Colosseum Interior vs Exterior

The Colosseum, a massive landmark in the middle of Rome, is a tribute to ancient Roman engineering and amusement.

But beneath its famous front, it is rich in history and drama. 

Don’t pass up the opportunity to explore the magnificent exterior and the fascinating interior of the Colosseum!

Note: Looking for the best tickets? The Colosseum, Roman Forum, Arena & Palatine Hill Sightseeing Tour is affordable and covers everything.

Here is the essential information table of exterior and interior:

Essential InformationInteriorExterior
ArchitectureTiered seating, central arena floor, and underground chambers.Elliptical shape with arches, columns, and decorative details
AmbienceGrandeur and brutalityStriking silhouette against the skyline
FeaturesMarble and sand flooring, remnants of seating tiers, underground passageswalls adorned with Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns, arches, and decorative friezes.
AccessibilityVia designated entrances, with ramps and elevators for mobility.accessible from multiple viewpoints
Best forHistory and architecture enthusiasts, familiesSightseeing

Colosseum Exterior 

Colosseum Exterior
Image: Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

The exterior of the Colosseum is perhaps its most recognizable feature, capturing the imagination of millions worldwide.

Elliptical Marvel 

The exterior is elliptical, measuring 188 meters long and 156 meters wide, and is a sight to behold. 

Its tiered structure, with four stories adorned by arches and columns, showcases Roman architectural prowess.

Travertine majesty

Gleaming white travertine marble once covered the exterior, reflecting sunlight and creating a dazzling spectacle. 

Though weather and time have weathered the stone, its grandeur remains.

Symbolic statues

Originally, 70 statues adorned the arches, depicting gods, heroes, and mythological figures. While most are lost, their empty niches whisper stories of the past.

Entrance Spectacle 

The 76 numbered entrances allowed efficient entry and exit for the thousands of spectators. 

The colossal arches and towering columns stood as a testament to Roman architectural mastery. 

Imagine the bustling crowds converging on the Colosseum, eager for the day’s entertainment.

As the sun sank, creating long shadows across the old structure, the crowd’s enthusiasm reached a fever level, mimicking that of years before.

Colosseum Interior

Colosseum interior
Image:Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

The interior of Colosseum holds a wealth of history and intrigue, offering a glimpse into the entertainment and social dynamics of ancient Rome.

Arena of sand

The heart of the amphitheater was the wooden Arena Floor covered with sand, where gladiatorial battles, animal hunts, and staged performances unfolded. 

Stepping into the arena allows you to imagine the crowd’s roar and the clash of swords.

Tiered seating

Rising above the arena, tiered seating sections accommodated up to 80,000 spectators. 

Imagine the vibrant tapestry of colors created by the crowds, their cheers echoing through the vast arena.


A retractable awning, the Velarium, protects spectators from the sun and rain, adding a touch of comfort to the intense atmosphere.

Underground Network 

Beneath the Arena Floor lies a complex network of tunnels, chambers, and elevators used to move gladiators, animals, and scenery, showcasing Roman engineering ingenuity.

Hidden Marvels

Secret chambers and passageways offered access to different areas, adding a layer of mystery to the Colosseum’s inner workings.

Tickets for Interiors

Colosseum ticketsAdult ticket (18+ years) price
Skip-the-line Colosseum tour, Forum, Palatine Hill€59
Colosseum Arena Floor, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Tour€69
Colosseum Underground, Arena Floor and Ancient Rome€140
Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Tour€119


1. Is it worth seeing the inside of the Colosseum?

Yes, the interior of the Colosseum provides a fascinating view into ancient Roman history and architecture. Walking through its hallways, you can sense the echoes of gladiator clashes and the Empire’s grandeur.

2. What was the exterior of the Colosseum?

The Colosseum exterior facade was a wonder of ancient Roman construction, with four floors of arches and engaged columns. It was built mostly of travertine limestone and concrete, demonstrating the Empire’s architectural skill.

3. What is the best part of the Colosseum?

Choosing the “best” portion of the Colosseum is up to personal preference. However, the most popular and unique parts of the attraction are the Arena and Underground.

4. What is the best way to see the Colosseum?

To truly experience the Colosseum, start early to beat the crowds and heat with a guided tour for insightful historical context and skip-the-line access.

5. Is it better to see the Colosseum at night?

Seeing the Colosseum at night is a breathtaking experience, and if you prefer an intimate experience or are simply a night owl, you must visit at night instead of during the day.

6. How big was the Roman colosseum interior?

The interior of the Roman Colosseum was a vast circular arena almost 90 meters long and 50 meters broad, where gladiators competed. On top, there were rows of seats for 50,000 people going up four floors. 

Featured Image: Nejron

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