Ostia Antica

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Ostia Antica: Our most recommended tours and activities

Ancient Ostia Guided Walking Tour

1. Ancient Ostia Guided Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in Roman history with a guided walking tour of the Ancient Ostia Archaeological Park. Discover more about Ancient Ostia which once served as a major port and trading center during the Republican period. Stroll through the ruins of the city and see many of the principal attractions, which have been remarkably well preserved. See the magnificent theatre, the remains of common apartment blocks known as insulae, and the main baths of the city. Admire the mosaics of the interiors of the houses, some of the best-preserved works from this period. Learn more about the day-to-day life of regular citizens of the Roman Empire. Discover the importance of the port of Ostia to the nearby capital of the empire. Enjoy a more relaxed experience of Roman history away from the more crowded sites of the capital.

Rome: Ostia Antica Half Day Small Group Tour with Guide

2. Rome: Ostia Antica Half Day Small Group Tour with Guide

Discover some of Ostia Antica’s most impressive features, such as the Baths of Neptune, which house an impressively preserved mosaic of Neptune, the God of the sea. Next, make your way through the Forum of Corporations, which was the center of commerce and trade in Rome during the time of Emperor Augustus. Continue onto the impressive Ostia Antica Amphitheater, which once held up to 3,500 onlookers, and hear about the events that used to be held here and the rich history of the site. Retrace the steps of history and listen to your guide bring the past to life as you learn how advanced the Roman Empire was in both commerce and engineering, and how it helped shaped modern times. Peak into ancient storefronts, and witness how the Romans managed to have complex systems bringing both hot and cold water into their buildings. This small-group tour gives you a deeper understanding of the network that helped foster the success of the iconic Roman Empire, and how this major trade site allowed Rome to feed its ever-increasing population. Ostia Antica is an archaeological wonder that will leave you educated and impressed, it is surely not a sight to be missed.

Ostia Antica Guided Tour with Local Archaeologist

3. Ostia Antica Guided Tour with Local Archaeologist

Meet your knowledgeable English-speaking guide at the Ostia Antica ticket office where you will skip-the-line and begin the tour of Rome's antiquated port. Over time the coastline has moved inland and Ostia, (‘Os’ comes from the latin word mouth) was once the mouth of the river Tiber. As you walk through ancient Ostia, admire the labyrinth like streets, which lead you to see some of the main sights in this archeological park: the magnificent amphitheater, fountains, factories, the Square of the Guilds, the main city square - the Capitolium, the Baths of Neptune, the Forum, private homes and more. Discover the historical importance of the port city and hear detailed explanations from your professional guide, who will enlighten you about what life was like when Ostia was once a thriving port.

Half Day Tour of Ancient Ostia

4. Half Day Tour of Ancient Ostia

Visit the vast archaeological site of Ostia Antica, an ancient port city of  the Rome Republic. Today the ruins, enclosed by cypresses and pine trees, reveal more information about ancient Rome than any other monument in the capital. Your journey will start in Rome along the Via del Mare, you will head towards Ostia (in Latin "ostium" means "River Mouth"), reaching the fascinating ruins of what was once a thriving center of commerce. You will start the tour from the Street of Tombs, the road leading to Porta Romana, one of three inputs of Ostia. The Decumanus Maximus, the main thoroughfare that runs through the city from the northeast to the southwest, begins here. You will visit the Baths of Neptune and admire the black-and-white mosaics of Neptune, Amphitrite, the theater built by Agrippa and the Forum, which was once the center of city life. See the main public buildings, such as the Capitol and the Temple of Rome and Augustus. Near the Forum square you will see the House of Diana and Termopolio, a kind of ancient Roman bar with a marble counter and a fresco depicting the foods sold in local time. Afterwards, you will continue to the end of Via dei Paintings to reach the Ostiense Museum, where you can admire an exhibition of ancient mosaics and sculptures found in the ruins.

