Tarragona Roman Forum

Tarragona Roman Forum

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The Tarragona Roman Forum houses the ruins of what was the central square of the Ancient Roman city of Tarraco. A major Roman city, Terraco was the capital of the province of Nearer Spain. Today, little remains at this site beyond a scattering of ruins and several standing columns, a shadow of the forum’s former glory.

Tarragona Roman Forum history

The Roman city of Tarraco was the capital of the Hispania Tarraconensis as well as a fortress against the Carthaginians, and therefore was one of the empire’s most important cities. Tarragona’s provincial forum was built around 30 BC, the city being expanded after Augustus wintered there during his Cantabrian campaign.

Like most Roman cities, the Tarragona forum would have functioned as a central marketplace and social space that often saw political discussions and debate, meetings and business arrangements. Modelled on the Roman Forum, fora were located at the intersection of the city’s main streets and contain a Temple of Jupiter, as well as a basilica and large steps for speeches.

Unlike most other cities (but along with Merida and Cordoba), Tarragona as a provincial capital had two fora: one in the lower town which housed issues concerning the town itself, and another in the upper town that saw larger ceremonies and legal proceedings related to the province. The provincial forum was excavated in the 1920s.

Tarragona Roman Forum today

What remains today of Tarragona’s Roman Forum are the ruined basilica, cistern and several impressive distinctive Corinthian columns with a fluted length and cornice decorated with leaves of the provincial forum. What remains of the town’s forum is a large brick wall in Plaça del Forum, 15 minutes walk away.

You can clearly see the arches from which public courts would have been held in the basilica, as well as the foundations of steps where imperial speeches would have been made. Walking along the footbridge, imagine yourself in this busy Roman metropolis, still a bustling town.

Getting to Tarragona Roman Forum

Tarragona is located only 100km south of Barcelona on the golden coast. If driving from Barcelona, follow the C-32 and AP-7 along the coast to the forum. There is nearby parking at Mitja Lluna.

For those using public transport, the Fòrum bus stop on line 53 is a 2 minute walk from the forum. Prat de la Riba serves lines 3, 6, 22, 23, 30, 34 and 54, and is 3 minutes away.

Darlene Foster's Blog

Tarragona, a City of Living History

I love history and can never get enough of it. Visiting sights and structures from long ago makes it all seem so much more real to me. On a recent visit to Tarragona in Catalonia, Spain, much to my delight, I was immersed in it.

The entire city of Tarragona was deemed a World Heritage Site in 2000. And I can see why. Roman ruins are everywhere and appear naturally amongst more modern apartment blocks, restaurants, coffee shops and commercial buildings. It is fitting as, after all, they were there first.

Amphitheatres always intrigue me and the one in Tarragona, built in the time of Augustus, is quite intact and overlooks the Mediterranean sea. Imagine watching a play there. It is still used for reenactments of gladiator fights, plays and even weddings.

Imagine having lunch with a view of the sea and the amphitheatre!

Not far from the amphitheatre are the remains of the Roman Circus built in the first century which was used for horse and chariot races. It doesn’t take much to imagine the excitement of such an event.

A museum inside the Roman Circus held interesting artefacts

The old indoor market, Mercat Central, still sells fresh fish, meat, fruits and vegetables and was worth a visit. I bought some lovely tea to bring home.

Coming across the Forum, the remains of a Roman street and basilica, in a residential area, was incredible. It was as if timelines had blurred together. And I had the place almost to myself!

This would have been part of someone’s home two thousand years ago. I touched the walls and my Roman heart sang.
The base of a sculpture

Tarragona is famous for its Concurs de Castells where people called Castellers in matching outfits and sashes, compete for building the tallest human pyramid. This exciting and well-attended event is held every other October at Plaza de Toros, the former bull ring. (Bullfighting is outlawed in Catalonia.) I found posters for the event and in the middle of the Rambla Nova, the city’s main business street, is a bronze sculpture commemorating the .

A poster for Concurs de Castells. Look at all the people cheering them on. Hubby contemplating climbing the tower of people.

Tarragona has wonderful buildings, fountains and statues everywhere and much to see is in walking distance.

Mosaic on the sidewalk outside the theatre

As if all this wasn’t amazing enough, we drove 4 kilometres outside the city on a quest to find a two-thousand-year-old Roman Aqueduct. We drove past the entrance three times but eventually found the parking lot. A short hike through the forest and there it stood as it has for centuries. I truly felt time stand still.

The Romans built things to last!

I touched the stones that centuries of folks before me have, and all that history ran down my arm and into my heart. I was so happy.

