Trojan’s Forum, featuring the world-famous Trojan’s Column, was the last consecutive forum built in the area. Completed in the second century, it’s arguably the most impressive of all the ancient monuments, giving a unique insight into the day-to-day lives of the ordinary people from the Rome of the past.
How to get to Trajan’s Column by train
As one of the most popular and celebrated tourist attractions in Rome, Trajan’s Column is easy to reach using public transport. We recommend using the metro or train to travel across central Rome, as it’s usually quicker than a taxi and it means you don’t have to fork out for private transport.
The main railway station in central Rome is Roma Termini. It’s one of the largest train stations in Europe and is serviced by train routes coming in from lots of Italian cities and regions. To get to Trajan’s Column from Roma Termini station, you only need to travel one stop on the metro! Hop on line B towards Laurentina and alight at Cavour. From here it’s around a ten-minute walk to Trajan’s Column. The whole journey should take less than 20 minutes.
Walking to Trajan’s Column
One of the best ways to get around central Rome is entirely free – just walk! While there are many attractions for which we do recommend using public transport to access, Trajan’s Column is conveniently located right in the heart of the Eternal City. This means it’s easy enough to get there from places like the Capitoline Museums, Piazza Venezia, Crypta Balbi, and Palazzo Colonna.
What to see at Trajan’s Column
Due to its central location within Rome, there are lots of other landmarks and buildings to see in the vicinity of Trajan’s Column. But first, let’s talk about the famous triumphant column itself.
We’ll delve deeper into the history of this famous structure in the next section. Still, Trajan’s Column was completed in 113 AD. Since then, it has watched over Rome as it developed into the thriving city we know today.
The sculptural details
Visiting Trajan’s Column is like taking a journey back in time. Why? The detailed portrayals which are carved into the sides of the landmark tell powerful stories about the city’s history.
Follow Trajan Column’s spiral imagery as far up as you can see, and you’ll discover a hundred scenes depicting Trajan’s war against the Dacians. The victory brought wealth to the Roman Empire due to the gold mines that lay beneath the Kingdom of Dacia, which we know today as Romania.
The images are so detailed that they have been dubbed ‘ancient comics’ due to their exceptional storytelling and intricate design. The statue of Emperor Trajan stood for centuries at the top, with his ashes buried beneath it. It’s said that he still watches over the city from this perch, as the reminders of his conquests raise him to heaven.
The Trajan Markets
Next up, it’s the Trajan Markets. These were actually an ancient shopping centre, featuring hundreds of covered market stalls were shopkeepers would sell their wares. The complex also boasted government buildings and apartments where the ancient Romans would go about their day-to-day lives.
Take a walk along the central shopping district, and marvel at some of the most well-preserved ancient architecture in the world. Here you can follow in the footsteps of peasants and royalty as you stroll through one of the many corridors and passageways.
The markets are divided into six levels across two sections – upper and lower. These buildings are widely considered as some of the most complex from ancient Rome. Within the Trajan Markets, you’ll find the coveted Imperial Forum Museum. This archaeological museum showcases some of the many artefacts which were dug up when the markets were discovered. This gives visitors even more of an insight into the daily lives of the ancient Romans.
Next to the column, you’ll see the fascinating Trajan’s Forum. Designed by the famous architect Apollodorus of Damascus, the forum used to be a lot larger than it is today. Centuries ago, it housed two libraries, a vast basilica, the markets, and a temple. Nowadays, only a small section of these mighty structures remain.
Trajan’s Column history and facts
So, who was Trajan? His name was Marcus Ulpius Traianus, only later was he known as Trajan, and he was the emperor of Rome from 98 to 117 AD. Before becoming emperor, Trajan was a general in the Roman army. This gave him the means to win two significant battles and cement himself as one of Rome’s most popular and renowned leaders.
Trajan was responsible for a range of projects which, once implemented, made public life much more comfortable during this sometimes hostile ancient time. This is one of the main reasons the emperor was so popular. He improved the roads, implemented social welfare measures, and gave the go-ahead to build new bridges, baths, and aqueducts. He was an influential, prominent leader whose legacy still lives on in Rome today.
