Receive the latest Rome news, travel tips, insights and more + 10% off our store AND a free eBook - Subscribe Today!

Rome Italy Colosseum
Top Tips - Skip the Line, Best Way to Visit, and More!

Planning to visit the Rome Italy Colosseum

Here's everything you need to know, from how to skip the line, when to go, which ticket to buy, what's included, and more.

rome colosseum from the backThe Colosseum is one of the most amazing things you can see in Rome. Find out how to get the most out of your visit.

October 2021  - All the latest Colosseum news:

Prior to Covid, there were lots of changes for visitors to the Colosseum and its related sites, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. And after the lockdown, there were new rules and restrictions introduced.

Here are the highlights of the new prices, rules, and offerings at the Colosseum:

  • Single full-priced entry to the Colosseum now costs 16€.
  • A standard 16€ ticket includes ONE-DAY ONLY access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.
  • You must reserve a date and time to visit the Colosseum. This costs 2€. You do not need a reservation to visit the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill. The ticket office at the Colosseum is not open for ticket sales. They are there only to assist you in case you have trouble downloading your pre-purchased ticket.
  • Every type of Colosseum ticket that includes the Roman Forum also allows you to go from the Roman Forum through Julius Caesar's Forum and Trajan's Forum. (The exception is a ticket to visit the Colosseum at night which does not include the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill). CURRENTLY SUSPENDED.
  • There is a NEW TICKET called "Full Experience". This ticket costs 22€ (plus 2€ to book in advance online.) In addition to access to the above sites, this ticket also allows you: TWO days to visit (no re-entry), access to all the S.U.P.E.R. sites on the Palatine Hill/Roman Forum (subject to opening hours and availability), AND access to the arena OR underground
  • To enter the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, you must have a Green Pass. Properly-worn face masks are obligatory at all times inside all these sites. Children under 6 are exempt.

Rome Italy Colosseum - Everything You Need to Know

The Colosseum is one of the world's most-visited sites, so it's important to plan ahead to make sure you have the best experience when you come to see it for yourself!

On this page, I'll tell you everything you need to know to get the most out of your visit to this amazing monument, including:

When is the Colosseum open?

The Rome Italy Colosseum is open every day except Christmas Day and New Years Day. In the past it also closed on May 1, a big holiday in Europe, but this is no longer the case.

colosseum early morningThe Rome Italy Colosseum opens daily at 9:30 am. If you come earlier, there is hardly anyone around and you can get photos like this.

The Colosseum opens at 9:30 am, and closes "at sundown". It used to open at 8:30 am but post-Covid, they are keeping a later schedule currently.

Closing "at sundown" means in winter months, the Colosseum closes around 4:30 pm.

In the late spring and summer months it closes around 7 pm. The ticket office closes one hour prior to closing time.

For more specific closing times, visit the CoopCulture website, the official ticketing website of the Colosseum and other archeological sites around Italy.

When is the best time to visit the Colosseum in Rome?

If you're wondering when is the best time to visit the Colosseum to avoid huge crowds, there are three parts to this answer - time of year, day of the week, and time of day.

line at rome colosseumThe Rome Italy Colosseum is one of the top attractions in Rome. Find out my tips for getting the most out of your visit.


Best time of year to visit the Colosseum?

The Rome Italy Colosseum is one of the city's top attractions, and one of the most visited monuments in the world (over 7 million in 2019!). So it always has visitors. However, unlike the Vatican, the crowds do vary according to how many tourists are in Rome.

If you are here between March – October, when it's a mix of high and mid seasons, the Colosseum will pretty much always be crowded, whatever time of day/day of the week you visit.

If you come in low season (NovemberDecemberJanuaryFebruary), when there are fewer tourists, you will find it somewhat less crowded. Especially on non-holiday weekdays.

NB - In recent years, I am finding crowds and queues at the Rome Italy Colosseum even in low season on weekends, especially when the weather is good.

Best day of the week to visit the Colosseum?

The Colosseum is open 7 days a week. It closes only on December 25 and January 1.

So is there a day of the week that is best for visiting the Colosseum?

In high season, the Rome Italy Colosseum is crowded every day of the week. You can barely discern a difference between the crowds during the week vs. the weekend.

But in low season, you will find the Colosseum less crowded during the week than on the weekend. 

This is the line at the Rome Italy Colosseum on a February weekend. Yes, February is mostly low season. But is it busy at the Colosseum on the weekend? Even in low season? YES!

On the weekends, Romans go out and enjoy their city, as well as people who live nearby and want a day out. Then there are Italians and other European residents who can easily drive or fly into Rome on the weekend. So you can always count on crowds at the Colosseum on weekends, even in low season.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • If you are here for Easter Weekend, the Colosseum closes early on the Friday, due to the Via Crucis. On that weekend, it's open and will be packed.
  • If you are here over New Years', the Colosseum will close early on New Years' Eve, and may have later opening hours on New Years' Day (check on their website to be sure of opening times these dates.)

