The best museums and galleries in Rome to visit?

The Vatican Museums and other major highlights for the first time visitor to Rome


 Vatican Museum Exit

Top choice for art in Rome: Vatican Museums

 

On this page

The Vatican Museums might be at the top of many people's list when thinking of the best museums and galleries in Rome, but other popular options are the Villa Borghese Gallery the National Museum of Rome and the Capitoline Museum amongst others.


Our other pages give you more detailed information on how to obtain tickets to such places as the Vatican Museums and the National Museum of Rome. This page will give you an overview of the essential - and to many people the 'best' - museums and art galleries in Rome.

 

Roma Pass and tickets for Rome's museums and galleries

Nearly all Museums & Galleries charge for admission. Many are run by the state and appear on the Roma Pass scheme which may be worthwhile if you want to make museums and galleries a major part of your visit to Rome.

 

The most popular ones like those listed here on this page can have significant queues and it is worth buying tickets in advance where available on-line. Indeed, for the Villa Borghese Gallery, it may not have tickets available for a day or two if you just turn up at the door.

Roma Pass - more details


Free access to churches with art

It's worthwhile remembering also that many of the churches in Rome have top quality paintings and sculpture and are for the most part are free to enter.

Many museums and galleries may be closed or have shorter opening hours on a Monday; the Vatican Museums are closed on a Sunday.

 

Vatican Museums

For the first time visitor the Vatican Museums will probably be on your itinerary even if you are only on a day tour of Rome. As well as a vast complex of museums full of art pieces from across the centuries, the Vatican is of course home to the world famous Sistine Chapel and the works of Michelangelo.

 

We have a dedicated page to the Vatican Museums within our Vatican section.


The queues, especially in the morning are legendary and it is very worthwhile purchasing an advance ticket or a skip the line tour that may well save you an hour or longer waiting in line to purchase your ticket - before joining the queue to go through security.

Vatican Museum - more details

 

Villa Borghese Gallery Rome

Art by Titian and Rubens: Villa Borghese Gallery

Villa Borghese Gallery

A small museum with a big reputation. If you have an interest in art this is a place to try and make even if you are only in town a couple of days. Buy your tickets in advance on-line or you will be almost certainly disappointed if you just turn up on the day.

The ground floor displays ancient Greek and Roman sculpture as well as Bernini masterpieces. Upstairs are paintings by Titian and Rubens among others.

Villa Borghese Gallery - more details

 

Museo Nazionale Romano

The National Museum of Rome is in fact four separate museums covered by a single ticket.

 

Just steps from the Termini train, metro and bus station are two of the four Museo Nazionale Romano museums. Palazzo Massimo has a great collection of frescos with early Roman statues (the boxer, the discus thrower etc).


Statues At Palazzo Massimo Rome

Early Roman statues: Palazzo Massimo

Virtually next door is the Baths of Diocletian the largest of Roman baths and for a bonus you have the Michelangelo built Santa Maria degi Angeli church which the early Christians built over the site of the baths.


The Palazzo Altemps branch of the Museo Nazionale Romano has sculptures and other ancient art installed in the frescoed rooms of a 16th-century palace close to Piazza Navona, in the north west of the ancient city.


The Crypta Balbi is a city-block of the historic centre of Rome that is probably the least impressive and visited of the four and is found just off the Piazza Venezzia in the centre of Rome where the Capitoline Museum is located.

Museo Nazionale Romano - official website

 

Capitoline Museums

Capitoline Museum (Palazzo Nuevo)

World's oldest museums: Capitoline Museums (Palazzo Nuevo)

The Capitoline museums lay claim to being the world's oldest national museums founded in 1471.


The Capitoline Museums are made of two buildings facing each other on the impressive Piazza del Campidoglio in the centre of Rome on Capitol hill overlooking the Roman Forum.

 

The collections are closely linked to the city of Rome, and most of the exhibits come from the city itself and dominated by sculptures including the highlight for many the "She Wolf” the symbol most associated with Rome.

