Roman Forum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome.
Since one ticket gets you access to Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, tourists almost always see them together.
These three attractions get more than 4 million tourists every year.
Table of contents
- What is Roman Forum
- Where is Roman Forum
- Roman Forum hours
- Best time to visit Roman Forum
- Free entry to Roman Forum
- How long does Roman Forum take
- Roman Forum tickets
- Roman Forum combo tours
- Roman Forum with Roma Pass
- What to see in the Roman forum
What is Roman Forum
Roman Forum is the stratification of the remains of the buildings and monuments of ancient Rome.
Back in the olden days, this region must have been the nerve center of the entire Roman civilization.
In ancient Rome, it must have been the city’s central plaza where citizens of every social strata met to exchange opinions, do business, buy in the markets, and spend time with their family and friends.
The most ancient monuments you will see at the Roman Forum date back to the sixth century BC.
Where is Roman Forum
Roman Forum, Colosseum, and Palatine Hill are all located in the same archaeological area of Rome, next to one another.
If you buy the standard entry ticket for all three attractions, you can walk freely between these three attractions and explore them over two days.
Roman Forum hours
Roman Forum opens at 8.30 am, every day of the year, except on Christmas and New Year.
From March to the end of August, Roman Forum closes at 7.30 pm, in September it closes at 7 pm, and in October at 6.30 pm.
During the lean season of November to February, the archeological site closes at 4.30 pm.
Interested in free entry to the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica, and Sistine Chapel? Buy the Omnia Card
Best time to visit Roman Forum
During the peak season, when it is open from 8.30 am to 7 pm, the best time to visit Roman Forum is 5 pm because you can see the sunset over the ruins.
By then, most of the crowd has also left, and temperatures would have also come down.
The next best time to visit the Forum is at 8.30 am, as soon as they open – the crowd has just started trickling in, and temperatures aren’t high.
Peak months at Roman Forum
The peak tourist season in Rome is from April to October.
If you plan to visit Roman Forum during these months, the only way you can avoid the crowd is by booking your tickets in advance.
But even then, you won’t be able to avoid the lines at the security line.
The Rome Tourist Pass is a super saver. For just €74 per person, the pass includes entry tickets to Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Pantheon and a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica. You also get a 10% discount code, which you can use (five times!) to get discounts on future purchases.
Free entry to Roman Forum
On the first Sunday of every month, visitors can enter Roman Forum for free.
However, since everybody can get in without buying a ticket, long lines result in long waiting times.
If you are below 18 years of age, entry is anyway free for you. EU citizens between the age of 18-25 years get discounted tickets too.
How long does Roman Forum take
Most visitors cover covering the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum in around three hours.
Visitors typically spend 90 minutes at the Colosseum, an hour at Roman Forum, and thirty minutes at Palatine Hill.
Since the Roman Forum tickets are valid for two days, some tourists explore these three sites over two days.
Roman Forum tickets
Visitors can buy Roman Forum tickets in combination with Colosseum and Palatine hill – all three sites are seen together.
All these tickets get you free tourist assistance at the Touristation office at Piazza d’Aracoeli, 16, in case you need help.
Where to buy tickets
While buying tickets for Roman Forum, you have three options.
You can call Colosseum’s call center at +39 06 399 677 00 and book them over the phone.
Or you can visit Colosseum’s ticketing counter and stand in the queue.
Or you can buy your Roman Forum tickets online, from your desktop or mobile.
Why online tickets are better
Our favorite is online booking because buying tickets via the call center is cumbersome and takes a very long time.
And when you buy your Roman Forum entry tickets online, you can avoid the long lines at the ticket counters.
During peak times, the wait can be as high as 90 minutes.
How online tickets work
When you book Roman Forum tickets online, you select your preferred time of visit.
Immediately after purchase, your tickets get emailed to you.
You don’t need to take any printouts.
Now all you must do is, reach the tourist attraction 15 minutes before the time mentioned on your ticket.
Since you have a ticket and are on time, you can show it on your smartphone and walk into the ruins right away.
We have listed all the different types of tickets based on popularity –
Priority entrance ticket
This ticket is the cheapest and fastest way to enter Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. You get –
- Priority entrance into the Colosseum
- Access to the Colosseum’s first and second floors
- Access to the permanent and temporary exhibitions of the Colosseum
- Access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
- A free downloadable map of the Colosseum
While booking the ticket, you must select a time slot, and on the day of your visit, reach the ‘Individual Entrance Gate’ half an hour before the time mentioned on your ticket.
