Colosseum

Colosseum tickets and tours

Italy

Things to do in Colosseum

4.5/5 (7309)

Gladiators tended to be criminals, prisoners of war or slaves who were trained to fight in professional schools. As their fame increased, some men even volunteered for the job. Trained gladiators would often fight unskilled criminals and slaves as a form of public execution, though winning a fight against a gladiator could earn a slave his freedom.

Archaeological remains show that gladiators were often overweight, perhaps in order to build a layer of protective fat. They tended to eat a vegetarian diet of fresh vegetables, dried fruit, barley and beans to grow strong bones that would heal quickly.

Gladiators would fight barefoot in pairs for around ten minutes while the audience chanted like modern football crowds. A common chant was "habet, hoc habet” (he’s had it!). A defeated gladiator would raise a finger (if he had any left) and might be pardoned by the games’ sponsor.

In 107AD, the emperor Trajan celebrated a victory with a show that included 5000 pairs of gladiators – the largest contest known to history.

Opening times

  • 8.30am-7.15pm – 30 March-31 August
  • 8.30am-7.00pm – 1-30 September
  • 8.30am-6.30pm – 1-30 October
  • 8.30am-4.30pm – 31 October-15 February
  • 8.30am-5.00pm – 16 February-15 March

Ticket office closes one hour before closing time

About the Colosseum

This massive 50,000-capacity amphitheatre was inaugurated in 80AD with games that lasted 100 days and cost the lives of over 5000 animals. Entrance was free back then, though ‘tickets’ written on pieces of pottery were handed out with seat numbers, presumably to control numbers. The poor, and women, sat on the upper tiers, while senators and equestrians had seats closer to the action (protected from flying weapons and body parts by a net).

Entertainments varied. Some featured animal on animal, others were people fighting animals, and others were people fighting people – usually gladiators, but sometimes slaves/prisoners.

Gladiators probably did not fight to the death because they were valuable and popular commodities, though death was naturally an occupational hazard.

Today, the vast Colosseum easily swallows the thousands who visit, though it’s advisable to buy tickets in advance if you want to skip lines. There’s little to actually ‘do’ once inside other than look at the spectacle, though you can maximise your visit by booking special tickets with privileged access to the hypogeum or the upper levels. It’s also advisable to arrange a local or audio guide if Roman history isn’t your subject.

Tickets to the Colosseum often include access to the Forum and Palatine Hill and can be valid for two days, so it makes sense to plan your time wisely. Arrive early for the busiest places and enjoy the Palatine Hill at your leisure in the afternoon when the tourist hordes are elsewhere. Even with advance skip-the-line tickets and German-level planning, you may still discover that organisation at these venues is not entirely like clockwork, so be flexible.

Address

Piazza del Colosseo, Rome

Getting there

  • By Metro
    • MEB, MEB1: Colosseo
  • By Bus
    • 51, 75, 85, 87, 117,118, N2
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Price (per adult)

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Tickets option

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44 Experiences
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Colosseum & Roman Forum small-group tour with skip-the-line tickets & local guide
Must see
Attractions & guided tours

Colosseum & Roman Forum small-group tour with skip-the-line tickets & local guide

Book now for an unforgettable small-group experience to discover the Colosseum and Roman Forum with skip-the-line tickets and a local expert guide!

free cancellation
Available in:

en, it 

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill tour
Attractions & guided tours

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill tour

Book your experience, and live the best of ancient Rome with an expert local guide to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Duration 3 hours
Available in:

en 

Instant Confirmation
Colosseum & arena floor private tour with local expert guide
Attractions & guided tours

Colosseum & arena floor private tour with local expert guide

Don't miss the chance to enjoy a private tour with access to the Colosseum's arena floor by the Gladiator's entrance.

free cancellation
Available in:

en, it, fr, es, de 

Colosseum and Roman Forum Semi-Private Guided Tour
Activities

Colosseum and Roman Forum Semi-Private Guided Tour

Book a tour of ancient Rome and follow in the footsteps of the Roman emperors with entrance to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.

Duration 3 hours
Available in:

en 

Instant Confirmation
Special Visit by Evening: Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor
Activities

Special Visit by Evening: Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor

Get your Colosseum skip-the-line night tour. See Rome after the sun goes down and take in all its moonlit beauty.

Duration 2 hours
Available in:

en 

Instant Confirmation
Rome self-guided walking tour in AR
Activities

Rome self-guided walking tour in AR

Discover the Colosseum through this augment reality tour.

Flexible
Available in:

en 

Instant Confirmation
Colosseum Semi-Private Tour with Arena Floor, Forum and Palatine Hill
Walking tours

Colosseum Semi-Private Tour with Arena Floor, Forum and Palatine Hill

Take a trip back in time to ancient Rome on this small group tour of the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill!

Duration 3 hours
Available in:

en 

Instant Confirmation
Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Experience with City Walking Tour
Attractions & guided tours

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Experience with City Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the amazing heritage of the Colosseum and you explore the area at your own personal pace.

Duration 3 hours
Instant Confirmation
Rome in a Day with Vatican, Colosseum and Historic Center
Walking tours

Rome in a Day with Vatican, Colosseum and Historic Center

Take in the very essence of Roman history, culture, art, and architecture. Enjoy access to monuments including the Colosseum and Vatican Museums.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Archaeological Rome tour, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Must see
Attractions & guided tours

Archaeological Rome tour, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

One of the best ways to see Rome is on foot with an expert guide to show you around. Discover the main sites and immerse yourself in the legends of the city.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Guided tour of Colosseum Gladiator's Gate and Arena Floor, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Must see
Activities

Guided tour of Colosseum Gladiator's Gate and Arena Floor, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

See the Colosseum through the gladiator's gate and visit the Arena floor. Enjoy a tour of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill with your expert local guide.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Colosseum with Arena, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Guided Tour
Attractions & guided tours

Colosseum with Arena, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Guided Tour

Enter the Colosseum with direct access to the Arena floor as the Gladiators did. Follow your guide to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Flexible
Available in:

en 

Instant Confirmation

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Reviews Colosseum

3/5
Chloe, 16 Sept 2023

“On the whole it was good, however the guide was very hard to understand so was hard to follow everything he was saying.”

3/5
Jeremy, 10 Nov 2022

“The travel was nice we really enjoyed Rome but the hotel was really disappointing we choose this one for the rooftop and we arrived there the rooftop was not possible to access also the room was very dirty plus no shower gel no shampoo as well.. the toilet was broken plus the electric cable was all appearing.. when tell the reception about it.. they said they will work on it but when back at the end off the day the room was the same.. have to tell them again and at the end they didn't do anythin”

3/5
Nicola, 21 Jul 2022

“I would not recommend this tour, because the guide had very broken English & hard to follow.”

5/5
Sally, 12 Sept 2016

“We could not have asked for more!!! Our guide was was magic and made our experience a once in a lifetime event!!!”

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