Wondering which Colosseum tickets to buy and where to buy them?
The rules keep changing and I keep them up to date on this page so bookmark it for future reference!
On this page, I'll describe the different options available to visit the Colosseum tickets, and how best to get them.
It doesn't seem like it should be that complicated to get tickets to the Rome Colosseum.
But there are different types of tickets, and frankly, the procedure on the official website is a little confusing.
I have visited the Colosseum every which way you can imagine.
I also visit every time there is a change or new ticket.
I actually book and pay for my tickets so I can tell you exactly what it's like!
I have done all the things on this page, so you can trust my experience and advice.
On this page, we'll cover:
The standard entry ticket to the Colosseum costs
Even those eligible for reduced or free tickets have to reserve.
The number of people allowed inside the Colosseum is strictly controlled, with limited numbers of tickets per day, and per time slot.
This is for security reasons, to protect the 2,000-year old monument and also to prevent over-crowding.
So while you can purchase tickets on site at the ticket booths facing the Colosseum (and also at the other ticket booth by the Roman Forum on the via dei Fori Imperiali), they say they sell them "until they run out."
I've seen people in line at noon asking if there were any tickets left for the day and being told that the last tickets available were for a 4pm entry. So those people would have to stand in a long line to get their tickets, then wait until 4pm to go in.
Of course they could take that ticket and visit the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill, but then they would be rushed trying to make it to their 4pm time slot. So I still think getting tickets in advance is easier.
But the good news is that if you could not book tickets in advance, you at least know you can come down and buy them on the day you want to visit, even if it means spending some time waiting in line.
If you plan to book online, the visiting calendar opens availability 30 days in advance.
So if you don't see tickets for your dates, keep checking back.
I used to recommend to go the Palatine Hill to avoid the ling lines at the Colosseum.
At the time of this writing, there are no longer ticket booths at the entrance to the Palatine Hill on via di san Gregorio.
However, also at the time of this writing, they are adding back the ticket booths at the Roman Forum entrance on the via dei Fori Imperiali.
When you buy Colosseum tickets, you will see an option to print them at home - the option to pick up tickets at the office is greyed out.
Once you complete your booking, you will receive two emails from CoopCulture. One is a financial receipt showing proof of payment.
The other is an email with your order details.
It will have a PDF attached with a QR code on it.
That PDF is your ticket confirmation.
You do NOT need to print this ticket.
They are trying to do away with printed tickets so all you need to do is show the QR code on your smartphone/tablet.
If you do not have access to a smartphone/tablet while traveling then you can print the PDF at home before leaving.
Your hotel may be able to print the PDF if you book after you arrive in Italy, and as a last resort, you can ask them to print it for you at the Colosseum ticket office.
I often get asked "I booked Colosseum tickets and they didn't arrive in my email. What now?"
If your payment was successful, and you've checked your junk folder and your tickets are not there, then take your payment confirmation email with you to the Colosseum ticket office and explain what happened, and they should help you.
Even though under-18's get in free, you still need to book a ticket.
When you select your preferred date and time slot on the CoopCulture site, there are lots of different ticket options that come up.
You will need to scroll down and select the option for people under 18 years, in addition to the regular adult tickets you wish to purchase.
The price is 0 € so you will not be charged.
Each under-18 needs their own ticket, and they must enter with an adult.
NEW FOR 2023 - The Colosseum has opened a dedicated set of rooms for families, called the 'Baby Pit Stop' which you should take full advantage of if needed. This is for families with young children to take a break if the crowds and size of the arena get too much, as well as providing baby changing facilities and a quiet place to breastfeed. Find it on the second floor.
By now, you've seen me mention CoopCulture a lot.
They are the official entity that manages Colosseum tickets, as well as the tickets for other important sites in Rome and other parts of Italy.
Here are the steps to book your standard Colosseum tickets via the CoopCulture website:
You can also call CoopCulture to book your Colosseum tickets. There are options to speak in English or Italian.
Here is the number: +39 06 399 67 700
That "+" is what you dial from your cell phone.
If you are not using a cell phone, or don't know how to find the + sign, you can also use the dialing sequence, which varies from country to country.
When dialing from Europe, the + can be replaced by "00".
When dialing from the US or Canada, the + can be replaced with "011".
