Colosseum Arena Floor - Top tips for booking this unique experience!

Want to walk out onto the Colosseum arena floor?

Feel what it was like to be a gladiator, with the crowd roaring all around you? 

colosseum arena floorVisiting the arena of the Colosseum gives you a real sense of what it was like to be on that stage. Find out how to visit it!

One of the questions I get the most about visiting the Colosseum is "How can I visit the arena floor?"

This page is all about how to book this special visit, and what to do when you can't get tickets.

Colosseum Arena - everything you need to know

If you want to visit the arena of the Colosseum, here's what you need to know:

What is the arena of the Colosseum?

The word "arena" comes from Latin and it means "sand."

When the Colosseum was in use in Ancient Rome, there was a layer of sand covering the floor.

arena floor of colosseumThe arena was the floor of the Colosseum (actually called the Flavian Amphitheater).

Can you guess why?

To absorb all the blood.

If you visit the Galleria Borghese, you can see some really well-preserved mosaic floors depicting a lot of these battles:

galleria borghese mosaics of gladiatorsMosaics from ancient Rome showing gladiators killing animals in the Colosseum.

Games at the Ancient Roman Colosseum included gladiator battles (not always to the death), animals fighting each other, gladiators fighting animals, prisoners being executed, sometimes by being killed by starving, exotic animals that had been brought over from Africa.

They also created elaborate sets to make the Colosseum look like a jungle or forrest, and then hunters, and sometimes the emperor himself, would "hunt" animals set loose there.

Want to take part in a gladiator battle?

From May - October, the Gruppo Storico Romano puts on very realistic gladiator shows (without anyone actually bleeding or getting hurt of course.)

This is a real treat for kids and grownups alike.

Find out more about Gladiator School.

Today, we use the word "arena" to mean a theater or sports venue.

And now you can see where that word came from.

Why visit the Colosseum arena?

When the Colosseum was in use, obviously the arena covered the entire floor area.

Today, most of the Colosseum arena floor is gone and from above, we can see down into the Hypogeum (Colosseum underground).

Colosseum ArenaWhen you stand on the edge of the arena floor, you can look straight down into the Colosseum Hypogeum.

But they have recreated part of the arena floor, along with a trap door and elevator system that was used to bring animals up to the floor. 

Colosseum ArenaAnimals would "pop" up onto the Colosseum floor as if by magic, and it had a great effect on the crowd.

Why visit the Colosseum arena floor?

From here you get a completely different perspective of the Colosseum and what it may have been like to be on that floor, whether as a gladiator, doomed prisoner, or bewildered animal (that part makes me the saddest, to be honest.)

How would you like to be a gladiator for a day?

There is a really cool gladiator school in Rome, and you (and your kids) can learn to dress and fight like a gladiator!

It's very well done and a great way to spend a morning or afternoon in Rome.

Find out more about being a gladiator for a day in Rome.

Colosseum ArenaThis is a view of the Colosseum Hypogeum (underground) and arena from the main level of the Colosseum on the opposite side of the arena.

If you don't visit the arena floor, you can still get a pretty good look at the Colosseum underground from the main level.

But from the arena, you are really looking right down into the underground.

And of course, it's a different sensation to feel as if you are actually standing where gladiators once stood.

You will walk through the main area of the Colosseum, and then onto the Arena floor.

Once your arena visit is over, you will walk OUT of the tunnel and back into the main area of the Colosseum.

This door is often called the "Gladiator's Gate" by tour companies.

Supposedly it's where gladiators entered the arena, although I am not sure this was the exact gate.

The Gate of Life, where gladiators entered, was to the east (more or less where this gate is.)

And the Gate of Death, pretty self-explanatory, was to the west, towards the setting sun (more or less where the standard entrance is today.)

But it's still evocative to come through this gate, whatever you want to call it.

walkway onto colosseum arena floorYou will walk out through this tunnel when you leave the Colosseum arena floor.

Colosseum Ticketing Update April 2024

A brand new ticket system has been launched for tickets to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Domus Aurea - check it out here.

A few things to note with this new system:

1. It only applies for tickets from May 1 2024 onwards. If you want to purchase tickets for April 2024, you will need to use the old CoopCulture website.

2. Tickets are currently being released a month out, day by day. On April 8 tickets for May 8 became available, on April 9 tickets for May 9 get released and so on.

3. The new website has a system which puts visitors in a digital queue before letting them on to the site itself, to stop the site crashing due to demand, so don't worry if you don't get onto the site immediately.

4. Not all ticket/tour options are available to purchase yet so keep checking back if what you want isn't available.

Colosseum ArenaThis is the main entrance to the Colosseum. Except for really low season, you can almost always expect lines and crowds like this. By the way, this is only the line to go through security.

