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Rome Colosseum Tickets: how to buy, prices and schedules

If the Colosseum in Rome is spectacular on the outside, its interior leaves no one indifferent. Do you want to know how to visit it without having to wait in line for hours at the door? Read on!

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

14 min read

Rome Colosseum Tickets: how to buy, prices and schedules

Colosseum of Rome | © Yoal Desurmont

The Colosseum is the heart of Rome. When you see it, your traveler's soul shrinks a little. You've seen it in photos, movies... but when you look up and see it live you realize that, finally, you are in Rome.

The best option

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Tickets

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill: skip-the-line tickets at the box office

Perfect if you want to discover the best of Ancient Rome by purchasing tickets in advance and with priority access.

With these tickets you can see inside the world famous Colosseum, the most famous amphitheater in the world. I assure you that no matter how many times you see it from the outside and photograph its facade, its interior is, if possible, much more amazing. In fact, my first thought upon entering was, but we hadn't seen anything!

The Roman Forum was the central area of ancient Rome (similar to what today are the central squares of the cities we know). It is a huge esplanade with archaeological remains that, if you manage to enjoy them outside the hot hours, will leave you impressed.

Adjacent to the forum is the Palatine Hill, which is the most central of the seven hills of Rome and one of the oldest parts of the city. Strolling around there is certainly a journey back in time.

Why choose these tickets: this is the cheapest option to visit the inside of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill saving you the long queues at the ticket office.

Recommended if... you want to access the interior of the Colosseum and visit the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill at a very affordable price with priority access.

How to book tickets for the Colosseum

Inside the Colosseum| ©Unsplash
Inside the Colosseum| ©Unsplash

The best, as in virtually all visits in Rome, is to book tickets online and in advance. On websites like Hellotickets you will find the best price for both the entrance and guided tours and also, you will have the right to free cancellation if you have any unforeseen event during the trip.

Keep in mind that the Roman Colosseum can hold up to 3000 people and queues at the ticket office can last for hours. Booking tickets to the Colosseum in Rome in advance is the first tip for any visit to the city.

Best of all, by purchasing your tickets for the Colosseum you will also have access to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. Remember that you can also complete your visit by adding a guided tour to the tickets or by taking an audio guide (for me, the guided tour is always the most recommended option).

If you are wondering how much the tickets or tours cost, I will tell you more in detail later, but adult tickets can be had for about 24 € and guided tours usually do not exceed 40 €, depending on whether you book them in high season, if you want an express tour or a more complete visit with which you will also visit the Forum, etc.

Book tickets to the Colosseum, the Forum and the Palatine Hill

Tickets including guided tours of the Colosseum: is it worth it?

Absolutely yes. The dimensions of the Colosseum, the amount of details it preserves, its stories and anecdotes during Ancient Rome and of course, the walk through the Roman Forum, are not the same with an expert guide.

During a guided tour of the Colosseum you will make the most of your time: you will know where and what to look for, you will understand what you see and you will go back home with a lot of memories. If you are going to see the Colosseum once in your life, do it with a guide.

One of the great advantages of visiting the Colosseum with a guide is that, in addition to getting much more out of the monument itself, is that due to the high demand for tours by visitors, there are many schedules available in English, so you will not have to worry about doing the tour in English.

On the other hand, and depending on the time you have (or want to spend), you can choose between full tours that take you around the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum or express tours that show you only the amphitheater inside.

And of all the guided tours offered at the Colosseum, you can also choose between those that include a visit to the Arena and the Gladiator's Gate or those that are limited to a tour of the amphitheater from the stands. As you can see, there are options, budgets and tastes for everyone, so there is no excuse for not joining a guided tour - you won't regret it!

Book a guided tour of the Colosseum

How to buy tickets for the Roman Forum

Tickets to the Roman Forum are included with tickets to the Colosseum and with virtually all of its guided tours. Therefore, despite being a paid area, you won't need to make an extra outlay or buy a separate ticket.

