How to visit the Colosseum: ticket prices, timetables, how to get there

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Valery Aloyants
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if you go to Rome, you should definitely visit the Colosseum. It is currently one of the most visited monuments in Italy (and in the world) and one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

The Colosseum was built between 70 and 80 AD the largest amphitheater ever built in the Roman Empire and one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering.

50 meters high, the Colosseum has survived earthquakes and the passage of time. It is not these exceptional dimensions that gave it the name of Colosseum but a colossal statue, 40 m high, inherited from the emperor Nero.



Six million visitors explore the old building every year, so plan your visit well to avoid wasting time in long lines. What can you see inside the amphitheater? Which parts are accessible to the public? In this article, you will find useful information on how to visit the Colosseum in Rome.

Curiosities about the Colosseum

The official name of the Colosseum is "Flavian Amphitheatre". It is believed to be popularly called the "Colosseum" due to an ancient bronze statue of the Colossus of Nero which was located in the vicinity of the amphitheater.

Construction began in 71 AD, when Vespasian was emperor. It was inaugurated in 80 AD, with Titus as emperor, and celebrations lasted 100 days. In 82 AD the Emperor Domitian added another floor to the Colosseum, increasing the capacity to accommodate the plebs, as high-ranking Roman personalities sat closer to the arena.

The Colosseum had the capacity to host 50.000 spectators.

For 500 years the Colosseum has been the scene of bloody battles, gladiator fights, and over 400.000 men (and over a million animals) are said to have died in its arena. Theatrical plays and even naval battles were also performed.



Entrance to the Colosseum was free. The last shows were held in the 6th century.

It currently receives over 6 million visitors a year. As a security measure, only 3.000 visitors are allowed to enter the amphitheater at the same time.

Visit the Colosseum - what to see

Inside the Colosseum -

Before entering the impressive amphitheater, enjoy the monument from the outside. The best way to appreciate its huge size is access the Colosseum via Via dei Fori Imperiali. From this street you have a superb view of the best preserved facade of the amphitheater.

The Colosseum has 80 entrances and its system of corridors and stairs is still used today as a reference point for the construction of football stadiums. At the time, 50.000 spectators could sit in the amphitheater in less than 15 minutes. Today, visitors to the Colosseum enter the building from the south side. On the other hand, access is not as fast as it was during the Roman Empire and you will have to be patient to get through the long lines.

The visit to the Colosseum starts on the 2nd floor. The different floors (there are 4 in all) were all built in different styles. The 4th floor, on which the great veil that once covered part of the Colosseum was fixed, can no longer be visited today.

- spectators were seated according to their social rank. The emperor and the senators took their places on the 1st floor and the wealthy citizens on the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor, on the other hand, was reserved for ordinary people.


During the visit, you can also see a small portion of the arena itself rebuilt for demonstration purposes. In the remaining part where the arena was located today we can see the underground, called underground. It is a system of tunnels that once housed training rooms, wild animal cages and death row inmates' prisons.


These hypogea were then covered by a wooden floor, which was subsequently covered with sand. And it is on this ground that the gladiator fights took place.

Il system was ingenious enough. With a pulley system, decorations, equipment and even cages with wild animals could be placed on the arena.

But what is more surprising is the fact that the arena also hosted small naval battles, the majestic naumachia. More than 3.000.000 liters of water flooded the arena above which floated dozens of small, purpose-built ships carrying gladiators dressed as the enemies of the recreated battle.

Ticket price for the Colosseum

Adults: € 12
Young people aged 18-25 from the EU: € 7,50
Young people under 18: € 0

Entrance is free for anyone with a motor disability and for your guide, if this guide comes from one of the member countries of the European Union. Otherwise the guide pays the full ticket.

What the ticket for the Colosseum includes

Il ticket to visit the Colosseum not only does it give you access to the famous Roman amphitheater, but it will also allow you to enter the Roman Forum and in Palatine Hill, as well as enjoying any temporary exhibits that one of the three archaeological sites can host.


Il ticket is valid for two days from the moment you activate it in one of the monuments. Therefore, you can visit the Colosseum one day and if it's too hot or you don't want to continue, you can visit the other two sites the next day.

Another advantage is that the ticket can be purchased at any time and can be activated within the current year. This is ideal for anyone who likes to plan things well in advance.


