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Museum in Rome - 15 Best Museums

Overview of 15 best museums and galleries in Rome Italy

Museum Rome

Rome is a city full of museums, such as the Vatican Museum, the Capitoline Museums and the Galleria Borghese. An overview of the 15 best museums in Rome Italy

The best museums in Rome Italy

In the ancient city of Rome you can find the most beautiful museums. It is therefore that when booking a trip to Rome it is always recommended to also visit a number of museums. In the museums of Rome Italy you can admire masterpieces from the Renaissance, modern art and archaeological artifacts from ancient Rome. Since the city has almost a hundred different museums, we have made a selection for you of the 15 best and most visited museums in Rome:

1. Vatican Museums

Vatican MuseumsEntrance of the Vatican Museums in Rome
Museum Vatican RomeThe Sistine Chapel as part of the Vatican Museum

The Vatican Museums were founded in the 16th century by Pope Julius II. He has opened part of his private collection to the public, which today allows you to visit the world's most impressive art collections. Pope Julius II also had the Sistine Chapel built and Michelangelo then painted the famous ceiling. The ceiling is still considered a timeless masterpiece today. Since then, the Vatican Museums have continued to grow and expand. Over time, countless works of art, artifacts and collections from popes and other sources have been added to the collection. This museum is definitely one of the most visited museums in Rome and due to its popularity it is necessary to temporarily book tickets for the Vatican Museums.

  • Address: Viala Vaticano
  • Tickets: Tickets Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel, from € 26.50 (book your Vatican tickets) (Important: the museum is unfortunately sold out quickly, so always book tickets online)

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2. Borghese Gallery

Museum RomeThe Borghese Gallery in Rome
Gallery RomeBeautiful Italian master in the museum in Rome

The Galleria Borghese was built in the 17th century and is now located in the Villa Borghese park. The Borghese Gallery was commissioned by the Italian Cardinal Scipione Borghese. This museum then served as a special place to store and exhibit his extensive private art collection. Nowadays you can find countless masterpieces by famous artists such as Bernini, Caravaggio and Raphael. Important: the museum is very popular, which is why you always should book your tickets online.

  • Address: Piazzale del Museo Borghese 5 Rome (In park Villa Borghese)
  • Tickets: Tickets Galleria Borghese, from 25 € (book your tickets) (Important: Galleria Borghese is often sold out days in advance, so always book tickets online)

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3. Capitoline Museums Rome

Museum RomeEntrance of the Capitoline Museums in Rome
Musei CapitoliniThe statue of the Dying Gaul in the Capitoline Museum

The Capitoline Museums were founded in 1471 by Pope Sixtus IV. These museums are located on the Piazza del Campidoglio, a square on the Capitol, one of the seven hills of Rome. You can go to these museums of Rome to learn more about the art, history and culture of Rome. The Capitoline Museums were one of the first public museums in the world to display ancient sculptures, inscriptions, coins and other historical artifacts from ancient Rome can admire.

  • Address: Piazza del Campidoglio 1 Rome
  • Tickets: Tickets Capitoline Museums, from €16 (book tickets online)

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4. National Roman Museum: Palazzo Massimo al Terme

rome museum passPalazzo Massimo alle Terme
Museo Nazionale RomanoStatues at Museo Nazionale Romano

The Palazzo Massimo al Terme opened in 1887 as a museum to house part of the collections of the National Roman Museum exhibit. The Roman museum is located in a late 19th century palace built between 1883 and 1887. The palace was designed by the architect Camillo Pistrucci on behalf of Prince Massimiliano Massimo. Later the palace was taken over by the Italian government to house the 'Museo Nazionale Romano: Palazzo Massimo al Terme'. Today visitors from all over the world can enjoy a wonderful collection of ancient works of art and artifacts from Rome's rich past.

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5. Colonna Gallery

palazzo colonna museum romePalazzo Colonna, unremarkable museum Rome
Galleria RomeBeautiful decorations in Galleria Colonna

The Galleria Colonna is located in the Palazzo Colonna, a historic palace in Rome. The palace was built and expanded over the course of several centuries. The oldest parts date back to the 14th century. The original part of the palace, or Galleria Colonna, was built in the 14th century by order of the Colonna family. In the Colonna Gallery you will find a rich collection of works of art, which is still owned by the Colonna family to this day. However, the palace can only be visited on Saturday mornings (book your tickets).

  • Address: Via della Pilotta 17, Rome
  • Opening hours: Only on Saturdays from 9:15 am – 1:15 pm
  • Tickets: Tickets Galleria Colonna, from 15 € (book your tickets)

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6. Galleria Doria Pamphilj

Galleria RomaThe impressive galleries of Doria Pamphilj
Museums in RomePaintings in museum Galleria Doria Pamphilj

The Galleria Doria Pamphilj is located in the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, a beautiful palace located in Rome Italy. The palace was built in the 16th century and has been rebuilt several times with various architectural additions and extensions. The Palazzo Doria Pamphilj was originally built as a private residence for the Doria family from Genoa. In the 17th century, the Pamphilj family took ownership of the palace and their name was added to the original name. In the Doria Pamphilj Gallery you will find an extensive art collection, including paintings, sculptures and works of art. This collection was collected by the Pamphilj family over several generations. You will find works by famous artists such as Caravaggio, Raphael and Velázquez.

