Roman Forum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome.
Almost everybody who visits the Colosseum ends up visiting the Roman Forum.
In fact, it attracts more than 4 Million tourists every year.
In this article, we try and explain everything you must know before visiting 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 main plaza where citizens of every social strata met to exchange opinions, do business, buy in the markets and spend good time with their family and friends.
The most ancient of the monuments you will see at Roman Forum date back to the sixth century BC.
Where is Roman Forum?
The Roman Forum is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world and is situated in the area between Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum.
To be more precise, the Roman Forum is located on a low ground between the Palatine and Capitoline hills.
Roman Forum address
Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy.
Roman Forum opening hours
Roman Forum is open every day of the year, except on Christmas and New Year.
The Roman Forum opens at 8.30 in the morning and closes one hour before sunset.
Thus, the closing time varies throughout the year –
Last Sunday of March to end August: 7.30 pm
September: 7 pm
October: 6.30 pm
November to 15 February: 4.30 pm
16 February to 15 March: 5 pm
16 March to last Saturday of March: 5.30 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
The peak tourist season in Rome is from April to May and from August to October.
If you plan to visit Roman Forum during these months, you can avoid the crowd only at the ticketing line – by booking your tickets online.
But you won’t be able to avoid the crowd at the security line.
If summer months is when you can make it, we recommend June – the crowd is less, and the weather isn’t hot yet.
As for the best time of the week to visit the Roman Forum, we recommend weekdays. Weekends get double and triple the crowd one gets during weekdays.
Try to be at the Roman Forum either before 9 am (yes, they open early at 8.30 am) or after 3 pm.
Free entry to Roman Forum
If you plan to enter Roman Forum for free, you must wait for the first Sunday of every month.
However, since the entry is free, you must be ready to brave massive crowds.
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.
However, the Roman Forum is highly rated on Tripadvisor and we feel that the money you will spend on buying the tickets will be well worth it.
How long does Roman Forum take
You can’t buy Roman Forum tickets alone.
Roman Forum can be seen only in combination with the Roman Colosseum or the Palatine Hill.
Some tourists are known to explore all the three attractions – the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill in 4 hours.
The tourists who prefer to understand the significance of the site, and explore it in much detail tend to see all these three sites over two days.
Yes, the tickets are valid for two days. Just that once you have seen one of the tourist attractions, you can’t re-enter.
Why you must buy Roman Forum tickets online?
While buying tickets for Roman Forum you have three options –
1) Call Colosseum’s call center at +39 06 399 677 00 and book over the phone
2) Visit Colosseum’s ticketing counter and stand in the queue to book
3) From your mobile or desktop, book your Roman Forum tickets online (links provided below)
Out of these three options, our favorite is online booking. Primarily because –
Booking tickets via the call center takes a very long time.
And Colosseum’s waiting lines are legendary. During peak times the wait in the ticketing counter can be as high as 90 minutes.
Roman Forum tickets
Since you can’t buy Roman Forum tickets alone, you must buy them in combination with a Colosseum and Palatine hill visit.
The ‘Open’ tickets are valid for two consecutive days for an entrance to the Colosseum and to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hills.
All the tickets suggested below are smartphone tickets.
That is, the tickets will be delivered to your email, and you can show it on your smartphone and walk in.
No need to take printouts.
Check out the best Roman Forum ticket options out there –
1. Open tickets for Roman Forum and Colosseum
With this ticket, you get fast-track access to the Colosseum.
This ticket also helps you gain entry to Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
With this ticket, you also get an audio guide which helps you explore the sites with ease.
These tickets are NOT timed, which means you can enter whenever you want.
Adult Ticket (18+ years): 21.50 Euros
EU Citizens Ticket (18-25 years*): 17 Euros
Child Ticket (4-17 years): 9.50 Euros
Infant Ticket: Free entry
*Valid ID card will be needed at the entrance
2. Skip The Line tickets for Roman Forum + Colosseum + Arena Floor
This Skip The Line Roman Forum ticket offers everything the previous ticket offers plus some more.
With this ticket, you also get access to the Arena floor at the Colosseum.
Access to the Arena Floor gives you a chance to see the Colosseum as a gladiator would have – from the ground up.
This is the timed ticket, so you need to be at the venue at least 30 minutes before the start of your tour.
This ticket costs 28 Euros for every tourist, irrespective of their age.
3. Tickets for Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
This is a skip the line ticket to Rome’s three ancient sites – Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
The only difference between this ticket and the ‘Open ticket’ explained above is that these are timed tickets.
This means that while booking these tickets you need to select a time slot and be at the entrance at least 30 minutes before your time.
Adult ticket (18+ years): 20 Euros
*Child ticket (0-17 years): Almost free entry
*Kids 17 years and below must pay 2 Euros at the entrance in cash and show a valid ID to prove age
4. Skip the Line tickets for Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
If you want to skip the Colosseum for whatever reason this is the ticket for you.
