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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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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!
( 1225 ) as low as $165.48
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
( 1466 ) as low as $74.19
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
( 803 ) as low as $125.35
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!
( 456 ) as low as $57.18
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
( 112 ) From: $102.55
Colosseum, Roman Forum & Vatican Highlights Combo Tour
Skip the line at two of Rome’s most iconic sites with Sistine Chapel and Palatine Hill included
( 152 ) From: $136.75
Private Colosseum Tour with Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill
See the Colosseum and ancient Rome like a VIP, the Temple of Caesar, and more!
( 175 ) From: $405.84
Rome Sightseeing Tour by Golf Cart
Whiz through Rome to see the Colosseum, Vatican, Roman Forum, Oppian Hill, Tiber Island, and more!
( 28 ) as low as $257.17
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How to Visit the Colosseum in 2023: Tickets, Best Tours & Tips
Julie Last updated: November 20, 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.
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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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Premium Colosseum Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
- Explore the most significant sites in ancient Rome with an expert in Roman history who will bring each storied structure to life.
- Skip the line at the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, getting ahead of the crowds to help you appreciate each site even more.
- A group of 16 people or fewer—one of the smallest group sizes available for skip the line Colosseum tours—makes your experience intimate, engaging, and unforgettable.
Preview the experience
Tour description, sites visited, verified guest reviews, oct 29, 2023.
Our guide Nick was absolutely amazing! He's very knowledgeable about the Coliseum and Romans, even pointing out fine details that one might normally walk by without noticing or appreciating, such as the herbs, flowers, and trees. Nick made the journey back in time enjoyable and entertaining. You can really feel his passion for Rome. I highly recommend the small group tour.
Oct 22, 2023
Maria was fantastic! She navigated the crowds well for our group and answered questions well. There was a lot of information to go through and she explained all the details well. Pleasant, enjoyable and definitely would recommend your tour group.
Oct 21, 2023
We really enjoyed our tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable and wowed us with interesting facts about Roman History.
Oct 20, 2023
Absolutely excellent tour. The guide was very knowledgeable and clear, and the small group size (~15 people) made it easier to follow and interact with her. The tour went through the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum, with a brief break before ascending Palatine Hill. The pace and length of the tour were great. Overall, we're really glad we booked this tour.
The tour was interesting and our guide was very accommodating. Francesco, our guide was knowledgeable and friendly. Everyone feels they need to see the inside but the real beauty is the outside. Palatine Hill and the Forum is not far but the three hours was rather tiring. There are uite a few steps to go up in thr coliseum but there is an elevator inside for those who are unable to walk them.
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Vip colosseum at night tour with underground & arena floor, best of rome: colosseum, trevi fountain, spanish steps & roman pizza, gladiator’s gate: special access colosseum tour with arena floor.
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8 Best Colosseum Tours to Book in 2023 + Planning Tips
Symbol of Romans’ engineering genius, here you will find the best Colosseum tours to discover and delve into one of Rome’s most famous landmarks. Also known as Amphitheatre Flavium, it was built around 70AD. Since then, it has been the place for shows and games as well as a period of decline after the fall of the Roman Empire. After centuries, this huge amphitheater has shown no sign of cooling and keeps the record of being one of the most popular Rome attractions and one of the best Roman archaeological sites .
There are many ways you can visit the Colosseum , and while going independently might sound cheaper, it can also be quite time-consuming and not as valuable as booking a Colosseum private tour. Why? Because with a tour you can skip the line and save plenty of time, especially in crowded seasons, and because a tour leader can talk to you about historical Colosseum facts and anecdotes that otherwise you might not discover on your own.
Whether you are booking a guided tour of the Amphitheater Flavium or not, you might want to book your room in Rome’s city center or even one of the best hotels near the Colosseum .
Find here the best tours of the Colosseum in Rome. Choose the experience that better fits your needs and travel preferences. All these tours include Colosseum tickets skip-the-line to make sure you don’t queue for an hour or two and don’t take too much time off the other landmarks.
Even though one of Rome’s main tourist attractions, there are many things to know and learn about this ancient amphitheater. This is why a Colosseum and Roman Forum tour is essential if you are interested in going beyond just looking at the architecture.
Whether you book a private Colosseum underground tour or an exclusive Colosseum night tour, you will learn and see much more than with a simple ticket entrance to the general access area. We selected the best Colosseum tours for every preference. Whether you only want to visit the general access areas while learning about the whole structure, or also walk the arena floor and gladiators’ dungeon.
Table of Contents
Which tour of Colosseum is best?
I suggest the first in our list that is run by Take Walks, a complete tour of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. It includes skip-the-line tickets which help avoid waiting up to an hour during hot summer days in the line.
This comes really handy especially if you are traveling to Rome with kids or elderly friends and family. If one of the things to do in London with kids in fact is to discover Harry Potter’s places, in Rome, this goes for gladiators and ancient Roman shows and fights.
There are countless companies providing fantastic tours of the Colosseum in Rome. For a more complete experience, you can book a tour that includes also the Arena Floor and/or the Underground because you are going to have the full picture of what was really going on during the famous shows in Ancient Rome, how the Colosseum was built and organized, and what happened backstage.
We have listed some of the best Colosseum tours for you to help you decide which one is best for you.
Is it worth getting a guided tour of the Colosseum?
Getting a guided tour of the Roman Colosseum is totally worth it if you want to learn more than what you would grasp by looking at the ruins by yourself. A tour will be led by an expert guide, often a historian or an archaeologist, who will give you insights you are likely to miss on your own.
I have visited the Colosseum many times, sometimes on my own and sometimes with a guided tour. The historians leading the tours I took incredibly increase the value and my knowledge about the place, its complex architecture, its original appearance, what everybody would do inside the Colosseum, whether they were the fighters, the staff coordinating the different parts, and the public.
Is the Colosseum Underground tour worth it?
Booking a tour where also the Colosseum Underground is included is always a great option. The undergrounds and the dungeon had their specific purpose and required great engineering skills to be built. So it’s important to get to know also this area to make your experience more complete.
Not all the tours include also the Colosseum Underground, just like they don’t all include the Arena Floor. These are the areas that are not open to the general public who only booked a standard ticket and they require a guide to access. Usually, the undergrounds and the arena floor are on the same tours and these are the experiences I recommend.
How much is a tour of the Colosseum floor?
There are different tours of the Colosseum and prices range between 40€ and 120€. This depends on whether you book a self-guided tour with only access to the floors open to the general public or a guided tour with access also to the arena floor and the underground.
Can you do a self-guided tour of the Colosseum?
You can always book skip-the-line tickets and explore the Colosseum at your own pace. These will give you access to the floors open to all visitors. If you want to access also the arena floor and the dungeon, you will need to book a private tour with a certified guide.
Best Roman Colosseum Tours
Skip-the-line colosseum tour with roman forum and palatine hill.
A popular Colosseum private tour, this will take you also to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. With a maximum of 15 people per group, this itinerary through ancient Rome is easy to follow and hear even when the Colosseum is crowded. Which is most of the time.
You will travel through history and learn about the fights, mass executions, and naval battles of one of Rome’s monuments to the human genius.
You will explore the Colosseum for about an hour and then your guide will take you to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Here you will walk through the daily life and politics of ancient Rome and see where Julius Caesar was cremated.
One of the best tours of the Colosseum and the Forum, the explanation of all the places goes in-depth while remaining intriguing and amusing.
- How long: 3 hours
- How many people: 15 max
- Skip the line: Yes
- Sights included: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Julius Caesar’s altar.
- Price: adults 64€, children up to 14yo 59€, free for under 2.
Click here for more info and to book
VIP Colosseum Underground Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
This is another Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine tour. Here you also have access to the underground and the arena floor for a complete experience.
If you are looking for the best Colosseum underground tour, do check this out. With a maximum of 24 people, enjoy the lesser-busy parts of the Colosseum, which not many visitors get access to as a certified guide is required.
After visiting the underground where animals and gladiators awaited their fate and the arena floor where shows took place, you will walk around the general access areas. This tour is very interesting in that you will have the chance to visit areas of the Colosseum that are only accessible with a guide like the underground and dungeon built for the gladiators to wait to enter the arena and meet their fate.
Finally, you will visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill for a complete experience of ancient Rome.
