Things to do in Rome

Inside The Colosseum: Everything You Need To See

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Largest amphitheatres in the world and one of the seven wonders of the world - The Colosseum manages to retain the topmost positions of sightseeing lists of travellers in Europe. Also referred to as Flavian Amphitheater, this iconic 3-tiered Roman landmark attracts approximately 5 million tourists every year.

So why then, must one venture inside the Colosseum? What about this attraction makes it not only a must-visit but a must-enter? Let's find out together, shall we?

Before You Enter...

The designing and construction of the monument dates back to 69 AD and is a true symbol of the Flavian dynasty (the emperors Vespasian, Titus and Domitian). It was designed as a space of entertainment that would bring people together and to restore the city’s status of wealth and power as it was before the Civil War. Today, it’s considered as one of the best and well-kept remains of the Roman Empire.

Alhambra Inside

Why You Must Go Inside the Colosseum

Visit The Largest Amphitheater In Europe

Spread across 6 acres and standing 150 feet tall, The Colosseum still holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest amphitheatre. Hence, this massive arena has a whopping 80 entrances so that people can enter and exit quickly. In the initial years, this arena was used for hosting games, shows etc and could easily seat 80,000 spectators for an array of events. This puts this ancient landmark in par with today’s modern sports stadiums.

Get Those Gladiator Feels While Standing On The Arena

Arena was the main area where the battles were fought. This once blood-soaked floor, however, was majorly demolished by archaeologists in the 19th century and only a part of it was recovered so that it can be accessed only via special tours. You can enjoy a breathtaking 360 degree view of the amphitheater standing from here.

Walk Through The Secret Underground Tunnels:

The Colosseum also houses an array of underground dark tunnels that’re beneath the main arena. Since 2010, only a part of these tunnels has been accessible by visitors. However, now you can explore most of the section. It was here where the gladiators and the animals would prepare for the battles back then. These tunnels are considered to be the true ‘backstage’ of the amphitheater. So, make sure you visit these hidden passageways that are connected to the main arena via 36 trap doors.

It Oval Walls Homes A Museums Too

The second floor of the amphitheater houses a museum that preserves an array of artefacts that were excavated by archaeologists. These include cutlery like cups and spoons that were used by vendors to serve the public back then. It also displays miniatures and models of how the monument looked during different periods of time.

Pick Up Colosseum Tickets

There are many different types of Colosseum tickets available for purchase online. Here are our personal recommendations:

Colosseum Entrances

While the Colosseum has a whopping 80 entrances, the travelers can enter the amphitheater using three entrances. The entrances for visitors have been divided based on the type of traveler namely Individual, Group and Stern. 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.

One of the fastest ways to get into the amphitheater is to buy a skip-the-line ticket online that allows a direct entry without any waiting in the queue. Although they charge a few euros extra, it’s completely worth it. Head to the "Visitors With Reservations" line at this gate for speedy entry.

If you're still confused about Colosseum entrances and wish to take a guided tour, check out our Colosseum Guided Tours post.

Route Guide Inside Colosseum

  • Colosseum

  • Roman Forum

  • Palatine hill

Most of the iconic landmarks in this neighborhood including Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hills are just a few minutes walk away from each other. So, when here, you can hit all of these three off your list.


The Arena Floor

Louvre Caryatids

It’s here where the gladiators once stood and fought. Covered with 15 cms of sand, most of the Arena wooden flooring was abolished by the archaeologists. However, they’ve retrieved a part of it to give the visitors a feel of how the battlefield was back then. From here you can get an amazing panoramic view of the amphitheater.


The Underground

Louvre venus de milo

Also known as The Hypogeum is where the gladiators and the animals would prep up before the fierce fights. Think of this route as a set of secret and dark tunnels. The underground area is divided into 2 levels of tunnels and 36 animal pens where the exotic animals imported from around the world were kept. You’ll also spot an elevator and enhanced door traps that were recovered during the restoration.


Floor 2

Louvre winged victory

A little compact passway, the second floor can get a little crowded owing to lack of space. If time permits, the second floor houses a little museum that displays artefacts and mini moulds of how the amphitheater evolved over years.


Floor 3

Louvre winged victory

You can access the third level via a set of stairs at the second floor. The third floor opened to the public only after the first session of the restoration. Back then, it was reserved for seatings for the not so privileged people as it was the furthest from the ground. These mainly included slaves and women. Nonetheless, it;s outer space gives an amazing view of the city.


Floor 1

Louvre The Salon Carre

The seating on the bottomest floor was reserved for the elite including emperor, the senate, and gladiators.

Colosseum: Insider Tips

  • No visit inside the Colosseum is said to be complete without walking through the ‘Gate Of Death’. It was through this gate the gladiators entered the arena.
  • It’s highly recommended to visit the Colosseum twice - once at night and once during the day.
  • Entry to the Colosseum is free the first Sunday of every month.
  • Selfie sticks are banned inside the Colosseum, so make sure you don’t carry it while heading there.
  • Get a stunning first-look at The Colosseum from Via degli Annibaldi (southbound).
  • Not all areas within the monument are smooth, so it’s recommended you put on comfortable sports shoes for a good grip. You can avoid flip-flops and heels when heading here.

Essential Information

Opening Hours:

The opening hours of the Colosseum vary through the year, so be mindful of the same when you plan your visit!

Jan 2 - Feb 28: 9am - 4:30pm
Mar 1 - Mar 26: 9am - 5:30pm
Mar 27 - Aug 31: 9am - 7:15pm
Sept 1 - Sept 30: 9am - 7pm
Oct 1 - Oct 30: 9am - 6:30pm
Oct 30 - Dec 31: 9am - 4:30pm

How To Get To The Colosseum

Via Car: There’s no parking facility inside the monument, however there are a bunch of parking garages just a few minutes aways from the Colosseum.

Via Taxi: If you’re not wanting to drive, you can always hire a cab/taxi for sightseeing in Rome.

Via Train:Rome is well-connected via metro stations. Taking a metro to the Colosseum is one of the most economical ways of reaching there. The nearest station - Colosseo - is just a 2-4 minutes walk.

Inside Colosseum: FAQs

Is the Colosseum accessible and wheelchair friendly?

What are the safety and hygiene measures in place at the Louvre Museum?

Can the tickets to visit the Colosseum be booked online?

Do the Colosseum Tours include skip-the-line access?

Are there storage facilities inside the Colosseum?

Inside Colosseum Guide