A trip to Rome is incomplete without going on the Colosseum Underground Tour. However, there are a lot of different vendors and ways to get Colosseum Underground Tour tickets, which makes it hard to decide which is the best one.

Colosseum Underground

The underground tours are different than the basic Colosseum tours. If you don’t look carefully, you may book an arena tour without access to the underground tunnels and other hidden gems you get to see with Colosseum underground tickets. Some tours also provide a guided tour of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, as well as other must-sees in the area.

What is it?A guided tour that takes you beneath the Colosseum’s arena floor to explore the underground tunnels and chambers.
HighlightsWalk through the hypogeum, the intricate corridors network and cells holding gladiators and animals.
Learn about the ingenious elevator and pulley systems that lift animals and scenery onto the arena.
Learn about the ingenious elevator and pulley systems used to lift animals and scenery onto the arena.
Tour RequirementsBooking in advance is mandatory. Access to the underground is only permitted with an official guided tour.
Visitors must go through security screening before entering the underground area.
DurationTypically 1-2 hours for the underground portion, often combined with a tour of other Colosseum sections.
Best Time to VisitEarly morning tours can help avoid larger crowds and heat.
AccessibilityThe underground area has uneven surfaces and narrow passages, making it challenging for visitors with mobility issues.

Don’t worry; we’ve planned it for you. The Colosseum Underground Tours on our list are vetted and have all the benefits you’re looking for, including skip-the-line access and private tour guides.

These are our four favorite Colosseum Underground Tour tickets:

Best Overall Tour: Ancient Rome Colosseum Underground Tour

Arches in a Colosseum

Let’s cut right to the chase: The best underground Colosseum tour is the Colosseum Underground & Roman Forum Guided Tour. This guided tour provides history and information about the Colosseum arena and the Roman Empire. It also includes other tickets to nearby attractions so you can see more sights when you book underground Colosseum tickets.

If you’re visiting Rome — especially if it’s for your very first time — you’ll have a lot of sights to see. Thankfully, this Colosseum underground tour isn’t just a Colosseum ticket, it has it all. You’ll need about between 3 ½ – 4 hours to complete this tour because the Colosseum Underground & Roman Forum Guided Tour provides exclusive access to the Colosseum Underground as well as entrance to the Colosseum and a further guided tour of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. 

This tour is about $150 (under $100, depending on when you visit). With the tour, you gain access to the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, the Colosseum, the Colosseum underground, the arena floor, underground tunnels, and a tour guide. You also get skip-the-line access to each of these attractions.

The bulk of the tour will be through the Colosseum, where you’ll head to meet your tour guide. After skipping the line, you’ll head straight into the Colosseum area tour. Not only will you get the standard tour of the upper levels, but you’ll also get sought-after VIP access to the ground floor underneath the arena.

See what the gladiators saw. Walk where they walked. It’s a memorable experience that you won’t soon forget. When you’re all finished at the Colosseum, you’ll get a guided tour of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Book the Colosseum Underground & Roman Forum Guided Tour with GetYourGuide at this link.

Best Small Group Tour: Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Small-Group Tour

Tourist exploring the Colosseum
Vera / stock.adobe.com

If you want a smaller group tour with a more intimate approach, we highly recommend the Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Small-Group Tour! This tour is the perfect option for a family or small group, or even those traveling solo who prefer a smaller tourist group.

This tour offers a semi-private experience for smaller-sized groups, without the true exclusivity (and expense) of a fully private tour. So if that sounds right up your alley, the Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Small-Group Tour is for you.

This tour of the underground level is the best option to quietly tour the underground areas and inner workings of the ancient Roman Colosseum. This 3-hour tour provides skip-the-line access to the Roman Colosseum, the arena floor, and the underground Colosseum. As a bonus, after exploring all the nooks and crannies of the Colosseum (even some trap doors), this tour will take you and your group to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

That’s right, you start with a Colosseum arena tour where you learn about the Roman empire and ancient world, then go into the underground tour to see where the wild animals were stored, and then you check out where the gladiator fights occurred, all before going on the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill guided tour.

The Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Small-Group Tour can be a bit pricey, at $165/visitors at the current rates, but it’s well worth it. You can book Colosseum underground tickets through GetYourGuide for the best prices.

Best Family Tour: Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Semi-Private Tour

Colosseum Underground View

Another small-group option that is even more exclusive than the one above is the Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Semi-Private Tour. Like the one above, this tour specializes in smaller group sizes and is limited to the number of people per visit.

