TRAVEL: How to visit the Colosseum in Rome

If you're visiting Rome for the first time, you won't want to leave without making a trip to the Colosseum. Here's what you need to know.

Here's what you need to know about visiting the Colosseum.
Here's what you need to know about visiting the Colosseum. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP.

As many people plan to visit their favourite sites in Italy this year after a long absence, we’re putting together our own quick guides to some of the country’s most-loved attractions. If you or someone you know is planning a trip to the Colosseum, here’s what to know before you go.

Opening hours

The Colosseum opens to visitors at 9am and closes at different times depending on the time of year – till as late as 7.15pm in the spring and summer and till 4.30pm in the winter (see a full breakdown of seasonal opening hours here).

The complex is open almost every day of the year apart from December 25th and January 1st, and on June 2nd, Italy’s Republic Day, when it’s usually only open in the afternoon.

On certain days in the spring and summer, the Colosseum is open for night tours, running from around 6-10pm. More information here.

On the first Sunday of every month, entry is free; expect to fight your way through hordes of crowds if you choose to visit on one of these days.

READ ALSO: Nine tips for making the most of a Rome city break

In warmer months, the Colosseum is open for night tours.

In warmer months, the Colosseum is open for night tours. Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP.


Tickets can be bought online via the official website here or on the ParcoColosseo app.

The standard ticket is the 24-hour one which is valid for one entry to the Colosseum within 24 hours of your ticket’s start time. Find full details on the official website here.

  • Full price €16
  • Reduced price €2 for 18-25-year-olds from an EU country (proof of age and nationality required via photo ID)
  • Free for under-18s (ID required).

A €2 per ticket reservation fee is charged to book online in advance.

With this option, you’ll have access to the first and second floors of the Colosseum, as well as entry to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, situated on either side of the amphitheatre.

The other option available is a two-day ‘Full Experience’ ticket, which costs:

  • Full price €22
  • Reduced price €2 for 18-25-year-olds from an EU country
  • Free for under-18s

As well as being valid for an additional 24 hours, this ticket allows you to access the arena level and underground (‘hypogeum’) area of the Colosseum, as well as a range of other lesser-known sites that you can find listed on the official website here.

Going on a tour will usually get you access to higher floors of the Colosseum, including all the way up to the fifth tier – but make sure to check with your operator that the area isn’t closed for maintenance before booking.

READ ALSO: TRAVEL: How to visit Rome’s Vatican Museums

The Colosseo metro stop is right next to the Colosseum.

The Colosseo metro stop is right next to the Colosseum. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP.

How long to budget

It takes about an hour to visit the Colosseum itself on a standard ticket, factoring in time for photographs. Budget extra time if you buy a Full Experience ticket; the official website suggests at least an extra 15 minutes.

The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are very large complexes and if you’re planning to see all three in one go, you’ll want to budget the best part of a day.

How to get there

The Colosseo metro stop on Metro Line B conveniently opens up right in front of the Colosseum.

READ ALSO: Five easy day trips to make from Rome by train

There are multiple overground transport routes, including the 3 tram and the 75 bus, that go right by the Colosseum; check an app to see which is the most convenient for you (Moovit offers the most accurate prediction times for Rome’s public transport).

If you’re on foot, the Colosseum is about a 20-25 minute walk from other major Roman sites like the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain or the Pantheon.

Member comments

  1. I was hoping this article would include info on buying tickets. I’ve been seeing people online saying they are very difficult to get.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


EXPLAINED: How will Venice’s ‘tourist tax’ work?

Venice has confirmed it will trial a long-delayed ticketing system for visitors in spring 2024. But who will the fee apply to and how will it work?

EXPLAINED: How will Venice’s ‘tourist tax’ work?

Venice officials last week approved the trial of a long-delayed ‘tourist tax’ aimed at regulating crowds and lessening the impact of mass tourism on its city centre. 

But the announcement, which reportedly contributed to Venice dodging inclusion on the UNESCO list of endangered heritage sites for the second time, has left many confused as to who the entry fee will apply to, who will be exempt and how the system will be enforced.

Though future changes cannot be ruled out, especially given the project’s troubled history, this is what the city council has said so far about the incoming trial, which is presently scheduled to start next spring.

Who will the entry fee apply to?

The Venice city council has said that all day trippers over the age of 14 will have to pay the fee. But no small amount of confusion lingers over who exactly will qualify as a ‘day tripper’.

In particular, Venice officials describe turisti giornalieri as visitors who don’t “stay in one of the accommodation facilities located within the territory of the Venice municipality”.

READ ALSO: Five essential tips to escape the tourist crowds in Venice

Besides hotels, it remains unclear exactly which other types of accommodation (B&Bs, hostels, holiday rentals, guest houses, etc.) will fall under the ‘accommodation facilities’ umbrella.

Gondola, Venice

A traditional gondola crosses the Grand Canal in Venice. Photo by ANDREA PATTARO / AFP

Who’s exempt?

Aside from guests staying at the city’s hotels, so far the city has said a number of other categories will be exempt from paying the fee. 

Exemptions will include: 

  • Venice residents
  • People working or studying in Venice
  • Veneto residents (though they may still be required to register their trip online)
  • Second-home owners and their households
  • Partners, parents or relatives up to the third degree of kinship of people residing in Venice 

There are currently no details on how people will be asked to prove they’re entitled to the exemption.

How much is the fee?

Day trippers will be charged a flat five-euro fee to access the city’s historical centre during the 2024 trial stage.

However, it’s likely that this set-up will change once the trial’s over and the ticketing system becomes fully operative. 

As laid out in some of the earliest project plans, the council should ultimately opt for a variable-fee format, with the fee’s amount changing based on the time of the year and the number of visitors expected in the city. 

This means that the fee will be higher in peak tourist season and lower in low season.

How can I pay the fee?

According to the Venice comune, tourists will be required to pay the fee via a new online platform (also available via mobile app) that is expected to become operational next year. 

Venice, St Mark, tourists

Tourists walk across St Mark’s Square, one of Venice’s most popular attractions. Photo by ANDREA PATTARO / AFP

The platform will provide visitors with a QR code, which they will then have to show to ticket officers upon entering the city. 

READ ALSO: Five ‘secret’ places in Venice you need to visit

It remains unclear where and how controls will take place, though the city council previously advanced the idea of setting up gates at the city’s main entry points.

Fines for those flouting the rules will range from 50 to 300 euros.

When will the trial start?

The Venice city council has said that the trial will be spread out over up to 30 days during 2024, but officials haven’t yet agreed on exactly which days the entry fee will kick in.

That said, it is likely that the system will be tested on particularly crowded days such as long weekends and public holidays, according to the Venice comune website.