Amazing Roman Theaters and Amphitheaters to visit around the Mediterranean

I always had an interest in the Roman heritage across Europe and Roman Theaters in particular. There are impressive Roman Theaters and Amphitheaters scattered in every corner of the Roman Empire.

The Theaters and Amphitheaters were part of any Roman city plan. I’m the first to admit that they knew how to put together a large-scale show. The Roman Empire covered every piece of land around the Mediterranean at its greatest extent, in 117 AD.

With the help of a few of my favorite travel bloggers, I’ve put together a list of 21 Roman Theaters and Amphitheaters around the Mediterranean that you can visit today. So, here it is.

Roman Theaters and Amphitheaters to Visit

I’ll order the list roughly east to west. See them all on the map.

  1. Jerash, Jordan – Roman Theaters
  2. Caesarea, Israel – Roman Theater
  3. Plovdiv, Bulgaria – Roman Theater
  4. Athens, Greece – Theater of Dionysos
  5. Athens, Greece – Odeon of Herodes Atticus
  6. Bitola, North Macedonia – Roman Theater
  7. Pula, Croatia – Roman Arena
  8. Syracuse, Sicily – Roman Amphitheater
  9. Taormina, Sicily – Greek Theater
  10. Lecce, Italy – Roman Amphitheater
  11. Pompeii, Italy – Roman Amphitheater
  12. Ostia Antica, Italy – Roman Theater
  13. Rome, Italy – The Colosseum
  14. Rome, Italy – Theater of Marcellus
  15. Verona, Italy – Roman Arena
  16. Orange, France – Roman Theater
  17. Nimes, France – Roman Arena
  18. Tarragona, Spain – Roman Amphitheater
  19. Santiponce, Spain – Itálica Amphitheater
  20. Acinipo, Spain – Roman Theater
  21. Malaga, Spain – Roman Theater

Roman Theaters Outside Europe

The Roman Theaters in Jerash, Jordan

By Wendy Werneth from The Nomadic Vegan

The ruins of the ancient city of Gerasa, now known as Jerash, are often said to be the best-preserved ancient Roman ruins outside of Italy. Here, you’ll find not one but two Roman theaters. The southern one is the larger of the two and can seat up to 3,000 people. Concerts and other performances still happen here, and the acoustics are amazing! Test them out by standing in the center of the stage and belting out Mark Anthony’s speech from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

The ruins lie about 50 kilometers north of Amman. Buses leave frequently from Amman’s Tarbabour station and cost just 1 dinar. If you prefer, you could also pay about 40 dinars for a private taxi. Ask the driver to wait for you on-site until you’re ready to head back. Another option is to take a private half-day tour from Amman.

Admission to the ruins costs 10 dinars (about 12€) for foreigners and includes entrance to the Jerash Archaeological Museum. In the summer, it’s open from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM, and in winter from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. For lunch, head to the Lebanese House Um Khalil Restaurant, which serves delicious mezze and is a good option for vegan and vegetarian visitors to Jordan.

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Southern Roman Theater in Jerash, Jordan

The Theater in Caesarea, Israel

By  Hadas Lesnick from Luxury Voyager

The Theater in Caesarea National Park is Israel’s most ancient theater. Caesarea was the ancient Roman capital of Judaea. Of course, having a Roman town also means having an amphitheater. The impressive theater overlooks the Mediterranean and can fit 4,000 people in the audience. It was built by King Herod in 22 BC and it has a semicircular platform behind the stage that dates back to the 3rd century and a Great Wall with two towers from the 6th-century. However, this theater also has a dark past. Between 66 and 70 AD, it served as the site of a mass execution of the Jews who had revolted against the Romans.

Naturally, the Roman theater has had many reconstructions and renovations over the years. Having such a rich history, this place is breathtaking, especially for history lovers.

Despite its ancient past, the theatre’s glory days are far from over. Israel’s best and most famous artists are still performing in the Caesarea theater to this day.

