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

100% worth it. Some of the loveliest people ever!

Vivianna, Diego and another female German guide (sorry I forget her name) were friendly, professional, informative and suuuper helpful and this was literally them taking us to skip the line and in a designated area for a little while, so you could imagine the reviews if this were a full on tour. I have never felt this welcomed with any of the similar skip the line services. Thank you for such great service and just being genuinely lovely people. PS they take the best photos for you too!

Skip-the-Line: Escorted VIP Colosseum Entrance Reviewed by Isobel, 01/16/2017

Wonderful experience and worked well for kids.

We had a wonderful time experiencing the coliseum and surrounds, and our kids (from 4yo to 15) were constantly engaged.

wonderful really and of course we got caught of guard by the cold

Really loved the attention given to my young friend... i could never have pulled this off with out your help....

Rome: Colosseum and Roman Forum Family Tour Reviewed by Richard, 01/15/2017

One of the very best ways to see Roma. Loved it

Roberto was a great guide and the trip was fun and covered a lot of ground but didn't seem rushed. It was the best pace to see Rome without getting too tired from walking. I highly recommend this trip for people travelling to Rome who wish to see a number of things in a short space of time.

The Original Rome 3-Hour Bike Tour Reviewed by Chris, 01/14/2017

Could not have wanted for better. Left extremely pleased.

Informative. Interesting. Very knowledgeable tour guide. Great balance between context and fact. Built background to areas and people progressively and clearly. Well done Elizabeth.

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Roman Forum
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