museums in rome

Museums in Rome: The Top 10 Museums and Galleries


Rome can be overwhelming. If you are there on a short city break, then you’ll be hard pressed to fit everything in. You can for example spend your whole Saturday in the Vatican, which leaves little room for anything else.  But there are some “must-sees” and “must-dos” that can help you hit off the best of Rome, even on a weekend break.

We are here help you navigate some of the museums in Rome, including art museums in Rome so you don’t miss out.  We’d suggest picking a few off this list and coupling with some of the attractions over on our Churches In Rome guide. Check out the descriptions below to decide if it is sculptures, art, coins or frescos you want to see, and get planning today!

Top 10 Museums in Rome

Pick a couple of these beauties to get your museum fix! You will see, it is not just all about Roman sculptures – from modern art to Egyptian mummies, there is something for everyone in Rome’s excellent collection of museums.

1.     Capitoline Museum in Rome

This museum is a must see if you want to tick off some art museums in Rome. Located on top of the Capitolini Hill, the museum is actually a group of museums looking out over the Piazza del Campidoglio, which was designed by Michelangelo.

The Capitoline Museum boasts an amazing collection of statues, jewels, art and historical artefacts. Four huge main buildings (Palazzos) house the collections, and you can access them by underground passageways.

  •   Where – Piazza del Campiglio, 1
  •   How – Metro to Colosseum, 10 minute walk. Hop On Hop Off Busses stop directly at the Capitoline Museum
  •   When – 9.00 am – 19:30pm
  •   How much – Included in Roma Pass. Otherwise, €11.50 for full fare, concessions available at €9.50
  •   Book your tickets online here
  •   Part of the free museums in Rome on Sunday scheme – first Sunday of the month
museums in rome Capitoline

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2.             Borghese Gallery, among the most beautiful Museums in Rome

Located in the stunning Villa Borghese gardens, the Borghese Galleries are well worth a visit. The villa itself, in which one of the best art museums in Rome is housed, is one of the best museums in Rome.

It boasts an amazing collection of art and sculptures spread across the villas 20 rooms. There are beautiful frescos on the ceilings, and Bernini’s work features prominently.

Once you have taken in the delights of the Borghese Museum, take a stroll through the Villa Borghese, which is an attraction in itself!

  •   Where – Piazzale Scipione Borghese 5, Piazzale Scipione Borghese 5
  •   How –  Metro line A, Spagna
  •   When
Monday Tuesday – Sunday Late night opens
Closed 9am – 7pm 7pm – 9pm Thursdays
  •   How much€13 for full fare, concessions available at €2 for under 25s
  •   Reservations are required online / Included in Roma Pass / More information here
  •   Part of the free museums in Rome on Sunday scheme – first Sunday of the month, however still requires a €2 reservation charge
museums in rome Borghese Gallery
borghese_gallery

3.             Leonardo Da Vinci Museum Rome

The Leonardo da Vinci Museum is a smaller museum and worth a visit if you are a Leonardo fan. Whilst not one of the traditional art museums in Rome, this museum can be checked off the list within a couple of hours.

Therefore, it is a good option if you are short on time but still want an art fix. With interactive exhibits showcasing da Vinci’s life, art and invention, it is a breath of fresh air when compared to a traditional museum

  •   Where – Via Conciliazione 19, Roma
  •   How –  Metro B to „Ottaviano“
  •   When – 9.00 am – 19:30pm
  •   How much – 2€ discount with Roma Pass. Otherwise, €12 adults, €10 concession
  •   Book your tickets here
  •   Part of the free museums in Rome on Sunday scheme – first Sunday of the month
museums in rome Da Vinci

4.             Jewish Museum Rome

This fascinating museum takes you through early Jewish life in Rome through to modern times. With an over 2000 year history in the Italian capital, the museum showcases the interesting blend of east and west developed over the centuries. With religious artefacts, art and reconstructions of Jewish life and culture, this museum will keep those with an interest in Jewish history entertained for hours.

  • Where – Via Catalana, 00186
  • How –  Bus lines 23, 63 and 280 stop at Lungotevere
  • When – Generally 10am to 5pm however with many exceptions. Check them out here
  • How much – 3€ discount with Roma Pass. Otherwise, €11 adults, €15 concession
  • Book your tickets here
  • or join the Jewish Quarter Walking Tour including Jewish Museum & Synagogue

5.             Vatican Museums in Rome

This guide would of course not be complete without a little section on the Vatican Museums! The Vatican museums feature prominently on any Rome museums map. We’ve a really detailed guide on the Vatican Museums here so recommend you take a look at all the great attractions included in the tickets.