Even when you have a timed ticket, you will still likely encounter lines and waits.

In high season, it's very crowded with other people like you who also have timed tickets.

Plus you have to get through airport-like security.

After you visit the Colosseum arena floor, you exit the floor onto the main ring of the Colosseum and then can visit the rest of the monument on your own, taking as much time as you need.

The perfect 3-day itinerary in Rome

Trying to figure out how to organize your visit to Rome? I've got the perfect 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors (or those who have not been here in a while.) It works for a 2.5 day visit as well.

In my 3-day itinerary, you'll see all the major must-see Rome attractions like the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant'Angelo, and much more.

And if you have more time, or want suggestions for extra/other things to do, you'll find that there too.

Visit my page with the best 3-day itinerary in Rome for first-timers.

How can you buy tickets to visit the arena floor of the Colosseum? What's included?

There are a few ways to visit the Colosseum arena floor:

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Book the Full Experience Colosseum Ticket

Parco Colosseo, the official ticket agency for the Colosseum, has specific tickets for visiting the Colosseum arena floor.

You can visit the Parco Colosseo website and purchase a "Full Experience" ticket that allows you access to:

This ticket is good for 48 hours, which gives you plenty time to see everything across these sites.

You can, of course, also visit both sites in one day.

Reminder: All Colosseum tickets will be nominative. This means that your ticket will have your name on it, and you’ll have to show ID to prove you are the person whose name is on the ticket.  Any valid photo ID will do, including your driver’s license (also a photo of your ID or passport on your phone is acceptable).

*When you choose to visit the underground, attic or arena, a Colosseum staff member will escort you. If you visit the underground you ALSO get to visit the arena. You should choose the arena-only option if you 1) don't want to spend the time visiting the underground 2) can't find availability for the underground tour which is much harder to book.

As of June 2024, a new Arena floor ticket called 24H Arena Only is available. The ticket allows you to enter through the Gladiators' Gate, spend 20 minutes on the Arena floor, then leave. This ticket is perfect if you are short on time or only want a quick photo of the interior of the Colosseum. In addition, you get admission to the Roman Forum-Palatine archeological area, the Imperial Fora and the SUPER sites. 

Colosseum ArenaFull Experience Arena ticket. Valid for 2 days from first use, it allows one entrance to the Colosseum with access to the Arena and more!

Disclosure: If you make a purchase through a link on this page, I may receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!

Visit the Colosseum at night

One of my favorite ways to visit the Colosseum is at night.

(This is usually available from sometime in spring through the end of the year/early January.)

One of the best things about visiting the Colosseum at night is how uncrowded it is.

But another very cool thing is that the visit includes the underground and the arena.

And it's even more evocative at night!

Colosseum ArenaI love to visit the Colosseum at night! And it's one way you can visit the arena floor. It's very evocative!

Book a tour of the arena floor of the Colosseum

Many excellent tour companies offer tours of the arena floor.

This is a great way to see the Colosseum arena, because you will have someone explain what you are seeing, and all the history.

And with a tour company, you'll also get a guided tour of the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum.

These sites are so rich with history that you'll be glad you have someone knowledgable bring it all to life.

If you've never been to Rome before, don't miss taking a tour of these amazing archeological sites!

Gladiator’s Gate: Special Access Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor

How much does the ticket cost to visit the arena?

The Full Experience ticket costs 24. and can be purchased online.

You can purchase regular Colosseum tickets on site, depending on that day's availability, but Full Experience tickets are usually sold out long in advance.

The 24H Arena Only ticket is 18€ and can be purchased online.

And even in low season, if you plan to come on a popular and/or beautiful weather weekend, you probably should prepare for more crowds than you think.

The Colosseum night visit costs 25€.

Tickets to the Colosseum arena are in high demand!!!

You are unlikely to find tickets available on site, so I highly recommend you book this in advance.

Are there any discounts for Colosseum arena tickets?

Normal tickets to the Colosseum as well as Full Experience tickets are all 2€ for Europeans between and including ages 18-25.

Who is eligible for free entry to the arena floor?

Everyone under 18 is eligible for free entry to all the sites at the Colosseum archeological park, including the arena and underground.

People in a wheelchair and their helper are also eligible for free entry.

On the first Sunday of every month, state sites and museums as well as many city-run museums like the Capitoline Museums are free for everyone.

This includes the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum.

BUT, the Colosseum Arena floor is NOT open for visits during these events.

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Why is it so hard to get tickets to the Colosseum arena

Since tourism has returned to Rome and Italy post-Covid, we have seen not just a boom but a massive boom.

Rome is packed to the gills.

And this means that some tickets, especially those for popular sites like the Colosseum and Vatican Museums, are hard to come by.

Even the normal tickets are getting hard to find!

