than 15 minutes after your reservation time. If you turn up before or after these times, you will likely not be granted entry.
The fastest way to access the Colosseum is often with a group, as groups have a separate entry and security check. See our section below on recommended tours for some ideas. Your tour guide will advise you as to the meeting point, and will then take you to the correct entrance.
One of the best value options we’ve found for using the dedicated tour entry is this one. This doesn’t actually include a tour, but you do get faster entry in the group line, as well as your Roman Forum / Palatine Hill entry.
Definitely one to consider if you want to get in quickly, but don’t want to pay too much for a guided tour.
Rome Passes that Include the Colosseum
There are a number of cards available for Rome which offer free or discounted admission to a number of attractions in the city. Some passes also have added benefits like public transport or audio guides to the city.
Which of these cards is best for you will vary depending on which sites you want to visit, how long you have in the city, and your budget.
Rome Tourist Card
The Rome Tourist Card includes entry to the Colosseum which you book when you buy the pass, making this one of the easiest passes for Colosseum entry. It also includes timed access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel as well as a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica.
You also get a discount on other attractions in Rome, as well as some nice audio tours of various sights in the city. If you want a pass which covers the essential sights and makes things hassle free, this is a great option. You can buy this pass online here .
The Roma Pass comes in a 48 hour and a 72 hour version. Both versions include free public transport access in Rome, as well as discounted entry to a wide range of attractions in the city.
The 48 hour pass includes free entry to the first site you visit, whilst the 72 hour pass includes free to entry to your first two visited sites. Obviously, we’d suggest making the Colosseum your first visited site with the 48 hour pass.
Remember that with the Roma Pass you do still need to reserve your Colosseum timeslot in advance on the official website, and pay the €2 reservation fee.
You should also be aware that whilst the Roma Pass does include entry to the Colosseum, this entry is not guaranteed just because you have the pass. If there are no timeslots available for visiting, you won’t be able to visit.
So if you know your dates, we suggest checking the available times on the official ticket website before buying your Roma Pass to be sure you’ll be able to visit, if this is a primary reason for buying the Roma Pass.
Rome and Vatican Pass
The Rome and Vatican Pass includes the Roma Pass as well as skip the line entry to the Vatican City attractions like St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums. This is our preferred pass if you are visiting Rome for 3 days as it includes the majority of he attractions in the city.
Entry to the Colosseum is included (as part of the Roma Pass part of the pass), but you do still need to reserve the timeslot in advance and pay the €2 reservation fee. The same caveat in terms of availability also applies to the Roma Pass.
The Rome and Vatican Pass also includes a Hop on Hop off bus, public transport, audioguides for many of the attractions, a guidebook to Rome, and lots more.
Best of Rome All Access Pass
The Best of Rome All Access Pass is a 3 day pass which includes fast track entry to the majority of sites in Rome, including the Colosseum, Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica.
It also includes an audioguide of the city. When you book, you specify a time for the Colosseum. Note this pass does not include any transport.
Options for Visiting Different Parts of the Colosseum
The Colosseum has a number of different options for visiting, with the main differences being which parts of the structure you have access to.
The basic access gets you entry to the main parts of the structure, and you will be able to explore many of the spectator stands, as well as see down into the arena. This is the lowest cost option, and is the most popular option for visitors.
You can also purchase tickets which will give you access to more exclusive parts of the Colosseum. These are slightly more expensive and are sold in lower quantities as there is less space. They also require an authorized guide.
There are two main areas you can visit, with our suggested options for visiting as follows. Note that depending on restoration and construction works, as well as any social distancing requirements, not all the tours are always available.
Colosseum Underground Tour, including Colosseum Arena Access
The Colosseum Underground Tour is an official tour sold through the Colosseum website which is offered in a number of languages including English .
The tour includes access to the arena area as well as the area underneath the Colosseum where the gladiators would prepare for battle. This area is known as the hypogeum, and it is a two story underground space.
Originally this would have been hidden under the arena, but as the floor above it has perished, it is well lit and visible.
This is a fully guided tour, and is an excellent option for anyone looking for a more in depth experience.
Note that this tour is very popular and can book up well in advance. If you want to take this tour, we highly recommend booking it far in advance. There are also some third party tour companies offering this tour, such as this one from Take Walks which also includes the Roman Forum .
We list more of these in our recommended tours section below.
Colosseum Belvedere Panoramic View Access
Up until around 2019, it was possible to book the Colosseum Panoramic View Tour which took you up to the 3rd, 4th and 5th floors of the Colosseum, which are not generally open to the public. The tour is also referred to as the Belvedere tour, which means “beautiful view”.
These floors offer you a spectacular panoramic view of the Colosseum from high above the ground, and are worth doing if you want a unique perspective of the arena.
As of 2022 this area is again closed to the public, and we will update this guide if this changes.
All tours which visit special areas also normally include access to the main part of the Colosseum as well, so you don’t need to buy them separately. Once your tour is complete, you can explore the other parts of the Colosseum at your leisure.
Do be aware that the official website does list cheaper tickets for the underground and arena areas, which do not include a tour guide.
These tickets are aimed at official tour companies rather than individuals. The tickets are only valid with an authorized guide, however a guide is not provided – you would need to arrange one yourself. As well as being authorized, the guide also needs to provide a list of everyone coming on official headed notepaper.
This is likely beyond the scope of most visitors to arrange, hence we suggest the guided options.
Note: different areas of the Colosseum can close for works. So do just be aware of this.
Practicalities for Visiting the Colosseum
Facilities at the colosseum.
The Colosseum has toilets on-site, although ideally you would want to go before your visit so as to avoid wasting time on site.
Otherwise, facilities are fairly limited. There’s no on-site luggage facilities, cafes, or restaurants. Although there are plenty of places to eat and get a coffee within a short walk of the Colosseum.
Security at the Colosseum
As with any major attraction, security is a major consideration. Security is similar to an airport, with metal detectors and bag scanners in place at all the entry points.
You can’t take any large bags or wheeled suitcases into the Colosseum, but small daypacks are normally allowed.
Items including bottles and glasses containers, alcoholic beverages and aerosols, backpacks, camping equipment, bulky bags, and luggage / trolley bags are also not permitted.
Accessibility at the Colosseum
Despite its age, the Colosseum has relatively good accessibility for those with reduced mobility. The main entrance is step-free, and there’s an elevator for disabled use to get up to the arena level. Accessible routes are clearly marked.
There are also accessible toilets, and audio and video guides are also available.
It is worth bearing in mind that the area around the Colosseum is cobblestones, which might be tricky for a wheelchair or those with a cane or walker.
Luggage storage Near the Colosseum
For security reasons, only medium to small backpacks can be brought into the Colosseum. Any other luggage is prohibited.
Ideally, you will leave your luggage at your hotel whilst you are out exploring Rome, but this is not always possible.
Instead, you will want to leave your luggage nearby. We recommend you check out Nannybag , which offers secure storage in locations across Rome. Just search for Colosseum in their search box to find locations closest to the Colosseum.
Tours of the Colosseum
If you want to take a guided tour of the Colosseum, there are a number of tour options available to you.
This is also a good option if tickets of the Colosseum have sold out and you have been unable to book a timeslot for the Colosseum, as tour groups have their own ticket allocation.
First, the official Colosseum website offers guided tours of the special access parts of the Colosseum, such as the arena, underground and panoramic views. These tend to be some of the best value tours, however they also sell out very quickly. They also do not offer a general Colosseum tour, and in my experience, the website isn’t the easiest to navigate!
Our preferred tour company for guided tours in Italy is Take Walks (also known as Walks of Italy), and we’ve taken a number of their tours in Rome, including a tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum . See our review of some of their Rome tours here .
They offer a number of tours, some of which focus on the Colosseum, and other which cover other parts of Rome as well. We recommend the following tours that they offer:
- Premium Colosseum Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill – we took a tour like this one, which covered the main sights of the Colosseum with Arena floor access, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill, and taught us a great deal about what we were seeing
- VIP Colosseum Underground Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill – this tour is similar to the above, but also include access to the underground parts of the Colosseum.
- Rome In A Day Tour with Vatican, Colosseum & Historic Center – a great option if you are short on time, this excellent value tour includes all the major highlights of the city across a busy day
- VIP Colosseum At Night Tour With Underground & Arena Floor – if you’re looking for something a bit different (and a bit quieter!), this night time access tour offers a unique experience
Of course, there are many other operators offering Colosseum tours. We do recommend reading reviews and only going with a reputable company. Some suggested options to check out include:
- This GetYourGuide tour of the Colosseum which includes access to the underground arena as well as a tour of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
- This tour with Context Travel of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, which can be booked as a private tour or small group tour. Note you get 10% off all Context tours if you book through our link)
- This 3 hour walking tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
- A private 3 hour walking tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
As you can see, there is no shortage of tours on offer – hopefully you will find something to suit. If you are looking for advice about a tour, feel free to leave us a comment at the end of this post.
Tips for Visiting the Colosseum
We’ve been lucky enough to visit the Colosseum a number of times on different visits to Rome, and have visited individually and on guided tours. Based on our experiences visiting, we wanted to share some tips to help you plan your own visit.
Which Colosseum ticket to buy?
If you would prefer to buy an individual ticket for your visit to the Colosseum, then we suggest either the official website here (usually cheapest but not always the easiest website to navigate), the Tiqets website here (using our link saves you 5% on their price), or the GetYourGuide website here .
If you are planning on visiting a number of sights in Rome, perhaps from one of our Rome itineraries , then we recommend purchasing either the Roma Pass or the Rome and Vatican Pass . These will give you entry to a number of other attractions in the city, as well as free public transport.
With these cards, you just need to pay the €2 fee to reserve your timeslot, which you can do online. It is also possible to do it in person for free, but we advise against this as times fill up quickly.
If skip the line access is your priority, then we’d suggest this good value option which gets you in via the group entrance, which is usually the fastest way to get into the Colosseum.
If you’re looking for a guided tour that will be more comprehensive and last a bit longer, then we suggest this tour from Take Walks .
Consider a Guided Tour or Audio / Video guide
There is a great deal of history in the Colosseum, and it’s not always easy to understand what all the different parts are that you are looking at.
To be honest this statement could be extended to many of Rome’s attractions!
We definitely think that the best way to see many of Rome’s sights is on a guided tour, and the Colosseum is no exception. These do cost a bit more than just buying a ticket, but we think they are well worth it.
If you don’t want to take a guided tour, then we suggest considering either an option that include an audio or video guide. Failing that, at least consider picking up a detailed guide book which has lots of information in to help you understand what you are looking at.
What to Bring
We would suggest bringing as little as possible to the Colosseum in order to minimise your time in security. You are not allowed to bring large bags or wheeled suitcases, but day packs are allowed. Glass bottles and alcohol containers are also not permitted.