In case you decide to take a guided tour, the guide will accompany you throughout the tour, in the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. If you prefer to visit the Colosseum and the Roman Forum on your own, you can visit the Col osseum and the Roman Forum on different days.

Book tickets to the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill

Get tickets to the Colosseum and the Vatican combined

Yes, you read that right. There is a way to save time and money by getting the Colosseum and Vatican tickets together. Both are not to be missed during your trip to Rome, so I encourage you to get tickets that will give you access to both attractions.

During the visit, you will be accompanied at all times by an expert guide and you will also have priority access, so you can skip the queues at the Vatican and the Colosseum.

From my point of view, it is a very good idea to do both visits in one day and leave the rest of your days in Rome for the simple enjoyment of its gastronomy, the eternal strolls through its narrow streets, the nights in Trastevere...

Book your visit to the Vatican with Colosseum tickets

Visit the Colosseum Arena

If you are planning your visit to the Colosseum, you should know that there is the option to go down to the Arena of the amphitheater itself, to have a unique perspective of its stands and a much more detailed view of its tunnels and subway galleries.

This part of the visit is, for me, the most interesting: you will feel like a real gladiator and you will complete the experience touring a unique part to which not everyone has access (the capacity is more limited and can only be visited as part of a guided tour, accompanied by an expert guide). If you want more details, you can read my article about the visit to the Arena and the subway of the Colosseum.

Book your guided tour of the Colosseum with access to the arena

How much does it really cost to enter the Colosseum?

You can get a single ticket for 17€ at the box office, but you will have to wait in long lines under the sun. It is best to buy tickets online and in advance to get a good price for Colosseum tickets.

An express guided tour of the Colosseum, which lasts one hour, costs about 40€ and for a little more (46€) you will have full access to the guided tour of the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.

Book your Colosseum tickets

Are there any discounts to enter the Colosseum?

View of the Colosseum Arena from the stands| ©Unsplash
View of the Colosseum Arena from the stands| ©Unsplash

There are no discount coupons or free tickets to the Colosseum, but there are reduced rates for teachers, children, art students or people with disabilities.

If you want to know more details about what you can see for free or how to get cheap tickets to the Colosseum, please visit


Colosseum opening hours and opening days

Via del Fori Imperiali| ©Unsplash
Via del Fori Imperiali| ©Unsplash

The Colosseum is open all year round with the exception of Christmas and New Year's Day. Although the opening and closing times are always the same, please note that the last admission of visitors will be one hour before closing.

My recommendation: if you have decided to buy your ticket at the ticket office, get up early (very early ). You can check here in detail the opening hours of the Colosseum.

To control the influx of tourists, whether or not you buy tickets in advance, you have to select an entry time. The last admission is one hour before closing time and you must be at the preferential ticket office (no queues) 30 minutes before the selected time.

You willonly be able to enter the Colosseum15 minutes later than the selected time. Once inside, you will have no time limit beyond the monument's opening hours.

Get your tickets to the Colosseum with the Roma Pass

Back of the Colosseum| ©Unsplash
Back of the Colosseum| ©Unsplash

There are so many things to see and do in Rome, that if you are going to spend a considerable time in the city you have probably already considered purchasing a pass like the Roma Pass, which allows you to save time and money on your visits to the most emblematic monuments.

The Roma Pass includes free admission to the Colosseum with an audio guide and allows you to avoid the queues. You can also visit St. Peter's Basilica and other museums with preferential access and audio guide with 20% discount. It also includes the transfer to and from Ciampino or Fiumicino airports.

You have the option to buy it for 48 or 72 hours and during that time you can use all urban transport for free. In addition to discounts or preferential access at certain museums, with this card you can choose one or two museums of your choice for free admission. I tell you more here: Rome Pass and other passes.

Buy tickets for the Colosseum at the box office

Front detail of the Colosseum| ©Unsplash
Front detail of the Colosseum| ©Unsplash

If you decide to buy the tickets the same day at the ticket office even though you may find long lines, I recommend you to go early (even before the ticket office opens at 8:30) or buy them at the ticket office of the Palatine Hill, where there are usually fewer people.

