Anyone that’s planning a trip to Rome has likely already thought about touring the Colosseum and the other landmarks of the city. But why not take it a step further? How about going on a tour of not only the Colosseum like everyone else but instead exploring the underground areas of the arena that are typically cordoned off to the public? That’s where Colosseum underground tours come in.

Colosseum Underground

And if you’ve started looking for tours, you’ve undoubtedly seen just how many different options are out there. As one of the most recognizable landmarks anywhere in the world, it’s no surprise that the Colosseum has a slew of tour options to choose from. But that number of tours can be daunting. To make it easier, we’ve compiled this list of the four best Colosseum underground tours for you to make the decision much easier.

That said, here are the four Colosseum underground tours that should be the only ones on your shortlist.

Ancient Rome Colosseum Underground Tour

Arches in a Colosseum

If you’re visiting Rome — especially if it’s for your very first time — one thing that you just have to do is take an underground tour of the Colosseum. And if that tour also includes any other bonus features such as admission to some of the other notable Roman landmarks, then that’s even more reason to do so. Sifting through all the possible Colosseum tours, you find online can be a daunting and stressful experience. So let’s cut right to the chase: the single best underground Colosseum tour is the Ancient Rome Colosseum Underground Tour.

Be prepared to set aside a few hours for this one, as this incredible tour will take between 3 ½ – 4 hours to complete. But it’s worth every second. The Ancient Rome Colosseum Underground Tour grants its patrons exclusive access to the little-known labyrinth underneath the Colosseum combined with admission and a further guided tour of the Roman Forum and nearby Palatine Hill. 

But let’s be honest, you’re here for the underground Colosseum aspect, and this tour delivers. It is a little pricey compared to some of the other lesser tour options you have, so expect to pay around $125 per person depending on when you go and how many people you have. But that price does include skip-the-line tickets to make it even more valuable. No waiting in lines at any of the included attractions!

The bulk of the tour will be through the Colosseum, which is where you’ll head to meet your tour guide. After skipping the lines, you’ll head straight into the iconic structure. Not only will you get the standard tour of the upper levels, but you’ll get that sought-after VIP access to the ground floor underneath the arena. See what the gladiators saw. Walk where they walked. It’s a surreal experience that you won’t soon forget. And when you’re all finished up at the Colosseum, you’ll get a guided tour of Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum on top!

Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Small-Group Tour

Tourist exploring the Colosseum
Vera /

Although the above tour is great for the average visitor to Rome and most people, it’s not the single best option for everyone. And if you’re traveling to Italy with your family or even a small group of friends, then taking a tour specializing in small group sizes might give you a little bit better experience. And that’s where the Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Small-Group Tour comes in. 

This tour specializes in offering a much more somewhat private experience for smaller-sized groups, without the true exclusivity (and expense) of a two-person romantic tour. So if that sounds like it’s right up your alley, then the Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Small-Group Tour is for you and will be your best bet for checking out the underground areas of the ancient Roman landmark. This 3-hour tour will provide you and your group with one of the best ways to spend about half a day while also including skip-the-line tickets.

Offered by one of the premier groups in the country, LivItaly, this tour will take you and your group on an adventure like you would never have imagined. It’s designed to give small groups the best possible way to see the normal aspects of the arena before deep-diving into the exclusive underground areas that only visitors on a VIP tour can access. As an added bonus, after exploring all the nooks and crannies of the Colosseum, this tour will take you and your group to the Roman Forum and nearby Palatine Hill.

The Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Small-Group Tour can be a bit on the pricey side, at $165/adult and $145/child at the current rates, but it’s well worth it. Start your experience at the famous Colosseum, where your expert tour guide will take you through the arena and into the underground areas below—showing you everything there is to be seen and having the knowledge to answer any and all questions that you may have. 

Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Semi-Private Tour

Tourist exploring the underground Roman Colosseum

Another small-group option that is even more semi-private than the one above is the Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Semi-Private Tour. Similar to the one above, this tour specializes in smaller group sizes and is limited to a maximum of six people per tour. That said, if your family or group is larger than six, you’ll have to spring for the previous tour. But if you’re a group of 6 or smaller, then this might be the perfect tour for you. 

If you’re a group of between 2-5, you might even get lucky and be the only group on the tour at all. So there’s a chance that it could end up being an entirely private tour for just your family or just you and that special someone if there’s not another correctly-sized group on the books. So if you want true exclusivity and privacy, you’ll need to go with the final tour on our list — but more on that later!

This tour is operated by LivTours and will take you on a 3-hour adventure through the Colosseum, its underground, and the other famous landmarks in the area. Skip-the-line tickets are, of course, included in the ticket price, and you can expect to pay right around $150 per person for this tour option. Of the three options presented so far, this one falls right in the middle in terms of cost yet offers the most exclusivity that we’ve seen yet. 

Start this incredible tour at the Colosseum Metro Station, where you will meet your guide and head up to the famous arena. Once there, you will start your tour on the underground level. Explore the underground chambers as you go on a guided adventure and hear about everything that used to take place in this amazing labyrinth. After finishing underground, your guide will take you to the standard ground level and show you the rest of the Colosseum before heading out to see Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum like the other options. For the price, you won’t find a better semi-private tour of the Colosseum underground offered by anyone in Rome.

See Related: Best Ancient Roman Ruins in Rome

Private Colosseum Underground Tour with Arena Floor & Ancient Rome: VIP Experience

Dungeon under the castle

The other options on this list are certainly some of the best Colosseum underground tours that you’ll find. And while they do a decent job of offering privacy and an exclusive tour, even going as far as to limit the number of people on the tour to just six, none of them are truly private. And if you’re in Rome with just yourself and that special someone, you might want to experience such an incredible place with just the two of you. If that sounds like something you’d like to be part of, then the Private Colosseum Underground Tour with Arena Floor & Ancient Rome: VIP Experience is for you. 

Offered by Through Eternity Tours, this “VIP Experience” through the Colosseum underground and surrounding areas of Rome is one of our favorite tours in the city. As a truly private tour, you’re able to book it for just the two of you (although you still can book it for your whole family if you want) and have one of the most amazing experiences of your lives. At 3.5 hours, it’s slightly longer than the aforementioned options and still includes those coveted skip-the-line tickets. Prices will vary depending on when you’re visiting and how many people, but expect to pay between $150 – $200 per person.

So it’s a little bit more on the expensive side, but the privacy and much more personal experience will more than be worth the cost. This tour does a great job at focusing on the underground portion of the Colosseum, which is how it will begin. The expert guides will take you under the arena floor and let you see where the gladiators fought all those years ago. They’ll take you on a close-up tour of the various ancient machines and elevators that would lift people and animals into place as needed for the brutal fights.

After the deep dive into the Colosseum underground, you will be taken to the same other landmarks as the previous tours, including guided tours of and free admission to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. This tour is one of the best ways to see these three iconic landmarks in one of the world’s most history-rich cities. So if you’re heading to Rome and want to explore the secrets of Rome like never before, consider this as one of your main options.

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