This Colosseum underground tour will take you on a 3-hour adventure through the arena, its underground level, the arena floor, and the other famous landmarks near the Colosseum. Skip-the-line tickets are included in the ticket price, and you can expect to pay around $120 per person for this tour option. Of the three options presented so far, this one falls right in the middle regarding cost yet offers the most exclusivity. 

Start this incredible tour outside the arena 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.

This is a great tour for families because it is a smaller group and provides skip-the-line tickets so kids do not have to wait around. The underground tour details the wild animals and gladiator fights that took place, which kids are always interested in learning about. Kids can even get a picture with some gladiators if they are standing outside the Colosseum!

You will explore the underground chambers as you go on a guided adventure and hear about everything that used to take place in the Colosseum’s underground. 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 the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

The Roman Forum is great for kids to visit because you can get close to some artifacts and it is less crowded than the Colosseum arena. Plus it is fun to walk around a world-renowned archaeological site!

For the price, you won’t find a better semi-private tour of the Colosseum underground offered by anyone in Rome. But book your ticket in advance as it is likely to sell out. You can book your tickets here.

See Related: Best Ancient Roman Ruins in Rome

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

Panoramic image of Temple of Caesar, Rome, Italy
tilialucida / Adobe Stock

The other options on this list are certainly some of the best Colosseum underground tours you’ll find. And while they do a wonderful job of offering privacy and an exclusive tour, none of them are truly private.

Listen, you have traveled to Rome and want to experience the best of the best tours. This is it. This incredible Private Colosseum Underground Tour with Arena Floor & Ancient Rome: VIP Experience is led by an expert English speaking guide who provides nearly unfettered access to the arena.

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 can 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 other 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 around $240 per person.

So it’s a bit more expensive, but the privacy, special access, and much more personal experience are worth the cost. With one-on-one time with an experienced guide, you can get a real sense of what the Colosseum was like with gladiators fighting exotic animals.

The knowledgeable guide will take you to the underground section of the Colosseum arena floor and give you a close up tour of the ancient machines and elevators that took Roman gladiators to the fighting grounds where the wild animals awaited a brutal fight.

After winding through the underground passageways of the Colosseum underground tour, the tour guide will take you to explore the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and back to the meeting point.

This tour is one of the best ways to see these three iconic landmarks in one of the world’s most history-rich cities. It is very important to book this tour in advance online, so book your ticket today right here to reserve your exclusive tour!

Bonus: Best Tour of Rome

The ruins of the Flavian Palace
Valery Rokhin / Shutterstock

The Colosseum underground tour is an absolute must, but there is so much to see in the ancient city of Rome. The best way to see all of Rome is by booking a private tour of this incredible city. And we’ve researched for you – the best tour is the 2-day Rome Guided Tour on GetYourGuide. By booking this tour you will have exclusive access to the Colosseum arena and all major sights in Rome, complete with luxury transportation.

In this guided tour, complete with an expert English-speaking guide, you will be guided through the Roman Colosseum Underground tour as well as the arena floor and the backstage area that few have seen. The tour also includes some history lessons about gladiators and the wild animals they fought. You will also get a guided tour of the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and more.

This tour will take you to Circus Maximus, Capitoline Hill, the Pantheon, Aventine Hill, the Key Hole, Appian Way, and the Catacombs. From there, you will move on to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica, the Spanish Steps, and Trevi Fountain. You will have special access, including skip-the-line access, to all these attractions.

Yes, you can visit the Sistine Chapel on the same tour as the Colosseum underground! Start in a gladiator arena and finish with the sight of the Vatican under the night sky. It is wonderful to visit an archaeological area and explore the history of the Vatican on the same tour.

The private car is a huge advantage in the summer heat. You can rest and recover in style between sightseeing.

Book your exclusive VIP tour here to see all the sights in Rome.


Is the Colosseum underground tour worth it?

Yes. The Colosseum underground tour provides exclusive access to the gladiator arena and underground area you can’t access on a basic ticket. You can even see an ancient elevator!

Is there a Colosseum underground private tour?

Yes, there are a few private tours of the Colosseum underground available. Our favorite is the Private Colosseum Underground Tour with Arena Floor & Ancient Rome: VIP Experience. Another great option is the Colosseum Underground Tour with Forum tickets. There are also semi-private tours.

How do I book a Colosseum underground and ancient Rome tour?

The best way to book tickets is in advance online as the tours can sell out. Check GetYourGuide for the best ticket options (usually fully refundable if you need to cancel) with customer support.

Can you visit the Colosseum underground without a tour?

No. You can visit the Colosseum with an entrance ticket but you have to book a tour to go to the underground level.

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