Validity: 24 hours
Adult ticket (18+ years): €24
EU Citizen (18 to 25 years): €6
Child ticket (up to 17 years): €2
Priority entrance with Arena Floor
This ticket is the most popular way to explore Colosseum and Roman Forum.
A visit with this ticket is an extraordinary experience because it also gets you access to the Arena besides access to the Colosseum’s 1st and 2nd floors.
The arena is the base of the Colosseum, where all the gladiator action happened.
Validity: 48 hours
Adult ticket (18+ years): €28
EU Citizen (18 to 25 years): €4.5
Child ticket (up to 17 years): €2
Priority entrance with video guide
Besides priority entrance into the Colosseum’s first and second floors, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, this ticket also gets you a video guide.
The state-of-the-art video guide on Colosseum is the best way to immerse yourself in the incredible history of ancient Rome.
With this ticket, you must go to the ‘Individual Entrance Gate’ at the Colosseum and get in through Line 3, reserved for ticket holders.
Once past the turnstile, you can collect the video guide for the Colosseum at Box 12 and 13 by showing your smartphone ticket.
Validity: 24 hours
Adult ticket (18+ years): €25
EU Citizen (18 to 25 years): €10
Child ticket (up to 17 years): €8
Guided tour of Colosseum & Roman Forum
This ticket gets you a skip-the-line entrance to the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
A local expert helps you on an immersive guided tour of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum and takes you back to the gory glory days of the once-mighty empire.
This 3-hour long tour is available in English, Italian, French, and Spanish, and you can select your language on the ticket booking page.
All visitors get a headset for the guided tour.
Adult ticket (18+ years): €55
Child ticket (up to 17 years): €45
Roman Forum combo tours
There are so many attractions to see in Rome. As a result, there are many popular combo tours, including access to the Roman Forum.
Combo tours are popular because they help save up to 20% of the cost of tickets.
Colosseum + Roman Forum + The Vatican
If you are on a budget, we recommend you buy the Best of Rome Pass and finish your Roman holiday.
This ticket gets you skip-the-line entry to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Once activated, this ticket is valid for three consecutive calendar days.
This combo ticket is free for kids under six, disabled visitors, and their one carer.
Adult ticket (18+ years): €85
Child ticket (6 to 17 years): €60
Colosseum + Roman Forum + Mamertine Prison
This tour starts with a self-guided tour of Mamertine Prison with a tablet, which takes about one hour.
This prison was once home to vanquished emperors and kings and Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
You then walk 15 minutes to reach Colosseum and the Roman Forum for your skip-the-line entry.
Adult ticket (18+ years): 28 Euros
Child ticket (6 to 17 years): 6 Euros
Roman Forum with Roma Pass
Roma Pass is Rome’s best tourist pass and helps tourists benefit from free entries into limited sites, ticket discounts at many attractions, and free transportation within the city.
Roma Pass is available in two forms – the 48 hours Pass and the 72 hours Pass.
48 hours Pass: You can visit one Museum or archeological site for free. Within these 48 hours, you get a reduced ticket price at all other Roman attractions.
72 hours Pass: You can visit two Museums or archeological sites for free. And within 72 hours, you qualify for a reduced price at all tourist destinations in Rome.
Roma Pass allows free use of the city’s public transport network.
How to use Roma Pass for Roman Forum?
As per Roma Pass, Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill count as one attraction.
This means if you buy Roma Pass, you can see all three for free.
If you want, you can see all three sites on the same day or split them over two days.
For instance, you can visit the Colosseum one day and the Roman Forum/Palatine Hills the next (or the other way around).
However, you can’t split your visit to Roman Forum and Palatine Hill – you must visit both the archeological sites on the same day.
Cost of 48 hours Pass: €32
Cost of 72 hours Pass: €52
Kids under six years can use public transport and visit all museums and sites in the city for free as long as an adult with the Roma Pass accompanies them.
What to see in the Roman forum
During your visit to the Roman Forum, 16 monuments are must-see. Check out our list –
Arch of Titus
The Arch of Titus is the oldest of the Roman arches, located on the Via Sacra.
After the death of Titus, it was erected by his successor Domitian to pay homage to the capture of Jerusalem.
