Souterrains du Colisée – Billets et Visites Guidées
Pollice Verso de Gérome - source: Wikipedia

Are you looking to book Colosseum underground tickets? Are you wondering which of the many Colosseum underground tours is right for you?

While the first and second levels of the Colosseum are open to the general public, the underground is probably the most exciting section of the Colosseum.

Get the most out of your visit and enjoy something more exclusive, beat the crowds and get a peek through time behind the scenes of gladiator battles as you stand in the remains of the amphitheater’s underground chambers.

Here, you will find a comprehensive guide to Colosseum underground tickets & tours, including group tours, private tours, night tours, combined offers, tips and much more.

1 – How to book Colosseum underground tickets?

The colosseum is divided into several areas. If you wish to descend into the underground of the Colosseum and walk on the gladiators’ arena, you will need to book a tour with a authorized tour guide. Indeed the Colosseum’s underground area can only be accessed on a pre-booked guided tour.

Many providers provide guided tours such as Viator, Getyourguide, Musement to name a few. There are plenty of offers for you to choose from and research can be a hassle. Use TourScanner’s search to compare the offers in one place and find your ideal tour.

2 – The Colosseum underground and other levels: what can you see?

Colosseum underground & tickets

Measuring some 620 by 513 feet (190 by 155 meters), the largest amphitheater ever built hosted impressive gladiatorial combats, wild animal fights and then some before crowds of thousands of cheering Romans. They were likely seated in a tiered arrangement according to their social rank. Modern estimates put the number of seats at around 50,000.

If you want to explore the underground area, you may also want to walk on the arena floor, and maybe visit the third, fourth and fifth tiers. Here is a list the different levels of the site you might want to see along with the Colosseum’s underground chambers.

The underground chambers 

But you cannot go on this exclusive tours by yourself – you will need a guide. Your expert guide will be providing commentary about the Colosseum, narrating stories about the ancient empire throughout your visit.

Make your way below ground and walk through the maze of subterranean chambers to see where wild animals were caged. You will also get to explore the dungeons where the gladiators would wait before battles.

The underground chambers, also known as the hypogeum, are still clearly visible from the arena. It consisted of a two-level underground network of tunnels and cages beneath the arena. Listen to stories from your expert guide about the gruesome gladiator fights and the remnants of technological feats such as ingenious pulley and winch systems which served as early elevators getting the show to the arena.

From its depths, you will ascend, as animals, men and stage props did –albeit on a modern-day elevator– to the upper levels of the structure.

1st & 2nd floors 

Most tours take you to the 1st and second levels.  From the third and last order of arches of the monument (2nd floor), standing about 30 meters above the ground, you can enjoy a fantastic panoramic view of the city.

The Arena 

Get a gladiator’s-eye view of the Colosseum as you walk amid the patched, ancient masonry and around the reconstructed floor of the arena. Imagine yourself at the heart of the action, where the gladiators once dueled in bloody battles, and look down into the underground chambers.

Third, 4th & 5th tiers 

Head up to the third floor, the ‘Maenianum Secundum’, and take in spectacular panoramic views of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

The fourth and fifth floor were opened in late 2017 and offer the most exclusive views of the site. On the fourth level, you’ll be directly above the Emperor’s Imperial Box. This is one of the best vantage points on the floor arena below. From the 5th tier, you will get remarkable views capturing both the ancient and modern parts of the city.

Compare Colosseum underground tickets and tours on TourScanner to find the best fit; or continue reading to find out more about the different types of Colosseum underground tickets.

3 – What Colosseum underground tour should I choose?

Colosseum by night
credit to Wikipedia

The vast majority of Colosseum underground tickets include entrance at the Roman Forum – the center of all political and social life in Ancient Rome – and Palatine Hill – once the most sought-after neighborhood in Rome and the chosen spot for Emperors to build their homes.

Skip the line or priority entrance ticket options are included in Colosseum underground experiences, as well as guided tours with different group sizes, depending on your preference. Intimate night tours and combo tickets including underground Colosseum tours are also available.

Priority entrance tickets

There are two entrances at the Colosseum. One for visitors without tickets and one for visitors with reserved entry. By going to this entrance, you will skip the line. Please note that you need to identify the age of children at the ticket desk which situated at this same entrance gate. So you will still skip the line. 

Group tours

Group tours are the cheaper option for your Colosseum underground visit. They are cheaper than a private tour and can be ideal if you are low on budget and comfortable with groups. You may, however, not be able to go at your own pace or ask questions at your leisure.