Subscribe and stay tuned!

Tarragona. Don’t miss this unique roman city with an archeological history in each stone. Visit the roman amphitheater, the cathedral or swim in a Mediterranean beach. Have a walk through La Rambla and taste the city flavors. This city is waiting for you.

Legend says this temple was vowed by dictator Aulus Postumius Albinus at the Battle of Lake Regillus in 499 B.C. when Castor and Pollux (the Dioscuri) appeared. It was dedicated in 484. In 117 B.C., it was rebuilt by L. Cecilius Metellus Dalmaticus after his victory over the Dalmatians. In 73 B.C, it was restored by Gaius Verres. In 14 B.C. a fired destroyed it except the podium, the front of which was used as a speaker's platform, so the soon-to-be-emperor Tiberius rebuilt it.

The temple of Castor and Pollux was officially the aedes Castoris. During the Republic, the Senate met there. During the Empire, it served as a treasury.

Day 4

Sagunto, Tarragona. Morning visit to the site of Saguntum, including the restored Roman theatre. The castle, essentially Moorish, still preserves parts of the Roman forum, while the Archaeological Museum contains one of the most important collections of Latin inscriptions in Spain and distinctive mosaics from the Late Roman Empire. Drive in the afternoon to Tarragona (c. 3 hours including a stop). On arrival, walk a section of the early Roman walls. First of three nights in Tarragona.

Passeig Arqueològic Muralles

One of the best ways to see the city is by taking this tranquil walk through the city. The journey allows visitors the chance to walk along the 3,500m high wall which surrounds the old town. The walls are thought to be some of the best preserved Roman architecture outside of Italy! Whether you are looking for a romantic walk at sunset or something for the whole family, this is a great way to experience the cities history. Furthermore, when you reach the summit of the walk you will be rewarded with magical views of the entire city.

As well as the Cathedral, Museum and walk along the ancient wall there is also an ancient aqueduct, provincial forum, and famous Amphitheatre along with other great attractions. With the journey to Tarragona only an hour from central Barcelona, I strongly recommend you take the time to see this unique and beautiful city.

Points of interest

Besides the great number of temples that are in the forum (Saturn, Venus, Romulus, Vesta, etc.), it is worth paying special attention to the following points of interest:

  • Via Sacra: This was the main street in ancient Rome which linked the Piazza del Campidoglio with the Colosseum.
  • Arch of Titus: This is a triumphal arch that commemorates Rome's victory over Jerusalem. It was built after the death of the emperor Titus.
  • Arch of Septimius Severus: An arch erected in the year 203 A.D. to commemorate the third anniversary of Septimius Severus as the emperor.
  • Temple of Antoninus and Faustina: Built in the second century, the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina sets itself apart as the best preserved temple in the Roman Forum.
  • Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine: Though now mostly destroyed, its size suggests that this was one of the most important buildings of the Roman Forum.
  • The Curia: In this building the Senate met to make administrative decisions and about the Roman government.
  • Column of Phocas: Erected in the year 608 A.D. in honour of the emperor of Byzantium, this column, which is over 13 meters high, is one of the few that have remained standing since being built.

Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco

Tarragona was once a famous Roman town and its remains can be found in the city today. The archaeological ensemble is probably the oldest Roman settlement on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the largest sites preserved in Spain.

Tarraco served as a major mercantile city and it is also an outstanding example of Roman architecture - you can still see the Roman circus and the amphitheater dating back to the 2nd century BC.

Opening hours

Casa Canals, Casa Castellarnau:
April 19 - Sep 30:
Tue - Sun: 10 am - 3 pm

Roman Circus:
April 19 - Sep 30:
Tue - Sat: 9 am - 9 pm
Sun, holidays: 9 am - 3 pm

Jan 1 - Mar 29, Oct 1 - Dec 31:
Tue - Sat - 9 am - 7 pm
Sun, holidays: 10 am - 3 pm

Colonial Forum, Provincial Forum, Amphitheatre, The Walls:
April 19 - Sep 30:
Tue - Sun: 10 am - 9 pm
Sun, holidays: 10 am - 3 pm

Roman Quarry:
April 19 - Sep 30:
Tue - Sat: 9 am - 8 pm
Sun, holidays: 9 am - 3 pm

Jan 1 - Mar 29, Oct 1 - Dec 31:
Tue - Sat - 10 am - 4 pm
Sun, holidays: 10 am - 3 pm

Pallol Vault:
April 19 - Sep 30:
Tue - Fri: 8 am - 9 pm
Sat: 9 pm - 2 pm, 5 pm - 8 pm
Sun, holidays: 9 am - 3 pm

Jan 1 - Mar 29, Oct 1 - Dec 31:
Mon - Fri: - 9 am - 7 pm
Holidays: 10 am - 3 pm


One monument:
Adults: €3.15
Students (over 16) and seniors: €1.60
Children (under 16): free

The Roman Forum

Have you ever wished you could travel back in time to see the Roman Forum at the peak of its glory? Now you can.