If you are still determined to buy tickets "the old-fashioned way", that is, at the box office, I recommend wearing a hat or cap and a soft drink or bottle of water, as the waits are usually under the sun (there are very few shadows in the area).

Best day of the week and time of the week to enter the Colosseum

Old photo of the Colosseum today| ©Unsplash
Old photo of the Colosseum today| ©Unsplash

As for the choice of your entrance time: avoid the hot hours (which in Rome are very hot hours). Of course, there is more shade at the Colosseum than at the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill; keep this in mind if you are going to visit them on the same day.

Another tip I can give you is to avoid holidays and week ends as much as possible. There are usually more people than usual and that can dampen your experience, as you will have to go "sorting" walkers in the Roman Forum.

How to get to the Colosseum

Bus passing through the Colosseum| ©Neil
Bus passing through the Colosseum| ©Neil

The Colosseum is within walking distance of the center of Rome, so if you are staying in a central area I recommend the walk; it is beautiful and Rome is a city to discover on foot. As a guideline distance, Google tells us that it is a 20 minute walk from the Colosseum to the Trevi Fountain.

In any case, you can take a cab to Piazza del Colosseo 1 or, if you are a bit further from the center and don't want to spend too much, take metro line B to the Colosseo stop or use buses C3, 60, 81, 85, 87, 175, 628 or streetcar number 3.

The Colosseum is the most emblematic monument in Rome, you will have no problem getting there whether you ask for public transportation or if you get disoriented walking. If you want to organize a visit to the Colosseum in detail, here is my article on how to get to the Colosseum.

How long does the visit to the Colosseum last?

Side view of the Colosseum| ©Den Harrson
Side view of the Colosseum| ©Den Harrson

Although it would be ideal to have all the time in the world to visit each of the monuments in Rome, the truth is that when we go on a trip we are almost always watching the clock. That is why it will help you to know that the estimated duration of the visit to the Colosseum in depth is between 2 and 3 hours approximately. You can see it in less time, but at least 1 hour long to go without rushing.

If you are organizing your visit and want to plan everything adjusting the time, I recommend my article on the duration of the visit to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

Where to eat near the Colosseum

Enjoy Rome's tasty pizza| ©nelson suarez
Enjoy Rome's tasty pizza| ©nelson suarez

Inside the Colosseum you won't find any food, but you might find a street st all nearby for a snack.

However, my advice is to hold your hunger until you finish the combined visit to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum (if you start early, it is feasible) and then look for a restaurant further away from the area to save on price and gain in quality. In any case, don't worry: I have prepared this list with the 5 best places to eat near the Colosseum so you don't leave there hungry.

Visiting the Colosseum with children

Discover the secrets of the Colosseum| ©Square Lab
Discover the secrets of the Colosseum| ©Square Lab

The Roman amphitheater is a great place to visit with children (remember that children under 18 do not pay admission); especially those who like stories about Romans will have a great time running around its corridors.

Remember to bring plenty of water and liquids to keep them hydrated and protect them from the sun with hats, sunglasses and sunscreen. To organize your family trip, I recommend you to read my article about visiting the Colosseum with children.

Virtual tour of the Colosseum

Old photo of the Colosseum today| ©Unsplash
Old photo of the Colosseum today| ©Unsplash

If you want your trip to Ancient Rome through its amphitheater to be even more complete, the virtual reality entrance option is available. Also without queues and also with an audio guide in several languages and with virtual reality glasses at your disposal throughout the visit. It is an ideal option if you are looking for a different experience that takes you directly to the first century without moving from the steps of the Colosseum.

This guided tour of the Colosseum is undoubtedly the most original and informative (and surely a hit if you are traveling with your family, as the youngest will not want to miss any detail of the virtual reality). During the tour of the Colosseum, in addition to the guide's commentary, you will wear the virtual reality goggles, which will represent the Colosseum steps as they were in Ancient Rome. It is a totally immersive and very complete experience.

