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 70,482 reviews

Esperienza molto positiva. Sono riuscita a vedere tutta la città con una guida personale ( guida esperta e molto preparata). L’esperienza è molto ben fatta perché nella piena autonomia ti permette di visitare la città sfruttando 2 circuiti. Il promo parte dal Colosseo e il secondo da San Pietro. Entrambe hanno una frequenza di circa 1,5 ore tra una partenza e l’altra. La guida attraverso il suo smartphone parlava e spiegava la città e io la ascoltavo dal mio telefono attraverso l’integrazione di una radioguida digitale. Ho potuto godere appieno della libertà di seguire, lasciare e riprendere il tour guidato e sfruttare pure percorsi alternativi utilizzando a volte l’audio guida geo-localizzata che sempre attraverso il mio smartphone mi offriva percorsi e informazioni. La società sembra essere italiana e sono fiera di questa eccellenza nazionale. Ottima esperienza. La suggerisco

Rome: Hop-on Hop-off Guided Walking Tour Reviewed by

We loved Dennas! He was smart and funny and very engaging. We are a family of four and the way he interacted with my 8-year old son was wonderful! Dennas kept him engaged and interested. Our 3 hours flew by. I've been to both the Colosseum and the Forum before without a tour guide, and I really feel the experience with a guide like Dennas really enhances the experience. My only suggestion would be to get audio that has a longer range, so that we can be more than a few feet away from the guide without losing connection.

My fiancée and I went on this tour and really enjoyed ourselves. Our tour guide Roger was excellent, really knowledgeable and enthusiastic. It rained quite solidly for an hour and a decent portion of the tour is outside so make sure to dress appropriately and check the forecast! However, we still had a great time, saw some fantastic ruins, and learned a lot. The historical context made the architecture even more interesting so I would really recommend getting a tour guide to show you around and explain a few things.

Amazing tour!!! Highly recommend for anyone who wants to see the Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Colosseum. Do a tour, ask for Dennis. He was WONDERFUL. So full of knowledge of the area and the sites we were seeing. This was my second time to Rome and on a tour of this area and I left this time with so much more information than previously. I definitely will recommend this tour, specifically Dennis, to any friends traveling to Rome.

This tour was great and was definitely one of our favourites for Rome!! It was very informative and our guide was super knowledgable and fun! We would definitely recommend this tour, it was great value for money and we got much more of an insight than if we were to go round by ourselves.