If you’re planning on heading to Rome, you have to visit the Colosseum. And what better way than to buy tickets for a guided tour? But finding the best tour can be tricky, which is why we’ve come up with the following list of the best Colosseum tours.

To come up with this list, we had to ask ourselves what makes a good Colosseum tour in Rome? After a bit of brainstorming and a lot of time, we came up with the following. The best tours of the Colosseum are ones that show you as much as possible, have educated guides that answer any questions you may have, and (maybe most importantly) offer skip the line tickets so you can avoid waiting in line for hours to get tickets. 

With all that in mind, we’ve come up with the following list. Here’s a quick look at the tours we’ll go into more detail about below to make your decision-making process as easy as possible. The best Colosseum Tours are:

Best Colosseum Tours And Tickets

Front view of a Colosseum

Best Comprehensive Tour: Ancient Rome Colosseum Underground

When in Rome, one of the things that you just have to do at least once is touring the Colosseum and surrounding landmarks of Ancient Rome. You’ve read about them at school, you’ve seen them on TV, now it’s time to check them out up close and personal with your own two eyes.

There are seemingly endless tour options available for this while you’re there, but let’s cut to the chase. The best comprehensive tour around is the Ancient Rome Colosseum Underground Tour. This VIP access tour is a 3 ½ to 4-hour journey through the heart of Rome, granting unprecedented access to the Colosseum and the complex labyrinth underneath it that few have seen before.

It also includes admission to and a guided tour of Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum as a bonus, but the VIP Colosseum access is the real treat here. The tour prices vary based on when you book it and how many people are in your party, but expect to pay around $125 per person. But with the access it gets you in conjunction with skipping all the lines, it’s worth every penny. 

Roman Colosseum Structure

Head straight to the Colosseum and meet up with your tour guide. They’ll take you right past those multiple-hour lines and up through a quick security check before you head into the Colosseum, one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. With this tour, you will be afforded VIP access to the arena floor and the entire underground area under the floor as well.

This allows you to dive deep into its history and get a feel for what the Ancient Roman games were all about and what participants would go through before they began. After finishing up at the Colosseum, you and your group will be directed to Palatine Hill and the nearby Roman Forum to truly take in all of the major landmarks that Rome has to offer.

Palatine Hill was once the home of many of the most important political figures of the Roman Empire, and the ruins that remain give you a glimpse of their lifestyle all these years later. At the base of the hill, you’ll be shown the Roman Forum, with its impressive columns and beams towering overhead. All-encompassing, this tour truly has it all. 

Best Express Tour: Skip the Line: Colosseum Official Guided Tour

women standing on footpath to a Colosseum

Some people don’t enjoy the multiple hours that many tour guides spend walking you through every aspect of an attraction. And when it’s something like Ancient Rome, sometimes you just want to learn what you can and then be able to look around on your own. That’s where express tours come in, and the best one to book in Rome is the Colosseum Official Guided Tour offered by Rome Museum.

This express tour costs less than $40 per person (making it the cheapest tour on this list as well) and includes a 45-minute guided tour of the Colosseum and granting you access to Palatine Hill the Roman Forum, all with skip-the-line tickets. There is also the option to purchase a guided tour of the additional two attractions. 

Roman Colosseum

For the Colosseum Official Guided Tour, your guide will take you on a quick journey through the Colosseum, showing you the full arena in under an hour. But don’t let that worry you, these experts are trained at giving express tours, and you’ll still get the full experience!

Once the guided portion is over, you’ll be able to head on over to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum and experience them at your own pace. This tour is the best of both worlds, giving you a guided experience while also letting you explore something on your own.

Best Small-Group Tour: Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome

Kid looking in a Colosseum

If you’re traveling to Rome with a small group of friends or you’re there with your family, then you should consider a small-group tour to explore the Colosseum and Ancient Rome. These tours specialize in handling small group sizes and offer visitors a much more semi-private experience without being totally private like a romantic tour for two.

If this sounds like the type of your for you, you need to check out the Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Small-Group Tour. This tour is offered by LivItaly and aims to show you and your group the Colosseum and Ancient Rome like never before. In total, this tour provides visitors with the experience of a lifetime as they visit the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum.

The 3-hour Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome tour starts at the Colosseum and, best yet, includes skip-the-line tickets with your purchase ($165/adult and $145/child as of 2023). So no waiting in lines!

