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 53,166 reviews

Very good tour. Guide was very knowledgable.

Terrific tour. I had been to the colosseum before but not to the underground areas, which are a must-see. My one suggestion -- for the authorities at the Colosseum, not for the tour guides -- would be to restore a ramp so that one could enter the arena floor from the underground. Or put one of the elevators into working condition. In a perfect world, you'd have these hand operated just like the originals. Each tour group could lift the group ahead of it to the arena floor. That would be seriously cool. I know, I know … we don't live in a perfect world.

Colosseum Underground and Arena Tour with Roman Forum Reviewed by

The tour is excellent, quick and easy tour to Rome

The tour itself is excellent, the guide is very enthusiastic. Easy to find the meeting point and convenient drop off. The only draw back is they could manage the timing of the bus better. The bus send us back to the port 25 mins later than expected, leaving us only 5 mins before the all aboard time. So a group of us have to run to the port shuttle to catch the last shuttle back to ship. A bit scared that we would miss the ship but luckily we are all fine and we are not alone.

Panoramic Bus Tour of Rome from Civitavecchia Port Reviewed by

Wonderful guide, Christina! Perfect tour

This tour was perfect for our travel plans and more than we bargained for with our guide, Miss Christina, who had many years of archeology experience and told fascinating details of the Colosseum with the right blend of history and intrigue. We experienced exactly what we wanted to in the stadium/arena and underground. Thank you for a great day!

Amazing day, guide was brilliant and had loads of knowledge.

We met at a designated area and were checked in. Given an earpiece and radio receiver which were very good. The guide was extremely knowledgable and took us around and a nice pace and we didn’t feel rushed. The whole day was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. Thank you.

Well organized and sufficiently structured tour

Starting from the email instructions on where to meet the guide right to the end of leading us into the Roman Forum, the tour was clear, punctual and structured enough, leaving enough time for us to wander around our shelves in between. The guide was super, too!

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