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Colosseum by Night

Want to visit the Colosseum by night? You can! And it's amazing!

inside of rome colosseum during night tourOn a night visit of the Rome Colosseum, you get to see the whole thing lit up - and have it practically all to yourself!


Visiting the Colosseum By Night - Everything You Need to Know

If you want to visit the Colosseum at night, you need to know:

Colosseum by night - What will you see?

Visiting the Colosseum at night is really special, not only because of how beautiful it is from the outside (which you can of course see regardless.) When you first go in, you will see and really appreciate the architecture of the corridors, because they are totally empty!

empty corridors inside colosseum at nightInside the Colosseum at night - empty!
tour guide on colosseum night tourOur tour guide on the night tour of the Colosseum

Then, as you go around on the main level of the Colosseum, your first impression will be of the silence. It's dark all around you and hardly anyone else is there, so you get to appreciate what you are looking at even more, because there is no sound, other than the guide, to distract you.

On a night visit to the Colosseum, you will visit the main and second levels of the Colosseum, which you can do also during the day.

But you will also get to go out onto the Colosseum floor...

colosseum night tour - arena floorSee us on the left, right on the Colosseum arena floor? It is an amazing experience!

 ... and, you will visit the Hypogeum below.

This is another thing that makes this visit so special, as these areas are not accessible with a regular daytime entry ticket, and booking a visit of them (along with the third ring above), can be hard to come by as there is limited number of tickets to those areas.

colosseum arena floor trap doorReconstructed trap door on the arena floor
lift in colosseum hypogeumOur guide explains how the lift worked
colosseum underground night tourAlone in the Colosseum hypogeum at night
night tour colosseum hypogeumUnderstanding the colosseum hypogeum construction

You will NOT see the 3rd or 4th/5th rings on the night tour of the Colosseum.

They are simply off limits at that time.

Is the night entry to the Colosseum included in the Roma Pass?

The Roma Pass allows you free entry to the Colosseum/Forum/Palatine Hill, but only during regular daytime hours. (You can also use the Roma Pass for discounted entry to these sites, if you use the Roma Pass for free entry for other sites.)

The night tour of the Colosseum is considered a special event, and is not offered at any discount or with the Roma Pass or any other combo pass.

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How much does it cost to visit the Colosseum by night? Any reductions?

The full-fare ticket to visit the Colosseum by night, which includes a tour in English (or Spanish or Italian), is 20€. There is no additional booking fee so that is the final price per person.

For anyone aged 7-12 years old, the reduced fee is 18€. For 6 and under, it's free, but you still need a ticket for anyone 3-6 years old (it's a free ticket but you have to reserve as it's consider a "spot" on the tour.)

Is it the same as the day ticket, including the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill? 

No, it's not the same. A normal day-time visit to the Colosseum costs 12€ if purchased on site, or a bit more if you pre-purchase. And it includes a visit to the Forum/Palatine Hill area, over a 48-hour period.

roman forum as seen from palatine hillA view of the Roman Forum from the Palatine Hill - both of which you can visit using your day-time ticket to the Colosseum

Any other kind of visit to the Colosseum, such as underground, to upper tiers, and, the subject of this page, visiting the Colosseum by night, is considered a special event. (It's also why they are not always available.)

These tickets must be purchased in advance, and always include a tour with someone from the staff of CoopCulture. You cannot wander in on your own, and you cannot just walk up and purchase a ticket.

For all these special events, there is a limited number of spaces available, and as they are popular, they tend to sell out fast so you really have to book in advance, sometimes long in advance.

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Is it better to see the Colosseum at night or during the day?

These are two really different visits, and different ways to see the Colosseum.

Visiting the Colosseum by day - pros and cons

Here are the pros of visiting the Colosseum by day:

  • You can visit on your own, without a guide (although I personally think it's ideal to visit with a tour guide so you get the history and all the fun Colosseum facts!) 
  • You have a large choice of times to go during the day's opening hours and  can spend as much time as you like inside.
  • Going by day means you also have included in the ticket, a visit to the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill (it's two parks but considered one because you can walk between them.) 
  • And you have 2 consecutive days to do it (although there is no re-entry, so each site can be visited once in that 48-hour period.) That is a lot of flexibility, and a lot to see.

Here are the cons of visiting the Colosseum by day:

  • The crowds and noise level are pretty distracting.
  • In a normal daytime visit, you cannot visit the arena floor or the underground.
  • Did I mention the crowds?

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summer crowds at colosseumSummer crowds at the Colosseum - one thing you don't have to contend with if you visit it at night!

Visiting the Colosseum by night - pros and cons

Here are the pros of visiting the Colosseum by night:

  • It's absolutely stunning to see this monument, inside and out, lit up this way.
  • You will have the Colosseum almost entirely to yourselves (there may be just a couple of other tour groups in there and they stagger the visits, so you mostly feel like your group is the only in there.)
  • You get to go out onto the arena floor, and again, as you are nearly alone, this is a unique and special experience. I could not stop looking around me with my mouth gaping open.
  • You get to visit the Hypogeum (underground), and as you are in the dark (but with lights of course), it's even more realistic, since that is how the gladiators saw it back then. Just dark.
  • You will have a lot of time to just take in what you are looking at, PLUS take photos and videos. You will really get the full immersion without the distraction of hordes of people and lots of noise.