Best time of day to visit the Colosseum?

Just about any time of year, high season or not, I always suggest visiting the Colosseum either when they first open at 9:30am, or, 1-2 hours before last entry.

In high season, you will still see plenty of people at these hours but not nearly as many as during late morning and through the middle of the day. Think of the crowd levels as a bell curve.

Even with the current requirement to book your arrival time, more people choose to visit the Rome Italy Colosseum at these peak times.

In hot months, I highly recommend against visiting during the middle of the day, as there is virtually no shade and no place to sit down

Early Closing Hours in Winter

Don't forget  that the Rome Italy Colosseum closes at “sundown” so in the winter months, you’ll need to come earlier in the day.

To sum up, the best times to visit the Colosseum to avoid the crowds, and also for your own comfort, are:

  • In low season months, from November through February (except for the Christmas and New Year holidays).
  • Mid-week if you can.
  • At 9:30am when it first opens. In high season, you will still find crowds at this hour, but much smaller crowds than later in the day.
  • One hour before last entry. Last entry is one hour before it actually closes, so if you go about an hour before that, you will have plenty of time to enjoy it and not feel rushed. The caveat here is that if you have a standard ticket, you have only one day to visit the Colosseum and the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill area, so you would need to visit the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill before the Colosseum.
closeup of the coliseum in rome - before the renovationOne of my favorite times of day to visit the Colosseum is close to closing time. Then you can enjoy a bonus sunset as you leave.


How much does it cost to visit the Colosseum?

There are two main ticket types for the Rome Italy Colosseum, a standard entry ticket and a Full Experience ticket.

The standard ticket price for the Colosseum is

  • 16€ for an adult
  • 2€ for Europeans between the ages of 18-25. At the moment, this discounted rate is available only to European citizens.
  • Free for everyone under 18

There is a 2€ booking fee which is obligatory, as advanced booking is now required to visit the Colosseum.

ADVANCED BOOKING IS OBLIGATORY

If you just show up without booking in advance, you will be told you must still book online (using your smartphone). It may be possible to book same-day tickets but in high season, I would not bet on this.

Prior to Covid, the occupancy limit at any given time inside the Colosseum used to be 3,000 people. Now the limit is much lower.

If you just show up without a booking, you risk waiting a very long time to get in if there are even spots available, or you may simply not be able to visit the Colosseum at all that day.

The Full Experience ticket price for the Colosseum is

  • 22€ for an adult
  • 2€ for Europeans between the ages of 18-25. At the moment, this discounted rate is available only to European citizens.
  • Free for everyone under 18

There is a 2€ booking fee which is obligatory, as advanced booking is now required to visit the Colosseum.

This ticket allows you to visit the Colosseum Underground or the Colosseum Arena Floor, as well as access to all the S.U.P.E.R. sites (some of which may or may not be open during your visit), which are special areas that are now easily accessible with this ticket.

Take a look at my page all about the Colosseum Full Experience for more details!

Both the standard and Full Experience Colosseum tickets also include a one-time entrance the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill area, which are classed as one site for the entrance ticket.

roman forumThe Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are included in your ticket to the Rome Italy Colosseum.

For more information about how to get tickets for the Colosseum, exemptions, reduced entry and how to avoid the queues, take a look at my page all about Rome Italy Colosseum tickets here.

How to Get Free Entry to the Colosseum

NEW RULES for 2021

Due to Covid, the FREE SUNDAY, i.e. some sites and museums offering free entry on the first Sunday of the month, is currently SUSPENDED indefinitely at the Colosseum.

While the Free Sunday at the Colosseum has been suspended for now, there are some other ways to get free entry.

The Colosseum is free:

  • For everyone under 18 years of age
  • For holders of a Roma Pass or other Rome city pass that allows entry to the Colosseum, and you choose this as one of your free sites
  • For anyone with a disability and their care-giver/companion (with valid medical documentation of the disability)

Get all the details you need about free entry to the Colosseum here.



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 long will it take to visit the Colosseum

I find that a typical visit to the inside of the Colosseum, including walking around the two tiers you can visit with a standard ticket, takes around an hour.

Of course you could spend less time if you want. But an hour is about right if you visit it as most people do, walking all the way around one tier, and then all the way around the other tier, with stopping to take pictures.

There is often a special exhibit on the second-level tier, so if you explore that, add anywhere from 10-30 minutes to your visit.

Finally, there is a gift shop, so you might spend time there as well.

How long will it take to visit the Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill?

Typically, you will spend about an hour at each site, so a full visit to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill will take about 3 hours on average.

You can break this up, and visit over a full day, with a lunch break in between

Most tours given by tour agencies of the Colosseum include the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, and last around 3-4 hours.

What can you bring inside the Colosseum? What can't you bring?