The 38 NIS (roughly 10€) entrance fee to the theater includes the entrance fee into the National Park. Apart from the theater, visitors to Caesarea National Park can also enjoy the sea view along with other ancient Roman ruins, cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops. Tourists and locals alike enjoy the leisure center.

If you want to see a lot in a little time, try this full-day tour from Tel-Aviv to Caesarea, Haifa, Akre, and Rosh Hanikra.

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The Roman Theater in Caesarea, Israel

Roman Theaters and Amphitheaters in Eastern Europe

The Ancient Theater of Philippopolis, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

By me, Anda from Travel for a while

One of the best-preserved Roman theaters is in one of my favorite places in Bulgaria – Plovdiv, about 1 hour and a half from Sofia.

The ancient theater was built in the 1st century AD in the saddle between Taksim and Dzhambaz hills in Philippopolis, Plovdiv’s ancient name.

In the Roman era, until the 4th century AD, the theater of Philippopolis had many uses. Gladiatorial games and theater performances were held here, and the General Assembly of Thrace Roman province also gathered here. In its heyday, the venue could host up to 6000 people.

In the 1980s, the city reconstructed the stage and the marble seats. The theater functions now as a venue for opera, concerts, and theater plays. Every year, the Roman theater in Plovdiv hosts an Opera Festival, as well as a Rock Festival, called Sounds of Ages.

You’ll find the Roman Theater in Plovdiv Old Town. You can visit every day from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM or 6:00 PM during the summer months. The entrance fee is 5 BGN (roughly 2.50€), or you can also buy a combined 15 BGN ticket to visit up to 5 sites in the Plovdiv Old Town.

If you prefer learning about the best things to do in Plovdiv with a guide, here is a walking tour you should take on your first day in the city.

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The Roman Theater in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The Theater of Dionysos, Athens, Greece

By me, Anda from Travel for a while

The Theater of Dionysos was the first theater built in Athens, in the 6th century BC. Better said, it was the first theater ot the world!

Its story is quite interesting. Ancient Athenians would have gathered on the south slopes of the Acropolis in Athens at the sanctuary dedicated to Dionysos. He was the god of winemaking, fertility, and later, drama. Worshippers sat on the hillside and watched the religious ceremonies that took place in the lower circular area. The ceremonies included animal sacrifices, singing, and wearing masks. Later, Athenians had festivals here to honor Dionysos with singing, dancing, and mimes performances.

This evolved into one actor plays with a choir who helped tell the story and developed from there. The Greek classic plays of Euripides, Aeschylus and Sophocles were first performed on this stage. Imagine witnessing the birth of theater here!

The theater was originally made of wood and later rebuilt in stone. In its heyday, the Theater of Dionysos could sit 17000 people. The theater was reconstructed many times during its almost 1000 years of use. Unfortunately, it came into decay from the 5th century AD and was only rediscovered in the 19th century.

It was of course, a Greek theater but I included it to my list of Roman Theaters to visit as most of what we can see today comes from the Roman era.

You can visit the Theater of Dionysos every day from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. You will need a combined 30€ ticket that includes entrance to the Acropolis of Athens and Dionysus Theatre. The Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, Kerameikos, Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Library are also included. 

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The oldest theater, Theater of Dionysos in Athens

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Athens, Greece

By me, Anda from Travel for a while

A couple hundred meters on from Dionysos’ Theater, you will come across one of the Roman Theaters still in use, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.

Herodes Atticus was a Greek politician that served as a Roman senator. He built the Odeon under the Acropolis in memory of his Roman wife, Aspasia.

The marble theater was built in 161 AD and originally had a stunning feature, a Lebanese cedar wood roof which is now long gone. It could seat up to 5000 people. The wall behind the stage was three stories high and the arches also held marble statues.

The city restored the venue’s stage and seating in the 1950s. Since then, the Herodeion has been hosting the main events of the Athens Art Festival every year. Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, and Frank Sinatra performed here, to name a few.

