Which Colosseum Tours Are The Best

This post covers tours of Ancient Rome, namely tours of the Colosseum, the Forum and Palatine Hill, including free, self-guided audio tours.

 

 


COLOSSEUM GUIDED TOURS

In this section, we cover tours that include general admission to the Colosseum, but not access to restricted areas such as the Underground and the Belvedere.

Below the official guided tour details, we list the information for the very excellent private guided tours. 

Private companies have a few advantages over the official tour. First, they tend to have smaller groups than the official tour. 

 

Skip-the-line Colosseum

 

Second, they have their own special entrance, which is even better than skip-the-queue for general admission and tours and admission because it allows for immediate access to the security line.

Third, most of these tours are more time-efficient and visit both the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. 

Lastly, they usually focus on having fluent English speakers. 

We list a few below, but there are simply too many options available to list. Click here to see the full range of possibilities, which include virtual reality tours. 

We have listed the companies that get consistently great reviews on TripAdvisor, Google and other platforms. 

Expect to pay between €42 to €67 per adult depending on what you choose.

In general, prices are determined by the number of participants per guide, with some groups capping off at 24 and others that limit their sizes to 12 or smaller.  Prices include all fees to enter all 3 attractions.

There are less expensive options available, but they are not as well-reviewed or don’t offer daily tours. 

There are simply too many options available to list. Click here to see the full range of possibilities


Take Walks

This company offers a range of tours in Rome including multiple trips to the Colosseum. Their services at this landmark cover additional topics such as the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the Arena floor.

In addition to these outings, they also have a VIP Underground tour you might enjoy.

Each tour is led by a professional guide and headsets are provided to every guest so that you can hear everything that is being said.

You’ll also receive skip-the-line access at the Colosseum, making it easier to get inside and take a look around.

Colosseum Tour + Arena Floor (Skip-the-Lines)

  • €56 – Adult
  • €52 – Child (2-14)
  • Max of 25 guests
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Availability: Daily

Colosseum Tour + Roman Forum & Palatine Hill (Skip-the-Lines)

  • €56 per person
  • Max of 25 guests
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Availability: Daily

City Wonders 

City Wonders is one of the larger walking tour companies in Rome. This tour covers the Colosseum, the Forum, and Palatine Hill.

They also offer a tour of the Colosseum’s Underground.

They are not the cheapest, but they are extremely well-reviewed, averaging 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor with over 13,000 total reviews. 

They also offer 100% money back if you cancel with 24 hours or more in advance.

On their tour, you will be provided with headphones to ensure that you hear your live guide. They also offer tours in Spanish, French, Italian and German, mostly on weekends.

  • €59 adult | €54 child 4-14 | 0-3 are free
  • Maximum 25 participants
  • 3 hours
  • daily tours in English 08:30, 09:30, 10:00, 14:00 & 15:00
  • More details or to purchase.

 


Roma Experience

This is another well-reviewed tour company, and while they are more expensive, the group size is capped at just 12.  With such a small group size, headsets are not necessary.

They only offer this tour once each day in the morning. They also offer a virtual reality version of this tour.

  • €59 adult | €56 student | €49 child 4-14 | 0-3 are free
  • Maximum 12 participants
  • Daily @ 08:30 (In the summer months, they also offer a tour @ 15:15)
  • More information.

Click here to see the full range of possibilities


Official Guided Tours

This is for the official Colosseum guided tour with an official live tour guide but does not include access to the Underground, Arena, nor the Belvedere. 

The express tour is conducted in English, Italian, French, or Spanish and it lasts 45 minutes.

The total cost would be €19/adult and €9/child (under 18), which include the advanced reservation fees. (Starting Jan 11, 2020, the cost will be €23/adult and €9/child (under 18)

There are several tour times per day, but the earliest is 9:30 am, which means you will need to wait for this tour if you arrive at the opening at 08:30 am.

You can purchase this on the Colosseum’s official website

If you find their website too frustrating, you could also book it through Get Your Guide, but it’s €15 more per adult. 

 


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SELF-GUIDED AUDIO AND VISUAL TOURS

A self-guided tour is a reasonable option for experiencing the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Forum.

A big advantage of this option compared to a guided tour is that you can linger around inside the Colosseum for as long as you like, to enjoy the views, or to visit the public exhibits.

The disadvantages are you won’t have quick access to the security line (unless you arrive really early) and you won’t have an expert tour guide around if you have questions.

This option also doesn’t permit access to the Underground, Arena Floor, or Belvedere. Only guided tours take you there.

There is even a free audio tour from Rick Steves that we recommend, not just because its a free, quality production, but because he also offers a free audio tour of the Forum. 


YOU NEED A TICKET

Please note that if you choose to take a self-guided tour, then you will need a general admission ticket to enter any of the 3 sights (unless you have a Roma Card or Omnia Card, which grants free entry).

The cost for the official self-guided audio and visual tours are in addition to the general admission ticket but can now be purchased as one combined ticket.

Tickets are good for 2 days, but you can only enter each attraction once. Palatine Hill and the Forum are considered one attraction as is the Colosseum.

