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

Interesting with a good mixture of fun and facts

Stefano the guide seemed to know all there is to know about Colosseum, without making us listen to too much names and dates. A great mixture of historical information and fun facts. His English was also easy to understand. A big plus for the small size of the group.

Excellent tour - our guide, Marco, was excellent with the kids!

This was an excellent tour. Perfect for the family and the kids. Marco was great with the kids. My sons were listening to him throughout and found his questions and little snippets of information fascinating. He kept them entertained with games and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Booking was easy. All instructions on where to go were very clear. The agency kept us informed throughout.

Colosseum & Ancient Rome Family Tour for Kids Reviewed by SUZAINA, 12/05/2018

Need a guided tour in Rome? Use Touriks!

Booked the Colosseum arena and underground tour which included thr Forum and Palantine Hill. Absolutely brilliant, had two guides as it was split, Colosseum/ Forum, Palantine. Both really good but had different methods. Tom an Englishman from Wigan was excellent, very knowledgeable and really knew his stuff. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the lady that took us around the Colosseum but she was Italian and the Roman side really came through. Again great depth of knowledge and you have to go underground to get the real feel of the place. It was well worth it. Would recommend it.

A fantastic tour and truly wonderful guide

What more can I say other than the whole experience was wonderful. Tom was a truly fanastic and knowledgable guide who brought the history of Ancient Rome to life in an engaging way through the theme of greatness. Francessca our guide for the colesseum section was also wonderful. I couldn’t recommend this tour enough. Thank you.

Informative tour by a knowledgeable guide

This is a great way to learn about ancient Rome and its connection to very-old Rome (the Christian era) by walking through the ruins of the temples and palaces on Palatine Hill and visiting the breath-taking Colosseum. Our guide was fun and informative. Small tip: there are many different tour groups that meet around the Arch of Constantine. We couldn't find ours, but when we asked the guide for another group she was able to point out the group we were joining.

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