Colosseum

Colosseum tickets and tours

Italy

Things to do in Colosseum

4.5/5 (7195)

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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Pickup at Hotel

Tickets option

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

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

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill tour

Book your experience the best of ancient Rome with skip-the-line tickets and an expert local guide to the Colosseum, Roman Form and Palatine Hill.

Duration 3 hours
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Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine tour with Vatican Museums upgrade
Attractions & guided tours

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine tour with Vatican Museums upgrade

Visit the Vatican and the Colosseum in this day tour of Rome. Discover the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, as well as the Roman forum.

Duration 6 hours 45 minutes
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Archaeological Rome tour, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
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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.

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72-hour Rome Pass
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72-hour Rome Pass

Discover the beauty of Rome in just 72 hours with the Rome Pass card. Take advantage of special reductions and discounts in Italy's stunning capital.

Duration up to 72 hours
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48 hour Rome Pass
Attractions & guided tours

48 hour Rome Pass

Discover the beauty of Rome in just 48 hours with the Rome Pass card. Take advantage of special reductions and discounts in Italy's stunning capital.

Duration up to 48 hours
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Best of Rome walking tour with Colosseum and ancient sites
Attractions & guided tours

Best of Rome walking tour with Colosseum and ancient sites

Combine 2 of the bestselling tours in Rome covering the must-see sights. Discover Ancient Rome in the morning and visit the city center in the afternoon.

Flexible
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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.

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Private tour of Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill with local expert guide
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Private tour of Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill with local expert guide

Explore the Colosseum, visit the Roman Forum archeological site, walk up the Palatine Hill, one of the most ancient areas of Rome, and look down at Circus Maximus.

free cancellation
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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
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Semi-private skip-the-line Ancient Rome tour with Colosseum, Pantheon and Piazza Navona
Activities

Semi-private skip-the-line Ancient Rome tour with Colosseum, Pantheon and Piazza Navona

Buy your skip-the-line Ancient Rome tour with Colosseum, Pantheon and Piazza Navona today! Discover amazing activities in Italy.

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Colosseum skip-the-line walking tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Activities

Colosseum skip-the-line walking tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Skip-the-line access to the archaeological wonders of Rome including the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill on a 3-hour guided tour.

Duration up to 3 hours
Available in:

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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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