The Colosseum in Rome: What to See, With What Ticket

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The Colosseum in Rome, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is one of the most iconic monuments of the ancient world. It was also the largest amphitheatre built by the Romans. And is still the best surviving example. Not surprising then that it is one of the world’s most visited ancient monuments. With a number of different tickets on offer taking visitors to different parts of the Colosseum, buying a ticket can be confusing. Here we set out your options, what there is see at the Colosseum and which ticket you will need to avoid the queues and see what you want to see.

The information on this page was last checked and/or updated on 4 November 2021.

Quick Links:
Skip-the-line tickets for the Colosseum from GetYourGuide

Fast-track entry to the Colosseum, including entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, with a multimedia experience from GetYourGuide or Tiqets

Fast-track + Guided Tour of the Colosseum from GetYourGuide or Tiqets

Night Tour of the Colosseum including underground from GetYourGuide or Tiqets

The Colosseum at dawn.

The sun rising behind the Colosseum in summer, before the queues start forming. This is the best time to take a walk around the city.

The Colosseum at 48 m high and 545 m in circumference was by far the largest of all the Roman amphitheatres. While the basic style and design was used cities and some smaller urban centres throughout the Roman world, the size of the Colosseum and attention to detail we see was never matched anywhere else.

The highly sophisticated construction techniques employed on the Flavian amphitheatre allowed the arena to be used for a wide range of events. Besides the usual gladiatorial contests and animal hunts and executions, other public spectacles and dramas such as the re-enactment of famous battles, mock sea battles and dramas based on Classical mythology were also performed here. And it is estimated anywhere between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators could be accommodated.

Construction work on the amphitheatre started in 70 AD, and it was inaugurated ten years later. Work begun under Vespasian, and was completed by his son Titus, with substantive modifications during he reign of Emperor Domitian (81 – 96 AD). These three emperors make up the Flavian Dynasty, hence why the Colosseum is also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre.

What is there to See At the Colosseum

There are a number of interesting Roman era landmarks right next to the Colosseum that really should not be overlooked. There is, for example, the Base of Colossus (base of large guilded bronze statue of the sun god), Meta Sudans (circular foundations of a monumental foundations) the Arch of Constantine, the Baths of Titus and the Baths Trajan (both of which are in the park to north of the Colosseum) and the Boundary Stones (five bollard like stones to the east of the amphitheatre, the function of which is not certain). But perhaps one of the most overlooked set of remains is that of the Ludus Magnus, the main gladiators’ barracks and practice arena.

Visiting the Colosseum

Where is the Colosseum?

The Colosseum is just over the road from the Colosseo station on the Metro B line. Find the Colosseum on the following two interactive maps: Italy and the Roman World.

Opening Hours

Last Sunday of October to 15 February: 08h30 to 16h30
16 February to 15 March: 08h30 to 17h00
16 March to last Saturday of March: 08h30 to 17h30
Last Sunday of March to 31 August: 08h30 to 19h15
1 September to 30 September: 08h30 to 19h00
1 October to last Sunday of October: 08h30 to 18h30

Last admission is 1 hour before closing time.

Closed on 1 January, 1 May and 25 December each year.

Facilities at the Colosseum

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Official Website with a good brochure available in Italian, English, French and Spanish

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Buying Tickets for the Colosseum

The Colosseum is the most popular attraction in Rome, it is the one thing many visitors want to experience for themselves. During peak tourist periods you will wait well over two hours in the queues for tickets. Given that so many people buy skip-the-line tickets, even those queues are lengthy. If you do not want to wait in queues or hours your best option is a fast track ticket. When purchasing tickets, read the instructions carefully, particularly for details of where to collect your tickets.

  • Skip-the-line tickets from GetYourGuide
  • Fast-track entry to the Colosseum, including entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, with a multimedia experience from GetYourGuide or Tiqets
  • Fast-track + Guided Tour of the Colosseum from GetYourGuide or Tiqets
  • Night Tour of the Colosseum, including underground from GetYourGuide or Tiqets

The Colosseum and City Passes

The Colosseum is one of many sites and museums in Rome included on the Roma Pass scheme. With the Roma Pass, the first two sites you visit are free, the third and subsequent sites/museums are discounted. So if the Colosseum is the most expensive attraction on your list – use your Roma Pass there first. Note: entrance to the Colosseum also includes entrance to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.
Read my article on getting the most out of your Roma Pass.

Build Your Own Colosseum

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In 2013 the University of Sydney’s Nicholson Museum (now the Chau Chak Wing Museum) hosted an exhibition on the Colosseum. The main attraction was a reconstruction made entirely from Lego bricks. For those who like Lego and ancient history, Lego have created a smaller kit (only 9,036 pieces) so you can build your own! More photographs and information about the Colosseum in Lego and buying your own kit.

Visiting Rome? If you are planning a trip to Rome in Italy, check our Rome Travel Guide for History and Adventure Seekers.