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Colosseum Rome | Guide 2022

What are the opening hours, admission fees, or entry procedures for the Colosseum in Rome? This guide is based on our own experience and official sources.

Updated 21. 3. 2022

Colosseum. We all want to see it. We wanted to see it so badly that we ran here on our first visit with our backpacks still on our backs. And it took our breath away. The Colosseum is one of those places that surpasses expectations. If you don’t count a lot of trash around and a lot of insistent street vendors with selfie sticks.


The Colosseum is the symbol of Rome with its 2000 years of history. In 2018, 7.7 million people visited it, making it the 5th most visited monument in the world.

It’s the largest amphitheater that humans have built. It’s survived everything from earthquakes, fires, wars and riots. It’s been the site of gladiatorial battles and animal fights. The Colosseum has even been flooded to stage naval battles.

Colosseum visit / Colosseum admission

The Colosseum was not always the Colosseum. Because it was built by Vespasianus in 80 AD, the founder of the Flavian dynasty, the amphitheatre was called the Flavian Amphitheatre. Even today, the building still stands in the mind. A perfect example of ancient engineering, with numbered entrance arches and seating in three steep tiers, with children and women seated in the highest. The Colosseum could hold up to 80,000 spectators, shaded by a canvas awning. Under the arena was a network of underground passages (hypogeum), which served as an underground entrance for gladiators and a pen for animals.

For more than 500 years, the Flavian Amphitheatre was the centre of entertainment for the Romans. Exotic animals were exhibited here, gladiator fights or prisoner executions were held here. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the amphitheatre changed its name to the Colosseum. The reason was simple. Near the amphitheatre stood a statue of the Roman emperor Nero, and the Colosseum was intended to refer to the colossal size of this statue.

You might be surprised how much of the Coliseum is missing. Partly due to disuse and the earthquake. But the second reason is more interesting and surprising given how valuable the Colosseum is today. In fact, the marble here was used to build other things, such as the Vatican.

Colosseum Rome

If you have time, go to the Colosseum late in the evening. There’s hardly a soul here and it’s beautifully lit.

Palatine Hill and Forum Romanum

Palatine Hill and the Forum Romanum are just opposite the Colosseum. All 3 places can be visited in one ticket, so we’ll tell you a bit about them too, so you know they’re worth a visit.

Palatine’s hill

The mythical birthplace of Rome. Palatine Hill, where, according to legend, Romulus founded the city in 753 BC. Later, it was the seat of the imperial palace, wealthy patricians and celebrity generals. The word palace is derived from the Latin for hill or palatium.

Palatine's hill Rome

Palatine Hill, as we see it today, is mostly made up of ruins from the vast palace of Emperor Domitian. To the northeast, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Roman Forum from the balcony.

Forum Romanum

The vast ruins between the Palatine Hill and the Colosseum were once the centre of public life in Rome. The Forum Romanum consists of a complex of great temples, courts, offices and public squares, several of whose buildings are still in excellent condition. You can visit the original seat of the Roman Senate, the Arch of Titus, the Knox Fortress, the columns of the Temple of Saturn or the Temple of Caesar, where Caesar was burned after his assassination in 44 BC.

Where is the Colosseum in Rome?

The Colosseum dominates the small Piazza del Colosseo in the centre of Rome. The Forum Romanum with the Palatine Hill is just opposite. Between them is the Arch of Constantine, built in 315 to commemorate the victory of Constantine I the Great at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge.

Where can I find the Colosseum?

The Colosseum is very accessible from Termini Central Station. It is a 20-minute walk. I recommend taking it through the Parco del Colle Oppio.You will enjoy the Colosseum from a different perspective and without the people. In addition, there are other remains of the ancient period of Rome in the park. There’s also a lot of leftover rubbish, but you soon get used to that in Rome. It’s just that Rome is a long way from slick London.

How to get to the Colosseum by public transport in Rome?