What to bring with you on your visit to the Colosseum and other tips

Around the Colosseum| ©Unsplash
Around the Colosseum| ©Unsplash

If you are already convinced that a visit to the most famous amphitheater in the world is a must on your trip to Rome, you just need to take into account the following points to make your visit much more comfortable and adapted to your needs.

I leave here this information of interest, but if you want to know more details, you can consult my guide on tips for visiting the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

  • You can enter with a small or medium backpack, but you will have to pass through the metal detector. Forget camping backpacks, bulky bags or suitcases and trolleys; you will have to leave them at the ticket office at the entrance for an extra charge.
  • The Colosseum is accessible to people with reduced mobility: there are three wheelchairs on the second floor and five wheelchairs at the main entrances to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
  • When you discover the immensity of this architectural monument you will want to take a thousand and one photos: I recommend that you set aside some time for this before or after the visit and look for a good perspective from the surrounding corners.
  • It is essential to bring plenty of water, sunscreen and sun protection. In the Colosseum there are many sunny areas where it is very hot and high temperatures can cloud the visit.
  • If you are interested in an in-depth visit to the Colosseum, you can rent an audio guide, hire the virtual reality tour or, for the TOP level, consult the info on guided tours.
  • If you want to use the official audio-guide or video-guide, you will have to ask for it at the ticket office. The first has a duration of one hour and 10 minutes and the second lasts 45 minutes. The audio-guide rental costs approximately 5.50 euros and the video-guide costs 6 euros; both will be returned at the end of the visit.

Ana's Traveller's Tip

Get up as early as you can to visit the Colosseum with a reasonable number of tourists and you will enjoy a more relaxed and less hot visit.

What you should know before your visit to the Colosseum of Rome

Enjoy what history can teach you| ©Serena Repice Lentini
Enjoy what history can teach you| ©Serena Repice Lentini

What is probably one of Rome's most iconic monuments was commissioned in 72 AD by Emperor Vespasian (a professional soldier before he became emperor) and was used as an amphitheater for shows that were free for the people to attend. The main events of the Colosseum in Rome were the famous gladiator fights and wild animal fights.

The Colosseum is one of the most visited monuments in the world; of the six million tourists a year that Rome receives, five do not leave the city without strolling among its 80 arched entrances, observing its three floors of columns (Doric, Ionic and Corinthian, to review the lessons of Classical Culture), walking through the galleries, watching the arena from the stands that held 55,000 spectators and marveling at the network of subway rooms where the animals were kept.

The history of this marvel of Roman architecture (its name comes, by the way, from a huge statue of the "Colossus of Nero" that stood next to the amphitheater) is enough to fill libraries, but it is better to discover it by exploring its nooks and crannies. For that, the first step is to get your tickets for the Roman Colosseum.

Book a visit to the Colosseum and the Undergrounds

If you are interested in visiting the Colosseum, you will also be interested in

Inside the Colosseum| ©Unsplash
Inside the Colosseum| ©Unsplash

If you are interested in visiting the Colosseum and ancient history, you will also be interested in visiting Pompeii. You can read this post I did about Pompeii Day Trips from Rome.

If after visiting the Colosseum you want to continue walking the streets of the city, it would be best to hire a guided tour to not miss any detail. There is also the option of taking a guided tour of the city at night, where you will contemplate all its illuminated splendor. I summarize in this guide the ones that for me, are Top 11 tours of Rome.

Frequently asked questions

  • Is the subway part of the Colosseum accessible?

    Yes, you can visit the subway area of the Colosseum and take a look at the area where the gladiators waited before going out to fight.

  • How much do tickets to the Colosseum cost?

    17€ for adults for the standard ticket. A full guided tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill costs 46€.

  • Is there anything worth visiting near the Colosseum?

    In fact, yes: you can visit La Salita del Grillo and the Trajan Market, the Mamertina Prison and the Basilica of San Clemente.