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Roman Forum
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Roman Forum: Tours & Tickets

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Top sights in Rome

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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

Overall rating
4.5 / 5
based on 54,844 reviews

Perfect, highly recommend Jan our tour guide.

We had the most fantastic time on Jan’s tour around Palantine Hill, the Forum and the Colosseum. Jan was so informative, interesting, knowledgable and considerate. It was an extremely hot day and he ensured that we moved from shady spot to shady spot all without compromising the tour. He offered alternatives for those who couldn’t manage the walk/heat and ensured that everyone was ok throughout. His knowledge of Roman history and culture was incredible and he happily answered questions, welcoming discussion throughout the tour. We learnt so much and could clearly see Jan’s genuine passion and enthusiasm for his work. There were multiple stops for filling up water throughout the tour and opportunity for toilet breaks if need be. And no queuing time at all! The tour gave a fantastic over view of Ancient Rome but also provided amazing details of the sights we were seeing and indications of what life in Ancient Rome really would’ve been like. Highly recommend Jan and this tour, 10/10!

Jan was the perfect tour guide: knowledgeable, friendly and funny.

The guided tour I took was one of the best I've been on as Jan was very knowledgeable, constantly providing us with relevant and interesting details of what we were seeing. He was also very friendly and often answered questions from the all the tourists. Lastly, he showed a sense of humour that made the tour more relatable and down to earth. I would highly recommend this tour guide. The booking was also easy and it was no problem finding where the tour began. Overall, an excellent experience and well worth the money.

Skip the line is good, but very short tour

Guide was knowledgeable but didn’t talk for very long. Showed us a few things then left us on our own for 20 minutes and gave wrong directions to exit to meet second half of the tour. We did a tour a few years ago which was much more informative on coliseum. Guide for Palatine hill and forum -Alexander- was very good. But again, the tour itself was more on Palatine hill than forum (we never even entered the forum).

Very interesting tour, strange kind of English

First part of the tour, outside the Colosseum, was very interesting, hosted by a good & enthusiastic guide. Inside the Colosseum - not too crowded, which was great - we got another guide, who was much less enthusiastic & spoke a terrible kind of English - at times really to follow even. The movie (Dream of the Gladiator) did not add much value. Why not use Virtual Reality much more, like in the Domus Aurea?

Colosseum - Beautiful. Tour Guide - Talks Way God Damn Too Much.

He takes you around the colosseum talking about the history, shows you the arena, takes your to the 2nd tier and give you access into the roman forum & palatine hill. He does talk quite alot and moves around the colosseum alot so you need to be quick with your pictures. By the way, they do let you take bags. Overall it was a great experience seeing different parts of the colosseum.

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