The best tips for Visiting the Colosseum

Colosseum opening hours | Colosseum waiting time | What can be visited

Information about visiting the Colosseum

If you travel to Rome, you can't leave the city without visiting the Colosseum. Pay attention to Colosseum opening hours since they vary depending on the time of the year. The old amphitheater is very impressive and still attracts lots of crowd from all over the world, even though there are no more gladiator fights. More than seven million visitors explore the old building each year, and it is, therefore, advisable to prepare well for the Colosseum visit.

Let us help you save time and money if you plan to visit the Colosseum! Here, you can find all the tips and tricks that you need to know before visiting the Colosseum in Rome.

When can you visit Colosseum - Opening Hours

The Colosseum in Rome is open almost every date of the year. It is closed only on the 1st of January and the 25th of December. The rest of the year, Colosseum is open for visitors. Colosseum opening hours are seasonal and depend on the time of the year. The last entrance is one hour before the closing time.

Colosseum Working Hours

Regular Colosseum opening time is from 08:30h
Exception:
The opening time of Colosseum on June 2nd is from 13:30h because of the Italian National Day

During the winter, it usually closes at 17h, and in the rest of the year, it can be open until 19:15h, depending on the exact time of the year.

The Colosseum is closed on December 25th and January 1st.

 

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Colosseum Opening Hours 2019 / 2020

  • January
  • 1st - 31st January opening hours: 08.30-16.30 h
  • February
  • 1st - 15th Februrary opening hours: 08.30-16.30 h
  • 16th - 29th Februrary opening hours: 08:30-17:00 h
  • March
  • 1st - 15th March opening hours: 08:30-17:00 h
  • 16th - 28th March opening hours: 08:30-17:30 h
  • 29th - 31st March opening hours: 08:30-19:15 h
  • April
  • 1st - 30th April opening hours: 08:30-19:15 h
  • May
  • 1st - 31st May opening hours: 08:30-19:15 h
  • June
  • 1st June opening hours: 08:30-19:15 h
  • 2nd June opening hours: 13:30-19:15 h
  • 3rd - 30th June opening hours: 08:30-19:15 h
  • July
  • 1st - 31st July opening hours: 08:30-19:15 h
  • August
  • 1st - 31st August opening hours: 08:30-19:15 h
  • September
  • 1st - 30th September opening hours: 08:30-19:00 h
  • October
  • 1st - 31st October opening hours: 08:30-18:30 h
  • November
  • 1st - 30th November opening hours: 08:30-16:30 h
  • December
  • 1st - 31st December opening hours: 08:30-16:30 h
Colosseum opening hours working hours and waiting times

What can you visit at the Colosseum?

Before entering the impressive construction, take a moment and enjoy the monument from the outside. The best way to realize its enormous dimensions is to access the Colosseum through the Via Dei Fori Imperiali. From this street, you have a superb view of the best-preserved facade of the Colosseum. The Colosseum had 80 entrances, and its system of corridors and stairs still serves as a reference for the construction of football stadiums. At the time, 50,000 spectators could fill the amphitheater in less than 15 minutes. Today, visitors of the Colosseum enter the building on the south side. Also, access is not as fast as at the time of the Roman Empire, and it is necessary to arm with patience to overcome the long queues. The visit to the Colosseum begins on the 2nd floor. The different levels (there are 5 in all) were built in different styles.

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The Colosseum Arena

The spectators sat according to their social rank. The emperor and the senators took place on the 1st floor and the well-off citizens on the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor was reserved for locals, the 4th level held the marketplace, while the top floor was a place where the poorest citizens, gathered and watched the show. Besides the seating area, there is the Arena area itself – a place where gladiator fights and other events took place. During your visit, you will probably wonder why it is not flat? How could gladiators fight with all those walls and columns? What we can see today is called the Hypogeum. Hypogeum is a vast network of rooms, cells, and tunnels where the animals and combats have been kept. Back then, the Hypogeum was covered with a wooden floor and sand. That was the place where, not only gladiator fought, but many other diverse entertainment programs, took place. According to some sources, it seems that the Romans developed a system that enabled filling a pit with water, so they also organized small naval battles in the middle of the Colosseum.

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Tickets & Tours

A regular Colosseum ticket will grant you access to the first and second floors of the spectator area. Also, it is possible to book a guided tour which includes the arena visit and the Colosseum underground, as well as tours which will lead you to the higher levels. All Colosseum tickets include access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, which are not part of the Colosseum but are placed right next to it. All Roman business was happening there, and therefore, should also be a part of your visit.

From € 52

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Skip-the-Line Colosseum and Arena Floor Guided Tour (1.5h)

Avoid crowds and skip the line to enter the iconic Colosseum. Take a tour of this famous Roman landmark and access the usually off-limits arena floor to see where the gladiators once stood.

From € 49

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Colosseum and Ancient Rome Walking Tour (3h)

Examine Ancient Rome on a walking tour of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum. Skip the lines and see famous attractions with an expert guide. Discover more about the Roman Empire, see the tomb of Julius Caesar, and explore Via Sacra.

How long will it take to visit the Colosseum?

It will take around 1 hour to visit the Colosseum by yourself, which also includes enough time to take some photos, and of course, selfies. Guided tours usually last between an hour and a half and an hour and forty five minutes.

Do You need a ticket for the Colosseum?

You need to have a ticket or at least a reservation to visit the Colosseum. There is an exception to this rule on the free days. There are different Colosseum ticket types available, depending on what you would like to see, and regarding that, different prices apply.