- How long: 3.5 hours
- How many people: 24 max
- Sights included: Colosseum, Colosseum Underground, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Arch of Constantine.
- Price: adults 115€, children up to 14yo 110€, free for under 2.
Click here for more info and to book .
READ MORE: Want to know more about the history of this famous Rome landmark? Check out our article on the Colosseum facts and history .
Gladiators’ Gate: Special Access Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor
This skip-the-line Colosseum tour allows you to enter from the gladiators’ gate directly to the arena floor. From here, you will have a full view of the spectators’ stalls. From here, emperors and the audience watched the shows and cheered at their favorite gladiators.
After walking through the restricted areas and learning about their history and construction, the tour will continue to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Here is where the wolf found Romulus and Remus and Rome was founded .
- How many people: 25 max
- Sights included: Colosseum, Gladiator’s Gate, Arena floor, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill.
READ MORE: Do you want to have different experiences and visit more places? Check out the other great Rome tours !
VIP Colosseum at Night Tour with Underground and Arena Floor
A popular Colosseum night tour, here you can really experience the famous amphitheater with very few crowds.
After closing time, you will enter the Colosseum and access the underground, the cells where gladiators and beasts were kept before the shows, and the arena floor.
This is a lovely evening tour that starts after sunset at the Jewish Quarter. From here, you will reach the Colosseum with a nice walk through the historic center. In the evening you can enjoy the Colosseum in dim light and a unique atmosphere.
- How long: 2 hours and 45 minutes
- Sights included: Colosseum, Arena Floor, Colosseum Underground, Theater of Marcellum, Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill, Via dei Fori Imperiali,
- Price: adults 99€, children up to 14yo 94€, free for under 2.
Rome in A Day Tour with Vatican, Colosseum and Historic Centre
If you are short on time but you still want to visit as much as you can, including the Colosseum and the main highlights of the Vatican, this is the tour for you.
It’s a full-day Rome tour of a little less than 8 hours where you will visit the city’s main landmarks such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain and obviously the Colosseum with a fast-track entrance.
This is a pretty daring tour, as Rome is very hard to visit in a day, but if this is all the time you have and still want to make the most out of it, you can only do it with an expert tour guide.
- How long: 7 hours and a half.
- How many people: 18 max
- Sights included: Colosseum, Vatican Museums, Centro Storico, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Capitoline Hill.
- Price: adults 139€, children up to 14yo 129€, free for under 2.
READ MORE: Check out my detailed post for more tips on the best way to visit the Colosseum and enjoy your experience.
Colosseum Dungeon and Arena Floor Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
This is a Colosseum tour I took with The Roman Guy. It started at the Roman Forum, the very heart of the ancient city, where temples, villas and the Senate house were built. Here daily life went on thousands of years ago. One of my favorite areas within the Roman Forum is the altar devoted to Julius Caesar. After his death, he was deified and still now his fellow citizens bring him fresh flowers.
After exploring the Forum ruins, our tour guide took us to the Colosseum. Here we enjoyed skip-the-line access to reach the restricted areas available only by booking an authorized tour company. These are the reconstructed arena floor and the dungeons. Including what’s known as the “Gate of Death”, where the dead gladiators and animals were removed from the Colosseum.
- Sights included: Colosseum, Colosseum Dungeon, Arena Floor.
- Price: adults €138,70, children 7 to 17yo €93,19, children under 6 €38,80.
Colosseum Tour + Gladiator’s Entrance
This tour will make live the gladiators’ experience from the beginning. First of all, you will access the Arena from the Gladiators’ Gate to have a feel of what the famous fighters as well as the people sentenced to death by wild animals would have felt before meeting their fate.
Your visit will cover all areas and floor of the Colosseum making you relive all the thrill and the ferment of its heyday under all perspectives, whether it’s the gladiators or the public. An expert guide will talk you through all the history, the technical details of the Colosseum’s architecture, and the activities the audience engaged on.
Once you are done exploring the Colosseum, you will make your way to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill where your guide will explain the importance of these archaeological sites in Ancient Rome. Your guide will also show you 3D images to show you how these areas looked like at their highest moment.
- How many people: 20 max
- Sights included: Colosseum, Gladiators’ Gate, Colosseum Dungeon, Arena Floor.
- Price: adults €50, children 6 to 17yo €44, free for children under 6.
Colosseum Skip-the-Line Self-Guided Virtual Reality Tour
If you’d rather book only a skip-the-line Colosseum ticket and explore the site with your own 3D virtual device, you can check out this tour.
For around 30€, you will rent an audio guide with headphones for which you can choose your language. This is a device for 3D interactive reconstruction of the Colosseum to “relive” the shows taking place 2000 years ago.
If you don’t want a guide and want to experience the Colosseum at your own pace, this is a good option. You will also have fast-track access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
- How long: 2 hours
- Sights included: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill.
- Price: from €59.90 per person.
READ MORE: Visiting Rome for the first time? Check out our detailed guide to the top Rome attractions .
How long should you spend at the Colosseum?
I recommend staying at least 2 to 3 hours inside the Colosseum to visit and explore all its areas and sections, so the bleachers where the spectators watched the shows and fights, the undergrounds and the area floor.
Tips to enjoy your Colosseum tour
- Book online. Whether you are doing a private guided tour or an official certified tour, booking online is always recommended even if you are only buying a skip-the-line ticket.
- Bring your ID. Don’t forget your national ID or passport as they will be checked at the entrance.
- Get there early. Even if you have a specific time for the start of your tour, I suggest getting there at least 10 to 15 minutes earlier to meet your tour guide and to
- Wear comfortable shoes. Inside the Colosseum, you will walk a lot and you will occasionally do some stairs so definitely you don’t want to wear high heels or even flip flops. Wear a pair of runners, sneakers, or walking sandals.
- Don’t wear a backpack. Backpacks and wheeled suitcases are not allowed in the Colosseum and there is no cloakroom so don’t carry yours otherwise it will be confiscated or you won’t be allowed in. You can bring a purse or a crossbody bag.
- Bring a bottle of water. Don’t forget to carry a reusable water bottle to remain hydrated. Inside the Colosseum, there are also small fountains where you can refill it.
- Wear sunscreen or a hat. Visiting the Colosseum takes place almost completely open-air so in summer make sure you don’t forget to wear sunscreen or a hat.
Wondering where to eat near the Colosseum? Check out our list of the top restaurants!
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Iconic symbol of the eternal city.
What sums up Rome more than an insider's look into its most famous monument? The Colosseum conjures excitement in all who set eyes on it. From its massive size to purpose, it is both harrowing and graceful to behold.
Exclusive access, more options, our best-selling colosseum guided tour.
Colosseum & Ancient Rome Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Watch Ancient Rome come to life on our top-rated flagship tour including the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Your local, expert guide will paint a vivid picture of the past and the history behind the places that made Roman civilization so great.
Follow in the Footsteps of the Emperors
Full-Day Combo: Complete Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & Colosseum Tour
Semi-Private Colosseum Tour with Special Access to the Arena Floor, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Special Visit by Evening: Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor and Roman Forum
Skip-the-Line Tickets to the Colosseum with Escorted Entry
Private Colosseum Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Full-Day Combo: Colosseum & Best of Rome Walking Tour
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Find out more, customer reviews, recommended colosseum posts.
7 Best Colosseum Tours in Rome – Compared 2023: Explore the Fabled Gladiator Battleground
Are you headed to the Eternal City? There’s no better choice for the perfect vacation. At the Italian capital, you’ll find the Colosseum, a must-visit destination, second only to the Vatican. Here you’ll find a list of Best Colosseum Tours in Rome.
The Colosseum is the best representation of the mighty Roman Empire at its peak. This age-old amphitheater has influenced the construction of numerous modern stadia, and at almost 2,000 years old, it is still remarkably well preserved. With a capacity of 87,000, this masterpiece is the largest amphitheater in the world.
The arena hosted the legendary gladiator battles, and epitomized the might, fury and glory of the Roman times. Needless to say, taking a tour is the best way to get the best out of your visit to this ancient wonder.