Sometimes, it may get difficult to listen to the guide with so many people around. A good option is to opt for a tour that offers you whisper headphones to cut the noise. Small-group tours may also be a good middle-ground option if you want more personal space and opportunities to ask questions.

Private tours

If you would rather opt for a more intimate experience, then you should go for private Colosseum tours. While a majority of group tours are only available in English, you can find private Colosseum underground tours in other languages including Spanish, German, French and Arabic.

While they are more expensive than most other options, they do come with perks such as the opportunity to get detailed answers to any and every question you may have, and optional services which may include pick and drop, lunch and photography. You will also get to go at your own pace, which can be a blessing for families or if you just prefer to take your time to savor the experience.

Night Tours 

The Colosseum traditionally closes its doors to the general public an hour before sundown. Without the crowds, enjoy the most exclusive experience in the world’s largest amphitheater.  You will be welcomed by its guards who will open the gates just to let your group inside!

With these special after-hours tours of the Colosseum and its underground area, you will get to enjoy cooler temperature and a calming, evocative scenery in a typically crowded place.

Combined tickets

A variety of combined tickets include other famous attractions in Rome with your Colosseum underground tour.  Along with your underground chambers experience, you might get to see:

  • The Ancient city
  • The Vatican
  • The House of the Vestal Virgins
  • The Roman Senate
  • The Septimius Severus’ Arch
  • The Arch of Constantine
  • and many others…

Compare Colosseum underground tours from various providers on TourScanner and find the best fit 🙂

4 – Colosseum opening hours

Colosseum underground & arena
credit to Headout
The Colosseum is open every day from 8.30 am until an hour before sunset depending on the season:
January 2 – February 15: closing at 4:30 pm
February 16 – March 15: closing at 5 pm
March 16 – last Saturday of March: closing at 5:30 pm
Last Sunday of March-August 31: closing at 7:15 pm
September 1 to September 30: closing at 7 pm
October 1 to last Sunday of October: closing at 6:30 pm
Last Sunday of October – December 31: closing at 4:30 pm

5 – How to get there?

Colosseum belvedere
credit to Headout

The Colosseum, located on Piazza del Colosseo, is very easily accessible by public transports. Here’s how to get there:

By Metro
Take line B or B1 to the closest Metro stop, Colosseo. The main entrance is a 4-minute walk away from the station through Via Nicola Salvi.

By Bus
Buses 51, 75, 85, 87 and N2 will take you to the Colosseo station, a 4-minute walk away from the entrance through Via Nicola Salvi.

By Tramway
Trams 3 and 8 lead directly to the Piazza del Colosseo stop, which is a 3-minute walk to the Colosseum.

Transport Ticket Info

Transport tickets allow you to use all public transports provided by the capital, here are the options available to you:

  • One-Way Ticket (BIT) – costs 1.50 euros and lasts 75 minutes with unlimited transfers, except for the metro line which you can only use once.
  • Day Pass (BIG) – costs 6 euros and lasts from the moment of validation until midnight on the same day with unlimited transfers.
  • 3 Day Tourist Pass (BTI) – costs 16.50 euros and lasts three days from the moment of validation with unlimited transfers.
  • Week Pass (CIS) – costs 24 euros and lasts seven days from the moment of validation with unlimited transfers.

6 – Colosseum tips 

Colosseum travel tips
credit to Headout
      • Only the 1st and 2nd levels are accessible for those with walking disabilities or using a wheelchair. Other parts of the Colosseum are also unable to accommodate strollers.
      • Visitors must pass through metal detectors at the security checkpoint. Please expect to wait 20-30 minutes to clear security.
      • You must carry a valid ID with you and present i at the entrance if requested.
      • Selfie sticks are not allowed within the Colosseum for security reasons.
      • Please note that you cannot get into the Colosseum with large bags, backpacks, or suitcases. You may bring small bags, but there is no cloakroom service inside the Colosseum to accommodate large items.
      • Standard entry to the Colosseum is free on the first Sunday of every month.
      • While visiting the Colosseum, be sure to visit the museum dedicated to Eros (Greek god of love) located on the upper floor of the outer wall of the building. The museum contains numerous statues, busts, and other artifacts excavated from the Colosseum site and other locations around Rome.
      • About 200 cats live in the Colosseum. No need to feed them, they are already well cared for.