The 5 Best Roman Colosseum Tours – [2020 Reviews]

How much is it to tour the Colosseum in Rome? If you were to purchase a ticket when you arrive at this massive, ancient structure, it usually isn’t much more than 12 euros.

However, this general admission ticket doesn’t provide much value.

These are some of the best rated tours of the Colosseum in Rome. Several of these tours also include access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Some are guided, giving you more of the history and legends of the Colosseum.

Best Roman Colosseum Tours

 Colosseum Underground and Arena Tour w/ Roman ForumSkip-the-Line Colosseum Tickets w/ Arena Floor AccessRome: Skip-the-Line Colosseum Tour & Entry to Roman Forum
editors choice
 Skip the Line: Colosseum and Ancient Rome Walking Tour Rome: Skip-the-Line Colosseum and Arena Floor Guided Tour Rome: Skip-the-Line Colosseum Tour & Entry to Roman Forum
Departure Point:Via della Polveriera 8Largo Gaetana AgnesiColosseo Subway Station
Departure Time:10 AM, 1 PM, 4 PM8:45 AM, 11:10 AM, 1 PM9 AM
Duration:2.5 Hours3 Hours2 Hours
Includes:Skip-the-line access, tour guide, headsetsSpecial access to the Colosseum and Roman ForumPriority access and guided tour of Colosseum

We’ve chosen these top rated Roman Colosseum tours because they offer a wide range of experiences and will fit into everyone’s budget.

Quick Answer: The 5 Best-Rated Roman Colosseum Tours

  1. Colosseum Underground and Arena Tour w/ Roman Forum
  2. Skip-the-Line Colosseum Tickets w/ Arena Floor Access
  3. Rome: Skip-the-Line Colosseum Tour & Entry to Roman Forum
  4. Rome: Skip-the-Line Colosseum & Arena Floor Guided tour
  5. Skip-the-Line: Colosseum & Ancient Rome Walking Tour

Roman Colosseum Tour Reviews

#1 Colosseum Underground and Arena Tour w/ Roman Forum

 Skip the Line: Colosseum and Ancient Rome Walking Tour

Tour Highlights At A Glance at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Via della Polveriera 8, Rome
  • Departure Time: 10 AM, 1 PM, 4 PM
  • Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Includes: Skip-the-line access, knowledgeable tour guide, headsets to hear clearly, Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill

Beginning at the iconic Colosseum, you’ll learn about the technological marvels of ancient Rome that allowed architects to build on such a massive scale. Construction of the Colosseum includes the structure seen from above as well as underground.

If your question is, “Can you tour the Roman Colosseum?” then your answer is, most definitely, yes. Under the arena, you’ll explore the maze of tunnels and rooms where gladiators prepared to battle each other and wild animals, taking center stage above. This underground construction dates back to the 5th-century AD.

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On Via Sacra, in the Roman Forum, you’ll see ruins of ancient markets as well as those of several buildings that formed the government center. Today, the Roman Forum is referred to as the birthplace of ancient Rome.

After touring the Roman Forum, you’ll then head to Palatine Hill. Enjoy the panoramic views and take pictures of the city the ancient Roman soldiers called home and would finally see again, sometimes after years away during times of war or conquest. Palatine Hill is in the center of Rome and looks out at it in all directions.

 

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


#2 Skip-the-Line Colosseum Tickets w/ Arena Floor Access

 Rome: Skip-the-Line Colosseum and Arena Floor Guided Tour

Tour Highlights At A Glance at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Largo Gaetana Agnesi
  • Departure Time: 8:45 AM, 11:10 AM, 1 PM
  • Duration: 3 hours (approx.)
  • Includes: Special access to the Colosseum and Roman Forum, option to explore Colosseum a bit more or skip-the-line access to the Roman Forum, views at Palatine Hill

Many of those who wish to tour the Colosseum in Rome often ask, “How long is a tour of the Colosseum?” Each tour of this iconic structure is different and may include additional tour locations such as the Roman Forum.

This tour offers a shorter stay at the Colosseum with time at the Roman Forum. You can also forgo the Roman Forum and enjoy more time at the Colosseum. If you’d like to tour the Forum, a representative will walk you over there for your skip-the-line access.

