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

Our tour guide Dennis was an absolute delight. This is my first time in Rome and I’m a solo traveller so I really wanted to do this tour and it was incredible. It took around 4 hours and it’s the quickest 4 hours ever, I’ve learned so much and felt so comfortable around Dennis who was extremely knowledgable and answered any and all questions thrown at him. I recommend this tour to anybody, it was worth every penny - you see and learn so much and it was really nice to gain some local knowledge from Dennis to use for the remainder of my trip!

Booked this last minute as there wasn't a lot of options of things to do but so pleased I did. What a great way of doing a walking tour! Guide was amazing but the extra benefits of the app just made it perfect! Highly recommend this if you visit Rome.

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

Our guide, Kylie was amazing. She was so very knowledgeable, had the information at her fingertips and was very enthusiastic and happy to answer our questions. She laughed frequently and clearly enjoyed the experience as much as we did.

Loved this tour! The guides were so friendly and knowledgeable and really helped us to get up close and personal with the city. I've done a lot of hop on hop off buses and I actually prefer and would recommend this walking option.

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

Not many tourists so I was allowed in early. The C. is a must in rome and it’s really fascinating. But you will spend more time on palatine hill and forum romanum just because of their sheer size. So plan at least two hours