From Rome: Ostia Antica 4-Hour Guided Tour

5. From Rome: Ostia Antica 4-Hour Guided Tour

Journey back in time to the days of the Roman Empire on a half-day tour of Ostia Antica, the ancient harbor city that once served Ancient Rome. Journey by train from the "Eternal City" in less than 20 minutes, accompanied by an expert guide. Then, explore an archaeological site said by many to be more beautiful - and certainly less crowded - than Pompeii. Located at the "mouth" of the River Tiber, Ostia was the gateway (and gate keeper) of Rome in ancient times. Learn the history of the city and its importance to the Roman Republic. Hear how grains from Sicily, marble from Africa, slaves from Asia and wine from Spain were all processed in the port city on their way to Rome. See ancient shops that remain intact, such as a fish shop with its stunning mosaics. Discover one of the best preserved Roman theaters in the world, still used for occasional performances to this day. Marvel at the monuments of the Capitolium at the very heart of public life in the city. Enter the private houses of former citizens, and enjoy the green and pleasant surroundings. A restaurant and cafe is located inside the park for your convenience when you want a break from history!

Rome: Ostia Antica Private Walking Tour with Skip-the-Line

6. Rome: Ostia Antica Private Walking Tour with Skip-the-Line

Have a walk through the Roman ruins in the old town of Ostia Antica, a small Pompeii just a few kilometers away from Rome. Discover the history of a settlement that can be traced back to the beginning of the 4th century B.C., which served as a military outpost to control not only access to the Tiber but also its lower course and nearby areas, in order to defend Rome. After meeting your guide, skip the entrance lines to explore Ostia, the first Roman colony. Hear about its role as a river port that acquired a commercial function to supply Rome with foodstuffs, particularly wheat, even if its strategic military function as a naval base certainly prevailed.  Learn about how the city was later surrounded by a new circle of walls that circumscribed an urban area of about 50 hectares, divided into five regions or neighborhoods. While there, see Neptune's Thermal Baths, the theatre, the forum, the House of Diana, and more.

Rome: Immersive Underground and Piazzas Tour

7. Rome: Immersive Underground and Piazzas Tour

Immerse yourself in the city's history starting from Piazza Navona, one of the most charming and popular squares in Rome. The most beautiful parts of Piazza Navona are its three fountains, designed during the papacy of Gregory XIII. Erected in the center of Piazza Navona, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi was designed by Bernini in 1651. After a look over Piazza Navona, you'll enter into the subterranean world beneath the streets of this square which is built over the site of the Stadium of Domitian. The stadium was used almost entirely for athletic contests, and for a brief period following fire-damage to the Colosseum in 217 A.D., it was used for gladiator shows. From the Stadium of Domitian you will go back on the street to move onward to the Pantheon. According to Roman legend, this is the place where at his death, the founder of Rome, Romulus, was seized by an eagle and taken off into the skies with the gods. From the Pantheon to the Secret Bath of Neptune you will have just the time to take a breath before entering into the Basilica of Neptune, built in Rome by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa in honor of Neptune. Next, travel to the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in the water, adhering to tradition. Following the fountain, you'll enter into the subterranean world of Vicus Caprarius, also known as the City of Water. In this underground archaeological area of Vicus Caprarius you will find an intricate labyrinth of ancient remains: the remains of a domus of the imperial era; the castellum aquae of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct.

Ancient Ostia: 3-Hour Private Tour

8. Ancient Ostia: 3-Hour Private Tour

The city of Ostia was an ancient Roman Harbor that played an important role in the rise of the Roman Empire. Wander through the ancient roads, far from the bustle of modern Rome, and learn about the different ages of Roman History through the buildings of this city.  Walk through the Porta Romana, one of the main gates of the city, and visit the Thermal Bath of Neptune to admire its elaborate mosaics. Feel the history in the Roman Theater and enjoy an imaginary drink at the Thermopolium, the ancient Roman Restaurant where visitors could spend their time while in the city. After the tour, travelers have the option of exploring the vast site on their own or enjoying a cold drink in the Café.