- Gladiator’s Gate: Special Access Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor ( <<< OUR FAVORITE!! )
- Skip-the-Line Tour to Colosseum, Forum, Palatine Hill
- Rome Self-Driven Sightseeing Tour by Vespa
- VIP Colosseum At Night Tour With Underground & Arena Floor
- Premium Colosseum Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
- VIP Colosseum Underground Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
- Colosseum and Arena Floor Tour with Gladiator Gate Entry
- Prices and activities (Comparing all the visits)
- How to book
Things to Bring for Your Colosseum Tour
- More unmissable things to do in Colosseum
Best Colosseum Tours in Rome
Photos of the amphitheater are tremendous, and visiting it without a guide is going to be a memorable experience. But neither match a tour by a local expert guide who can tell you exactly what you’re looking at, and explain its profound significance.
Take a look at the top Colosseum Tours in Rome.
1. VIP Colosseum Underground Tour (Our Favorite!)
Book VIP Colosseum Underground Tour
Experience the Colosseum like a VIP on an exclusive underground tour. With a knowledgeable guide, explore hidden depths and the legendary arena floor. Uncover the real history behind this iconic amphitheater, far from what you’ve seen in movies. This tour, in partnership with the Colosseum Archaeological Park, is a one-of-a-kind adventure.
You’ll also discover a new exhibition bringing ancient Rome’s figures to life and witness a gladiator’s journey through lifelike projections.
After, visit the Roman Forum, the heart of ancient Rome, and Palatine Hill, the city’s origin. Explore with small groups for an immersive experience, bypass lines, and enjoy expert storytelling. Secure your spot for an unforgettable journey!
2. Skip-the-Line Tour to Colosseum, Forum, Palatine Hill
This express tour highlights incredible spots in the iconic monument. Skip the long queues and get right into the excursion with a local tour guide .
The historic tour gives you a glimpse of the construction and functions of this gigantic amphitheater. You’ll also get the opportunity to learn about its status throughout the ages, from the Roman period until now.
The vast, open corridors tell the story of almost humanity-defying ancient architecture and the strides that the industry has taken over the years. The stone stairs, on the other hand, take you to some of the great reclining spots for ancient Romans.
While you’re there, make sure to ask your tour guide about the underground elevator system. Your guide will also help you to fully appreciate the God-like status of the gladiator, and learn about the gory wild animal battles hosted in the arena.
Take the group tour that leads to the Palatine Hill. Here, you’ll catch a glimpse of where the ancient kings and emperors called home. A few steps further, and you’ll end at the Roman Forum where most of the public life took place. The tour will also take you through Via Sacra, which was the main street of Rome back in the day.
Families with young kids will enjoy this highly informative, yet refreshing tour. If you’re on a budget, the skip-the-line visit will also be kinder to the purse-strings.
3. Rome Self-Driven Sightseeing Tour by Vespa
Do you want to beat the crowded metro and avoid expensive taxi fares? Go local and rent a scooter to traverse Rome at your own pace.
The hassle-free tour lets you choose your own points of interest while providing a different perspective of the beautiful city. There’s a reason locals zip around the city on these bikes, which have come to be an emblem of modern Italy.
So, why not take them around the sites of old Italy? Start with a 3-hour guided tour of the magnificent Colosseum before heading around to some of the other ancient, yet less well-known sites. The Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain are definitely also some of the highlights. Being on a scooter will help you to traverse the narrow lanes and avoid the notorious Roman traffic.
Make sure to ask your guide about the best restaurants around town, and, if you have the time, make some time for the nearby beach!
You’ll need a driver’s license along with your passport or ID card to enjoy this tour. Besides the scooter, the provider also offers a helmet.
4. VIP Colosseum At Night Tour With Underground & Arena Floor
Experience the Colosseum like never before on an exclusive nighttime tour that avoids the daytime crowds and scorching sun. As the sun sets, meet your small group near the Teatro di Marcello, an ancient theater older than the Colosseum itself.
Inside the Colosseum, explore the rarely seen Colosseum Underground, where animals and gladiators once prepared for battle. This area has limited daily access, making it a unique opportunity.
Next, go to the arena floor, where you’ll walk in the footsteps of ancient gladiators. From this vantage point, enjoy breathtaking views of the Colosseum.
Before entering, your guide will provide insights into Ancient Rome from a vantage point overlooking the Roman Forum, sharing stories of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.
With small groups of 19 people or fewer, this tour offers an intimate and immersive experience of this iconic monument.
5. Premium Colosseum Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Ready for an epic journey through ancient Rome? Join the Premium skip-the-line Colosseum tour – the ultimate way to dive into history. With an archaeologist guide, you’ll uncover the true stories behind the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum. Say goodbye to common myths and hello to expert insights, even delving into the brutal spectacles held inside the arena. It’s an entertaining and enlightening Colosseum experience you won’t want to miss.
No more crowds – you’ll breeze in with skip-the-line Colosseum tickets and a small group of 16 or fewer. Explore the Colosseum’s first and second levels while your guide spins captivating tales. It’s ancient history made accessible and engaging, all thanks to a guide who lives and breathes it.
But the adventure doesn’t stop there. After the Colosseum, you’ll head to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, where special access tickets mean you’ll skip the lines again. Explore ancient palaces, temples, and markets, retracing the steps of historical greats like Julius Caesar, all with a knowledgeable expert by your side.
Easy, engaging, and entertaining – this is the best way to uncover the ancient past of the Eternal City. With small groups and headsets, you’ll connect easily with your guides and won’t miss a word. This isn’t your ordinary Colosseum tour; it’s a full immersion into the glory days of ancient Rome.
6. Gladiator’s Gate: Special Access Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor
Explore the Colosseum like a gladiator with a special-access arena floor tour . Enter through the exclusive “Gladiator’s Gate,” a cost-effective choice for a unique experience. You’ll see the Colosseum from both the arena floor and the stands.
Skip the lines at the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum for a time-saving adventure. An expert guide will reveal the secrets of these structures through engaging stories.
Begin your journey at the Colosseum’s “Gladiator’s Gate,” once reserved for gladiators. This VIP entrance offers quick access and a genuine gladiator’s viewpoint from 2,000 years ago.
Stand on the reconstructed arena floor for 360-degree views, an exclusive perspective. Your guide will share stories of epic battles that unfolded where you stand.
After the arena floor, explore the Colosseum’s general areas with your guide and a small group. In an hour, you’ll debunk common myths while exploring the first and second tiers.
Next, delve into the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Your expert guide will bring these archaeological sites to life, including Julius Caesar’s cremation site, Senate buildings, palaces, and the Temple of the Vestal Virgins.
This tour is fun, affordable, and intimate with a maximum of 16 people. Headsets ensure you catch every word. The focus is on captivating stories, leaving you with a vivid picture of ancient Rome and unforgettable tales.
7. Colosseum and Arena Floor Tour with Gladiator Gate Entry
Update: Currently Unavailable
The massive Gladiator Gate, once only used by gladiators, lets you into a previously restricted area. Rewrite history as you walk in the footsteps of the historical gladiators, and see the mighty Colosseum as they would have moments before battle. The exceptional “Gate of Death” enables you to escape the buzzing crowds and get a real feel of the fabled grounds.
The former battleground has what it takes to send a few chills down your spine. Imagine the 60,000 roaring spectators as you stand on the Arena Floor.
Stone robbers and earthquakes have done little to water down the imposing character of this historical site. It is no wonder that this monument ranks among the Seven Wonders of the World. Renovations in the 1900s reconstructed the original layout to its former glory, giving visitors a better picture of ancient Rome.
If you’re not feeling the long queues, then use the skip-the-line entrance, like real Roman royalty! The emperor’s box caps off a surreal experience as you get a full view of the arena, complete with roaring crowd.
Professional local guides are well-informed about the location and will provide a tour of the hidden highlights, complete with educational tit-bits you won’t find anywhere else. Find a passionate guide at Largo Gaetana Agnesi, a few steps from the entrance. The Colosseum and Arena Floor Tour with Gladiator Gate Entry takes roughly an hour and a half to complete, so more than possible in a morning or afternoon.
Make sure you make time for Palatine Hill, which sits close to the Roman Forum. Soak up the experience over fascinating views from the top.
Prices and activities (comparison of all tours)*
These tours are all well-worth it for visitors who want to make the most of their trips to the Colosseum. If you’re short on time and want to make a quick decision, this comparison of the trips will prove decisive.
*Depending on the timing of your tour, this information may vary.
How to book the Colosseum Tours?
Book your tickets directly at GetYourGuide or Take Walks. Here is our review of Take Walks .
