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

Overall rating
4.5 / 5
based on 70,568 reviews

BRILLIANT tour! Would highly recommend! Informative but fun!

Brilliant tour! The extra underground and top level viewing of the Colosseum was really worth the extra cost and would high recommend this tour for the Colosseum! Tom (the Roman Forum Guide) especially went above and beyond to make it exciting, interesting and informative, he was incredibly knowledgable on the history of Rome but also good at describing it in an engaging way to novices like us - I am so glad we had him as our guide for the Forum! We were very glad to have a guided tour through the maze of buildings in the Forum and would recommend it to anyone. FIVE STARS!

The whole tour was informative and entertaining- so glad we booked it!

The tour took place during the morning and therefore we dodged a lot of the bigger crowds. It was well organised and the guides were friendly and informative. The colosseum was amazing and we had lots of opportunities to look at and take pictures at each level. Moving onto the forum and Palantine Hill we met our guide Tom who was amazing. He lived and obviously loved the history of Rome and entertained us with fascinating facts and reminded us about lessons from history. It made for a fascinating tour which went by in a flash! Highly recommended

Both guides were really knowledgable and friendly

We had a fantastic tour of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman forum. Both Julio and Keith were extremely knowledgable, friendly and fun. They kept the group moving and the time flew by. It was easy to find the start of the tour and the organising team were well prepared and very organised. One word of advice is to take some food with you if you are going over lunchtime as there is nowhere to buy food on or near the sites.

Brilliant Guide but meeting place hard to find

Took a while to find the meeting point. It wasn't very clear on the e-ticket. When we finally found it, staff could have been friendlier. A smile and hello is a pretty basic, universal, part of customer service. Once we were with the Tour guide it was great. She was lovely and very knowledgeable. Most of all she bought everything alive with her enthusiasm which is exactly what we wanted.

Great tour with knowledgeable tour guides!

Tom was our guide for the Roman Forum portion of the tour. He was fantastic! His knowledge of Roman history was incredible, and he related activities of the ancient Romans at this location with current events happening in our world today.