It is not open to the public to visit, but you will have a good view of the amphitheater from the Acropolis of Athens.

Of course, the best way to visit the Herodeion is to catch a concert or a play on a summer night. This way, you will experience first-hand the wonderful acoustics. The festival is on even in 2020, watch the scheduled events here.

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The Odeon of Herodes Atticus on the slopes of the Acropolis in Athens

Heraclea Lyncestis, Bitola, North Macedonia

By Emily Lush from Wander-Lush

Heraclea Lyncestis is one of the most impressive but lesser-known Roman theaters on the Balkan Peninsula. It’s located in the city of Bitola in the south-western corner of North Macedonia, close to the border with Greece and Albania.

Philip II of Macedon founded Bitola in the mid-4th century. After a short period of Hellenistic rule, The Romans conquered it in 150 BC. Later, it served as an Ottoman outpost.

Of all the many layers of history, Bitola’s period under Roman rule is most prominent. Emperor Hadrian bestowed the city with incredible infrastructure, including thermae baths, grand villas, and also the large hilltop theater capable of holding 2,500 people. Heraclea Lyncestis theater was used for both drama performances and gladiatorial games. With the spread of Christianity, the Roman theater was abandoned in the 5th century.

Excavations started quite late, at the end of the 1960s, and revealed the presence of animal cages and gladiatorial tunnels. All that remains of the theater today is the partially reconstructed semicircular bones of the theater and also a few original tiers of cuneus seating.

The Heraclea Lyncestis archaeological site lies 2km south of modern-day Bitola. The site is just an hour’s drive from Lake Ohrid or 2.5 hours from the capital, Skopje. It is possible to visit as a day trip. I do recommend spending at least one night in Bitola, however – the city is small but quite beautiful with a great restaurant scene.

The ruins are open daily from 8:00 AM in summer and entrance costs 100 denars (approximately 1.60€). Along with the Roman theater, the complex contains a set of elaborate floor mosaics, often regarded as some of the best-preserved in the region.

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Heraclea Lyncestis in Bitola, North Macedonia

Pula Arena in Pula, Croatia

By Audrey Bergner from That Backpacker

If you travel to the Croatian seaside city of Pula, you can’t miss visiting Pula Arena. This Roman amphitheater dates back to the 1st century and it was built during the reign of Emperor Vespasian, at the same time that the Colosseum was going up in Rome. Perhaps what’s most surprising about Pula Arena is how well preserved it is. This is the only remaining Roman amphitheater with all four side towers and three stories still standing.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, this amphitheater continued to find use. In fact, during the Middle Ages, it hosted fairs and the occasional tournament. It also provided a place for animals to graze.

One big reason to visit Pula is that Pula Arena puts on numerous events for visitors during the summer months. The amphitheater hosts concerts and film screenings, as well as “Spectacvla Antiqva” where actors reenact gladiator fights and games from Roman antiquity. 

Admission to Pula Arena is 50 kuna (roughly 7€). Hours of operation vary throughout the year, but during the summer months, it’s open from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

You can also book a full day-trip from Opatija Riviera to Pula and Rovinj, aka the Little Venice.

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Pula Arena in Croatia

Roman Theaters and Amphitheaters in Italy

The Amphitheater in Syracuse, Sicily

By Samantha Hussey from The Wandering Wanderluster

The Roman Empire was once the most extensive in the world. During their 500 year rule over Europe, the Romans left behind a multitude of innovations, artistic and cultural foundations, and a host of grand monuments including some pretty spectacular Roman theaters and amphitheaters, the most famous of them being, of course, the Colosseum in Rome. 

Far less known is the Roman amphitheater of Syracuse in Sicily. The Romans ruled over Sicily for over 6 centuries. At the time, Syracuse was a major port for trade coming from Africa to Europe.

