15 Best Colosseum Tours

The Colosseum is one of the greatest architectural works of Roman engineering. Commissioned in 72 AD by the emperor Vespasian, it is the embodiment of the Roman Empire at its height.

Also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, the Colosseum is an architectural masterpiece that went on to become a prototype for modern stadia.

It remains the largest amphitheater in the world, stretching over five acres and boasting a capacity of 87,000.

The Colosseum is an example of what the Romans managed to achieve with this construction so long ago, and you can’t help but think how remarkable it was.

It is not surprising to know that the Colosseum is listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

The elliptical sports arena that celebrated the legendary gladiator games is one of the most recognizable symbols of the Italian capital.

It is nestled in the middle of the Eternal City and remains the second-hottest ticket for visitors to Roma, after the Vatican.

Here are 15 Colosseum tours that should top your list whenever you find yourself in Rome.

1. Skip the Line: Colosseum and Ancient Rome Walking Tour

Skip The Line Colosseum And Ancient Rome Walking Tour

Bypass the queues with this best-selling ticket to the Colosseum and explore the amphitheater as you hear stories of the fabled gladiator fights.

Then visit Palatine Hill, the neighborhood where the most important houses of Roman emperors and kings stood.

Regarded as the foundation of Rome, this is the most centrally located of the seven hills of Rome and is within touching distance of the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus.

You will also visit the Roman Forum, which was the center of all public life, and learn how ancient Romans lived as you stroll along the Via Sacra, the main street of ancient Rome.

2. Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Package

Colosseum, Rome

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Colosseum, Rome

The Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the Colosseum were “where it all happened” in ancient Rome.

The Palatine was the most desirable place to live in the city, reserved for emperors and aristocrats. The Roman Forum was the marketplace and the region the government was run from.

And the Colosseum was a standing testament to the power and greatness of Rome, where gladiatorial games were held.

These three sites remain the most important of the ancient Roman ruins to date and this ticket bundles all three into a single tour.

The beauty of this tour is it gives you two-day access to these attractions because, for some of us, one day just isn’t enough to take in these awe-inspiring sites.

You will enjoy fast-track entry, with a downloadable map to boot.

3. Colosseum, Forum & Ancient Rome Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

Roman Colosseum, Rome

Source: Calin Stan / shutterstock

Roman Colosseum, Rome

No matter how much you would relish an exploration of Rome’s most famous remnants, sometimes time isn’t your most ample asset.

But this three-hour tour allows you to make the most of it, taking you to the Colosseum and Palatine Hill, before ending at the Forum.

This is a small group tour of 25 individuals or less, with skip-the-line advantage so you can spend the allotted three hours the best way possible – sightseeing.

A professional guide will be on hand to narrate the fascinating history of the Romans, including tales and myths of the emperors, the gladiators, and beasts that graced the arena.

4. Skip-the-Line Colosseum Guided Tour

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Source: ESB Professional / shutterstock

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

The Flavian Amphitheater was the most important structure in ancient Rome and tales of its magnificence were told far and wide.

Today, it remains one of the most iconic structures in the world. This one-hour tour gives you the opportunity to take it all in, with the advantage of skipping the lines at the entrance.

A guide will show you around, recounting stories of the legendary war games, the countless animals that met their death here, and the sea battles that were reenacted in the Colosseum that you don’t hear much about.

The tour covers the entire monument, concluding at the official book shop where you’ll find the most comprehensive book collection about the Colosseum.

5. Skip-the-Line Colosseum Tickets with Arena Floor Access

Great Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Source: S.Borisov / shutterstock

Great Colosseum, Rome, Italy

This ticket offers perks that standard tickets to the Colosseum do not cover.

After skipping the long queues to the Amphitheater, retrace gladiator steps by taking the Gladiator’s Entrance, which opens to the arena’s floor where they did battle.

The ticket also grants access to the second tier, where roaring crowds bayed for blood, as well as the emperor’s box, which offered the best views for 42 of the emperors who witnessed the carnage at the Amphitheater.

