History, art and cultureFamily friendlyTrip inspiration
Katie Sagal

Museums and Galleries in Rome

Rome is among the most significant artistic cities in the world. So it's no surprise it has outstanding museums and galleries. Rome has an impressive history of famous figures working in the fields of architecture, sculpture, painting, and drawing. Italy's artists are some of the best and biggest names in art history. Want to explore the art and architecture of Italy on your trip to the capital city? Check out a few of these museums and galleries in Rome. They’re consistently voted among the best cultural institutions in the city. Keep in mind that many of the biggest galleries and museums are incredibly busy and filled with visitors. Some, like the Galleria Borghese, require timed admission tickets purchased in advance. Keep this in mind when planning, and don’t count on being able to just pop into any museum that strikes your fancy. Remember also that photography may be prohibited or limited in certain galleries to protect the artwork. Be sure to follow the signs or ask a docent before snapping a photo. Finally, ticket lines can be absurdly long at some places like the Vatican Museums. Consider a Go Rome pass to enjoy Go Line privileges, or the ability to skip the main ticket line. Available at select locations, this extra benefit will save you a tremendous amount of time (and money!). See more on the Go Rome pass below. Here are our picks for the top museums and galleries in Rome, in alphabetical order:

  • Borghese Gallery
  • Capitoline Museums
  • Doria Pamphili Gallery
  • Mausoleum of Hadrian
  • National Gallery of Ancient art
  • And more!
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Save on Admission to Museums and Galleries in Rome

For visitors to Rome looking to explore museums and galleries, consider a Go Rome pass. You can save up to 47% on admission to a few of these top cultural attractions, as well as tours, food events, concerts, and more.

Borghese Gallery

Housed in the Villa Borghese, the Galleria Borghese is among the premier art institutions in the world. Their collections largely feature art from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries, with a specific focus on Caravaggio and Bernini as a result of their founder’s interest in both artists. However, you’ll find everything from classical antiquities to works by Botticelli here.

Capitoline Museums

These museums are among the oldest museums in the world. Pope Sixtus IV founded The Musei Capitolini in the late fifteenth century. The museums themselves are found in two buildings located on the Piazza del Campidoglio: the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Palazzo Nuovo. Among the treasures found at these museums are the Capitoline Wolf, works by Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Rubens, and Tiziano. Plus, busts of Greek and Roman philosophers.

Doria Pamphili Gallery

This gallery is one of the few in the city in private hands. It's a substantial art collection housed in the Palazzo Doria Pamphili. You’ll find paintings, statuary, and furniture. There are collection items created by figures like Carracci, Caravaggio, Raphael, Guercino, Algardi, and more. The contributions come from some of the biggest names and a few lesser-known figures as well. Therefore, it’s a well-rounded collection suitable for those looking to expand their exposure to Italian art history.

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Mausoleum of Hadrian

This museum is also known as the Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo. You’ll get to roam through the building’s history. Trace its path from mausoleum to military fortress to a modern-day museum. Most visitors report the panoramic views from the top to be the best place to see the city of Rome below.

National Gallery of Ancient Art

This is one of the most elegant and beautiful mansions in the entire city. The seventeenth-century Palazzo Barberini houses the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica. Visitors will appreciate not only the gorgeous palace itself but also the artworks within. There are pieces by all the masters such as El Greco, Raphael, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, and more.

National Gallery of Modern Art

The Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna has an impressive and well-curated collection, with over 5,000 sculptures, paintings, and other works of art. It features works of art from the neoclassical period to the 1960s. It has pieces by famous figures such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, Monet, and several more.

National Museum of Rome

The National Museum of Rome encompasses one of the best collections of art and artifacts in the country. There are four different buildings: Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, with preserved Roman frescos; Palazzo Altemps, with Greek and Roman sculptures; Baths of Diocletian, with additional holdings; and Crypta Balbi, which is host to a number of archaeological marvels.

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Sistine Chapel

Although it’s also a Catholic chapel in active use, the Sistine Chapel is most famous for its iconic ceiling fresco, “The Last Judgement,” done by none other than Michelangelo himself. You’ll also find frescos on the northern, southern, and eastern walls. These include more work by Michelangelo and other contributions from Botticelli, Perugino, Rosselli, and several more famous Renaissance artists.

Vatican Museums

Encompassing the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums also include some of the most significant works of art in the entire city. You’ll get to peer at everything from Ancient Egyptian artifacts to Roman sculptures and beyond. The Musei Vaticani collections have been amassed by centuries of papal contributions and represent one of the biggest and best archives of European art.

Welcome to Rome

This immersive museum experience is the ideal way to introduce yourself to the art, history, architecture, and culture of Rome. Welcome to Rome focuses on how Rome was built, the history of its big attractions, and how the city came to be the unique metropolis it is today. Visit on your first day before seeing anything else. It’s a great set-up for the rest of your trip.

Save on Admission to Museums and Galleries in Rome

For visitors to Rome looking to explore museums and galleries, consider a Go Rome pass. You’ll save up to 47% on admission to a few of these top cultural attractions, as well as tours, food events, concerts, and more.

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