Looking for the coolest way to experience the Colosseum? Then don’t miss out on a chance to walk out onto the reconstructed Arena Floor of the Colosseum and feel what the gladiators must have felt in ancient times. Find out what you’ll see and how to visit the Colosseum Arena Floor below.
Pro Tip: It’s easier to organize your trip when you have all your resources in one place. Bookmark this post along with our Colosseum guide for more planning resources, our top-rated Colosseum tours for a memorable trip, and what to see at the Colosseum.
What Is the Colosseum Arena Floor?
In 72 AD, construction for what would later be known as the world’s greatest amphitheater began during the reign of Emperor Vespasian and was completed by his son and successor, Titus, in 80 AD. Further modifications were later made during the reign of Domitian (81-96 AD).
The inauguration games were held to celebrate the completion of the Flavian Amphitheatre and lasted over a hundred consecutive days of lavish games and all forms of entertainment. The most popular were the gladiator games. On occasion, the emperor would enjoy pulling pranks on the gladiators by using the trap door system to surprise them with a less-than-ferocious animal, such as a chicken!
The arena floor (arena means “sand” in Latin) is where all the action took place. It was made of wood and covered with a layer of sand to absorb the blood that was shed by the gladiators, animals, and criminals.
After centuries of use, the floor was removed in the 6th century, announcing the end of the gladiator battles. In the 1990s, a section of the arena floor was reconstructed, giving visitors a better idea of what the Colosseum must have looked like.
Not ready to book a tour? Find out why a Colosseum tour is worth it.
What to See on the Arena Floor
The Colosseum was designed with 80 entrances as part of a crowd control system to ensure a fast and organized start to the games. Each entrance was numbered to allow spectators to access their designated seats as quickly as possible.
Out of the 80 entrances, 76 were reserved for the general public, and the remaining four were known as the Grand Entrances: the North Gate, the South Gate, the Gate of Life, and the Gate of Death.
During the gladiator games, the gladiators would enter the arena through the Gate of Life and exit that way—if they survived. Those who perished in battle would be removed from the stadium through the Gate of Death.
As you step out onto the reconstructed arena floor, you will get an amazing 360-degree view of the Colosseum. You can also see the reconstructed trap door used to bring animals or slaves into the arena. But perhaps coolest of all, you’ll get a close look at the complex underground systems of the Hypogeum, or Underground, that played such a key role in the daily events.
Top Colosseum Tours
Not ready to book a tour? Check out our best Colosseum tours to take and why.
Great Colosseum Tours
Visiting the Colosseum is a once in a lifetime experience, so make it one to remember. Avoid the lines with our skip the line tickets and have an expert tell you endless stories and fascinating facts about one of the great wonders of the world.
As the rest of the Colosseum visitors look down to see you standing on the Arena Floor and wonder how you got there (they really will!), you’ll smile and know you made the right decision to book an Arena Floor tour. Plus you’ll even get a guided tour of the second floor and the Roman Forum where Rome’s high-class society used to live.
If you want to experience more of the Colosseum, you can visit the Arena Floor, the Underground, and the Roman Forum on a Colosseum Underground tour. If you’re looking for a magical experience at night, have a look at our Colosseum night tour.
Please note that these Underground tickets are extremely limited and sell out immediately. Plan ahead or opt for our popular Arena Floor tour above.
Colosseum Opening Hours
The Colosseum is open seven days a week but closed on December 25 and January 1. Opening times vary depending on the time of year.
January 2 to February 15: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
February 16 to March 15: 8:30 am – 5 pm
March 16 to the last Saturday of March: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Last Sunday of March to August 31: 8:30 am – 7:15 pm
September 1 to September 30: 8:30 am – 7:00 pm
October 1 to the last Sunday of October: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm
Last Sunday of October to December 31: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
The Colosseum Arena Floor can only be accessed with a guided tour at specific dates and times, so check for availability as you start planning your trip.
Not ready to book a tour? Check out our best Rome tours to take and why.