Visiting the Palatine Hill, Rome

Recommended route and entrance ticket information

The Roman Forum Rome

Fine views: from Palatine Hill down to the Roman Forum


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The Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the Colosseum are all located in the same archaeological area and count as one admission. The Roman Forum the Palatine Hill are next to each other and you can walk freely between the two, though they have separate entrances.

The entrance ticket to Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum is valid for two days covering all three attractions.

The main outside entrance is just south of the Colosseum on the on Via di San Gregorio but you can access the Palatine Hill from within the Roman Forum, though it is a bit of a climb.


The Palatine Hill is one of the seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city. The panoramic, breathtaking views of the ancient ruins, as well as the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus, make it a great introduction before you descend to visit the Forum itself.

Palatine Hill tickets, opening hours and time needed

The standard admission ticket covers all three monuments, The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Opening hours are from 8.30am to one hour before sunset, exact times are again on the link below.


You can order tickets in advance and avoid the queues for which there is a small booking fee. Your tickets are e-mailed to you, so no delivery charges or lengthy delivery periods.


Relative Location of Entrance Gates of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill Rome
Palatine Hill Rome

Hundreds of ruins: Palatine Hill scenes

It is best to allow half a day to visit both Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, not least because the occupy a large area and will take some time to get around. If you have an audio guide you will need to allow time to work out your route using the numbered trail.


If you have a keen interest in the subject matter or have read widely about ancient Rome in the build up to your trip then you could easily spend an entire day here.

Official opening hours & admission prices for the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill – a brief history

The significance of Palatine Hill is that it was here that Rome (and hence the whole of the Roman Empire) was founded under the direction of Romulus. The Palatine Hill is the site of the Lupercal Cave where folklore says the twins Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf Lupa (symbol of Rome) who raised them.


In later years, the hill became a residential district attracting the nobility. It was also believed that the air was cleaner at the top of the hill, and the nobility were less likely to catch the diseases of the poorer classes at the bottom. In time, however, the area gave way to imperial palaces and drew the famous such as Caligula (murdered here by members of his Praetorian Guard) and Nero.

The Palatine Hill - what to expect

The Palatine Hill covers a very large area and further you go up the hill the more exposed to the sun it becomes. At the bottom of the hill near the entrance the terrain is more like lush parkland with monuments in decay scattered all around.


All the main excavations are up the hill though where you are very exposed to the sun. There is minimal information provided on what you are witnessing. Most of what you will see are just minimal remains of what once stood here and there are many areas that seem just abandoned.

Without some kind of information its impossible to use your imagination of what was once here and its place in Roman history.

There are informative walking tours and audio devices available and you really do need at minimum a good guide book to make your visit worthwhile.


What to see at Palatine Hill

There are literally hundreds of ruins at Palatine Hill to see, all belonging to the nobility of Rome in ancient times.


Domus Flavia

This palace was built in 81 BC by the Emperor Domitian as a public and official residence. This was a vast palace in its time; today many extensive ruins can still be seen.


House of Augustus

This house was the private residence of Octavian Augustus. You can still see the original colourful frescoes that decorated its walls during its time.


House of Livia

This house was built in the 1st century BC and is worth visiting for its excellent state of preservation. With a still intact atrium, as well as adjoining rooms you can see incredible details – such as mythological scenes – on the original mosaics and frescoes on the walls and ceilings.


Farnese Gardens

In 1550 Allessandro Farnese built his botanical garden on the top of ruins of the Palace of Tiberius (aka Palace of Caligula), built in the 1st century AD. It was one of the first botanical gardens in Europe, featuring many rare plants. However today only a fragment remains, but most people enjoy the fine views.

Palatine Hill Farnese Garens Rome

Farnese Gardens: Palatine Hill, Rome

Palatine Museum

Towards the top there this museum contains some of the Roman sculptures and finds excavated at the site. Various finds include busts, statues, frescoes and mosaics from ancient Rome’s wealthy elite.


Palatine Hill - recommended route

As the entrance ticket to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill also includes the Colosseum most people will visit all three at the same time, although your ticket is valid for 2 days.

The ticket kiosk at the Colosseum has by far the longest queues so we recommend buying your ticket at the Palatine Hill entrance, where there are often no queues at all. The Palatine Hill entrance is midway down the road Via di San Gregorio that runs from the Colosseum along the base of the Palatine Hill, less than 5 minutes’ walk from the Colosseum.

Many of the hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses and tour buses board and drop between the Colosseum and the entrance to the Palatine Hill.

From the Palatine Hill entrance it is a very gentle climb the to the top of the hill that has fine views overlooking the Circus Maximus.


If you visit the Forum first, it is a much steeper climb from this direction up to the hill, so it is best to visit the Palatine Hill first before descending to the Roman Forum.

After performing a circuit of the Palatine Hill you will get a great bird's eye view down onto the Roman Forum as you descend into it, getting a good initial orientation in the process.

Colosseum & Roman Forum Walking Tour Prices


Colosseum tours with access to Underground Chambers

Experience the full glory of Rome's Colosseum on a walking tour with skip-the-line entry with access to parts of the Colosseum not open to those using standard admission tickets.


Accompanied by an expert guide who is passionate about Roman history, you'll gain rare access to areas of the Colosseum that are newly opened or normally off-limits. Enjoy private viewing of the Colosseum's underground chambers, arena and upper level.

Colosseum Underground Chambers By Night Tour
Colosseum Underground Chambers Walking Tour
Colosseum Underground Chambers By Night Tour

Walking tour covering the Colosseum, Palatine Hill & Roman Forum

Taking a walking tour with an expert guide with headphones provided and fast track entrance tickets provided is an efficient and cost effective way of covering the Colosseum, Palatine Hill & Roman Forum in one morning.

Walking Tour Covering The Colosseum, Palatine Hill & Roman Forum

Other Colosseum & Roman Forum guided tours

There is no getting away from it, a visit to the Colosseum & Roman Forum means a lot of time on your feet, walking around the vast site. Walking tours are available taking up a morning or afternoon taking you to all the best parts of the attraction and giving you an informed insight to what you are witnessing.

Colosseum & Roman Forum Walking Tour Prices
Ancient Rome Walking Tour Prices
Colosseum & Roman Forum Segway Tour Prices
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