Essential Colosseum Information
One of the seven wonders of the Ancient World and Rome’s most visited attraction, the Colosseum is a must on any traveler’s to-do list. This also means you are not the only one, so carefully planning your visit to this ancient amphitheater is a must. Arriving early in the morning or just before the last entrance is a good way to avoid long lines, but if you are traveling peak season then be prepared to wait either way.
The Roman Forum/Palatine Hill, also included in the entrance ticket to the Colosseum, is a massive open-air expanse where you can wander the palaces of Rome’s emperors and walk past the ruins of the Roman Forum - the ancient city center. This area is separate from the Colosseum, so keep your ticket safe as you will need it to enter and be sure to add an extra hour (at least) to your schedule.
The site opens everyday at 08:30H and the last entrance is usually an hour before dusk (for the yearly opening times see chart below). Visitors are allowed to stay inside the site for one hour after the last entrance time. The custodians of the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill will start asking visitors to leave the site in advance, sometimes even 30 minutes early, so make sure to allow yourself enough time for your visit.
Types of Colosseum tickets
There are a variety of options when it comes to visiting the Colosseum. All tickets reserved in advance automatically have a timed entry for the Colosseum with the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill entrance left up to your discretion - either on the same day or within 24 hours (see ticket details).
Upgraded tickets can be purchased that allow access to the special, restricted areas of the Colosseum. The areas include the Colosseum’s Arena Stage, the Underground level of the Colosseum and the Third Tier Access. Upgraded tickets also allow visitors to enter via the Gladiator Gate (Stern) entrance. This is a separate entrance that has a faster entrance and considerably less of a wait time. For a complete list of ticket options, check out the Tickets page.
Colosseum Opening Hours
The Colosseum opening hours vary depending on the time of year.
|January 2 to February 15||8:30 AM – 3:30 PM|
|February 16 to March 15||8:30 AM – 4:00 PM|
|March 16 to last Saturday of March||8:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Last Sunday of March to August 31||8:30 AM – 6:15 PM|
|September 1 to September 30||8:30 AM – 6:00 PM|
|October 1 to last Saturday of October||8:30 AM – 5:30 PM|
|Last Sunday of October to December 31||8:30 AM – 3:30 PM|
Visitors can remain inside 1 hour after closing time.
The Colosseum is closed on: January 1, May 1, and December 25
What you can and cannot bring inside the Colosseum
Of course, most major tourist attractions have security control, and the Colosseum is no exception. The security check at the Colosseum is much like that of an airport. You will be asked to empty your pockets (small trays are provided) and put your bags through the scanner. Here are the basics of what is and is not allowed inside the Colosseum:
*Please note that what is allowed is up to the Colosseum security staff’s discretion. There have been instances when no liquids of any kind are allowed to be taken in (sunscreen, makeup, etc.). You would be well advised to leave any kind of sentimental object in your accommodation.