Getting tickets to the Colosseum in Rome is easier than you can imagine. Continue reading to find a way that suits you!
You have finally arrived in Rome, the Eternal City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you’ve had a great time till the moment you’ve laid foot there. The Colosseum from a distance looks mighty, and you can’t wait to get in and explore it. Yet, getting tickets to visit this incredible landmark is not nearly as straightforward as it should be.
In this post, I will explain everything you need to know before visiting the Colosseum. With my tips and guidance, you are guaranteed to have a great time!
Why You Must Visit The Colosseum When In Rome
Of all the things to do in Rome, visiting the Colosseum should be at the top of your list.
This is one of the symbols of the Eternal City, heritage of the Roman Empire. Known as the Flavian Amphitheater, its construction started under Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD. The site was completed under Titus in 82 AD. This is where the battles between gladiators and wild animals, as well as other shows of ancient Rome would take place – in front of a massive audience of up to 80,000 spectators.
The views of the Colosseum are among the most iconic views in Rome. You can see it from many places in town – up close and from a distance. You can even see it from the plane, if you are landing in Rome Ciampino Airport. Beautiful during the day, it is even more impressive at night, when illuminated with colorful lights.
Touristy as it is, there is no way you should miss visiting the Colosseum when in Rome. This is a place where you can learn about the incredible past of the Italian capital, and the legacy of the Roman Empire.
For a more complete visit, you should also go to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill – tickets are included in that of the Colosseum, anyways.
Located right by the Colosseum, at the time of the Republic the Roman Forum was a thriving place, with food stalls, temples, brothels and the House of the Senate. The stalls were later substituted with a proper mall and tribunals, and the Forum became a ceremonial center during the empire.
The Palatine Hill is where, according to legend, twins Romolo and Remo were raised by the she-wolf, and Romolo, having killed his twin brother, founded the village that later on became Rome. Historically, this was where the emperors and the aristocrats lived.
Is the Colosseum always packed?
The Colosseum is – by far – the most iconic attraction in Rome, if not in Italy. In 2019, a whopping 7.6 million people visited the Colosseum – which means that it received on average more than 20,000 people per day, with some days seeing up to 30,000 visitors. This numbers were drastically reduced in 2020, and increased once again in 2022, when tourists returned to Rome in masses.
The procedures for visiting the Colosseum slightly changed, and booking tickets in advance is ever more so a requirement.
Indeed, as of 30 September 2018 all tickets to the Colosseum are sold by time slots, meaning you can access only at the time specified in the ticket and which you must select upon booking. As of 1 October 2021 tickets must also indicate the name of the buyer.
Since the number of visitors per time slot is limited to no more than 50 visitors and there is a time slot every 5 minutes, and considering there is no ticket office that sells tickets at the site (only releases free passes for those that have the right to visit for free), booking in advance is a requirement – whether you want a plain ticket or a guided tour.
Visiting the Colosseum more in depth
The basic tickets to the Colosseum include visits of the main floor and the second tier – it will take you about one hour to visit them. This part of the site can be a bit bare, as throughout the centuries it’s been plundered of its marble and all the other decorations (did you know that in medieval times the Colosseum was used as a quarry?).
All basic tickets also include admission to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill on the same day.
If you want to visit the arena, the underground and the third ring you will have to get special – more expensive – tickets called “Full Experience Arena,” and factor in more time for your visit. These tickets are valid for two days, which means you have more time to enjoy each site.
Although Full Experience Arena tickets are slightly more expensive, I wholeheartedly recommend them – they will take you to the most interesting and best preserved parts of the site.
The underground has pretty much remained buried from the end of the Roman Empire until around 100 years ago. There are gorgeous marble coatings; some of the structures built on orders of Domitian and even traces and parts of the elevator that lifted wild animals and gladiators to the arena floor.
The Full Experience Arena tickets also allow you to see the channels used to carry water inside the Colosseum. In fact, the arena floor would get flooded to recreate the perfect environment for naval battles!
The third ring can be accessed through some steep steps. Getting there isn’t the easiest thing – so perhaps not a good idea if you have mobility issues – but that’s where you’ll get the best view of the interior of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the nearby Constantin Arch. Again, you need a Full Experience Arena ticket to access the third ring.
For tickets that include a visit of the underground and arena, click here, here or here.
Finally, continue reading to discover the best ways of getting tickets to the Colosseum.
How To Get Tickets To The Colosseum
There are several ways to get tickets to the Colosseum. Continue reading to discover the various solutions and pick the best one for you, based on your interest and budget.