We’d suggest bringing just your daily essentials that you might need for exploring the city. These will likely include a bottle of water, suncream, a hat, your camera / smartphone, map of the city, and some spending money.
You should also bring government issued photo ID, such as your passport or driver’s license, in case you need to prove who you are when showing your ticket. This is particularly important for children, students, and anyone else using a concession ticket.
Plan your day in advance
Hopefully the theme of properly planning your trip to the Colosseum is coming across well in this guide to visiting!
We would suggest that to make the most of your time at the Colosseum and Rome in general, that you put together a general itinerary for what you want to see each day. This will help you ensure you see everything you want.
Once you have an idea of your itinerary, we highly recommend booking all your tickets in advance, which will save time and ensure you skip the long ticket lines.
If that sounds like too much work, then we instead recommend taking one of our suggested guided tours to get the most out of your time in the city, letting you enjoy yourself, and letting someone else worry about the planning!
Be Wary of on Site Touts
Like many attractions around the world, the Colosseum has a fair number of touts selling various things, from photos with a “Gladiator” (they will always expect to be paid), to tickets for entry.
If you already have an entry ticket from the official site, and need assistance for any reason, look for the CoopCulture staff. A commenter has pointed out that these will only be on site during opening hours, so if you arrive earlier than opening, it is easy to be misled by other official looking ticket sellers who will likely try to sell you a tour.
Whilst these might be legitimate sellers of guided tours, if you already have an entry ticket then you should just head for the entrance and await opening, at which point there will be official staff available to assist you.
If you have bought a ticket from a third-party site or for a tour, read the instructions carefully regarding where to go. It should give detailed information, as well as how to identify your guide if you have one.
Skip the Free Days
It can be tempting to think about visiting the Colosseum on the days when entry is free. However, what you save in money you lose in time and crowds. The Colosseum tends to be very busy on the free days, and tickets are only available in person at the site. These are on a first come first served basis, which means you can spend a great deal of time standing in line.
Visiting with a ticket and a timeslot will guarantee you your entry, and save you wasting time. If you are in Rome for a prolonged period of time, then this is likely less of a concern, but for those of you visiting over a few days, we’d suggest it isn’t worth the saving in most cases.
Attractions Near the Colosseum
The largest major attraction near the Colosseum is the Roman Forum, and your Colosseum ticket gets you entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill as well.
Note that many third party websites advertise this as a bonus feature, but the reality is that every ticket to the Colosseum includes access to the Roman Forum. Also be aware that the standard ticket only has access for 1 day. In the past it was valid for 2 days, and many websites still incorrectly state this. Unlike the Colosseum, there is not currently timed entry for the Roman Forum.
There are a number of other attractions within easy walking distance of the Colosseum. These include the Circus Maximus, the Baths of Caracalla and the Capitoline Museums.
For more inspiration to plan your time in Rome, see our detailed itineraries for spending 1 day in Rome , 2 days in Rome and 3 days in Rome , all of which include a visit to the Colosseum.
Where to Stay Near the Colosseum
Rome has a huge number of accommodation options across the city. We usually recommend staying in the area around the Piazza Navona as that’s within walking distance of everything from the Colosseum to the Vatican City.
However, it’s also possible to stay right next to the Colosseum if you prefer. Some properties even have Colosseum views!
Here’s our pick of some of the best hotels and other accommodation options where you can stay near the Colosseum.
- Colosseo Guesthouse – One of the best value hotel options near the Colosseum, this guesthouse offers en-suite air conditioned rooms with city views and breakfast included.
- B&B Colosseo Panoramic Rooms – Found directly across from the Colosseum, it’s hard to imagine finding anywhere closer. This B&B offers air conditioned rooms with en-suite facilities, flat screen TV’s and breakfast for a good price
- Relais Terme di Tito – just 100 yards from the Colosseum, this design hotel in a historic building has wonderful rooms which feature air conditioning, minibars and en-suite facilities
- FH55 Grand Hotel Palatino – a five minute walk from the Colosseum, this four star hotel has en-suite air conditioned rooms, soundproofing, inclusive breakfast and an on-site restaurant
- Hotel Palazzo Manfredi – Relais & Chateaux – one of the best 5* properties near to the Colosseum, this hotel has an incredible rooftop terrace with stunning views of the Colosseum. Rooms are en-suite with air-conditioning featuring TV’s, minibar and a tea/coffee maker. An excellent luxury option near the Colosseum
Of course, there are other options for accommodation in Rome beyond the above. We recommend checking out all the listings on booking.com for Rome to start with.
If you prefer an apartment, then we recommend Plum Guide .
Plum Guide carefully curate their listings so their options tend to be of a very high quality whilst still being available at a range of price points. We’ve booked them for trips around the world and always had a great experience, and you can read our full review of Plum Guide here . See their listings for Rome here .
If you can’t find what you want on Plum Guide, or you want some new options to try out, we wrote a whole post on the best alternatives to AirBnB which you should check out!
Further Reading for Visiting Rome
We have visited Rome many times, and have put together a number of guides to help you make the most out of your time in the city. We’ve also visited many other parts of Italy, and we’ve included some of these posts below as well, as well as some other resources we think you’ll find useful.
- We have a guide to spending 1 day in Rome , as well as guides for 2 days in Rome and 3 days in Rome , which should help you plan your time effectively. We also have a guide to things to do in Rome in general.
- You can’t visit Rome without trying gelato – the Italian version of ice cream. See all our favourite places to find the best gelato in Rome
- Another popular Italian pastime is drinking coffee, particularly espresso! See some of the best cafes to drink coffee in Rome
- We’ve taken a number of walking tours in Rome. See our guide to our favourite walking tours of Rome here , our favourite Rome food tours here , and our review of a Romantic Poets and Grand Tour post we took here .
- We have a detailed guide to visiting the Borghese Gallery in Rome which is one of our favorite art museums in Rome.
- We also have a detailed guide to visiting Vatican City and its attractions. Our complete guide to the Vatican has everything you need to know, including all the highlights, tips for visiting, how to buy tickets and lots more.
- Beyond Rome, we have a guide to Florence , suggested things to do in Milan , a 2 day Milan itinerary , and tips for a day in Venice
- We also have a detailed 10 day Italy itinerary to help you plan a trip in this wonderful country
- If you’re planning on visiting Rome in summer, read our tips for visiting a European city in summer to stay sane
- If you’re looking for a physical (or Kindle!) guidebook, we recommend the Rick Steves Rome guide , which has lots of practical information to help you make the most of your stay
And that’s the end of our guide to making the most of your visit to the Colosseum! We hope you found it useful. As always, if you have any questions or feedback on this post, let us know in the comments below!
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Jeff Street says
3rd June 2022 at 4:38 pm
Hi Guys! This is a really informative blog. Thank you so much! I am traveling as part of a group of 11 on our way to Jerusalem. We have an 11 hour layover in Rome (Fiumicino) and I would like to take them to see the Colosseum and then head back to the airport. Do you have any advice / tips for me? Thank you so much! Jeff
Laurence Norah says
3rd June 2022 at 4:57 pm
Thanks very much! So this should definitely be do-able. It’s around an hour by bus / shuttle from Fiumcino to central Rome. A shuttle bus like this is probably going to be the best value, although you might be able to find a bus company that will take all of you to Roma Termini, from where it’s a 20 minute walk to the Colosseum.
I’m not sure if you wanted to do a tour of the Colosseum or just self service. Whichever though, as there are quite a few of you I would definitely recommend booking well in advance. The Colosseum has limited numbers of tickets available per day. The lowest price is nearly always available by booking direct on the offcial site. If you wanted to take a tour, there are a few recommendations in this guide.
Remember that admission to the Colosseum also includes access to the Roman Forum, so do visit there as well. Depending on your group and how organised you are, you would also likely have time to do some sightseeing in the area before returning to the airport for your flight.
My main tip is just to book everything in advance and make sure you all have a means of communicating with each other or at least having a fall back meeting point at a certain time. Otherwise, this should be very do-able 🙂
6th March 2022 at 5:07 pm
Thanks for all the information Do you now if I buy a time slot ticket for the colisseum can I visit de Roman Forum and the Paltine before entering the coliseum? thank you.
7th March 2022 at 12:02 pm
Yes, you should be able to visit the Roman Forum prior to entering the Colosseum. The default ticket is valid for 1 day and you can enter one before the other. Obviously you’ll still need to observe the timeslot on your Colosseum ticket.
Let me know if you have any questions and have a great time in Rome!
Edmund Chue says
4th August 2020 at 9:18 pm
A great comprehensive guide to visiting the Colosseum. I would like to share a potential pitfall for those who already have existing tickets purchased from the official website for the earliest opening timing slot of the day. At the Colosseum area, only take instructions from the actual CoopCulture staff. Their uniform is all black. Only listen to them. Beware of those people wearing blue jackets with the words ” Colosseum official skip the line “. These people are touts from some unspecified sources and they will tend to purposely give false information to these who have already pre-booked or have the passes. Whether intentional or not, their attire are very misleading in denoting their actual identities. These touts will purposely mislead those who already got prior tickets and may send you going back and forth. For visitors who arrive at the entry gate early, before opening time, the actual CoopCulture staff have still not been stationed for work and only these misleading people will be mingling around.
5th August 2020 at 11:20 am
Thanks for sharing your experience, this is definitely unfortunate to hear. I will add a section on this to the guide to help future visitors 🙂 I hope you were still able to enjoy your visit!
William Cheriegate says
11th February 2020 at 7:44 pm
The 37 Euro tickets for > Underground & Level III official tour:
You mentioned “If you are interested in both the underground and the panoramic view, there is also a tour which includes both of them.”
Is the Level III the same as the “panoramic view”? There are 5 levels so I’m bit confused. Thank you VERY MUCH.
11th February 2020 at 11:52 pm
Yes, Level 3 is the same as panoramic view, which is also often referred to as the Belevedere tour (belvedere means “beautiful view”). The tour should include access to levels 3-5, but the official website is a little opaque on this unfortunately. They also keep changing what they call the tour to make life more complicated. Currently it is the “FULL EXPERIENCE + UNDERGROUND AND LEVEL III”. There’s a little bit more information here: https://www.coopculture.it/events.cfm?id=6
But it’s in Italian only, so you would need to translate it. The clue is at the end, where it says “the elevator is not used to reach the third, fourth and fifth ring”. So even though the fourth and fifth levels are mysteriously omitted in the description of the tour, they should be included!
Have a great trip 🙂
11th February 2020 at 11:57 pm
Just to update this, I just found on the official ticket website that access to Levels 4 & 5 is temporarily suspended (you can see this in the bolded text in the right hand column here: https://www.coopculture.it/en/events.cfm?id=6 )
So the tour will only go up to Level 3 until this reopens, I’m not sure when that will be!
12th February 2020 at 3:15 am
Bravo, grazie mille.
