With a little trick you save a lot of time when visiting the Imperial Forums, Roman Forum and Palatine and take the most beautiful route.
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Popular tickets and tours
How to save time
With the exception of the night tour of the Colosseum, all tickets include a visit to the archaeological park of the Forums and the Palatine. You can visit the park in the 24 hours before or after your reservation for the Colosseum. If you have the Colosseum entrance time in the early morning, you will visit the park more after, if you have the reservation for the afternoon, you better go to the park before.
The most beautiful route
The most beautiful route is also the fastest. Instead of going from Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum via Via dei Fori Imperiali, you go directly through the Imperial Forums and the Archaeological Park.
As an entrance, or an exit if you visit the park after the Colosseum, take the entrance at the Forum of Trajan. You cannot miss it. Already from Piazza Venezia you can see the column of Trajan in the middle of the Forum. The entrance is in Piazza della Madonna di Loreto. From there to the Arch of Titus, which is the closest to the entrance to the Colosseum, you need an hour. For the Palatine you will need another hour. It also takes an hour to visit the Colosseum. So in total you will need 3 hours.
The Imperial Forums
The imperial forums were built by Caesar and later emperors. They set monuments to themselves and showed their power. But new forums were also necessary, because the existing forums were no longer sufficient.
The Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is the oldest forum and is part of the National Museum of the Colosseum. It is the historical center of Rome and the oldest forum for trade, administration and court proceedings in ancient Rome. Here you will find impressive ruins and architectural masterpieces, including the Temple of Romulus, the House of the Vestal Virgins and the Ramp of Domitian. A guided tour of the Roman Forum is recommended to learn more about the history and significance of these sites.
The Palatine Hill
The Palatine is one of the seven hills of Rome and was probably inhabited 3,000 years ago. Later, dignitaries and rich citizens lived here and the emperors built their palaces here.
The Palatine is very large and it is easy to get lost there. There are some very nice viewpoints and you can take nice photos of the Colosseum, the Circus Maximus, the Roman Forum and the Capitol Hill. It will take you more than an hour to do this.
On the satellite photo we have marked some viewpoints in red.
You can find more details in our article Ancient Rome.
There are three entrances to the archaeological park consisting of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. There is also the entrance to the Imperial Forums.
Depending on whether you visit the park before or after the Colosseum and what you want to see, you can choose different entrances. The entrances are:
- Via Sacra: Entrance at the Arch of Titus between the Roman Forum and the Palatine. This entrance is closest to the Colosseum.
- Via di San Gregorio: entrance to the Palatine.
- The entrance to the Forum of Trajan at Piazza Venezia / Piazza della Madonna di Loreto
- The entrance at Via della Salara Vecchia near the Roman Forum, serves only as an exit
- There is another exit to via Petroselli.
With the Full Experience ticket you can visit the arena in the Colosseum and some archaeological sites of the park and the museum on the Palatine.
The archaeological sites are part of the SUPER Ticket Seven Unique Places to Experience in Rome, currently offered only as Full Experience. Only a limited number of visitors are allowed to visit the different sites at the same time.
For Rome lovers and cultural experts, a visit to these sites is mandatory. Some sites may be closed for restoration work.
The opening times are:
House of Augustus 40 minutes max. 23 visitors
House of Livia 30 minutes max. 23 visitors
Santa Maria Antiqua with Oratory of the 40 Martyrs and Ramp of Domitian 30 minutes max. 60 visitors
Temple of Romulus 15 minutes max. 30 visitors
Palatine Museum ~ 1h
Emperor Nero’s Domus Transitoria
Criptoportico Neroniano 12 minutes max. 35 visitors
Aula Isiaca + Loggia Mattei 15 minutes max. 15 visitors
Roman Forum and Palatine have the same opening hours as the Colosseum:
From the beginning of winter time – end of February:
9 am – 4:30 pm
March – end of winter time
9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
From the beginning of summer time – August 31,
9 a.m. – 7:15 p.m.
9 am – 7:00 pm
October 1st – end of summer time
9 am – 6:30 pm
Eating around the Colosseum
There are few gastronomic highlights around the Colosseum. The top restaurant Aroma with a view of the Colosseum is located in Via Labicana on the top floor of the Hotel Palazzo Manfredi, In Via di San Giovanni in Laterano you can eat very well at Isidoro. At Isidoro you can order very tasty mixed antipasti or mixed 1st courses (Primi). Also in the side streets there are some quite nice restaurants. You will find a larger selection if you walk down Via dei Fori Imperiali and then turn right into Via Cavour. Angelino ai Fori is just on the corner. You will certainly find what you are looking for there and in the Monti Quarter beyond. You can also go down Via dei Fori Imperiali to Piazza Venezia and then left to Torre Argentina and left again to the ghetto. There you will find mainly Roman cuisine.
More about the Colosseum
After you have rested a little, you can think about how to proceed. The obvious thing to do is to visit the Caelius Hill with the beautiful churches that are located there. Or you can go up the Oppius Hill to the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli and continue towards Monti. Or maybe you’d like to go to the city center to see the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, and to do some shopping.
If you want to see more ruins, you can also go to the Baths of Caracalla. With the bus 118 you can get to the catacombs on the Via Appia Antica.
Very relaxing is the onward journey with the hop on hop off buses. The bus stop is in Via di San Gregorio at the entrance to the Palatine. You can take buses 40 or 64 from Piazza Venezia to the Vatican.
Via San Giovanni in Laterano
Via di San Giovanni in Laterano starts from the Colosseum. Past the excavations of a gladiator school and the Basilica of the Dominican San Clemente, this small, cozy street with nice bars, restaurants and shops leads to the Basilica of San Giovanni and the Holy Stairs and on to Via Appia Nuova.
On the north side of the Colosseum rises the Oppius Hill, in which Emperor Nero’s Domus Aurea is buried. The golden palace can only be visited on weekends because excavations are carried out during the week.
There are picturesque streets on the Oppius. The Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli is a well-known attraction.
If you continue along Viale Monte Oppio, you will come to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.