Although not as grand as the neighboring Greek Theater, the Roman Amphitheater in Syracuse’s Archaeological Park of Neapolis is very well preserved. The seats carved into the rock, tunnels, and the arena still completely visible. Built between 4C – 3C BC, the amphitheater was used for gladiatorial games. It is thought that the rectangle hole in the middle of the arena was used either for scenic machinery or as a large drain for the blood and remains of animals and, unfortunately, gladiators.

You can walk along the top ring of the amphitheater that measures just over 140m, making it the third-largest amphitheater in Italy. Located within the Archeological Park of Neapolis, entry to the theatre is through the combined 10€ ticket for the whole park. The park is open daily, including holidays from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Because of the enormous quantity of sights worth visiting inside the park and the extensive size of the area, you should plan to spend at least 2 hours visiting at a leisurely pace.

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The Roman Amphitheater in Syracuse, Sicily

The Ancient Theater in Taormina, Sicily

By Katy Clarke from Untold Travel

Built by the Greeks and renovated by the Romans, the Ancient Theater in Taormina is one of the most spectacular sights in Sicily, if not the world. From its seats, you can see Sicily’s active volcano Mount Etna smoldering in the background and the Bay of Naxos to your left. It’s an incredible setting for all kinds of performances.

Construction of the theater took place in the 3rd century B.C. and in its heyday, the theater could hold over 5000 spectators. They came to watch musical performances, plays and gladiatorial battles in the custom-built arena. These days the theater is still used for concerts in the summer by some of the world’s top artists. You can also visit and explore the archaeological site on your own or with a guide.

You’ll find the theater in the center of Taormina, a small town in the south of Sicily. Opening hours are from 09:00 AM to 4:00 PM with a later opening in summer. Tickets cost 10€ for adults which is a small price to pay for one of the best views in Italy.

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The incredible view from the Ancient Theater in Taormina, Sicily

The Amphitheater in Lecce, Italy

By me, Anda from Travel for a while

The Roman Amphitheater is one of the top attractions in Lecce. Located at the heart of the city in Piazza Sant’Oronzo, it is impossible to miss. It was completely covered until the end of the 19th century when it was discovered by chance.

Even now, only about a third of the structure is visible. The rest is still under the main square and the surrounding buildings. Around the unearthed amphitheater, a triumphal arch and the beautiful column of Sant’Oronzo complete the view. Coffee shops line the square, which is a very popular spot during the evenings, when the buildings lit up.

The amphitheater probably dates from the 2nd century AD, though the first structure might date to the Augustan Era. The elliptical arena could probably host about 14000 people.

In the gallery, you can see fragments of bas-reliefs showing venationes as well as Latin inscriptions. The venationes were fights between humans and exotic animals.

The site is free to visit for a glimpse into the past of the ancient Lupiae. The amphitheater in Lecce still hosts some events from time to time.

A great way to experience Lecce is to have a walking tour with food tastings along the way.

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The partially uncovered Roman Amphitheater in Lecce

The Amphitheater in Pompeii, Italy

By me, Anda from Travel for a while

Pompeii needs little or no introduction at all. It’s one of those rare cases when a city became famous for being completely destroyed. The violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD buried Pompeii under a thick layer of ash and volcanic debris. It was that same cataclysm that allowed the city to be preserved untouched for so many centuries.

The Amphitheater in Pompeii is the oldest stone structure of its kind dating from 70 BC. An amphitheater is, in fact, a theater mirrored into an elliptical shape.

The amphitheater in Pompeii stood in a peripheral area of the town. Spectators from other towns could come to enjoy the gladiatorial games without interfering with Pompeians’ day-to-day life. The arena could host up to 20000 spectators in its three different sections of the sitting area, according to their social class. The most important people of Pompeii sat closer to the arena, while the plebeians accessed the upper seats by the external staircases.

The parapet dividing the arena from the seating area is covered in frescoes depicting gladiators while on the upper side the names of the magistrates of the time are still readable. You can also see the rings where the velarium was fixed when it rained.
Pompeii Archaeological Park is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 Am to 7:00 PM with the last admission at 5:30 PM. A full ticket is 14.50€ with an added 1.50€ for pre-booking. It is an extensive site, so I recommend a full day trip to Pompeii from Naples or Sorrento.

