Welcome to Ostia Antica


Founded in the 4th century BC, the city started life as a fortified military camp guarding the mouth of the Tiber – hence the name: Ostia is a derivation of the Latin word ostium (mouth). It quickly grew, and by the 2nd century AD was a thriving port with a population of around 50,000.

Decline set in after the fall of the Roman Empire, and by the 9th century the city had largely been abandoned, its citizens driven off by barbarian raids and outbreaks of malaria. Over subsequent centuries, it was plundered of marble and building materials and its ruins were gradually buried in river silt, hence their survival.


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Ostia Antica activities

$312.79 Private & Custom Tours

private tour of ancient Ostia from Rome

Relive the atmosphere of an ancient Roman town visiting Ostia Antica with us.Stroll through the ancient buildings, like shops, baths, restaurants, houses, and the theater. Your guide will take you back in time to the Roman era. This wonderful tour will stimulate your imagination, bringing the ruins back to their glorious past.Walking the main streets and the hidden alleys, you’ll be totally immersed because the view shows no sign of the modern town. Your guide will tell you fascinating stories and anecdotes about the Roman town, beginning with the Decumanus Maximus, the main street. Through the details of the stories, you will feel the frenetic sensation of living in a busy port city. You will enjoy visiting the ancient city and admiring its main buildings such as the theater, the House of Diana, the Forum, the Baths, the Thermopolium. At the end of this tour you may even want to live in the ancient town - going to shows in the theater, drinking in the popina, and having a relaxing friendly moment in the forica, the public toilet.The complete duration of the tour is 3.5 hours, including the 25-minute train trip to Ancient Ostia.

$68.35 Kid Friendly

Ancient Ostia Guided Tour for Kids and Families

Your guide will meet you at the Ostia Antica ticket station to begin your 2.5-hour guided small-group tour of Ostia Antica. Located just outside Rome’s city center, Ostia is a slice of Rome’s history not to be missed. The ancient port city of Ostia is now a ghost town. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the people of Ostia realized that their livelihoods were threatened. As a result, the inhabitants left their homes and businesses in search of a safe place that could provide them with a new way of life. As you traverse the streets of this outdoor living museum, your guide will ensure that you see the most important buildings including the theater, thermal baths, mills, the Square of the Guilds, the Capitolium, and much more. Your guide will take you back in time, revealing the story of how the people of this special place once lived. The venue is perfect for children. Your family will explore this historic and important archaeological site where it is possible to see the ruins, walk the streets and enter the buildings. You can choose between 2 options: 2.5 hr PRIVATE TOUR: your guide will be waiting for you at the meeting point and she/he will be glad to answer all your family questions and adjust the tour on your family's needs and interestes. 2.5 hr SMALL GROUP TOUR: the guide will wait for you at the meeting point and you will share her/him with other families.

$85.73 Day Trips & Excursions

Small Group Tour: Ostia Antica from Rome by Train

Ostia Antica is one of the most fascinating (and most underrated) attractions in Italy. The remains of this Ancient Roman port town are just half an hour away from Rome, yet they tend to be mysteriously overlooked by the majority of tourists. However, their loss is your gain – join a small group tour of Ostia Antica and explore the evocative, labyrinthine ruins of this intriguing town.After meeting your group in central Rome, you will travel to Ostia Antica and join your guide for an in-depth, 4 hour tour of the archaeological site. With a group size limited to 12, this is an intimate tour, providing you the opportunity to chat to your guide and ask questions.Ostia Antica resembles Pompeii, but without the crowds. And unlike Pompeii, Ostia Antica was not destroyed; the town fell into a slow decline over the centuries. At its peak, in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, Ostia Antica was home to 100,000 people and a busy port, but it slowly transformed from a commercial town into a country retreat for wealthy Romans. It was plundered by pirates in the Battle of Ostia, and then abandoned completely.On your Ostia Antica tour you will get an insight into the life and times of the Ancient Roman town, exploring the well-preserved remains of some of its most important buildings, such as the impressive theater (still in use today), grand temples like the Capitolium, and the thermal baths with their beautiful mosaics.Your guide will also take you off the beaten path, showing you humble buildings like shops, bakeries and brothels, which offer a glimpse into the daily life of ordinary people. Look out for the ancient “fast food restaurant”, with its painted menu still visible, and the laundrette where workers would have used urine as a detergent…For a memorable day trip from Rome, join an expert guide in Ostia Antica for a stroll down cobbled streets, mesmerizing ruins, and a journey back in time.

