Museums in Rome for cultured travelers

On this page of The Travel Bunny’s free Rome travel guide, we will cover the most important museums in Rome, which you should really visit on your upcoming Italy trip. You can also find a few niche museums should you wish to expand your knowledge while visiting Rome.

For each these museums in Rome, you should find:

  • the name of the Rome museum and a photo;
  • short descriptions of all museums in Rome;
  • visiting information including opening times, ticket prices, address and map location, telephone if available, and details on how to get to these museums in Rome using public transport.

barracco museum in rome
Museums in Rome: Barracco Museum (Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco). Left photo by Lalupa [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Barracco Museum (Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco)

The Barracco Museum is located in a charming palazzo and it houses a small collection of sculptures. Inside, you can admire Assyrian, Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek, and Roman artifacts. Its original Greek sculpture collection is surpassed only by the one in the Vatican Museums.

Inside the basement of the Barracco Museum, you can uncover walls, floors, a marble basin, and a grain grinder, plus what is left of some columns from the 4th century.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

The Barracco Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday. From October to May, it is open between 10.00 and 16.00. Closed on Mondays. And, from June to September it is open between 13.00 and 19.00.


Tickets

Admission is free of charge.

Barracco Museum
Address: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 168, 00186 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 46, 62, 64, 916 can get you to Barracco Museum.
Tel. +39 06 0608


capitoline museum in rome
Museums in Rome: Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini)

Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini)

The famous square was conceived by no other than Michelangelo. To get to it, travelers go up the slightly leaning staircase called Cordonata Capitolina, which the master himself created in the 16th century. Once at the top, not only does one find the majestic statue of Marcus Aurelius on his horse, but they also have a splendid view over the Eternal City.

The sides of this star-shaped square are covered by two palaces with identical facades, home to some of Rome’s most valuable artifacts: Palazzo Nuovo and Palazzo dei Conservatori.

The Capitoline Museums in Rome were open in these two buildings thanks to political reasons. These museums in Rome were inaugurated here in 1471 thanks to a donation made by Pope Sixtus IV, as a way to offer civil autonomy to Rome. You see, since Ancient Rome, the Capitol Hill was the religious center of the city and it stayed so till late in time. That is because Palazzo dei Conservatori was where the hated papal counselors took shelter from the public before the place became a museum.

Today, the Capitoline Museums in Rome house an incredible papal collection of art, from 4th-century sculptures to the revolutionary paintings of Caravaggio. Though this collection is smaller than the one from the Vatican, it’s no less valuable.


Palazzo Nuovo

As you enter the square, you will see Palazzo Nuovo to your left. In this Capitoline Museum, you will see mostly restored ancient sculptures, with the most valuable ones placed on the top floor.

What to see in Palazzo Nuovo

  • Capitoline Gaul or Dying Galatian. Probably the most famous piece in the entire collection, the Capitoline Gaul is thought to be a 1st-century Roman copy of a bronze Greek statue from the 3rd century BC. It is part of the collection acquired from the Villa Ludovisi.
  • Capitoline Venus. With a room dedicated just to her (Gabinetto della Venere), this marble statue is a copy of Praxiteles‘s 4th-century Aphrodite. The goddess is surprised coming out of a bath, trying to cover her nakedness with her hands.
  • Marforio. This colossal statue lying on its side is thought to come from the Forum of Augustus. A Renaissance sculptor added to it the attributes of Oceanus, the god of oceans, then placed him as a protector of the fountain in the marble-paved courtyard.
  • Mosaic with scenic masks. Used in decorating the floors of a Roman bath, this 2nd-century mosaic represents two masks used in the Greek theater. The illusion of perspective is created by using various shared colored marble squares.
  • Statue of Cupid and Psyche. Also a copy of Greek sculpture, this statue depicts the god of love embracing Psyche, the personification of the human soul.
  • Statue of Resting Satyr. Yet another copy of a 4th-century statue by Praxiteles. This marble mythical creature inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write his novel called The Marble Faun.

Walk down the stairs and enter the passage to visit Palazzo dei Conservatori. A part of these underground passages housed the Tabularium, the official records office of ancient Rome.


