How to buy Colosseum tickets from the official website: all you need to know (updated with new 2024 system)

by marta

How to buy Colosseum tickets from the official website: how to navigate the Colosseum official website and pick the best tickets for you and/or family. NEW system in place from May 2024 onwards.

The cheapest way to get Colosseum tickets is buying tickets from the official Colosseum concession itself.

Cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean best, and if you are in two minds about going direct vs going via a tour operator, I recommend you read first >> our guide to the best tickets to the Colosseum.

However, if you have already done your research and are happy going direct is the best way to go for you, this guide can help!

The direct ticketing system for the Colosseum is notoriously frustrating so I hope this quick guide can help to make sense of the options. 

Need to know! The Colosseum ticketing system is undergoing a change of hands. If you are looking for tickets for April 2024, scroll to the bottom of this page to the paragraph about Coopculture ticketing system. If booking for May 2024 onwards, just keep reading!

Rome Colosseum inside, with view over the underground tunnels, the arena and the general areas

See also >>> How to get tickets to the Colosseum

Colosseum tickets overview, available to buy direct

Type of ticketBuying Link Direct Colosseum website
Standard Entry
Standard entry + arena (the stage)
Standard entry + arena + underground (no tour)
Standard entry + arena + underground (with tour)
Standard entry + attico (top tier)

Buying Colosseum tickets from the official Colosseum website from May 2024 – What you need to know

To buy tickets directly from the Colosseum and skip third party site, the official Colosseum website is >>>

This website is the only direct channel to purchase Colosseum tickets: every other channel is a reseller and gets tickets from here first, which means going direct saves you all intermediate fees and contacts. However, deciding to book direct also has some downsides.

Below, I share essential info and tips tips to help you make an informed decision.

Colosseum direct tickets are cheap as there are no middle men, no affiliates, nothing.

The big reason to buy Colosseum tickets directly from the Colosseum website is budget.

Buying direct with no intermediaries, affiliates etc, allows them to sell tickets at the lowest possible rate: all the income goes straight to the Colosseum ticketing company, making them a very good option if you want to visit the Colosseum on a budget.

Low cost, however, also means no frills and little flexibility.

Once you book your ticket, you cannot make changes except for a change of name no later than 7 days before your date.

Essential tip: before purchasing, read carefully the conditions of sale of the individual ticket you are buying and what they demand to allow entry. There is NO flexibility on these rules and not abiding by them will result being denied entrance with no refund.

Official direct tickets are released 30 days ahead of your desired date.

Colosseum tickets go on sale 30 days ahead of the day the ticket is for.

They usually come out at the time of entrance, so 9.30am tickets come out at 9.30am Rome time 30 days before and so on.

Due to the extremely high demand, the Colosseum website has now been setup with a virtual queue system: as you open the page, you may find you get straight onto the booking page or you may be shown a message informing you of your place in line and estimated waiting time.

I have seen booking happening in less than a minute, a wait or about 20 minutes or at a crazy time I even say a queue with an expected waiting time of 4 hours!

So basically, if you are hoping for tickets on a budget, luck and patience are key.

However, there is hope!

After the first release, tickets tend come out in smaller batched during the 30 days window and a big batch usually comes out 7 days ahead.

This mean that, often, if you check the site regularly over those 30 days, you are usually able to get standard entrance tickets.

Good to know: most tour operators are bound to the same 30 day rule. However, some have special agreements that allow them to secure tickets before this time and they also have skilled booking department for additional tickets, which means they can do the ticketing release monitoring and buying for you . This is part of why they cost more: their skill and the work of keeping an eye on the website for you.

Buying Colosseum tickets from the official website makes you skip the line

Colosseum tickets are timed, which means you enter the Colosseum avoiding the potentially very long line at the ticket booth.

To avoid gatherings, they only allow you to get to the gate up to 10 minutes before your time slot. If you see many people at the door and worry it is a line, don’t panic yet!

Usually tickets check are rather fast and the many people are just waiting for a later slot: make your way to the top of the line and gauge how many people are actually in front of you – usually a fraction of what it seemed at first glance.