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After meeting your representative, you’ll head inside the Colosseum through a back door not open to general admission ticket holders. This allows you to skip the long lines and see areas of the Colosseum that most visitors don’t.

You will have plenty of time to explore independently, with access to both the maze of tunnels and rooms underneath the arena and the second floor where the Emperor’s Box once was.

Take in stunning, panoramic views of the city, both ancient and modern, from Palatine Hill. Imagine what it was once like for a centurion soldier returning from battle, walking into the city, and viewing the center of their culture and social life standing proud in the center of Rome.

 

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


#3 Rome: Skip-the-Line Colosseum Tour & Entry to Roman Forum

 Rome: Skip-the-Line Colosseum Tour & Entry to Roman Forum

Tour Highlights At A Glance at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Colosseo Subway Station, Ground Level
  • Departure Time: 9 AM
  • Duration: 2 hours (approx.)
  • Includes: Priority access and guided tour of Colosseum with small group, tickets to both the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Do you need tickets to see the Colosseum? Yes, you do. However, the general admission tickets do not offer access to multiple areas of the stands, arena, and underground tunnels and rooms.

A general admission ticket also won’t provide you with a knowledgeable guide. This small-group, guided tour will give you more access and you won’t need to wait in lines to purchase admission tickets.

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During your guided tour of the Colosseum, you will learn about the seating arrangements, by social class as well as wealth. The construction of the Colosseum took many years and technology new to the Roman Empire.

You’ll also learn of the gladiator games and see the underground rooms where they prepared. While the gladiatorial games were banned in 438, the violet fights between wild animals continued for nearly a century.

After your two-hour, guided tour of the Colosseum, you will be given your tickets to access both the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. While these tickets must be used on the same day as your Colosseum tour, you’ll also be provided with a map to help you explore the area.

 

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


#4 Rome: Skip-the-Line Colosseum & Arena Floor Guided tour

 Skip-the-Line Colosseum Tickets with Arena Floor Access

Tour Highlights At A Glance at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Colosseo Metro Station, Line B Exit
  • Departure Time: 10:40 AM, 1:20 PM
  • Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Includes: Small group tour with local guide, skip-the-line access, access to normally off-limits areas of the Colosseum

After meeting with your 5-star rating tour guide, you’ll head inside the Colosseum with your skip-the-line ticket. Your guide will tell you the history of the Colosseum and the role it played in ancient Rome.

While hearing the legends of the Colosseum re-told by an expert guide, you’ll be taken on a walk through the Gladiator’s Gate. This is the large gate that would open to allow the gladiator’s access to the arena, where they would fight to the death.

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As you are guided around the open areas of the arena floor, a place usually not available to tourists, you’ll also be able to view the lift. This lift would open and bring many of the wild animals right into the middle of the arena.

The Colosseum was constructed in the 1st-century and has stood the test of time. Your guide will give you the details on just what this iconic building has gone through over nearly 2,000 years of its history.

 

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


#5 Skip-the-Line: Colosseum & Ancient Rome Walking Tour

 Colosseum Underground and Arena Tour with Roman Forum

Tour Highlights At A Glance at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Arch of Constantine
  • Departure Time: 9:30 AM, 2:30 PM
  • Duration: 3 hours (approx.)
  • Includes: expert tour guide, headsets, skip-the-line privileged access to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill

If your goal is to see and learn more about ancient Rome than just the Colosseum, this small-group, guided tour is ideal. Not only will you learn the history of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, you will learn about what life was like for both the wealthy and everyday citizens.

Your skip-the-line access will get into the Colosseum as your guide recounts the history of the most iconic structure of ancient Rome. Your headsets will allow you to hear your guide clearly.

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While visiting the tomb of Julius Cesar, you’ll learn about many of ancient Rome’s emperor’s, some famous for their greatness and some notorious for their evil ways.

As you are touring the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, also with skip-the-line access, you’ll take a stroll down Via Sacra. This was the “Main Street” of ancient Rome. The ruins of many shops are still visible here, giving you an idea of life was like for the common folk.