Couple your visit with free entry to St Peters Basilica, visit the Sistine Chapel and spend literally hours looking at the magnificent art, sculptures and maps in the world famous museum.

  •   Where – Vatican City
  •   How –  Line A Ottaviano-S
  •   When – 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday
  •   How much17€ at the entrance, prebook for €17+4€ online. Concessions €8. Kids under 6 go free.
  •   Book your tickets here. We recommend strongly to book online in advance to avoid queues!
  •   Closed Sundays, however Part of the free museums in Rome on Sunday scheme – last Sunday of the month
  •   Not part of the Roma Pass, however check out the Omnia Card here
museums in rome Vatican
vatican_museums

6.             Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (MACRO)

One for those who love modern art. You might forget about this sort of thing when getting lost in the antiquities of Rome. But the MACRO is well worth a visit for a change of scene.

The main part of the museum is located in Salario, although there is an additional section in the Testaccio district. You can probably complete the museums three floors in about 3 hours – check out street art and contemporary photographs as well as paintings.

  •   Where – Via Nizza 138 Corner of Via Cagliari
  •   How –  Line B to Pyramide
  •   When – 10.30am –  19:30pm Tuesday to Sunday
  •   How much7.5€ at the entrance
  •   Book your tickets here
  • or join the VIP modern architecture tour to visit MAXXI & MACRO Museums Rome
museums in rome National Gallery of Modern Art

7.             National Etruscan Museum in Rome

This museum celebrates the culture and history of the Etruscan civilisation. Housed in a former papal villa, the museum takes you to the life and times of this pre-Roman civilisation.

It is here that you can check out the famous 6th century Sarcophagus of the Spouses. Inscriptions can be found going back as far as 700BC. This is certainly an interesting museum to explore in a few hours as many are unaware of the pre-Roman history of Italy.

  •   Where – Piazzale di Villa Giulia 9, Rome, Italy
  •   How –  Subway to Flaminio
  •   When – 09.00am –  20:00pm Tuesday to Sunday
  •   How much10€ at the entrance. Included in the Roma PASS
  •   Book your skip the line tickets here
  •   Free entry  first Sunday  of month
museums in rome National Etruscan Museum

8.             Palazzo Venezia Museum Rome

Housed in a former palace, the Museum boasts an interesting collection of all sorts of artefacts, paintings, jewels, and other precious pieces. Aside from the collections, visitors can expect to enjoy the interior of the palace itself.

Famously known as the place from which Mussolini gave his “Italian Empire” speech in the 1930s, the palace boasts fine collections of pottery and tapestry as well as beautiful gardens

  •   Where – Via Guido Reni 4A, 00196 .
  •   How –  Flaminio – Piazza del Popolo 20 minute walk
  •   When – 08.30am –  7.30pm Tuesday to Sunday
  •   How much10€ at the entrance . Included in the Roma PASS
  •   Book your tickets online here or through official website here
  •   Free entry  first Sunday of month from October to March
museums in rome Palazzo Venezia

9.             MAXXI, National Museum of 21st Century Arts

This modern art museum is a good alternative to the MACRO, and offers a great selection of Modern Art. The building itself, designed by Zaha Hadid, is worth looking at.

Inside, apart from the standard and rotating exhibitions, visitors can enjoy interactive workshops and performances. Definitely worth checking out for a couple of hours.

  •   Where – Via del Plebiscito.
  •   How –  Subway to Colesso, 10 min walk
  •   When – 11am – 7pm  (open late on Saturday)
  •   How much12€.  Included in the Roma Pass
  •   Book your tickets here
  •   Free entry  first Sunday  of month
museums in rome Serena_Repice@unsplash

10.          The 4 National Roman Museums in Rome

Spread across 4 buildings, the National Roman Museums are a real treat. For 18€, get entry to all 4, valid for 3 days. Check ticket price here. The buildings are open 9am to 19:45pm

National Museum of Rome Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, Baths of Diocletian and Crypta Balbi all make up this museum

In the Palazzo Massimo, check out an interesting collection here of mainly archaeological artefacts. There is also a mummy and some cool mosaics. Coin enthusiasts will also love checking out the coin section, which is one of the biggest in the country

Over to the Palazzo Altemps for some sculptures, including a selection of Eastern sculptures. The Baths of Diocletian are an interesting find, hosted in a beautiful building with hundreds of inscriptions. Finally, the Crypta Balbi boasts coins, frescoes and other items of ancient Roman heritage.

museums in rome Palazzo Massimo

Getting there

Palazzo Altemps:  Piazza Sant’Apollinare

  • Bus:  70, 81, 87,116T, 186, 492, 628

Palazzo Massimo:  Largo di Villa Peretti

  • Metro: Termini

Terme di Diocleziano:   Via Enrico de Nicola

  • Metro:  Termini

Crypta Balbi:  Via delle Botteghe Oscure

  • Bus: n.70, n.81, n.87, n.116, n.116T, n.186, n.492, n.628

Roma Pass to visit Museums in Rome for Free?

