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

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

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

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

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

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!

Roman Forum: Our 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 to visit
    The Forum opens at 8:30AM daily (except holidays) and closes an hour before sunset.
  • What is the price?
    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 tips
    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

Amazing experience and one not to be forgotten

We were lucky that our tour guide got us privileged entrance to the colosseum, the entrance the gladiators would have taken on to the main Stage Most amazing feeling/experience Unforgettable !!

Great activity if time in Rome is limited. Great to have a local guide

All very efficient. Ear pieces meant you could hear exactly what the guide was saying. Pretty much saw all key sights with guide avoiding crowded areas and showing best views etc.
Skip the Line: Colosseum and Rome Walking Tour Reviewed by Rebecca, 10/23/2016

Good but not clear when at the Terminal where the bus stop is.

Long walk up the hill from Terminal station. The audio was clear and helpful. Easy to get on and off. Staff very pleasant.
Rome Hop-on Hop-off Bus Ticket: 24 or 48-Hour Reviewed by Vanessa, 10/22/2016

Fantastic guide - Rome's history from a local

Our guide - Giuseppe - was very knowledgeable about the history of Rome. He made the tour very interesting with facts and funny stories and 3 hours passed quickly. It was very well organized from start to finish. They were waiting for us at the meeting point and we did not have to wait in line at any point, which was nice. Definitely worth it.

The tour was excellent and highly recommended

We took a panoramic tour which was great as it mostly focused on places we would not reach otherwise. The guide was great - pleasant and knowledgeable. Highly recommended!
Rome 2-Hour Panoramic Segway Tour Reviewed by dana, 10/20/2016

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Roman Forum
Based on 5,854 reviews by GetYourGuide customers