9th January 2020 at 10:21 pm
Hi there, I’m going to Rome in a month and just bought my Colosseum time reservation and the Roma Pass. Do you know where I go to pick up the Roma Pass at the Colosseum? My reservation is the first one in the morning (8:35) so I don’t know if it will be crowded at that point. Or, can I pick up my Roma Pass at the airport when I arrive, even though I bought it through the Colosseum website?
Thanks for your help! Erin
10th January 2020 at 10:49 am
Normally when you buy a Roma Pass you would pick it up at any of the official pick up points, which are the tourist infopoints around the city and at the airports. These are as follows:
PIT Castel S. Angelo, Piazza Pia (next to the gardens of Castel Sant’Angelo), 8.30am – 18.00pm till 24/03, 9.30am – 7.00pm till 27/10. PIT Ciampino, Aeroporto G.B.Pastine – External area International Arrivals. 8.30am – 6.00pm. PIT Cinque Lune, Piazza delle Cinque Lune (Piazza Navona). 9.30am – 7.00pm. PIT Fiumicino, Aeroporto Leonardo Da Vinci – International Arrivals – Terminal T3. 8.00am – 8.45pm. PIT Fori Imperiali, Visitor Center Via dei Fori Imperiali. 01 January-30 June and 01 September-31 December: 9.30am – 7.00pm – 01 July-31 August: 9.30am – 8.00 pm. PIT Minghetti, Via Marco Minghetti (corner to Via del Corso). 9.30am – 7.00pm. PIT Sonnino, Piazza Sidney Sonnino (Trastevere). 10.30am – 8.00pm. PIT Termini, Stazione Termini – Via Giovanni Giolitti, 34, platform 24. 8.00am – 6.45pm.
However, on the Colosseum website for the Roma Pass, it says (and I quote directly)
THE CARD CAN BE COLLECTED AT THE TICKET DESK OF PALAZZO MERULANA, VIA MERULANA 121, NEAR THE COLOSSEUM, OPEN FROM 08:30 TO 21:00 FROM WEDNESDAY TO MONDAY. ON TUESDAY, DAY OF CLOSURE TO THE PUBLIC, IT WILL BE POSSIBLE TO COLLECT THE ROMA PASS CARD RINGING THE BELL TO THE STREET NUMBER 121, FROM 10:00 TO 17:00.
So it looks like you have to pick it up at Palazzo Merulana, which opens at 8.30.
I’m not sure what time you arrive at the airport, but if it is the previous day then I would try to pick up your pass then. All the Roma passes are the same, so in theory as long as you have a collection code you should be able to pick it up, however I have not tried buying the Roma Pass from the Colosseum website so I cannot be 100% sure. I don’t see why not though.
I would definitely appreciate it if you could let me know what option you choose and how it works for you so I can know for the future!
Apologies not to be of more help
1st October 2019 at 12:21 pm
I like ur blog. thanks for all infmormation. I would like to ask about 1st Sunday of the month. Free entrance to Colosseum – possible to get to level I. and III. this day ?
Thank you for your time.
4th October 2019 at 7:28 pm
Unfortunately not, the underground and Belvedere areas are not open on the free Sundays according to the official website,
15th September 2019 at 11:36 pm
Very helpful article! I am looking at the official ticket website and if I want to see every part of the Colosseum (main areas, underground and upper levels) would the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine regular entrance+Undergrounds and Level III English tour be the one to purchase? I’m confused as to why it says Level III, but not 4 or 5. Also, does this tour include a guide? My apologies, but there seem to be many options and I want to make sure that I choose the correct one!
16th September 2019 at 8:36 am
Thanks very much, and I definitely appreciate the official website is confusing – I’ve spent far too long trying to figure it out myself! The tour you want is indeed what you say. There’s a more detailed description of it here: https://www.coopculture.it/en/events.cfm?id=6 (I believe this is the same tour!). It only says Level III but I believe it also goes higher than this. However, the description on the ticket page is certainly lacking. It does include a guide yes 🙂
I hope this helps – have a great trip to Italy!
7th November 2019 at 9:01 pm
First of all, I love the post and appreciate how comprehensive and informative it is. Thank you! I was trying to reserve the tour that covers all aspects of the Colosseum (including the underground and arena portion) as well, but there was not a specific tab for Roman Pass holders in making a time/date reservation. There is a tab that says “free ticket and guide” for 2 Euros and then a tab for “free ticket but 15 Euros for guide.” Is the guide price included in the Roman Pass? Not sure what to select…
Thank you so much!
8th November 2019 at 9:16 am
Thanks very much. So, as far as I know the Roma Pass only allows for normal access which doesn’t include a guide. That’s thee €2 ticket you see.
If you want access to the other areas like the arena, underground and upstairs, that is a separate ticket entirely and I don’t think the Roma Pass can be used towards that. It’s currently €33 on the Co-opculture website for that tour (it’s called Colosseum, Roman Forum And Palatine Regular Entrance+Undergrounds And Level III English Tour).
As far as I know you can only use the Roma Pass for the standard entry. Any guided tours or access to other areas will require you to buy a whole new ticket and not use the Roma Pass.
I hope this helps a bit!
30th August 2019 at 5:16 am
Thanks for such a detailed post. So, I am traveling with my mum and brother from the U.S. I really do want a guided tour but knowing my brother, he would want to see the underground. From the official site, I see that the guided tour of the underground only covers the underground OR also access to the upper floors not the colosseum itself. Which do you think is best? Do a guided tour of the colosseium itself or a guided tour of the upper floors and underground with an audio tour of the colosseium and forum etc? Thanks.
30th August 2019 at 6:20 am
So you still get access to the Colosseum but yes, the tour part doesn’t cover the main Colosseum area. It’s really up to you what you do – I definitely think either an audioguide or a guided tour inside the actual Colosseum is really worth it as it can really help you understand it.
One option to consider, depending on your budget, is this tour , which is a guided tour that includes the Colosseum and the underground, as well as a guided tour of the Forum.
Otherwise, the next best option would be a the underground tour from the official site, and then adding in an audioguide.
I hope this all helps – have a great trip!
james ballas says
24th August 2019 at 11:47 am
Going to Rome in September . I reserved a time slot . Received the email confirming everything. It did have an option to print tickets but it was disabled. I have to go to the reservation desk with the confirmation to pick up tickets . Does this seem right?
25th August 2019 at 2:06 pm
Did you book through the co-opculture site (the official site), and were you using Roma Card? I believe normally the ticket is printable online, so I’m not sure what might have happened there, but it would depend on the answer to the question 🙂
18th August 2019 at 12:26 am
Wow just wow! I can’t believe how detailed all the informations you guys provided. I just went from zero knowledge of Colosseum to ‘I know exactly what to do now’. Thank you so much for sharing!!
18th August 2019 at 10:00 am
Hi Jasmin! Our pleasure – delighted to be able to help 🙂 Let us know if you have any questions, and have a great time in Rome!
11th July 2019 at 5:08 am
The guide was absolutely helpful while going there…Thanks a lot!!
12th July 2019 at 4:19 am
My pleasure, thanks for letting me know!
Neil godden says
7th July 2019 at 3:41 pm
Thanks Laurence and Norah I am currently travelling for 8 months with my wife and four kids and head to Rome on our way back from India. Your blog is very informative and I only wish I had found it sooner! Just to confirm, if I buy tickets through ticket bar for 2 adults I will be able to buy our children’s tickets at the Colosseum? The official website is a bit confusing! Thanks in advance. Neil
9th July 2019 at 3:41 pm
The official website is very confusing yes. I think ticketbar sell the children’s tickets as well. I have also been told that you can get children’s tickets as you go through the line, but I don’t travel with children so I haven’t as yet been able to test this, and I have not heard back from anyone who has tried. I did call them, and was told that you can get them as you go through, but again, I haven’t personally been able to verify.
Have a great trip, and do report back with your experience if possible!
5th June 2019 at 8:16 pm
Hi. I was reading your blog and I decided to buy two tickets from ticketbar.eu for the 50 mins audio/video guide tour of the Colosseum. I was wondering if the ticket they emailed me after actually works. Thank you!
6th June 2019 at 12:42 am
We are confident that it will work, it is the same ticket that you can buy from the Colosseum directly. It should have a timeslot for your entry. Ticket bar are a company that we have used in a number of cities in Europe and we have not had any problems. If you have any questions about the ticket though you should be able to to contact them and I’m sure they will help. If you have any problems let us know.
Enjoy your time in Rome!
Gautam Shetty says
27th May 2019 at 4:52 pm
Thanks a lot Laurence. Really appreciate any help you can offer. Thanks for the clarification around the Omnia card. By the way if I do wanna go to St Peter’s Basilica and visit the dome (which everybody goes gaga about) would the Omnia Card help me fast track the line or is that something the 24 hr Omnia Card does not help with and i’ll have to hit the queues
27th May 2019 at 6:42 pm
My pleasure. For the dome, it is worth it, but the Omnia card won’t get you access. There’s a queue inside that you have to join, and this is also a separate payment. This normally isn’t too long, but at some times of year and day it can be very busy. Last time I was there they didn’t accept card payments, only cash. It’s a long walk up, but the view is amazing, and it is definitely worth it.
29th May 2019 at 11:24 am
I managed to go through to the Colosseum this morning. Unfortunately, as you suspected, you will have to pay the difference at the ticket office at the Colosseum. My advice would be to try the Roman Forum ticket booth as there should be less of a line. Alternatively, you might consider getting a specific ticket just for the Colosseum.
I have updated the post with this information to help others,
Have a great trip!
26th May 2019 at 5:02 pm
Hi. Your blog is absolutely fantastic and I really appreciate the detail with which you have provided information for folks like us who intend to visit Italy for the first time. I had a couple of question though regarding the booking of tickets for the Colosseum.
My wife and I plan to visit Rome for two days next month. I have bought the Roma Pass and although I was hoping the Colosseum would be the first attraction on the first day for us, I have managed to get a booking only at 5:30 pm on the second day(There was no other timeslots available for either day). Now with us probably using the first day to visit the Vatican instead (via the Omnia Pass) and probably using the second day to sight see other museums/ archaeological sites in Rome (where I’d use up the only free entry the Roma Pass for 48 hour offers) what would I have to pay at the Colosseum i.e the entrace fee for two individuals at a discounted rate (cause I have purchased a Roma Pass)? Secondly I would have to pay this amount at the Ticket Counter which means I would have to get there much earlier than the 30 mins just to ensure i don’t miss my time slot?
I had another question regarding the Omnia Pass. The 24 hour pass states ‘Priority entry to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel’, ‘Entry to St. Paul’s Basilica and Cloister’. Does this mean free entry or is there a fee for entry here as well? Would really appreciate you helping us out by giving us clarity on these…
26th May 2019 at 5:22 pm
Thanks very much, I am delighted to have been able to help. Let me see if I can answer your questions 🙂
So – first, if you have the Roma Pass, I assume you went to the co-opculture site to reserve your timeslots following the instructions in this post? In which case it would have cost you €2 per adult to reserve your timeslots.
