Pinterest Hidden Image Pinterest Hidden Image

12 Best Museums In Rome

Rome, the Eternal City, is a treasure trove of art and history waiting to be explored. With an abundance of great museums and art galleries showcasing masterpieces from ancient times to modern day, there's no shortage of awe-inspiring experiences for travelers soaking in Rome's rich cultural heritage.

In this blog post, we've curated a list of the best museums in Rome that are sure to leave you breathless and inspired.

1. Capitoline Museums

Capitoline Museums in Rome

Nestled in the heart of Rome's majestic Piazza del Campidoglio, the Capitoline Museums are an essential destination for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in ancient history and art.

Established as the main civic museum in the city of Rome, this museum complex contains multiple buildings that offer a mesmerizing array of statues, sculptures, frescoes, and archaeological artifacts from Greek and Roman times.

As you explore the centuries-old Palazzo dei Conservatori – the historical seat of the Capitoline Museums – prepare to be enchanted by its vast collection of ancient art. Marvel at iconic famous works like Bernini’s Medusa sculpture or Caravaggio’s "The Gypsy Fortune Teller." The museums also house some famous bronze masterpieces such as Marcus Aurelius on Horseback and the Equestrian Statue of Constantine.

In addition to their rich artistic offerings, visiting the Capitoline Museums allows you to support important conservational initiatives undertaken by local experts who strive tirelessly for preserving these invaluable relics of ancient civilizations.

Contact:

Address: Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

Phone: +39 06 0608

Discover the Best Hotels In Rome

2. Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums are an absolute must-visit when in Rome. Home to some of the most iconic artworks in history, including the famous Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo, this top museum in Rome is a true masterpiece in itself.

The art collection here covers an astounding 9 miles and includes over 70,000 exhibits. Aside from the breathtaking frescoes and sculptures on display, there's also a wealth of history waiting to be discovered at the Vatican Museums.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration or simply curious about one of the world's most famous museums, visiting the Vatican Museums will leave you feeling enriched and awed by what human beings can achieve through creativity and imagination alone.

3. Castel Sant'Angelo Museum

Castel Sant'Angelo Museum

Castel Sant'Angelo is a magnificent museum in Rome that tells the story of Rome its ever-changing fortunes. The building was built as a mausoleum by Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century and has been transformed into a State Museum featuring six layers that include the burial chamber, papal apartments, and beautiful terraces.

Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of Rome from different points on its terrace where they will be delighted to see statues of angels topping off each corner. The castle played an important role in several historical events such as during its use as a military fortress against besieging forces in ancient times.

Today, Castel Sant'Angelo stands tall among other museums in Rome boasting an unparalleled collection of art, artifacts, and architecture.

Contact:

Address: Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma RM, Italy

Phone: +39 06 681 9111

4. National Roman Museum

National Roman Museum

The National Roman Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves ancient Greco-Roman art. As one of the most renowned art museums in the world, it offers an unparalleled glimpse into the rich history and culture of Rome.

Located in central Rome, this museum is just one part of the larger Museo Nationale Romano that includes Palazzo Massimo alle Terme and Palazzo Altemps. Visitors can explore numerous exhibits focusing on both everyday life as well as significant events from ancient Roman times.

Whether you're a seasoned traveler or someone visiting Rome for the first time, you won't want to miss the opportunity to explore all that the National Roman Museum has to offer.

Contact:

Address: Viale Enrico de Nicola, 78, 00185 Roma RM, Italy

Phone: +39 06 480201

Discover the Top Bars In Rome

Best Flights To Rome

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Rome. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Rome.

5. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj Museum

Palazzo Doria Pamphilj Museum

The Palazzo Doria Pamphilj Museum is a beautiful and historic destination for travelers visiting Rome. This hidden gem houses the largest private art collection in the city, assembled by several prominent Italian families.

Located on Via del Corso in a lavish Roman-Rococo palace, the museum provides a unique opportunity to see works of art displayed in their original location. The walls and ceilings are adorned with frescoes and tapestries that add to the grandeur of this stunning venue.

Contact:

Address: Via del Corso, 305, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

Phone: +39 06 679 7323

The Best Travelers Guide To Italy Pin

The Budget Traveler's Guide to Italy

Don't let expensive travel costs hold you back from exploring the beauty of Italy. With "The Budget Traveler's Guide to Italy," you'll discover insider tips and tricks to help you save money while experiencing the best Italy has to offer. Start planning your affordable Italian adventure today and make unforgettable memories without breaking the bank.