Capitoline Museum - more details

 

Doria Pamphilj Gallery

Housed in four wings that line the palace's courtyard, the picture gallery contains 550 paintings, including three by Caravaggio. The palace is situated along Via del Corso, just to the north of Piazza Venezia at the centre of Rome. The oldest parts of the palace go back to the fifteenth century.

 

Most of the great names of the Renaissance period are to be found on the walls.

Doria Pamphilj Gallery - official website


Popular tours & tickets in Rome

Vatican Museums tours & fast track tickets

Vatican Museums fast track tickets    €30

Fast track admission to Vatican Museum

Vatican Museums fast track tickets + audio guide    €38

Fast track admission to Vatican Museum with audio guide

Vatican Museums fast track tickets + early entrance    €49

Fast track admission to Vatican Museum before public opening

Vatican Museums fast track tickets with guided tour    €62

Fast track admission to Vatican Museum before public opening

Vatican Museums fast track access with coach transfers   €66

Tour in English plus hotel pickups

Vatican Museums private tours with fast track access    prices vary on numbers

Your own personal guide for your own group of 1 to 9 people

St Peter's Basilica tours & fast track tickets

St Peter's Basilica fastrack with audio guide    €15

Fast track access to St Peter's together with audio guide in choice of languages

St Peter's Basilica & Cupola fastrack plus guided tour    €46

Small group tour including visit to Cupola (Dome)

St Peter's & Vatican Museums combined tours

Vatican Museums + St Peter's (with fast track access) tour 1    from €38 (+€23 admissions)

Guided 3 hour walking tour with fast track access + early/evening entrance options

Vatican Museums + St Peter's (with fast track access) tour 2    from €64

Guided 3 hour walking tour with Fast Track Access + early/evening entrance options

The Vatican in 1 Day - most comprehensive tour    €93.50

Visiting Vatican Museums, St Peter's & Basilicas inc Saint John Lateran

Other Vatican tours

Audience with The Pope    €28

Attending Wednesday audience with transfers

Vatican Gardens Tour    €41

Includes admission to Vatican Museums

Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

Colosseum & Roman Forum fast track tickets    €16

2 Day fast track admission ticket to: Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Colosseum & Roman Forum Walking Tour    €42

Fast Track Admission & 3 Hour Guided Tour

Colosseum & Roman Forum Walking Tour    €54 or €104 Special Access Tour

Fast Track Admission & Guided Tour (Max 25 people)

Colosseum & Roman Forum with special access to Underground Chambers    €104

Fast Track Admission & 3.5 Hour guided tour with special access

Colosseum and Ancient Rome in Virtual Reality    €89

3 hour small group tour of max 6 participants

Colosseum & Roman Forum (Segway Tour)    €75

3 hour tour by Segway machine

Walking tours (Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trevi...)

Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon,Trevi    €45

3 hour walking tour with admissions. Afternoon tour

Spanish Steps, Pantheon,Trevi,Navona    €39

3 hour afternoon walking tour

Villa Borghese Gallery

Villa Borghese Fast Track Tickets    €23.50

Fast track admission ticket for a 2 hour slot

Villa Borghese & Gardens    €59

2 hour tour of gallery + 1 hour gardens tour

Other popular City of Rome tours

Dan Brown 'Angels & Demons' Tour    €56

4 hr walking tour inspired by the Dan Brown novel

Best of Rome Coach Tour    €41/€99

Half or Full Day coach tour of main sights

Roman Gladiator Lesson     from €55

2 hour lesson in becoming a Roman Gladiator

Night Tours of Rome    €30/€47

Choice - walking or coach tour of Rome by night

Private car & driver

4 hour customised Rome tour    €198-€273

Price per Mercedes vehicle (1 to 8 passengers)

8 hour customised Rome tour    €353-€468

Price per Mercedes vehicle (1 to 8 passengers)


Tours From Rome

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