Colosseum Tours: An Overview
If you are planning a trip to Rome and you have never been inside the Colosseum, it should be on your check list (especially if you love history and Roman history in particular).
Now the first choice you have to make is whether you want to see just the first and second level of the Colosseum, open to the general public, which is still a great experience, or if you also want to explore the underground area, walk on the arena floor and visit the third tier. The latter is certainly the most complete tour option, but differently from the first one you cannot go by yourself. You have to go with a tour guide.
You can join one one of the escorted tours of Coopculture (the company responsible for the administration of the the Colosseum), or join one of the many other guided tours run by numerous private companies. Going with Coopculture is generally less expensive but this does not mean you get a better tour guide. In fact the best tour guides in Rome work for private companies.
NB. The list below only include group tours of the Colosseum underground, simply because private tours of Colosseum Underground do not really exist — and for a very simple reason. By law, each company can only have 25 tickets per day for the Colosseum underground, and they have a timed entrance. So they try to maximize the profit by bringing as many people as possible during their time slot. True, some companies do offer private tours, but this simply means that the explore privately the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum (or any other site on their itinerary), but then they join the rest of the group to go down in the underground of the Colosseum. This is also true for many small group tours. They are small during the visit of the attached archaeological areas, but they merge together to go inside the Colosseum and become a group of 25, with a few exceptions.
Skip-The-Line tours and Tickets
Before considering the tour options below please bear in mind that all these companies have the privilege to purchase skip-the-line tickets in advance. However, groups still have through the security. During the high season, the security could take up to 20-30 minutes, although it is true that organized groups go through it faster than individual visitors, as they have a dedicated line.
Best Colosseum Underground Tours
This companies has a good selection of guides and small groups that allow great experiences. The cost of their Colosseum underground tour is 95 euros per person and includes Roman Forum and Palatine Hill in a group of 12 people (that may become 25 just inside the Colosseum). The tour is 3.5 hours long but the start time can change depending on the time slot the company is able to secure. There is also an option to visit the Colosseum Underground at Night for 79 euros per person. The length of this last tour is shorter (2.5 hrs) and the group is bigger (max 24 people).
Roma Experience has great guides and multiple Colosseum Underground tour options for all pockets and tastes. In addition to the restricted areas of the Colosseum, all tours are 4-hour long and include Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. You can choose your group size with prices that range from 99 to 119 per person. However, if you want to visit the Colosseum from top to tip, you can also opt for Roma Experience's unique All in One Tour: with Colosseum Underground and Belvedere (top rings).
Dark Rome's Colosseum Underground itinerary is 3.5 hours long, but differently from other tour operators have larger groups of 24 people. The cost changes depending on the date, but last minute tours are sold at 95 euros per person. Normally the price is 104 euros per person. If you look for a more intimate experience, go for a boutique tour operator.
They have groups of maximum 12 people guaranteed also in the restricted areas and they sell the ticket at 95 euros per person. Tour days are usually Sun, Wed, Fri, but they may vary as time slots are issued.
Groups of 24 people in the restricted areas and 12 people during the rest of the tour. The cost is 95 euros and tour is 3.5 hours long including surrounding archaeological area.
24 people in the restricted areas of the Colosseum underground, but 6 people maximum in the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. This tour is 3 hours long and also includes Roman Forum and Palatine Hill at a price of 99 euros per person.
This is a list of the most popular and best rated Colosseum Underground Tours on Viator. Before booking this please consider Viator's suppliers are most often the aforementioned companies that just grant Viator a commission fee for reselling their tours. Often you can get a better price by just contacting the supplier directly.
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