Your question is now what the procedure is for paying as you will have used up the free entry for the Roma Pass, and are only eligible for the discounted ticket. Normally you would have to go to the ticket office to get the ticket, but you are correct, this might take a long time. This is also not clearly explained anywhere, so I am not certain as to the procedure. I have two ideas.
First, I will contact the Colosseum and try to find out the answer for you. Second, my advice in terms of getting the reduced ticket would be to get this from the Roman Forum ticket office. The tickets are valid for entry to both locations, and there is usually much less queue at the Forum. However, I do not know if they are able to issue a ticket if you already have a timeslot. Again, I will try to clarify this for you. This whole system is new for 2019 and it is taking time for the information to become available.
For the Omnia Pass, there is free entry to the Vatican Museum, which is included on the pass. St. Paul’s (note, different to St. Peter’s) is free to visit, and there’s not usually a line either. The cloister has a small fee, but it should be free with the card.
I hope this helps. I will try to get to the bottom of using the Roma Pass for discounted entry and update this comment and the post soon!
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Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill Tours
Is there anything more iconic, more ‘tell me you’re in Rome without telling me you’re in Rome’ than a snapshot of the Colosseum ? Maybe if you were also on a Vespa, espresso in one hand and cell phone in the other (and illegally parked outside the Colosseum).
Jokes aside, Flavio’s Amfitheatre (its official name) is literally colossal, absolutely dripping in history, and always top of the must-sees on any travel itinerary to Rome.
So, if this is your first time, should you go?
Does it actually live up to all the hype?
Can you just swing by, stand next to it, snap a selfie, and say that you went?
The answer to all three questions is a resounding yes. You do you. But if you do decide to go inside, here’s an overview of how to do it and, more importantly, how to do it right.
Is it Worth Going on a Tour, and How do I Pick The Best One?
First of all, let’s look at the kind of tickets available. You will be given an option of either:
- Colosseum + Forum + Palatine Hill
- Full Experience: Colosseum + Arena + Forum + Palatine Hill
- Full Experience: Colosseum + Undergrounds + Arena + Forum + Palatine Hill
- Night time Colosseum + Undergrounds + Arena (from March – September)
For each of these, you can book either a private tour, a small group tour, or a group tour.
Alternatively, you can book a self-guided tour, whereby you purchase an audio guide in advance and pick up the headset on the day at the Colosseum.
If it’s private, it’s just you (and your party) and the guide. Small groups can mean anything between eight and twelve, depending on the tour operator’s definition of small. A normal group can go up to twenty, but in peak season, groups might even reach twenty-five.
If the budget allows for it, go small. If it really allows for it, splash out and get a private tour for you and your group of friends or partner. There are all kinds of niche guides out there.
Once, I eavesdropped on a Jewish Italian guide leading a private group tour; she had all sorts of great insights about the Jewish population in Ancient Rome that I would have otherwise never known about. A good tour operator will listen to your requests and set you up with the right guide.
There are, of course, pros and cons to booking any kind of tour in the first place.
Your guide will bombard you with information (in a good way) but will really make it come alive. I’ve always been entertained by Italian tour guides – the good ones are wonderful performers, and their idiosyncratic English only adds to their charm.
The price. Chances are, if you book through a tour operator via one of the many online platforms, you will end up in a group of 20 people, particularly during peak season.
While you are provided with radios and headsets so you’ll always be able to hear your guide, the expression of being herded like sheep will inevitably spring to mind, not to mention the pressure to keep up. You may end up wishing you’d saved your Euros and booked a ticket to go on your own with an audio guide instead.
In the end, consider what’s best for you and your group. If you’re travelling solo, I’d recommend just paying for an audio guide and going alone. Luxuriate in the fact that you can go at your own pace without the pressure or slightly dehumanising experience of being herded along with the group.
If you or the person you’re travelling with has mobility issues, or you’re bringing your kid and the stroller, go for a small or private group. You might find the pace a bit too much.
The tour, including the Roman Forums and Palatine Hill, will take over three hours- more if faced with long lines. The terrain at the Forum and Palatine Hill is uneven, and a lot of walking is involved.
Combined Tour of Colosseum, Forum & Palatine Hill – What to Expect
Your entry to the Roman Forums and the Palatine Hill is included with your Colosseum ticket since they’re all part of the same archeological park (Parco Archeologico del Colosseo).
Your ticket is valid for 24 hours before or after your entry to the Colosseum, which means you are not obliged to see the Forum and Palatine Hill on the same day. In fact, I would recommend you visit the Roman Forum first (the afternoon before, ideally) and then go to the Colosseum the following morning.
If your itinerary doesn’t allow for that, be advised; it’s a lot. Most tours start at the Colosseum, but others run a reverse tour whereby you start at the Forum and end at the Colosseum. I think this is a better way to do it; it creates a nice build-up.
- The Roman Forums are basically a slice of Ancient Roman city life. You’ll see ruins of many temples, but also the main town square (market place if you like), a cemetery, and a couple of iconic and beautifully preserved archways.
- Palatine Hill is the mythological birthplace of the city and home to more ruins of what were once lavish Roman palaces overlooking the Circus Maximus .
In the sixteenth century, the spectacularly wealthy Farnese family moved in and built a series of pleasure gardens. Not too much of it remains today, but Palatine Hill is still a wonderful place to walk around and really central to Roman history.
Over at the Colosseum, if you’ve managed to get your hands on a Full Experience ticket, you’ll be guided around the Undergrounds, a network of tunnels and holding cells for animals and gladiators.
They also housed the impressive machinery which raised them to arena level. You’ll then be able to step out onto the partially reconstructed arena to have your Russel Crowe moment and then head up to level 1 for great photo opportunities as well as a series of informative displays and the all-important gift shop.
Good to Know
Private individuals and tour operators can only purchase tickets one month in advance. This is why they are such hot tickets.
In an effort to rule out illegal ticket sales, all tickets to the undergrounds are ‘nominative’, which is colosseum-speak for ‘you will need to provide your full name to be printed on your ticket’. You’ll generally do this when you purchase the tour (either directly from Coopculture, the Colosseum’s official site or via a third-party tour operator). Your ID will be checked on the day.
Always have an ID. In Italy, carrying a form of ID with you is the law. If you’re uncomfortable carrying your passport around town, a driver’s licence would also work.
Official and Third-Party Tours
Going the official route.
The Colosseum is managed by a cooperative called Coopculture which oversees the running of hundreds of cultural sites in Italy. (They have a reasonably well-organised website available in English).
- Pro : Prices for their guided tours are significantly lower per person.
- Con : You will only receive a tour of the Colosseum, Arena, and Undergrounds (lasting 1h 15) and not the Forums and Palatine Hill, and there is minimal availability.
Going The Third-Party Route
There are dozens of third-party sites which host tours on behalf of local tour operators.
- Pro : These guys are snapping up all the tickets, so chances are, even if you’ve left it a little last minute, one of them will have a tour for you.
- Con: You’ll feel it in your wallet. They know how popular these tours are and how much people want to get their hands on them. And you’re going to pay a premium for it. It’s classic supply and demand.
In short, if you’ve got your heart set on a Full Experience Tour, booking a guided tour through an online platform might be your best bet. You’ll still want to book as far ahead of time as possible to be sure. Last-minute Full Experience tickets are much, much harder to come by.
If, on the other hand, you are happy enough to visit the Colosseum and the Forums and have access to the first and second levels and see but not set foot in the Undergrounds nor on the Arena, then tickets are much easier to come by.
You might even be able to buy exact day tickets, if you’re lucky, from the official website, Coopculture (where you’ll find the lowest price on the market for self-guided audio tours).
Generally speaking, the quality of the guide you get is high, regardless of whether you go official or third party. Guides in Italy need to be licensed, and to get that licence, they need to go through many exams and have demonstrable qualifications and experience under their belt.
You’ll basically be getting a Ph.D. level walking lecture. It’s illegal to let just anyone give a guided tour at cultural heritage sites. Italians are real sticklers about that.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Visit
For many of us, this will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime visit, so you’ll want to make it worthwhile. Or maybe this is your second visit, and you want to appreciate it this time around. For my part, the first time I went, I was a grumpy, ungrateful teenager; the second time was much more enjoyable.
Tip 1: Split the Tour Into Two
Do the Forum in the late afternoon and then the Colosseum the following morning.
OK, this would effectively mean that the Forums part of the tour would be unguided. But Coopculture has a free app that you can download with a map of the Forum and the Palatine Hill, each with a mini audio guide. It’s actually very thorough.
Tip 2: Go in the Morning
Between May and September, Rome is hot. Really hot. Or, if you’re visiting between March and September, go for a Night Tour. It’s wonderfully atmospheric; I actually love walking around the Colosseum and the streets surrounding the Forums at night. It’s lit up beautifully, and it’s majestic.
Tip 3: Dress Smart
I mean, use common sense here. Not wear a tuxedo. You’ll be on your feet for a long time. The terrain will be uneven and pretty pebbly in places, so wear comfortable shoes and bring water and a hat if it’s summer time. The Roman sun can be pretty unforgiving.
Tip 4: Bring a Sense of Wonder
It’s obviously all pretty old, and you’ll need to use a lot of imagination, no matter how talented a raconteur your guide is. So go with it, and bring a fully charged phone while you’re at it.
Tip 5: Rest up Before the Tour
Last summer I worked for a tour operator in Rome. We’d take bookings from clients doing this tour as soon as they landed from places as far away as Michigan. They’d actually leave their suitcases with us at the office while they went on the tour. I admired their stamina, but please. Don’t do that. The Colosseum deserves your undivided and unjetlagged attention.
Download the free Parco Archeologico App in advance. You can find it on the official Colosseum website or by scanning the QR code on the ticket information panels located next to the Colosseum ticket office.
It tells you everything you need to know in bitesize chunks, and it’s super helpful in helping you get your bearings around the deceptively large Roman Forums and Palatine Hill.
For more options for tours in Rome besides Colosseum, check out our other guide .
15 BEST Colosseum Tours in Rome (selected by an Italian)
By: Author Stefania Guglielmi
Posted on Last updated: October 5, 2023
Categories Europe , Italy
Looking for memorable Colosseum tours in Rome? I have compiled a list of the very best options, ranging from private and family-friendly tours to express ones. Check them out!
Rome is an enchanting and very historical city known for many (many!) things. But one of the most important landmarks it boasts is, without a doubt, the Colosseum.
This world-renowned attraction acts as a gateway to discover the history and customs of Ancient Rome, and it’s an absolutely must-visit for any visitor. Whether you’re in Rome for three days or just one, the Colosseum is likely on your to-visit list.
As soon as you step foot inside it you’ll be transported back in time, especially as your guide will be providing the most fascinating stories about the beloved building , which goes back all the way to the 80 AD.
