The Colosseum in Rome
Photograph: Shutterstock
  • Attractions | Historic buildings and sites
  • price 1 of 4

Colosseum (Colosseo)

No other landmark says ‘Rome’ quite like the Flavian Amphitheatre – aka the Colosseo.


Time Out says

What is it?

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Colosseum is a huge amphitheatre in Rome built in AD 72. Officially known as the Amphitheatrum Flavium (Flavian amphitheatre), the building didn’t become known as the the Colosseum until later – not because it was big, but because of a gold-plated colossal statue, now lost, that stood alongside.

Built by Emperor Vespasian, the Colosseum is situated on the site of the newly drained lake in the grounds of Nero’s Domus Aurea. 

Why is it famous?

When it was built, the arena was about 500 metres (a third of a mile) in circumference and could seat 50,000-80,000 people who gathered to watch gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, and other public spectacles. 

The Colosseum has four levels, including a ‘hypogeum’ beneath the arena floor, which features underground tunnels and chambers which were used to house gladiators, animals and equipment before the fights. Part of its fame is owed to the loss of its south side in 1349, when Rome was struck by an earthquake. Lots of the stone that fell was then used to build other monuments and churches in the city. 

Is it worth going inside the Colosseum?

Yes! The Colosseum is one of the most recognisable monuments in the world, and the outside is beautiful, but the inside is really something to behold. You’ll definitely want to take a guided tour to understand its historical significance better. 

Is entry free?

If you’re pressed for cash (and time), you can admire its grandeur from the outside. Other than that, tickets are pretty pricey – but worth it  ranging from €18-60. Skip-the-line tickets can be purchased on GetYourGuide, and on CoopCulture for the Colosseum and entrance to the next-door Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Imperial Forum.

In recent years, authorities have also released a SUPER Colosseum ticket that includes entrance to additional archeological sites within the park. This ticket lasts 48 hours. During the summer months, you can also book tickets to see the Colosseum at night for €25.

Should I buy tickets for the Colosseum in advance?

Absolutely book tickets well in advance. The Colosseum is crowded every day of the year, even during ‘low season’. If you want the stats, around 16,000 people visit the Colosseum every day!

Where’s good to eat nearby?

Beware: this area is full to the brim of tourist traps, so it’s worth going off a recommendation to avoid a bland, overpriced bowl of pasta. 

Located in a former 17th century convent, Hostaria Isidoro serves Roman classics in an atmospheric setting: charcuterie, pastas, meats, fish and more. Open for lunch and dinner. For excellent thin-crust Roman pizza, try Lio Rioni a Santiquattro, an informal eatery only open for dinner.

Michelin-starred Aroma, found within Palazzo Manfredi, has fine dining with prized views over the Colosseum. It is open for lunch from Wednesday-Sunday and open daily for dinner.

🍕 The best pizzerias in Rome
🍝 The best restaurants in Rome
🍦 The best gelato in Rome 
🏠 The best hotels in Rome


Piazza del Colosseo
00184 Roma RM
Metro Colosseo
Opening hours:
From 8.30am daily, closing times vary.
You may also like
You may also like