Colosseum Sunrise Scenery

This small-group tour begins at the Colosseum and grants you and your group much of the same Colosseum Underground access as the best comprehensive tour listed above. Very few tours in Rome will give you the VIP access that these two options offer, and you’ll experience something that few have.

After leaving the Colosseum, you and your group will head to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum to dive deep into the history of Roman society and Roman Politics.

Best Private Tour: Ancient Rome and Colosseum Private Tour

Tourist exploring the Colosseum
Vera / stock.adobe.com

One of the best ways to tackle any experience, but especially something rich with history and excitement like touring the Colosseum and Ancient Rome, is to do so privately with that special someone. And with all the different tour options in Rome, there is no shortage of private tour options. Our recommendation for the best private tour of the area is the Ancient Rome and Colosseum Private Tour

Ancient Rome and Colosseum Private Tour is a 3 ½ tour through Rome’s most famous attractions. On this tour, you and that special someone will be able to see the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill with the privacy of just you and the tour guide. Offered from Viator, the tour costs around $120 per person and includes coveted skip-the-line tickets, so you aren’t wasting half your day waiting in lines!

Colosseum Sunset Scenery

Once on the tour, your guide will direct you and your partner through the Colosseum, explaining the rich history of such a place. You’ll likely spend around two hours here just to take it all in. After you’re finished touring the famous arena, the guide will lead you to Palatine Hill and the famous Roman Forum at its base.

For the last hour or so, you’ll learn all about Rome’s history and get a chance to explore these ancient ruins without having to deal with lots of other tour group members. Private tours can be the best possible experience even if they cost a bit more!

Best History Tour: Ancient Rome and Colosseum Half-Day Walking Tour

front view of Castel Sant Angelo, Angel statue on both the side of hallway

If you have the time to explore the city and don’t mind putting some miles in walking, then the Ancient Rome and Colosseum Half-Day Walking Tour is for you. A walking tour of Ancient Rome is one of the best ways to experience the city, but they’re not for everyone.

If you have trouble spending hours walking, you might want to consider a different tour. But for those who don’t mind, you’re in for a treat! This tour takes you on a guided journey through Rome’s most famous attractions and landmarks. During this tour, you’ll go on an adventure to see the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona.

Colosseum, Rome Sunset and Street Lights

In all, that is many of the great things to see and do in Rome, so having a professional guide teach you about everything simultaneously is a huge bonus. 

The prices vary for this tour, but you can expect to pay about $250-$300 per person for the experience. So it certainly is not cheap by any means, but no other tour in Rome will let you see anything close to this many things. Especially not with the expert guidance of a professional tour.

So although it’s expensive and it’s a lot of walking, if you’re able to swing it, we highly recommend trying to book this tour! It’ll be well worth it. 

Best Night Tour: Colosseum Under the Moonlight

front view of The Colosseum at night,

One of the best ways to experience the Colosseum and the other surrounding landmarks and attractions is to do something a little bit differently than most and take a tour when the sun goes down. There’s just something special about seeing all of these impressive places under the light of the stars and the moon.

If that sounds like something you might be interested in, consider the Colosseum Under the Moonlight tour. This tour is offered by Real Barcelona Tours (it may seem strange, but they offer tours in many more places than just Barcelona!) and will take you on an experience through Rome’s major landmarks that you’ll never forget.

This 3-hour Colosseum Under the Moonlight tour takes you on an adventure through the Colosseum and Roman Forum, with an expert guide ready to answer all questions. As a bonus, all tickets purchased for this tour allow you to skip the line! As of 2022, this tour costs about $80 per ticket from Viator.

Colosseum Underground View

Colosseum Under the Moonlight tour starts off at the tour’s office near the Colosseum, where you’ll meet up with your guide. You’ll be treated to some light snacks and a quick drink before heading to the arena, where you’ll skip the lines and go through a security check. Your guide will then take you into Colosseum and teach you all about its rich history.

If you’ve ever toured it before during the day, you’ll have a completely different experience doing so at night. The quiet. The looming size. The stars in the background. It’s a surreal experience. 

After you’re finished at the Colosseum, your guide will take the group over to the incredible Roman Forum. Standing beneath the ruins and looking up at its towering size against the dead of night is something that you’ll never forget. The tour will then take you along the streets of Ancient Rome as you make your way back to the Colosseum and where you started.

