Why is the Borghese Gallery a top attraction in Rome?
For many, the Borghese Gallery is a top attraction in Rome, and for good reason. It’s one of the best museums in Rome, in Italy even.
It’s the perfect place to admire the art of some world-famous artists like Bernini, Raphael, Canova and Caravaggio. And the fact that they limit the number of people means it’s a much calmer experience than many other Vatican attractions.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to visit Borghese Gallery.
- 1 What is the Borghese Gallery?
- 2 When is the best time to visit Borghese Gallery?
- 3 How to get to this top attraction in Rome?
- 4 Top masterpieces to see in the Borghese Gallery
- 5 Organise your Borghese Gallery visit: skip the line tickets
- 6 How much time can I spend visiting the gallery?
- 7 How to make the most of your Borghese Gallery visit?
- 8 Conclusion to the Borghese Gallery top attraction in Rome
What is the Borghese Gallery?
The Borghese Gallery is an art gallery and one of the best museums in Rome. Located in Villa Borghese, the museum houses some of the world’s most famous Roman, Renaissance and Baroque art.
The Borghese Gallery is a top attraction in Rome if you want to see the masterpieces of world-famous artists. It’s an art lover’s paradise.
When is the best time to visit Borghese Gallery?
If you’re able to be flexible with what time of year you visit Borghese Gallery, it’s definitely better to visit during low season. Low season in Rome is from mid-November to Easter, excluding Christmas and New Year.
During low season you’ll experience a lot less crowds throughout the city, and in the Borghese Gallery. And with less crowds you’ll be able to better enjoy the gallery. Even during low season though, it’s best to avoid weekends if you can, as weekends are always busy.
As for what time of day you visit, the Borghese Gallery has a clever timed reservation system which makes sure the gallery is never too crowded. However, this means you’ll need to reserve your spot ahead of your visit.
We recommend visiting at 9am, when the gallery opens. This is when the gallery is usually at its quietest. You’ll be able to enjoy and explore the gallery in peace, and afterwards take a stroll around the gardens, or even have a picnic.
How to get to this top attraction in Rome?
Or if you want to take the metro, the closest you can get is Barberini station, which is about a 25-minute walk away from the gallery. Or, after taking the metro to Barberini, you can hop on bus number 61 for two stops (5 minutes) and jump off at S. Palo Del Brasile. Then you just follow the signs for the Borghese Gallery.
Taking a taxi is also an option, but this is going to cost you a lot more. And with traffic, it might end up taking you longer!
Top masterpieces to see in the Borghese Gallery
The Borghese Gallery is packed with hundreds of masterpieces – even the building itself is a work of art. But there are several famous masterpieces that you definitely don’t want to miss.
Apollo and Daphne, Bernini
This life-sized Baroque marble sculpture depicts a story from Greek mythology. This sculpture shows Daphne transforming into a tree to escape the love of Apollo.
Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix, Canova
You don’t have to be an art-history buff to recognise this one. This sculpture shows the younger sister of Napoleon Bonaparte laying half naked on a day bed, portrayed as Venus, the goddess of love.
Boy with a basket of fruit, Caravaggio
This title of this famous painting is fairly self explanatory. The painting shows Caravaggio’s friend Mario Minniti, age 16, carrying a basket of fresh fruit.
Organise your Borghese Gallery visit: skip the line tickets
If you want to make sure Borghese Gallery visit goes as smoothly as possible, it’s worth buying skip the line tickets in advance.
Buying tickets online means you’ll have your set entrance time, and you won’t have to wait in line to buy tickets.
Tickets cost 20,50 for full tickets, or 14,50 for half tickets. Half tickets are for anyone aged 18-25 from the European Union. Children under 18 go free but have to pay 6 euro to reserve a ticket. Children under 4 years old don’t have to pay or reserve tickets.
How much time can I spend visiting the gallery?
To make sure the gallery doesn’t get too crowded, they only let a certain number of people in at a time. But this means every visitor also has a time limit.
From when you enter the gallery, you’ll have 2 hours to look around and see all the masterpieces. However, you can spend longer enjoying the villa gardens.
To avoid groups of people in the different rooms, we suggest touring the gallery backwards. Start with the upper floors and work your way down. Not many people see the gallery this way, so you might even find yourself completely alone in some of the rooms.
How to make the most of your Borghese Gallery visit?
Visiting the Borghese Gallery is an exciting experience, but it’s one that needs to be planned in advance. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit.
Consider a tour
If you want to learn about the history of this top attraction in Rome, it’s worth considering a Borghese Gallery tour. There are group tours that combine the gallery with some of the other best museums in Rome, so you can make the most of your Rome visit.
Or if you’d rather have a more personal experience, you can also hire a private tour guide to explain the art and history of the gallery and its masterpieces. Although it’s worth noting that this will be considerably more expensive.
The gallery also offers audio tours in different languages which are great value and have lots of information.
Is a Roma or Omnia Pass worth it?
NOTE – The Roma and Omnia Pass stopped both give you free or discounted entry to the Borghese Gallery. This advantage is not available anymore.
But they provide a travel card, which is particularly handy for getting to the Borghese Gallery.
We would recommend the Rome Tourist Card (check pass) which offer a discount of 20% on your Borghese Gallery tickets. However, this pass is only worth it if you plan on seeing lots of different attractions in Rome.
The Roma Pass costs 38,50 euro for 72 hours, or 28 euro for 48 hours. You can buy a Roma Pass here.
The Omnia Card is slightly more expensive at 113 euro for 72 hours, or 55 euro for 24 hours. You can buy the Omnia Card here.
The Rome Tourist Card will cost you €69,50 (without access to Vatican Museums). Add €32 if you want to get skip the line access to Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel.
Conclusion to the Borghese Gallery top attraction in Rome
The Borghese Gallery is a top attraction in Rome for art lovers. It’s packed with some of the most famous Baroque, Roman and Renaissance masterpieces in the world.
Visiting the gallery can be an incredible experience, but if you want to make the most of it we recommend planning your visit in advance.
If you’re visiting independently you’ll need to book your ticket in advance. But it’s also worth considering a tour if you want to learn about the different pieces of art and the gallery’s history.
Fanny, a skilled writer with a keen interest in art and culture, has been enchanted by the Borghese Gallery’s exquisite collection and its history. As a significant contributor to the Visit Borghese Gallery blog, she artfully shares insights and stories, bringing the gallery’s masterpieces and the lush gardens to life for readers around the world.