GetYourGuide will send you an instant confirmation email. Proceed with the payment using your credit or debit card, PayPal, or Google Pay and prepare for an epic tour.
As the day approaches, GetYourGuide will send you a reminder with details of the meeting point and pick-up station.
Book as early as you can, especially during the peak travel season. You don’t want to miss out on your destination of choice.
If your tour is with Take Walks, then book directly with them. They are absolutely fantastic!
Most of these locations will need you to have a passport or an ID to guarantee unrestricted access to different areas. Children aged between 2-14 years may also need a valid ID.
You’ll want to wear comfy shoes during your tour, which may involve a fair amount of walking. The cobblestone grounds outside the Colosseum can also be slippery. Take a reusable water bottle with you and replenish it at the fontanelle. Don’t forget to carry some cash (in Euros) along with your credit card.
Unfortunately, most of these tours do not allow walking frames and wheelchairs. People with reduced mobility may have to find different sites around the city.
Here we share with you the most asked questions:
Is it necessary to book a tour to visit the Colosseum?
While it's not mandatory to book a tour, it's highly recommended. Booking a tour allows you to skip the long lines, gain in-depth knowledge from expert guides, and explore areas of the Colosseum that are not accessible to regular ticket holders. It enhances your overall experience.
Is the Colosseum accessible to people with reduced mobility or in wheelchairs?
Unfortunately, the Colosseum has limited accessibility for people with reduced mobility and those in wheelchairs due to its historical structure. However, there are alternative accessible sites in Rome that can be explored.
What's the best time to visit the Colosseum to avoid crowds?
To avoid crowds and long lines, it's best to visit the Colosseum early in the morning or during the off-peak seasons, such as late autumn or winter. Consider booking a skip-the-line tour to ensure a smoother and more efficient visit.
Is the Colosseum Tour worth it?
From the incredible sites to a walk back to the fabled battlegrounds, a visit to the world's largest amphitheater is absolutely worth your time and money. There is so much to see at this iconic destination, history enthusiasts, culture lovers or simply fans of famous sites will have their desires sated at the mighty Colosseum.
More unmissable things to do in Rome
If you have a few more days to spare in Rome, try out some of these equally exciting tours. Book these tours with GetYourGuide and get ready for an incredible experience in Rome.
- Vatican & Rome City Pass with Free Transportation
- Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica Tour
- Rome street food tour with Local guide
- Visit the Borghese Gallery
Summary: Best Colosseum Tours in Rome
When you step into Rome, you can’t miss out on a Colosseum adventure! This colossal arena stands tall as a testament to the Roman Empire’s all-conquering awesomeness.
Guided Colosseum tours come in various forms, catering to different preferences. Whether you’re interested in accessing exclusive areas, avoiding long lines, or gaining insights into the rich history of the Colosseum, there’s a tour for you.
These tours aren’t just about learning facts; they’re like unlocking a time capsule filled with epic stories. You’ll stand where gladiators once battled for glory, and you’ll venture into the mysterious underground chambers where secrets of the past are waiting to be revealed.
So, don’t miss your chance to dive into history and embark on the ultimate Colosseum adventure in Rome!
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12 of the Best Colosseum Tours in Rome 2023
Have you been wondering about the best colosseum tours in rome i’ve got you covered.
Having lived in Europe and spent some time in Italy, the Colosseum was one of my favourite people-watching spots. It’s a place of immense history and culture, and I always felt a fantastic sense of history when stepping inside its walls.
Knowing how famous the Colosseum is as a tourist destination, I understand why you might be uncertain about which tour to take when visiting Rome!
There are a lot of various tours on offer to ensure that everyone can experience the Colosseum as much or as little as you want.
From shorter guided tours with plenty of chances to learn about key moments in Roman history to more immersive experiences with opportunities for longer stays at various sites within the ruins, there’s something for every kind of traveller looking to explore this amazing monument.
No matter what kind of visit you’re looking for, these awesome tours will ensure your experience is unforgettable.
Check out the below suggestions for the best tours of the Colosseum while you’re in Rome.
Plan your trip?
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Table of Contents
My Top 3 Picks: Best Colosseum Tours in Rome
Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Guided Tour
- Skip the line
- Entry tickets included
Tour Of Colosseum Underground, Arena And Forum
- Small group
- Fast track entrance tickets
Colosseum And Roman Forum Tour
- Perfect for families
12 of the Best Colosseum Tours in Rome
1. skip the line: colosseum, roman forum & palatine hill guided tour.
⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ LENGTH: 3 hours | ✅ Book it!
Skip the long lines and get straight into the iconic Colosseum Arena, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill with this all-in-one guided tour. You’ll learn interesting insights about these surviving structures of the Eternal City and gain an understanding about what really took place here all those years ago.
“Wonderful walking tour – there are so many things to see, so much history, so many stories that you’d never get without a guide. Highly recommended, and plan to stay in the Forum and Palatine Hill after the tour ends, so bring snacks and water!” – mcsimon3
Start your Ancient Rome tour by one of the Seven Hills of Rome, Oppian Hill, for a gorgeous view of the Colosseum. Skip the main entrance line and walk down the arena with your local guide.
Explore the first and second tiers of the Colosseum and wander around the famous amphitheatre as you listen to tales about the brutal gladiator battles and even the gory executions that once took place here.
After the Colosseum, you’ll head over to the Roman Forum to see the House of the Vestal Virgins and the Temple of Julius Caesar up close.
Lastly, walk up Palatine Hill to get a glimpse of the ruins of Circus Maximus. Although the guided tour ends here, you can stick around afterwards and continue to explore the area on your own.
If you are interested in a more thorough tour, there is an optional upgrade for a semi-private tour. You’ll get to explore the Colosseum Arena floor, see where the Emperor’s box once stood, and even visit the underground area where the gladiatorial games and staged hunts were prepared.
- Start time and location: A pre-organised time at Largo Gaetana Agnesi
- Duration: 3 hours
- Includes: Skip the line Colosseum tickets (with the Arena included Palatine Hillin semi-private tours), skip the line entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, a tour by a professional local guide, and headsets to hear your guide clearly
🤩 Check Prices and Availability!
2. Small-Group Tour Of Colosseum Underground, Arena And Forum
⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ LENGTH: 3 hours | ✅ Book it!
One of the best Colosseum underground tours is this 3-hour adventure with Touriks. On this small group tour, explore restricted areas that regular ticket holders don’t get to see, including the underground area, the Arena, and the Roman Forum. You’ll be given headsets so you can hear your guide’s commentary clearly.
“Federica was brilliant. Her passion for archaeology was infectious. The moon was full, the colosseum was empty, and it truly felt like we were traveling back into history.” – Joseph_N
Avoid the busy lines and begin your tour by heading to the exclusive Arena floor. Go backstage to the underground section and imagine you are a gladiator preparing for a game in Ancient Rome.
Your guide will teach you all about the social and political importance of the amphitheatre, as well as the innovative techniques used to build this iconic attraction.
Lastly, visit the top tier of the Colosseum to admire some amazing views. See if you can spot the Temple of Venus and the Arch of Constantine, which you’ll walk under later on.
Take a short break to rest or explore around on your own before walking with your group to the Roman Forums for the rest of the tour.
Immerse yourself in the ruins of the Forum and discover the Senate House where the fate of the Roman Empire was determined. You’ll also get to see the Gardens of the Vestal Virgins, the pagan temple of Goddess Vesta, and a whole lot more.
Finally, walk the path to Palatine Hill, once considered the most exclusive area of Ancient Rome. The bird’s eye view here across the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus is a once in a lifetime experience, so make sure to take it all in and enjoy the present moment.
- Start time and location: A prearranged time at Piazza del Colosseo, outside the ground floor exit of the metro
- Includes: Fast-tracked entrance, a guided tour through the underground area of the Colosseum and the Arena floor, a guided tour of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, sterilised headphones to hear your guide’s commentary, the option for a nighttime tour
3. Skip-The-Lines Colosseum And Roman Forum Tour For Kids And Families
⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ LENGTH: 2.5 hours | ✅ Book it!
Are you travelling to Rome with young kids and are worried about keeping them entertained? Looking for best Colosseum tours in Rome for families? This tour is specifically designed with families in mind, making it the best way to see the Colosseum when travelling with little ones.
