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Completed in the year 80 during the reign of Titus, the Colosseum was the biggest amphitheater ever built by the Roman Empire. It once regularly hosted 50,000 spectators cheering and jeering at combating gladiators, executions and battle reenactments. While the baying crowds are no longer there, the structure itself has defied earthquakes, stone thieves and car pollution to remain standing today at the heart of Rome.
If you plan ahead and purchase combined tickets to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill in advance, entrance to the famous site begins by breezing past the long line straight inside. But, even if you have to stand in line, don’t worry too much. What you’ll see when you enter this enormous amphitheater is worth the wait.
To get the most of the site, pay to join a tour when inside. You can also rent an audio guide. Although the interior of the Colosseum is now largely deteriorated, there is still much to see. The structure’s centerpiece is the hypogeum, part of the subterranean network, above which the arena floor would have been. Weave your way through the pillars and plant life at your leisure.
It is also possible to visit the winding network of underground tunnels — where the gladiators would steel themselves before facing the crowds — and the third level of the Colosseum. This must be done with a special guide and booked in advance. If you don’t manage this, take a walk around the entire outer edifice to admire the three-tiered travertine arches and see how the whole structure fits together. In particular, take note of the very bottom layer of arches, built not for aesthetics but rather as an essential means of crowd control.
While the gladiatorial tussles and live animal hunts are long gone, the Colosseum is still used from time to time as a spectacular backdrop for summer concerts, often for big performers like Paul McCartney and Simon and Garfunkel, so always check the schedule before you visit.
The Colosseum is in central Rome. Bus stops and the Metro train station Colosseo are all nearby.
The world is full of adventure, and there are heaps of epic experiences to be had when we dig out our passports and go on vacation.
This place has a wide range of activities. Here are some ideas to kick start your trip to Colosseum:
Got a little time on your side? Go to our Colosseum things to do page for a complete list of activities.
We understand you really want to get the most out of your time at Colosseum. So, we've compiled some of the most popular things you can do here:
Have a look at our Rome things to do page to find even more activities while you're in the area.
Located in Repubblica, this family-friendly Rome hotel is steps from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Via Nazionale, and Via XX Settembre. Via Veneto and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore are also within 10 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is only a 2-minute walk and Barberini Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Repubblica, this hotel is steps from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Via Nazionale. Via XX Settembre and Piazza della Repubblica are also within 5 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is only a 4-minute walk and Barberini Station is 9 minutes.
Located in Repubblica, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Roman Forum and Villa Borghese are also within 1 mi (2 km). Repubblica - Opera House Station is only a 4-minute walk and Barberini Station is 8 minutes.
Located in the heart of Rome, this family-friendly hotel is steps from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Via Nazionale. Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and Via Veneto are also within 10 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station and Rome Termini Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Rome City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Nazionale, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Piazza della Repubblica and Via Marsala are also within 10 minutes. Rome Termini Station is only a 3-minute walk and Repubblica - Opera House Station is 5 minutes.
Located in Monti, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Imperial Fora, Via Nazionale, and Roman Forum. Colosseum and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore are also within 10 minutes. Cavour Station is only a 2-minute walk and Colosseo Station is 7 minutes.
Located in Monti, this bed & breakfast is steps from Santa Prassede and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Via Nazionale are also within 10 minutes. Cavour Station is 7 minutes by foot and Vittorio Emanuele Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Celio, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano. Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and Baths of Caracalla are also within 1 mi (2 km). Colosseo Station is 8 minutes by foot and Manzoni - Museo della Liberazione Station is 10 minutes.