In addition to the general entrance to the Colosseum, other services can be added to make the experience more complete:

audioguide: costs € 5,50 and lasts 1 hour and 10 minutes (there are 6 listening points dedicated to the monument and 3 others with general historical explanations of the time) and can be booked in various languages.

Guide with audio and video: costs 6 € and lasts 50 minutes.

Third ring and underground tour: The third ring which is the highest part of the Colosseum offers a spectacular panoramic view of the whole city. Plus, the tour takes you to the underground world of the Colosseum, where gladiators used to go before stepping onto the arena to face their fate.

Of course, the additional price if you buy it at the box office is € 9 (in addition to the entrance ticket to the Colosseum) and if you book it online the price rises to € 11. The tour lasts an hour and a half and takes place in groups of no more than 25 people.

Colosseum at night: "Moon over the Colosseum": a different option, especially if you have already visited Rome on another occasion and want to live a new experience. The opening hours are from 20:00 to midnight and the price is € 20 per person (reduced rate of € 18) and the tours are done in Italian and English.

Free entry to the Colosseum

On the first Sunday of each month, the Colosseum opens its doors to all the public. Reservations cannot be made and you need to be prepared to endure a significant queue no matter what month you go.

The Colosseum is also one of the monuments that can be visited with tourist maps Rome Pass e Omnia Pass.

Colosseum opening hours

Colosseo –

The Colosseum is open every day at the following times:

  • from the last Sunday of October to February 15: 08.30 - 16.30
  • from February 16 to March 15: 08.30 - 17.00
  • from March 16 to the last Saturday of March: 08.30 - 17.30
  • from the last Sunday of March until 31 August: 08.30 - 19.15
  • from 1 September to 30 September: 08.30 - 19.00
  • from 1 October to the last Saturday of October: 08.30 - 18.30

Last admission one hour before closing.
The Colosseum is closed on January 1st and December 25th.

Every first Sunday of the month admission is free but if you have little time available, perhaps it is not the right time to visit the Colosseum, because there are 2 times more people than usual!

We highly recommend that you opt for a skip-the-line ticket which for just a few euros more allows you not to spend hours in line and more allows you to choose the most convenient time to visit the amphitheater.

Waiting times to visit the Colosseum

There are three monuments in Rome for which waiting times are extremely long: the Vatican (and in particular the Vatican Museums), the Galleria Borghese (if you don't have a ticket, it's best not to visit it) as well as il Coliseum, which is also one of the most visited monuments in Rome.

In the summer, during the high season and school holidays, you have to expect about 2 or 3 hours of waiting. The wait can be extremely unpleasant as you have to wait in full sun, when the temperature can go up to 30 ° C.

There are several reasons for these very long waiting times. First the large number of visitors (6 million per year), then the security checks at the entrance and finally the maximum number of visitors at any given time, which cannot exceed 3000 people.

It is therefore recommended to purchase the skip-the-line tickets for the Colosseum. With these tickets, you can pass all the people in the queue and enter the arena directly. In any case, skip-the-line tickets are only valid for a specific time, so don't be late!

How to get to the Colosseum

The Colosseum can be easily reached on foot if you are staying in the city center of Rome. However, if the accommodation is a bit far from the center, you can easily get there by public transport.

  • Bus: the bus lines leading to the Colosseum are: 75, 81, 175, 204 or 673.
  • Metro: take line B, Colosseo stop. From there it is a couple of minutes walk from the entrance to the Colosseum.
  • Tram: you must take line 3 and get off at the Colosseo stop.

Remember that if you own the Omnia Card or Rome Pass you can use public transport for free and without limits. The tourist bus also leaves there.

  • Check out our dedicated article on where to sleep in Rome, best neighborhoods.

Tips for visiting the Colosseum

  • If you go on a guided tour or have a set access time, arrive at least half an hour or 45 minutes early to go through security.
  • It is not allowed to enter with large bags (small backpacks yes, but nothing very bulky).
  • If you go in the summer, try to visit the Forum and Palatine Hill in the early morning, as they are quite large areas and have no shelter from the sun (and the summer temperatures in Rome are very high).
  • The average time to visit the Colosseum alone is about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Rome is a fascinating city that knows how to combine its past with the present and that offers wonderful experiences. Discover i places not to be missed during your trip to Rome.
  • And if you want to do a Free Tour of Rome, I recommend you book your seat right away, they sell out quickly.
Colosseum - Rome -
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