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Good To Know

WCs and toilets in the Colosseum

Waiting time in front of the Colosseum is quite long, and therefore, the first question many visitors ask themselves when entering the Colosseum is: "But where are the toilets? The toilets are on the ground floor, not far from the entrance and the boxes. Be aware that you will not escape the second queue in front of the toilet, therefore, calculate a quarter of an hour waiting if you want to go to the bathroom.

Security check and searches at the Colosseum entrance

There are security gates at the entrance to the Vatican and many other monuments in Rome. The Colosseum is, unfortunately, no exception. The controls are comparable to those at the airport. You must empty your jackets and pockets of any metal object. Your backpacks and objects will pass through an x-ray machine, and you must pass through a metal detector. On the other hand, contrary to the controls carried out in the airports, it is not necessary to remove your shoes and belt.

Baggage and prohibited objects in the Colosseum

You are allowed to visit the Colosseum with a small backpack, but it is strictly forbidden to enter with large. All dangerous objects, such as weapons, knives, explosive objects, or fireworks, are prohibited. It is also forbidden to enter the Colosseum with a deodorant spray. Warning: You will not be able to enter the Colosseum with a full glass or plastic bottles. Empty or finish your bottle of water before entering the Colosseum, but do not throw it away. You can fill them in the Colosseum or the Roman Forum at one of the many water fountains (the "nasoni").

Watch out for pickpockets in front of the Colosseum!

Pickpockets are a big problem in Rome. These thugs are especially present near the famous monuments, where the concentration of visitors is extreme and where the physical contact goes unnoticed.

Colosseum for people with disabilities or wheelchairs

The Colosseum is suitable for visitors with disabilities or wheelchairs. The entrance is at ground level, and elevators will allow you to access the different floors. If you want to use a lift, ask one of the employees of the Colosseum for assistance. There are toilets adapted for the disabled. Admission is free for people with disabilities and a guide from a European Union country. If the guide comes from a non-member country, he will have to pay his ticket at the standard rate.

The best advices for visiting the Colosseum

Finally, here are the three top tips for your Colosseum visit:

1. Buy your tickets online!


Wait times at the Colosseum are incredibly long!
Without tickets, you will have to wait for long hours in the sun. Book a ticket online, and save your precious time.

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2. Colosseum ticket = Roman Forum ticket

With your ticket to the Colosseum, you can also visit the Roman Forum, located next door. Although this is explained during the buying process, it is not uncommon to see tourists buy a ticket for the Roman Forum as well! If you have a Colosseum ticket, you can visit the Roman Forum after the Colosseum without having to wait at the checkouts. You can go directly through the security gates.

3. Book a guided tour to have a better experience.

Joining a group tour organized by the Colosseum management or through independent operators is an excellent option for skipping the lines as well. A competent guide will also provide a better sense of the site and its many uses. One more advantage of a guided tour is that your tour guide can take you to the parts of the Colosseum, which are not accessible if you are alone. But if you would like to explore Colosseum at your own pace, download a free audio guide, and good headphones will do the work.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions about visitng the Colosseum

Can you go inside the Roman Colosseum?

You can go inside the Colosseum with a valid ticket. Please note that the standard ticket does not cover access to all tiers of the Colosseum - it includes only the standing area. The standard admission ticket includes access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. You have to buy special access tickets to be able to visit all of the Colosseum.

Is the Roman Colosseum free / Can you see the Colosseum for free?

You can visit the Colosseum for free on specific dates. For many years the visit to Roman Colosseum was free every 1st Sunday of every month. From 2019 the Colosseum is free to visit on selected days. You can check free dates HERE.

What is the best way to see the Colosseum?

We would highly advise you to buy your tickets in advance to avoid the stress and long waiting in the queue in front of the Colosseum. If you want to have a perfect experience, we suggest you book a guided tour of the Colosseum. One significant advantage of booking the Colosseum tour is that your guide can take you to the parts of the Colosseum, which are not accessible if you go by yourself.

Is the Roman Forum free?

Visiting the Roman Forum is no longer free. The entrance is covered by the standard admission ticket, which provides access to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum. You can visit the Forum as a part of your guided tour, as well.

How long does it take to visit the Colosseum?

If you visit the Colosseum without a tour guide or an audio guide, you will need approx. one hour for your visit. But if you decide to take a guided tour, it can take from 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on which type of tour you choose.

What is the best time to visit the Colosseum?

Best times to visit the Colosseum to avoid big crowds and long queues are:
- As soon as it opens - at 8:30 am or 1 hour before last entry
- Midweek if you can
- During low season, in the period between November and February

Can you bring water bottles into the Colosseum?

You can only take an empty water bottle inside of the Colosseum. Once you enter the Colosseum, you can fill it up on one of the fountains located inside.

Can you tour the Colosseum on your own?

If you are not a fan of group tours and would like to explore the Colosseum at your own pace, there are audio guides available. Or you can just freely roam the Colosseum, and explore its ancient beauty.

Did you know that the infamous Emperor never set foot inside the arena

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Colosseum Underground, Arena and Forum Tour (3h)

Have privileged access to sections of the Colosseum not available on a standard ticket such as the Underground, Arena, and fourth and fifth tier (optional). Discover more about how Roman citizens lived in Ancient Rome at the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum.

From € 167

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COMPLETE ROME TOUR

Colosseum, Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & Basilica Tour (7h)

Treat yourself to visit Rome's most famous artworks, including the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, and other monuments of ancient Rome on this full-day tour with an expert guide and lunch in the restaurant.

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