Palazzo dei Conservatori

What to see in Palazzo dei Conservatori

  • Bust of Medusa. With snakes for hair, this mythical creature is said to have turned to stone anyone who looked her in the eyes. This bust was sculpted in the 17th century by Bernini.
  • Capitoline She-wolf. Part of the initial donation of Pope Sixtus IV, this bronze she-wolf is probably the oldest symbol of Rome. The beast is shown on the prowl while protecting and feeding the twins Romulus and Remus at the same time.
  • Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. The original statue is kept inside Palazzo dei Conservatori, while its copy is exposed in the center of the Capitoline Stella.
  • Good Luck. One of the early works of Caravaggio, this painting is inspired by the daily life of the locals at the end of the 16th century. In this scene, a palm reader steals a ring from the hand of an unsuspecting young man who wishes to know his fortune.
  • Rape of the Sabines. This painting is said to represent the starting point of the baroque, in 1630. Pietro da Cortona abandons symmetry, creating a dynamic painting, with contorted human bodies.
  • Saint John the Baptist. Shocking through its carefree sensuality, Caravaggio’s painting led to an iconographic revolution at the beginning of the 1600s.
  • Fragments of the Colossal statue of Constantine. Huge parts of a supernatural body were discovered among the ruins of the Basilica of Constantine and Maxentius, in the Roman Forum.

Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

The Capitoline Museums in Rome are open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 09.30 and 19.30. Closed on Mondays.


Tickets

A full general admission ticket costs €15.00.

Reduced tickets cost €13.00 and are offered to all EU citizens.

Free access is provided to children under the age of 18 years with reduced mobility. Admission is also free of charge on the first Sunday of each month.

Capitoline Museums in Rome
Address: Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 64, 87, and 119 will take you to the nearby Piazza Venezia.
Tel. +39 06 0608


keats shelley memorial house rome
Museums in Rome: Keats-Shelley Memorial House. Bedroom window view over The Spanish Steps

Keats-Shelley Memorial House

Located in Piazza di Spagna, right by the Spanish Steps, this apartment is where the poet John Keats died in 1821. It was later turned into a small museum dedicated to romantic poets who also lived in Rome. Inside, you can find documents, letters, and copies of articles.

However, there are two objects that draw more attention than others: Keats’s mortuary mask and the painting Keats on his Deathbed. The latter was done by Joseph Severn, the friend who held the poet’s head when he drew his last breaths.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

The Keats-Shelley Memorial House is open from Monday to Friday, between 10.00 and 13.00, then between 14.00 and 18.00. On Saturdays, it is open between 11.00 and 14.00, then between 15.00 and 18.00. Closed on Sundays.


Tickets

A full general admission ticket costs €6.00.

Reduced tickets cost €5.00 and are offered to children under the age of 18 and seniors over 65 years.

Free access is provided to children under the age of 6.

Keats-Shelley Memorial House
Address: Piazza di Spagna, 26, 00187 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: You can take subway line A to get to the Spagna station.
Tel. +39 06 678 4235


little house of the owls rome museum
Museums in Rome: Little House of the Owls (Museo della Casina delle Civette). Photo by Ragusaibla [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Little House of the Owls (Museo della Casina delle Civette)

This house used to be the residence of Mussolini, back when he was prime minister. Today, however, it is a small museum with various ceramic decorations and beautiful stained glass, all with the owl motive. Hence the name of what is probably the querkiest of all museums in Rome.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

The Little House of the Owls in Rome is open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 09.00 and 19.00. Closed on Mondays.


Tickets

A full general admission ticket costs €6.00.

Reduced tickets cost €5.00 and are offered to visitors between 6 and 25 years of age.

Free access is provided to children under the age of 6.

Little House of the Owls
Address: Via Nomentana, 70, 00161 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Bus 62 will take you the closest to Casina delle Civette.
Tel. +39 06 0608


museum of napoleon rome
Museums in Rome: Museum of Napoleon (Museo Napoleonico) [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Museum of Napoleon (Museo Napoleonico)

Inside the Museo Napoleonico, travelers can find a collection of furniture, paintings, and art objects that once belonged to the members of the Bonaparte family.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

The Museum of Napoleon in Rome is open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 10.00 and 18.00. Closed on Mondays.


Tickets

Admission to the Museum of Napoleon is free of charge.

Museum of Napoleon
Address: Piazza di Ponte Umberto I, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 30, 70, 81, 87, 280, 492, 628 have stops close to the Museum of Napoleon.
Tel. +39 06 0608


museum of roman civilization rome
Museums in Rome: Museum of Roman Civilization (Museo della Civiltà Romana)

Museum of Roman Civilization (Museo della Civiltà Romana)

In the art deco temple of Karnak, there is the fascinating Museum of Roman Civilization. Its most impressive exhibit is that of 4th century Rome, on a scale of 1:250.

Inside the museum, one can also see old furniture and musical instruments.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


The Museum of Roman Civilization is closed indefinitely for renovations since 2019.