If by the end of the three-hour tour you feel the need to immerse yourself in ancient Roman history further, the ticket comes with the option of exploring the Colosseum further with skip-the-line access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

6. Vatican & Rome City Pass with Free Transportation

Vatican & Rome City Pass With Free Transportation

With almost 3,000 years of history, Rome is one of the most historical cities in the world – so much so, that a large chunk of the city is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This tour is one of the best ways to uncover this past, mainly because it offers three full days to explore the city at your own pace.

With this city pass, you will enjoy fast-track entry into Rome’s most famous attractions, including free admission to the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museums.

You will also enjoy discounted entry into more than 30 attractions in the city, with free transport aboard a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus.

7. 3.5 hour Colosseum and Ancient Rome Walking Tour

Trevi Fountain, Rome

Source: Luciano Mortula - LGM / Shutterstock.com

Trevi Fountain

Join a group of 18 people and head out on a 3.5-hour exploration of Rome by foot in the company of an expert guide.

Most of the guides are grads of history/architecture, so they know their stuff quite well, which is good news for the historically curious.

The tour has the option of morning or late afternoon departure and saves valuable time with skip-the-line access to ancient Rome’s most famous sites.

Included in the package are the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and a hike up Capitoline Hill the neighborhood where the who’s who in Rome called home.

You will also visit the Piazza Venezia (Rome’s central hub), the Pantheon (the Roman temple which is the most preserved and influential building of ancient Rome), and the Piazza Navona, one of the most charming and famous squares in the Eternal City.

8. Ancient Rome Tour: Colosseum Underground, Arena & Forum

Colosseum Underground

This tour grants you access to areas of the Colosseum not accessible via regular ticket, including the underground chamber where the wild animals were housed before being released into the arena.

Enter the arena through the Porta Libitinaria (the Gate of Death) and ascend the first level for a glimpse of what it was like watching the deadly games from this vantage point.

You will learn about the architectural feat of the Flavian Amphitheater and the social and political impact of the games.

Enjoy access to the Forum to get a feel for what everyday life was like in ancient Rome before heading to Palatine Hill for the best views of the Circus Maximus and Colosseum.

9. Rome in One Day: Low-Cost Vatican & Colosseum Tours

Vatican City

Source: Adrian Flory / shutterstock

Vatican City

A trip to the Vatican is a lifetime treat for every Catholic.

However, it’s also a feast for art lovers of all religious affiliations. This tour affords you a daylong exploration of the two most visited attractions in Italy.

Start the morning with a visit to the Vatican’s famous sites, including the massive St. Peter’s Basilica – the resting place for St. Peter – before proceeding to the breathtaking Sistine Chapel with its Michelangelo frescoes.

Visit the Colosseum in the afternoon, followed by a view of the famous archaeological sites in its vicinity, including the Forum and Palatine Hill.

10. 3.5 Hour Skip-the-Line Access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Navona Tour

Piazza Navona, Rome

Source: Gabriele Maltinti / shutterstock

Piazza Navona

We know that all tours to Rome’s ancient sites are historical, but all history mega-buffs will especially love this tour.

Why?

It takes you on a 3.5-hour guided tour of the seven beauties of Ancient and Baroque Rome.

You will start at the Colosseum where gladiatorial combats and public games were held.

The tour then proceeds to the Roman Forum, the site for all political, business and religious gatherings in ancient Rome.

From there, your guide takes you to the Imperial Forum, followed by a visit to the central hub of Piazza Venezia and the Trevi Fountain, the largest Baroque fountain in the city.

The Pantheon is also on the cards, as is a visit to the Piazza Navona, a square constructed on the remains of the stadium of Domitian.

11. Colosseum and Roman Forum Small-Group Guided Tour

Palatine Hill, Rome

Source: Viacheslav Lopatin / shutterstock

Palatine Hill

Capped at 13 people max, this tour is ideal for anyone who wants a more personalized experience than a large group tour can provide.

The three-hour tour starts with skip-the-line entry at the world’s biggest and most famous amphitheater, the Colosseum, before proceeding to the Roman Forum, the political, commercial, legal and religious center of ancient Rome.