The Forum was the center of the ancient city. Here were located the major law courts, government buildings, temples of the state religion, and historic monuments. Today this heart of the ancient city is a jumble of ruins, making it hard to understand even by those fortunate enough to visit the archaeological park.

Rome Reborn® offers you two ways to re-experience the Forum : (1) a short introductory video, and (2) an interactive app. If you are coming to the Roman Forum for the first time, you will find it advisable to start with the video, which provides a quick overview and orientation, and then to proceed to the app for more in-depth exploration and learning.

The video lets you follow Rome Reborn® Director Bernard Frischer on his guided tour of the Rome Reborn® reconstruction of the Roman Forum, which in 17 minutes helps you to understand the logic of the space and the meaning the place held to the Romans.

The app puts you in the driver's seat, making it possible to wander on your own from site to site around the reconstruction of the Roman Forum, to read brief descriptions on the virtual tablet that always accompanies you and, if you wish, to listen to experts' explanations of the people, monuments, and buildings you are encountering along the way. You can use our Time Warp feature to toggle between the ruins today and their original appearance. Take a full visit for about 3 hours or see just the sites of interest to you.

Once you have finished using the app, go to the Community section of our website, register, take assessments to gauge your level of expertise, and earn rewards for your achievements. Share the results, if you wish, with your social network. Recruit new members and increase your status in our community.

The Roman Forum in Rome Info & Tips

The Roman Forum, often referred to as Republican Roman Forum or Foro Romano in Italian, has been for centuries the political and social heart of Ancient Rome.
When we talk about the Roman Forum we are actually talking about a series of spaces and not about a single monument.

Today, the archaeological site of the Roman Forum shows incredible ruins and evidence of Rome’s life. The area comprises many temples, triumphal arches, buildings and memorial columns. Most of them are displayed along the main street, which is called Via Sacra, the ancient triumphal sacred road that crosses the entire forum.

During your visit we recommend you to take time to stop and see the following highlights in the Roman Forum:


Attraction Overview

Opening Hours: 8.30am - 7.15pm
Best Time To Visit: 8.30am or 4.00pm
Tickets: Needed
Accessibility: Partially Accessible
Kid-friendly Attraction

How to Visit


Prebook your skip-the-line ticket thorough the Roman Forum & Palatine Official Ticket Office and choose the print at home option


Springtime and Summertime: 8.30am or 4.30pm
Fall and Wintertime: from 10.30am to 4.30pm


Summertime: sneakers, sun cream and a hat
Wintertime: sneakers, umbrella and raincoat


1 January and 25 December

Note: The ticket office closes one hour before last admissions
Casa delle Vestali, Tempio di Venere e Roma e Museo del Palatino close 30 minutes before the archaeological area.

Opening Hours

  • from January 2nd to February 15th
    08.30 – 16.30
  • from February 16th to March 15th
    08.30 – 17.00
  • from March 16th to last Saturday of March
    08.30 – 17.30
  • from the last Sunday of March to August 31st
    08.30 – 19.15
  • from September 1st to September 30th
    08.30 – 19.00
  • from the last Sunday of October to December 31
    08.30 – 16.30

Skip the line tickets to the Roman Forum can be bought online from the Official Website of Coopculture

Note that Skip-the-line tickets allow visitors to skip the line only at the ticket office, but do not exempt visitors to skip the line at the security checks.

Duration: valid for only one entrance to each site of the circuit Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine (plus current exhibitions) and are valid for 2 days in a row


  • Full entrance: €12.00 + €2 Reservation Fee for online booking (€14)
  • Reduced entrance: €7.50 + €2 Reservation Fee for online booking (€9,50)
    Apply to: only for european union citizens
    Age: between 18 and 25 years old.
    Note: Reduced entrance tickets can be booked online, but they must be collected onsite the day of your visit.
  • Free Entrance + €2Reservation Fee for online booking
    Apply to: European and non-European people
    Age: up to 18 years old
    Note: Free entrance tickets can be booked online, but they must be collected onsite the day of your visit, so you will need to be in line to withdraw them.