Museum of Roman Civilization
Address: Piazza Giovanni Agnelli, 10, 00144 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 73, 671, 767 have stops close to the Museum of Roman Civilization.
Tel. +39 06 0608


museum of rome in trastevere
Museums in Rome: Museum of Rome in Trastevere (Museo di Roma in Trastevere) in the monastery of Sant’Egidio

Museum of Rome in Trastevere (Museo di Roma in Trastevere)

The Museum of Rome in Trastevere is housed inside a restored monastery. Inside, visitors can find dioramas in full size or rooms and shops from Ancient Rome.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

The Museum of Rome in Trastevere is open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 10.00 and 20.00. Closed on Mondays.


Tickets

A full general admission ticket costs €9.50.

Reduced tickets cost €8.50 and are offered to visitors between 6 and 25 years of age.

Free access is provided to children under the age of 6.

Museum of Rome in Trastevere
Address: Piazza di S. Egidio, 1b, 00153 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 115 can drop you within walking distance of the Museum of Rome in Trastevere.
Tel. +39 06 0608


museum of the souls in purgatory rome
Museums in Rome: Museum of the Souls of Purgatory (Museo delle Anime del Purgatorio). Photo by Blackcat [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Museum of the Souls of Purgatory (Museo delle Anime del Purgatorio)

Inside the Gothic Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio, there is a frightening exhibit. Inside a glass case, one can see various proofs of the souls of the dead that are waiting in Purgatory to enter Paradise. Most of these proofs are handprints.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

The Museum of the Souls in Purgatory is open from Monday to Saturday, between 07.00 and 12.00, then between 16.00 and 19.30. Closed on Sundays.


Tickets

Admission is free of charge.

Museum of the Souls of Purgatory
Address: Lungotevere Prati, 12, 00193 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 70, 81, 87, 301, 492, and 913 can drop you within walking distance of the Museo delle Anime del Purgatorio.
Tel. +39 06 6880 6517


museo delle mura rome museum of the walls
Museums in Rome: Museum of the Walls (Museo delle Mura)

Museum of the Walls (Museo delle Mura)

In the Museo delle Mura, you can learn more about the Aurelian walls. Inside the San Sebastian Gate, the most impressive one left from the Walls, there are plans and models explaining the history of the walls.

Visitors can also walk on the restored parapets of the Aurelian Walls.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

The Museum of the Walls is open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 09.00 and 14.00. Closed on Mondays.


Tickets

Admission is free of charge.

Museum of the Walls
Address: Via di Porta San Sebastiano, 18, 00179 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 118 and 218 have stops near Museo delle Mura.
Tel. +39 06 0608


national museum of pasta rome
Museums in Rome: National Museum of Pasta (Museo Nazionale delle Paste Alimentari)

National Museum of Pasta (Museo Nazionale delle Paste Alimentari)

The Museo Nazionale delle Paste Alimentari proudly shows its visitors how pasta was invented in Italy in the 12th century. Visitors will also learn how to make dry pasta (pastasciutta) and how to cook pasta al dente for easier digestion.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


The National Museum of Pasta is closed indefinitely for renovations.

National Museum of Pasta
Address: Via Flaminia, 141, 00196 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 2, 19, and 982 have stops next to Museo Nazionale delle Paste Alimentari.
Tel. +39 06 699 1119


rome national museum of oriental art giuseppe tucci
Museums in Rome: National Museum of Oriental Art “Giuseppe Tucci” (Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale “Giuseppe Tucci”)

National Museum of Oriental Art “Giuseppe Tucci” (Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale “Giuseppe Tucci”)

This museum is home to a beautiful art collection covering both the Middle East and the Far East. Inside, visitors will feast their eyes with collections from Persian ceramics to Tibetan Paintings. A large section is reserved for Buddhist works brought from India, which show both Greek and Asian influences because Alexander the Great once conquered the area where Pakistan is today.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

The National Museum of Oriental Art “Giuseppe Tucci” is open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 08.00 and 19.00. Closed on Mondays.


Tickets

A full general admission ticket costs €10.00.

Reduced tickets cost €5.00 and are offered to EU citizens between 18 and 25 years of age.

Free access is provided to EU citizens under 18 years of age. Admission is also free of charge on the first Sunday of each month.

