Colosseum gets more than 7 million tourists every year, but not everybody gets a chance to explore what’s under the Roman monument.
If you want to know what went on behind the scenes of the Colosseum, you need to go on a tour of its two underground levels.
For many reasons, the underground levels remain rarely explored, which is why it is a memorable experience.
Table of contents
- What is Colosseum Underground
- Can you visit Colosseum Underground?
- What to expect on the underground tour
- Is Colosseum Underground tour worth it?
- Colosseum Underground tour tickets
What is Colosseum Underground
The Colosseum in Rome is a stadium-like structure with 50,000 seats and a central area for gladiators to perform.
The fighters performed on the arena floor in the middle of the Colosseum, which was built of wood and covered with sand.
The Romans built trap doors on this wooden floor for dramatic entries during the gladiator fights.
Under the floor of the Colosseum was a two-story structure full of tunnels, cages, and rooms meant for gladiators and wild animals participating in the shows.
Since the wooden arena floor couldn’t stand the test of time, the Colosseum’s underground is now exposed to all.
This underground area with two levels comprising a series of connected corridors and tunnels is also called the Hypogeum.
Can you visit Colosseum Underground?
Not all Roman Colosseum tickets include access to the Underground.
Visitors can access Colosseum Underground as part of guided tours led by authorized guides.
In addition to the underground tunnels, these tours also include a visit to the rest of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.
During the Colosseum Underground Tour, guests learn about the Roman gladiators, their lives, and their fights.
Self-guided tours are not allowed within the Underground.
Tip: With more than 7 million visitors annually, Colosseum gets sold out often. So it makes better sense to buy Colosseum tickets in advance. If you have already purchased your tickets, look for the line for ‘visitors with reservations’ at the Colosseum entrance.
What to expect on the underground tour
Is Colosseum Underground tour worth it?
The Colosseum Underground is a fantastic experience, taking in both the original ruins of the underground level and its reconstructions.
During the tour, you will also see a restored manually operated elevator used to lift gladiators and animals onto the Arena floor.
You will learn how 200 Romans coordinated below the Colosseum to keep the show going on the Arena floor.
Tourists who have toured the underground area of the Colosseum recommend it for everyone.
Colosseum Underground tour tickets
Colosseum Underground level remains rarely explored because the tickets are priced slightly higher.
But most tourists are curious to know what’s under the Colosseum.
If you are keen to travel down into the monument’s dungeons where gladiators and animals awaited their frightful future, you can book three types of tickets.
Note: Underground tours involve a fair amount of walking, so comfortable shoes are recommended.
Exclusive Colosseum Underground and Arena Tour
This guided tour of the Colosseum Underground and Arena lasts three hours and is limited to 12 participants.
You get to see behind the scenes of the Colosseum and learn what went on in the famous monument’s chambers.
Then the guide will walk you around the Roman Forum and show you the fantastic view from the top of Palatine Hill.
- Admission to the restricted area of the Colosseum underground
- Entry to the restricted area of the Colosseum arena
- Access to the Roman Forum
- Access to the Palatine Hill
- Professional English-speaking guide
- Headsets to hear your guide clearly
Adult ticket (17+ years): €98
Child ticket (3 to 16 years): €87
Infant ticket (up to 2 years): €35
Small group tour to Colosseum Underground & Arena
During this guided small group tour through the underground tunnels of the Colosseum, your guide indulges in captivating historical storytelling.
After seeing the various sections of the Colosseum, this two hours and 30 minutes tour moves to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
All guests get a headset so that they can hear their English-speaking guide.
Adult ticket (15+ years): €79
Child ticket (2 to 14 years): €79
VIP Night Tour with Underground and Arena Access
A knowledgeable guide leads a small group of 12 tourists on this VIP night tour for around two hours.
During this VIP access after closing time and visit the arena floor, the high-level seating, and the Colosseum underground
- Special admission to the Colosseum after closing time
- Access to the Colosseum Arena Floor
- Access to the Colosseum Underground
- Guided tour in English in a group of max. 12 people
- Headsets for the tour
Adult ticket (17+ years): €98
Child ticket (3 to 16 years): €89
Infant ticket (up to 2 years): €78
Want to explore the Roman attraction after dark? Find out everything about Colosseum night tours.