You can select from either a small group or a private tour, both of which allow for plenty of personal attention from your guide. You’ll also get to avoid waiting in long lines in the hot sun!
The entrance tickets you’ll receive are valid for two days, meaning you can come back again after the tour if you wish.
“This was a very educational and kids friendly tour. We were three families with kids and the guide kept all the kids entertained with quizzes and games about Roman history.” – Oktay_V
Meet your guide near the Colosseum and head straight inside. Your guide will teach you and your family about Roman history in a fun and engaging way, with age-appropriate stories about the gladiators and their battles against ferocious animals.
Next up, wander the cobbled streets of the Roman Forum, see the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, and visit the ruins of the Emperor’s Palace.
The Basilica of Maxentius, the largest building the Forum, is one of the highlights for both kids and adults. Being outside, the young ones will be able to explore around the ruins and let their imagination run wild.
- Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes
- Includes: Skip the line tickets, and an entertaining guide who specialises in kid-friendly tours for families
4. Gladiator’s Gate: Special Access Colosseum Tour With Arena Floor
This special access Colosseum tour allows you to enter the Colosseum’s Arena through the Gladiator’s Gate. Gain a unique perspective as you discover the viewpoints of both the gladiators and the spectators while you hear tales of ruthlessness from a local guide.
“Such a great time with knowledgeable guide! Even held tight in the rain and continued the tour! So thoughtful of others.” – Nichole_E
Walk right past the main entrance lines and enter the Arena via the Gladiator’s Gate. Your guide will recount fascinating tales about the gladiators who fought to their death here, before heading up to the first floor where spectators once witnessed it all.
Listen to some more stories about Imperial-era Rome as you walk over to the Forum, once a hub for political activity. With your guide, look around the main ruins and monuments that still remain in this ancient plaza.
- Start time and location: A prearranged time at the entrance of Colle Oppio Park at Via delle Terme di Tito, 72
- Includes: A group of maximum 24 people, an expert English-speaking guide, a headset, and a Colosseum entrance ticket
5. VIP Colosseum Tour
Those looking for a fast-tracked, small group sightseeing trip shouldn’t miss this VIP Colosseum underground tour. It will typically begin at the Colosseum and end at the Roman Forum, although the order is sometimes switched depending on ticket availability and how far in advance you book.
Although you’ll see three amazing attractions in three hours, this tour is quite relaxed, thanks to the fantastic guides and the skip the line entry.
If you are easily overwhelmed at popular tourist sites and don’t know what to look out for, this VIP tour can help you enjoy your sightseeing without the stress.
“Barbara was wonderful. She was so very knowledgeable. She also kept the tour fun and light. The tour moved quickly, but there was plenty of time for photos and questions. She was extremely thorough! It was a great day all around!” – Sarah_T
At the Colosseum, your English-speaking guide will bring this ancient world to life with fascinating stories and intimate insights. Discover the birthplace of Rome at Palatine Hill and look out at the Circus Maximus, an ancient stadium used for chariot racing.
After wandering around the ruins beneath the tall pine trees, walk the Via Sacra and the Via Nova, historic roads from the Roman Empire that lead to the Forum. With their extensive knowledge and passion about the subject, you’ll get a sense of what day-to-day life was like for Romans here.
- Start time and location: A prearranged time at the Arch of Constantine
- Includes: Skip the line entrance to the Colosseum and a VIP guided tour
6. Moonlight Tour Of The Colosseum And Ancient Rome
⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ LENGTH: 2.5 hours | ✅ Book it!
One of the most unforgettable memories you can make in Rome is seeing the Colosseum at night. Lasting over two hours and beginning with a little walking tour of Rome, this is the longest and best Colosseum night tour currently on offer.
With a maximum of 25 people in your group, gain exclusive access to the Colosseum after it closes to the general public. While impressive during the daytime, the ruins look even more spectacular underneath the moonlight.
“I highly recommend this tour, especially in the summer when the days are so hot! This was our second time doing this tour. I really enjoyed the appetizers and wine beforehand and loved our very enthusiastic and energetic tour guide, Fi! Being able to go into the Colosseum after dark, when it is closed to the public, is pretty magical!” – David_B
Indulge in some drinks and snacks at the meeting point before walking along Via dei Fori Imperiali, one of the most iconic streets in Rome.
Once you’ve arrived at the Colosseum, you’ll begin a 90-minute guided tour of the restricted areas. This includes a Colosseum underground tour as well as the Arena Floor. See the ruins beautifully lit up with lights as the sun sets and explore the amphitheatre’s dungeons.
- Start time and location: 6:45 pm at Santi Cosma e Damiano
- Includes: After-hours admission to the Colosseum Arena and underground areas, with a headset to hear commentary by a professional guide
7. Colosseum Night Tour
⭐️ RATING: 4/5 Stars | ⏳ LENGTH: 1.5 hours | ✅ Book it!
If you have less time in the evening or want an in-depth tour without dealing with the busy crowds, take this Colosseum night tour run by Discover Rome Tours.
“What an amazing experience! Definitely recommend the night tour. Felt as if we had the place to ourselves. There were only about 15 people total in our small group, then only encountered about six other groups throughout our hour-plus tour. Our guide was awesome! Definitely recommend this night option. Plus, you beat the heat!” – Leslie_D
This group tour will have a maximum of 25 participants, so with only a few other night tours running simultaneously, you will easily avoid the hordes of other tourists that come here during the daytime.
Follow your guide around the Colosseum as it is beautifully lit up at night and learn interesting info on the history of this great amphitheatre. The highlight of the tour is getting to walk through the underground gladiator tunnels, which were only opened to the public in 2021.
- Start time: A prearranged time in the evening outside the Colosseo Metro Station
- Duration: 1 hour and 20 minutes
- Includes: Skip the line entrance tickets to the Colosseum with an official tour guide and a group coordinator
8. Private Tour Of Colosseo
⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ LENGTH: 1 hour 15 mins | ✅ Book it!
This is the ultimate choice for those seeking a Colosseum private tour. Other than the benefit of getting one-on-one time with your own tour guide, you can also choose a morning or afternoon start time that will fit around your itinerary.
This is easily one of the best Colosseum tours if you are looking for a more personal experience.
In addition to English, this tour is also offered in Italian, French, Spanish, German and Japanese upon request. It is also wheelchair accessible and stroller friendly.
“Maria was a flawless tour guide. Highly recommend the experience if you’re looking for a solid day at the Colosseum and Roman Forum.” – A Tripadvisor Reviewer
With pre-booked admission, you can skip the line and start seeing the highlights of the Colosseum with your private guide. After a cup of Italian coffee, you’ll get an overview of the ancient amphitheatre and spend about 45 minutes with your guide.
All of the guides with Arena Tours are passionate and knowledgeable about ancient Rome and can answer any questions you might have along the way.
They will also give you plenty of information about the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, which you can visit on your own after the tour has finished.
- Start time: Any chosen time from the front of the Colosseo Metro Station’s upper floor
- Duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes
- Includes: All entrance fees into the Colosseum and a private tour
9. Ultimate Colosseum Small Group Tour
With your skip the line tickets on this ultimate Colosseum tour, you will save an estimated two hours that would be otherwise spent waiting in the hot sun.
Limited to 10 participants, this is one of the best tours of the Colosseum in Rome for travellers seeking a small group experience. It offers a chance to have a chat with both the guide as well as some other tourists.
Remember to bring your ID and show up at least 20 minutes before your start time!
“This was an outstanding tour, especially due to the ton of knowledge and insight from our incredible guide Simona Mariotti. She has a true passion for the history of Rome, and I learned so much in this tour. This sights were amazing, but the knowledge I also gained is what I will always remember. Thanks for making this experience so great!” – Doug_C
With your priority entrance, you can jump straight into 80 AD and learn about one of Europe’s most recognisable attractions. While admiring the Colosseum, you can ask your guide any questions. Your tour at this iconic Roman structure will typically last around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Next, it’s on to the Roman Forum. Stand in the centre of the plaza and get a glimpse at the surrounding government buildings.
This was once the centre of Roman life, so you’ll gain an understanding of how the citizens of Rome once lived. After about half an hour, spend some time at Palatine Hill looking at the stunning views of the city and ask your guide any final questions you might have.