Need to know: ticket checks and security checks cause a bit of a bottleneck and may mean having to stay in line. This cannot be skipped: no ‘skip the line’ tour can make you skip these checks – do not pay more for this option! The only ‘skip the line’ option available is via timed tickets which you can also book direct.

Outside of he Colosseum you may find people selling you tickets on the day which will promise the same.

However, they are not authorised sellers and while in practice the police tends to turn a blind eye, that doesn’t make it legitimate. For legitimate tickets, only use the official site, ticket office or an authorised reseller like GetYourGuide, Tiqets or a tour operator.

For ticketing purposes, they have divided the Colosseum in 3 parts, each with a different cost.

The Colosseum is one attraction but, for ticketing purposes, they have divided it into 3 parts, each with different access rules and tickets.

If this is your first visit to the Colosseum, picking the best part can be hard; hopefully, this quick overview helps!

This is an overview, read the small print for each ticket before purchasing as things change often! 

>>> General entry – this is the most basic entry option and a fabulous one to get an overview of the Colosseum. Book here >>>

>>> General areas and arena (Full experience ticker with entry to the arena of the Colosseum): a fabulous option as it gets you to step onto the arena, which is the Colosseum stage, where the fighting happened. Book here >>>

The arena of the Colosseum is the old stage, the place where gladiators fights, hunts and all the action took place. The general area are the entry halls and viewing areas: this ticket is a brilliant overview of the Colosseum and a fantastic way to see all its main parts in in your own time.

Colosseum arena and seating

>>> General areas + arena + underground (my personal favorite): this is, at present, the most comprehensive ticket as it includes all of the above but also access to the backstage area (under the arena) where animals, props etc were kept. Book here >>>

I believe it is worth adding the underground; however, getting tickets is hard and may require patience. Access to this area is subject to a headcount and, as you can imagine, demand is well beyond supply.

If you cannot get them, I don’t think it is a dealbreaker, other types are still better than no ticket at all!

Colosseum underground passages

Good to know! On selected dates, usually in summer, you can also visit the underground after dark. This option is usually called ‘Luna sul Colosseo – The Moon over the Colosseum’ and comes with a live guide. Dates for this tour are announced on the website at relevant times.

The colosseum at night, Rome, outside, with lights

>>> Colosseum attico ticket: the colosseum ‘attico’ is the highest tier of the amphitheater and the best place to catch birdeye views of the Colosseum from above. Access to the attic is by panoramic elevator and some steps: this is a fantastic option if you are not afraid of heights! Book here >>>

At present, access to the attic doesn’t include access to the arena: if available, however, it is usually possible to add it on the spot. Ask the staff at the ticker kiosk inside.

View from the attico of the Colosseum

Official entry tickets for kids are free up to age 18

Ticket to the Colosseum are FREE for kids up to 17 years of age included. See how to get kids’ tickets in the relevant paragraph in this post (scroll down to the kid’s tickets section)

Buying direct vs Tour provider – what’s best?

Whether it is best to buy from the Colosseum direct or via a tour provided depends on circumstances

Buying direct is best for price.

Reliable tour operators are best if you want:

  • A private tour or a small group tour that can offer a personal service
  • A service provider that can source tickets for you, eliminating the need to chase tickets on the official site 30 days out
  • A tour that is for kids, as opposed to tour that allows them but is not geared towards them

I have visited the Colosseum with simple direct entrance tickets, with their underground guided tour and I have also visited with private providers.

In all cases, I have enjoyed the Colosseum immensely – I believe there is a reason to go with a reliable private operator, for overall ticketing experience, the extra bits they share with you and overall feel.

However, if your budget doesn’t stretch to them, you can definitely have a wonderful time at the Colosseum!

How to buy Colosseum tickets form the official website – step by step!

