Visiting Rome's Colosseum
Tickets, Tours, and Security

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The ancient Roman Colosseum is Rome’s most visited site and one of Italy’s top tourist attractions. Because so many people visit it each day, it’s best to buy tickets in advance to avoid the ticket line. The pass has a specific entrance time for the Colosseum and it also includes the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill which can be visited the same day or the following day so you don’t have to do it all at once.

Colosseum Dungeons and Upper Tiers Guided Tours

rome colosseum
The Roman Colosseum

Parts of the Colosseum that were formerly off limits to visitors can now be seen on special guided tours. This includes the lowest level, underneath the floor, where wild animals and gladiators were kept before battles and the upper tiers. The Roman Guy offers a great tour called Colosseum Dungeons, Third Level, and Arena Floor that starts with the Forum and Palatine Hill so that you can stay inside the Colosseum on your own after the tour finishes.

The Roman Guy has also created a shorter (more inexpensive) version – the Arena Floor Colosseum Tour. You’ll still tour the Colosseum, including exclusive access to the dungeons and arena floor, but not the upper level. Then you’ll tour the Roman Forum after which you have the option to visit the Palatine Hill on your own.

Colosseum Night Tours and Tours for Kids

An interesting way to visit the Colosseum is on a special Colosseum at Night tour, available from late spring through early fall. This one-hour small-group tour with an English-speaking guide also includes the dungeons but not the upper tiers. See the Colosseum under the moonlight when it’s cooler and less crowded.

If you’re going to Rome with kids, try the special Colosseum for Kids Family Tour.

Security Measures at the Colosseum

In spring 2016, new security measures were put in place that now requires all visitors (including those with skip-the-line passes or on guided tours) to go through a metal detector. So even though you won’t have to wait in the ticket line, you will have to wait in the security line. Items such as backpacks, big purses, and luggage are not permitted inside the Colosseum and there is no place to store them while you’re inside. Waiting time to go through security can be as much as one to two hours.

  • Tip: Guided tours have special entrance areas so if you book a tour, the line to go through security is usually shorter.

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