Visiting the Roman Forum in Rome: Tickets, Prices, Hours

Located at Rome’s most important archaeological site, the Roman Forum is a must-visit monument. Here’s how to plan your visit!

Nestled in a valley between the Palatine Hill (Monte Palatino) and the Capitoline Hill (Campidoglio) in Rome, the Roman Forum remains impressive, just as it must have been centuries ago when it was at the heart of Roman public life.

For over 900 years, buildings, temples, and monuments were constructed in the Forum, which served as the political, commercial, and religious center of ancient Rome. Many of Rome’s most important buildings, such as the Curia (Senate house), the Temple of Saturn, and the Arch of Septimius Severus, were located in the Roman Forum.


History of the Roman Forum

Initially developed during the Roman monarchy, the forum’s site was once the central square of the surrounding villages. The marshy area was drained and reclaimed, and several development projects were undertaken.

Many elaborate festivities were held in the Forum. It was the final destination for military parades called Triumphs, which entered the city through the triumphal arch, circled Palatine Hill, and continued into the Forum.

The importance of the forum eventually declined after the fall of the Roman Empire in the late 5th century. The site fell into ruin and was plundered, not by invaders, but by the Romans themselves. Marble and precious stones were stolen from the Forum and used to build new palaces, monuments, and churches. The site later became known as Campo Vaccino (“cow field”) after it served as a pasture during the Middle Ages.

Interest in the Roman Forum was revived during the Renaissance when architects and artists looked to classical antiquity for inspiration. Excavations began in the 18th and 19th centuries and continue today.


What to See and Do at the Roman Forum

There are many incredible things to see when visiting the Roman Forum. Here are a few standout monuments to focus on:

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Arch of Septimius Severus (Arco di Settimio Severo)

The Arch of Septimius Severus was built in 203 AD to celebrate the military victories of Emperor Septimius Severus and his sons. This marble arch stands tall at 23 meters and is covered with detailed carvings showing scenes from their battles.

Originally, it had a bronze statue of the emperor riding a chariot on top. Visitors are often amazed by the intricate carvings and inscriptions that have survived through the years. The arch is a strong reminder of Rome’s military power and the emperor’s efforts to secure his family’s legacy.


Temple of Castor and Pollux

The Temple of Castor and Pollux was dedicated to the twin brothers who were considered protectors of Rome. It was originally built in 495 BC to celebrate a Roman victory in battle, where the twins were believed to have appeared.

Rebuilt in 6 AD, the temple became a place for political and social gatherings. Now, three tall columns remain, showing its former grandeur.


Basilica Aemilia

The Basilica Aemilia was built in 179 BC as a public hall for business and legal matters, providing shelter from the weather. It was rebuilt several times due to fires. The basilica had beautiful marble columns and a central hall with side aisles.

The floor was decorated with colorful mosaics showing scenes from daily Roman life. Today, visitors can see parts of these mosaics and learn about the basilica’s role as a busy center for trade and public affairs, showcasing the organizational skills of ancient Rome.


Column of Phocas

The Column of Phocas, erected in 608 AD, was the last monument added to the Roman Forum. This 13-meter high column was dedicated to the Byzantine Emperor Phocas, who donated it to the city. It originally had a gilded statue of Phocas on top, celebrating his donation of the Pantheon to the Pope.

The column’s base features an inscription honoring Phocas. Visitors find the column interesting for its historical context, as it represents the later use of the Forum, connecting ancient Rome to the medieval period.


Temple of Caesar (Tempio del Divo Giulio)

The Temple of Caesar was built by Augustus in 29 BC and marks the spot where Julius Caesar was cremated. It is dedicated to the comet seen after his death, believed to be his soul rising to the heavens. The temple has a platform with a statue of Caesar.

You can see the ruins and the altar where Caesar was honored, giving a glimpse into the time when Rome changed from a Republic to an Empire.

Temple of Saturn

The Temple of Saturn, one of Rome’s oldest temples, was built around 497 BC and dedicated to the god Saturn. It was where the state treasury was kept and the site of the annual Saturnalia festival, similar to modern Christmas celebrations.

The temple’s eight remaining columns and pediment are iconic, symbolizing Rome’s architectural heritage. Visitors are drawn to its historical significance as both a religious and financial center, offering insights into the early Republic’s practices and systems. The temple looks especially striking when lit up at night.

But of course, you’ll see many other fascinating ruins when you visit the Roman Forum!

How to Get to the Roman Forum

The Roman Forum is located in the center of Rome, not far from the Colosseum, and is hard to miss. Here are several ways to visit the Roman Forum:

  • By Metro: Line B, Colosseo station
  • By Bus: Numbers 51, 75, 81, 85, 87, and 118
  • By Tram: Number 30

Prices and Opening Hours of the Roman Forum

Now that you know a little bit more about the Roman Forum in Rome and its history, let’s discuss the opening times and prices.

Opening Hours

  • 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM from the last Sunday in October to February 15
  • 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM from February 16 to March 15
  • 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM from March 16 to the last Saturday in March
  • 8:30 AM – 7:15 PM from the last Sunday in March to August 31
  • 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM from September 1 to September 30
  • 8:30 AM – 6:30 PM from October 1 to the last Saturday in October
  • Good Friday: 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM
  • June 2: 1:30 PM – 7:15 PM

Note: Access to the Roman Forum is not possible 1 hour before closing. The site is closed on January 1, May 1, and December 25.

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  • Combined Ticket for the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill: €12
  • Combined Ticket for the Colosseum + Arena, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill: €14

We highly recommend you join a guided tour, which costs only slightly more, yet you’ll learn about Ancient Rome with an expert guide and you’ll have a better understanding of the complex.

Plus, if you plan to visit the Colosseum, you’ll be able to see the underground, which is restricted to guided tours only, and that is a great addition to your trip to Rome.


When visiting the Roman Forum, you’ll see amazing sights like the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Temple of Saturn, each with its own interesting story. As you walk through the ruins, you can almost feel what life was like back then.

Whether you’re really into history or just curious, the Forum is a fantastic place to explore. I suggest using a guidebook or renting an audio guide to help you understand the stories behind each monument. Have a great time exploring this incredible part of history!

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