See the world’s oldest shopping mall at Trajan’s Market.
In Ancient Rome, areas like Trajan’s Market were the focal point of the community, where government matters were handled, goods were bartered and people gathered. See the echo of this centre of commerce in one of the best-preserved ancient sites in all of Rome.
- See a rare example of a surviving Roman high-rise building in the three floors of Trajan’s Market.
- Explore the grounds of the market complex, and imagine the bustle of 150 shops and vendors selling their wares 2000 years ago.
- Learn more about the five imperial forums in the Imperial Forum Museum.
Tickets & Prices
To enter Trajan’s Market, you will need to purchase a ticket. Find out more below.
Trajan’s Market & Imperial Forum Museum Ticket
This ticket grants you entry into Trajan’s Market and the Imperial Forum Museum; by pre-booking, you can skip the queues for the ticket office on the day. Though you can print out your ticket, it is easily shown on your phone; simply book a time slot and arrive at the market with your ticket already downloaded.
Important ticket information:
- Your ticket will be downloaded on to your phone
- The ticket is valid for a single day.
- You must choose an hour time slot to enter on your chosen day
- Opening hours are 9:30 – 19:30 every day of the week.
- Final admission is one hour before closing
What to see and do
Trajan’s Market is one of the best preserved ruins in Rome, and highlights the splendour of ancient Roman architecture. Here is what you can expect to see when you visit.
Trajan’s Market Archaeological Complex
Where many ancient ruins are little more than a husk of the magnificence of the original, Trajan’s Market offers a clearer glimpse into the opulence and artistry of the ancient Roman architects.
What makes Trajan’s Market particularly unique is the fact that it is a high-rise building, with three floors (though certain sections went up to six stories) – very few buildings of this type have survived into the 21st century. As you walk around the market, you will notice the detailed craftsmanship of the brickwork arches; some of the finest workmanship with the material in Rome. The distinct semi-circular façade is also impressive, as is the remains of marble flooring, statues and other artifacts.
The top floor of the market would have been used for offices of administrators, while the lower floors would have housed over 150 shops and vendors. These would have been called tabernae, and had merchants selling everything from fruits and vegetables to exotic spices.
The market was built into the base of Quirinal Hill, one of the famous Seven Hills of Rome, and formed part of the wider complex of Trajan’s Forum. Not all of the architecture is ancient: though old, the remains of the Torre delle Milizie militia tower are from the 13th century.
Imperial Roman Forum Museum
Inside the complex of Trajan’s Market is the Imperial Roman Forum Museum, which explores the history and importance of the five imperial fora in Rome. Trajan’s Forum was the last to be built, but the Forum of Nerva, Vespasian, Augustus and Caesar are all covered in the exhibition.
In the ‘Grand Hall’ of the museum, you will see statues, amphorae and pieces of the buildings on display, as well as general information about the site. After walking through a series of rooms lined with artifacts, you will emerge on to one of the three ancient streets in the museum; which offer an impressively preserved snapshot of a Roman road.
You will find Trajan’s Market on Via dei Fori Imperiali, at the opposite end to the Roman Colosseum. It is located on Via Quattro Novembre.
If using public transport, you can get a bus, tram, or the metro to reach Trajan’s Market.
Buses run frequently to stops close to the market. The Nazionale/Quirinale stop is ideally located, and you can catch any of these buses to reach Trajan’s Market: 40, 60, 64, 70, 117 and 170. The ‘Venezia’ tram stop is only a few minutes away. For the metro, take the Linea B (blue) line, and get off at either the ‘Colosseo’ or ‘Cavour’ stations.
Did you know that: (3 Interesting Facts!)
Trajan’s Market has been referred to as history’s first shopping mall, as it was a multi-story complex filled with vendors; an early pre-cursor to the modern-day equivalent.
As well as being the hottest shopping destination in Ancient Rome, Trajan’s Market was also a headquarters for government offices.
Most of the restoration work on Trajan’s Market took place during the fascist regime of Mussolini during the 1920s and 30s.
Discover a history that spans almost two millennia in this brief timeline of Trajan’s Market:
- 107 – 110 AD. Emperor Trajan commissions the architect Apollodorus of Damascus to design the market.
- 1200. A militia tower, Torre delle Milizie, is constructed on the site of Trajan’s Market.
- 1349. A powerful earthquake damages the structure of Trajan’s Market.
- 1574. The Convent of Santa Caterina da Sien is built. It will eventually be demolished in the early 20th century.
- 1926 – 1934. Restoration work on the site begins.
- 2007. The Museum of the Imperial Fora opens.
Address: Trajan's Market, Via Quattro Novembre 94, 00187 Roma, Italy · view larger map