But the tour is not restricted to these two showpieces.

Your guide will also take you to other sites that were important in the everyday life of an ancient Roman, including the Temple of Saturn and Vesta, the Tabularium and more.

Then visit Palatine Hill, Rome’s sacred birthplace, where you can catch magnificent views of attractions like the Circus Maximus, a massive entertainment venue used for chariot racing.

12. Colosseum and Palatine Hill Skip-the-Line Tour

Palatine Hill Ruins, Rome

Source: Viacheslav Lopatin / shutterstock

Palatine Hill Ruins, Rome

This is a sightseeing tour that doubles as a great learning experience.

Soak in the beauty of the Colosseum from the outside before stepping inside to learn about the history and architecture of the structure, as well as the technological advancements of the ancient Roman engineers.

An expert guide will then lead you to the most important of the Seven Hills of Rome – Palatine Hill – which was home to famous emperors like Augustus, Tiberius, and Domitian.

You will see the ruins of the Temple of Caesar from here, the Arch of Titus, the Basilica of Maxentius, the House of the Vestal Virgins and much more.

13. Colosseum Express Skip-the-Line Tour

Tourist looking at Colosseum

Source: WineDonuts / shutterstock

Tourist Looking At Colosseum

If time is not your best friend and you need a reasonably-priced ticket to the Colosseum, this hour-long tour is perfect.

Meet your guide a short distance from the Colosseum and walk right past the line through an express entrance.

You’ll march through the amphitheater at a reasonably fast clip, as your guide narrates the history of the structure and shows you around important features.

It’s fun, it’s efficient, and it’s affordable.

14. Colosseum and Ancient Rome 3-Hour Private Tour

Roman Forum, Rome

Source: Viacheslav Lopatin / shutterstock

Roman Forum, Rome

If you want a truly personalized experience, hire an expert guide for yourself and spend three hours reveling in the majesty of the Colosseum.

The good thing about having a private guide is that it’s likely to be the most in-depth tour of the Colosseum you take, with a flexibility not possible with a group tour.

Spend time at the points that stir the most interest in you and flit through those that don’t strike your fancy.

The tour also covers other famous ruins in the Roman Forum, including temples, basilicas and former palaces; not to mention a hike up Palatine Hill.

15. Colosseum Skip-the-Line Self-Guided Virtual Reality Tour

Self-Guided Virtual Reality Tour

A virtual reality tour teleports you to ancient Rome in style by providing you with a 3-D reconstruction of the Colosseum, integrated with audio commentary.

The virtual tour is a deeply immersive experience that leads you into the depths of the arena through the labyrinth of underground corridors where slaves readied the shows.

Enjoy virtual reenactments of the deadly games, complete with the roaring of lions and thunderous applause from the watching masses.

After the virtual tour, skip the line and gain admission into the Colosseum, before wrapping up with a cultural visit to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Where to stay: Best Hotels in Rome, Italy
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List of Image Sources

15 Best Colosseum Tours:

Great Colosseum, Rome, Italy

  • Skip The Line Colosseum And Ancient Rome Walking Tour: getyourguide.com
  • Colosseum, Rome: Viacheslav Lopatin / shutterstock
  • Roman Colosseum, Rome: Calin Stan / shutterstock
  • Colosseum, Rome, Italy: ESB Professional / shutterstock
  • Great Colosseum, Rome, Italy: S.Borisov / shutterstock
  • Vatican & Rome City Pass With Free Transportation: getyourguide.com
  • Trevi Fountain: Luciano Mortula - LGM / Shutterstock.com
  • Colosseum Underground: getyourguide.com
  • Vatican City: Adrian Flory / shutterstock
  • Piazza Navona: Gabriele Maltinti / shutterstock
  • Palatine Hill: Viacheslav Lopatin / shutterstock
  • Palatine Hill: Viacheslav Lopatin / shutterstock
  • Tourist Looking At Colosseum: WineDonuts / shutterstock
  • Roman Forum, Rome: Viacheslav Lopatin / shutterstock
  • Self-Guided Virtual Reality Tour: getyourguide.com