6. Villa Farnesina Museum

Villa Farnesina Museum

The Villa Farnesina Museum is a hidden gem in Rome, perfect for travelers looking for something off the beaten path.

What makes Villa Farnesina unique is that it is often overlooked by tourists, making it one of Rome its best-kept secrets. Despite its lesser-known status, it houses an exceptional collection of paintings, sculptures, and antiquities that are sure to captivate any traveler interested in art history.

The museum also features an elegant seventeenth-century villa that transports visitors back in time with stunning details such as intricate old-world chandeliers and ornate furnishings.

Contact:

Address: Via della Lungara, 230, 00165 Roma RM, Italy

Phone: +39 06 6802 7268

Booking.com

7. MAXXI Museum

MAXXI Museum

MAXXI Museum is one of Rome's most modern museums, and it offers a unique experience for art lovers looking for contemporary works. It is Italy's first national public museum of contemporary arts and is managed by the Italian ministry.

A must-visit destination on your trip to Rome, this museum boasts two museums in one with exhibits dedicated solely to architecture and contemporary art.

Inside the MAXXI Museum, you'll find rotating exhibits showcasing everything from painting and sculpture to digital installations. The building's design allows natural light to filter through its walls while galleries are built around large atriums giving a feeling of space so you can comfortably explore at your own pace.

Contact:

Address: Via Guido Reni, 4a, 00196 Roma RM, Italy

Phone: +39 06 320 1954

Discover the Top Spas In Rome

8. Galleria Borghese

Galleria Borghese Museum in Rome

At the Galleria Borghese Museum in Rome, one should expect an intimate experience viewing masterpieces by some of Italy's greatest artists—sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (such as his "David" statue), along with paintings such as Caravaggio’s stunningly realistic “Boy with Basket of Fruit” masterpiece which depicts fruit scattered across a table offering viewers heaping realism found during everyday life during this period – making it highly relatable even centuries later!

To visit Galleria Borghese on your trip through Italy's capital city without having booked tickets beforehand would spell certain disappointment since it has become increasingly popular since being ranked consistently on top lists among the best museums worldwide for years now.

Contact:

Address: Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5, 00197 Roma RM, Italy

Phone: +39 06 841 3979

9. National Etruscan Museum

National Etruscan Museum in Rome

The National Etruscan Museum in Rome is a must-visit for anyone interested in ancient civilizations. This museum is home to an impressive collection of artifacts and sculptures that offer insight into the unique culture of the Etruscans.

Located inside Villa Giulia, this museum is considered one of the best museums in Rome by Culture Trip. The National Etruscan Museum is also part of the National Museum of Rome, which includes other notable museums such as the National Roman Museum and Baths of Diocletian.

Contact:

Address: Piazzale di Villa Giulia 9, 00196 Roma RM, Italy

Phone: +39 06 322 6571

10. Museum Of Roman Civilization

Museum of Roman Civilization

The Museum of Roman Civilization is the place to visit in Rome for history enthusiasts traveling to Rome. As one of the largest museums in the city, it showcases artifacts and exhibits from ancient Rome its earliest days until its fall.

Visitors can expect to be impressed with displays within the museum such as a model of Ancient Rome, which spans three floors and provides an excellent representation of how the Eternal City looked around 400 AD.

While there may be more popular museums in Rome like the Vatican Museums or Galleria Borghese Museum - if you're looking for insightful historical context into every aspect of life in ancient Rome - then we recommend checking out this underrated treasure trove during your trip to Rome.

Contact:

Address: Piazza Giovanni Agnelli, 10, 00144 Roma RM, Italy

Phone: +39 06 0608

Best Flights To Rome

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Rome. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Rome.

11. Capuchin Crypt Museum

Capuchin Crypt Museum in Rome

The Capuchin Crypt Museum in Rome is a unique and eerie destination that's perfect for tourists looking to explore the history of Rome. This museum is part bone chapel and part art gallery, with five chapels containing the skeletons of past Capuchin friars.

Many people come to visit this museum because it offers an exciting and spooky experience that's different from anything else you'll find throughout Rome. One exhibit features a painting by Caravaggio titled Saint Francis, which makes visitors feel as though they've stepped into another world entirely.

Whether you're interested in ancient Roman times or just looking for something different during your trip to Rome, the Capuchin Crypt Museum should definitely be on your list of must-visit destinations.

Contact:

Address: Via Vittorio Veneto, 27, 00187 Roma RM, Italy

Phone: +39 06 8880 3695

Get The Ultimate Travel Planner Notion Template!