To make the most of your time in Pompeii, book this tour guided by an archaeologist.

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The perfectly preserved amphitheater in Pompeii

The Roman Theater in Ostia Antica, Italy

By me, Anda from Travel for a while

Ostia was Ancient Rome’s main seaport. Situated at the mouth of the Tiber, the port was the entry gate for Rome’s massive influx of goods and slaves.

As a Roman colony, Ostia had all the features of a standard Roman city. Agrippa built the theater in Ostia on Decumanus Maximus (the main street in any Roman city), during the reign of Augustus.

The original theater could seat about 3000 people and it was later enlarged to almost double capacity in its present form during Commodus’ reign.

The theater has been restored and hosts concerts every summer. The wall behind the stage disappeared, and the view opens up towards the unique Square of the Guilds. 

You can visit Ostia Antica Archaeological Park Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and later during the summer. A full ticket is 8€.

To start your day trip to Ostia Antica from Rome, you can take the metro (line B) to Piramide station and then take the train to Roma Lido.

Visiting the archaeological site with a local guide might also be a good idea.

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The Roman Theater in Ostia Antica

The Colosseum in Rome, Italy

By me, Anda from Travel for a while

I know some of you scrolled directly down here. The Colosseum is the most noteworthy of all Roman Amphitheaters, the most important symbol of Rome for millennia.

The Colosseum, also known as The Flavian Amphitheater, was completed in 80 AD and became the largest Roman Amphitheater. It could host more than 50000 people that came to watch gladiators, animal fights, and even executions which were also considered entertainment. Unlike any of the earlier Roman amphitheaters, the Colosseum is a freestanding structure, not dug into a hillside. 

The amphitheater had a complicated velarium system to protect spectators from the sun. The underground of the Colosseum also hosts an extensive network of tunnels, cells, and machinery that kept the show going and the animals and prisoners locked in.

The Colosseum is one of the seven wonders of the modern world and is every year, more than 6 million people visit it. Along with the Vatican, it is one of the major tourist attractions in Rome.

It is open daily from 10.30 AM to 7:15 PM, with last entry one hour before closure.

The admission to the Colosseum costs 16€ or 22€ for the full experience and all tickets include Roman Forum and Palatine Hill access.

To make sure you don’t spend more time queuing than inside the Colosseum, make sure to get a skip-the-line tour with access to the Arena. Another option is to buy a Roma Pass that will allow you to skip-the-line access to the Colosseum and also includes the use of public transport in Rome.

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The Colosseum is one of the 7 wonders of the modern world

Marcellus Theater in Rome, Italy

By me, Anda from Travel for a while

The Theater of Marcellus is the oldest of all Roman theaters, still standing. Julius Caesar originally commissioned the theater but he didn’t live to see the finished project. Augustus, his successor, continued the construction and finished it in 13 BC. He dedicated the theater to his favorite nephew, Marcus Marcellus.

At the time, it was the largest of all Roman Theaters built across the Empire. It could hold more than 11000 people and the first row was reserved for the senators. Actors performed dramas, dance, and music in the Theater of Marcellus in its heyday.
During the Middle Ages, the abandoned theater was used as a fortress. Later on, the Savelli family changed it into what we see today. They replaced the top tier of seats with private apartments and the family used the old theater as a private palazzo. The upper floor is still inhabited to this day.

The grounds are open to visit anytime and visiting the theater and Octavia’s Portico nearby is one of the most popular free things to do in Rome.

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The apartments at the top of Theater of Marcellus are still inhabited

The Roman Arena in Verona, Italy

By me, Anda from Travel for a while

The stunning Arena in Verona is one of the best-preserved Roman Amphitheaters anywhere. It stands in Piazza Bra right outside of Medieval Verona city gates. In ancient times, the Romans built the Arena outside the city walls. It could host up to 30000 spectators, and people came from afar to see the games here.