  • Metro – line B → Colosseo stop
  • Bus – lines 75, 81, 175, 204, 673
  • Tram – line 3

You can buy a ticket for public transport in newsagents, newsstands or vending machines and it will cost you € 1.50 (valid for 100 minutes). Or you can choose between unlimited travel for a few days:

  • 7 € – all public transport connections valid for 24 hours
  • 12,50 € – all public transport connections valid for 48 hours
  • 18 € – all public transport connections valid for 72 hours


You must be there at least 15 minutes in advance. It can be a rush. Different groups with guides and it may take a while to get your bearings, so arrive early. Plus, there’s a security check before you enter.

The Colosseum has a total of 3 entrances. You will go through the entrance called Sperone Valadier after the architect who designed this part of the Colosseum. I’ll make it easy for you – it’s currently the only open entrance. You will then enter the Forum Romanum just past the Arch of Constantine on the right – Via di San Gregorio 30.

Before entering, please prepare a veil, a ticket (printed or on your mobile phone) and a green COVID passport. They will take your temperature and check your belongings. You can bring a small backpack/bucket and a plastic water bottle.

Forbidden things:

  • Large backpacks and suitcases
  • Tripods (selfie sticks tolerate)
  • Dark and glass bottles
  • Alcohol
  • Sprays

Set aside about an hour or two to visit the Colosseum. For the adjacent Forum Romanum and Palatine Hill, 2-3 hours. You’ll be walking a lot, so don’t forget comfortable and sturdy shoes, even in summer. But that goes for all of Rome, which is characterized by uneven cobblestone sidewalks.

Opening hours

Opening hours vary according to the season. In the summer months, the opening hours are usually 8:30am – 7:00pm, but now in September the opening hours have been reduced to 9:30am – 7:00pm. As the day gets shorter, the opening hours of the Colosseum will also get shorter as the sun goes down (in winter it’s already 4:30pm with the last entry at 3:30pm). You can check the official website for the current opening hours when you book. The last entry is always one hour before. Closed on 1.1. and 25.12.

Admission and tickets

The ticket for the Colosseum includes entry to the Forum Romanum and Palatine Hill. You have only one entry to each monument. The Forum Romanum and Palatine Hill form one archaeological park with one entrance.

You can choose between 2 types of tickets. The amount of the entrance fee is then divided according to this.

The standard ticket includes access to levels I and II of the Colosseum. Admission prices are as follows:

  • Full admission 16 € + 2 € for online booking
  • Reduced admission for EU citizens 18-25 years 2 € + 2 € for online booking
  • Free admission for under 18 + 2 € for online booking
  • Free admission with Roma Pass + 2 € for online booking

Note on the reduced price for EU citizens 18-25 years old: You only need to show your age ID when entering the Colosseum. You do not need to be a student and you do not need an ISIC card. I personally verified this information directly with the Kolosseum staff on 20.9.2021.

You can already see enough within the standard ticket and that’s enough for most tourists, but if you want to see even more, check out the extended Full Experience ticket. This gives you access to all 3 floors, the arena and the underground. Admission prices are as follows:

  • Full admission 22 € + 2 € for online booking
  • Reduced admission for EU citizens 18-25 years 2 € + 2 € for online booking
  • Free admission for under 18 + 2 € for online booking
  • Admission for Roma Pass holders – only the standard ticket is included in the Roma Pass, not the extended ticket.

Booking tickets for the Colosseum

Note: Tickets can be cancelled free of charge up to 24 hours in advance.

When to visit the Colosseum?

For us, it’s best to go to Rome in winter. Prices for flights and accommodation are the lowest and there are the fewest tourists in the whole of Rome. You’ll enjoy the atmosphere of the Eternal City much more in peace. Temperatures in Rome rarely drop below freezing. In addition, it is often sunny here and in winter you can enjoy temperatures like in our autumn. The peak cucumber season runs from the second week of January to the end of February (the number of tourists increases slightly around Valentine’s Day).

Want warmer weather but smaller crowds? Visit Rome from mid-October to November or from mid-March to early May. In spring, just watch out for Easter, when the Colosseum closes early on Good Friday for the parade. Although it’s open on Easter Sunday and Monday, the Vatican Museums are closed, so many more tourists head to the Colosseum.