Notion travel planner countries page Pin

Discover the world with ease using the Ultimate Travel Planner for Notion, your all-in-one solution for crafting personalized itineraries, managing budgets, and ensuring you never forget a thing with our detailed packing checklists. Transform your travel experiences with our customizable template that not only helps you plan efficiently but also includes a travel journal feature to capture and cherish every memorable moment.

12. Galleria Nazionale D’Arte Moderna

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna is a must-visit site for art lovers traveling to Rome. Located within the beautiful Villa Borghese, this modern art gallery in Rome boasts an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna boasts an exceptional collection showcasing Italian modernism against international movements from impressionism until the mid-20th century when there was a significant shift towards abstract art and conceptualism.

What makes the National Gallery of Modern Art stand out from other museums in Rome is its unique approach to exhibiting modern art. The museum juxtaposes contemporary works with classical Roman sculptures, creating a captivating blend of old and new artistic styles that showcase the evolution of Italian art across different eras.

Recommended as one of the top museums to visit in Rome along with the Colosseum and Roman Forum/Palatine and Museo Nazionale Romano, the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea should be on every traveler's Rome itinerary.

Contact:

Address: Viale delle Belle Arti, 131, 00197 Roma RM, Italy

Phone: +39 06 322981

FAQ

Q: What is the most important museum in Rome?

A: When it comes to determining the most important museum in Rome, one cannot overlook the Vatican Museums. Situated within Vatican City, these museums are home to some of the world's most renowned masterpieces. From Michelangelo's iconic frescoes in the Sistine Chapel to the breathtaking Raphael Rooms, visitors are treated to a visual feast that spans centuries of artistic brilliance.

The Vatican Museums also house an extensive collection of ancient artifacts and sculptures from various civilizations. The Pio-Clementine Museum, for example, showcases exquisite Greek and Roman statues like Laocoön and Apollo Belvedere. Moreover, art enthusiasts can explore the Gallery of Maps with its stunning topographical depictions or delve into the mysteries of Egyptian mummies at the Gregorian Egyptian Museum.

Q: What are the 8 free museums in Rome?

A: Here are eight notable museums in Rome that have offered free admission in the past:

Vatican Museums (Vatican City): The Vatican Museums, including the iconic Sistine Chapel, offer free entry on the last Sunday of every month. However, note that this can result in large crowds.

Capitoline Museums: Located on Capitoline Hill, the Capitoline Museums offer free entry to their permanent collection, which showcases ancient Roman art and archaeological artifacts.

National Roman Museum (Palazzo Massimo alle Terme): This museum houses an extensive collection of Roman art, including sculptures, frescoes, and mosaics. Admission to the museum is free for EU citizens under the age of 18 and reduced or free for certain categories of visitors, such as students and teachers.

National Roman Museum (Crypta Balbi): Another branch of the National Roman Museum, the Crypta Balbi focuses on the archaeological remains of ancient Rome. It often offers free admission on special occasions or during cultural events.

National Roman Museum (Palazzo Altemps): This museum is known for its collection of classical sculptures and ancient artifacts. Similar to other branches of the National Roman Museum, it offers free entry to certain categories of visitors, such as EU citizens under 18.

National Roman Museum (Baths of Diocletian): Housed in the ancient Baths of Diocletian complex, this museum displays various archaeological finds and sculptures. As with other branches of the National Roman Museum, certain categories of visitors may enjoy free or reduced admission.

Museo dell'Ara Pacis: Dedicated to the Altar of Peace (Ara Pacis), this museum showcases ancient Roman art and architecture. It has offered free admission on specific occasions, such as the Night of Museums.

Museo di Roma in Trastevere: Located in the Trastevere neighborhood, this museum focuses on the history, culture, and art of Rome. It has offered free entry during certain events or on specific dates.

Q: What is the oldest museum in Rome?

A: The Capitoline Museums, also known as the Capitoline Hill Museums (Musei Capitolini), is considered one of the oldest museums in Rome. It holds the distinction of being the world's oldest public museum in continuous operation. The Capitoline Museums were established in 1471 when Pope Sixtus IV donated a collection of bronze statues to the people of Rome. Over the centuries, the collection expanded and additional buildings were added to house the growing collection. The museums are located on Capitoline Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome, and they showcase a vast array of ancient Roman art and artifacts.

Q: What is the dress code for museums in Italy?

A: It is important to note that most museums in Italy do not enforce a strict dress code, but it is advisable to dress respectfully and appropriately to show appreciation for the art and culture on display.

