Colosseum tickets process frustrating you? Read this!

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!

lines at rome colosseumFind out how to book your tickets to the Colosseum and avoid queues!

On this page, I'll describe the different options available to visit the Colosseum tickets, and how best to get them.

Colosseum tickets - Everything you need to know

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.

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.

Different Types of Tickets to the Rome Colosseum

On this page, we'll cover:

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Standard Entry Colosseum tickets

Colosseum TicketsThe Colosseum is the largest amphitheater ever built. It is estimated that 50,000 spectators filled the stands and for some special events even up to 60,000

Ticket prices

The standard entry ticket to the Colosseum costs

  • 18€ for standard entry (including booking fee)
  • 4€ for Europeans between 18-25 (including booking fee)
  • Free for everyone under 18

Even those eligible for reduced or free tickets have to reserve.

colosseum ticket booth with lineThe Colosseum ticket counters are directly in front of the Colosseum. They are hard to miss. You can purchase tickets here for same day entry, but lines can be long especially in high season.

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.

Didn't book Colosseum tickets in Advance?

I used to recommend to go the Palatine Hill to avoid the long 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.



Colosseum tickets confirmation

When you buy Colosseum tickets, you will see an option to print them at home - the option to pick up is no longer available.

Once you complete your booking, you will receive two emails from Parco archeologico del Colosseo.

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?"

  • First, make sure that the email with the PDF did not go into your spam/junk folder.
  • Next, look at the email you received from Parco archeologico del Colosseo about your payment. If it says "rifiutato" (refused) or "negato" (declined), you did not successfully pay for the tickets. You will need to try again, probably with a different card.

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. 

You can also buy your tickets from an online ticket reseller like Tiqets or GetYourGuide where you will pay a bit more, but where the process is much smoother.

How to reserve Colosseum tickets for kids 

Even though under-18's get in free, you still need to book a ticket.

Everyone under 18 is granted free access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill for regular and Full Experience tickets, and the Roman Forum SUPER pass.

For the Colosseum night tour, tickets are reduced to 20€ for anyone 6-25, and only free for those under the age of 6. And for this tour only, you can and must book free tickets for children under 6.

For the regular and Full experience tickets, the way to get tickets for kids under 18 is simply to show up on site and collect them at one of the ticket booths.

You cannot book this free ticket on Parco archeologico del Colosseo.

Book your own tickets, come to the Colosseum on the day of your visit, and go to any one of the ticket booths, outside or inside the monument, and collect your kids’ free tickets.

You may have to show proof of their age if it’s not obvious they are under 18, so be prepared to show some form of ID for them.

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.

How to Book Standard Colosseum Tickets

By now, you've seen me mention Parco Colosseo a lot.

They are the official entity that manages Colosseum tickets.

Here are the steps to book your standard Colosseum tickets via the Parco Colosseo website:

  • Visit the website for Parco Colosseo. If it comes up in Italian, you can set the language to English.
  • Pick the tab for Individuals (1-8 people). All tours for the Colosseum will be there. You will have choices for Full Experience Arena, Full Experience Attic, Full Experience Underground and Arena, and 24 hr Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine.
  • Next pick the number of people and date.
  • You will then need to click on the Checkout button, and go through the payment process.

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!

Buying your Colosseum tickets from a ticket agency

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.

Colosseum Full Experience tickets

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, Attic 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.

Find out more about what's included and how to book Full Experience Colosseum tickets here.

S.U.P.E.R. Sites

S.U.P.E.R. TICKETSS.U.P.E.R. sites allow you to visit Seven Unique Places to Experience Rome, on the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum

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 sites, located on the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum, are:

  • The House of Augustus
  • The House of Livia (currently closed in 2024)
  • The Palatine Museum
  • The Temple of Romulus
  • The Neronian Cryptoporticus
  • Santa Maria Antiqua
  • The Aula Isiaca and the Mattei Loggia
  • Nero's Domus Transitoria (currently closed in 2024)
  • The Curia Julia
  • The Domus Tiberiana

The S.U.P.E.R. sites are not all consistently open, so check the Parco Colosseo to see which ones will be open at the time of your visit and their opening times.