Titus, who became the Emperor in 79 AD, is depicted in his chariot accompanied by the goddess of Victory.
Basilica of Constantine or Maxentius
Basilica of Constantine or Maxentius was the last Basilica constructed in the Forum Romanum.
Emperor Maxentius started the construction in 308 CE, and the grand building housed a massive statue of Constantine.
History has it that Constantine altered the original plan of the Basilica to suit his tastes and needs better.
Temple of Romulus
This circular temple was built in A.D. 307 dedicated to Romulus, son of Maxentius.
When Romulus died, his father commissioned the temple and had him deified.
Temple of Antoninus and Faustina
The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina is an ancient Roman temple that has been adopted as a Roman Catholic church, namely, the “Chiesa di San Lorenzo” in Miranda.
It is situated in the Forum Romanum, on the Via Sacra, opposite the Regia.
It was converted into the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda, in the 12th century.
When Emperor Charles V visited Rome in 1536, the columns were disengaged from medieval masonry.
Temple of Vesta
The Temple of Vesta is one of the holiest buildings in ancient Rome.
It contained the Sacred Fire, which is of great importance to Rome.
Rome’s sanctuary was dedicated to Vesta, the Roman goddess of the hearth, and over whose cult the Vestal Virgins presided.
The present remains indicate that the temple was circular with 20 slender columns supporting the roof.
House of the Vestal Virgins
Adjoining the Temple of Vesta is the house of the Vestal Virgins.
There are the statues of the head vestals with inscriptions of their virtues on the pedestals in the courtyard.
The sacred Palladium has drawings of Pallas Athene brought by Aeneas from Troy and various ancient statues kept in the House of the Vestals.
Temple of Castor and Pollux
Castor and Pollux were called the Gemini twins, the twin sons of Zeus and Leda.
Three Corinthian columns are the only things that survive from the Temple of Castor and Pollux.
They were originally built in 484 BC by the son of the dictator Aulus Postumius and then rebuilt in the reign of Tiberius in the first century AD.
Santa Maria Antiqua
It is one of the oldest Roman churches.
It was founded in the 6th century AD in parts of the Roman Forum built under Emperor Domitian.
The Church displays a collection of wall paintings as one of the few artistic exemplars in the world of the development of Roman art.
Temple of Julius Caesar
The temple of Julius Caesar was built by Augustus (Caesar’s nephew) to commemorate the spot where his body was cremated and to honor his memory as God.
People still visit this temple to pay respects to the great ruler.
Basilica Aemilia (Emilia)
The Basilica Aemilia was built in 179 BC and is situated at the entrance of the Forum.
There were four Republic-era Basilicas constructed in the Forum, out of which only Basilica Aemilia has substantial remains left today.
It was known to be a public meeting spot and was restored many times between 55 – 34 BCE.
The Curia or Senate House
The Curia was a meeting place of the Roman Senate that got turned into a church to prevent destruction.
It is one of the most protected buildings in the Roman Forum.
The first Curia was devised in the time of the kings because of fires and other damage.
Forum Main Square
It is a rectangular forum (Plaza) surrounded by the ruins of ancient government buildings, and it is at the center of the city of Rome.
The Main Square is also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum.
It is said that the Forum has been there from the earliest times and remained in use even after the city’s decline.
Column of Phocas
Opposite the Curia is the newest remains from ancient times, known to be the Column of Phocas.
Erected in 608 A.D. in honor of Emperor Phocas, this single column is one of the last monuments to be placed in the Roman Forum.
Arch of Septimius Severus
The Roman Senate and residents traditionally constructed arches honoring victorious emperors.
On the arch, four deep marble reliefs depict episodes from wars.
The arch is considered the spot of the Umbilicus Urbis, the symbolic center of Rome.
Rostrum or Rostra
The Rostra is a large platform built in the city of Rome that has been there since the imperial periods.
Rostra gets its name from the six rostra, which were captured at Antium in 338 BC.
This elevated spot was used by the then magistrates, politicians, advocates, and other orators while speaking to the assembled people of Rome.
Temple of Saturn
Built around 497 BC, the Temple of Saturn was one of the most important and respected parts of the Republic of Rome.
This temple housed the treasury, which had the Roman Republic’s reserves of gold and silver.
The Temple of Saturn got damaged by fire often and was repeatedly rebuilt in the 4th Century AD.
Visitors can recognize the temple by its eight weathered Ionic columns.