And when it comes to tickets with low supply and high demand like the Colosseum Underground and Colosseum Arena, it seems almost like you have to win the lottery to get one of these tickets.

First, you should try to get these tickets on Parco Colosseo, the official ticketing site for the Colosseum.

Tickets become available 30 days in advance, so you should start trying around then.

One trick many people use is to just keep refreshing the screen and checking back.

I know people are not thrilled with this situation but the best way to get tickets to the arena at this point is through a third party vendor.

Yes, it will cost more than getting it on Parco Colosseo, but considering the supply/demand situation, if you really want this ticket, I suggest going this route.

One very important thing to note is that Parco Colosseo is trying to combat the problem of price gouging so they now require that all tickets including standard, full experience, underground, arena, and night visit tickets must all have the visitors' name(s).

If you purchase tickets through a reseller, they will add your name to the tickets and this will mean you will not be able to cancel and get a refund.

You will need to show ID to prove that it’s your name on these tickets.

As to what constitutes a valid ID to prove you are the owner of your ticket, I have it confirmed from staff at the Parco Colosseo ticket counters that ANY valid photo ID will do, including your driver’s license.

You can also show your ID on your phone as long as it has your photo.

You do NOT need to bring your passport.

They also confirmed that a photocopy of your passport will suffice, as long as it’s clear.

Another option to see the arena floor is with a tour.

This takes the stress out of trying to buy the tickets, plus you will get a tour that also includes the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Ready to plan your trip?

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Buy your TurboPass

Purchase the convenient Turbopass and visit all of Rome's top attractions including the Colosseum, Pantheon, and Vatican.

With one handy pass, it's all included.

Can you use the Roma Pass to get into the Colosseum arena

The Roma Pass and other Rome City Passes will get you free or reduced entry to the Colosseum (and Palatine Hill/Roman Forum, all as one entry.)

However, you cannot (at the time of this writing in spring 2023) use the Roma Pass or any other Rome City Pass to get the Full Experience ticket, i.e. access to the Colosseum arena floor.

Do you need to book a tour to see the arena? Is it worth taking a tour?

Do you have to book a tour to visit the Colosseum arena?

One very cool thing is that with the Colosseum arena ticket you do NOT need to book a tour.

If when you purchase the Full Experience ticket, you choose the Arena (as opposed to the underground), you will be escorted onto the arena floor. You will be allowed as much time as you need on the arena floor but usually 20 minutes is enough, then when you are finished, you simply exit the arena floor to the main area of the Colosseum to visit the rest of the site.

Watch my video at the top of this page, where I go into the arena and Colosseum on my own with the Full Experience ticket.

You CAN also book a tour, but only with an outside tour company.

Parco Colosseo does not currently offer the option of just an arena tour.

But in case you are not a tour person or would rather not invest the time/money, you have the option of just visiting the arena on your own.


You might have noticed that when you book on any 3rd party site, you cannot book just arena tickets for a small fee above the standard Colosseum arena ticket price.

The only options when booking through a reseller are to book a tour.

This is true for the Colosseum Underground as well.

Is it worth taking a tour of the Arena floor of the Colosseum?

I am often asked if it's "worth" taking a tour, of just about anything. 

Of course this is subjective.

I have come to understand that not everyone is into taking tours - whether they prefer to just visit a site at their own pace, or perhaps they don't want all the details but to just enjoy what they are looking at, or for budget reasons, or they don't like to be "herded" in a group.

I get it!

But if you are on the fence and are open to the idea of taking a tour, I think it's worthwhile.

This is because I LOVE history and I love for someone to bring the place to life for me.

The best option, although most expensive, for taking a tour of just about anything would be to hire a private guide.

This way you can take the time you want, ask all the questions you want, and have the tour tailored to you.

If a private tour is not for you, I also suggest a small group tour.

Usually when you book a tour of the Colosseum arena and/or underground, you get a complete tour not just of these special areas but also of the Colosseum itself, plus parts of the Palatine Hill/Roman Forum.

Is the Colosseum arena accessibility friendly?

Yes, the Colosseum arena is wheelchair accessible.

From the Parco Colosseo ticket page:

  • The entrances to the monument located along Via Dei Fori Imperiali are equipped with ramps
  • The ground floor (first order) of the amphitheatre is accessible to wheelchair users
  • The first floor (second order) is accessible by lift/elevator
  • Two wheelchairs are available at site, one for the ground floor and one for the first floor
  • Suitable toilets are available on site

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Where is the entrance to the Colosseum arena?

When you arrive at the Colosseum from the metro and exit the metro station, you will need to walk to the opposite side of the Colosseum to the one you see facing you.

The same is true if you walk down the via dei Fori Imperiali from Piazza Venezia.

Once you reach the Colosseum, you will see the entrance.

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