8 Best Colosseum Tours to Book in 2023 + Planning Tips

Symbol of Romans’ engineering genius, here you will find the best Colosseum tours to discover and delve into one of Rome’s most famous landmarks. Also known as Amphitheatre Flavium, it was built around 70AD. Since then, it has been the place for shows and games as well as a period of decline after the fall of the Roman Empire. After centuries, this huge amphitheater has shown no sign of cooling and keeps the record of being one of the most popular Rome attractions and one of the best Roman archaeological sites.

There are many ways you can visit the Colosseum, and while going independently might sound cheaper, it can also be quite time-consuming and not as valuable as booking a Colosseum private tour. Why? Because with a tour you can skip the line and save plenty of time, especially in crowded seasons, and because a tour leader can talk to you about historical Colosseum facts and anecdotes that otherwise you might not discover on your own.

Whether you are booking a guided tour of the Amphitheater Flavium or not, you might want to book your room in Rome’s city center or even one of the best hotels near the Colosseum.

rome colosseum entrance

Find here the best tours of the Colosseum in Rome. Choose the experience that better fits your needs and travel preferences. All these tours include Colosseum tickets skip-the-line to make sure you don’t queue for an hour or two and don’t take too much time off the other landmarks.

Even though one of Rome’s main tourist attractions, there are many things to know and learn about this ancient amphitheater. This is why a Colosseum and Roman Forum tour is essential if you are interested in going beyond just looking at the architecture.

Whether you book a private Colosseum underground tour or an exclusive Colosseum night tour, you will learn and see much more than with a simple ticket entrance to the general access area. We selected the best Colosseum tours for every preference. Whether you only want to visit the general access areas while learning about the whole structure, or also walk the arena floor and gladiators’ dungeon.

Which tour of Colosseum is best?

I suggest the first in our list that is run by Take Walks, a complete tour of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. It includes skip-the-line tickets which help avoid waiting up to an hour during hot summer days in the line.

This comes really handy especially if you are traveling to Rome with kids or elderly friends and family. If one of the things to do in London with kids in fact is to discover Harry Potter’s places, in Rome, this goes for gladiators and ancient Roman shows and fights.

There are countless companies providing fantastic tours of the Colosseum in Rome. For a more complete experience, you can book a tour that includes also the Arena Floor and/or the Underground because you are going to have the full picture of what was really going on during the famous shows in Ancient Rome, how the Colosseum was built and organized, and what happened backstage.

We have listed some of the best Colosseum tours for you to help you decide which one is best for you.

Is it worth getting a guided tour of the Colosseum?

Getting a guided tour of the Roman Colosseum is totally worth it if you want to learn more than what you would grasp by looking at the ruins by yourself. A tour will be led by an expert guide, often a historian or an archaeologist, who will give you insights you are likely to miss on your own.

I have visited the Colosseum many times, sometimes on my own and sometimes with a guided tour. The historians leading the tours I took incredibly increase the value and my knowledge about the place, its complex architecture, its original appearance, what everybody would do inside the Colosseum, whether they were the fighters, the staff coordinating the different parts, and the public.

Is the Colosseum Underground tour worth it?

Booking a tour where also the Colosseum Underground is included is always a great option. The undergrounds and the dungeon had their specific purpose and required great engineering skills to be built. So it’s important to get to know also this area to make your experience more complete.

Not all the tours include also the Colosseum Underground, just like they don’t all include the Arena Floor. These are the areas that are not open to the general public who only booked a standard ticket and they require a guide to access. Usually, the undergrounds and the arena floor are on the same tours and these are the experiences I recommend.

How much is a tour of the Colosseum floor?

There are different tours of the Colosseum and prices range between 40€ and 120€. This depends on whether you book a self-guided tour with only access to the floors open to the general public or a guided tour with access also to the arena floor and the underground.

Can you do a self-guided tour of the Colosseum?

You can always book skip-the-line tickets and explore the Colosseum at your own pace. These will give you access to the floors open to all visitors. If you want to access also the arena floor and the dungeon, you will need to book a private tour with a certified guide.

colosseum underground tour

Best Roman Colosseum Tours

Skip-the-line Colosseum Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

A popular Colosseum private tour, this will take you also to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. With a maximum of 15 people per group, this itinerary through ancient Rome is easy to follow and hear even when the Colosseum is crowded. Which is most of the time.

You will travel through history and learn about the fights, mass executions, and naval battles of one of Rome’s monuments to the human genius.