 

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


Roman Colosseum Tours In Rome Travel Guide

colosseum tickets skip the line

If you want to get the most out of your trip to Rome, it’s important to see the Colosseum. It is an iconic structure of ancient Rome and is a symbol of the culture of Rome as well. Visit the Colosseum and surrounding ancient buildings with a tour.

As you learn more about vacationing in Rome,you may want to plan for a few extra days to truly get the most out of your time in this ancient city. What attractions are you looking forward to the most when you visit Rome?

Where do you plan on staying? We’d love to hear about your plans! If you’ve already visited Rome, let us know what you enjoyed the most.

Airports & Entry

When headed to Rome, you’ll most likely land at the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport. This airport is the largest in Italy. Most foreign tourists, no matter their final destination in Italy, land in Rome. This means the airport is usually very crowded. However, this airport is also fairly easy to navigate.

To visit Italy, you must have a valid passport that has at least six months remaining before expiration. You can stay up to 90 days in the country for business or tourist reasons without a visa so long as your passport is valid.

Planning Tips

Before you start packing your bags, you’ll want to know how to make your trip easier and how to get the most out of your time in Rome. These top 5 planning tips can help you do just that.

Even standing outside the monstrous architectural wonder that is the Colosseum, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed at the technology and hard work necessary to build it. When visiting it, you will want to make sure you get the most out of the opportunity.

Tip #1: Wear Comfortable Shoes

It might be safe to say that you will want to wear comfortable shoes when touring many areas of Rome. However, there is no place in the city that requires comfortable walking shoes (can you link to a buying guide for shoes to this guide?) than the Colosseum.

This is a very large structure and many tours will take you up into the stands, onto the arena floor, or even into the underground tunnels and rooms where gladiators prepared for battle. With so much to see, you may spend hours here, and most of it spent walking.

Your best bet is to bring a comfortable pair of shoes from home, so you know they won’t hurt your feet with constant walking.

Tip #2: Take a Tour of the Colosseum

When standing in line to purchase a general admission ticket to the Colosseum, you may be waiting for quite a while. Plus, the general admission price doesn’t include priority access or access to other areas of the Colosseum.

When you purchase a ticket for a guided tour of the Colosseum, you will usually also receive skip-the-line access. This means that you will enter the Colosseum with your guide without having to stand in line. Many of these tours also offer access to areas of the structure that most people aren’t able to see.

One of the best reasons to invest in a tour of the Colosseum is that your guide will also be able to explain the different areas of the structure that you visit. Learning not just the history but also the time-true stories and legends can make your trip to the Colosseum a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Tip #3: Arrive Early, Stay Late

The Colosseum opens for visitors at 8:30 AM. Many guided tours will start between 8 and 9:30 AM. Those that start before the day’s official opening can provide a wonderful experience, seeing the Colosseum and its marvels without crowds.

If you are also going to be visiting the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, be sure to stay in the area until after sunset. Seeing the Colosseum lit up at night is a view not to be missed.

Tip #4: The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Even many of the general admissions tickets to the Colosseum will provide access, or a discounted rate, for entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill as well. With a guided tour, you can also see all three locations. This is a great way to spend a day and you will be able to experience some of the most popular attractions in Rome all in one day.

Tip #5: Choose Nearby Accommodations

If the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill are on your list of must-visit attractions in Rome, you may want to choose accommodations that are close by. Not only does this make it easier for you to visit these places, but it is also a wonderful area of Rome to stay. Transportation is conveniently located nearby and many tours of other areas of the city have pickup locations in this area as well.

Restaurants & Eating Out

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Right? There is no better time to follow this rule then when it comes to dining. Eating out in Rome is probably much more affordable than you would’ve thought. Of course, you’ll want to savor a true Italian pizza.

The best place for this is La Gatta Mangiona. This casual restaurant is well known for its thin crust pizzas and may very well have been the start of the pizza craze in Rome.

If you’re looking for lighter fare, stop by Il Forno Campo de’ Fiori. The restaurant serves up delicious soups, sandwiches, salads, and light snacks. The bakery next door produces delicious biscuits, pastries, and more. Both the restaurant and the bakery offer take out so you can avoid the long lines.

