Rome’s colorful history spans over 2,500 years and the city was once known as Europe’s powerhouse. Thus, it’s no wonder why the city is rich in culture, history, literature, and the arts. Because of Rome’s vast history, this gorgeous city is filled with interesting historical sites and museums. In fact, if you’re an art lover, you’ll surely be spoiled for choice given the vast number of art museums and galleries that are worth a visit in Rome. If your time in the city is limited, however, then here are the best museums to check out.
1. MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts
MAXXI, more popularly known as the National Museum of Art of the 21st Century is considered as Italy’s melting pot of contemporary and modern art. It’s the first ever Roman museum dedicated to contemporary art and is home to a vast collection that includes the works of world-famous contemporary artists in the likes of Kara Walker, Alighiero Boetti, William Kentridge, and Ed Ruscha. The magnificent building itself is an icon. It’s the masterpiece of world-renowned Iraqi architect, Zaha Hadid.
Price: Adults – € 12, Concessions – € 9
Disability Access: The museum is accessible for disabled visitors. Each floor is equipped with disable-friendly toilet facilities. There are wheelchairs at the Cloakroom for visitors who have limited mobility.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday – 11 AM to 7 PM, Saturday – 11 AM to 10 PM, Sunday – 11 AM to 7 PM. Closed on Mondays
Address: Via Guido Reni, 4/a, 00196 Roma RM
Tip – Make sure you keep your entrance tickets until you exit out of the building. Museum staffs may ask to see the tickets as you explore through the museum.
2. Vatican Museums
You can never leave Rome without visiting the Vatican Museums. In fact, you should allocate at least a day to check out this famous museum in Rome. It will take you to an exciting trip towards 20 centuries of astonishing collections of history and art in a hastening sequence of emotion that will surely leave you speechless. Some of the art collections that are on display are those art pieces collected by popes all throughout the centuries, which include several world-renowned Roman sculptures, along with significant masterpieces of the Renaissance art. As one of the most popular museums in the world, you can expect a long queue at the Vatican Museums so you better get your ticket in advance.
Price: Full entry ticket – € 17.00
Disability Access: The museum offer free entry for all disabled visitors. Guaranteed priority entry is given for all disabled visitors along with their companion. For those with limited mobility, the museum offer free use of wheelchair.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday – 9 AM to 6 PM. Final Entry is at 4 PM.
Address: Viale Vaticano, 00165 Roma RM, Italy
Where to Buy Tickets: Skip The Line Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica And Sistine Chapel
Tip – To save money, schedule your visit on a “free day”, which is every last Sunday of the month. But make sure you come early to skip the long queue.
3. Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, also known as the MACRO, is a museum that’s dedicated to showcasing the numerous national and international contemporary arts that were put together through an expressive mosaic of various languages. Designed by French Architect Odile Decq, the museum’s new building covers almost 4,350 square meters of space. It also includes a general public zone that consists of a terrace, bookshop, conference hall, restaurant, car park, bar, and a teaching area.
Price: Free Admission
Disability Access: The museum is accessible to disabled visitors and those who have limited mobility.
Opening Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday – 10 AM to 8 PM, Saturday – 10 AM to 10 PM, Closed on Mondays
Address: Via Nizza, 138, 00198 Roma RM
Tip – Visit this museum if you wanted to witness modern art exhibitions or if you want to simply enjoy a meal at the museum’s fancy restaurant or to grab a cup of coffee at the hyped bar.
4. National Roman Museum
The National Roman Museum comprises of four different museums scattered across the various places in the city. This group of museum was established in 1889 and was inaugurated after a year during Italy’s unification, with the goal of gathering antique collections from the 5th century BC until the 3rd century AD. The four museums that make up the National Roman Museum are the Thermal Baths Of Diocleziano, Palazzo Massimo, Crypta Balbi, and Palazzo Altemps.
Price: Entrance ticket – €5. The ticket includes access to all the four museums including Balbi Crypt, Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, and Baths of Diocletian. These are the venues of the National Roman Museum. European citizens from 18 to 25 years old can enter for free
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 9 AM to 7:45 PM. Closed on Mondays
Address: Viale Lincoln, 3, 00144 Roma RM, Italy
Tip – When visiting the area, make sure you check out the other attractions nearby, such as the Navona Square, a square used in the ancient times for sports competitions, etc.
5. Galleria Borghese Museum
The Borghese Gallery features a noteworthy art collection that dates back to the 15th and 18th century. It’s housed in a beautiful mansion known as the Villa Borghese. The mansion’s garden is also a popular attraction in Rome and is considered the third largest park in the city. Borghese Gallery also features an important part of collection that Cardinal Scipione Borghese has started around 1576 and 1633. Aside from being an avid collector of the work of Caravaggio, the cardinal is also a big fan of Bernini. Thus, the museum showcases an extensive collection of both of the famous artists’ works.
Price: €2 for all tickets
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 9 AM to 7 PM, No entry after 5 PM
Address: Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5, 00197 Roma RM
Where to Buy Tickets:Skip The Line Borghese Gallery And Gardens Walking
Tip – As one of the most popular museums in the world, the Borghese Gallery is extremely popular. Thus, booking your ticket in advance is necessary and only those that have prepaid ticket will be allowed in. To book your ticket, check out Skip The Line Borghese Gallery And Gardens Walking.
6. Capitoline Museums
Established in 1471, the Capitoline Museum is said to be the world’s oldest national museum. It consists of two buildings that are facing each within the Piazza del Campidoglio. The museum houses interesting sculptures and there are also art galleries at the second floor. Most of the collections in the museum are linked to Rome and most of the temporary exhibits came from the city itself.
Price: Adults – € 15, Concessions – €13
Disability Access: Free admission for visitors with disabilities and the carer. A wheelchair service is available for use by people with disabilities.
Opening Hours: Open daily except Mondays, from 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM
Address: Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma RM
Tip – Check out the popular rooftop restaurant that opens to the impressive views of the city.
So these are some of the best museums to check out in Rome. Aside from being home to some of the world’s best museums, Rome is also surrounded with beautiful attractions. The Rome City Pass allows you to explore the city’s top attractions by paying only one ticket. There are different passes for you to choose from depending on your needs and preferences. If you prefer to explore Rome on board a bus, then the Rome hop on hop off bus is what you should book. For a tour of The Colosseum, Rome’s most famous attraction, the Rome Colosseum Guided Tours is the best ticket to book.