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Colosseum Rome, Italy. Tours and tickets

West view of the Colosseum

The Colosseum is still the largest amphitheatre ever constructed: an immense building that represents all the power, glory and brutality of the Roman Empire and that has become a symbol of Rome itself. See the place where gladiators fought to the death to entertain the crowds and enjoy special access to the arena and underground areas that are off-limits to most visitors. A guided tour of the Colosseum will bring the bloody history of this incredible building back to life.

Most tickets to the Colosseum also include access to the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, but not all give access to the arena and the upper levels of the building. Your tickets to the Colosseum are valid for these other sites for 24h after you enter the Colosseum.

Before (or after) entering the Colosseum you should walk round the building, to admire the towering wall of white travertine stone to the north. On the south side this external shell of the building no longer stands, so you can see how it was constructed of a stone framework filled with brick and concrete.

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Best Colosseum Tickets

Tickets for Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill: Priority Entrance


The fastest ticket into the Colosseum, including a handy digital guide

As low as


on Tiqets.com

Skip-the-line ticket for Colosseum and arena + Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Tickets for Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill: Skip The Line + Arena Floor


Get the only ticket that gives you access to the Colosseum arena floor

As low as


on Tiqets.com

Tickets for Colosseum & Archaeological Area with Multimedia Experience


See the highlights of Ancient Rome with one ticket

As low as


on Tiqets.com

Colosseum & Forum Ticket with Multimedia Video


Visit Rome's most famous monuments, the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Collect your tickets and enjoy a multimedia video about the city's history at the local partner's office.

As low as


on GetYourGuide.com

Best Colosseum Tours

Skip-the-Lines Colosseum and Roman Forum Tour for Kids and Families


Dig into history in a fun way on this private or small-group tour of the iconic Colosseum and Roman Forum with an entertaining guide who specializes in tours for families with children.

As low as


on Viator.com

Tickets for Colosseum & Roman Forum: Guided Tour


Go on an immersive journey through the heart of ancient Rome

As low as


on Tiqets.com

Tickets for Colosseum Underground, Arena, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill: Small Group Tour


Enjoy special access to the Colosseum Underground

As low as


on Tiqets.com

Colosseum: Private Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill


Enjoy a private tour of the Colosseum and learn about the trials and traumas of the gladiators who battled there. Then, explore the beautiful Roman Forum.

As low as


on GetYourGuide.com

What is the Colosseum?

The Colosseum  (more properly called the Flavian Amphitheatre) is the most famous monument of Rome, which perfectly represents the city itself, and the glories of the Roman Empire. Despite being partly in ruins the sheer size and magnificence of this spectacular ancient building still leaves its visitors awestruck. It was the site of brutal and bloody entertainment, such as executions, animal hunts and gladiatorial combat.

When was the Colosseum built?

Work on the building probably began in around 72 C.E. and it was inaugurated by the Emperor Titus in 80 C.E. with a hundred days of festivities, consisting of gladiator fights, wild animal hunts, a series of cruel executions and possibly even a spectacular naval battle. The Colosseum is almost 2,000 years old.

Who built the Colosseum?

The construction of the Colosseum began under the Emperor Vespasian (Titus Flavius Vespasian, who reigned from 69 to 79 C.E.). We do not know who designed the building, but according to  a 17th century legend it was a certain Gaudentius, a noble Roman and Christian who was then killed in the arena. It is more likely that the Colosseum was designed by a team of military architects. The slaves who worked on the immense construction were probably prisoners of war following the recent conquest of Judea.

Why was the Colosseum built?

The Colosseum was built to make up for the lack of a permanent amphitheatre in Rome and to emphasise the political stability of the Empire under Verspasian following the death of Nero and the subsequent tumultuous “year of the four emperors” (69 C.E.) during which the empire descended into a civil war fought between Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian.

What was the Colosseum used for?

The Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests, referred to as munera, or “funerary offerings”, and various other public events, executions and performances. A spectacular form of entertainment was the wild beast hunt or venationes (a word from which the English word “venison” derives), but the deadly fights between highly trained gladiators were particularly popular.

Many gladiators were slaves or prisoners of war, but some were volunteers, hoping to gain fame and popular acclaim. There were many different categories of gladiators, including the Samnite, the Thracian, the Secutorsand the Murmillo, all armed with a sword and a shield, and the Retiarius, who carried a weighted net to entangle his opponent and a trident to spear him with. The word gladiator comes from the short sword or gladius, which was the standard weapon of the Roman legionary soldier.

General information

Useful information for your visit to the Colosseum.


The Colosseum stands in Piazza del Colosseo, at the western end of via dei Fori Imperiali in a low-lying area between the Palatine and Esquiline hills.

Opening hours

To visit the Colosseum the times are as follows:

  • 08.30 – 16.30: from the last Sunday of October to 15 February
  • 08.30 – 17.00: from February 16th to March 15th
  • 08.30 – 17.30: from the 16th to the last Saturday of March
  • 08.30 – 19.15: from the last Sunday of March until August 31st
  • 08.30 – 19.00: from the 1st to the 30th of September
  • 08.30 – 18.30: from the 1st to the last Saturday of October
    Last admission one hour before closing

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

How to get to the Colosseum

To reach the Colosseum you can travel by:

Metro: take the Metro line B to Colosseo, and you will come out directly opposite the building (click to see our guide to the Metro)

Taxi: an effective way to get around Rome (click to see our guide to taxis in Rome)

Limo service (NCC): (click to see our guide to limo services in Rome)

Attractions nearby

  • Arch of Constantine (144 m)
  • Domus Aurea and Terme di Traiano (170 m)
  • San Pietro in Vincoli (421 m)
  • Basilica of San Clemente (473 m)
  • Palatine Hill (478 m)
  • Roman Forum (511 m)
    • Basilica dei Santi Cosma e Damiano
    • Via Sacra
    • Foro di Cesare
    • Basilica Julia
  • Forum of Augustus (600 m)