Visit The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

A Practical Guide For Those Planning On Visiting The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Complex

The Roman Forum Rome

The Roman Forum


Official Opening Hours & Admission Prices The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

The Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill are located in the same archaeological area and count as one admission. The Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill are adjacent to each other and you can walk freely between the two. Both the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill have separate entrances.

The entrance ticket also gives you entrance to the Colosseum next to both and is valid for 2 days covering all three attractions.

The Roman Forum

The main entrance gate for the Roman Forum is along the Via dei Fori Imperiali between the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia, near the Piazza Venezia end. There is an exit gate from the Roman Forum close to the Colosseum. You cannot enter the Roman Forum at the gate nearest the Colosseum, this gate is just an exit.

Originally a marsh, the Romans drained the area and turned it into a centre of political and social activity. The Forum was the marketplace of Rome and also the business district and civic centre.

The most ancient monuments at the Roman Forum are from the first kings of Rome, dating back to the sixth century BC.

Monuments and basilicas followed regularly with emperors trying to outdo their predecessors, the last being added around 600AD.

The Forum was then abandoned and filled in by a thick layer of earth, becoming a pasture known as Campus Vaccinus. Some temples were transformed into churches, allowing their preservation in the course of time. During the Renaissance the area of the Forum Romanum was used as a marble and stone quarry.

For the layman its a confusing jumble of ruins from different times in history. You really do need a guide, audio tour device or good guide book to bring the place alive and understand its different uses and histories.

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

The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum Entrance/Ticket Kiosk Rome

The Roman Forum Entrance/Ticket Kiosk

The Roman Forum is a large area to cover with little shade, so do bring along plenty of fluids. The time you will spend in the Roman Forum largely depends on the level of interest you have in the ruins before you. There is very little in terms of information on the ground explaining what you are seeing in front of you.

The natural flow of a visit is to exit the Roman Forum at the Colosseum end of the site. You cannot enter or reenter at this gate though. There are also exits at the Capitoline Hill end of the site, but again no entrance. The Palatine Hill towering above you is also linked both ways to the Roman Forum.

Entrance Gates At The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Plus A 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 and there are other reasons we suggest you start and buy your ticket at the Palatine Hill entrance.

The ticket gate for the Palatine Hill often has no queues at all and 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, walking uphill exploring the Palatine Hill is more gradual than from the Roman Forum and has more shade. After performing a circuit of the Palatine Hill you will get a great birds eye view down onto the Roman Forum as you descend into it, getting a good initial orientation in the process.

The entrance of the Roman Forum is a long way from the Colosseum, but there is an exit only gate right next to the Colosseum.

Tickets, Opening Hours & Thoughts On Visiting

The standard admission ticket covers all three monuments, The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Opening hours are from 8.30 am to one hour before sunset, exact times are again on the link at the top of the page.

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

Within the Colosseum, there are parts you can only visit as part of a “special access” guided tour (see section below) for which the standard ticket has no validity.

Time taken to visit will vary wildly.

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 its possible that you will need most of the day at the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum.

At the other extreme its clear that many tourists just turn up cold, buy their ticket and expect to be “entertained”. The consequential result is often a very quick half-day visit to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

There is not that much in the way of information provided anywhere in the three sites.

You've come a long way and spent significant money to put yourself inside the Roman Forum and Colosseum, its worthwhile investing in at least an audio guide, if not a tour to make sense of the spectacle in front of you.

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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