I am often asked if you can bring a "small backpack" inside the Colosseum.

Yes you can.

This, of course, depends on what you mean by "small." Basically, you can bring a typical schoolbook-type backpack inside the Colosseum.

You may also take in a clear plastic bottle of water.

Here are the things you may not bring with you inside the Rome Italy Colosseum:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Aerosols
  • Large backpacks (such as for camping) or bulky bags
  • Trolleys
  • Tripods 
  • Selfie-sticks
  • Dark bottles and glasses containers

Is it worth taking a tour of the Colosseum?

I am a big fan of tours, especially to a place like Rome that is so full of history. Without a tour, you would need a really good guidebook, or audio tour, otherwise, you will just be looking at a bunch of ruins without any context or understanding of where they came from and why they are there.

If you are not a tour person, you could take the audio guide at each location. Each site has its own audio guide, so there is a Colosseum guide, a Roman Forum guide and a Palatine Hill guide.

Tours of the Rome Italy COlosseum with CoopCulture

When you book a ticket to the Colosseum on CoopCulture, one of the options is to book a tour. This is a tour given by the guides employed by the Colosseum. The cost is minimal (usually about 5-10 € more than a standard ticket). So it can be worthwhile to take this tour. You will certainly get some history and a good introduction for your visit to the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill area, where you will not have a guide.

TOURS OF THE ROME ITALY COLOSSEUM through a Tour Agency

Many tour companies offer a variety of tours to the Rome Italy Colosseum. They typically cost quite a bit more than the tours given directly by CoopCulture. Here's why:

  • Tour companies are businesses and they need to make a profit. CoopCulture is a government-funded agency so it's less focused on profits.
  • Tour companies employ licensed guides, who need to make a living from their work. The guides who work for CoopCulture may have other duties, and are on salary, not paid per tour.
  • Tour companies offer a more complete package. When you take a tour of the Colosseum with CoopCulture, you will get a basic tour of the Colosseum. Most tour companies include the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill at the very least, if not other special things to see along the way.

Wondering where the bathrooms are at the Colosseum?

Find out here.

Special visits to the Rome Italy Colosseum

How to visit the Colosseum at night

Yes! Part of the year, you can visit the Colosseum at night.

Rome coliseum at nightVisiting the Colosseum at night is one of my favorite things to do in Rome

A night visit to the Colosseum is a very special thing to do and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

How to visit the Colosseum arena floor

View of the Colosseum arena floorThere are a few ways you can get access to the Colosseum arena floor - it's definitely worth doing!

Walking out onto the reconstructed arena floor of the Colosseum is a really special feeling. It gives you a different perspective compared to just walking around the outer area!

You can get access to the arena floor with the Full Experience ticket, by visiting the Colosseum at night or by booking a tour that includes this access in the itinerary - find out all you need to know on my dedicated page here.

How To visit the underground of the Rome Italy Colosseum

The first time I visited the Rome Italy Colosseum, I thought, where is the floor? 

It turns out that since it was made of wood, it’s long gone, and now, the underneath is exposed. What went on under there?

rome colosseum insideWhen you see the inside of the Rome Italy Colosseumn, you realize there is no floor. You can see underneath from here, but you can also go down there!

By visiting the Colosseum underground, you will find out. I highly recommend this visit, which has become much easier to book than it used to be.

Can you visit the Upper Tiers of the Rome Italy Colosseum?

In 2021, visits to the upper 3rd, 4th, and 5th levels of the Colosseum are suspended until further notice.

Is the Colosseum wheelchair accessible?

visiting the colosseum in a wheelchairThe Rome Italy Colosseum IS wheelchair accessible.

Yes, the Rome Italy Colosseum is wheelchair accessible, mostly. 

The ground floor of the Colosseum is accessible to wheelchair users. From there, you can take a lift/elevator to the second tier. You can also get around both the ground floor and second floor tiers in a wheelchair. Visits to the underground and upper tiers are not wheelchair accessible.

You may bring your own wheelchair, or request one upon arrival. They only have one wheelchair available on each floor, so don't count on one being available. If you need your own, you should bring it, or rent one in Rome.

Visitors who are disabled (with written medical proof, if not in a wheelchair), and their companion/caregiver, may enter the Colosseum/Roman Forum/Palatine Hill for free.

There are accessible toilets.


If you would like more information about the Colosseum in Rome, and the history of the Colosseum, visit the official Rome website for the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Rome.


Want to save this page about the Rome Italy Colosseum to Pinterest?

Pin it here!


Get your  free Rome trip planner!

Simply sign-up today for our free newsletter and get the Romewise Quick-start guide to Rome .

We are committed to respecting your data. Click for our Privacy Policy .


Looking for Facebook comments?

I removed them to make this page load faster and thereby improve your page experience.

I am happy to answer your questions / comments!

Please come over to the Romewise Facebook page , or, if you want to send me a message, visit my Contact Me page .