The Romans built the amphitheater in 30 AD, and the original structure had three rings. Unfortunately, the outer ring made of white and pink local limestone was destroyed by an earthquake. Only a small part of the arched façade survives today, the wing.

During Medieval times, the city also used the arens as a stone quarry, to carry out construction all over Verona

In the 20th century, the Verona Arena recovered its glory by becoming a venue for Opera theater. In 1913, Aida by Giuseppe Verde was staged at the Verona Arena for the first time. Since then, the Arena became the main venue for Opera events in Verona every summer. Rock concerts also play here in less troubled times.

The Roman Arena in Verona is open to visiting on Mondays from 1:30 PM to 7:30 PM and Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM and a full ticket costs 10€.

You can also book a skip-the-line guided tour of the Arena or even an Opera package for one evening.

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The Roman Arena in Verona is still in use

Roman Theaters and Amphitheaters in France

The Roman Theater of Orange, France

By Paul from The Two That Do

The Roman Theater of Orange is widely considered to be the most well-preserved example of its kind in Europe. Built during the 1st century AD
under the rule of Augustus, the theater was capable of accommodating 10,000 spectators in its heyday.

Historic Orange in the southeast of France lies just 115 km north of Marseille, France’s second-largest city. Combined with its charming center and the also UNESCO World Heritage-listed Triumphal Arch Orange makes a fabulous day trip from Nice, another popular tourist destination on the Cote d’Azur.

The magnificent and imposing stage wall doesn’t fail to impress visitors. Understandably, King Louis XIV described the 103 meters long, 37 meters high, and 1.8 meters thick wall as “the finest wall in my kingdom”. It is as impressive today as it was at the end of the 17th century.

The site is open between 09:00 AM and 7:00 PM during the summer months. The more than reasonable entrance fee of 9.50 € includes not just access to the Roman Theater but also an audio guide and entrance to the associated museum opposite. Here you’ll find mosaics and other relics discovered in the Theater grounds.

For a true experience though, try to coincide your visit as to take in one of the many opera or ballet performances still held in this august setting each summer.

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The beautifully preserved Roman Theater in Orange, France

Les Arènes de Nimes, France

By Elisa from France Bucket List

Les Arènes de Nimes is a Roman amphitheater built around 70 AD. It is located in the city of Nimes, in the French region of Occitanie.

The Romans built Les Arènes de Nimes to host different games and shows for the population of Nemausus, Nimes’ name in Roman times. Even today, the amphitheater hosts different kinds of shows for locals and tourists. The Arènes is the most important sight in the city together with the Maison Carrée and the Tour Magne so if you visit Nimes you cannot miss it!

The amphitheater has two floors and an attic separated by a cornice and it measures 133 meters long and 101 meters wide. There are certainly bigger Roman amphitheaters, but this one is the best preserved of all of them.

The Arènes de Nimes is open every day (except shows) from 9.30 AM to 5:00 PM in the low season and from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM in high season. The ticket costs 10€ (full rate) and children younger than 7 can enter for free.

Nimes is a big city in southern France so it is very easy to reach by train or other public transportation.

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The Roman Arena in Nimes, France

Roman Theaters and Amphitheaters in Spain

The Amphitheater in Tarragona, Spain

By Jeanine Romo from Le Wild Explorer

Tarragona is a coastal city in Spain featuring a Roman amphitheater overlooking the ocean, beautiful beaches, and also a charming old town. Spaniards reffer to as the “Rome of Spain” and a visit to the city will show you exactly why. The Romans built Tarragona Amphitheater in the 2nd century to hold gladiator fights and other events. It is quite a sight to see as the amphitheater overlooks the ocean. 

