The Colosseum, Rome’s crowning glory and the largest amphitheater ever built, is a must-visit for anyone stepping foot in Italy.

It’s a remarkable site where history comes alive, brimming with stories of gladiatorial contests, exotic animal hunts, and public spectacles.

For potential visitors planning their trip, a frequent question that arises is, “Is there a lot of walking in the Colosseum?”

The answer is a nuanced one, taking into account several factors from the size of the Colosseum to the nature of the tours available.

Quick Answer

  1. Size Of The Colosseum: The Colosseum is enormous, and exploring its interior and exterior can involve a substantial amount of walking.
  2. Different Levels: The amphitheater has multiple levels that can be accessed via stairs, adding to the overall walking distance.
  3. Tour Type: Depending on the type of tour you choose (self-guided or guided), the amount of walking can vary.

Now, let’s explore these points in detail to give you a comprehensive understanding of what to expect on your visit to the Colosseum.

The Size Of The Colosseum

A Giant Monument

Originally capable of seating an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 spectators, the Colosseum, or the Flavian Amphitheater, is a vast structure.

The elliptical building measures approximately 189 meters long, 156 meters wide, with a base area of 24,000 square meters. This grandeur translates into a fair amount of walking for visitors keen on exploring the monument.

Exploring The Exterior & Interior

A walk around the exterior perimeter alone can take up to 20 minutes. Once inside, you’ll likely want to traverse the corridors where Roman citizens once walked and explore the different sections, from the arena floor to the upper tiers.

This exploration can easily add an additional 1-2 hours of walking, if not more, especially if you take the time to pause and absorb the wealth of historical information available.

The Different Levels of the Colosseum

Walking Up The Stairs

The Colosseum’s architecture consists of several levels, some of which are accessible to visitors. The original structure had four levels, with the topmost one added later. Accessing these levels requires climbing stairs, adding more physical exertion to your visit.

Although the stairs are not exceptionally steep, there are quite a few of them, and this is something to keep in mind if you have mobility concerns.

Enjoying The View

Despite the walking and stair-climbing involved, reaching the upper levels of the Colosseum is often considered a rewarding experience. The upper tiers provide a fantastic view of the entire amphitheater, as well as the surrounding city of Rome.

This perspective gives you a true appreciation for the colossal size and intricate design of this historical landmark.

The Type Of Tour You Choose

Self-Guided Tours

A self-guided tour of the Colosseum allows you the flexibility to explore at your own pace. You can spend more time in areas that particularly interest you and skip sections that you might find less engaging.

However, without a structured path to follow, you might end up walking more as you navigate through the amphitheater.

Guided Tours

Guided tours, on the other hand, follow a specific route designed to showcase the highlights of the Colosseum.

While this might involve less walking than a self-guided tour, the pace is set by the guide, and there’s usually less opportunity for rest stops.

Specialized tours that include access to restricted areas, like the underground hypogeum or the top tier, might involve additional walking and climbing.

Walking In The Colosseum

Visiting the Colosseum involves a fair amount of walking, due in part to its sheer size and multi-leveled architecture. However, the experience is usually more of a leisurely stroll through history rather than an intense hike.

Those with mobility concerns should consider this when planning their visit, and perhaps opt for a guided tour that can accommodate their needs.

Remember, the Colosseum is not just about the destination, but the journey – walking in the footsteps of the Romans, and witnessing a monument that has stood the test of time.


  1. Colosseum” Encyclopædia Britannica
  2. Visiting the Colosseum: Do’s and Don’ts” TripAdvisor
  3. Rome Travel Guide” Rick Steves’ Europe
  4. Walking in the Colosseum” Take Walks