Trajan’s Column facts
Trajan’s Column is one of the most distinctive structures to survive the fall of the Roman Empire. Want to know more about Trajan’s Column and the ruins surrounding it? Here are some fascinating facts:
- You already know that Trojan’s Column is covered in intricate imagery of the battle between the Trojans and the Dacians. But did you know you can actually go and see all of them? Head over to the Museum of Roman Civilization, and you’ll be able to see plaster casts of the ‘ancient comics’, showcasing every detail of this bloodthirsty tale
- Trojan’s Column is about 30 metres tall, 35 metres if you include the pedestal. It’s made from 20 hollow marble pieces, each one weighing in at about 32 tonnes, and has a diameter of 3.7 metres
- It wasn’t originally supposed to be a statue of Trajan that stood on top of the column. Ancient coins show plans to put a statue of an eagle up there
- During the Middle Ages, the statue of Trajan went missing and was replaced for a while with a bronze statue of St Peter by Pope Sixtus V, in 1587. The figure of St Peter still remains there to this day, and no-one knows what happened to the original statue of Trajan
- Trajan’s Column is not dedicated to just one battle. Its upper section features scenes from the first Dacia war in 102 AD. The lower area has imagery depicting scenes from the second Dacia war in 106 AD
- All in all, Trajan’s Column has more than 2,500 figures carved into its spirals, 59 of which are of Trajan himself
- According to some archaeologists and researchers, Trajan’s Column was used as a measuring device for the construction of the nearby Trajan’s Forum
Restaurants, bars, and shops at Trajan’s Column
Due to its central location, Trajan’s Column is close to some of the very best bars and restaurants in Rome. Whether you’re dreaming of a fine dining establishment, something quick on-the-go, or a rustic-style bar to share a few cocktails, you’ll find just the place around Trajan’s Column.
The best places to eat near Trajan’s Column
First up, let’s talk about food. There are loads of restaurants within a few minutes’ walk of Via dei Fori Imperiali, so you’ll be spoilt for choice! To make things a bit easier, here are some of our favourite places to eat near Trajan’s Column.
- Melo – For traditional Italian cuisine, this spot is sure to tick all your boxes. This hidden gem serves a plethora of mouth-watering dishes like lasagna and other fresh pasta recipes. Not to mention the excellent seafood
- La Taverna Dei Fori Imperiali – Renowned across Rome for its home-cooked pasta and grilled dishes, this is an excellent and not-too-expensive spot close to some of the city’s top tourist attractions
- Caesar Pizza – Just a stone’s throw from Trajan’s Column with some of the finest pizzas and paninis in the area. All super-fresh and budget-friendly, too
- Pane e Salame – If you’re dreaming of a deli counter, head here for a tasty selection of cured meat, cheese, and bread sharing platters
- Humus Bistrot – True to its name, the dishes here are all based around hummus and chickpeas, so it’s a great place to sample food you may not have tried before. It’s ideal for vegetarians and vegans, too
- Emanuel’s Food – Just a short walk from Trajan’s Column, you can choose your own dish from a counter of pasta, vegetables, sauces, and more. There’s something for everyone here.
The best places for a drink near Trajan’s Column
Drinks-wise, you’ll find loads of places to stop off near the Trajan’s Column. The Public House is a cosy cocktail bar just a short walk away. With a friendly ambience and an extensive menu of mouth-watering tonics, this is a great place to kick back and chill after a long day exploring the city.
For an intimate space that’s trimmed with artwork, head over to Ex Galleria for some tasty cocktails, wine, and snacks (a perfect combo if you ask us).
For a casual place to relax and enjoy a lager, head to the D’Amodio Rosaria – it’s a sure-fire winner. Or for a fuss-free pint with live sports, the Shamrock Pub Roma will tick all the boxes.
Opening times and prices
Trajan’s Column itself is open 24 hours, so you can take a picturesque stroll through the area at any time day or night. We recommend going there at sunset for an unforgettable experience, and the chance to take some beautiful photos too.
Trajan’s market and the Imperial Forum Museum are open every day from 09:30 to 19:30. These are the most recent ticket prices but do check online before your visit in case they have been altered:
Children (under 6)
Imperial Forum Museum tickets
Your ticket will cover you for the full day, which means you can nip out for a spot of lunch and be re-admitted later on. Last entry will be at 18:30, so be sure to arrive before then if you’re planning an evening visit!
Taking the train to Rome?
You can easily reach Rome by train from any major Italian city thanks to the frequent high-speed rail connections operated by Trenitalia and Italo. The most popular routes are from Venice to Rome (3h 15m), Milan to Rome (3h 10m), Florence to Rome (1h 18m) and Naples to Rome (1h 08m).
Need more information about travelling to Rome by train? Check out our dedicated page to trains to Rome.