The Colosseum is an oval-shaped amphitheater that depicts the beauty and tragedy of Roman history.
It is one of the most iconic and well-preserved examples of Roman architecture and is a symbol of the grandeur and engineering prowess of the Roman Empire.
Every year, more than seven million tourists visit this 2000-year-old attraction, used for gladiatorial contests and various public spectacles, including animal hunts, mock sea battles, and executions.
Tourists usually visit the Colosseum along with the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
Want to skip the read and get right to the most popular Colosseum ticket? Most tourists opt for the Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill priority entrance ticket, which costs €29 Euros. If you didn’t plan and your visit is coming soon, opt for Colosseum’s Last Minute Priority Entrance ticket.
Table of contents
- What to see at the Colosseum
- Colosseum Rome tickets
- How to reach the Colosseum
- Opening hours
- How long does the Colosseum tour take
- Best time to visit Colosseum
- Waiting time at Colosseum
- Colosseum free entry
- Colosseum audio & video guide
What to see at the Colosseum
The Colosseum is enormous, and there are many things to see once you are inside.
Here are the must-see features of this Roman attraction –
Colosseum’s outer wall
The Colosseum is oval and 186 meters (610 feet) long by 156 meters (512 feet) wide.
The outer wall is 57 meters (187 feet) in height and is built of travertine marble held together by iron clamps.
In a massive earthquake of 1349, the Colosseum’s south side outer wall collapsed, leaving the inner wall exposed.
Do spend some time marveling at the massive outer walls.
Colosseum’s Arena floor
The arena floor was built of wood and covered with sand.
The Romans built trap doors on this wooden floor for dramatic entries during the gladiator fights.
Since this wooden flooring didn’t survive the test of time, a new platform has been raised to give the visiting tourists the experience of standing on the Arena Floor.
When you look up at the top seating arrangements while standing in the Colosseum’s arena, you will realize the massive structure the Romans had built.
The Underground (Hypogeum)
Since the wooden floor couldn’t stand the test of time, the Colosseum’s underground is exposed to all.
Under the floor of the Colosseum is a two-story structure full of tunnels, cages, and rooms meant for gladiators and wild animals participating in the shows.
As the show progressed, the performers and the wild animals were moved through the tunnels and brought in front of the crowd through trap doors on the wooden floor.
The King and the Vestal Virgins sat in the best seats at the North and South ends of the arena.
You will still be able to see the names of some of the senators carved in the area reserved for them in tier 1.
The Noble families sat in tier 2, and the general public took their places in the 3rd and 4th levels.
The regular Colosseum ticket allows you to go to tier 1 and tier 2 and feel like a Roman spectator.
However, if you want to experience the incredible height of the amphitheater and get fantastic views, you must go to Tier 4 and 5.
These tiers are also known as the Colosseum Belvedere.
Tier 5 is 40 meters high and offers a breathtaking view of Rome and the Colosseum Arena.
Unfortunately, like the underground tunnels, these tiers are also accessible only through a special tour.
Tip: If you want to see all the areas mentioned above, check out this tour of the Colosseum
Colosseum Rome tickets
There are many kinds of Colosseum tickets.
Depending on the amount of time you have, your level of interest in Roman history, and your budget, you can choose the most appropriate Colosseum tour or ticket.
How online Colosseum tickets work
All the online Colosseum tickets are also known as Skip The Line tickets because they help you skip the long queues at the ticket counter.
When you buy Colosseum entry tickets online, they get emailed to you within minutes.
On the day of your visit, show the email you received at the entrance and walk in – no need to take printouts.
Colosseum tickets are timed
As a rule, only 3000 tourists can be inside the Colosseum at anytime.
All visitors must select a time and date while booking their Colosseum tickets.
These timed tickets help the Colosseum authorities keep the count at 3000 without making the tourists wait long.
However, you must be at the tourist attraction within 15 minutes of the time mentioned on your Colosseum Rome ticket.