- Start time: A prearranged time near the upper floor exit of the Colosseo Metro Station
- Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes
- Includes: Colosseum Privileged Entrance Ticket, Exclusive Partner Entrance Access, priority entrance for the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, a headset and an official tour guide
10. Colosseum Express Skip-The-Line Guided Tour
⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ LENGTH: 1 hour 15 mins | ✅ Book it!
If you have limited time in Rome, this express tour operated by City Walkers is perfect for you. With a maximum of 24 other travellers, you’ll skip the line and get a quick and easy intro to the Colosseum, plus some pics for Instagram!
“Great tour and great way to skip the line! Finding the tour was a bit confusing but it was very organized, the group we were in was maybe 15 people and our tour guide Alessandra was the best! She was so nice and knowledgeable, and it was so sweet how she included kids on the tour and checked up on everyone. I’d recommend this tour for sure!” – Camilla_B
Despite this tour lasting just over an hour, it will appear to go by even quicker thanks to the engaging and enthusiastic guides.
After skipping the line, you’ll hear some interesting stories and gain local tips and recommendations, such as where to find the best views in the city. The guides are also superb at helping you get some amazing photos.
These Colosseum tour tickets also include entrance into the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, which you can go to after the tour if your schedule permits.
- Duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes
- Includes: Tickets to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill with an official tour guide
11. Rome Combo: Colosseum & Forum With Rome Must-See Walking Tour
⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ LENGTH: 8 hours | ✅ Book it!
For travellers with plenty of time in Rome, take advantage of this combination Colosseum and city walking tour.
You’ll get two separate tours for a discounted price, seeing the famous amphitheatre in the morning before exploring the city in the afternoon. Plus, it’s a great Colosseum guided tour option for those on a budget!
“Colosseum was amazing and Simone was a wonderful guide. In the afternoon Edy helped us see the sights. He was extremely knowledgeable and helpful.” – Angela_D
Combining two of the most popular tours in Rome into one ticket, you will really get your money’s worth with this “Rome Super Saver”!
In the morning, meet with your guide and take in the views from Oppian Hill. Jump the main entrance queue as you enter the Colosseum and walk around the first two levels of the Arena while listening to stories of brutal gladiator battles.
As you exit the amphitheatre, you’ll stop at the Arch of Constantine on your way to the Roman Forum. After spending some time at Palatine Hill, finish your three-hour tour at Via Sacra.
Take a break for lunch (at your own expense) before meeting up with your second guide at Piazza di Spagna in the afternoon.
This walking tour will take you around the historic centre of Rome, stopping at sights like the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Colonna and the Pantheon (though you won’t get to go inside, unfortunately).
This part of the tour typically lasts about two and a half hours. You’ll also get to wander through Piazza Navona and peruse the works of the many street artists.
- Start time: 10 am at Largo Gaetana Agnesi
- Duration: 8 hours
- Includes: Skip the line entrance into the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, an English-speaking guide, and a stop for refreshments in the centre of Rome
12. Small-Group Ancient Rome And Colosseum Underground Tour
⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ LENGTH: 1.5 – 3 hours | ✅ Book it!
This unforgettable tour of the underground chambers and gladiator tunnels gives you exclusive access to the Colosseum. It is the best Colosseum underground tour if you like things prompt and organised, as it always runs on time. ID is required, so don’t forget to bring your passport!
“This was a fantastic tour. We’ve been to the Colosseum before, but had never toured the underground area. It was very interesting to see it from a different perspective. Our tour guy, whose name I can’t remember, was full of stories and history from the different time periods. The Forum was also very interesting as well. This tour was an excellent value for the money. I highly recommend this tour.” – Linda_G
With this special tour, you’ll get to wander through areas of the Colosseum that are usually kept off-limits to other visitors.
See the underground chambers where wild animals were kept and walk the same path as the gladiators once paced while preparing for battle. Your guide will tell plenty of tales about the bloodthirsty crowds and the emperors who cheered on these games.
Next, change the mood a bit with a trip to the Roman Forum, which centred around political life and religion. Learn about life in Imperial Rome as you view the ruins of temples, basilicas and more.
- Start time: A prearranged time in the morning or afternoon, by the lower level exit of the Colosseo Metro Station
- Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes to 3 hours
- Includes: A tour of the Colosseum’s underground plus the first and second floors, an Ancient Rome guided tour, and skip the line tickets
FAQs About best roman colosseum tours
Is it worth getting a guided tour of the colosseum.
Yes, it is definitely worth getting a guided tour of the Colosseum! Guided tours will give you a better understanding of the site’s history and importance.
Not only will you learn about the Roman Empire and also gain insight into art, culture, and religion from thousands of years ago.
With your guide’s help, you can get to know more about how Romans lived in ancient times and explore all areas of the Colosseum.
You can even go up to higher levels for panoramic views or view special exhibitions held in the Colosseum, depending on when you visit. Visiting with a guided tour is definitely one of the best ways to experience this iconic destination that has been around since 80 AD!
what is the best way to see the colosseum in rome?
One of the best ways to see the Colosseum in Rome is to take a guided tour. Guided tours provide an overview of the history of the iconic structure and can help you understand more deeply its context within Roman culture.
Guided tours also offer the opportunity to explore areas that are not accessible on your own, such as underground chambers and passageways.
Additionally, some guided tours include access to special events, like gladiator fights or reenactments of ancient battles.
is the colosseum worth visiting
The Colosseum is one of the greatest architectural achievements in history and absolutely worth visiting.
It’s not only a great way to immerse yourself in the history and culture of Rome, but also an amazing sight to see; you can feel the magnitude of it as soon as you arrive. It’s truly an iconic landmark on the world stage and an experience you won’t forget.
Final Thoughts: best colosseum tours rome
Rome’s Colosseum tours offer a unique experience, and there is no better way to appreciate its history than to walk through it.
With the right tour, you can access areas off-limits to the general public, such as the underground chambers!
Now is the time to book your tour and enjoy the incredible beauty of Rome’s iconic monument while learning about its secrets and long history.
Take advantage of this one-of-a-kind opportunity – book your Colosseum tour today for an unforgettable experience in Rome!
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Sam is an endlessly curious and adventurous traveler, having lived in four different continents and explored over 49 countries.
Her love of travel has made her a world-renowned expert on all things related to travel planning.
A decade ago, her personal blog, Travelling King, took off as readers sought out her insider tips and knowledge.
Today the site helps thousands of travelers prepare for the perfect getaway by crafting tailor-made itineraries, tour guides, hotel guides and more to ensure that visitors have a seamless and enjoyable journey from start to finish.
Sam's witty take on seeing the world ensures that she remains at the forefront of global wanderlust. Though Sam loves venturing around the world, nothing beats coming home to sunny Adelaide and her dog Odin.
Sam is a travel expert in the following: Luxury Travel, Fast Travel (seeing as many places as possible in a short time - but still getting the most out of each destination), hotels and destination guides and of course Odin - the dog.
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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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Visit The Colosseum In Rome, Italy
The Colosseum is one of the most visited monuments in the world, receiving 4 million visitors every year. If you’re planning a trip to Rome, it is a can’t-miss attraction along with the Vatican, the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and many more.
Colosseum Ticket Options
ℹ️ Colosseum tickets sell out fast in high season. We recommend looking on both Tiqets and GetYourGuide to increase your chances of finding a ticket.
- The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
- Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
- St. Peter’s Basilica (official guided tour)
- And more…
- Colosseum Tickets Overview page showing all available tickets by day. We recommend opening this page in high season.
- Grou p Tickets For group tickets please visit our partner groupsightseeing.com
💡 Colosseum sold out? Try the Forum Pass Ticket A great alternative when the Colosseum ticket is not available. This pass includes access to the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Imperial Forum.
(Access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill is included in all tickets)
Read more about:
Buy your Colosseum tickets online
Fortunately, you can buy Colosseum tickets online before your trip; that way you can spend more time exploring Rome and less waiting in line and worrying about figuring out where and how to see all of the Eternal City’s architectural and artistic marvels.
Should I buy Colosseum tickets in advance?
Short answer: yes!
- Book Colosseum tickets in advance and they’ll be sent right to your inbox.
- Print your tickets out at home, no pick up necessary.
- No waiting in line at the ticket office — you’ll save a lot of time.
- Choose the date and time of your visit and don’t worry about there being huge crowds on the day.