In this article, you’ll find a comprehensive list of the best Colosseum tours in Rome that offer memorable visits to the site. Most also take you to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, and some provide a full-day adventure around Rome, checking out all of its important places and even the Vatican. So read on, and take your pick!
👉 Why trust my recommendations? Born and bred in nearby Bologna, Italy’s historic legacy is in my veins. Having wandered Rome and marveled at the Colosseum multiple times, I understand its significance and allure. With a decade of experience, I carefully select tours that dive deep into Rome’s gladiator history in an easy and engaging way.
I generally use Viator , Get Your Guide , and Walks to book tours around the world. I especially recommend them for their great cancellation policy, which allows you to cancel most activities up to 24 hours in advance and get a full refund.
Table of Contents
OUR PICKS: The BEST Colosseum Tours in Rome
▶️ Unearth the ancient grandeur of Rome on this Skip the Line: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Guided Tour . Led by an expert historian, tour the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum, discovering the well-preserved remains of the Roman Empire.
Delight in tales of gladiator battles and political intrigue amid stunning ruins, enjoy the sweeping views from the Palatine Hill, where it’s said that Romulus founded the city, and immerse yourself in the vibrant history of the Forum, the heart of Ancient Rome.
With fast-track tickets, you’ll save precious time by skipping all lines and heading straight to the attractions. For an even deeper Colosseum experience, upgrade to access the exclusive Arena Floor where gladiatorial games, staged hunts, and simulated sea battles took place.
📝 This tour includes : An expert guide, skip-the-line tickets, headsets, and a guided visit of the Colosseum. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
▶️ Step into the shoes of ancient fighters and conquer the Colosseum with this Gladiator’s Gate: Special Access Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor . Hear spine-tingling stories of gladiator battles as you follow their steps, and gaze over the first level where roaring crowds once cheered for bloodshed.
Then, venture to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, very well-preserved ruins that will be brought back to life with your guide’s stories about their past. Fast-track entry, legendary history, and all the excitement of ancient Rome are packed into one epic adventure in this tour that will provide incredible knowledge.
📝 This Colosseum guided tour includes : A local guide, a walking tour, a headset, and entrance fees. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
▶️ Experience the Colosseum like never before on this hassle-free Small-Group Colosseum Underground Tour in Rome, Arena and Forum . Skip the long lines and dive into exclusive areas of the Colosseum, including its underground and the impressive Arena with a knowledgeable guide.
Walk in the footsteps of Gladiators and witness ancient Roman engineering marvels before making your way to the Roman Forum, the heart of ancient civilization. Stroll along the historic Palatine Hill for stunning views, and uncover the secrets of Rome’s history while enjoying the best sights from a bird’s eye viewpoint.
📝 This Colosseum guided tour includes : Fast-track entrance tickets, a guide, earphones, and a guided tour of both sites. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Colosseum Private Tours
▶️ Discover Rome’s iconic landmarks like a VIP with this Private Tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum in Rome . Say goodbye to long queues, and hello to skip-the-line access and hotel pickup for the ultimate hassle-free experience.
Your expert guide will regale you with fascinating tales of gladiator games, wild beast fights, and ancient emperors as you explore the 60,000-seat amphitheater. Then, immerse yourself in the grandeur of the Roman Forum. Here, the ruins of temples, basilicas, and public squares offer glimpses into the bygone Roman life.
Customize your tour and get ready for a history-packed adventure with personalized attention. It’s a Colosseum and Forum tour like no other!
📝 This Private Colosseum tour includes : A private walking tour, a guide, hotel pick-up and drop-off, and skip-the-line tickets. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
▶️ Discover the world of gladiators and political schemes on this Ancient Rome and Colosseum Private Tour with Underground Chambers and Arena . You’ll enjoy skip-the-line tickets to access the famous landmark, and with a private guide by your side dive into a tour that will take you to hidden corners and least-visited areas of the Colosseum.
You’ll get to explore the enigmatic underground chambers of the building, and step onto the Arena Floor where the mighty fights took place. Ascend to the Colosseum’s Upper Level for stunning views of the place.
Then, make your way to Palatine Hill, where emperors used to live, and unearth the secrets of the Roman Forum—the historic hub of politics, religion, and finance of the Roman Empire.
📝 This Rome underground tour includes : Skip-the-line tickets, Colosseum Underground tour, access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, and a guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Rome Colosseum Tour with Pick Up
▶️ The Skip the Line Colosseum Tour, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill with Pick-up is an ideal excursion for history buffs. It starts with convenient pick-up at your hotel and with a tour of the Colosseum, where you’ll get to admire its grandeur from up close.
Your guide will provide insightful commentary throughout the visit, informing you of the various uses the Colosseum had, and showing you around Rome’s most iconic attraction.
You’ll then head to the historic Roman Forum, which acted as the epicenter of ancient Rome, and also ascend the legendary Palatine Hill for astounding views. Along the way, you’ll pass by other impressive landmarks such as the Arch of Constantine and Via Sacra.
📝 This Rome Colosseum tour includes : Hotel pick-up, a professional guide, headsets, and skip-the-line tickets. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Colosseum Tour with Virtual Reality
▶️ Uncover the Colosseum’s hidden gladiator entrance and stand on the Arena Floor where ancient battles roared with this Colosseum Arena Floor & Ancient Rome | Semi Private Tour . After a comprehensive tour of the most magnificent Roman landmark, make your way to the Roman Forum.
Amid the ruins of what once was the political hub of Rome, witness the remains of the temples and governmental buildings, all the while learning about the site’s history from your guide. Climb Palatine Hill for breathtaking views of the Circus Maximus, and explore the lavish ruins of Emperor Augustus’ majestic villa.
📝 This tour includes : An expert guide, skip-the-line tickets, and access to the Colosseum’s Arena through the Gladiator’s Gate. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Evening Tour of the Colosseum in Rome
▶️ This exclusive Colosseum with Arena Floor Evening Tour in Rome offers a fantastic opportunity to marvel at the landmark under the sunset’s beautiful hues, conveying it a magical appearance.
Accompanied by a guide, you’ll beat the crowds and take in the spectacular views from the Colosseum’s upper level. Admire ancient graffiti on the arena floor, and be in awe at the captivating stories you’ll hear about the place and its history.
The trip includes a hassle-free stroll along the Roman Forum, where you’ll get to check out its temples, sanctuary, and arches.
📝 This Colosseum at night tour includes : Skip-the-line entry, access to the Arena Floor, and a guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Limited Time? Express Tours of the Colosseum
▶️ Conquer Rome’s iconic Colosseum in record time with this 1 Hour Colosseum Tour with Arena Express . Skip the lines and access the landmark through the exclusive Gladiator Gate. Walk in the footsteps of ancient fighters on the Arena Stage, and ascend to the majestic first and second tiers for panoramic views.
This express tour is led by an expert guide so you get to experience the grandeur of the Colosseum without missing a beat, all the while learning about it. It’s ideal for time-crunched history buffs and first-time Rome adventurers!
📝 This tour includes : A guide, and skip-the-line entry tickets. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
▶️ A great alternative is the Rome: Colosseum Express Tour with Priority Entrance . You’ll bypass all the lines to the attraction, and marvel at the impressive structure while exploring its two main levels.
A knowledgeable guide will regal you with stories about the Colosseum and the events that took place there, after the visit you’ll head to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The Forum used to be the center of commerce and politics in Rome, and the ruins that remain are impressive, while Palatine Hill offers an amazing vantage point. The overall tour takes no longer than 1 hour.
📝 This tour includes : A guide, skip-the-line tickets, and a headset. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Kid-Friendly Tours To the Colosseum
▶️ This Skip-the-line Colosseum Forum Ancient Rome Small Group Tour for Kids & Families is the tour for travelers with children.
You’ll enjoy maximum interaction and learning with this kid-friendly Colosseum tour in Rome that caters to both grown-ups and little ones. Step into the magnificent landmark and hear tales about the gladiators and ancient shows that occurred in the arena.
You’ll then explore the political heart of Ancient Rome at the Roman Forum. Games, quizzes, and treasure hunts will be organized to keep the children entertained and interested in the guide’s captivating tales about Rome’s history.
📝 This tour includes : A guide, skip-the-line tickets, and children’s activities. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
▶️ Join a Colosseum Gladiator Tour for Kids and Families to watch as your children dive headfirst into the world of mighty gladiators. The activity includes interactive history lessons delivered by a friendly guide, enthralling all participants with the tales of Flavius Attilius, beast fights, and warriors.
The fun quizzes will challenge and educate the young minds as you explore the impressive Colosseum. The journey is bound to leave the family with a newfound interest in Roman culture, and memories to cherish.
📝 This Gladiator tour in Rome includes : Skip-the-line access to the Colosseum, and an expert, kid-friendly guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Comprehensive Rome Tours with Colosseum
▶️ Embark on a fantastic excursion around the city with this Rome in a Day: Colosseum, Vatican & Historic Rome Small-Group Skip-the-Line Tour . You’ll skip all lines to access the Colosseum, one of the Roman Empire’s most important landmarks, and learn about the shows and battles that took place in its arena.
Continue immersing yourself in history with a visit to the Roman Forum and the Pantheon, and then stroll past Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain for pictures. After a break for lunch, be awestruck by the Vatican’s artistic treasures, which include a few Michelangelo’s pieces in the Sistine Chapel.
This extensive tour covers the best there is to see in Rome, so it’s perfect for first-time visitors and travelers with limited time.
📝 This Vatican and Colosseum combo tour includes : Skip-the-line tickets for the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the Vatican Museums, a guide, and a headset if needed. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
▶️ The Rome in a Day Tour with Vatican and Colosseum allows you to unravel the wonders of the city in just seven hours with a group of other enthusiast travelers.
Enjoy VIP access to the major landmarks, and learn about the history and culture of Rome from your knowledgeable guide. You’ll discover all there’s to know about the gladiator fights at the Colosseum’s Arena, wander amid ruins at the Roman Forum, and toss a coin into the Trevi Fountains.
The tour also includes a stop at Piazza Navona, and a trip to the Vatican. There you’ll get to marvel at Raphael’s masterpieces, Michelangelo’s work at the Sistine Chapel, and the impressive St. Peter’s Basilica.
📝 This tour includes : Skip-the-line access to all attractions, a walking tour around the city’s center, free time for lunch (own expense), and a guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
▶️ The Best of Rome: Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps & Roman Pizza is a comprehensive tour of the city that encompasses not only the major attractions…but also the best food!
Step into the Eternal City’s history as your knowledgeable guide leads the group around its beautiful landmarks, which include the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Arch of Constantine, and the Jewish Quarter.
Pop by a neighborhood pizzeria for three samples of delicious Roman pizza, and then make your way to the Colosseum. As you marvel at its Arena and tiers, learn about the bloody battles that were held there, and visit the Roman Forum.
