It was the epicenter of social and economic life during the Roman Empire: houses, temples, palaces, and squares where Romans gathered were located here.
It is next to the Colosseum and is one of the must-sees in Rome. Just get your tickets in advance to avoid the enormous queues of tourists that form at the gates.
How to buy tickets to the Roman Forum
Very easy: all Colosseum tickets and practically all its guided tours include also access to the Roman Forum, so you won't need a different ticket or pay extra for this visit.
However, the best advice I can give you to get tickets to the Roman Forum is to not wait too much and buy them online and in advance: being one of the most popular and most visited places in the city, tickets are very coveted.
At the ticket office there are usually long lines that you will have to endure under the sun, so if you can, buy them in advance and online. Online you will be able to compare schedules, rates, types of guided tours and you will secure a place for the day and time you want to tour the Roman Forum.
How much do tickets to the Roman Forum cost?
As I told you, the price is included in the tickets and guided tours of the Colosseum to give you an idea, a three-hour guided tour of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill costs about $ 50 at Hellotickets.
At all times you will be accompanied by a guide who will explain the history of the place, what life was like in Ancient Rome and what buildings correspond to some of the archaeological remains that you will see during your walk through the Forum.
If you just want to buy a standard ticket and walk around the Forum on your own, the entrance to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum cost $ 20 at the box office, but you know that the queues can be long. In addition, without a visit you would miss much of the context of what you are going to see. In that case, I would recommend that you get an audio guide separately.
See more details on how much it costs to access the Roman Forum in my article on the price of tickets to the Colosseum:.
Is it worth taking a guided tour of the Roman Forum?
Yes, and very much so. If at the Colosseum we already recommend guided tours, at the Roman Forum it is even more essential. Keep in mind that much of what you are going to see are ruins and archaeological remains.
Although some of them are very well preserved, the vision and explanations of an expert guide will help you to mentally reconstruct the constructions. You will understand what daily life was like during the Roman Empire, what their main hours were dedicated to and how social life developed in the Forum.
A whole time travel that would be a shame to miss if you just stroll through its narrow streets without understanding well what you are seeing.
How much time do I need to visit the Roman Forum
Whether you do it on your own or with an expert guide, it will take you approximately one and a half hours minimum to walk through the whole thing.
Along the way, you'll stop to see the most important buildings, stroll down the Via Sacra, marvel at the Arch of Triumph and Trajan's Column...
The Roman Forum is full of wonders that will catch your attention (and that of your camera) so don't take this visit as a sightseeing tour but as a relaxing stroll while you travel back in time.
In fact, the Colosseum ticket allows you to visit the amphitheater and the Roman Forum on different days, so if you don't feel like doing both visits in a row, don't hesitate to come back another day to enjoy it more and get the most out of the Roman Forum. Of course, once you enter the Forum, you will not be able to reuse that entrance, so you will have to think carefully when you want to use it.
In my opinion, both visits can be done perfectly in an afternoon or a morning (unless you are an expert in history or art and want to stop in detail in every corner). I have written a small practical guide about the duration of the visit to the Colosseum and the whole archaeological area of the Roman Forum that can help you getting organized for the visit.
Can I visit the Roman Forum for free?
The Roman Forum, despite being in the open air, is a closed area and you will need a ticket to access it. However, on the first Sunday of every month, both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum open their doors free of charge to all those visitors who dare to visit them.
Keep in mind that the influx on those days is usually massive, so if you do not feel like making this visit surrounded by thousands of tourists, my recommendation is to avoid those days and buy a ticket to tour them on your own during the week for a better experience.
If you still want to stick to a low budget, there is an option to have a good panoramic view of the Forum (from further away, of course) for free. From the Via dei Fori Imperiali (pedestrianized on Sundays all day long), which connects Piazza Venezia with the Colosseum, you will have an elevated view of much of the Forum: you will not be able to go into detail but you can get an idea of the dimensions of Ancient Rome.
Another key point and that I recommend even if you have visited the Forum inside, is the view from the Campidoglio Hill, where the Capitoline Museums are located: there you will not find so many tourists, you'll be much quieter and if you go at sunset, the light is perfect.
What is the best time to visit the Roman Forum
Early in the morning is undoubtedly the best time: keep in mind that there are hardly any shaded places in this area, so during the central hours, the heat will be too tight and the visit could become more uncomfortable.
On the other hand, large groups of visitors tend to arrive later, so if you get up early it is very likely that you will manage to avoid them. If you can, if possible, avoid also weekends or holidays, when national tourism also crowds the Colosseum and its surroundings.
Tips for visiting the Roman Forum
If you want your visit to the Roman Forum to be a relaxing walk and enjoy it to the fullest, keep in mind a few things:
- Wear comfortable shoes. the ground is cobblestone or covered with sand, so I would avoid uncomfortable shoes, heels or flip flops.
- Protect yourself from the sun: with soft drinks, caps, hats, and sunscreen. Believe me, even if you don't travel in summer, the temperature here is more oppressive than in the rest of the city.
- Buy tickets in advance to avoid queues: the long lines at the gates of the Forum and the Colosseum can be miles long. Buy tickets online to avoid entering the Forum already tired.
- Beware of tourist traps: the restaurants are neither the best nor the cheapest (I recommend my article on where to eat near the Colosseum). Beware also of men dressed as gladiators: they will approach you kindly to greet you but if you take a picture with them they will ask you for a tip afterward.
- Be wary of unofficial guides or tickets: the area around the Colosseum is full of touts or unofficial guides who will offer you tickets and guided tours at "bargain" prices. Be wary of anything they offer you because you may be disappointed if the tickets are not valid or the tour is not what you expected.
If you want more tips or details, feel free to consult my article with tips for visiting the Colosseum.
Visiting the Roman Forum with children
Visiting the Roman Forum with children is totally recommended. They will enjoy the fascinating stories of Ancient Rome, they will let their imagination fly by mentally reconstructing temples, buildings, and squares and they will feel like protagonists of a movie.
There is a virtual tour in which the guide provides you with virtual reality glasses that help you to reconstruct everyday scenes of the Forum. You will be amazed!
If you are thinking of going to Rome as a family, you might be interested in reading my article on visiting the Colosseum and Roman Forum with kids.