Otherwise, you will be sent back.
Validity of Colosseum ticket
All Colosseum tickets have two-day validity, which means you can explore the Colosseum on Day 1 and come back the next day to explore the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
You don’t need to visit all the sites on the same day.
However, you can only visit the Colosseum once because the ticket allows only one entry into each site.
Cheapest Colosseum ticket
This Roman Colosseum ticket lets you access the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.
The value-for-money ticket gets you a priority entrance into the Colosseum and allows you to explore its first and second floors.
However, it doesn’t get you access to the Arena Floor.
You can also see the permanent and temporary exhibitions before moving to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
You must reach the ‘Individual Entrance Gate’ at the Colosseum 30 minutes before your booked timeslot and enter through the line for ‘visitors with reservations.’
Entrance Ticket: €31
Entrance Ticket + 1 Day Rome Bus Tour: €43
Entrance Ticket for EU Citizen (18 to 25 years): €17
Entrance Ticket + 1 Day Rome Bus Tour for EU Citizens (18 to 25 years): €29
Colosseum with Arena Floor ticket
This ticket is the most popular Colosseum ticket because it offers a complete experience.
You get in through the ‘visitors with reservations’ priority entrance, thus saving much waiting time.
Once inside, you explore the Colosseum’s first, second, and Arena floors before exploring the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
You can also return the next day with the same ticket to explore the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
Adult Ticket (18+ years): €40
Child Ticket (6 to 17 years): €16
Infant Ticket (up to 5 years): Free
Guided tour of Colosseum
You skip the lines and join a fascinating guided tour of Rome’s Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine with this tour ticket.
The trained local guide takes you through the heart of ancient Rome and makes the haunting history of gladiator battles come alive beneath your feet.
There are multiple tours daily, with first tour starting at 9 am.
The 3-hour tour is available in English, Italian, French, German, and Spanish – remember to select your preferred language on the ticket booking page.
Adult ticket (18+ years): €49
Youth ticket (6 to 17 years): €38
Child ticket (up to 5 years): €5
Colosseum with Underground entrance
This two-and-a-half-hour guided tour gets you skip-the-line access to the Colosseum, the arena floor, and its underground.
Visitors love descending into the underground tunnels where gladiators and wild animals await their fates.
That’s why these tickets to the Roman Colosseum are also known as the Gladiator Entrance tickets.
Everybody gets dedicated audio headsets so that they can hear the guide.
After the guide has taken you around the Colosseum and Roman Forum, you are free to explore Palatine Hill on your own.
Colosseum’s Underground Tour comes in two flavors – with a maximum participant size of 24.
The smaller the group size, the more intimate the experience you carry home.
Cost with a MAXIMUM OF 24 participants
Adult Ticket (17+ years): €109
Child Ticket (2 to 16 years): €99
Infant Ticket: (up to 1 year): €29
Private Tour of Underground, Arena & Forum
Adult ticket (18+ years): €349
Want to increase the scare quotient of your visit? Book a night tour of the Colosseum Underground.
Interested in visiting the Roman attraction after dark? Find out everything about Colosseum night tours.
Best of Rome Pass
Rome Super Pass is one easy pass for Rome’s best – Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St Peter’s Basilica.
Once activated, this ticket is valid for three consecutive calendar days.
The timeslot you select while booking the ticket applies to your entrance to the Vatican.
Around 15 minutes before you enter the Vatican Museums, you must meet the Touristation representative and collect all your tickets.
The meeting point is right in front of the Vatican Museums’ entrance.
Adult ticket (18+ years): €97
Child ticket (7 to 17 years): €87
Infant ticket (up to 6 years): Free entry
Mamertine Prison & Colosseum tickets
This ticket is a popular combination among tourists because Mamertine Prison is just 1 km (two-thirds of a mile) from the Roman Colosseum.
Mamertine Prison is in the basement of the church of San Pietro in Carcere and has housed vanquished emperors and kings and Saints Peter and Paul.