We recommend buying and printing out your ticket before you arrive, then you will have what is called skip-the-queue tickets. 

Without printed tickets, you will need to stand on a will-call line to pick up your tickets. This could take 30-60 minutes in the busy season.


Official Colosseum Audio Tour 

The official audio tour comes in many languages:  Italian, English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Portuguese, Arabic, Latin, LIS + ASL and lasts 70 min. 

It costs €19.50 and includes the entry ticket and reservation fee. (Starting Jan 11, 2020, the cost will be €23.50)

If you get frustrated with the main site or if they are sold out, then you could buy your tickets here as well. It’s an extra €6 compared to going through the official site. 


NOTE: If you have either the Roma Care or Omnia Card, then you should choose free entrance + audio video € 5,50.


Official Colosseum Video Tour 

The visual guide is a rented iPhone unit in the following languages: Italian, English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Portuguese.  It lasts for 50 min.

It costs €20 and includes the entry ticket and reservation fee. (Starting Jan 11, 2020, the cost will be €24)

This ticket can only be purchased in advance on the official website.


NOTE: If you have either the Roma Care or Omnia Card, then you should choose free entrance + video guide € 6.00.


Rick Steves

We recommend the well-produced, free audio guides from Rick Steves. You could download his app or you can listen to the audio in Itunes or any mp3 player. 

Rick Steves offers a free tour of the Forum and one of the Colosseum, as well as other locations throughout Rome, including the Vatican and St. Peters. 

The only missing tour is for Palentine Hill, but there you could use the official audio guide.  

NOTE: You will need to purchase a general admission ticket if you choose this option.

 


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COLOSSEUM UNDERGROUND TOURS

Access to the Colosseum’s underground is only possible on a guided tour. Spaces are limited and there is an additional cost for ticket holders. 

The underground consists of the tunnels, cages, and jail cells where gladiators, prisoners, and exotic animals were kept hidden from the roaring crowd above.

Most guided tours also include a walk out onto the arena floor, which is also a privilege.

This is a must-do for history buffs

 

 

Below, we list some of the options available to you, including night tours of the Underground. There are too many to list. Click here for even more Underground tour options.

Private companies have a few advantages over the official tour. First, they tend to have smaller groups than the official tour. 

Second, they have their own special entrance, which is even better than skip-the-queue for general admission and tours and admission because it allows for a quick walk through security.

Third, most of these tours are more time-efficient and visit both the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. 

Lastly, they usually focus on having fluent English speakers. 

Expect to pay between €79 to €119 per adult depending on what you choose.

In general, prices are determined by the number of participants per guide, with some groups capping off at 24 and others that limit their sizes to 12 or smaller.  

There are less expensive options available, but they are not as well-reviewed or don’t offer daily tours. 

There are simply too many options available to list. Click here to see the full range of possibilities


Take Walks

On this VIP tour, you’ll visit the Colosseum after dark and see both the underground area and the Arena floor. 

In addition to visiting those sites, you’ll also see Teatro di Marcello, the Roman Forum and Capitoline Hill.

This tour will be provided by a professional guide who will give all guests headsets so that they can hear everything being said.

VIP Colosseum at Night Tour

  • €84 per person
  • Max of 24 guests
  • Duration: 2 ½ hours
  • Availability: Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights

City Wonders 

As mention above, City Wonders is a well-reviewed Rome tour company. On their Underground tour, you will be provided with headphones to ensure that you hear your live guide. 

They also offer 100% money back if you cancel 24 hours or more in advance. 

  • €97 adult | €91 child 4-14 | 0-3 are free
  • Maximum 25 participants
  • 3.5 hours
  • Daily tours in English 08:20, 09:00, 13:00, and other times by season.
  • More information or to book.

City Wonders also offers a night tour of the Colosseum and Underground as well as the Forum. This tour is only offered in English.

  • €97 adult | €91 child 4-14 | 0-3 are free
  • Maximum 25 participants
  • 2.5 hours
  • Sundays-Wednesdays 19:00, 21:00 and 21:20.
  • More information or to book.

There are many more night tour options.


Roma Experience

This is another well-reviewed tour company. They offer two underground tours, one capped at 12 participants and another capped at 24. 

The latter tour comes with headsets so that you can hear your tour guide. They only offer this tour once each day in the morning.  They also offer a virtual reality version of this tour.

24 Person Tour

  • €99 adult | €89 student | €79 child 4-14 | €29 infant 0-3
  • 4 hours
  • Most Days @ 08:30 
  • More information

12 Person Max

  • €119 adult | €109 student | €99 child 4-14 | €29 infant 0-3
  • 4 hours
  • Most Days @ 08:30 
  • More information

There are too many to list. Click here for even more Underground tour options.

 


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Guided Tours of the Belvedere

The Belvedere is the uppermost level on the Colosseum and has very restricted access. The only option is through an official guided tour.

  • +€9 – adults
  • +€7 – concession

Both of these tours are special tours that are limited in availability.  Both tours last 60 minutes each. There is an additional €2 fee for an advanced reservation per tour. 

 


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