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Different Ways to Visit the Colosseum: Tickets & Tours

By Greig Santos-Buch
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View of the inside of the Colosseum, How to Visit the Colosseum: Best Tickets & Guided Tour Options

How to Explore the Colosseum: Visitor Information, Ideal Times to Visit, Plus Colosseum Tickets & Guided Tours to Book

The Colosseum, an iconic symbol of ancient Rome’s architectural prowess and gladiatorial combat, stands as one of the most significant historical sites in the world. Constructed between A.D. 70 and 80 under the emperor Vespasian, in the heart of Rome, it served as a grand amphitheater hosting spectacles such as gladiator fights, mock sea battles, and animal hunts. Today, the Colosseum is not just a monument to Roman engineering and entertainment but also a UNESCO World Heritage site, drawing millions of visitors eager to step back in time.

The Colosseum’s enduring allure lies in its monumental scale and the stories encapsulated within its walls. As the largest ancient amphitheater ever built, its historical significance transcends mere architectural achievement, offering insights into the societal, cultural, and political fabric of ancient Rome. Its impact on tourism is profound, symbolizing Rome’s rich history and serving as a pivotal draw for cultural and educational exploration.

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Visitor Access and Areas Open for Tours

Visitors to the Colosseum can explore various parts of the structure, including the arena floor, the underground chambers (hypogeum), and the upper tiers, offering panoramic views of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The recently opened areas, such as the hypogeum, reveal the behind-the-scenes workings of the spectacles, providing a deeper understanding of the ancient entertainment industry.

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Optimal Times for Visitation

The best times to visit the Colosseum are during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) months. These periods offer milder weather, fewer crowds, and more comfortable exploration of the site. Early morning or late afternoon visits are recommended to avoid the midday rush and enjoy the monument in softer light.

Pre-Visit Considerations

Prospective visitors should purchase tickets for the Colosseum in advance to bypass long ticket lines. It’s also advisable to check for any temporary access restrictions or changes in opening hours. Wearing comfortable shoes is a must, as the site involves considerable walking, often on uneven surfaces. Additionally, bringing a water bottle, especially during warmer months, is essential.

Buy Colosseum Tickets Ahead of Time: Navigating the Lines

The Colosseum is notorious for its lengthy queues. To minimize wait times, consider visiting early in the morning or buying skip-the-line tickets through official vendors or as part of a guided tour package. These tickets may cost more but save valuable time that can be spent exploring more of the monument and surrounding areas.

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Guided and Private Tour Options of the Colosseum

For a more enriching experience, several guided and private tour options are available. These tours offer exclusive access to certain parts of the Colosseum not open to the general public, including the underground chambers and the third ring. Knowledgeable guides provide insights into the history, architecture, and daily life of ancient Rome, making for an unforgettable visit. Below, we list our most favorite and highly-rated tours of the Colosseum that are available to book through our partner Viator (a Tripadvisor company). Most of these Colosseum tour operators offer reserve now & pay later options.

Expert Guided Tour of Colosseum Underground, Arena and Forum

Expert Guided Tour of Colosseum Underground, Arena and Forum

Experience the Colosseum in unparalleled depth with the “Expert Guided Tour of Colosseum Underground, Arena, and Forum,” presented by TOURIKS. This comprehensive tour bypasses the lengthy queues with exclusive skip-the-line access, allowing you to explore the Colosseum’s most restricted areas, including the underground chambers, the Arena, and the Roman Forum. Enhanced by vivid commentary from your expert guide, delivered via headsets for crystal-clear listening, this tour offers an intimate glimpse into ancient Rome’s heart. Choose from various small group options for a more personalized experience, all while enjoying hassle-free entry included for both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

Book This Experience with TOURIKS on Viator

Skip the Line Tickets: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Guided Tour

Skip the Line Tickets: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Guided Tour

Discover the marvels of ancient Rome without delay with the “Skip the Line: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Guided Tour,” proudly offered by City Wonders Ltd. Celebrated with over 19,000 positive reviews, this tour guarantees immediate entry into the iconic Colosseum, bypassing the notorious entrance queues. Led by knowledgeable guides, immerse yourself in the history of epic gladiator battles, then journey through Palatine Hill to uncover Rome’s legendary beginnings, concluding amidst the venerable ruins of the Roman Forum. For those seeking an even more exclusive experience, an upgrade option is available to join a small-group tour, providing special access to the arena floor. This tour not only offers priority admission but also a captivating educational journey through the heart of ancient Rome, ensuring your time is spent marveling at its historical treasures rather than waiting in lines.