National Museum of Oriental Art “Giuseppe Tucci”
Address: Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 14, 00144 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 73, 714, and 791 have stops close to Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale “Giuseppe Tucci”.
Tel. +39 06 549521


palazzo altemps rome national museum
Museums in Rome: National Roman Museum (Museo Nazionale Romano)

National Roman Museum (Museo Nazionale Romano)

The National Roman Museum was founded in the year 1889. At first, it was just in one location, the Baths of Diocletian. However, because the collection grew over time, more space was necessary. Therefore, starting in 1998, the National Roman Museum has four locations: Baths of Diocletian, Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Altemps, and Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. Today, the National Roman Museum is one of the best museums in Rome.

Among the artifacts of the National Roman Museum, travelers can admire archaeological discoveries, antique art, and incredible mosaics.


Baths of Diocletian

The Baths of Diocletian were closed in 1981, but they were reopened in the year 2000. Since then, it houses an important epigraphic collection. It is also a space used for temporary exhibits of the National Roman Museum.

Baths of Diocletian
Address: Via del Viminale, 3/A, 00184 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 64, 70, 82, 85, 90, 170, and 590 have stops near Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. The subway station Termini is also within walking distance if you take the metro on line A or B.
Tel. +39 06 487 2120


Crypta Balbi

This 13th-century crypt is what remains of a Rome amphitheater. On the didactic panels inside these museum buildings, visitors can learn more about how Rome was built, layer upon layer. There are also some medieval frescoes that will catch your eye when you visit Crypta Balbi.

Crypta Balbi
Address: Via delle Botteghe Oscure, 31, 00186 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 30, 40, 46, 62, 64, 70. 81, and 87 stop close to Cypta Balbi.
Tel. +39 06 697 7671


Palazzo Altemps

Not far from Piazza Navona, Palazzo Altemps is a 16th-century palace built by Martino Longhi. Inside, one can discover the ancient sculptures that once belonged to the Altemps, Ludovisi, and Mattei families.

Palazzo Altemps
Address: Piazza di Sant’Apollinare, 46, 00186 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 30, 70, 81, 87, 492, and 628 have stops near Palazzo Altemps.
Tel. +39 06 684851


Palazzo Massimo alle Terme

Inside Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, one will see impressive ancient sculptures, frescoes, and mosaics. The ground floor houses statues from early Imperian Rome to the times of Emperor Augustus, next to some valuable Ancient Greek statues. On the first floor, there are artifacts split by domain, picturing Rome’s cultural, political, and economic life up to the 4th century. The second floor is filled with ancient mosaics and frescoes, while the basement is home to the numismatic collection.

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
Address: Largo di Villa Peretti, 2, 00185 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 64, 70, 82, 85, 90, 170, and 590 have stops near Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. The subway station Termini is also within walking distance if you take the metro on line A or B.
Tel. +39 06 480201


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

The National Roman Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 09.00 and 19.45. Closed on Mondays.


Tickets

A full general admission ticket to all locations costs €12.00.


castel sant angelo museum rome
Museums in Rome: Sant’Angelo Castle (Castel Sant’Angelo)

Sant’Angelo Castle (Castel Sant’Angelo)

Sant’Angelo Castle was at first a circular tomb that Emperor Hadrian had built for himself between123 and 139. In 271, Aurelian fortified it, as part of the city walls. Then, in 590, Pope Gregory I gave it its current name. St. Michael appeared to him in a vision to announce that the plague was over. This is also why there is a bronze statue of the archangel with a sword in the castle’s tower.

For 1,000 years, Castel Sant’Angelo was a Papal residence. Popes would use the viaduct from Vatican City to come to Sant’Angelo Castle and take refuge here in times of crisis or disease outbreaks. This is why inside travelers can visit Papal apartments, decorated with frescoes from the Renaissance period. Besides those, Castel Sant’Angelo also has an impressive collection of weapons and armors, from the times of the Etruscans all the way to the 1900s.

Outside, Ponte Sant’Angelo stretches across the Tiber. It was initially built by Hadrian between 133 and 134 to have access to his mausoleum. Then, in 1534, Pope Clement VII added to it the statues of St. Peter, by Lorenzetto, and St. Paul, by Paolo Romano. In 1688, Pope Clement IX hired Bernini to add the 10 angel statues representing the passions of Christ on Ponte Sant’Angelo.


Tickets, opening times, and other useful information


Opening times

Castel Sant’Angelo is open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 09.00 and 19.30. Closed on Mondays.


Tickets

A full general admission ticket costs €14.00.

Reduced tickets cost €7.00 and are offered to EU citizens with ages between 18 and 24 years.

Castel Sant’Angelo
Address: Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma RM, Italy | See on map
Public transport: Buses 23, 34, 49, 64, 87, 280, 492, 926, and 990 will drop you close to Castel Sant’Angelo.
Tel. +39 06 681 9111