Here are the cons of visiting the Colosseum by night:

  • It costs more than visiting during the day.
  • You can ONLY see the Colosseum, but not the Roman Forum or Palatine Hill.
  • It sells out long in advance so can be hard to book.

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So which one should you do?

If you have never been to Rome before, you may want to do the daytime visit so you can also see the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill. And take a tour of that so you get all the history and info.

And, if you've been to the Colosseum before, or if you have time on your trip to Rome, add a night visit. You will never look at the Colosseum the same way again.

When is the Colosseum open at night?

Visiting the Colosseum by night is a relatively new thing.

In recent years, it was only available during spring/summer/fall. As of this writing in 2017, it seems the visits may be year-round. However, as the season slows down and it gets colder, there are fewer of them. In winter months, you can only go on the weekends.

night view of colosseum from outsideView of the Colosseum at night from the outside

Also note it will NOT be available on the Free Sunday (on the first Sunday of each month, state sites and museums are free for everyone, and there are no special visits that day.)

As for what time they go, they start having visits about an hour after the regular closing time, and stagger the entry times. So for example, in July, when the Colosseum closes at 7pm, they start visits sometime after 8pm, but you might get an entry time of say, 9:40pm. This way it's always in the dark, and as they stagger the entry times, you will not spend much time together with any other tour groups.

Do you have to take a tour? How long does it last?

Yes, to visit the Colosseum by night (or any other special visit), you must take a tour. And the tour has to be with someone from CoopCulture, the organization that manages the Colosseum and its ticket sales.

When you book a tour with an outside company, you will still get the guide you booked, who works for that company. But when you enter the Colosseum for the night tour, someone from CoopCulture just comes along, in part to make sure you keep to your time-table. But rest assured, you will have the tour guide you booked.

A tour of the Colosseum by night through CoopCulture lasts just over an hour. A tour with an outside company will likely last longer, as they usually try to cover some more ground and information, to make it a more complete tour. The length will depend on the tour company but usually it will be around 2 - 2.5 hours.

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How do you book a tour of the Colosseum by night?

There are two ways to book a tour of the Colosseum by night, through CoopCulture, or through a private tour company.

If you book through CoopCulture, it will cost less, but if you want a more complete tour, or, if you find CoopCulture tickets sold out, you may want to try booking a tour with an outside company.

Book a tour of the Colosseum by night through CoopCulture

CoopCulture is the entity that runs the Colosseum (and other sites in Rome and throughout Italy.) You can book your Colosseum night tour directly through Coopculture, online

Unlike with other special tour events like the underground and/or third or 4th/5th rings, you do not need to buy a separate entry ticket to the Colosseum.

The 20€ ticket you buy for the Colosseum night visit, through CoopCulture is a ticket for entry and includes the guide in the language you choose.

Book a tour of the Colosseum by night with a tour company

If you want a more complete tour, that includes other parts of Ancient Rome by night, you may want to consider booking a Colosseum night tour through a tour agency.

I took this tour with The Roman Guy and I absolutely loved it. We began at the Vittoriano monument (the "wedding cake", and walked from there to Campidoglio for some night Roman Forum views. 

starting our Roman Guy night tour at the wedding cakeOn our night tour of the Colosseum with the Roman Guy, we began at the Vittoriano monument, and it only got more fun from there!
roman forum at night from campidoglioWith the Roman Guy tour, we were treated to a quiet, night time view of the Roman Forum from the Campidoglio

While we walked along the via dei Fori Imperiali, all lit up, we were treated to a fun and entertaining history lesson about Ancient Rome and some colorful emperors!

Forum of Augustus at night, part of the Roman Guy Colosseum night tourAs we walked along the via dei Fori Imperiali, our Roman Guy guide treated us to some fascinating stories about Ancient Rome

Once we arrived at the Colosseum, our guide handled everything and in we went (you do have to pass through security so I remind you, no selfie sticks or tripods allowed.)

We had the place nearly to ourselves. A guide from the Colosseum joined our group, but mostly served to keep us on track time-wise. Our Roman Guy guide was the one who guided us the whole time, and it was fantastic. I really recommend this tour with them!

You may also wish to book a Colosseum night tour on Viator (in USD$) or on GetYourGuide (in other currencies), because it's hard to book, because space is so limited. And when you go on a tour booking site like these, you can enter your date(s) and see WHO has a tour available then.

Yes, booking a tour with an agency is a lot more expensive than with CoopCulture. But you will have a more complete tour this way. And, if the tickets through CoopCulture are sold out, you may find that by booking a tour, you can find space available.

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