Colosseum

Vacation Travel Guide
Italy featuring heritage architecture, a city and night scenes

A true architectural heavyweight, the 2,000-year-old Colosseum is often considered one of the seven “modern” wonders of the world.

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.

Top things to do in Colosseum

Top Hotels Close to Colosseum

Hotel Raffaello, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western
Hotel Raffaello, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western
3 out of 5
Via Urbana 3/5, Rome, RM
The price is CA $113 per night from Oct 10 to Oct 10
Located in Rome Historic Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. Via Nazionale and Piazza ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (990 reviews)
"This is an excellent hotel. The room is beautifully adorned. I will stay here on every future trip to Rome. The location is perfect. Also, the staff is helpful, especially MASSIMO, who provided me with so many useful suggestions during my visit. I have never encountered such a helpful and charismatic ..."

Reviewed on Sep. 25, 2021

Hotel Raffaello, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western
Best Western Plus Hotel Universo
Best Western Plus Hotel Universo
4 out of 5
Via Principe Amedeo 5/B, Rome, RM
The price is CA $146 per night from Oct 10 to Oct 10
Located in Rome Historic Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Baths of Diocletian, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, and Palace of Expositions. Repubblica ...
4.4/5Excellent! (971 reviews)
"Monica (breakfast host) was really, really good and friendly!!! Very professional as well!"

Reviewed on Sep. 23, 2021

Best Western Plus Hotel Universo
Hotel Quirinale
Hotel Quirinale
4 out of 5
Via Nazionale 7, Rome, RM
The price is CA $177 per night from Oct 3 to Oct 3
This family-friendly Rome hotel is located in Rome Historic Centre, within 1 mi (2 km) of Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore, Colosseum, and Borghese Gallery. Piazza ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,777 reviews)
"Beautiful hotel! Our room was huge and very clean, along with a grand historic feel. Highly recommend when in Rome!"

Reviewed on Sep. 20, 2021

Hotel Quirinale
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Colosseum

Hotel Raffaello, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western
Hotel Raffaello, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western
3 out of 5
Via Urbana 3/5, Rome, RM
The price is CA $113 per night from Oct 10 to Oct 10
Hotel Raffaello, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western
Best Western Plus Hotel Universo
Best Western Plus Hotel Universo
4 out of 5
Via Principe Amedeo 5/B, Rome, RM
The price is CA $146 per night from Oct 10 to Oct 10
Best Western Plus Hotel Universo
Hotel Quirinale
Hotel Quirinale
4 out of 5
Via Nazionale 7, Rome, RM
The price is CA $177 per night from Oct 3 to Oct 3
Hotel Quirinale
DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti
DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti
Piazza dell'Esquilino 1, Rome
The price is CA $209 per night from Oct 17 to Oct 17
DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti
Hotel Artemide
Hotel Artemide
4 out of 5
Via Nazionale 22, Rome, RM
The price is CA $193 per night from Oct 3 to Oct 3
Hotel Artemide
UNAHOTELS Decò Roma
UNAHOTELS Decò Roma
4 out of 5
Via Giovanni Amendola, 57, Rome, RM
The price is CA $181 per night from Oct 3 to Oct 3
UNAHOTELS Decò Roma
iQ Hotel Roma
iQ Hotel Roma
4 out of 5
Via Firenze, 8, Rome, RM
The price is CA $134 per night from Sep 29 to Sep 29
iQ Hotel Roma
Napoleon Hotel
Napoleon Hotel
4 out of 5
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II 105, Rome, RM
The price is CA $125 per night from Sep 29 to Sep 29
Napoleon Hotel
Mercure Roma Centro Colosseo
Mercure Roma Centro Colosseo
4 out of 5
Via Labicana 144, Rome, RM
The price is CA $187 per night from Oct 20 to Oct 20
Mercure Roma Centro Colosseo
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.