There is a slight mark-up for buying Colosseum tickets online but pre-booking will allow you to dodge the annoying queues that are an non-negotiable part of a visit to any important monument.
However, keep in mind that you’ll still have to go through security, although this process will take less time than it would if you’re not an advance ticket holder.
Can I skip the line with Colosseum tickets?
Yes you can. There are two accesses to the Colosseum, one for advance ticket holders and one for those buying them on the spot. The advance ticket holder line is much shorter so you’ll be able to get inside much quicker than if you show up without tickets. Temperatures can be quite high in Rome in the summer so less time spent waiting in line is always better.
Where do I buy Colosseum tickets?
Right here (link)! TheColosseum.org is a licensed retailer of official Colosseum tickets. You can book your tickets through our site in under 5 minutes and you’ll have them in your inbox and ready to go in an instant.
There are also audio guides available (in English) and tickets for children at a reduced rate.
Colosseum Ticket Prices
Below you can see the prices for all colosseum tickets. By buying your colosseum tickets online you will incur a slight mark up on the price that corresponds to the booking fee, in exchange for the advantages listed above: skipping the line, being able to choose the date and time slot of your visit , not being left without tickets because there are too many visitors on a given day, etc.
What is the Colosseum entrance fee?
You’ll learn more about this important monument and find your visit to be richer and more captivating with some expert explanations of its most important features and its history.
Combo tickets: Colosseum, Forum & Palatine Hill
One of the most common questions visitors ask is “do I need to buy separate tickets for the Colosseum, Forum, and the Palatine Hill?”. The answer is no . The Colosseum is part of the same monumental complex as the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum , and all three are within walking distance of each other.
Fortunately for visitors, all three sites share the same ticket. You can visit the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum with the same ticket you use for the Colosseum — so don’t get rid of it once you’re done with the gladiatorial arena!
Do I have to visit all three monuments on the same day?
No you don’t, tickets for the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill are valid for two days, so you can spread out your visit if you want.
That said, Rome is jam packed full of beautiful and spectacular monuments and given that these three are all very near each other it may be worth it to see them all in go to make the most of your time.
Other ways to visit the Colosseum
If you want to visit the colosseum after hours, or would like a combined ticket that allows you to see some of Rome’s other important attractions, you’re in luck.
Visiting the Colosseum at night
Beginning in March 2017, visitors can book a guided night time tour of the colosseum. The arena takes on an entirely new quality at night. It feels even more ancient and impressive. Check out our guided tours page (link) for more info on visiting the colosseum by night.
Instead of booking individual tickets to every monument and museum in the Eternal City and having to handle dozens of emails, receipts, and papers, you can make your life much easier with the all-in-one Roma City Pass.
The pass includes free or discounted access to many of the city’s top attractions (including the colosseum) as well as transfers to and from the airport and transport on Rome’s sightseeing hop-on-hop-off buses. Find out more about the Rome City pass here (link).
Click here to view all ticket options »
Discover and book the best Colosseum tours
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Best Colosseum Tours
Skip the Line Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Tour
- Ancient Rome
- Duration : 2.5 hours
Small Group Colosseum & Ancient Rome Tour
- Semi private
Skip the Line Colosseum Arena Floor & Ancient Rome
- Gladiator Entrance
- Arena Floor
Up to 24 hours before tour begins
Best Price Guaranteed
Discounts up to 60%
In case you need us
Explore the Colosseum
Guided Colosseum Tour
Colosseum Arena Floor
Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Private Colosseum Tour
Enjoy tailor-made itineraries with a private tour guide all to yourself. Priority access into the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.
Colosseum at Night
Explore the Colosseum at night, without the crowds! Experience the moonlit Colosseum as you discover the monument after hours. Includes access to the Arena floor and Underground.
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Germany. I have a short stay in Rome.
1. Is night time walk safe? Say I want to go for a walk from 10 to 12. My hotel is near Spanish steps.
2. Next day I plan to do Colosseum tour. I have till noon in Rome. Do you suggest guided tours or can I play Rick Steve’s guide?
2 replies to this topic
As for whether or not to do a guided tour, that's a personal issue based on your level of interest. The official Colosseum website offers good tours, very reasonably priced. That being said, the Colosseum is faintly easy to understand and there is good signage. There have been some criticisms of the Rick Steves audioguide (I've never used it myself), apparently it may have some errors. There are audioguides for rent at the Colosseum.
10 PM is not that late. There will be lots of people out and about returning from dinner.
You say you are only in Rome until Noon? Where are you going? A cruise ? A train journey? Another flight ? Do you really have until noon or is it even less time? Will you already be checked out of your accommodation? Will you have luggage?
Really hard to give advice with so many unknowns.
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When in Rome: 15 things you must do in the capital of Italy
Posted: November 17, 2023 | Last updated: November 17, 2023
At this point, is there anything we can say about Rome that hasn't already been said? The famous city has been drawing in tourists, romantics, and artists for centuries, and has been the star of more movies than Marcello Mastroianni himself. It's a film come to life, an endless stream of ancient ruins, piazzas, and restaurants that never seems to lose its charm. Looking for a list of the best things to do here? Look no further.
You likely already know, have seen, or heard about the Colosseum. It is the largest amphitheater ever built, and, if you have the chance to explore inside, one of the most impressive things you can see in Rome. The arena that once housed gladiator battles and executions is now a maze of tunnels, columns, and dust. The best views can be found on the 5th level, which offers panoramic views of the theater.
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Let's be clear: Rome's Pantheon is not just another temple. It is the city's most important landmark, built in 125 AD and boasting some of the most epic pillars on earth. These things make the White House look small, and no trip is complete without a picture of its facade.
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The Spanish Steps
Walking is the perfect way to burn off pasta, so the Spanish Steps make for a perfect afternoon activity. The staircase connecting Piazza di Spagna to the Spanish Embassy is filled with magical sights, from kids splashing in the fountain to emeralds glowing in the embassy.
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The Vatican is home to one of the largest and most important art collections in the world and is set across 54 galleries, courtyards, and hallways. You'll find countless works of art by artists like Raphael and Michelangelo, whose Sistine Chapel remains the GOAT of frescos. You get goosebumps just looking at Jesus reach out to Adam--the entire history of man at their fingertips.
Felice a Testaccio
Did we mention Rome might have invented cacio e pepe? Whether the stories are true or not, the city's restaurants all serve their own version of this signature dish. The best place to order one of these plates is at Felice a Testaccio, which prepares the pasta in front of you and has graciously located itself outside of town. You're going to need a long walk after this one.
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Rome is full of quaint neighborhoods but, with all the sightseers, not many will offer you a proper taste of bohemian life. For that, cross the river to Trastevere: home to street markets, local bars, restaurants, and apartments, and more alleys than all the canals in Venice. Get lost in the maze of streets that make up this section of town--then, after you spend a couple of hours walking, stop in for drinks at one of the many outdoor bars.
Rome Opera House
Since its founding by Domenico Costanzi in the late 19th century, the Rome Opera House has remained one of the finest opera houses in Europe. We recommend you stop by for an opera or if you find that too snooty, check out one of the many fashion shows put on by brands like Dior. Is that too snooty for you? Take a tour instead, which will give you access to the neo-classical design.
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You can't visit Rome and not spend at least a couple of hours in a piazza. The best place to do so is Piazza Navona, an area surrounded by restaurants, fountains, and ancient statues. Here, you can grab a bite or an Aperol spritz, and take a second to relax while the rest of the world goes by.
Forum Hotel Bar
Grab a drink at the same place actors like Julia Roberts and Richard Gere frequent, on the rooftop of one of Rome's most prestigious hotels. Located just above the Roman Forum--the ruins next to the Colosseum--this spot is perfect for those looking to take a second to unwind. Many only come here for an Instagram photo, but the best thing you can do here is to spend a couple of hours in the company of silence.
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Baths of Caracalla
This oasis was once a public bathing complex in the third century. Now, it's open year-round for visitors to wander its many ruins, fields, and arches. Each summer, the Roman opera performs at the baths to sold-out crowds. Those lucky enough to get tickets are treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Does anyone here like sunsets? Thought so. If you're in Italy, you'll probably want to see a sunset at some point, which means you should probably head down to the Tiber river at golden hour. There's a great view from the river itself, though we recommend you stand on the bridge to watch the eternal city swirl into an eternal haze.
