Dating back two millennia, this historic Roman amphitheatre is one of the world’s greatest architectural wonders.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, this was the site where tens of thousands of spectators would flock to see gladiators in combat, public executions, and the re-enactment of famous battles. Construction on the Colosseum was finished back in the year 80 AD, and while these days the crowds may not visit to enjoy the spectacles of the blood sports of ancient Rome, huge numbers still visit this famous spot to see the great structure still standing.
As well as the remains of this towering old amphitheatre, here you can explore the Colosseum’s network of underground tunnels. Walk in the footsteps of gladiators who once readied themselves for battle within these tunnels. Book in advance to explore the network with a special guide. Or alternatively, you can wander around the outside of the Colosseum and gaze at the three-tiered edifice, and imagine how this place must have looked when the ancients packed the stadium.
The gladiators may be long gone, but the Colosseum is still in use today as a venue for concerts during the summer. Big names from the music industry have played here such as Paul McCartney and Simon and Garfunkel – check what’s on before you visit.
You can buy in advance tickets that will get you into the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill without having to queue. But even if you do have to wait for your ticket, you’ll be rewarded as soon as you see inside the splendid surroundings of the amphitheatre.
Once inside, you have the option of either paying for an organised tour, or hiring an audio guide and exploring at your own pace. The interior today has been left in ruins, but you can still see the centrepiece of the structure – the hypogeum – upon which the arena floor was originally built.
Located right in the heart of Rome, you can easily reach the Colosseum wherever you are staying in the city. You’ll find bus stops as well as the Metro train station close by.