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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

Fantastic tour because of our tour guide Francesca!

This was a great tour brought to life by our tour guide Francesca! She was born in Rome and studied Rome so she knew about every little detail. Would highly recommend. Seeing these historical sites without a guide wouldn’t of been so impressive.

Well put together guided walking tour with an excellent guide

Had great time found the knowledge my guide had very valuable and it enhanced my experience greatly

Great! A must do for everyone while in Rome!

The tour was amazing, so full of history and our guide Sonia was the best, she really know how to makes you feel part of that place, she was knowledgeable, respectful and really nice all the time.

Excellent tour and useful skip the line ticket

We really enjoyed the tour. The guide, Chiara, was very good, she was both entertaining and easy to listen to. She captured her audience's attention at all times. The skip the line was helpful too. The fact that we thought that we had to use the Colosseum ticket on the same day, but actually could use it on another day was an added bonus. As always Get Your Guide has met our expectations. Thank you.

Great tour - informative, engaging guide

Both my daughter (12) and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Stefano was a fantastic guide and really bought this fascinating place to life. The tour was about the right length - and would thoroughly recommend to anyone wanting to see the Colosseum.

Skip-the-Line Colosseum Express Guided Tour Reviewed by Frederick, 03/02/2018

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