Last Updated:

Colosseum is one of the most famous buildings in the world and one of the main attractions in Rome. The old amphitheater was a gift to the Romans during the Roman Empire, and it was here that the bloody gladiator games took place.

Do you plan to visit Colosseum in Rome? I’ve been there several times, and in this article, I will share everything you need to know before your visit as well as more information about Colosseum, tickets, and opening hours. 

Colosseum amphitheater

Photo: Shutterstock

Tickets to Colosseum

You can buy tickets upon arrival at the entrance, these cost 12 Euro but won’t allow you to skip the line. For most parts of the year, there will be massive lines to enter Colosseum, unless you’re there first thing in the morning. 

That’s why I always recommend booking so-called skip the line tickets, which allow you to walk past the lines. This will give you more time to explore the amphitheater and Rome, and the difference in price is minor. 

You can book your tickets via the links below, which also include fast-track entrance to Forum Romanum and the Palatine Hill.

Inside Colosseum

Photo: Shutterstock

More information about Colosseum in Rome

Colosseum is visited by millions of tourists every year, and it’s an iconic landmark. However, at the time the arena was finished, a more grim story took place here. It was namely here that some of the bloodiest gladiator games took place during the Roman Era. 

The Roman amphitheater was a gift from the Emperor to the people of Rome. The bloody games included both battles between gladiators as well as animal fights and staged hunting. Furthermore, the arena was also used to reenact famous sea battles. 

Most of the gladiators were war prisoners, criminals or slaves that either got killed or gained their freedom by successfully impressing the Emperor and the crowd. Despite these facts about Colosseum, it’s a mighty feeling to enter the ancient amphitheater due to its grand architecture and long history. 

Gladiator

Photo: Shutterstock

It’s almost unimaginable that such horrors took place here, and that these bloody battles were seen as entertainment. In addition to various battles and spectacles, it was also a place to gather large crowds for public executions. 

Staged hunting sessions with exotic animals were also relatively common. Archaeologists have found several findings that tell us about the animals that were used for hunting and in the battles. 

Colosseum was originally erected by Emperor Vespasian, but he died before it was completed. His son Titus finished the construction around the year 80 AD. The inauguration lasted for 100 days and was filled by daily gladiator fights to honor the Roman people.

Colosseum drone

Photo: SF photo / Shutterstock.com

Colosseum facts

  • The official name is Amphiteatrum Flavium
  • The Italian name is Colosseo and Amphitheatrum Novum in Latin
  • Every year, some 4-5 million people visit Colosseum in Rome
  • It was completed around year 80 AD
  • The name on the amphitheater is believed to come from the colossus, which was a gigantic statue of Emperor Nero
  • At most, the arena could hold 87 000 spectators
  • There were 36 fall traps around the arena for special effects
  • During Medieval times, it was used for accommodation and workshops
  • It’s estimated that 1 million animals and half a million people died here
  • Colosseum is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world
  • It was mostly Jewish slaves who built Colosseum
  • The last gladiator games took place in the 5th century. They were permanently banished in 438 by Emperor Valentinianus III

Opening Hours

Colosseum is open 362 days a year and has the following opening hours:

  • Last Sunday in October to 15 February: 08:30 to 16:30
  • From 16 February to 15 March: 08:30 to 17:00
  • From 16 March to the last Saturday in March: 08:30 to 17:30
  • From the last Sunday in March to 31 August: 08:30 to 19:15
  • From 1 September to 30 September: 08:30 to 19:00
  • From 1 October to the last Saturday in October: 08:30 to 18:30

The last Entrance is 1 hour before closing. 

Colosseum is closed on the following dates: 1 January, 1 May and 25 December.

Don’t forget to book your ticket in advance

Il Colosseo

Frequently asked questions

Do you need to book tickets to Colosseum in advance?

Booking tickets in advance is not a requirement, but since it’s a very popular attraction with many visitors daily, you should expect at least 1-2 hours queuing unless you book your Colosseum tickets in advance.

Is there any dress code?

No, there is no dress code to enter the amphitheater.

Are there guided tours to Colosseum?

It’s highly recommended to join a guided tour if you’re interested to learn more about its history.

You can book a guided tour here

Can you visit Colosseum without a guided tour?

Visiting Colosseum with a guide is not a requirement, and you can enter without a guide. Simply purchase a ticket that includes the entrance without a guide.

You can book your ticket here

Colosseum at night

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

How to get to Colosseum

The Blue Line, also known as Line B is the metro that will take you directly to the metro station Colosseo. Depending on where in Rome you’re staying, it can differ on the most convenient way to get there. 

There are also buses for tourists who are staying outside the city center. From Trastevere, take bus number 75. From Piazza Navona, you can take bus 87 and from Termini, you can take the blue line directly.

Hotels near Colosseum in Rome

If you want to stay close to Colosseum and visit early in the morning, I especially recommend these two hotels. They are both located within walking distance and offer everything needed for a great stay in Rome to a reasonable price per night.

Restaurants nearby

If you get hungry after your visit, there are two restaurants with nice food nearby. Actually, there are lots of restaurants near Colosseum, but most of them are of a lower standard and cater only to tourists with overpriced food. 

However, these two restaurants are two exceptions where you can get great Italian food. 

  • Ristoro Della Salute
  • Pane & Vino

Do you have more questions before you visit Colosseum in Rome? Leave a comment below!