When planning your museum visit in Italy, it is recommended to opt for comfortable yet modest attire. While there may not be specific guidelines, it is best to avoid wearing beachwear or revealing clothing such as shorts, tank tops, or low-cut tops. Instead, choose lightweight fabrics and breathable clothing options suitable for exploring the exhibits without causing discomfort. Remember that Italian summers can be hot, so consider bringing a hat and sunscreen along with your respectful outfit.

Q: Which places provide the best museums in Rome for couples?

A: Rome offers a variety of museums that can provide an enjoyable experience for couples. Here are some museums in Rome that are often considered romantic or well-suited for couples:

Galleria Borghese: This art gallery is located in the beautiful Villa Borghese park and houses a remarkable collection of Renaissance and Baroque art. The intimate setting and exquisite artwork make it a popular choice for couples.

Villa Farnesina: A Renaissance villa adorned with stunning frescoes, Villa Farnesina offers a romantic atmosphere and an opportunity to appreciate the works of renowned artists such as Raphael and Sebastiano del Piombo.

Palazzo Doria Pamphilj: Situated along the Via del Corso, this grand palace houses a private art collection that includes masterpieces by Caravaggio, Raphael, and Velázquez. Strolling through the opulent rooms together can be a memorable experience.

MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts: If you and your partner are interested in contemporary art and architecture, MAXXI is worth a visit. Its striking modern design and thought-provoking exhibitions make it a unique and engaging destination.

Museo Nazionale Romano - Palazzo Massimo alle Terme: This museum houses an extensive collection of ancient Roman art and artifacts, including beautiful frescoes, statues, and mosaics. It provides a glimpse into the rich history of Rome and can spark interesting conversations for couples with a shared interest in archaeology and classical art.

Museo di Roma in Trastevere: Located in the picturesque Trastevere neighborhood, this museum explores the history and culture of Rome through various exhibits and multimedia installations. It offers a more intimate and immersive experience for couples interested in discovering the city's past.

Q: Which places provide the best museums in Rome for groups?

A: Rome has numerous museums that are ideal for group visits, offering a rich cultural experience and opportunities for group discussions. Here are some museums in Rome that are often well-suited for group visits:

Vatican Museums: The Vatican Museums house an extensive collection of art and historical artifacts, including the iconic Sistine Chapel. The vastness and diversity of the collections make it a great destination for group exploration and discussion.

Colosseum and Roman Forum: While not traditional museums, the Colosseum and Roman Forum provide immersive experiences into ancient Roman history. Group tours can enhance the understanding and appreciation of these iconic sites.

National Museum of Rome (Palazzo Massimo alle Terme): This museum offers a comprehensive collection of Roman art, including statues, frescoes, and mosaics. The variety of exhibits and the historical context they provide make it an interesting destination for groups.

National Museum of Rome (Palazzo Altemps): Housed in a Renaissance palace, this museum showcases an impressive collection of classical sculptures and artifacts. It allows groups to explore the artworks and discuss their historical and artistic significance.

Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo: Located in the imposing Castel Sant'Angelo, this museum traces the history of the building and features collections of ancient weapons, Renaissance art, and medieval artifacts. Group tours can delve into the castle's storied past.

Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (MACRO): MACRO focuses on contemporary art and hosts rotating exhibitions featuring works by Italian and international artists. It can be an excellent choice for groups interested in modern artistic expressions.

Recommended Hotels In Rome

Hotel Palazzo Manfredi suite

Hotel Palazzo Manfredi

Admire an outstanding view of the Coliseum over breakfast at the rooftop terrace at Hotel Palazzo Manfredi. Rooms here are spacious and offer free Wi-Fi and Sky TV.

J.K. Place Roma

J.K. Place Roma 

Offering stylish rooms with free WiFi, J.K. Place Roma is located in the heart of Rome with the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon each a 10-minute walkaway.

The Inn At The Roman Forum

The Inn At The Roman Forum

Located in the heart of ancient Rome, The Inn at the Roman Forum is within walking distance of the Coliseum and Roman Forum, and actually houses ruins inside the property.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO ROME

Book Your Hotel In Rome

You can book your hotel in Rome with Booking.com as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel, they also return the cheapest rates for accommodations like hostels, guesthouses and apartments.

Book Your Flight To Rome

Use Skyscanner to find cheap airline tickets to Rome. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Rental Car In Rome?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the great car rentals in Rome here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Rome?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Rome, here you will find all the answers to book your next airport transfer in Rome.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never visit Rome without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you go to Rome. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Rome:

Be sure to visit our Rome Travel Guide for even more travel tips.


More To Discover