Way N. 1: Buy the official Colosseum tickets online
The most budget friendly way of getting tickets to the Colosseum is via the official retailer CoopCulture – click here to be directed to the site. You can also use the app Parco Colosseo. All tickets include admission to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.
The prices of the basic tickets are as follow:
ADULTS – €18 – that’s €16 for the actual ticket, and €2 for the online booking fee.
PEOPLE BETWEEN 18 AND 25 YEARS OLD – €4 – that’s €2 for the ticket and €2 for the online booking fee.
CHILDREN UP TO 18 – Free, but a time slot must be selected anyways.
AUDIOGUIDES – €5.50.
Basic tickets are valid for 24 hours starting from the moment you enter the site – either at the Colosseum or at the Roman Forum.
To visit the arena, the third ring and the underground you will need a Full Experience Arena ticket. Prices are as follow.
ADULTS – €24 – that’s €22 for the actual ticket, and €2 for the online booking fee.
PEOPLE BETWEEN 18 AND 25 YEARS OLD – €4 – that’s €2 for the ticket and €2 for the online booking fee.
CHILDREN UP TO 18 – Free, but a time slot must be selected anyways.
Full Experience Arena tickets are valid for up to 48 hours from the first access to the site.
You will have to print your ticket at home or you can also show the receipt on your smartphone.
Colosseum tickets are available on the official website up to 30 days in advance, and since they are the most budget friendly, they are also the first ones that sell out. Tickets bought on the official website can’t be cancelled, modified or refunded.
Way N. 2: Get tickets via a third party booking site
Third party booking sites such as GetYourGuide or Tiqets are a great resource to buy attraction tickets. As they typically buy tickets from the official resellers in bulks, this means they almost always have availability.
Tickets on these sites may be slightly more expensive than on the official site (though this isn’t always the case) but you have the benefit of a site that is significantly more user friendly compared to that of CoopCulture, of a 24 hours customer service line in your language of choice, and more flexible cancellation and modification policies.
Tickets to the Colosseum bought via third party sites cost between €22 and €24 vs. €18 on the official site. Tiqets may sell them for €18 for same day access – though this really depends on availability.
Colosseum tickets bought on third party sites are available 30 days in advance. Tiqets has a great function for early birds that allows you to get a notification as soon as tickets for the day you wish to visit become available, making it the best site to get your tickets.
You can book your Colosseum ticket on Tiqets here.
You can book your Colosseum ticket on GetYour Guide here.
Way N. 3: Take a guided tour
This is by far the best way of visiting the Colosseum, as you will get lots of information about the site, its architecture, history and significance. All guided tours include skip-the-line access.
The size of the group varies depending on whether you book a group tour – in which case you can expect up to 20 and even 30 persons in some cases, including the guide; or a private tour – in which case it will literally be just you / your friends and family, and the guide. Private tours are obviously more expensive!
You also have the option of picking between the basic tour that goes just to the main parts of the Colosseum, the Forum and the Palatine Hill, or a more in-depth visit that also go to the arena, underground and third tier. If you are traveling with children, you can even pick a family friendly tour.
The starting price for guided group tours is €40 – which is a great price, considering what you get! Private tours have a starting price of €90 – with some tours being sold per group, rather than per person.
For a selection of tours of the Colosseum, click here.
For the most budget friendly tours of the Colosseum, click here or here. In this case, your Colosseum guided tour will only go to the main parts that are open to the general public, as well as the Roman Forum and / of the Palatine Hill.
For the best reviewed tours of the Colosseum, consider this guided tour by Walks of Italy which also goes to the Underground, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, or this excellent yet very budget friendly tour.
For a more comprehensive tour of the Colosseum, you may want to check this tour by Touriks. This is the tour I prefer and recommend: I took it myself, know the company, the guides (all local) and it is truly thorough and in depth. If you can put in a request for Mario, go for it. He’s my favorite guide in Rome!
For a private tour of the Colosseum, click here – this is the basic tour. A more comprehensive option is found here.
If you are traveling to Rome with kids you should opt for a family friendly Colosseum guided tour. Your kids will have the chance to ask questions, play and have a good time and learn a lot at the same time. I recommend this family friendly tour.
All guided group tours of the Colosseum follow a more or less strict schedule, so you can’t really stay at the Colosseum after the tour, unless your tour is only focussing on the Colosseum, without the Forum and the Palatine Hill.