Book This Experience with City Wonders Ltd on Viator

Colosseum VIP Access with Arena and Ancient Rome Tour

Colosseum VIP Access with Arena and Ancient Rome Tour

Experience the Colosseum in a truly unique way with the “Colosseum VIP Access with Arena and Ancient Rome Tour” by VIVICOS INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SRL. With over 3,113 glowing reviews, this tour offers an exceptional perspective by allowing you entrance through the arena floor, echoing the footsteps of gladiators past. This special access not only lets you bypass the main entrance queues but also provides a closer look at this iconic structure under the guidance of an expert. Following your Colosseum visit, the adventure continues as you explore the rich histories of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, delving into the heart of ancient Rome. Choose your preferred time slot upon booking to tailor this unforgettable journey to your schedule.

Book This Tour of the Colosseum with VIVICOS INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SRL on Viator

VIP Small Group Colosseum and Ancient City Tour

VIP Small Group Colosseum and Ancient City Tour

Join the “VIP Small Group Colosseum and Ancient City Tour” by Carpe Diem Tours for an exclusive and intimate exploration of Rome’s most significant ancient landmarks. This tour provides skip-the-line access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, saving you time and avoiding the crowds. With the expertise of a knowledgeable guide, uncover the rich history and architectural wonders of the Colosseum, before delving into the heart of ancient Roman life at the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. This carefully curated experience ensures a comprehensive visit within a single tour, offering fascinating insights and a more meaningful connection with these iconic sites. Opt for a small-group format to enjoy a more personal and leisurely tour, ensuring you receive individual attention and a deeper understanding of ancient Rome’s enduring legacy.

Book This Experience with Carpe Diem Tours on Viator

Self Guided Tour Colosseum Skip the Line Ticket

Self Guided Tour Colosseum Skip the Line Ticket


Discover the iconic Colosseum at your own rhythm with the “Self Guided Tour Colosseum Skip the Line Ticket” offered by ANCIENT AND RECENT. This tour grants you swift, guaranteed entry, letting you bypass the long lines and immerse yourself in the grandeur of the ancient arena at your leisure. Explore the main floors where gladiators once clashed, then continue your journey to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum with included admission tickets, enriching your understanding of ancient Roman life. For those seeking an even more unique experience, consider upgrading to include a guided moonlit tour of the Colosseum, providing a captivating perspective of this historic monument under the stars, separate from the combination tickets. This self-guided option offers the freedom to absorb three of Rome’s ancient landmarks in just half a day, at your own pace.

Book This Self-Guided Tour of the Colosseum with ANCIENT AND RECENT on Viator

Guided Group Tour of Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill

Guided Group Tour of Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill

Go on a journey through past pathways with the “Guided Group Tour of Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill,” brought to you by City Walkers Tours. This experience is similar to the others we’ve mentioned above, but it provides a comprehensive introduction to the zenith of Rome’s power, allowing you to trace the footsteps of gladiators, emperors, and citizens of ancient Rome if other tour options are sold out. It’s also loaded with positive reviews from recent travelers. With skip-the-line access, you’ll enter these iconic sites swiftly, avoiding the crowds and diving straight into history. Equipped with audio headsets, you’re ensured a personal exploration without missing any of the insightful commentary from your knowledgeable guide. This tour encapsulates three of Rome’s most significant archaeological treasures in a single, streamlined visit, offering a blend of engaging storytelling and historical facts that bring the ancient imperial city to life.