📝 This tour includes : A walking tour, a guide, pizza tasting, and skip-the-line tickets. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Colosseum Tours in Rome FAQs
In my opinion, Skip the Line: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Guided Tour is the most comprehensive, and overall best Colosseum tour.
The entry fee for the Colosseum is 16€, and it includes access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
I highly recommend joining a tour so that you can fully understand the Colosseum’s history and the role it played in Ancient Rome, and hear captivating – and often times unbelievable – stories about the events that took place there.
The Colosseum is free to visit on the first Sunday of every month.
I think that these are the best Colosseum tours available: • Skip the Line: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Guided Tour • Gladiator’s Gate: Special Access Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor • Small-Group Colosseum Underground Tour in Rome, Arena and Forum
Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.
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Colosseum Guided Tour
- 8.90 / 10 197 reviews | 2,908 travellers Very good, the guide made it very enjoyable, he resolved all the doubts and questions raised and even gave us information that we requested about other monuments or guided tours. 8 Ester
- Free cancellation up to 32 days before
Visit the largest Roman amphitheater in the world on this guided tour of the Colosseum. An absolute must if you're in the Italian capital!
We'll start our guided tour of the Colosseum next to the Colosseo metro station, where we'll meet at the indicated time at the Via dei Fori Imperiali exit.
After a brief introduction, we'll enter the famous Colosseum of Rome . This imposing monument was inaugurated in 80 A.D. under the name of the Flavian Amphitheater during the reign of Emperor Titus .
During the visit, we'll walk through part of the stands of this colossal public entertainment arena. With a capacity for up to 50,000 spectators , it comes as no surprise that this is the largest Roman amphitheater in the world!
We'll continue our guided tour of the Colosseum admiring the arena area from the stands. This is where gladiators fought for their lives in bloody fights for the entertainment of hundreds of thousands of people.
The Flavian Amphitheater didn't just host gladiator fights, however. During the tour of the Colosseum, we'll also discover what other spectacles were held at this site, declared one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World .
Following a 1.5-hour tour, we'll conclude the visit outside the Colosseum of Rome, where you can have your photo taken in front of one of the most famous monuments in Italy .
Complete your visit
If you want to make the most of your day in Rome, we recommend these two alternatives:
- Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Tour + Gladiator's Entrance : go down to the arena to feel like Maximus from the movie Gladiator .
- Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Tour : go on a comprehensive tour of Ancient Rome.
Due to the nature of this tour and the limitations of the ticketing process, please note that the start time of the tour may vary by up to 1 hour. This means that even if you have selected the 10 am tour, it's possible that the tour will start at 10:30 am or even 11 am at the latest. The time indicated in your booking is given as a rough estimate.
Save money! Rome in a day
If in addition to discovering Ancient Rome , you want to visit the Vatican Museums , the Sistine Chapel , and St. Peter's Basilica , we recommend the following combined offer: Rome Combo: Vatican City & Colosseum .
The activity takes place with a guide that speaks in English.
Ticket to the Colosseum (worth € 19 ( US$ 20.30))
No queues at the Colosseum
Use of headphones to better follow the explanations
When to book?
You can book up until 1 hour before the activity as long as there are still places. Book now to guarantee your spot.
Type of voucher
Electronic. Show the voucher on your phone.
Not wheelchair accessible.
All services published on Civitatis are carried out in accordance with our Sustainability Code .
Our providers commit to:
- Provide a safe and satisfying experience.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle.
- Incorporate eco-conscious technologies.
- Uphold fair employment standards.
- Foster the growth of local communities.
- Preserve the integrity of local culture.
- Safeguard both cultural and environmental heritage.
- Ensure ethical treatment of animals.
- Operate with honesty and transparency.
- Encourage sustainable behaviors among customers and staff.
This particular activity contributes as follows:
- No printing of documentation required.
- Promotes local employment.
- Has a gender equality policy.
- Has a carbon footprint offset policy.
Tourismotion Roma Show more
Corporate name: NAFASP SLU
Frequently asked questions
Q - Does the tour include a visit to Palatine Hill?
Q - In the Colosseum do you visit the arena, the underground area, and the third ring?
Q - Can we access the Colosseum on our own after the tour has left?
A - No, you will only be able to access it with the guide.
Q - Do we visit Trajan's Market?
Q - Is it possible to book for school groups?
A - No, it's not possible. Reservations for school groups must be done through the Colosseum website. In addition, a list of all students and accompanying persons must be presented on paper with a school stamp at the entrance of the monument.
Q - How to book?
A - To reserve the activity, choose the date and complete the form on this page. You will receive your confirmation immediately.
If you have any other questions please contact us.
Colosseo metro station, Via dei Fori Imperiali exit
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Home » Travel Guides » Italy » 15 Best Colosseum Tours
15 Best Colosseum Tours
The Colosseum is one of the greatest architectural works of Roman engineering. Commissioned in 72 AD by the emperor Vespasian, it is the embodiment of the Roman Empire at its height.
Also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, the Colosseum is an architectural masterpiece that went on to become a prototype for modern stadia.
It remains the largest amphitheater in the world, stretching over five acres and boasting a capacity of 87,000.
The Colosseum is an example of what the Romans managed to achieve with this construction so long ago, and you can’t help but think how remarkable it was.
It is not surprising to know that the Colosseum is listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
The elliptical sports arena that celebrated the legendary gladiator games is one of the most recognizable symbols of the Italian capital.
It is nestled in the middle of the Eternal City and remains the second-hottest ticket for visitors to Roma, after the Vatican.
Here are 15 Colosseum tours that should top your list whenever you find yourself in Rome.
1. Skip the Line: Colosseum and Ancient Rome Walking Tour
Bypass the queues with this best-selling ticket to the Colosseum and explore the amphitheater as you hear stories of the fabled gladiator fights.
Then visit Palatine Hill, the neighborhood where the most important houses of Roman emperors and kings stood.
Regarded as the foundation of Rome, this is the most centrally located of the seven hills of Rome and is within touching distance of the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus.
You will also visit the Roman Forum, which was the center of all public life, and learn how ancient Romans lived as you stroll along the Via Sacra, the main street of ancient Rome.
2. Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Package
The Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the Colosseum were “where it all happened” in ancient Rome.
The Palatine was the most desirable place to live in the city, reserved for emperors and aristocrats. The Roman Forum was the marketplace and the region the government was run from.
And the Colosseum was a standing testament to the power and greatness of Rome, where gladiatorial games were held.
These three sites remain the most important of the ancient Roman ruins to date and this ticket bundles all three into a single tour.
The beauty of this tour is it gives you two-day access to these attractions because, for some of us, one day just isn’t enough to take in these awe-inspiring sites.
You will enjoy fast-track entry, with a downloadable map to boot.
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3. Colosseum, Forum & Ancient Rome Skip-the-Line Guided Tour
No matter how much you would relish an exploration of Rome’s most famous remnants, sometimes time isn’t your most ample asset.
But this three-hour tour allows you to make the most of it, taking you to the Colosseum and Palatine Hill, before ending at the Forum.
This is a small group tour of 25 individuals or less, with skip-the-line advantage so you can spend the allotted three hours the best way possible – sightseeing.
A professional guide will be on hand to narrate the fascinating history of the Romans, including tales and myths of the emperors, the gladiators, and beasts that graced the arena.
4. Skip-the-Line Colosseum Guided Tour
The Flavian Amphitheater was the most important structure in ancient Rome and tales of its magnificence were told far and wide.
Today, it remains one of the most iconic structures in the world. This one-hour tour gives you the opportunity to take it all in, with the advantage of skipping the lines at the entrance.
A guide will show you around, recounting stories of the legendary war games, the countless animals that met their death here, and the sea battles that were reenacted in the Colosseum that you don’t hear much about.
The tour covers the entire monument, concluding at the official book shop where you’ll find the most comprehensive book collection about the Colosseum.
5. Skip-the-Line Colosseum Tickets with Arena Floor Access
This ticket offers perks that standard tickets to the Colosseum do not cover.
After skipping the long queues to the Amphitheater, retrace gladiator steps by taking the Gladiator’s Entrance, which opens to the arena’s floor where they did battle.
The ticket also grants access to the second tier, where roaring crowds bayed for blood, as well as the emperor’s box, which offered the best views for 42 of the emperors who witnessed the carnage at the Amphitheater.
If by the end of the three-hour tour you feel the need to immerse yourself in ancient Roman history further, the ticket comes with the option of exploring the Colosseum further with skip-the-line access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
6. Vatican & Rome City Pass with Free Transportation
With almost 3,000 years of history, Rome is one of the most historical cities in the world – so much so, that a large chunk of the city is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This tour is one of the best ways to uncover this past, mainly because it offers three full days to explore the city at your own pace.
With this city pass, you will enjoy fast-track entry into Rome’s most famous attractions, including free admission to the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museums.
You will also enjoy discounted entry into more than 30 attractions in the city, with free transport aboard a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus.
7. 3.5 hour Colosseum and Ancient Rome Walking Tour
Join a group of 18 people and head out on a 3.5-hour exploration of Rome by foot in the company of an expert guide.
Most of the guides are grads of history/architecture, so they know their stuff quite well, which is good news for the historically curious.
The tour has the option of morning or late afternoon departure and saves valuable time with skip-the-line access to ancient Rome’s most famous sites.
Included in the package are the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and a hike up Capitoline Hill the neighborhood where the who’s who in Rome called home.
You will also visit the Piazza Venezia (Rome’s central hub), the Pantheon (the Roman temple which is the most preserved and influential building of ancient Rome), and the Piazza Navona, one of the most charming and famous squares in the Eternal City.
8. Ancient Rome Tour: Colosseum Underground, Arena & Forum
This tour grants you access to areas of the Colosseum not accessible via regular ticket, including the underground chamber where the wild animals were housed before being released into the arena.
Enter the arena through the Porta Libitinaria (the Gate of Death) and ascend the first level for a glimpse of what it was like watching the deadly games from this vantage point.
You will learn about the architectural feat of the Flavian Amphitheater and the social and political impact of the games.
Enjoy access to the Forum to get a feel for what everyday life was like in ancient Rome before heading to Palatine Hill for the best views of the Circus Maximus and Colosseum.
9. Rome in One Day: Low-Cost Vatican & Colosseum Tours
A trip to the Vatican is a lifetime treat for every Catholic.
However, it’s also a feast for art lovers of all religious affiliations. This tour affords you a daylong exploration of the two most visited attractions in Italy.
Start the morning with a visit to the Vatican’s famous sites, including the massive St. Peter’s Basilica – the resting place for St. Peter – before proceeding to the breathtaking Sistine Chapel with its Michelangelo frescoes.
Visit the Colosseum in the afternoon, followed by a view of the famous archaeological sites in its vicinity, including the Forum and Palatine Hill.
10. 3.5 Hour Skip-the-Line Access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Navona Tour
We know that all tours to Rome’s ancient sites are historical, but all history mega-buffs will especially love this tour.