So depending on where you are calling from, here is the dialing sequence:
There are also online ticket agencies that make it easy to buy and reserve your Colosseum tickets in advance.
You will pay a small fee for this, but it's seamless, and the tickets arrive on your smartphone or tablet.
If you're interested in a more extensive experience, you can buy a Full Experience ticket, which allows you to access either the Arena floor or the Colosseum Underground area, as well as the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill park.
The ticket is valid for 2 days, although you only get one entrance per site.
The acronym S.U.P.E.R. stands for Seven Unique Places to Experience Rome - although there are now 8 sites as they added one!
The S.U.P.E.R. sites are not all consistently open, so check the CoopCulture website to see which ones will be open at the time of your visit and their opening times.
When the S.U.P.E.R sites first opened, you had to buy a specific ticket to see them.
Now you have to purchase a Full Experience ticket to visit the S.U.P.E.R sites, but there is no additional cost, they are included with that automatically.
You can no longer pay extra to include the S.U.P.E.R sites with the standard Colosseum tickets, and you still only get 1 entrance to the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill area, so you will need to plan enough time to see everything you want in one go.
So, which ticket should you buy?
If you have limited time, want to see the basics (there is still tons to see!), or you're on a budget, then get the standard entry ticket.
If you have time to take two days exploring these sites, and have a strong interest in ancient Rome, I really recommend the 22€ Full Experience ticket.
It’s only 6 Euros more, and for that you get to visit the Colosseum underground or arena floor, you get an additional day to visit the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill, and you get access to the SUPER sites.
Even seeing 1 or 2 of these additional sites makes it worthwhile in my opinion!
The process for getting Colosseum tickets on the Free Sunday is different to what is set out above - you cannot book online in advance.
You will need to collect your ticket from the ticket offices by the Colosseum or by the entrance near the Roman Forum on the Via dei Fori Imperiali. The tickets will be given out on a first come, first serve basis, so come early to be sure you get a ticket!
Everyone will have to pick up their tickets, so even if you have the Roma Pass, a membership card or would be entitled to free entry anyway, you will need to queue and go to the ticket office.
Some visitors are eligible for free entry year-round.
Be prepared to show ID. Even those entitled to free entry need to book a date and time in advance.
For more details, visit my page about Free Colosseum Entry.
One very cool thing to do when you visit the Colosseum is to walk out onto the arena floor.
From this vantage point, you will have a sense of what it feels like to be on the stage of the Colosseum.
The arena can be included with a Full Experience ticket - visit my dedicated page all about the Colosseum Arena to find out how to visit it.
A visit to the Hypogeum (underground) of the Colosseum is really worth doing.
It's not too claustrophobic (if I can do it, anyone can), and you will get a whole different view of the Colosseum and its history from this perspective.
Again, it can be visited using the Full Experience ticket.
A night visit to the Colosseum is a fantastic thing to do.
First of all, it's limited to very few visitors, so when you go at night, you'll feel like you have the place to yourselves.
Second of all, a night visit includes a visit to the Hypogeum and the arena.
A few things to note:
On the CoopCulture website, one option is to book a guided tour of the Colosseum.
This is an excellent way to get a tour of the Colosseum and save money, as it's not nearly as much as paying for a tour with an outside agency.
Is it as good as a tour you will get with a tour agency?
This is subjective.
I've had several tours with Colosseum personnel, and I've taken lots of tours with private tour guides/tour companies.
Every time it's different.
I cannot say that the CoopCulture tours are not as good as those with a tour agency, but I will say that the tours I've had with agencies have mostly been fantastic.
Since they're private companies, and compete with each other, they work hard to make sure you have enthusiastic, fun, knowledgeable guides.
When you book a tour through CoopCulture, you'll get someone who is employed by the Colosseum.
It's hit or miss what kind of guide they will be and what you'll get out of your tour. I've had good guides, and less good guides at the Colosseum.
So it may come down to your budget and what you expect from a tour.
If you are not a tour person, or would rather go at your own pace, a good option is to get the audio-video guides with your Colosseum tickets.
You need to book these in advance on the CoopCulture website. There is an option for tickets including the audio-video guide for an additional 6€ per ticket.
This 6€ also applies for reduced/free tickets.
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