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A History of the Colosseum

Never before have the old and the new fit together so well in one city. Promise us you won’t leave Rome without a visit to the Colosseum! As you get closer to it, you will be stunned by its sheer size and the power it radiates. Step inside and take a trip through history.

When Was It Built?

The Colosseum was commissioned by the emperors Vespasian and Titus, and was finished in 80 AD. Its completion was commemorated by 100 days of ceremony and games.

Gladiators and Games

The Colosseum was designed for sports, such as as fights between gladiators and wild beasts. Its semi-circular structure housed 50,000 spectators.

Fun Facts

The largest amphitheater in the world, the last gladiator fights were held there in 435 AD. Admission was free for all, and mock naval battles took place upon entry.

How It Survived

Unlike earlier Roman amphitheaters, the materials used were built to last: concrete for the foundations, travertine for the piers, tufa infill and brick-faced concrete.

Behind the Scenes

Although earthquakes have caused some damage, most of the Colosseum still stands. The tour inside this archeological marvel, where you can retrace the steps of the gladiators, is a must-do.

Our insider tips


You can pre-book a standard ticket online that covers all three monuments in the area: the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Opening hours are from 8:30 AM until one hour before sunset.


If you want to do more than just walk in and grab a few shots with your camera, we recommend a small group tour. We’ve done it and it’s well worth it. An expert will teach you about ancient Roman history, architecture, sport and little known facts that make the Colosseum come alive as you walk through it. You can also combine it with the guided tour of the Forum or Palatine Hill, plus you’ll get to skip the line.

Getting There

Colosseo station is located on Rome's blue metro line, two stops from Termini. You cannot miss the Colosseum as you exit the station.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open seven days a week, year-round from 8:30 AM - 6:15 PM. Closed on December 25th and January 1st.
  • Is it expensive?
    A simple entry ticket is €12.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It's highly recommended!
  • How to get there
    Colosseo metro station - the Colosseum itself is located directly outside the exit.
  • Additional information

    • Get there early in the morning to avoid the crowds!

    • Make sure you wear sunscreen, as the Colosseum is open-air.

What people are saying about Colosseum

Great way to see the sights and very interesting

My husband and I were kept engaged and entertained the entire time. We would definitely recommend this tour to everyone!

This tour seems to be the best way to see the Colosseum and Fora.

Privileged access to the Colloseum with no waiting in lines. Our guide Renata is a true expert in the history of ancient Rome, but what is more she is able to share a great deal of information in very entertaining way.

Rome: 3-Hour Skip-the-Line Colosseum and Arena Group Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 05/22/2018

Interesting look around the Roman Forum and Colosseum

Scott was a brilliant guide who gave a wonderful history of the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum which really set the scene for the Colosseum tour.

Informative, the right length of time, perfect intro!

Skip the line was a blessing as my partner had his leg in plaster. This tour is not Too long but didn’t feel rushed either just right for an insight into the colleseum. Great knowledgable tour guide! Thanks!

Skip-the-Line Colosseum Express Guided Tour Reviewed by Helen, 05/22/2018

Fantastic tour! We skipped the long lines and loved our guide!

I am so happy I booked this tour! The colosseum was packed with people and and the lines looked like they were hours long. They picked me up from the meeting point and I chatted with the guide until it was time for the tour. The guide, Lumi, was amazing! She was very informative and kept everyone interested and laughing the whole tour. I would definitely recommend this company! The guide was lovely and I saved hours waiting in line!!

Express Colosseum Skip the Line Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 05/22/2018

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