Colosseum Rome

I would avoid visiting Rome during the holidays. Especially in August when it’s crazy hot. Even the Italians themselves go to the sea or the mountains at this time. Plus, there aren’t many places in the Colosseum where you can hide from the blazing sun. And if you go in the summer anyway, don’t forget your sunscreen with SPF, a hat and a scarf to cover your shoulders when you go to the Vatican. Choose light, airy clothes made from natural materials (like linen, which is super ventilated).

Drinking water can be tapped directly at the metro station or at the exit of the Colosseum. There are also public toilets and benches to relax on the premises.

As for the best time of day to visit the Colosseum, the least number of tourists is early in the morning and then an hour or two before the Colosseum closes. And if you combine that with the middle of the work week, you can enjoy the Colosseum without the surrounding hustle and bustle.

Colosseum Rome

How to save on entrance fees?

There are currently 2 ways to save on Colosseum admission. There used to be free admission on the first Sunday of the month, but this has been temporarily suspended by the Ministry of Culture.

Visit Rome in the spring (usually mid-March), when Culture Week takes place. The sights are free to visit, including areas that are not normally open to the public. On the other hand, many tourists want to save money, so it’s crowded.

In Rome, you can save money with the Roma Pass. With these, you get free entry to the most famous sights such as the Colosseum, the Castle of the Angels or the Capitoline Museums, and reduced admission to many other places. The card also includes unlimited travel around Rome and use of information points where you can go to charge your phone or use the toilet.

The Roma Pass is available in 3 variants:

  • Roma Pass for 2 days (€32) – you get free entry to the first monument you visit and reduced admission to all other monuments you visit within 48 hours. On top of that, you can travel unrestrictedly around Rome for the duration of the card’s validity.
  • Roma Pass for 3 days (€52) – for one price you get free entry to the 2 sights you visit first (e.g. Colosseum and Capitoline Museums) and reduced admission to all other sights you visit during the 78 hours. Plus unlimited transport around Rome.
  • Roma Pass in combination with Omnia Card (113 €) – You get all the benefits of the Roma Pass for 3 days, plus access to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel and a sightseeing bus ride for 3 days that takes you past the best attractions in Rome (you can get off and on at any time if you wish).

I write more about the Roma Pass tourist card in the previous article.

Colosseum Rome

Where to eat?

You’re guaranteed to get hungry after a tour of the Colosseum. You walk around, enjoy yourself and 2-3 hours are suddenly behind you. The problem is that the area between the Colosseum and the Forum Romanum is so vast that there are no restaurants in the immediate vicinity. But I do have a few tips for good food near the Colosseum:

All the restaurants are just a few minutes from the Colosseum towards the Caracalla Baths.

The restaurants closest to the Colosseum and most in plain sight tend to be the most touristy. With exorbitant prices that usually don’t match what they serve you on your plate. Once someone calls out to you and lures you in, avoid the restaurant altogether. Try turning a corner or going in another direction where the locals eat. You’ll get more food for less money.

What to visit in the area?

There are a number of places around the Colosseum that are definitely worth a visit too. For my part, I can recommend the Baths of Caracalla (first photo below), built by Marcus Aurelius between 212 and 216 and one of the largest and most interesting thermal complexes in antiquity. In the second photo you can see Trajan’s Market (second photo), the first Roman shopping centre, which had 6 floors with up to 150 different shops and apartments.

One of the best art museums is the Capitoline Museums, where you’ll be treated to a collection of sculptures, paintings and other objects closely linked to the history of Rome. Along with the Vatican Museums and the Borghese Gallery, the Capitoline Museums are another must-visit for all art lovers. And the square here, which is perfectly oval in shape and was designed by Michelangelo. Plus, there’s a great view of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum beyond.

Booking tickets for the Colosseum

Note: Tickets can be cancelled free of charge up to 24 hours in advance.

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