It takes you on a 3.5-hour guided tour of the seven beauties of Ancient and Baroque Rome.
You will start at the Colosseum where gladiatorial combats and public games were held.
The tour then proceeds to the Roman Forum, the site for all political, business and religious gatherings in ancient Rome.
From there, your guide takes you to the Imperial Forum, followed by a visit to the central hub of Piazza Venezia and the Trevi Fountain, the largest Baroque fountain in the city.
The Pantheon is also on the cards, as is a visit to the Piazza Navona, a square constructed on the remains of the stadium of Domitian.
11. Colosseum and Roman Forum Small-Group Guided Tour
Capped at 13 people max, this tour is ideal for anyone who wants a more personalized experience than a large group tour can provide.
The three-hour tour starts with skip-the-line entry at the world’s biggest and most famous amphitheater, the Colosseum, before proceeding to the Roman Forum, the political, commercial, legal and religious center of ancient Rome.
But the tour is not restricted to these two showpieces.
Your guide will also take you to other sites that were important in the everyday life of an ancient Roman, including the Temple of Saturn and Vesta, the Tabularium and more.
Then visit Palatine Hill, Rome’s sacred birthplace, where you can catch magnificent views of attractions like the Circus Maximus, a massive entertainment venue used for chariot racing.
12. Colosseum and Palatine Hill Skip-the-Line Tour
This is a sightseeing tour that doubles as a great learning experience.
Soak in the beauty of the Colosseum from the outside before stepping inside to learn about the history and architecture of the structure, as well as the technological advancements of the ancient Roman engineers.
An expert guide will then lead you to the most important of the Seven Hills of Rome – Palatine Hill – which was home to famous emperors like Augustus, Tiberius, and Domitian.
You will see the ruins of the Temple of Caesar from here, the Arch of Titus, the Basilica of Maxentius, the House of the Vestal Virgins and much more.
13. Colosseum Express Skip-the-Line Tour
If time is not your best friend and you need a reasonably-priced ticket to the Colosseum, this hour-long tour is perfect.
Meet your guide a short distance from the Colosseum and walk right past the line through an express entrance.
You’ll march through the amphitheater at a reasonably fast clip, as your guide narrates the history of the structure and shows you around important features.
It’s fun, it’s efficient, and it’s affordable.
14. Colosseum and Ancient Rome 3-Hour Private Tour
If you want a truly personalized experience, hire an expert guide for yourself and spend three hours reveling in the majesty of the Colosseum.
The good thing about having a private guide is that it’s likely to be the most in-depth tour of the Colosseum you take, with a flexibility not possible with a group tour.
Spend time at the points that stir the most interest in you and flit through those that don’t strike your fancy.
The tour also covers other famous ruins in the Roman Forum, including temples, basilicas and former palaces; not to mention a hike up Palatine Hill.
15. Colosseum Skip-the-Line Self-Guided Virtual Reality Tour
A virtual reality tour teleports you to ancient Rome in style by providing you with a 3-D reconstruction of the Colosseum, integrated with audio commentary.
The virtual tour is a deeply immersive experience that leads you into the depths of the arena through the labyrinth of underground corridors where slaves readied the shows.
Enjoy virtual reenactments of the deadly games, complete with the roaring of lions and thunderous applause from the watching masses.
After the virtual tour, skip the line and gain admission into the Colosseum, before wrapping up with a cultural visit to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
15 Best Colosseum Tours:
- Skip the Line: Colosseum and Ancient Rome Walking Tour
- Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Package
- Colosseum, Forum & Ancient Rome Skip-the-Line Guided Tour
- Skip-the-Line Colosseum Guided Tour
- Skip-the-Line Colosseum Tickets with Arena Floor Access
- Vatican & Rome City Pass with Free Transportation
- 3.5 hour Colosseum and Ancient Rome Walking Tour
- Ancient Rome Tour: Colosseum Underground, Arena & Forum
- Rome in One Day: Low-Cost Vatican & Colosseum Tours
- 3.5 Hour Skip-the-Line Access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Navona Tour
- Colosseum and Roman Forum Small-Group Guided Tour
- Colosseum and Palatine Hill Skip-the-Line Tour
- Colosseum Express Skip-the-Line Tour
- Colosseum and Ancient Rome 3-Hour Private Tour
- Colosseum Skip-the-Line Self-Guided Virtual Reality Tour
Colosseum Guided Tour
Enter your dates to find available activities
- Priority Access
- Ancient Rome
- Duration : 2.5 hours
- Semi private
- Gladiator Entrance
- Arena Floor
About Colosseum Tour
Since 80 AD, the Colosseum of Rome has been a symbol of the city and is considered one of Italy’s, if not the world’s, top monuments. Approximately 50,000 spectators gathered in the amphitheater’s tiered seats to relish the gladiatorial games. Over the years, parts of its original marble facade were pilfered to build the likes of St. Peter’s Basilica, despite this the Colosseum remains remarkably intact today after 2,000 years .
The Colosseum is the second most popular attraction in Italy, after the Vatican, and hosts millions of visitors every year. What exactly does this mean? It means that ticket lines and large crowds will be practically unavoidable. Without special access to skip-the-line tour tickets , there’s virtually no chance of entering the Colosseum without hassle or a long wait in line. That’s why a Colosseum guided tour is the ideal way to visit the monument. You can enjoy the history of the monument while strolling with an experienced guide. Best of all, you won’t have to wait in line for tickets.
There are a number of Colosseum tour options available for you to choose from. These tours are suited to any age or interest. Examples include a Colosseum underground tour that has a network of passages and is explored straight beneath the arena floor. You can also explore the third tier of the Colosseum with a small-group guided tour. Perhaps a Colosseum night tour that offers relief from the daytime heat along with an eerie experience is what you are looking for. No matter what type of Colosseum guided tour you choose, walking into the Colosseum without waiting in line will put a smile on your face .
You can also choose your Colosseum guided tour according to your preference from group tours, private tours, and self-guided audio tours to gain an understanding of this well-preserved Roman monument and its historical significance.
Skip The Line Colosseum Tour
Skip long entrance lines and walk right into the most prominent attraction of Rome - with the Colosseum guided tour you will be accompanied by a local expert guide and a small group .
There are two levels of the Colosseum that you will explore while your guide entertains you with anecdotes and details about the gladiators and emperors that once filled the monument.
Ancient history becomes more enjoyable to listen to and understand when explained by a dedicated and passionate guide.
If you choose the Colosseum virtual tour you will get to see what the structure looked like during its glory days.
A walk through Ancient Rome
In addition to fast-track entry during the Colosseum guided tour, you'll skip the entrance lines with special access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill through your Roman Forum tickets.
Upon entering you will find masterpieces of ancient architecture like palaces, temples, monuments and markets. These are the same streets that were once frequently walked by great historical figures like Julius Caesar.
Your guide’s wealth of knowledge will transport you back in time and display the hidden scenes behind the ruins that are otherwise so hard to interpret.
Exploring the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill with the Colosseum virtual tour is an experience like no other. This is the only way to really appreciate the true grandeur and scale that once was.
Every member of the guide team is always excited about sharing their historical insights on Ancient Rome and is an expert in their field.
With a small group size the tour guide can easily maneuver the group and individual headsets keep participants easily engaged with what the guide has to say.
With the Colosseum guided tour you will experience the remnants of discovery, decay and rise.
There are special Colosseum tours available for visitors every day. You can just choose the guided tour and time that is best suited to you, buy the special access ticket and skip the line at the entrance. This way you can save time to explore the rest of Rome.
Exploring the archeological area with a Colosseum tour guide is undoubtedly the best way to make the most of your visit. Without the knowledge of a local expert, you could possibly walk right past something of historical significance and never know it.
By taking a Colosseum guided tour, you’ll get a better sense of the Colosseum Amphitheatre and an insight into its many uses. Along with this, you’ll also learn many interesting facts about the historic site.
Upon the choice of your guided Colosseum tours, the timing will vary from 1.5 to 3 hours. Depending on the route that the tour follows, it may be possible (depending on Covid-19 restrictions) to stay inside the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill after the tour has concluded.
A Colosseum audio guide is also a great option for travellers that do not have enough time for a Colosseum guided tour. With an audio guide, you can visit the Colosseum at your own pace and still enjoy the fascinating history.
Colosseum tour guides are experts in their field and passionate about sharing their knowledge. Experiencing Ancient Rome with a guide will definitely be one of the highlights of your time in Rome.
No matter which option you choose - Colosseum guided tour or Colosseum audio guide - you will be exploring 2,000+ years of history. Immersing yourself in Ancient Roman culture is the only way to truly appreciate and understand the glory of the Roman Empire.
Except January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th, the Colosseum tours are available all year round.
- Make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled start time, this will ensure you have enough time to find your meeting point for the Colosseum guided tour.
- While there are a few on-site toilets at the Colosseum, the waiting time can take a while. So be prepared!
- You won’t find any luggage facilities, restaurants or cafes on-site.
- All of the entrances to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill have a mandatory security check. This check cannot be avoided and is necessary for the safety of all visitors.
- Only small bags are allowed inside the Colosseum. No luggage or bags with wheels are allowed.
- The people with reduced mobility can easily access the Colosseum as paths at all the available routes are marked. Some tours may not be wheelchair accessible, so be sure to check the tour details or opt for a private Colosseum tour.
- It is highly recommended to get your tickets ahead of time online and set aside the majority of your day to properly enjoy the Colosseum visit.
- The Colosseum tour prices vary and can cost anywhere from 30€ up to 100€, or more. The type of tour you choose - express, underground, arena - will be reflected in the price and duration of the tour.
Know Before You Go
Covid Safety measures:
All the areas that customers come in contact with are frequently cleaned
In order to reduce crowds, the number of visitors is limited
Customers are required to bring and wear face masks
There is a mandatory temperature check for customers
Social distancing standards must be maintained inside the monument
What to bring:
Passport or ID card
Arena entrance & Reduced price tickets:
As the Colosseum Arena Floor is a restricted area, visitors will have to provide details such as their full name, date of birth, and a valid ID card as they’re entering the monument.
People who have booked tickets at the reduced price for ages 2 to 15 years old will also be required to show an ID.
Things that are not allowed:
Any kind of weapons or sharp objects.
Luggage or large bags. Even smaller bags with wheels are not allowed.
- Metro: The Colosseum metro stop is located on the B line of Rome’s metro. Check the map at your local station.
- Regional Train - Take the underground line B from the Termini Station and get off at the Colosseum stop.
- Bus - There are many public buses that stop in front of the Amphitheatre on your Colosseum tour: 75, 81, 85, 87, 117, 118.
- Car: There are paid parking spots available in the neighbourhoods surrounding the Colosseum.
- Tram: Tram #3 passes the Colosseum
- Bicycle: The Colosseum is accessible by bike, just make sure to lock your bike in an appropriate place. Bikes that are locked to the railings in archaeological areas could be taken by the police.
