How to visit the Roman Forum, Colosseum and Palatine Hill
There is no better place than the Roman Forum to discover what day-to-day life was like in ancient Rome. Here, in the shadow of the Colosseum, lies a concentrated area of ruins that tell the story of the Roman Kingdom as far back as the 7th century BC.
The good news is that Roman Forum tickets also include the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill overlooking the Forum
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Must know Roman Forum facts
Visit Roman Forum ruins
While the Forum consists of hundreds of ruins there are certain landmark sights to look out for. Here are some interesting Roman Forum facts to know before your visit:
- Via Sacra – This was the main thoroughfare connecting the Piazza del Campidoglio with the Colosseum in ancient Rome. It’s along this “street” that you’ll find some of the most interesting and valuable ruins
- Curia – A place where important decisions were made. It was the original seat of the Roman Senate
- There is a big piece of black marble, called the Lapis Niger, in front of the Curia. Legend has it that this is where Romulus was buried
- Basilica Giulia – Augustus completed this church after the death of Julius Caesar. Watch out for the three remaining columns of the Tempio di Castore e Polluce (5th century BC) at the end of the Basilica
- Temple di Giulio Cesare – Another one of the interesting Roman forum facts relating to Julius Caesar. This is where he was cremated. Built by Augustus in 29 BC, it’s also called the Tempio del Divo Giulio
- The Basilica di Massenzio is the largest building in the Forum, originally measuring 100 m by 65 m. Constantine finished it in 315 after it was started by Maxentius
- Arch of Titus – Built after Emperor Titus’ death, this is a triumphal arch commemorating Rome’s victory over Jerusalem
- The small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills where the Forum was built was originally a marshy area. This lead to the development of what became known as one of the world’s first sewer systems. Called the Cloaca Maxima, it was used to drain the area
What can you visit with Roman Forum tickets ?
The official Roman Forum tickets include the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and all current exhibitions within the boundaries of these attractions. Tickets are valid for 2 consecutive days (you can buy them here) from first use for one entry each to the three attractions.
Roman Forum, Colosseum and Palatine Hill Ticket Prices
Tip: Entrance is free for all on the first Sunday of the month – a good time to visit if you want to save money, a bad time if you want to avoid crowds.
Without a doubt the main symbol of Rome, the Colosseum is conveniently located within sight and easy walking distance from the Forum. The sheer size of it makes it the greatest Roman amphitheatre of its time. This is where you are transformed back to the time of gladiator fights, public executions, and exotic animal exhibitions.
Visit Palatine Hill
It was here, on the Palatine Hill, that Romulus started Rome’s first settlement in the middle of the 8th century BC. Huts and tombs from the iron age, an ancient fortification, places of worship, and imperial palaces are only some of the structures revealed by excavations on the Palatine Hill.
Colosseum and Roman Forum tickets: how to skip the line
More than 4.5 million tourists visit the Roman Forum each year, and around 6 million want to see the Colosseum. So, you can imagine what the queues look like on busy days. By investing in a skip- the-line Roman Forum ticket, you can spend more time discovering and less time standing in a line, sometimes in sweltering heat.
Make sure you buy the Roman Forum skip-the-line ticket (online here) before your visit!
TOP TIP: If you’re going to buy tickets on the day, the waiting line at the Forum and Palatine Hill are never as busy as at the Colosseum. In fact, there are hardly ever queues at the Palatine Hill ticket office which is only a 5-minute walk from the Colosseum.
More ways to skip the line at the Colosseum and Forum, is to buy a Roma Pass (see prices here) or Archeologia Card. The latter costs €23 and gives you access to a range of archaeological sites, allowing you to skip the lines at all.
Planning your visit to the Forum, Colosseum and Palatine Hill
Getting to Roman Forum
As two of the top sights in Rome, it’s easy to get to the Roman Forum and Colosseum by public transport or hop-on, hop-off tourist buses.
The Forum is situated at Largo della Salara Vecchia 5/6, and Palatine Hill at Via di San Gregoria 30.
The closest Metro station to both the Forum and the Colosseum is the Blue Line B Colosseo station. Buses that stop nearby include the numbers 75, 81, 175, 204 and 673, as well as Tram 30.
Roman Forum and Colosseum Opening Hours
|January 2 to February 15||08:30 to 16:30|
|February 16 to March 15||08:30 to 17:00|
|March 16 to last March Saturday||08:30 to 17:30|
|Last March Sunday to August 31||08:30 to 19:15|
|September 1 to September 30||08:30 to 19:00|
|October 1 to last October Saturday||08:30 to 18:30|
|Last October Sunday to December 31||08:30 to 16:30|
|January 1 and December 25||closed|
Closed: January 1 and December 25.
Roman Forum Security checks
All visitors, even if you’re already in possession of your Colosseum and Roman forum tickets with skip-the-line access (check S.U.P.E.R ticket here), must go through a security check before entering the amphitheatre.
With up to 3,000 people accommodated at the Colosseum at one time, delays can be expected at the entrance. However, long queues and waiting times can be significantly reduced with skip the line tickets.
Note that no backpacks, camping gear, bulky bags or suitcases are allowed inside the Colosseum. Arrange to store these elsewhere before visiting to avoid hold-ups.
Small and medium-sized rucksacks and shoulder bags are allowed but must go through metal detectors and may be opened and inspected by security personnel.
Is the Roma Pass worth buying for visiting the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill ?
The Roma Pass, which is valid for 3 days, costs €38,50 (see current prices here) and gives you free access to 2 museums or archaeological sites and discount to others. It doesn’t include the Vatican, but it does include free public transport.
One more advantage of the Roma Pass is that you can skip the lines if you use it for free entry to the Forum and Colosseum. It also comes with a very nice fold-out map of Rome which is very helpful to get around and plan your itinerary.
Is it worth buying the Roma Pass? That’s something you must decide based on your itinerary. The normal Colosseum and Roman forum tickets, including Palatine Hill, cost €12. Are you going to visit enough other sites at a discount or travel on public transport to the value of €25,50?
Conclusion for visiting the Roman Forum
Visiting Rome without walking around the Forum and inside the Colosseum is like visiting Athens without going to the Acropolis. With all the interesting Roman Forum facts at hand, it’s the best place to put yourself in the shoes of ancient Romans.
You can be inside, imagining where Julius Caesar and other great historical figures walked, within minutes after arriving with a skip-the-line ticket.