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Emperor Nero's pad was once considered the Playboy Mansion of Rome. Built between 64-68 AD, the underground mansion was home to some of the wildest parties in town before it was abandoned completely. The site is under restoration, but visitors can join guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays to see what made this place so unique.
Often referred to as "The Three Street Fountain," the Trevi Fountain is an excellent example of the city's regional art. Located at the intersection of three streets, this fountain draws in visitors from all sides of Rome. Its statues are a lineup of masterpieces from Nicola Salvi, but the real reason everyone is here is because of Federico Fellini, who shot the famous scene of Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg lapping in the pool at midnight.
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Move over, American football. The crowds of 70,000 that cram into Stadio Olimpico make the Superbowl sound like a high school game. Even people who find soccer boring can't help but be blown away by the noise.
St. Peter's Basilica
St Peter's Basilica is a church built by some of Rome's greatest architects. It is the most renowned piece of Renaissance construction, with contributions from Michelangelo, Maderno, and Bramante, and houses one of Rome's most dramatic squares. On the way to the top, you'll get a birds-eye view of both the square and the Vatican chapels.
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Soar over ancient Rome's temples, brothels and baths in epic new 3D reconstruction
A newly-launched 3D model of ancient Rome lets viewers experience the city as it was in its heyday in the fourth century.
A new interactive 3D reconstruction of ancient Rome is giving viewers the opportunity to virtually transport themselves back in time and explore the capital of the Roman Empire as it was during its heyday.
Called Rome Reborn: Flight over Ancient Rome , the digital model presented by Flyover Zone, an educational technology company, offers both a bird's-eye view and on-the-ground perspectives of ancient Rome and its many historical monuments, including the Colosseum , Pantheon, Baths of Caracalla and the Roman Forum, as they may have appeared in A.D. 320, right before the capital city was moved to Constantinople , which was later followed by the fall of the Western Roman Empire , according to a statement.
At its prime, Rome would have had a population of 1 million — making it one of the most populous cities in Europe — and a skyline peppered with approximately 7,000 buildings spread across 5.3 square miles (13.7 square kilometers).
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This virtual version of the city is decades in the making and is the brainchild of Bernard Frischer , a digital archaeologist at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering at Indiana University Bloomington. Frischer initially came up with the idea in 1974 while he was the Rome Prize Fellow in Classics at the American Academy in Rome.
During his studies, Frischer visited the Museum of Roman Civilization and saw a physical model of ancient Rome. He knew he could make a better, computerized version himself.
"I remember looking down from a balcony at the physical model while in Rome and taking photos of it," Frischer told Live Science. "I used this as the inspiration for the reconstruction and I thought it would be nice if I could digitize it."
Over the course of several decades, Frischer worked with a team of archaeologists and historians to ensure that his replica was accurate while also consulting a variety of historical texts that recorded what the capital of the Roman Empire would have looked like in fourth century Europe. He also worked with engineers who scanned the original museum model, which served as the groundwork for the digital city, which is on a scale of 1-to-25.
Frischer described the entire research process as "tedious" but in the end, the project was worth the effort.
"I looked at old site plans and photographs of ruins and put it all together," Frischer said. "I wanted to have a visualization to bring people up to speed to see what the city would've looked like instantly. In two hours of exploration, people today will know more than what a PhD student would've known in the 1970s."
The first version of Rome Reborn launched in 2007 followed by two subsequent versions released in 2008 and 2018. For the new, fourth version, which launched Wednesday (Nov. 8), the team added in new and updated recreations of some of the monuments that weren't included in previous versions, such as the Baths of Caracalla, the temples on the Capitoline Hill, the Stadium of Domitian (modern-day Piazza Navona) and the theaters of Balbus, Marcellus and Pompey the Great.
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"I hope that people's curiosity is aroused and that they start the process of falling in love with antiquity in general, but to the city of Rome specifically," Frischer told Live Science. "I want people to see the beauty and the grandeur and the innovation of ancient Rome. It was above and beyond other cities during that time."
Rome Reborn: Flight over Ancient Rome version 4.0 is currently available for download . Flyover Zone also offers 13 other virtual tours on Yorescape.com, including the Acropolis in Athens and the Tomb of Ramesses VI in Egypt. Normally an annual subscription is $49.99 but for the Nov. 8 launch, the Yorescape app is offering a free, one-week trial subscription.
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Jennifer Nalewicki is a Salt Lake City-based journalist whose work has been featured in The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, Scientific American, Popular Mechanics and more. She covers several science topics from planet Earth to paleontology and archaeology to health and culture. Prior to freelancing, Jennifer held an Editor role at Time Inc. Jennifer has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin.
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- Voyageur1688 After seeing the article about ancient Rome in 3D, either I misinterpreted it or I noticed some things that just stick out like neon signs flashing ERROR. It said that upon seeing the museums scale model of ancient Rome in 1974, he felt he could do better and took pictures so he could digitize it. Excuse me but the technology to use computers and to digitize ANYTHING let alone use it to make 3D imagery was not even a possibility at that time and for well over a decade into the future. Think about it. When did computers stop being the old Green Screen type? His claiming that he has the idea to do it in 1974 is a severe stretching of the imagination at the very least. It is a very interesting article, but the technology he was referring to wanting to use was so far in the future that it would mean that either he accidentally gave incorrect information in the story, knowingly gave false information, was clinically delusional, or was/is a time traveler who has to wait for the technology to be invented which is unlikely since to my knowledge they still have not found a way to perform time travel. Reply
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"Cruise Around Ancient Rome In This Stunning Virtual Tour"
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Cruise Around Ancient Rome In This Stunning Virtual Tour
If you think about the roman empire more than you should, this is for you..
Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.
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Aerial view of ancient Rome in 320 CE showing the Circus Maximus, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, the imperial fora, and the Colosseum.
Image credit: Copyright 2023 Flyover Zone, Inc. All rights reserved.
If you’ve ever wondered what the world looked like to an ancient Roman, now’s your chance to cruise over the ancient vista and explore its many grand sites.
A new 3D digital model of ancient Rome has been launched that allows users to virtually explore the capital of the Roman Empire in the fourth century CE. The fourth iteration of Rome Reborn: Flight over Ancient Rome was released this month by Flyover Zone, a US-based educational company that offers virtual tours of ancient historical sites.
The latest version features better graphics and allows users to explore the city from a bird's-eye view plus a ground-level perspective that features expert descriptions of 43 monuments and buildings, including the Colosseum, Pantheon, Baths of Caracalla, and the Roman Forum.
The tour of Rome Reborn 4.0 shows the ancient capital as it stood in 320 CE. This was a crucial time after the Western Roman Empire had passed its heyday – the “Pax Romana” – and cracks were just beginning to show. It was still the most populous city in Europe by a long shot, home to around 1 million people who lived and worked in approximately 7,000 buildings spread over 13.6 square kilometers (5.3 square miles).
Remarkably, an estimated 99 percent of the ancient city has vanished, leaving behind just a small scattering of ruins. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit Rome, the city you walked around is found some 7 meters (22 feet) above the ancient city seen in these maps.
The map is based on a digital scan of a physical model held at the Museum of Roman Civilization in Rome. To ensure the map remains accurate, the team enlisted the help of a team of archaeologists, historians, architectural experts, and engineers.
If you want to access the tour, you’ll need to sign up for the company’s streaming platform, Yorescape. In light of this latest release, the company is offering one week of free access at: https://yorescape.page.link/rome .
You can catch a sneak peek of the tour in the video player above.
“Yorescape Rome Reborn 4.0 is the culmination of more than 27 years of collaborative international work in using digital tools to research cultural history and bring it to life. By making the Rome model available through the virtual tour called Flight over Ancient Rome , we hope to make it easy and enjoyable for people to learn about the ancient world city and its cultural heritage,” Bernard Frischer, archaeologist and founder of Flyover Zone, said in a statement .
“Teachers can use this and other tours on Yorescape to take their students on virtual field trips to the cultures they are studying. Armchair travelers can explore great heritage sites without having to leave home. Yorescape can help travelers to prepare for a trip to Rome, get more out of a trip by using it once they have arrived, and keep their memories alive once they return home. Our goal is not to replace real-world tourism but to enhance it,” added Frischer.
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