The House of AugustusThe House of Augustus is one of the highlights for me when seeing the S.U.P.E.R. sites on the Palatine Hill in Rome

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.

Colosseum TicketFresco decoration of the ceiling of the Loggia Mattei, on the Palatine Hill: over the centuries, the Palatine Hill was a mecca where important Roman families established their homes.


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.


Which Colosseum Tickets Should You Get?

Colosseum ticketsThis is the view of Capitoline Hill and the Roman Forum from a lookout point on the Palatine Hill.

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 24€ 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!



Colosseum Free Entry

FREE SUNDAY

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.

The Colosseum underground and arena areas will not be accessible, and the free ticket is only valid for that day.

If you also want to visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill area you may do so, but the S.U.P.E.R sites will not be open.

Who is Eligible for Free Entry to the Colosseum?

Some visitors are eligible for free entry year-round.

These include:

  • Anyone under 18 years of age (from any country)
  • European tour guides
  • Anyone disabled and their companion if the companion is assisting that person. You must show proof of disability.

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.


Colosseum Tickets with the Roma Pass

how to get Colosseum tickets with the Roma Pass

  • If you're purchasing the Roma Pass or other Rome City Pass, and choose the Colosseum as one of the sites you want to visit for free, you'll have to reserve a date and time while you are booking the pass. You're ready to go!
  • For Roma Pass holders looking to add their reduced price additional entrance for the 3rd entrance for Roma Pass 72h and for the 2nd entrance for Roma Pass 48h you can add your reduced price ticket on the Parco Colosseo ticketing site.

You can always get your Roma pass here

Colosseum Arena Floor

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.

Colosseum ticketsThe Colosseum arena floor is an exciting new development for visitors

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.

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. 

You can include your Arena visit in a guided tour of 3 famous Roman sites: the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.

Colosseum Underground

A visit to the Hypogeum (underground) of the Colosseum is really worth doing.

Colosseum TicketsDo not miss the opportunity to visit the underground of the Colosseum.

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.

Click here to read all about the Colosseum Underground and how to get tickets.

Colosseum Upper Tiers

With this new Full Experience ticket, you can now visit the Colosseum "attic" with a newly installed elevator. From there you can climb to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th tiers of the Colosseum and enjoy some stunning views!

UPPER TIERS ARE OPEN AGAIN!

THE TOP TIERS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE FULL EXPERIENCE ATTICO TOUR

Night Visits to the Colosseum

A night visit to the Colosseum is a fantastic thing to do.

colosseum at nightI think one of my favorite ways to visit the Colosseum is at night. It's nearly empty, and you really immerse yourself in the place and the ambiance.

LIMITED AVAILABILITY FOR NIGHT VISITS TO THE COLOSSEUM

Since this is a seasonal event, you need to keep checking on Parco Colosseo ticketing site for them to open availability.

Some years, they've opened it in late March, and in others, in mid-April.

Because this is so popular, and because space is limited, do not be surprised to find it sold out for the dates you want if you are coming in high season.

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:

  1. This tour is seasonal, and only goes from spring (usually announced sometime in March/April) to fall (usually late October).
  2. You must visit the Colosseum at night with a guided tour. This can be directly through Parco archologico del Colosseo, or you can book with an outside agency.
  3. Night visits to the Colosseum are not part of the Roma Pass or any other Rome city pass.
  4. A ticket to visit the Colosseum at night is not a regular ticket so the Palatine Hill/Roman Forum are not included.

For more, visit my page all about visiting the Colosseum at night.

Colosseum Tickets with Guided Tour

All guides I refer to on this page for the Colosseum are licensed.

This is the case whether you go with a guide employed by the Colosseum, a private guide, or a guide working for a tour agency.

Avoid taking tours of the Colosseum with unlicensed guides.

On the Parco Colosseo 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 Parco Colosseo 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 Parco Colosseo, 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.

Colosseum Tickets with Audio-Video Guide

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 on the Parco Colosseo app.

The Parco Colosseo is now suggesting all visitors download the Parco Colosseo app for both Android and Apple for access to the free audio guide.


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