Book This Colosseum Guided Tour with City Walkers Tours on Viator, Reserve Now & Pay Later

Rome in a Day Small Group Tour with Vatican and Colosseum

Rome in a Day Small Group Tour with Vatican and Colosseum

Maximize your exploration of Rome in a single day with the “Rome in a Day Small Group Tour,” meticulously curated by The Roman Guy. This exclusive tour offers an intimate glimpse into Rome’s storied past and present, combining luxury transportation with insightful, live commentary from your expert guide. From the awe-inspiring art and architecture of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel to the historical might of St. Peter’s Basilica and the Colosseum, you’ll traverse centuries of history without the wait, thanks to skip-the-line access. The adventure doesn’t stop there; a guided walking tour will lead you through Rome’s vibrant heart, highlighting iconic landmarks such as the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. This comprehensive experience not only saves you time but also enriches your understanding of Rome’s multifaceted heritage, all within the comfort of a small group setting. A one-way shared transfer ensures a seamless journey between the city center and the Vatican, rounding off a day that’s as informative as it is unforgettable.

Book Your Tour of Both the Colosseum and the Vatican with The Roman Guy on Viator

Less Touristy Colosseum Visitation Options

Those seeking a less crowded experience might explore the Colosseum during off-peak hours, such as late afternoons or weekdays. Additionally, night tours offer a unique perspective of the monument, with dramatic lighting accentuating its ancient features, providing a more intimate and atmospheric visit.

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting the Colosseum

What is the best way to see the Colosseum in Rome?

The most enriching way to experience the Colosseum is through a guided tour that includes access to exclusive areas like the underground chambers, arena floor, and the third tier, providing historical context and unique perspectives. Booking a small-group or private tour ensures a more personalized experience, allowing for deeper engagement with the site’s history and architecture.

How can I see all of the Colosseum?

To fully explore the Colosseum, including its underground sections, arena, and upper tiers, opt for a full access ticket, often sold as a “Full Experience” option, which grants comprehensive access to the structure’s various parts not available with standard entry tickets. These tickets are best acquired in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure a spot on these limited-access tours.

Can you see the Colosseum without a tour?

Yes, it is possible to visit the Colosseum without a guided tour by purchasing a general admission ticket, which allows access to the main and second tiers; however, this option does not include entry to the underground chambers, arena floor, or upper tiers, limiting the full scope of the experience. To enhance your visit, consider using an audio guide or a detailed guidebook for context and insights into the monument’s rich history.

What is the cheapest way to see the Colosseum in Rome?

The most economical option to see the Colosseum is by purchasing a standard entry ticket, which provides access to the main areas without the additional cost of guided tours or special access areas. Keep an eye out for free admission days, typically the first Sunday of each month, which offer a budget-friendly way to explore this iconic landmark, though be prepared for larger crowds.

How much does it cost to visit the Colosseum?

The cost to visit the Colosseum varies depending on the type of ticket and access level you’re interested in. Standard entry tickets, which include access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, generally range from €16 to €24 for adults, with reduced rates available for EU citizens aged 18-25 and free entry for those under 18. There are also additional costs for special access tours, such as those that include the arena floor, underground chambers, or the third tier, which can significantly increase the price.

When is the best time to visit the Colosseum?

Visiting the Colosseum can be a remarkable experience, and timing your visit can greatly enhance your enjoyment. Regarding the best times of year, the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) are ideal. These periods offer a pleasant balance of moderate weather and thinner crowds, compared to the peak tourist season in summer, when Rome experiences sweltering heat and the Colosseum can get very crowded. Winter months are cooler and less crowded, but you might face shorter opening hours and less predictable weather.

In terms of the best hours of the day to visit, early morning right at opening time or late afternoon a few hours before closing are recommended to avoid the bulk of the crowds. The Colosseum typically opens at 8:30 AM, so arriving early can allow you to experience the monument in a somewhat quieter state. Late afternoon visits, particularly before the last entry time (which varies seasonally but is usually an hour before sunset), can also offer a more tranquil experience, with the added bonus of witnessing the changing hues of the structure as the sun sets, offering a beautiful backdrop for photos and a serene atmosphere.

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