You can see the amphitheater from the “Mediterranean Balcony” without entering, but it’s definitely worth the visit to tour the grounds. The amphitheater is open Tuesday through Sunday (Tuesday to Friday from 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday from 9:30 AM to 9 PM, and Sunday and bank holidays from 9:30 AM to 3 PM). A visit only costs 3.30€ per adult and definitely the highlight of any Tarragona itinerary. There are plenty of things to do in Tarragona in addition to visiting the amphitheater. You can check out the Circ Roma, walk along the Roman Walls, and a lot more! This lovely city is full of history and charm. Tarragona is only an hour’s train ride away from Barcelona and makes for a perfect day trip or for an overnight visit also.

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The Amphitheater of Tarragona in Spain

Itálica Amphitheater in Santiponce, Spain

By Bec Wyld from Wyld Family Travel

Itálica is located in present-day Santiponce, about 15 minutes from Seville in Spain. Roman general Scipio Africanus founded the city that grew up in Andalusia as a settlement for veteran soldiers after the wars with Hannibal as he made his way towards Rome.

Itálica was once home to the 5th largest amphitheater in the Roman Empire. The amphitheater at Itálica could hold up to 25,000 spectators during its golden time. Included in these spectators were the Roman Emperors Trajan and Hadrian who were born in Itálica.

As of late, the Itálica amphitheater has come back into focus thanks to the part it played in Game of Thrones. Itálica was the setting for the meeting between John Snow, Queen Cersei, and the Mother of Dragons. It also features in the last episode when Bran becomes king.

Itálica is one of the best things to see in Seville. The easiest way to access Itálica is to catch a taxi from Seville it is only 9 kilometers away. The entry price is only 2€ and, moreover, entrance is free for EU citizens. Itálica is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 AM but the closing time varies each season.

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Itálica Amphitheater in Spain

The Roman Theater in Acinipo, Spain

By Joanna from The World In My Pocket

The Roman ruins at Acinipo are probably one of the most surprising sites in Spain. A truly off the beaten path destination in Andalucia, Acinipo is located 20 kilometers away from Ronda and easily accessible by car. In addition, the site is free to visit and open in the morning, Wednesday to Sunday.

What makes Acinipo special is the Roman theater. The Romans built it sometime towards the end of the first century, which makes is one of the oldest in Spain. The theater used to be the highest point in the once-thriving town of Acinipo, home to 5000 people. The capacity of the Roman theater was around 2000 people, which is impressive being almost half of the town’s population at that time. The seating area was carved directly in the limestone, with extra wooden seating on top. In addition, pink marble decorated the orchestra area.

During the second century, unfortunately, the city started to decline in favor of nearby Ronda. The theater went into decay for centuries and, later on, the Moors used it as a watchtower. However, even if the city of Acinipo was brought down to piles of stones, the theater was never completely destroyed, and it was always visible, a fact which is attested in many poems and travel scribbles during the centuries.

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The ruins of the Roman theater in Acinipo, Spain

The Roman Theater in Malaga, Spain

By Stuart Fahy from Just Travelling Through

In the south of Spain, there are many famous examples of Moorish architecture, however, you’ll also find many Roman structures. One of the most popular is the Roman theater in the city of Malaga. Built in the first century, the theater was used for around 300 years before being left virtually forgotten until its rediscovery in the early 1950s. Despite being used as a quarry by the Moors, the site is very well preserved. With its banked stone seating and Malaga’s famous Alcazaba standing prominently behind, the Roman theater is a very picturesque site to visit. Since 2011 the city has reopened the site to the public and has performances throughout the summer with seats for just over 200 spectators.

Located on Calle Alcazabilla between two of Malaga’s most popular sites, the Alcazaba and Pablo Picasso museum, the Roman theater is in an ideal spot. It’s easily reached on foot from almost everywhere in the city and opens between 10 AM to 6 PM on most days, except Sundays and holidays when it closes at 4 PM. As with many museums in Spain the site is not open on Mondays. Moreover, entrance is completely free! In short, you have no excuse not to visit this incredible site on Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

The stunning Roman Theater in Malaga

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Did you visit any Roman Theaters or Amphitheaters? Tell me all about your favorites in the comments below.

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