Way N. 4: Visit the Colosseum after closing time
If you think that the sight of the Colosseum during the day is amazing, try picturing it at night. This is my favorite way of visiting the Colosseum, because it’s when it is truly quiet. Only a handful of guided groups are allowed at night, so the experience is truly a private, special one.
Night tours of the Colosseum are available Thursday to Saturday and start at 7:00 or 8:00 pm, and last around 2 hours. They give you access to the main areas, the first and second ring, the underground and the arena floor. As the number of night tours on sale is very limited, you will have to book your tour well in advance if this is something you are keen on doing.
Prices of night-time tours of the Colosseum start at €100. The tour and can be bought here or here.
Way N. 5: Take a guided tour of Rome
If you have very little time in Rome but still want to make the most of it, you may want to opt for a guided tour of the city that takes you to all the most famous attractions. Most tours include a guide (however some only have an audio-guide); all of them provide skip-the-line entrances to the various attractions.
The best option is the Rome in a Day tour by Walks of Italy which goes to the Colosseum, the Vatican and the Historic Center of Rome. Walks of Italy is one of the most reputable operators in Europe, and this is one of their best reviewed tours. You can book it here.
For something more budget friendly, you can consider this tour by Tiqets which includes a visit of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill and of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. For more information, click here.
Way N. 6: Buy the Rome City Pass
If you are planning to visit many attractions when in Rome, consider getting a Roma Pass. This generally includes tickets to an incredible number of attractions – including, obviously, the Colosseum.
The Roma Pass will only give you basic skip-the-line tickets – so it’s not a viable option if you’d rather have a guided tour. Passes can be valid for 24, 48, 72 hours or more, depending on which one you buy.
Also be advised that once you get your Roma Pass, you will have to make separate reservations to each and every attraction you intend to visit, unless you get the new city card here which gives you the option of booking everything online on the same engine and on the day you buy it.
There is an additional €2 booking fee for holders of the Roma Pass, and you will have to show your Roma Pass upon entering.
For the Rome City Card, which allows you to book a time-slot for the attractions you intend to visit at the time of purchase, and which includes the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, and a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica, click here.
The most basic Roma Pass is on sale for €35 and will give you access to two attractions of your choice, but won’t include the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. You can buy it here.
For a more comprehensive pass that includes access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, as well as the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, click here. It’s on sale for €95 and it includes an audio-guide.
Finally, there’s the option of getting an attraction card by which you can pick the number of attractions you intend to visit in the city – up to seven. For more information, click here.
Other Useful Information For Visiting The Colosseum
There is no physical ticket office
Until a few years ago, there used to be a physical ticket office at the Colosseum. The lines were ever so long and it was impossible to get a ticket, but a trick I used to get tickets if I decided to visit spontaneously was to go to the Roman Forum, where the line was not nearly as long. In fact, as I have explained before, Colosseum tickets include admission to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, and vice versa.
However, there now is a strict time slot policy to visit the Colosseum, which means that advanced bookings are mandatory, and currently there are no physical ticket offices for both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, which means that your only option is to buy tickets online and in advance as I have been explaining in this post.
Book in advance
All visits to the Colosseum must be booked in advance. While same-day bookings are accepted during the week, weekend (Saturday and Sunday) visits, and visits during national holidays must typically be booked at least 24 hours in advance, either online or by calling the official booking site at +3939967700. Booking is mandatory even if you are entitled to a free ticket.
Full Experience tickets to the Colosseum are more easily available on the same day at weekends.
You are advised to arrive at the gate about 15 minutes before your allotted time slot. The gate is located close to the Arch of Constantine, by the Sperone Valadier. The personnel actually does check the time on your ticket and won’t let you in if you are late!
What to do if tickets to the Colosseum are sold out
If you visit Rome during the busy summer months, of if you planning a last minute trip to the Italian capital, you may find that you can’t find a suitable time slot for the basic entry tickets to the Colosseum on sale on the official site. If you still want to use the official site, you may have better luck if you actually purchase one of the more expensive options with access to all areas, or with an added audio or video guide.
If these options are also not available, you may still find tickets by browsing third-party booking sites or by joining a guided tour. The latter usually have more availability.
For last minute Colosseum tickets, click here to check Tiqets, one of the best third-party booking sites.
To book a very well reviewed guided tour that also includes the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill on GetYourGuide, click here.
I also recommend this excellent Gladiator’s Gate: Special Access Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor by Walks of Italy – they run some of the best tours in the Italian capital, and this is a very thorough tour of the site.