Wheelchair Accessibility Service:
The archaeological area of the Roman Forum is partially accessible to wheelchairs.
We recommend people with walking difficulties to access the Roman Forum from Via della Salara Vecchia n.6 in via dei Fori Imperiali.

From this entrance visitors will be immediately in the middle of the Roman Forum.
On your right: an elevator is available to access the Basilica Aemilia.
On your left: admire the ruins of the Temple of Antonino and Faustina. Going down from the Via Sacra to the middle of the Forum, wheelchairs can arrive up to the Ara of Caesar, see the ruins of the Temple of Castor and Pollux and the House of the Vestal Virgins.
Equipped toilet are available at the entrance near the Arch of Titus.

Call Center:
+39 06 399 67 700
Monday to Friday: 9am-1pm / 2pm-5pm
Saturday: 9am-2pm

How to Reach


Bus Lines:

51 75 81 673 175 204 Tram 30

Metro Station:


– Once at Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (Fiumicino Airport) take the Leonardo Express Train to Termini Station
– Next, at Termini take the metro (direction Laurentina). Get down after 2 stops at Colosseo Metro Station, B Line.
– Access the Roman Forum from the entrance in Piazza del Colosseo (it’s a 5-minute walk from the Metro Exit)

– Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6
– Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Rome, Italy
Get directions from Google Maps


Roman Forum Historical Facts

The Roman Forum was the most ancient public area in Rome, a large plain made up by several buildings. The ruins that can be seen today in the archaeological area tells us the political, religious and economic events of Rome’s history between the 7th century B.C and the 5th century A.D.
The vast natural valley that hosts the Roman Forum is protected by the canonical seven hills of Rome and was used since the 13th century B.C – well before Rome’s ruling on the mediterranean – by local tribes as burial place. Read More…

Roman Forum FAQ

Can I pre-book skip the line tickets by myself?

You can pre-book skip the line tickets yourself online through the online official ticket office of Coopculture. When you purchase the tickets make sure to have selected the “Print at home” option. You will receive your tickets attached via email.

When is the best time to visit the Roman Forum?

September: avoid central hours of the day to beat the hot temperature and the crowd. Plan your visit to the Roman Forum starting at 8.30 am or at 4.30 pm.
October is a beautiful month to visit Rome! Sites and landmarks such as the Roman Forum, Colosseum and Palatine may be a little bit crowded during central daytime hours. We recommend to tour the Roman Forum in the early morning (8.30am) or in the early afternoon (1.30pm).

In Winter there are far less tourists in Rome compared to the other seasons. So don’t worry too much about the crowd! However, temperatures may go below 0°C. We recommend to visit the Roman Forum starting from 10.30am to avoid the early morning rigid temperatures. Remember that the site can be access until 4.30pm from February to mid March.

From mid March till the end of the month you won’t see many tourists in Rome… yet! Best time to visit the Roman Forum is starting from 10.30am! Be careful in April, May and June! The peak season starts in April and from then till the end of June there are several festivities in Italy. To avoid the crowd avoid the central daytime hours (from 10.00am to 5.00pm). Visit the Roman Forum early in the morning or in the late afternoon.

July and August: no doubt these are the warmest months in Italy. Temperature can reach 35°C degrees. You certainly don’t won’t to be at the Roman Forum at midday. Start your exploration of the Roman Forum at 8.30 am or at 4.30 pm!

Where to buy the tickets to the Roman Forum ?

You have multiple options to buy the tickets for the Roman Forum:

1) Buy the tickets online from the official website. By paying a reservation fee of 2€ you can skip the line at the ticket office. You have to choose the “Pint at home option” to skip the line! However, note that skip the line tickets are actually valid only for Full Price Tickets.
Reduced and Free tickets shall be withdrawn at the ticket office. Why? Because the staff of the Colosseum/Roman Forum/Palatine Hill have to check the IDs of the kids.
For further information please visit: https://www.coopculture.it/en/the-colosseum.cfm

2) You can reserve your tickets through the Call Center +39 06 399 67 700
Monday-Friday 9-13 and 14-17 / Saturday 9-14
Due to new security measures it is necessary to arrive at least 30 minutes before the reservation at the ticket desk. In this case you shall collect your tickets on site.

3) Third option, you can buy the tickets directly on site at the Ticket Office located in Piazza del Colosseo, or Via della Salara vecchia 5/6
We highly recommend to reserve the tickets in advance during the high-season due to the impressive number of visitors

Is there a dress code to visit the Roman Forum?

There’s no official dress code to access the archaeological area of the Roman Forum. However, we recommend visitors to wear comfortable footwear! For more information visit the how to visit section of this page!

Watch the video: TARRAGONA. Roman theatre