The ancient Roman Colosseum is Rome’s most visited site and one of Italy’s top tourist attractions. As of March 1, 2019, you must buy tickets in advance or reserve your time slot (even with a pass such as Roma Pass). The ticket has a specific entrance time for the Colosseum and currently also includes the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill (the same day or following day), however there may soon be a special 1-day ticket for the Forum and Palatine Hill only – watch for updates.
- 2019 free entrance dates are March 5 – 10. You do not need tickets for those dates, however entrance lines may be long. Guided tours will still operate on those dates and get priority entrance.
Colosseum Upper and Lower Levels Guided Tours
Guided tours skip the ticket line plus go through a faster security line
Parts of the Colosseum that were formerly off limits to visitors can now be seen on special guided tours. These tours visit the upper tiers (levels 3, 4, and 5 with great views) or the lowest level, underneath the floor, where wild animals and gladiators were kept before battles.
- Read my review of the Upper Levels Tour or book this small group tour & save 5% with promo code ITALYMARTHA
- Take an Arena Floor Colosseum Tour and use promo code ITALYMARTHA for 5% discount. Includes access to the arena floor and a tour of the Roman Forum, then you can visit the Palatine Hill on your own.
- Take a Colosseum Underground Tour for access to the lowest level.
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. See the Colosseum when it’s closed to the public and visit the underground area.
Security Measures at the Colosseum
Security measures now require 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. Backpacks, trolleys, and luggage are not permitted inside the Colosseum and there is no place to store them. Waiting time to go through security can be as long as an hour or even more since only 3000 people are allowed inside at one time.
- Tip: Guided tours have special priority entrance so if you book a tour, the line to go through security is usually shorter.
Plan Your Visit to Rome
Where to Stay:
- JK Place is a top contemporary boutique hotel, well located between the Pantheon and Spanish Steps.
- Daphne Inn Trevi is a small, boutique hotel on a quiet street near Trevi Fountain.
- Near Termini station, Starhotels Metropole is a good choice.
- See more Rome Hotels
Train travel: Find out about Rome trains and stations or buy train tickets on Rail Europe.
Rome Guide Books:
- National Geographic Walking Rome: the Best of the City
- Top 10 Rome (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide)
- Rick Steves Pocket Rome
See more recommended Rome books.
More Roman Ruins and Monuments
- 5 Top Monuments to See in Rome
- Castel Sant’Angelo – Papal Palace, Prison, Hadrian’s Tomb, and Views
- Visit the ancient Roman Villa dei Quintili on the Appian Way
- Take an easy day trip to the ruins of Rome’s ancient port, Ostia Antica
Make the most of 1 day in Rome with this Rome in a day tour that includes guided tours of the Colosseum and Vatican Museums (use promo code ITALYMARTHA for 5% discount) or see the city’s highlights on your own with this 2 day itinerary of top sights.
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