Best Tour for Kids: Skip-the-Lines Colosseum and Roman Forum for Kids

Tourist walking inside the Roman Forum

Bringing your kids along for a tour of the Colosseum and other parts of Ancient Rome is a great experience for everyone involved. You get to spend valuable time with your children in some of the most important places in world history, and they get to learn all about those places first hand. But what’s the worst thing that can happen while traveling with kids?

The lines! Thankfully, the Colosseum and Roman Forum for Kids tour include skip-the-line tickets for everyone involved. So no waiting in lines for anybody! This tour is best booked through Viator, where you can expect to pay an average of around $100 per person in your family, but prices will vary depending on age and how many people are in the group.

This roughly 2 ½ tour will take your family on a guided adventure through the Colosseum and the incredible Roman Forum. It also includes a guide specializing in leading tours with families and children, so it won’t just be a monotonous guide spewing history!

Colosseum, Rome

You and your family will just need to head to the Colosseum on the day of your tour and meet up with your guide. They will take you past the droves of others waiting in line and right through security before entering one of the most impressive arenas ever, the Roman Colosseum.

The guide will tell the enchanted history of the arena to you and your kids, teaching them about its importance and the gladiators who put their lives on the line at this very place. Once you’re finished at the Colosseum, the tour guide will lead you and your family over to the nearby Roman Forum.

Here, the guide will teach your family all about the history of Roman society — including the politics, of course, you’re at the Roman Forum! — as you walk along the cobblestone streets. The tickets for this tour are valid for two days, so you and your family could come back to see more later. You just wouldn’t get the guided experience again. 

Best Self-Guided Tour: Rome Sightseeing Pass: Vatican & Ancient Rome

St. Peter's Basilica in the evening

Sometimes guided tours are not for everyone, and many people prefer to experience things at their own pace and enjoy everything in their own way. And that’s perfectly fine, as everyone enjoys things in different ways. So if you’re the type of person that would prefer a self-guided tour of some of the best places to see in Rome, then you should consider getting a Rome Sightseeing Pass and putting it to use to check out the Vatican and Ancient Rome. 

So what is a Rome Sightseeing Pass and how does it work? As its name implies, the Rome Sightseeing Pass is an all-inclusive pass to visit some of Rome’s most iconic landmarks without needing separate tickets for each attraction. The all-in-one pass grants the holder skip-the-line access to Rome’s best sites, including the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum, the museums at the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. 

Colosseum Architecture

At $105 from Viator, the price can’t be beaten for all it can do! But keep in mind that the Rome Sightseeing Pass is only valid for two days, so you’ll want to make the most of it. Our recommendation is to explore much of Ancient Rome the first day and then go into the Vatican the next.

So start your tour at the Colosseum before heading to the nearby Palatine Hill and Roman Forum. Spend an hour or two at each to take it all in.

The following day, you should explore the Vatican and be willing to spend a few hours in the museums and exploring the other religious facilities. The Vatican is home to not only its typical museums but also the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.

So you can see why you’ll need a whole day to experience everything it has to offer. But with the Rome Sightseeing Pass, you can take your time and really enjoy each of the attractions you visit. 

Best Combo Tour: Rome Super Saver: Colosseum and Ancient Rome

Ancient Roman Empire ruins

The best way to tour much of Rome is to take advantage of combo deals so that you’re able to save some money. Although touring a few different attractions all in the same day can certainly be tiring, you’ll get the best bang for your buck and also have more things to experience.

So other than being tired, what downsides are there? None! If you’re interested in scoring a combo deal, our favorite is the Rome Super Saver: Colosseum and Ancient Rome tour. As the name implies, the Rome Super Saver: Colosseum and Ancient Rome tour was designed to combine much of the experience of exploring Ancient Rome into one comprehensive tour at a discounted rate.

This tour includes skip-the-line guided tour tickets to everything, including the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum, and more. Tickets can be difficult to come by for this deal as they aren’t always offered. But when they are, you can score Super Saver tickets for way under $100 per person.

Colosseum Underground Architecture

That price cannot and will not be beaten, so if you see them go on sale, make sure you snatch them up! If you’re able to find Super Saver tickets, you’ll be in for a treat. Starting at the Colosseum, your expert guide will take you through the history of the arena, showing you its impressive construction as well as everything the gladiators had to deal with as they were preparing to fight for their lives.

After, you and your guide will head to the Roman Forum to check out its massive size and get an idea of its historical importance. Lastly, the guide will take you for a journey up nearby Palatine Hill to give you a glimpse into the history of Roman politics. On this hill you can see the ruins of the homes and buildings of some of the most influential people in Roman history. 

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