Ostia Antica: Half-Day Tour

9. Ostia Antica: Half-Day Tour

Meet at the Ostiense Train Station and take the local train to the archaeological park. Today an evocative and well-preserved sprawl of ancient ruins, Ostia Antica was once Rome’s thriving port city and a bustling commercial center. Due to the fall of the Roman Empire, it was eventually abandoned and, as the river changed course, covered in silt and mud, which protected the city until it was later excavated. One of Ostia Antica’s most striking sights is the grand outdoor theater which hosted plays and even gladiator fights. See the Square of the Guilds, where ship owners and merchants tried to make their fortune. Just down the street are the public bath houses where people would lounge in pools, work out and clean themselves with olive oil. Walk to the House of Diana and see where the ancients laid their heads at night.  Your guide will reveal this ancient city and uncover its stories on an unforgettable journey back in time.

From Rome: Ostia Antica Ruins

10. From Rome: Ostia Antica Ruins

Your private driver will pick you up from your accommodation in central Rome and, in about 45 minutes, you’ll reach Ostia Antica where you’ll first tour the ruins (skip-the-line tickets included). Be led by an official licensed tour guide. The ancient Roman city of Ostia was in antiquity situated at the mouth of the river Tiber, some 30-kilometers to the west of Rome. The shoreline moved seawards due to silting from the Middle Ages until the 19th century. Therefore, Ostia is today still lying next to the Tiber. The river was used as harbor, but in the Imperial period, two harbor basins were added to the north, near Leonardo da Vinci Airport. The harbor district was called Portus, Latin for "harbor." This tour focuses on some of the archaeological remains of Imperial Ostia and Portus. Then you’ll spend some time visiting by yourself the wonderful medieval neighborhood near the ruins, stopping for lunch at your own expense. At the end of the tour, sit back, relax and enjoy your short drive back to your hotel in Rome. The duration of your tour is about 7 hours and you can expect to be back at your hotel around 16:00, depending on local traffic.

Planning Your Visit

  • Sun-safe

    You'll be spending most of your time outside, so it's important to stay safe in the sun with sunscreen and a hat. Drink lots of water too! It can get warm in Italy even in the fall months.

  • Archeological news

    Like other sciences, archeology is never over - there are new developments going on all the time, so keep up to date on the website if you are fascinated by the latest findings from days gone by!

  • Group visit

    Ostia Antica is perhaps best experienced as a group - and with a guided tour in your language so that everyone's on the same page.

  • Day trip

    Although in relatively close proximity to Rome, you should still set aside a day to visit Ostia and not rush seeing this historic spot.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open 8:30AM. Closing times vary throughout the year and must enter an hour before closing.
  • Is it expensive?
    10 euros per adult
  • Will I need a guide?
    This ancient site is best explored with a guided tour to point out the history and give you a feel for the daily life of the people that once called this spot home.
  • How to get there
    Take Metro B and switch to Roma-Lido train at Piramide Station. Get off at Ostia Antica station. Cross over the blue bridge and walk straight until you reach the entrance.
  • Additional information

    • Great spot to escape the crowds in Rome. These are one of the few ruins you can this up-close!

    • Free entrance on the first Sunday of each month!

Other Sightseeing Options in Ostia Antica

Want to discover all there is to do in Ostia Antica? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Ostia Antica

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 180 reviews

Our guide , Alexis, obviously loves sharing his knowledge about Ostia Antica and Italy as well. Covered the very beginning of the port city from early Roman period through Mussolini and current dig sites. Despite the cold and wind. it was a fascinating walking tour.

What a fabulous day learning so much about ancient Ostia and Roman life from Leo. We ended up just being two on the tour and it was so wonderful to get to ask questions and be directed through the site—without a guide we would have missed so much.

Terrific tour, led by a personable and knowledgeable guide. Emiliano was truly fantastic—thoughtful about both the past and current state of Italy. Truly a memorable day.

Beautiful and valid experience Alex our guide very prepared person who made me interested in everything he described to me.

The site was more than expected much larger and better restored than I suspected.