A good in-between option that is a bit more budget friendly and has lots of availability may be this one – it accesses the Colosseum via the entrance dedicated to group tours, but it’s just an escorted ticket: you will have someone walking you through the gates but after that you will be on your own. You also have the option to add an audio-guide, and watch a video that will give you some background information about the Colosseum.
How to get to the Colosseum
The main entrance to the Colosseum is by the Sperone Valadier, close to the Arch of Constantine. The best way to get there is to either get subway B getting off at Colosseo, or the cablecar n. 3. If you are traveling by bus, you have various options: buses number 51, 75, 81, 85, 87, 118 will all take you to the Colosseum.
You can also walk to the Colosseum from the historic center of Rome. Simply get to Piazza Venezia, where the Altar of the Fatherland is located, and from there walk along the beautiful Via dei Fori Imperiali.
Colosseum opening hours
The Colosseum is open daily but Colosseum opening hours vary with the season. They are as follows:
- 1 September to 30 September – 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
- 1 October to 30 October – 9:00 am to 6:30 pm.
- 31 October to 28 February – from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
- 1 March to 26 March – 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.
- 27 March to 31 August – 9:00 am to 7:15 pm.
Last access is one hour before closing time.
The site is closed on the main Italian national holidays – January 1st and December 25th.
Modifications to the reservation and refunds
Tickets to the Colosseum sold on the official site are not refundable. I tried changing the reserved time slot in the past but the procedure was rather complicated that I simply gave up.
On the other hand, tickets and tours bought via third-party booking sites have very flexible cancellation and modification options. In any case, and no matter which site you decide to use to buy your Colosseum ticket, always read the fine print before hitting the pay button!
Official prices and free visits
Colosseum tickets prices are as follow:
BASIC TICKET – Adults €18 (€16+€2 booking fee); 18 to 25 years old Italian and European Union Citizens €4 (€2+€2 booking fee); reduced fare €4 (€2+€2 booking fee). Visitors below 18 years of age get in for free but must still book a time slot – there is no booking fee in this case. Tickets include admission to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill and are valid for 24 hours from the moment you enter the first site, with one entry per site.
FULL EXPERIENCE ARENA TICKETS – Adults €24 (€22+€2 booking fee). 18 to 25 years old Italian and European Union Citizens €4 (€2+€2 booking fee); reduced fare €4 (€2+€2 booking fee). Visitors below 18 years of age get in for free: they must still book a time slot for their visit, but don’t have to pay the booking fee. These tickets include admission to the Arena and the third ring, as well as the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, and they are valid for 48 hours from the moment you enter the first site.
AUDIOGUIDES – €5.50.
If you are entitled to a free ticket, you must collect your ticket at the desk inside the Colosseum and at the ticket office in Largo della Salara Vecchia, where dedicated cash desks will be set up. You can also collect your tickets at the ticket office at the Temple of Venus and Rome.
Visiting the Colosseum is free each first Sunday of the month, and on 25 April which is national holiday in Italy, but on these occasions you can’t book a time slot – you’ll just have to stand in line until you can access the site. I do not recommend doing this unless you have a lot of time and are very patient!
This is the only line you can’t skip when visiting the Colosseum!
As of April 2016 new security policies have been adopted for people visiting the Colosseum. You will have to go through strict security checks and have your bags scanned. Expect to wait in line for that and avoid carrying large backpacks or bags – bring in just a small purse / daypack and your camera. Other items that are not allowed include wheeled suitcases, knives, sharp objects and spray bottles.
Keep in mind there are two separate lines – one of guided tours and one for holders of individual tickets. In my experience, security checks are much faster at the dedicated gate for guided groups.
There is no cloak room at the Colosseum but you can leave your bags in a luggage storage nearby (more about this in a bit). Alternatively, plan to leave any bulky item in your room.
Toilets and other facilities at the Colosseum
Toilets – including accessible toilets – are available on the site. There is no coffee shop or cloak room.
Accessibility of the Colosseum
Despite being such an ancient building, the main areas of the Colosseum are actually quite accessible. There are no steps to get through the main entrance in Via dei Fori Imperiali, and there is an elevator for visitors with limited mobility to access the arena floor.
There are signs that point to the accessible route, and two wheelchairs are available on the site, one on the main floor and one on the first floor.
Much like the rest of the historical center of Rome, the area right outside the Colosseum is cobblestone – so not exactly easy for people with reduced mobility.