You will explore the Colosseum for about an hour and then your guide will take you to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Here you will walk through the daily life and politics of ancient Rome and see where Julius Caesar was cremated.

One of the best tours of the Colosseum and the Forum, the explanation of all the places goes in-depth while remaining intriguing and amusing.

Quick facts:

  • How long: 3 hours
  • How many people: 15 max
  • Skip the line: Yes
  • Sights included: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Julius Caesar’s altar.
  • Price: adults 64€, children up to 14yo 59€, free for under 2.

Click here for more info and to book

VIP Colosseum Underground Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

This is another Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine tour. Here you also have access to the underground and the arena floor for a complete experience.

If you are looking for the best Colosseum underground tour, do check this out. With a maximum of 24 people, enjoy the lesser-busy parts of the Colosseum, which not many visitors get access to as a certified guide is required.

After visiting the underground where animals and gladiators awaited their fate and the arena floor where shows took place, you will walk around the general access areas. This tour is very interesting in that you will have the chance to visit areas of the Colosseum that are only accessible with a guide like the underground and dungeon built for the gladiators to wait to enter the arena and meet their fate.

Finally, you will visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill for a complete experience of ancient Rome.

Quick facts:

  • How long: 3.5 hours
  • How many people: 24 max
  • Skip the line: Yes
  • Sights included: Colosseum, Colosseum Underground, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Arch of Constantine.
  • Price: adults 115€, children up to 14yo 110€, free for under 2.

Click here for more info and to book.

READ MORE: Want to know more about the history of this famous Rome landmark? Check out our article on the Colosseum facts and history.

rome colosseum arena floor

Gladiators’ Gate: Special Access Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor

This skip-the-line Colosseum tour allows you to enter from the gladiators’ gate directly to the arena floor. From here, you will have a full view of the spectators’ stalls. From here, emperors and the audience watched the shows and cheered at their favorite gladiators.

After walking through the restricted areas and learning about their history and construction, the tour will continue to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Here is where the wolf found Romulus and Remus and Rome was founded.

Quick facts:

  • How long: 3 hours
  • How many people: 25 max
  • Skip the line: Yes
  • Sights included: Colosseum, Gladiator’s Gate, Arena floor, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill.
  • Price: adults 64€, children up to 14yo 59€, free for under 2.

Click here for more info and to book

READ MORE: Do you want to have different experiences and visit more places? Check out the other great Rome tours!

VIP Colosseum at Night Tour with Underground and Arena Floor

A popular Colosseum night tour, here you can really experience the famous amphitheater with very few crowds.

After closing time, you will enter the Colosseum and access the underground, the cells where gladiators and beasts were kept before the shows, and the arena floor.

This is a lovely evening tour that starts after sunset at the Jewish Quarter. From here, you will reach the Colosseum with a nice walk through the historic center. In the evening you can enjoy the Colosseum in dim light and a unique atmosphere.

Quick facts:

  • How long: 2 hours and 45 minutes
  • How many people: 24 max
  • Skip the line: Yes
  • Sights included: Colosseum, Arena Floor, Colosseum Underground, Theater of Marcellum, Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill, Via dei Fori Imperiali,
  • Price: adults 99€, children up to 14yo 94€, free for under 2.

Click here for more info and to book

rome Colosseum spectators' stands

Rome in A Day Tour with Vatican, Colosseum and Historic Centre

If you are short on time but you still want to visit as much as you can, including the Colosseum and the main highlights of the Vatican, this is the tour for you.

It’s a full-day Rome tour of a little less than 8 hours where you will visit the city’s main landmarks such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain and obviously the Colosseum with a fast-track entrance.

This is a pretty daring tour, as Rome is very hard to visit in a day, but if this is all the time you have and still want to make the most out of it, you can only do it with an expert tour guide.

Quick facts:

  • How long: 7 hours and a half.
  • How many people: 18 max
  • Skip the line: Yes
  • Sights included: Colosseum, Vatican Museums, Centro Storico, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Capitoline Hill.
  • Price: adults 139€, children up to 14yo 129€, free for under 2.

Click here for more info and to book.

READ MORE: Check out my detailed post for more tips on the best way to visit the Colosseum and enjoy your experience.

Colosseum Dungeon and Arena Floor Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

This is a Colosseum tour I took with The Roman Guy. It started at the Roman Forum, the very heart of the ancient city, where temples, villas and the Senate house were built. Here daily life went on thousands of years ago. One of my favorite areas within the Roman Forum is the altar devoted to Julius Caesar. After his death, he was deified and still now his fellow citizens bring him fresh flowers.

