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“Unbelievable -- Better than all of Rome!”
Review of Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica
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Ancient Ostia Guided Tour for Kids and Families
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Present day site of sprawling ruins of a densely populated Roman city at the mouth of the river Tiber.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
91 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Unbelievable -- Better than all of Rome!”
Reviewed 2 June 2014

I cannot stress how great of a value a visit to Ostia Antica is. My husband and I went to Dublin, Rome, and Paris on this trip--and we both agreed Ostia Antica blew any other attractions out of the water. It's only 8 euro to get in if you are a non-EU resident adult. We easily spent 4 1/2 hours touring it and only saw about 60% of it during that time.

Transport: It's very easy to get to from Rome. (Note: if you will be using public transit in Rome, I HIGHLY recommend downloading "Rome Map offline-Your ultimate Italy Roma Pocket..." by Fun Ying Fong. Nothing else was comparable, and transport in Rome is extremely difficult to understand.) Just get off the train at the Ostia Antica stop. Use the pedestrian bridge to cross the road. Continue walking straight for about 4 minutes, cross a two lane road, and walk alongside a restaurant (straight) till you reach the site.

Logistics: Technically you are not allowed to eat or drink anything in the site, but we saw many people doing so anyway. To be fair, you really can't go this long without needing some water and food. If you will be consuming such, please do so away from the tiles and buildings and do not leave any trash. You will need sunscreen and extremely comfortable shoes (I was fine in well-supported ballet flats). The ground is mostly gravel/dirt, cobblestones. In some places it is a little overgrown, so maybe leave the dresses/short shorts at home (unless it's very hot). Dress in lightweight, removable layers for best comfort.

The site opens with the necropolis which I found to be utterly fascinating and spent entirely too much time in. Miraculously, the rest of the site is even cooler. There are mosaics, paintings, entire houses still standing--everything I ever dreamed of when thinking of Roman ruins. Wander EVERYWHERE. There's always something wonderful waiting to be discovered.

Visited May 2014
2 Thank Freemajo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Alpharetta, Georgia
Level Contributor
994 reviews
588 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,020 helpful votes
“Closer than Pompeii, and in some ways more interesting”
Reviewed 30 May 2014

An easy 45 minute metro and train ride for 3 euros round trip. Tickets are 8 euros and include the museum.

Ostia has large scale and requires a lot of walking on cobblestones and dirt. It is worth going to the cash ticket window to save a lot of time. There is good signage throughout the site with Italian and English, but we paid 10 euros for the more detailed guidebook (more information than most people would want but very complete). There are local guides inside the site and you need to check their fluency before hiring one. We passed on the guides and went at our own pace with the signs on site and supplemental guidebook. We also tagged onto the many guide groups at some spots. There are toilets and a decent cafeteria.

The site is at the Roman port of Ostia. At one time it was home to 60,000 people but became a ghost town as transportation evolved. Because this is a working town it shows a more complete and gritty view of Roman life than wealthier Pompeii.

We left our hotel in Rome at about 9:30, and got back to our starting metro stop at about 3:00. We elected to eat lunch when we returned to Rome. One could spend more or less time but we walked through most of the site. Some folks also continue South on the train to see the various beaches around Lido.

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Visited May 2014
4 Thank Trek-Always
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
29 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“an insight into real lives”
Reviewed 28 May 2014

After the bustle of Rome we used our Roma pass to take the train from Pyramide to Ostia Antica, which took about 40 minutes and gave us views of the countryside outside of the city. This is the site of the working port that served Rome for hundreds of years. Strolling amongst the ruins gives a brilliant insight into how a whole town worked, with shops, apartment buildings, theatres, temples and merchants guilds. There are some mosaics and wall art - perhaps not as many as Pompeii - but to balance this the whole site has more shade and when we went there were many spring flowers, butterflies and birds to balance this. Lovely and quiet - but do take walking shoes and insect repellent - a nasty reaction to insect bites reminded me that this was once a malarial swamp!

Visited May 2014
1 Thank RoisinMurray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springwood, Australia
Level Contributor
250 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Bucket list minus one.”
Reviewed 28 May 2014

For anyone even vaguely interested in Roman history this is a must. It is highly recommended to read about the site before you visit as the information displayed on site and available on the supplied map will leave you wondering what, if any, the fuss is about. There are a number of excellent sites on the web for this, one being the official site but information abounds. There are works available at the shop but this means reading while wandering on uneven paths. The historical site is user friendly in many ways, the cafeteria is very good and not much of a tourist trap at all, prices are quite good. Its also quite comfortable. There are only two toilets, one at the entrance and one at the cafeteria. With so many school groups accessing the site on a weekday, the cafeteria can have a long queue. My favourite building is No 28, the Thermopolium of Via di Diana, a tavern in as good repair as that in Pompeii. The site is extremely uneven so it is essential to wear sensible footwear and watch where you walk. A hat, sunscreen and umbrella are also essential depending on the weather. There is little shade. The museum is worth a visit with a number of well preserved stone sarcophagi. At a small cost, you can't go wrong. We spent 5 hours wandering and still didn't see all that we'd have liked. Had a great day.

Visited May 2014
2 Thank Ciaran-O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
178 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Read about it before you go.”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Take the advice of previous reviews. Walking Shoes, water, insect repellent and a sunhat. There is a toilet at the entrance. Over 65's get free with identification. Metro is Pyramide then you go upstairs to the station and trains run sometimes every 15 minutes.We had a Rome day ticket as we travelled to the seaside at Castel Fusano after Osti Antica and welcomed the cool breeze. The last stop on this line is not on your Rome ticket but I would recommend seeing the sea although you have to pay to get on the sand. It is a pity in a way that it is so extensive as I ran out of steam and I agree that pictures of what it might have looked like would help. If you had to choose between Ostia and Villa Adrianne in Tivoli I would choose Ostia as transport is much easier. The two sites are both Roman Ruins but they are different.Villa Adrianne was luxury and Ostia was a working town from my basic knowledge.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank McdonaldsLinlithgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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