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Colosseum Entrances Explained – Know Which Entrance To Choose

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The Colosseum is a must-see for anybody visiting Rome, and it does not disappoint, especially when accompanied by tales of armor-clad gladiators and ravenous lions. This magnificent amphitheater epitomizes the force and drama of ancient Unsurprisingly, the Colosseum attracts over 7 million visitors a year.

There are three entrances to the Colosseum, each meant to cater to a different set of visitors and ensure a seamless visit for all 7 million + visitors.Having multiple entrances at the Colosseum also helps ease the crowd at this popular venue. Knowing the right Colosseum entrance will significantly cut down your waiting time and help you walk into this crown jewel of Rome with zero hassles Read on to know all about the three Colosseum entrances and which one you should opt for.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, all entrances except the Individual Gate (Sperone Valadier) are closed.

Colosseum Entrance | All 3 Entrances Explained

Individual Visitors Gate

The individual guest entrance facing the forums is known as Sperone Valadier, after the architect who reconstructed this section of the Colosseum. This entry is for individual ticket holders. As the name suggests, this entrance is reserved for individual visitors. Visitors who have :
- a time-scheduled ticket,
- guided tour ticket,
- audio and video guides ticket and
- Roma pass holders, are allowed through this gate.

If you've purchased Skip the Line Colosseum tickets, online in advance, head to the "Visitors With Reservations" line at this gate for speedy entry.

Timings: Daily 9:30 AM to 7:15 PM with last admission at 6:15 PM. This entrance is closed on December 25 and January 1.
Average wait time: The average wait time at Sperone Valadier is about 45 minutes, the entrance that has the longest queues.
Parking near the entrance: Nearest parking space from this entrance is at T.parko Losseum.

colosseum entrances

Group Gate

This gate to the North side of Colosseum is only for groups of three or more with an authorized professional guide. A group must have a minimum of 14 people and a maximum of 50. Keep in mind that all group tours follow a strict schedule and you need to leave the location after the tour depending on what your ticket covers.

Timings: Daily 9:30 AM to 7:15 PM with last admission at 6 PM. This entrance is closed on December 25 and January 1.
Average wait time: The average wait time here is about 15-20 minutes, depending on how many large groups are there at the time.
Parking near the entrance: Nearest parking space from this entrance is at T.parko Losseum.

colosseum entrances

Stern Entrance

Stern gate is located on the opposite side of the main entrance. Stern is the name of the architect who designed the retaining wall at the entrance to the arena. This entrance is only for groups/schools or individuals lead by an accredited tour guide with tickets to the following areas of the Colosseum:

Note: Stern Entrance is suspended currently, and the tickets for Colosseum Arena and Underground need to be redeemed from the Group Entrance.

Colosseum Arena

You can enjoy the unique chance of walking on the Colosseum Arena floor which is partially reconstructed and get an amazing view of the Colosseum. With the arena view, you can experience the true scale of this massive structure and get to view the Colosseum through the perspective of emperors and gladiators. Indulge in the history of the place by taking a stroll around the arena that used to have 80,000 spectators in attendance. Listen to the bloody tales from your expert guide and get immersed in this in-depth Colosseum tour.

Underground Colosseum

Visitors now have exclusive access to the area below the arena floor and was recently opened to allow tourists to explore the lesser-known space of the amphitheater. The underground area is a network of animal pens, tunnels and mechanical lifts through which gladiators and animals were introduced to the audience during battles. While on tour, you can get a sense of how cramped the spaces were where they housed gladiators ready to battle it out, ferocious animals, criminals and slaves. You can aslo hear about the behind-the-scenes tales of the arena.

You can book a guided tour or book with one of the few private travel agencies who have the permission to take tourists in through exclusive Colosseum entrances.


Belvedere is a special space that recently opened to the public. The word translates to ‘beautiful view’ in Italian and you will be treated to a beautiful 360-degree view of the Colosseum from above. You can also soak in the wonderful Roman skyline with this unmatched experience.

Timings: Daily 9:30 AM to 7:15 PM with last admission at 6 PM. This entrance is closed on December 25 and January 1.
Average wait time: The average wait time at Stern Entrance is about 10-15 minutes, depending on the number of guided tour groups at the time. The Stern Entrance ensures quickest entry to the Colosseum.
Parking near the entrance: Nearest parking space from this entrance is at Park Services Colosseum.

A Short History About Colosseum Entrances

Colosseum Entrances

The Colosseum was designed to accommodate 50,000 to 80,000 spectators at a time. It was imperative to ensure that the massive crowds who flocked in were ushered in quickly and efficiently. When the Colosseum was constructed, there were 76 entrance gate arches, which were used by the general public. Along with this there 4 special un-numbered gates which were known as the Grand Entrances (North Entrance, South Entrance, Gate of Life & Gate of Death).

The walls leading from the numbered public entrances to the seats were plastered and painted white and red. The 4 un-numbered entrances, were used by the emperors, wealthy patricians, senators, visiting dignitaries and the Vestal Virgins. The walls leading from these entrances to the seats were decorated with paintings and stuccoes.

During gladiator games, the participants would enter through the Gate of Life – and exit the same way if they survived. Those who perished in battle were removed through the Gate of Death.
Among the 76 entrance gates of the Colosseum, only 3 entrances are in use today.

Colosseum Entrance Tickets

We recommend buying Colosseum tickets online for seamless experience. Buying your Coloseeum tickets online also ensures that you skip the queues at the entrance and walk in through the less crowded Valadier entrance. Here are the top recommended Roman Colosseum tickets.

Check out Colosseum Underground Tours for a truly offbeat experience at the ancient amphitheatre.

Colosseum Timings

  • January 2 to until February 15 : 8.30 am- 4.30 pm
  • February 16 to March 15 : 8.30 am- 5.00 pm
  • March 16 to last Saturday of March : 8.30 am - 5.30 pm
  • Last Sunday of March to August 31 : 8.30 am - 7.15 pm
  • September 1 to September 30 : 8.30 am - 7.00 pm
  • October 1 to last Saturday of October : 8.30 am - 6.30 pm.

Note - The monument is closed on December 25, January 1 and May 1.

You can enter the monument up to one hour before closing.

Getting To The Colosseum Entrance

Colosseum is located to the east of Palatine hill and on the banks of the river Tiber, which runs through the city of Rome. While on a trip to Rome, here are some ways to get to the destination.

By Car

You can get to the Colosseum by car by taking Via Appia Pignatelli, Via della Navicella, and Via Celio Vibenna.

By Bus

You can take buses numbers 51, 75, 85. 87, 117, 118, and nMB and get down at the Colosseo bus stop.

By Metro

You can get to the Colosseum by metro by getting down at the Colosseo metro station.

Tips For Your Colosseum Visit

  • There is no dress code to enter the monument, but it’s recommended to wear comfortable clothes and shoes as there can be a lot of walking.
  • Having an audio/video guide at hand let’s you dig deep into the marvel’s rich history and makes for a more knowledgeable experience.
  • Trolleys or suitcases, large bags and camping backpacks are not allowed inside the monument.
  • We recommend reaching the entrance at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time on the ticket.
  • The crowds remain unchanged year-round but the best time to visit would be during the winter months and weekdays.

Check out Colosseum at night for a truly offbeat experience of the ancient amphitheatre under the starlit sky.

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All Your Questions Answered About Colosseum Entrances

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