$370.71 Day Trips & Excursions

Private Half-Day Tour: Ruins of Ostia Antica from Rome

The best alternative to Pompeii? Without a doubt, that is Ostia Antica – a fascinating Ancient Roman port town close to Rome. While Pompeii was destroyed, Ostia Antica fell into a slow decline, which means that many of its buildings are in a remarkable state of preservation. In the company of an expert guide, you’ll get to explore this atmospheric archaeological site in-depth, enjoying the unique opportunity to visit an important historical attraction without any crowds.You will be met at a central location in Rome, and then travel to Ostia Antica, which is just half an hour away. There are no queues, and entrance to Ostia Antica is included in the price of the tour. There you will begin your 4 hour private tour of Ostia Antica, entering the town via the ancient cemetery on its outskirts, and then enjoy a stroll down its shady, cobbled streets.Ostia Antica today is a peaceful archaeological site full of greenery – some ancient villas are overgrown with trees and plants, while umbrella pines line the streets. But as you’ll discover on your in-depth private tour, Ostia Antica was once a bustling port town, with a population of 100,000 people and an active harbor. The sheer size of the archaeological site, as well as remains such as mosaic signposts for shipping companies, are proof of its former prosperity. But over the centuries it fell into decline – the last residents were wealthy Romans who used Ostia Antica as their country retreat – and by the 9th century the town was deserted.As you walk through Ostia Antica you’ll get to visit some of its most important buildings, including the famous theater (still in use today), and its numerous temples and thermal baths. There are countless places to explore, from mysterious pagan temples to the remains of bakeries and brothels, and even an ancient “fast food restaurant”, where you can still see the menu!Ostia Antica is the perfect day trip from Rome, and is best experienced on a private tour with an expert guide, who will take you off the beaten path to show you the hidden gems.

$149.44 Day Trips & Excursions

Relive the Ancient Ostia: Private Half-Day Tour from Rome

Get picked up from your centrally-located accommodation in Rome and transferred to the excavations at Ostia Antica, not far from the city of Rome, to relive the glory of ancient Rome with us on a guided visit to this former harbor town.Let your imagination wander as you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. The ruins of this once bustling Roman harbor town reveal no sign of the modern world, so you’ll have a truly immersive experience. Walk the main street, the Decumanus Maximus, while your tour guide regales you with fascinating stories of the past. The Roman statues lining the walkways are in such perfect condition you’ll feel as though you are walking among the ancient Romans themselves. You’ll even be enticed to take a dip in the Baths of Neptune, which are crowned by an impressively intact mosaic of the sea god being drawn by a four horse chariot.And if you are a theater fan, you will be astounded by Ancient Ostia’s amphitheater. Take your place in the stands as 3,500 ancient Roman spectators once did back in 12 BC when it was first constructed. Then feel free to relax for a moment with a friend on the communal forica - or toilets - just as the Romans did!Don’t miss the chance to experience the 'better Pompeii,' the tour of Ancient Ostia.

$55.61 Cultural & Theme Tours

Ancient Ostia half day small group

It's very easy to get to the meeting point, from Rome to Ostia Antica is a 40 minutes combination of metro/train ride (costs only metro ticket for each way): • take the Metro line B to the Piramide Stop (wich is part of Roma Porta San Paolo train station) • Follow the signs to Lido. Trains leave every 15 minutes (no need to stamp your Metro ticket again, but keep it handy in case it's checked) • Get off at Ostia Antica • Leaving the train station, walk over the blue skybridge, head straight down via della Stazione di Ostia Antica, continuing straight to the entrance of the site on the left. • Ticket office is straight after the large parking lot for the site. • Find your guide waiting for you for the check-in, holding a sign of Travel Guide in Rome. The tour will last for about 3 hours, with a relaxing breack in the area of the Forum. At the end of the tour, you can choose to go back to Rome and enjoy the free afternoon or take the train to Ostia Lido for a lunch by the sea.

Ostia Antica in detail