  • Address: Via del Corso 305, Rome
  • Tickets: Tickets Galleria Doria Pamphilj, from 17 € (book your tickets)

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7. Villa Giulia: National Etruscan Museum Rome

The Villa Giulia, better known today as the National Etruscan Museum of Rome, was built between 1551 and 1553 by order of Pope Julius III. The building was originally intended as a summer palace for the Pope and was designed by the architect Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola. The villa is named after Pope Julius III. His birth name before he became pope was Giulio de' Medici. The elegant Renaissance-style building is located just outside Rome's ancient city walls, adjacent to the park Villa Borghese. In the 19th century, the villa was converted into the National Etruscan Museum of Rome. The museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts and works of art from the Etruscan civilization. As a visitor you can learn a lot about the culture and history of the Etruscans.

National Etruscan Museum RomeNational Etruscan Museum in Villa Giulia
Palazzo BarberiniThe entrance of Palazzo Barberini museum Rome

8. Palazzo Barberini

The Palazzo Barberini was built in the 17th century by the Barberini family. The palace was designed by the architects Carlo Maderno and Francesco Borromini and later on by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The palace was built as a residence for the Barberini family, an influential family in the papal and political circles. The Palazzo Barberini is known for its beautiful baroque architecture with a breathtaking interior. Today, the palace houses the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica. It is a national art gallery where you can admire an extensive collection of paintings and works of art, including works by famous artists such as Raphael and Caravaggio.

  • Address: Via delle Quattro Fontane 13, Roma
  • Tickets: Tickets Palazzo Barberini, from 14 € (book your tickets)

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9. National Roman Museum: Baths of Diocleziano

museum romeThe cloister tower of the museum 'Terme di Diocleziano'
Baths of DioclezianoRome Museum in the Baths of Diocleziano

Another branch of the Museo Nazionale Romano is housed in the former Baths of Diocletian in Rome. These thermae were built in the 3rd century AD under the leadership of Emperor Diocletian. It was one of the largest public baths in Rome and the thermal baths were used for bathing, sports and relaxation. The National Roman Museum and is located in the former areas of the thermal baths. In the museum of Rome you will find an extensive collection of antique art and artifacts from ancient Rome, such as various statues and mosaics.

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10. Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna

The Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, or National Museum of Modern Art, is located in the Palazzo delle Belle Arti. It is a beautiful palace that was built in the late 19th century. The gallery opened its doors as an art gallery in 1911. The Palazzo delle Belle Arti was designed by the architect Cesare Bazzani and construction started in 1883. It was originally built as an exhibition space for international art exhibitions and as a place for art training. The museum itself, the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, houses a unique collection of modern works of art. You can admire art ranging from the 19th to the 20th century.


11. Museum of the Imperial Forums

Museum of the Imperial ForumsThe Rome museum is located in Trajan's markets
Mercati di Traiano RomeThe Museum of the Imperial Forums in Mercati di Traiano

The Museo dei Fori Imperiali is also called the Museum of the Imperial Forums. The museum is located in the Mercati di Traiano complex in Rome. This Roman museum opened in 2007, but the complex itself dates back to Rome's ancient past. The Mercati di Traiano, or the Trajan's Markets, were built during the reign of Emperor Trajan, between 107 and 110 AD . This complex has served as a kind of shopping and administrative center and the property consisted of a series of buildings with shops and offices. The Museo dei Fori Imperiali is designed to teach visitors about the history of Rome's well-known emperors during the Roman Empire. The museum houses various artifacts and works of art. This way you will learn more about the ancient culture, art and history of Rome.

  • Address: Via IV November, 94, Rome (Next to Piazza Venezia)
  • Tickets: Tickets Museum of the Imperial Forums, from € 14.50 (book your tickets)

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12. Villa Farnesina

Villa Farnesina is a beautiful palace in Renaissance style. The palace was built between 1506 and 1511 by the prosperous merchant Agostino Chigi. The architect, Baldassare Peruzzi, was responsible for the design of the villa, Peruzzi was a well-known architect and artist. The villa is known for its elegant and classic look, especially for the frescoes made by famous artists such as Raphael. You can admire these frescoes on the interior walls and ceilings of the villa and, as it were, read a story about the old days.

Villa FarnesinaVilla Farnesina
Centrale Montemartini RomaRome Museum in a special location: Centrale Montemartini

13. Centrale Montemartini

The Centrale Montemartini is a unique museum location in Rome, built in a former power station. The power station was built in 1912 by the Italian engineer Giovanni Montemartini. The Centrale Montemartini was originally used as a thermal power plant to generate electricity for the city of Rome, but after many years of operation, the plant was decommissioned. In the 1990s, the building was converted into a museum space. In the museum of Rome you can now find part of the collection of the Capitoline Museums with numerous ancient sculptures.


14. Museo dell'Ara Pacis

Ara PacisThe museum building of Ara Pacis in Rome
Ara Pacis RomeAra Pacis Augustae, or the temple of peace

The Museo dell'Ara Pacis, also called the Museum of the Ara Pacis Augustae, was built in 2006 and designed by the famous architect Richard Meier. The purpose of this museum was to house and protect the Ara Pacis against various weather influences and other outside dangers. The Ara Pacis Augustae, or the Altar of the Peace of Augustus, is an important historical and artistic monument from ancient Rome. The 'Altar of Peace' was built between 13 and 9 BC in honor of the peace that Emperor Augustus had brought after the conflict period. The altar features reliefs of mythological and historical images.

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15. MAXXI - Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo

MAXXI - Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo is also known as the National Museum of 21st Century Art. The property opened to the public in 2010 and was designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid. The MAXXI is a modern art museum where you can admire contemporary art and architecture. The building can be considered a masterpiece. Indeed, it has an innovative design and it is divided into two sections: MAXXI Arte, which focuses on modern art, and MAXXI Architettura, which focuses on architecture.

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