After exploring the Forum ruins, our tour guide took us to the Colosseum. Here we enjoyed skip-the-line access to reach the restricted areas available only by booking an authorized tour company. These are the reconstructed arena floor and the dungeons. Including what’s known as the “Gate of Death”, where the dead gladiators and animals were removed from the Colosseum.

Quick facts:

  • How long: 3.5 hours
  • How many people: 24 max
  • Skip the line: Yes
  • Sights included: Colosseum, Colosseum Dungeon, Arena Floor.
  • Price: adults €138,70, children 7 to 17yo €93,19, children under 6 €38,80.

Click here for more info and to book

Colosseum Tour + Gladiator’s Entrance

This tour will make live the gladiators’ experience from the beginning. First of all, you will access the Arena from the Gladiators’ Gate to have a feel of what the famous fighters as well as the people sentenced to death by wild animals would have felt before meeting their fate.

Your visit will cover all areas and floor of the Colosseum making you relive all the thrill and the ferment of its heyday under all perspectives, whether it’s the gladiators or the public. An expert guide will talk you through all the history, the technical details of the Colosseum’s architecture, and the activities the audience engaged on.

Once you are done exploring the Colosseum, you will make your way to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill where your guide will explain the importance of these archaeological sites in Ancient Rome. Your guide will also show you 3D images to show you how these areas looked like at their highest moment.

Quick facts:

  • How long: 3.5 hours
  • How many people: 20 max
  • Skip the line: Yes
  • Sights included: Colosseum, Gladiators’ Gate, Colosseum Dungeon, Arena Floor.
  • Price: adults €50, children 6 to 17yo €44, free for children under 6.

Click here for more info and to book

Colosseum Skip-the-Line Self-Guided Virtual Reality Tour

If you’d rather book only a skip-the-line Colosseum ticket and explore the site with your own 3D virtual device, you can check out this tour.

For around 30€, you will rent an audio guide with headphones for which you can choose your language. This is a device for 3D interactive reconstruction of the Colosseum to “relive” the shows taking place 2000 years ago.

If you don’t want a guide and want to experience the Colosseum at your own pace, this is a good option. You will also have fast-track access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Quick facts:

  • How long: 2 hours
  • Skip the line: Yes
  • Sights included: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill.
  • Price: from €59.90 per person.

Click here for more info and to book.

READ MORE: Visiting Rome for the first time? Check out our detailed guide to the top Rome attractions.

How long should you spend at the Colosseum?

I recommend staying at least 2 to 3 hours inside the Colosseum to visit and explore all its areas and sections, so the bleachers where the spectators watched the shows and fights, the undergrounds and the area floor.

Tips to enjoy your Colosseum tour

  • Book online. Whether you are doing a private guided tour or an official certified tour, booking online is always recommended even if you are only buying a skip-the-line ticket.
  • Bring your ID. Don’t forget your national ID or passport as they will be checked at the entrance.
  • Get there early. Even if you have a specific time for the start of your tour, I suggest getting there at least 10 to 15 minutes earlier to meet your tour guide and to
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Inside the Colosseum, you will walk a lot and you will occasionally do some stairs so definitely you don’t want to wear high heels or even flip flops. Wear a pair of runners, sneakers, or walking sandals.
  • Don’t wear a backpack. Backpacks and wheeled suitcases are not allowed in the Colosseum and there is no cloakroom so don’t carry yours otherwise it will be confiscated or you won’t be allowed in. You can bring a purse or a crossbody bag.
  • Bring a bottle of water. Don’t forget to carry a reusable water bottle to remain hydrated. Inside the Colosseum, there are also small fountains where you can refill it.
  • Wear sunscreen or a hat. Visiting the Colosseum takes place almost completely open-air so in summer make sure you don’t forget to wear sunscreen or a hat.

Wondering where to eat near the Colosseum? Check out our list of the top restaurants!


best tours of rome colosseum
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About The Author: Angela Corrias

Hi, my name is Angela Corrias! I am an Italian journalist, photographer, and blogger living in Rome. After over ten years of living abroad, I finally came to the conclusion that in order to better organize my future adventures, I needed a base. Since I know and love Rome so much, I moved back to the Eternal City. This is how Rome Actually was born. Here, I cover everything about Rome, from the local food to the culture to Roman history.

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