In prison, you will see the bars St. Peter was chained to and the pool of water he used to baptize visitors.
Once activated, this combo ticket is valid for 24 hours.
Adult ticket (18+ years): €30
Child ticket (6 to 17 years): €7
Infant ticket (up to 5 years): Free entry
If you are visiting Rome with kids, we recommend this family-friendly guided tour of the Colosseum.
If you want to experience the Colosseum as it would have been in its heydays – with roaring lions and fighting gladiators – we recommend this self-guided Virtual Reality tour of the Colosseum.
Tip: Since they are close by, some tourists love to visit Colosseum and Trevi Fountain together.
Visual Story: 15 must-know tips before visiting Colosseum
How to reach the Colosseum
The Colosseum is located in Piazza Del Colosseo 1, in the center of Rome. It is next to Piazza Venezia, the central hub of Rome, Italy. Get Directions.
Traveling to the ancient Rome Colosseum from anywhere in the city is easy.
If you have already bought your tickets, look for the line for ‘visitors with reservations’ at the Colosseum entrance.
You can buy Bus and Metro tickets at newsstands, tabaccaio (cigarette shops), or get them from the ticket dispensing machines at bus and metro stations.
Once you board the bus or metro, validate the tickets on the validation machine.
Passengers with unvalidated tickets can be fined (anywhere from €50 to €110).
In Rome, the cost of public transport tickets is around €1 to €2.
Children younger than ten years of age can use public transportation for free.
Depending on where you are starting from, you can board Bus No. 75, 81, 673, 175, or 204. All of them stop in front of the Colosseum in Rome.
Metro to Colosseum
Rome’s Metro service (locals call it Metropolitana) goes around rather than through the ancient city.
It has three lines – A Line (Red), B Line (Blue), and the newly inaugurated C Line (Green), which cross at Termini Central Station.
On most routes, the trains run approximately every 5 to 10 minutes.
Tram to Colosseum
Trams in Rome also start early – at 5.30 am and continue till midnight.
On Weekdays, the frequency of Trams is high (one every five to ten minutes), but on Sundays, the rate decreases.
There are six active Tram routes in Rome, the most important being Line 3, Line 8, and Line 19.
To get to the Colosseum by Tram, you must get onto Tram Line 3.
It starts from Station Trastevere and goes up to Valle Giulia, and on the way, it has 41 stops.
When starting from Station Trastevere, you need to get down at the 13th stop to reach the Colosseum.
If you travel by car, turn on Google Maps and get started.
There are multiple parking spaces around the Colosseum.
The Roman Colosseum opens at 8.30 am throughout the year, but its closing time changes according to the season. During the peak months of March to September, the Colosseum closes at 7.15 pm.
The last Sunday of Oct to 15 February: 8.30 am to 4.30 pm
16 February to 15 March: 8.30 am to 5 pm
16 March to the last Saturday of March: 8.30 am to 5.30 pm
Last Sunday of March to 31 August: 8.30 am to 7:15 pm
1 to 30 September: 8.30 am to 7 pm
1 October to last Saturday of October: 8.30 am to 6.30 pm
Ancient Rome’s Colosseum is closed on Good Friday from 8.30 am to 2.00 pm and 2 June from 1.30 pm to 7.15 pm.
The last entrance is always one hour before closing.
The Colosseum remains closed on the 1 January (New Year), the 1 May (Labor Day), and the 25 December (Christmas).
How long does the Colosseum tour take
Visitors usually take 60 to 90 minutes to explore the Colosseum’s first and second floors, the arena, and the underground.
All Colosseum tickets come with access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, and if you decide to visit them on the same day, you need one more hour.
Guided tours of the Roman Colosseum and the two ancient sites usually take three hours.