>>> Go online to You will find yourself on a page that looks like the one in the photo below, with several boxes with ticket allowing access to different areas.

screenshot of the main ticketing page of the colosseum

>>> Select the ticket you are interested into (use the guide above if you’re unsure what parts are most interesting for you) and click on ‘Purchase’

>>> You will find yourself on a page that looks like this

screenshot of colosseum calendar

>>> Select the number of participants first, then pick your date, by clicking on the relevant date:

Black text on white background means available, sold out with a red line across means sold out, grey means not currently available (closed or sold out or any other not disclosed reason).

screenshot of keys to make sense of the colosseum calendar

>>> Select your preferred timeslot

Need to know: take your time to check if you can avail of a discount / free entry. Children up to 17 years of age for instance enter for free.

>>> Your tickets will be ‘added to cart’. Click ‘continue’ and follow on screen info to complete purchase.

And you’re done!

How to buy Colosseum kids’ tickets from the official site

How to get free tickets for kids depends on the type of ticket you need.

General entry tickets are for adults only: you do not need to purchase tickets for kids – they come in with you. Please find below the screenshot with the official communication about it:

Screenshot with the official communication on how to collect free general entry tickets to the colosseum for kids

Free tickets for kids for other options including arena, underground etc are available on the official colosseum website. When buying, you will see the ‘free according to regulation’ option.

Click ‘choose’ and scroll all the way down to ‘under 18’: your free ticket/tickets will be added to your cart.

Screenshot of the free kids' ticket option for the Colosseum

Please remember to have ID on you when entering the Colosseum: IDs need to match the name on the tickets. Official original passport is the safest to carry: any other forms of ID and photos may create issues at the checkpoint and may result in not being granted admission + losing your booking.

How to buy Colosseum tickets form the Coopculture website – step by step!

Colosseum tickets for dates up to April 2024 are sold by a company called Coopculture: Their website is and covers many cultural sites all over Italy.

They are the only ticket provider and those that make all the entrance rules. Everyone else is a reseller and is bound by the same rules set by Coopculture.

So, if you are in touch with a tour provider and they tell you they cannot do something because the Colosseum people don’t allow it, this is why! 

The Colosseum is one attraction but, for ticketing purposes, they have divided it into 4 parts, each with different access rules and tickets: general areas, arena, underground and ‘attico’.

If this is your first visit to the Colosseum, picking the best part can be hard; hopefully, this quick overview helps!

>>> General areas only: the cheapest option >>

>>> General areas + arena: same as above but also with access to the arena floor, the stage where the gladiators etc stood.

>>> General area + arena + underground (two options: with live guide / with app) >> Full experience ticket with arena and underground with host (with host means you have someone showing you the way and helping you operate the app, it does not include a guide)

>>> Colosseum attico: this is the top tier of the Colosseum, which you reach by a panoramic elevator. A stunning option if you are not afraid of heights!

Please note: Coopculture does not offer a tickets comprehensive of all parts.

To buy Colosseum tickets from the Colosseum website:

  • Go onto the Coopculture website and search ‘Colosseum’ in their search box. Alternatively, click here >>
  • Click onto ‘check availability’ for the ticket option you are interested into
  • Look at the Calendar that appears: red days are sold out / green days are avaiable / grey days are not released yet or days when tickets are not purchseasable (this may be a special event etc)
  • Choose a time slot with a sufficient number of avaiable tickets for your group
  • Choose full price unless you know you qualify for one of the reduced fees; scroll that page and read carefully the conditions of sale for each ticket type to make sure you get the cheapest one for you
  • Add to cart and follow checkout procedures. Make sure you tick the option to receive the tickets on your phone so you just show the electronic bar code when at the gate

Need to know: general entrance free tickets for kids are no longer available online on coopculure. Instead, you collect them at the ticket booth on Largo della Salara Vecchia, by showing your adult tickets.

I hope you fond this essential guide about how to book tickets for the Colosseum directly from the official concession useful: have a great visit!

See also:

>>> How to visit the Colosseum with kids + best family tours of the Colosseum

>>> Why you should visit the underground area of the Colosseum

>>> Tips for visiting the Colosseum + bet tickets and tours overview

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