Note: The Imperial Forum Road is closed to car and bus traffic on Sundays, which means it’s the perfect time to go for rental bikes or take a nice walk along via Fori Imperiali towards the Colosseum. Some bus routes are deviated on Sundays, so be sure to allow extra time to arrive.
The Best of Rome Private & Customizable tour with Driver & Tour Guide
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A private and customisable five hours tour with driver & licensed tour guide. Meet your driver and your guide at your hotel, B&B, private apartment, FCO airport. Your guide will hop-off the vehicle with you at each stop and walk you through the attractions to provide the most complete insights of every attraction. You can customise your tour by asking your guide to change the itinerary. On request we can purchase your skip-the-line tickets in advance. The cost of tickets is not included. - The cost of the Colosseum tickets including the arena is Eur 37,00 per person At the end of the tour you will pay the tickets only cash directly to your guide.
1 Option Available
The Best of Rome (5hrs): $200
Private & Customizable tour: We do not combine groupsLicensed tour guide (5hrs)On Request: Colosseum skip-the-line ticketsDuration: 5 hoursMercedes luxury sedan or van: E class, V class, Vito or SprinterPickup included
Trevi fountain, spanish steps, circus maximus, piazza del campidoglio, roman forum, via del corso, piazza venezia, foro boario, st. peter's square.
The Pantheon is a former Roman temple, now a church, in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus. It was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD.
Piazza Navona is a public space/plaza in Rome, Italy. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in the 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans went there to watch the agones, and hence it was known as "Circus Agonalis"
The fountain was built at the end of an ancient (19BC). The Aqua Virgo was built by Augustus's son-in-law Agrippa to supply water for the Roman Baths. The water for the fountain comes from about 14 miles outside of Rome. Rome’s most iconic fountain is a wonder to behold. Standing 26 meters tall, 49 meters wide and decorated in the Baroque style, the Trevi Fountain is an unmissable sight in the city.
The Spanish Steps are a set of steps in Rome, Italy, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top.The monumental stairway of 135 steps was built with French diplomat Étienne Gueffier's bequeathed funds of 20,000 scudi, in 1723–1725, linking the Trinità dei Monti church that was under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France and the Bourbon Spanish Embassy to the Holy See in Palazzo Monaldeschi. The stairway was designed by architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi.
The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine Hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire.
The Capitoline Hill is the smallest among the seven hills of Rome. You can find it near the Roman Forum. Even though it is the smallest hill in Rome, it played a huge part in the religious and political aspects of Rome since the founding of the city center. During the middle ages, the Capitoline Hill declined and formed a new square for Pope Paul III. This square is presently known as the Piazza del Campidoglio. It was the famous architect and artist Michelangelo Buonarroti who was commissioned to do the existing design of the square.
You will be able to see the largest monumetal area of ancient Rome from the top of the Capitol. The Roman Forum, also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum, is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. You will see the
The history of Via del Corso began in 220 BC when Gaius Flaminius censor built a new road to link Rome with the Adriatic Sea in the north. The starting point of the road was Porta Fontinalis, a gate in the Servian city walls near present-day Piazza Venezia.
Piazza Venezia is the central hub of Rome, Italy, in which several thoroughfares intersect, including the Via dei Fori Imperiali and the Via del Corso. It takes its name from the Palazzo Venezia, built by the Venetian Cardinal, Pietro Barbo alongside the church of Saint Mark, the patron saint of Venice.
The Forum Boarium was the cattle forum venalium of Ancient Rome. It was located on a level piece of land near the Tiber between the Capitoline, the Palatine and Aventine hills. As the site of the original docks of Rome, the Forum Boarium experienced intense commercial activity
St. Peter's Square is a large plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave inside Rome, directly west of the neighborhood of Borgo. Both the square and the basilica are named after Saint Peter, an apostle of Jesus considered by Catholics to be the first Pope. At the centre of the square is an ancient Egyptian obelisk, erected at the current site in 1586. Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the square almost 100 years later, including the massive Doric colonnades, four columns deep, which embrace visitors in "the maternal arms of Mother Church". A granite fountain constructed by Bernini in 1675 matches another fountain designed by Carlo Maderno in 1613.
- Mobile or paper ticket accepted
- One per booking
- Licensed tour guide for 5 hours
- Airport (FCO or CIA) pickup or drop off (one way)_Extra charge (Eur 90,00 per van)
- Private & Customisable tour. We do not combine groups
- Hotel, B&B, Private apartment, Train station pickup and drop-off
What's not Included
- We can purchase your Colosseum skip-the-line tickets (Eur 37,00 cash per person)
- Food & Drink
- For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.
- Infants and small children can ride in a pram or stroller
- Public transportation options are available nearby
- Specialized infant seats are available
- Suitable for all physical fitness levels
- Due to high demand Colosseum and Vatican Museums tickets may all be sold at the time of tour booking. Our office will inform you about the actual availability of tickets for your tour.
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Flying Off the Bookshelf
5 Amazing Ancient Ruins in Rome (That Aren't the Colosseum)
Posted: November 2, 2023 | Last updated: November 2, 2023
Rome is full of ruins. You practically can’t turn a corner without seeing an ancient temple or statue or column. Obviously the Colosseum is the most popular site to visit, but don’t stop there! Here are the best ancient ruins in Rome that AREN’T the Colosseum!
Want to go underground to a 1st century Roman street? How about walking through the ruins of an ancient palace? Here are the best ruins to add to your Rome itinerary .
Pro Tip: Save money visit Rome’s museums and ancient sites with the Go City Pass . You can get the Explorer Pass and choose how many of the included attraction you want to see. But be sure to check the prices of your specific activities to make sure it’s the right deal for you!
Basilica San Clemente
The Basilica San Clemente is such a fantastic attraction in Rome that I think is completely underrated! A lot of people don’t know about it, but it was one of our favorite places we went in Rome. And anytime I know someone going to Rome, I always talk them into visiting this gem.
Within walking distance of the Colosseum, the Basilica San Clemente is a modern Basilica with an interesting history that you can literally descend into.
In the late 1800s, the Prior of the church began excavating beneath it and uncovered a 4th century basilica. Further excavations revealed a section of 1st Century Rome that had been destroyed in the fire of Nero in 64 A.D. At this level you can find an altar of Mithras, an alleyway, and what is thought to be an apartment room and school room.
The thing that is so amazing about San Clemente is that you can see these layers of history and the way Rome has been built on top of itself over and over again. It is such a unique experience to be able to descend into the different levels of Roman history and walk around in them.
Tips Visiting Basilica San Clemente
The Basilica San Clemente is location at Via Labicana 95, just a few blocks east of the Colosseum.
The San Clemente Basilica is a sacred site, so be sure to wear appropriate and modest clothing (as you would when visiting St. Peter’s Basilica).
The Palatine Hill was once the home of ancient Roman emperors and elites. Now it is an open air museum of sorts, and it’s one of our favorite ruins to visit in Rome because it has such a relaxing feel to it. Wandering through the Palatine Hill truly makes you feel like you are not in the middle of a busy city!
Stroll through the grassy meadows just southwest of the Colosseum and explore the Palace of Domitian, which includes a stadium, as well as the houses of other nobility, and ancient temples. The Palatine Hill also provides some beautiful views of Rome and the Colosseum.
Tips for Visiting the Palatine Hill
Tickets to the Palatine Hill include admission to the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. You can also pay extra to book a guided 3 hour tour through the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum.
Don’t rush yourself here and be sure to allow plenty of time to enjoy this beautiful place!
The Roman Forum is just east of the Colosseum and was once the center of Roman government. It’s smaller than the Palatine Hill and can get more crowded, but it is full of truly rich history.
Here you can find the public forums and a civic hall, temples, statues, and even the ruins of an ancient Roman jail. It really is like walking through a central city block in ancient Rome (although of course you have to picture that all the buildings are in their prime.)
We highly recommend finding some kind of guide for your visit, whether you go on a guided tour or use something like the Rick Steves Roman Forum audio tour and map .
Visiting the Roman Forum
Tickets to the Roman Forum include admission the Palatine Hill and Colosseum. You can also pay extra to book a guided 3 hour tour through the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum or purchase an audio guide ticket.
The Jewish Ghetto
The Jewish Ghetto is an area of Rome just north of Tiber Island. The Jewish Ghetto was established in 1555 and for centuries was home to Rome’s Jewish population.
Today it is part of the regular city of Rome, but several ancient ruins still exist in the area. We love this area because the streets are lovely to stroll through and you stumble upon the ruins of the ghetto which are just interspersed with everything else.
This area was also subject to tragic round-ups of Jews during WWII, and if you look at the ground you can see gold markers indicating where various members of the community were arrested.
Visiting the Jewish Ghetto
There is no ticket for the Jewish Ghetto — it is just part of the city of Rome! Downloading a guide for your visit might be helpful though.
Largo de Torre Argentina
The Largo de Torre Argentina is located just north of the Jewish Ghetto. Here you can see the ruins of several temples and a theater. You can’t actually wander through these ruins, but you can walk along the edge of them. My favorite thing here is that the Largo de Torre Argentina is home to a colony of cats!
Visiting the Largo de Torre Argentina
There is no ticket for the Largo de Torre Argentina; rather it makes a great quick stop as you are wandering through the streets of Rome.
More Ancient Ruins in Rome
Even beyond these five ruins to see, there so many more ancient ruins in Rome. Here’s a some to considering visiting:
- Circus Maximus — A ruins of a chariot stadium and a place where ancient Roman’s gathered for games and competition. Located just south of the Palatine Hill. (You can actually see it from certain spots on the Palatine Hill.)
- Via Sacra — A major street of ancient Rome that leads to the Colosseum and has lots to see along it still.
- Baths of Diocletian — The largest public bath in Rome (Seriously, it’s a huge complex!) and part of the National Museum of Rome. Located just northwest of the Termini train station.
- Baths of Caracalla — Once the second largest public baths in Rome. Located south of the Colosseum.
- Teatro Marcello — A theater planned by Julius Caesar and built by Augustus. Located just north of Tiber Island.
- Pyramid of Cestius — A Egyptian-style pyramid that was the burial spot for Gaius Cestius, an ancient Roman magistrate. Located in the southern part of the city.
- Via Appia — The Appian Way was one of ancient Rome’s most important roads, and part of it runs through Rome. The most popular part to visit in Rome is the Parco Regionale dell’Appia Antica.
- Ostia Antica — Technically this isn’t quite in Rome, but its a large archaeological park of an ancient city near Rome’s port. It takes about 30 minutes to drive there from central Rome, or about 1.5 hours on public transportation.
You Might Also Like
- 3 Day Rome Itinerary for First Time Visitors
- 10 Day Italy Itinerary: Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Milan
The post 5 Amazing Ancient Ruins in Rome (That Aren’t the Colosseum) appeared first on Flying Off The Bookshelf .
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