Tourists generally skip the Colosseum if they are in a hurry because the other two sites can be explored in an hour.
Adult ticket (16+ years): 25 Euros
Child ticket (3-15 years): 20 Euros
Infant ticket (0-2 years): Free entry
5. Tickets for Forum, Colosseum Underground, Arena
This is a special ticket, for, besides the Roman Forum, you also get to see the Colosseum Underground and Arena.
The Underground level was where the wild animals were kept before they went into battle with the gladiators.
During this tour, you will also see the ‘Gate of Death.’ This is the gate through which the dead gladiators were taken out.
Since this ticket gives access to areas not available to regular ticket holders, it is a bit costly.
Adult ticket (17+ years): 83 Euros
Child ticket (0-16 years): 79 Euros
6. Walking tour of Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Navona
If you have little time in Rome, but don’t want to miss anything this is just the right tour for you.
This 3.5-hour walking tour attempts to give you a glimpse into Rome’s fascinating 3,000-year history.
You get to explore the Roman Forum, Colosseum, Imperial Forum, Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon.
The tour ends at Piazza Navona, a massive square in Rome.
Adult ticket (18+ years): 44.99 Euros
Child ticket (6-17 years): 34.99 Euros
Infant ticket (0-5 years): Free entry
7. Guided tour of last days of Julius Caesar
On this 3-hour tour, you will explore the life of Julius Caesar.
You will learn the story of the death of the most celebrated hero of Rome, by visiting the Theaters and ruined temples of the Roman Forum.
Besides English, this tour is also available in Spanish, French, and German.
This tour costs 295 Euros for two people.
For every additional person, the cost of this tour increases by 60 Euros.
Night tours in Roman Forum
If you are the kind of tourist who prefers unique experiences, we recommend the Roman Forum night tours.
1. Forum of Augustus by night
This ticket gives you access to a 40-minute storytelling at the Roman Forum’s site of Augustus.
A faithful reconstruction of the area and special effects, narrate the history of Rome under Augustus’ reign.
This Roman Forum night tour costs 16 Euros per head. If you are 26 years and below and being accompanied by a ticket holder, you can walk in free.
2. Forum of Caesar by night
This is a 55-minute experience at the ruins of the Temple of Venus, in Roman Forum.
At the Temple, you will listen to the story of Rome narrated by the famed Piero Angela.
His voice is accompanied by reconstructions and videos which make it a grand outing for all age groups.
This ticket costs 16 Euros per person. Tourists who are 26 years or below can walk in free if they are accompanied by a ticket holder.
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.
With the 48 hours pass you can visit one Museum or archeological site for free. Within these 48 hours, you get reduced ticket price at all other Roman attractions.
With the 72 hours Pass, you can visit two Museums or archeological site for free. And within the 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?
And yes, it is possible to visit Roman Forum for free with Roma Pass.
As per Roma Pass, Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill count as one attraction. This means if you by Roma Pass you can see all three for free.
If you want, you can see all the three sites on the same day or you can split them over two days.
For instance, you can visit the Colosseum on 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 – both must be explored on the same day.
Cost of 48 hours Roma Pass: 28 Euros
Cost of 72 hours Roma Pass: 38.50 Euros
Kids under 10 can use the public transport and visit all museums and sites in the city for free. They must be accompanied by a Roma Pass carrying adult.
What to see in the Roman forum?
During your visit to the Roman Forum, 16 monuments are must-see. Check out our list –
1. Arch of Titus
The Arch of Titus is the oldest of the Roman arches, located on the Via Sacra.
It was erected after the death of Titus 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 from the treasury of the Temple.
2. Basilica of Constantine or Maxentius
The last Basilica constructed in the Forum Romanum was the Basilica of Constantine or Maxentius.
Its construction was started by Emperor Maxentius in 308 CE.
This grand building housed a huge statue of Constantine.
History has it that Constantine altered the original plan of the Basilica to better suit his own tastes and needs.
3. 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.
4. Temple of Antoninus and Faustina
The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina is an ancient Roman temple which 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 the medieval masonry.
5. Temple of Vesta
Temple of Vesta is one of the holiest buildings in ancient Rome.
It contained the Sacred Fire which is of great importance to Rome.
It was a sanctuary of Rome 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
Today one of the most visited archaeological sites in Italy was once the beating heart of Ancient Rome.
People still visit this temple to pay respects to the great ruler.
10. 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 this is the only one to have substantial remains left today.
It was known to be a public meeting spot and was restored many times between 55 – 34 BCE.
11. The Curia or Senate House
The Curia was a meeting place of the Roman Senate which was turned into a church to prevent it from 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.
12. 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.
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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. Rostrum or Rostra
The Rostra is a large platform built in the city of Rome that has been there during 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 spoke to the assembled people of Rome.
16. 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 where the Roman Republic’s reserves of gold and silver were stored.
It has been repeatedly rebuilt in the 4th Century AD due to the damage sustained by fire.
The temple can be recognized by its eight weathered Ionic columns.