Luggage storage facilities near the Colosseum
There is no luggage storage facility at the Colosseum, and since you can’t bring bulky items inside, leave any large bag in storage at your hotel or at a luggage storage facility in town. The closest one is in Rome Termini train station, from where you can hop on Metro B to get to the Colosseum. You must book it in advance here.
Other attractions near the Colosseum
Other than the above mentioned Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, within easy walking distance from the Colosseum you’ll find about a million other attractions. To mention a few: the Circus Maximus, the Baths of Caracalla and the Capitoline Museums, the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) in Piazza Venezia, and the archeological site of Largo di Torre Argentina, now one of the most famous cat sanctuaries in the Italian capital.
Additional tips and information
Pets are not allowed inside the Colosseum, with the exception of guide dogs. You will likely be required a certificate or documents of sort to be able to bring your guide dog inside.
The area around the Colosseum is packed with tourists, and with them come all sorts of touts and pickpockets. There is lots of police around in case something happens, but just keep your eyes open. Beware that the guys dressed in gladiator costumes will require a fee for a photo, and stay away from anyone trying to sell you tickets or offering friendship bracelets.
You should also read my post The Worst Scams And Pickpockets In Rome.
For more information on how to make the most of Rome, great itineraries and travel hacks, read the following posts:
- A Complete Guide To Visiting St. Peter’s Basilica Dome
- Seven Smart Ways To Get Galleria Borghese Tickets And Skip The Lines
- A Guide To Visiting The Pantheon, Rome + What You Should Know About Pantheon Tickets
- The Perfect Itinerary To See Rome In 2 Days
- A Fantastic Itinerary For 4 Days In Rome
- A Wonderful Itinerary For 5 Days In Rome
- A Great Itinerary For A Fabulous Week In Rome
- 31 Incredible Places To Explore Rome Off The Beaten Path
- 20 Great Day Trips From Rome
- All The Food In Rome You Should Eat: 25 Delicious Dishes
- The Best Things To Know Before Visiting Rome
For more tips and ideas about Italy, consider reading:
22 thoughts on “How To Get Tickets To The Colosseum”
So informative! So glad I came across your blog.
Glad you found it useful!
hi, if i buy online tickets for adults, do i buy a ticket for my daughter as well? she is 9 and you mentioned kids are free to visit . thanks
You probably should – you’ll get their ticket but they won’t have to pay.
Thank you very much, the information is accurate, this helped me secure tickets at a great price.
Really glad this helped!!
Are the “Full Experience Arena” tickets skip the line tickets or will I still have to wait in line to get in? Thanks.
All tickets you buy online are skip the line. You skip the line at the counter, but you still have to line for security.
Hi, really useful article. I want to book tickets for 6 July but availability isn’t showing on the coliseum website. Do you know when the tickets become available?
As of right now, typically two or three weeks in advance. If you want to get tickets right now, you will have to go via third party sites. I actually recommend that because third party sites have a way more flexible cancellation / refund and reschedule policy too.
This was very useful, thank you!
So glad you found it so 🙂
If I buy the full experience tickets through Coopculture for 24euro, do you know if those are skip the line or do we still have to wait in long lines?
You will skip the line at the ticket office but you will have to line for security.
Do you know if you have to show a Green Pass to visit the colosseum now?
Not anymore actually.
Hello – If I buy a Full Experience Ticket through Coopculture with entry to the Colosseum at say 5pm, can I visit the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill Area first and then head to the Colosseum at my time slot. Or would this mean entry to the whole area is at 5pm? Thanks
Thank you for your question Moira! The Full Experience Ticket is valid for 48 hours so you can in fact access the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill in the morning, or even the day after. Keep in mind the Forum and the Palatine Hill are massive sites – it will take you a few hours to explore. You may in fact want to consider finding a guided tour if there’s one within your budget range 🙂 By all means, have fun!
Greetings from Kuala Lumpur.
Thank you sooo much with all your info provided. it’s very useful.
I wanted to purchase a FULL EXPERIENCE ARENA TICKETS through COOP Culture and I was wondering how to get the audio guide as well when I purchase online.
Are you able to help me on this question?
Thank you in advance for your kind assistance.
Hello Desmond, you should call / contact CoopCulture about this as they are the ones selling the tickets.
Hello, very useful post. thanks. I am trying to buy ticket for Jan 3 but not available on coop culture or third party?
If you go on Tiqets, there is availability for 3 January.