8 Best Colosseum Tours in Rome (2024)

Famously the setting for gladiatorial contests, the UNESCO-listed Colosseum (il Colosseo) should be at the top of your Rome bucket list. Taking a tour is one of the best ways to enjoy the Colosseum and a good guide can bring Ancient Rome’s best-known site vividly to life

But which are the best Colosseum tours in Rome?

This is where I can help. I’ve visited the Colosseum more than once and know what to look for in a tour.

From night-time Colosseum tours to family-friendly experiences, here is my pick of the best tours of the Colosseum.

exterior of the colosseum in rome

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THE BEST OF THE BEST

TOP Pick

Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome

  • skip-the-line ticket
  • access restricted areas of the Colosseum
#2 Pick

Colosseum by Night

  • experience the Colosseum without the crowds
  • access the arena floor & underground areas
#3 Pick

Private Colosseum and Roman Forum

  • hotel pick-up
  • skip-the-line ticket

Is It Worth Getting a Tour of the Colosseum?

A self-guided visit allows you to move at your own pace and focus on the aspects that interest you the most. However, having done it both ways, a guided tour of the Colosseum added so much value to the experience:

Access Restricted Areas –  Some tours offer access to areas of the Colosseum that are not open to the general public, such as the underground chambers and the upper levels. This is a massive benefit for me.

Fast track entry –  Most tours offer skip-the-line access, allowing you to bypass long queues and maximise your time at the site.

Expert Guidance –  A good guide can provide insights, stories and information that you might not get from a self-guided visit.

Best Colosseum Tours in Rome

There is a bewildering array of Colosseum tours available and it can be tricky to determine which is the right one for you. To help you make the right choice, I’ve curated a list of my favourite experiences.

1. Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Tour | 3 hours

ruined columns and arches of the roman forum which are included on the best colosseum tours
The Roman Forum is included on many of the best Colosseum tours

Ancient Rome was much more than the Colosseum and this 3-hour tour includes the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. This affordable tour is an excellent introduction to these iconic sites and has been highly rated by more than 13k travellers.

Book this if you want

  • an excellent value tour
  • a skip-the-line ticket
  • a tour of the Roman Forum
  • a tour of the Palatine Hill

ThiNK TWICE if you WANT

  • access to the Colosseum arena floor
  • access to the underground areas
  • access to the second tier

What other travellers have said:

I highly recommend it especially to those who go for the first time! The guided tour is perfect for those traveling alone, as a couple or as a family/group!

Valentina – Italy

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2. Colosseum Arena Floor & Ancient Rome Tour | 3 hours

people inside the colosseum in rome
Inside the Colosseum, Rome

If you’ve ever wanted to walk in the footsteps of gladiators, this is the tour for you. This value-for-money tour has also been highly rated by other travellers and includes access to the arena floor.

A tour of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill is also included. I like that the English tour group size is capped at 12 people.

Book this if you want

  • a skip-the-line ticket
  • access to the Colosseum arena floor
  • a tour of the Roman Forum
  • a tour of the Palatine Hill

ThiNK TWICE if you WANT

  • access to the underground areas
  • access to the second tier

What other travellers have said:

The tour was excellent from start to finish.

Ceriane – United Kingdom

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3. Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Tour | 3 hours

This is an access-all-areas Colosseum tour. It is one of the few tours that visits the arena’s underground chambers as well as the second tier.

The tour finishes with a tour of the Roman Forum.

Book this if you want

  • a skip-the-line ticket
  • to access all restricted areas
  • a tour of the Roman Forum

ThiNK TWICE if you WANT

  • a tour of the Palatine Hill

What other travellers have said:

Very informative and we took plenty of time to see everything. It truly felt like the VIP special tour that we paid for. I would actually do it again.

Justin

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4. Colosseum by Night with Underground & Arena Floor Tour | 2 hours

If the Colosseum by day is magnificent, the Colosseum by night is magical. And if its illuminated splendour is not enough to convince you to visit after the sun sets, let me tell you that it is much quieter at night.