# There are no food outlets at the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, so if you plan to explore all three on the same day, eat well before
# Roman Forum and Palatine Hill cover a massive area. We recommend a sun hat, comfortable walking shoes, and water.
# There is little or no signage at the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Standing in front of ruin and not knowing what it is, is a not-so-good experience. The best solution is to book a guided tour of the three ancient Roman sites. The second best option is to install ‘Google Lens‘ and learn to use it.
Best time to visit Colosseum
If you want to avoid the crowd, the best time to visit the Colosseum is when it opens at 8.30 am.
If you can’t make it in the morning, be at the Colosseum by 3 pm – after tour groups have left.
The queues are shorter during this period, and the sun is not as harsh.
From March to October, the peak months, the lines at the ticket counter and the security check are the longest in the first half of the day.
During the peak summer months, avoid reaching the Colosseum after 11 am.
Exploring the Colosseum when the sun is high can be difficult, with no shade and no place to sit down.
The Rome Tourist Pass is a super saver. For just €97 per person, the pass includes entry tickets to Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Pantheon and a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica. You also get a 10% discount code, which you can use (five times!) to get discounts on future purchases.
Waiting time at Colosseum
At the Colosseum, you wait in two lines – at the ticket counter to buy your tickets and then at the line for security screening.
If you buy Colosseum tickets in advance, you can avoid waiting at the ticket counter.
However, you can’t skip the security check line.
The waiting time at the the Colosseum depends on the season, the day of the week, and the time.
We share the approximate waiting times at Colosseum during peak and non-peak months.
Monday to Thursday
|Time||Peak Season*||Non-peak Season**|
|8.30 am to 9 am||30 mins||15 mins|
|9 am to 1 pm||2 hours||30 mins|
|1 pm to 3 pm||1 hour||30 mins|
|3 pm to last entry||30 mins||15 mins|
Friday to Sunday
|Time||Peak Season*||Non-peak Season**|
|8.30 am to 9 am||45 mins||15 mins|
|9 am to 1 pm||3 hours||1 hour|
|1 pm to 3 pm||2 hour||30 mins|
|3 pm to last entry||45 mins||15 mins|
*Peak months: April to August
**Non-peak months: September to March
These waiting times can increase during school holidays, summer vacations, festivals, etc.
This estimate includes the time spent waiting to buy your ticket and then waiting for the security line.
If you want to cut down this waiting time at the Colosseum’s entrance by more than half, buy your tickets in advance.
Colosseum free entry
There are many ways to enter the Colosseum for free.
On the first Sunday of every month, visitors can enter the Colosseum for free.
However, we don’t recommend this because the queues are pretty long.
You can’t book any group tours, guided tours, or online tickets on free Sundays.
Free entry by qualification
Some visitors qualify for free admission to the Colosseum by default.
- Visitors aged 18 and below
- Disabled EU citizens
- Companions of disabled visitors
Disabled visitors must carry valid medical documentation.
Omnia Vatican & Rome Card
This discount card is yet another way to enter the Colosseum for free.
It combines two cards – the Roma Card and the OMNIA Vatican Card.
While the Roma Card grants you free entry to 2 out of 5 top attractions in Rome, the OMNIA Vatican Card allows free entrance to all top sights in Vatican City.
Find out more about the Omnia Vatican & Rome Card
Colosseum audio & video guide
We highly recommend guided tours of the Colosseum because there is so much to see and learn.
However, if you prefer your own pace, renting the audio or video guide is the next best option.
The audio guide is 1 hour and 10 minutes long and costs Euros 5.50.
The video guide lasts 45 minutes and is available for Euros 6.
Both the guides are available in Italian, English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, and Portuguese.
Besides the above languages, the audio guide is also available in Arabic and Latin.
Must see: Check out the World’s first LEGO Colosseum
Recommended Reading: Interesting Colosseum facts
Tourist attractions in Rome
The travel specialists at TheBetterVacation.com use only high-quality sources while researching & writing their articles. We make every attempt to keep our content current, reliable and trustworthy.