While there are many places to get your fill of gelato in Rome, the Gelateria del Teatro is one of the most popular. You’ll find all the traditional flavors and occasionally come across an experiment or two. Have you ever tried raspberry and sage gelato?

NOTE: When it comes to leaving a tip at a restaurant, it’s important not to be too generous. Tipping more than 10% is often frowned upon. Also, you’ll rarely have an opportunity to leave a tip when using a debit or credit card. You’ll want to have a few euros on hand for tips as well as small purchases.

Nightlife & Entertainment

The nightlife in Rome is just as mixed as the combination of both ancient and modern seen all over the city. The Antica Enoteca has one of the most extensive wine lists in Rome and offers a rustic and casual atmosphere. If you’re looking for a traditional bar, you’ll want to stop by the American Bar at the Hotel Forum.

When it comes to cocktails, Rome offers ingenuity and imagination. Take the Carbonara Sour at Co.So Cocktail & Social, for example. This delicious cocktail might be a little different, containing black pepper and egg whites along with other ingredients, but is one of their most popular drinks.

If cocktails aren’t your thing and you’d rather sit down with a craft beer, stop by Brasserie 4:20. This small pub is warm and welcoming, and so is their list of craft beers on tap, plus a selection of whiskeys, bourbons, and other fine drinks.

Getting Around

While there is a great public transportation system in place, it’s often easier to get around in Rome by walking. You can get nearly everywhere you need to go by lacing up your tennis shoes and going for a stroll. If you’re going a longer distance, you might want to take a bus. A 100-minute bus ticket is quite affordable, as is the day pass.

Renting a car in Rome isn’t a good idea. Those unfamiliar with the city can have a difficult time maneuvering. If car travel is best, you’ll want to take a taxi. You can only grab a taxi in designated areas. Hailing for a cab outside of these areas is frowned upon.

Taxis can be on the expensive side but if you’re going a fair distance and you’d rather not take a bus, a taxi can be quite effective.

Accommodations

When it comes to accommodations in Rome, you’ll see inexpensive hotels and luxury resorts. The cheaper places to stay are often farther away, very small, or offer very few amenities. Most of these hotels aren’t recommended for tourists.

There is no shortage of luxury hotels in Rome, however. The G-Rough is located inside a 16th-century palazzo and epitomizes the history and art that Rome is famous for.

While staying at a luxury resort is ideal, it may not always be feasible. A great mid-range hotel that offers many of the benefits of a luxury resort without the price tag, is the Nerva Boutique Hotel. With just 19 rooms, guests can enjoy modern design, great food, as well as a great location.

Weather

July and August are the hottest months in Rome. The average temperature is somewhere around 78°F. For many, the 48°F average temperature in Rome in January is very mild. However, if you want to enjoy Rome with better chances of great weather, you’ll want to visit in the spring or the fall.

Attractions

Rome is full of attractions you can visit around your tour of the Vatican. The National Roman Museum is family-friendly and houses many interesting artifacts. The Basilica of San Clemente is not just a church, but also an archaeological site.

The newer building at the entry level dates back to the 12th-century while you can head downstairs to the original basilica built in the 4th-century AD.

If you’d like to see some of the more ancient attractions around Rome, you have several options. The Roman Forum is the location where Romulus made the founding of the city of Rome official. It was once the epicenter of Roman life.

Ostia Antica is just 25-minutes away by train. This location was once a thriving center of commerce. Today, you can explore over 100 acres of ancient shops, baths, temples, and even apartment buildings and houses.

Roman Colosseum Both Seen & Felt

A tour of the Colosseum is a must if you’re planning a vacation to Rome. The architecture, and history contained within the Colosseum simply can’t be experienced anywhere else. Whether you choose a short, 3-hour tour to see the basics or you opt for the VIP Experience, it’s guaranteed this is a trip you’ll never forget.

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The Colosseum Underground and Arena Tour w/ Roman Forum is our Editor's Choice with its combination of sites seen, tours guides and value.

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Krysha Thayer

Krysha is a passionate freelance writer who appreciates everything outdoors. Living in rural New Mexico, she enjoys everything from hiking to snowshoeing and 4x4 trail riding to international travel. Being able to combine a love for writing with a love for being in the open, outside air is a dream career come true.

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