Roman Forum
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Roman Forum: Tours & Tickets

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5 historical facts about the Roman Forum's development

Unlike the other forums across Rome's empire, the ancient capital's center of public life wasn't simply planned and built, but evolved slowly as the great city grew. Here are five facts about the original Forum Romanum's history!

It was a meeting point before a stone was laid

It was a meeting point before a stone was laid

Situated on a marshy plain between the key Capitoline and Palatine Hills of Rome, the site naturally became a local meeting point long before an official Forum was planned.

The marshland was drained by Tarquin the Elder

The marshland was drained by Tarquin the Elder

Legend has it that the initial Comitium emerged after both hilltop tribes made peace. Until Rome's 5th king built the Cloaca Maxima, most of the site was too swampy to be usable.

It served several uses

It served several uses

The forum served as the center of Rome's public life for centuries, hosting public speeches, military processions, criminal trials, gladiatorial matches, markets, and much more!

It became home to early Roman Catholic monuments

It became home to early Roman Catholic monuments

Constantine I built the Basilica of Maxentius in 312AD as the last major expansion of the forum. Over time, several of the other temples were converted into Christian churches.

Rising ground made it impossible to maintain

Rising ground made it impossible to maintain

Flooding of the Tiber river and erosion from its surrounding hills caused the ground to rise, slowing covering the monuments. By the Middle Ages the site was being used as a pasture!

Our insider tips

When to visit?

Tickets are valid for two days but also cover the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. That's a lot to see so make sure you arrive there nice and early on both days! The Forum opens from 8:30AM (except holidays), but closing times vary depending on the season. You'll have more time between April and September.
If not booking in advance, use the Palatine Hill ticket office, as the queue will be mercifully short compared to that at the Colosseum!

How to get there?

Don't let the maps fool you! Although there are Metro stations nearby, none of them are that close to an actual entrance! Colosseo (by the Colosseum, in case it's not obvious) is the closest but you'll still need to walk to the main entrance up Via dei Fori Imperiali. Otherwise, take either the 51, 85, 87, 118, or 810 bus to the stop Fori Imperiali.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The Forum opens at 8:30AM daily (except holidays) and closes an hour before sunset.
  • Is it expensive?
    The adult ticket is just € 12,00 and is valid for two days, for the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It will definitely help. Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    Plan to walk from the Colosseo Metro stop, or take the 51, 85, 87, 118 or 810 bus to the Fori Imperiali stop.
  • Additional information
    Admission is free the first Sunday of the month! | There is a € 2 booking fee for booking in advance and skipping the queue.

What people are saying about Roman Forum

Worth having a guide and booking a skip-the-line tour.

Our guide gave us a useful commentary (Antonio), and this helped us understand better what we were seeing. Also, we didn't have to queue as long (buy a proper sun umbrella or good sunhat before visiting Rome, as the heat is relentless if you are walking around all day).

Really enjoyed this tour, would definitely recommend it

We went on our tour with a brilliant guide Barbara. She was very informative, easy to understand, patient (waiting for people to use the toilet/fill water bottles/walking up steps ect), interesting and funny. She was a brilliant guide! We got to through the gladiator door onto the floor which was a really good experience because only our tour was down there. The tour lasted about 3 hours, but it flew in, even though we were walking in over 30°c heat. But our guide always found us abit of shade to stand in while explaining information. Couldnt recommend her enough as a guide!

Fantastic tour of the Palatine Hill and Colosseum.

Our guide Benjamin was excellent and combined a wealth of knowledge with a great sense of humour. He made the tour a very enjoyable experience and we would certainly rate it as value for money and recommend it.

Pay the extra for the underground tour - you won't regret it!

The fantastic information we learnt from our guide was amazing. Not on many occasions can you say you were shown round by an actual archaeologist, and you could tell she was so knowledgeable and passionate about the history of the colesseum. We were lucky it was not a busy day for some reason so didnt have any problems going through the strict security. We were in a small group of around 10 so it was much more personal than the big groups we saw. Also we had special access to the upper level too for some amazing photo opportunities. Would definitely recommend this excursion.

Amazing! But Watch Out for Street Sellers!

The Colosseum amazing to imagine you are walking where noble Roman's have walked. See the "ruts" in the roads where chariots have driven over & over, the cremation site of Julieus Ceasar, so much history. Our guide was knowledgeable & made the trip interesting. Be prepared for lots of walking and some very steep stairs. We went beginning of June it was 29 degrees, so take sun hats, cream and water. Watch out for local sellers everywhere very insistent you buy their wares, especially don't stop to have your picture taken with men dressed as Gladiators they take your phone to take picture of you with them, then DEMAND 20€ per person literally pinning me to wall until I handed over the money. My advise is get yourself a t/shirt with NO on it and just avoid eye contact. This is the only thing that spoils the trip, but they don't seem to be regulated or controlled by the police and are at every major tourist attraction. Watch Out!

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