The Roma Pass offers dozens of benefits, which we have detailed here. Many of the museums in this guide offer free or discounted entry to those with the Roma Pass. We’ve highlighted them in the sections below.

A word of caution – make sure the pass is worth it before you purchase it. For example, many of Rome’s museums offer free entry to children, under 18s, students, teachers, the list of exemptions can be endless. Do you research first to ensure you are getting the best deal before you buy. And try to make use of the first Sunday in the month if possible – many of Rome’s museums are free to enter on this day!

Check Roma Pass prices here.

Rome Museums Map

Check out this handy map of all the Roman museums mentioned in this guide here 

Some more Museums in Rome that are worth visiting

If this guide doesn’t cover the big hitting museums never fear – here is a list below of many other museums in Rome that you might want to check out!

We’ve included links to each website below. Check them out for the latest ticket prices, opening times and collection information.

National Museum of Ancient Art Rome

  • Tickets start from €5.50
  • Opening hours 8.30am to 18:00pm
  • Includes access to Palazzo Barberini (closed Mondays) and the Corsini Gallery (Closed Tuesdays)
  • Website – here

Hendrik Christian Andersen Museum Rome

  • Free entry
  • Opening Hours Tues-Sun 09.30-19.30pm.

Baracco Museum Rome, Italy

  • Free entry
  • Tue–Sun: 10 am – 16:00pm (last admission: 15:30 pm)
  • Website – here

Medici Museum Rome

  • Tues – Sun, 9:30 am-17:30 pm
  • 12€ (6€ with Roma Pass)
  • Website – here

Rome Natural History Museum

  • 7€ (concessions available)
  • Open 9:00am to 19:00pm
  • Website – here

MAAM Museum Rome

  • MAAM Museum is only open on Saturdays, from 10:30am
  • €2 entry  fee
  • Website – here

WAX Museum Rome

  • Open daily 09:00am to 21:00pm
  • Full fare 9€
  • €4 with the Rome City Pass
  • Ticket online here
  • Website – here

Rome Museum Colosseum

  • Opens 08:30am, but closing times vary through the year. Check them out here
  • €22 for full fare
  • Colosseum + Roman Forum & Palatine Hill skip the line tickets online here
  • Website – here

Gladiator Museum Rome

  • Open 10am to 19:00pm
  • 12€ for full fare
  • Free with Rom Pass
  • Book your ticket here
  • Website – here

Caravaggio Museum Rome

  • 9am to 18:00pm
  • Open until 21:00pm Saturday and Sunday
  • €12 entry
  • Website – here

Barberini Museum Rome

  • Regular tickets are €14
  • 10:00am to 19:00pm
  • Open to 21:00pm every first Thursday of the month
  • Book your ticket here
  • Website – here

Museum of Roman Legionary

  • Free Entry
  • Monday to Friday Monday to Friday, from 09.30 to 13.30pm
  • Website – here

FAQ – Museums in Rome

When are Museums free in Rome?

Museums in Rome are free of charge every first Sundays of the month.

Which Museums are free in Rome?

Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco

Museo delle Mura Villa di Massenzio

Museo della Repubblica Romana e della Memoria Garibaldina

Museo Napoleonico

Museo Carlo Bilotti

Museo Pietro Canonica

Museo di Casal de’ Pazzi Casa

Museo Mario Praz

H.C. Andersen Museum

Are Museums open on Sunday?

Most of the Museums in Rome are open on Sundays. Closing day is usually on Monday. But the Vatican Museums are closed every Sunday except the last of the month.

Conclusion on the best Museums in Rome

We hope this guide gives you enough information to help you plan your trip to some of the best museums in Rome. If you need more help with your plans, why not check out our hotel guide, or perhaps plan where you want to eat in Rome. Let us know what you decided to do and what your favourite museum was!

Another tip – if you plan to see loads of museums, it probably is best to explore one of the Roman city passes. The ROMA PASS or Omnia Card are probably your best bet. Check out our guides here