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How long does it take to tour the Colosseum?

If you’re planning a trip to Rome, Italy, it isn’t complete with a comprehensive tour of the Colosseum. Once a site for fierce gladiator battles during the Roman period, the tourist attraction is now one of the most popular historic monuments in Italy.

That being said, Rome isn’t just home to the Colosseum; from the Pantheon to the Vatican Museums, to the Trevi Fountain and the Sistine Chapel, there are lots of key sites to visit, and you’ll want to ensure that you have enough time to see them all.

So, how long does it take to tour the Colosseum? If you’re planning a tight schedule for your Rome sightseeing, we’re going to cover all you need to know below. Let’s take a look!

How long does it take to tour the Colosseum?

How long does it take to tour the Colosseum?If you’re visiting without a tour guide, it will usually take at least 1 hour and 30 minutes for you to complete a swift tour of the Colosseum, while still having enough time for some photos. However, this doesn’t include the time spent waiting in line for entry, which can shave hours off your schedule.

How long does it take to queue for the Colosseum?

During busy periods, such as the summer and school holidays, you can expect to wait anywhere from 1-2 hours before gaining entry to the Colosseum.

How can I avoid waiting times at the Colosseum?

One of the easiest ways to avoid long waiting lines at the Colosseum is to organise a private guided tour. A private tour package will usually come with skip-the-line privileges, allowing you to manage your sightseeing schedule while avoiding long, sweaty waiting times outside.

A private tour is also the superior choice over a group tour if you’re looking to reduce waiting times; don’t forget that you’ll need to go through security and check in your belongings before entry. If you’re in a large group, this can add more time to your wait.

What other benefits does a Colosseum tour offer?

Aside from helping you manage your time (and saving you hours spent in the line under the Italian sun!) here are just some other benefits of a private Colosseum tour:

Expert knowledge

If you’ve ever been touring a historic site and yearned for more information about a statue, symbol, or any other historic artefact, you won’t be left wondering with a private tour! Your tour guide will be on-hand to offer you expert, in-depth knowledge about the Colosseum and its rich history, so you won’t have to whip out your smartphone whenever you have a query.

Ask as many questions as you like

Unlike a group tour – where your questions may be limited – a private tour offers you the possibility to ask as many questions you like about the Colosseum and its long history. With your tour guide on-hand, your trip to the Colosseum won’t feel like a formulaic, ritual tour; it’ll feel more like touring the historic site with an incredibly knowledgeable friend.

Early morning tours

Many private Colosseum tours begin in the morning, which is a great way to avoid the crowds while also freeing up more time in the day to explore other tourist sites. A morning tour is also going to be less crowded, so you’ll have more space to explore and take photographs as you please. With What a Life Tours, you can even experience the Colosseum under the moonlight, making it the perfect choice for those on a romantic getaway. Gladiator-inspired moonlight proposal, anyone?

VIP access

With a private guided Colosseum tour, you’ll have access to areas of the Colosseum that are closed to general visitors; this includes the underground area, the top-tiers, as well as the arena floor. This will give you an exclusive peek at some of Italy’s most historic underground tunnels, and offer you the photo opportunity of a lifetime on the arena stage in the world’s most famous amphitheatre!

With a more intimate setting and VIP access to the full historic site, you’ll enjoy a comprehensive Colosseum experience that you’ll be talking about for years to come.


Is there a dress code for the Colosseum?

No – unlike the Vatican and some other tourist sites in Italy, there’s no imposed dress code at the Colosseum. That being said, we’d recommend that you wear comfy shoes and weather-appropriate clothes!

How much time do you need at the Colosseum?

If you’re going to be visiting the historic Colosseum, there’s no point in taking a quick look and heading off elsewhere! The best Colosseum experience is with a private guided tour, which will not only allow you access to in-depth historic knowledge from a trained guide, but will also help you to manage your visit time-wise. Most Colosseum tours can take anywhere between 2 and half hours and 3 and a half hours, so you can easily plan your day around your trip.

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