A tour is the only way to visit il Colosseo at night and this one allows you access to most of the monument’s restricted areas.

Book this if you want TO

  • visit without the crowds
  • access to the Colosseum arena
  • access to the underground areas

ThiNK TWICE if you WANT TO

  • access the second tier
  • tour the Roman Forum
  • tour the Palatine Hill

What other travellers have said:

Experiencing the Colosseum at night I think is the best way to do it. You don’t have the crowds and there is so much more freedom to hang back and take pictures than you would have during the day. The tour guides and were very knowledgable!

Eric – United States

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outside wall of colosseum which should be on your rome bucket list

5. Colosseum Floor Twilight Tour & Imperial Forum Visit | 2 hours

A major disadvantage of visiting the Colosseum at night is that you miss out on a guided tour of the Roman Forum. For me, this twilight Colosseum tour is the best of both worlds.

You benefit from the relative tranquillity of the last entry slot of the day and get an introduction to the Roman Forum

Book this if you want

  • to visit at a quieter time
  • sunset photo opportunities
  • a skip-the-line ticket
  • access to the Colosseum arena
  • an exterior tour of the Roman Forum & Imperial Forum

ThiNK TWICE if you WANT

  • access to the second tier
  • to visit the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

What other travellers have said:

… amazing photo opportunities at sunset. I highly recommend this tour, well worth the money!

GetYourGuide traveller – United Kingdom

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6. Private Colosseum and Roman Forum Tour | 3 hours

massive roman arch of constantine with intricate carvings
The Arch of Constantine

Group tours aren’t for everyone. A private tour can be customized to your interests and ensures you’ll receive personalized attention from your guide.

This highly-rated private tour starts at the Colosseum and finishes at the Arch of Constantine. It also passes by the Palatine Hill, Temple of Vesta, Forum of Caesar and Imperial Forum.

old colonnaded buildings of imperial forum in rome italy
Imperial Forum

Book this if you want A

  • hotel pick-up
  • skip the line ticket
  • private tour of the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

ThiNK TWICE if you WANT

  • access to the underground area and upper tiers

What other travellers have said:

Our tour guide Katie is a historian who is very knowledgeable and friendly. She explained the details with pictures and old photos from her iPad made the Colosseum and Roman Forum live again. We had a most wonderful time and experience. Best value for money.

Michael_H

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7. Private Colosseum & Roman Forum Tour for Kids & Families | 2 hrs 30 minutes

Are you travelling to Rome with children? If so, take a look at this private tour, designed with kids and families in mind.

The younger members of your group will be engaged by playing games and answering trivia questions.

Book this if you want A

  • skip the line ticket
  • tour designed for kids
  • private tour of the Colosseum & Roman Forum

ThiNK TWICE if you WANT A

  • hotel pick-up

What other travellers have said:

Thank you Simona! Without a doubt one the BEST tours we’ve EVER had! Anywhere! We had Simona, and she was thorough, interesting and engaging – for both adults and kids!

Jasmin_L

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exterior of rome colosseo behind wall with latin plaque

8. Colosseum Express Tour | 1 hour

My final Colosseum tour is for you if you are tight on time and just want to see inside the Colosseum. Or it may be that you are not that interested in history and don’t want an in-depth tour.

If that’s the case, this bare-bones tour might be the one for you. However, it’s worth noting you have to stay with your group and cannot extend your time at the Colosseum.

Book this if you

  • want a skip-the-line ticket
  • are short on time

ThiNK TWICE if you WANT

  • access to restricted areas
  • a more in-depth tour

What other travellers have said:

The tour was great, our guide led us through security and told us the key information we needed to know about the Colosseum.

GetYourGuide traveler – Australia

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And That’s a Wrap!

Of course, you can visit the Colosseum without a tour. Your entry ticket includes the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. You can buy your skip-the-line ticket here.

However, I’ve often found that a tour gives you more bang for your buck. Visiting the Colosseum isn’t cheap and the tour may not cost that much more than your entrance ticket.

Whichever of these Colosseum tours you choose, have an unforgettable time in one of the world’s must-see sights.