If you happen to be in the historic capital city of Rome, you should definitely visit the Borghese Gallery (or Galleria Borghese in Italian). Keep in mind that it’s one of the most visited art galleries in Rome and therefore, there are often lines of people trying to get in. But don’t worry, I have some tricks on how to get your Galleria Borghese tickets fast!
I lived in Rome for over two years and during my time there I got the chance to learn a few tricks about how to avoid the lines around the famous attractions the city has to offer. As I like to say, don’t skip the attraction, skip the line!
The Borghese Gallery is a beautiful museum that is full of interesting paintings, bas-reliefs, mosaics and Borghese statues ranging from the 15th to 18th centuries.
Although some people believe the museum looks modest from the outside, don’t be fooled because the inside is as posh and dazzling as you can imagine! According to local legends, the building was specifically designed by the architect to look dull from the outside. Apparently this was done in order to dazzle the visitors by the beauty of the interior, rather than the exterior of the museum.
In addition to the beautiful interior design and architecture, the museum contains artwork by many famous artists. The museum’s collection includes floor statues such as Apollo and Daphne by Bernini and artwork by Caravaggio, Raphael and Sisto Badolocchio, just to name a few.
Please keep in mind that you will NOT be able to enter the Borghese Gallery if you don’t buy a ticket in advance!
Since the museum is well-known for its beauty and charm, it’s frequently visited by tourists. As a result, a strict limit of 360 visitors at a time has been instituted in order to allow all visitors to truly enjoy and engage with the museum. But trust me, you will definitely not regret your visit!
NOTE: Once you purchase your ticket, it will be valid for a 2-hour window of time in the museum. Once your 2 hours are up, you will not be allowed to stay any longer. As I mentioned above, the museum has a strict limit of 360 visitors at once.
You can also check the “highlights” section about Rome on my Instagram page, where I am showing you a bit of Galleria Borghese’s beauty! Oh, and don’t forget to follow me! 😉
If you would like to visit the museum, read along to find out how to avoid the craziness of buying tickets for the amazing Galleria Borghese:
Solution 1: Purchase the Tickets In Advance on Their Official Website
You will have to buy your Borghese museum tickets in advance before visiting. Here is a link to the official museum website (unfortunately, the website is only in Italian, so you will need to use Google Translate). Remember, you will not be allowed to enter without a pre-purchased ticket!
PRO TIP: In case you cannot find any tickets for your desired dates on the official website, there are still some chances you will find tickets on reseller websites for the same date and for the same price or a couple of euros more. I recommend checking here and here.
At the moment, a basic ticket to the museum costs 20€. However, if you would like a guided tour, the ticket is slightly more expensive (26.50€). If you are a EU citizen aged 18-25, the you will only need to pay 9€ for a basic ticket and 15.50€ for a guided tour. Visitors under the age of 18 can enter for free but they will still have to pay the 2€ booking fee for reserving a spot online. If you are under 18 the guided tour of the museum will cost 6.50€.
Please note that you will not be able to reserve a Borghese Gallery audio tour in advance. The audio tour costs an extra 6€. Since there is only a 0.5€ price difference between the audio tour and the guided tour, I would definitely recommend the guided version! During my visit to the museum I opted for a guided tour and this allowed me to interact more, ask questions and learn fun facts from my guide.
NOTE: Since tickets are frequently sold out, it’s wise to book them AT LEAST 2 weeks in advance.
During my last trip to Rome, I tried to book tickets to the Borghese museum only 1 week in advance but sadly all the tickets were sold out! Even in late April!
UPDATE: Sometimes you may be able to reserve last-minute Borghese tickets over the phone, but only in the case of cancellations that haven’t yet been updated on the official website.
PRICE: Standard tickets are 20€ (18€ + 2€ online reservation fee). The audio guide is 6€ (optional). Guided tour is 26.50€.
Solution 2: Book a Guided Tour on GetYourGuide
As I mentioned before, I wasn’t able to get a ticket from the official website during my last visit. However, when I checked the GetYourGuide website, I was happy to see that there were still a few slots available!
I am not completely sure how they do it, but I imagine they pre-reserve some spots to sell to their clients. The truth is that it didn’t really matter how they did it, I was simply happy to book my ticket and I really enjoyed the fantastic guided tour!
If you prefer to tour the museum on your own and not take a Borghese Gallery tour, here is the normal skip-the-line ticket. However, as I mentioned I personally recommend the guided tour. I would not have fully enjoyed and understood the artwork of geniuses like Caravaggio, Bernini and Raphael for example, without getting the subtle details from a passionate guide.
PRICE: 26€ for a basic skip-the-line ticket and 30€ for a guided tour.
Solution 3: Get Access with The Roma Pass
As I mentioned in my previous post that compares the passes in Rome, the Roma pass cost is 29€ for 48 hours or 39.50€ for 72 hours. It provides skip-the-line entrance to 2 different museums of your choice and unlimited transportation in the city. The pass offers access to the best museums in Rome and luckily, Galleria Borghese is on the list of free museums. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of such a great offer?
Even if you have a Roma pass, it’s important to book your spot in advance! In this case, you will not be required to pay the 2€ online reservation fee that is applicable to booking your Borghese Gallery tickets online.
So, how can you reserve a spot with the Roma pass?
It’s simple: either by emailing or calling the museum!
If you decide to call (+39 06 32810 – no worries, they speak English. You could also ask someone from the frontdesk of your hotel to call if you don’t have a local sim card). Make sure to keep your pass close by as they will ask for the number written on it.
If you decide to email ([email protected]), this may be a simpler method since you will not have to calculate time zones and working hours. You can also include your phone number in your email in case of any changes. Confirmations usually arrive within 3 working days.
PRICE: Free admission to the museum with a Roma Pass. The pass is 29€ for 48 hours and 39.5€ for 72 hours.
Solution 4: Get Tickets from the Resellers at the Museum (Overpriced and Not Recommended)
If you were unable to reserve your ticket in advance or if you only have a certain day to visit the museum, you may be able to gain access without a reservation!
Now, how can you do this?
There are usually resellers around the entrance of the museum. However, please keep in mind that their tickets are much more expensive!
When I was waiting for my own Borghese gallery tour, I could see people buying tickets from resellers. While this is an option, you will be paying much higher prices for the exact same services. In this case, there is also no guarantee that you will actually get your ticket, therefore I would not recommend this option!
Bonus: Practical Information About Galleria Borghese
Now that you know how to reserve your tickets in advance, I cannot let you go without sharing with you some important, practical information about the Borghese Gallery:
How to get to the Borghese Gallery?
There are many different public transport options to get to the Borghese museum in Rome (Museo Borghese in Italian). The Gallery is located in Piazza Borghese in the Villa Borghese Pinciana which is in the heart of the city.
The closest metro station is the Spagna station which you can arrive at with metro line A. Once you exit the metro there are clear signs that will direct you to the Museum. The walk from the station will take approximately 25 minutes depending on your pace.
There are several bus stations around Villa Borghese Park. The Piazzale Brasile stop is probably the closest to the museum; it is only a 10-minute walk. Several buses arrive at the Villa Borghese Park including bus no. 52, 53 and 910.
Similar to other big cities, taxis can be found all over Rome. Keep in mind that they are a lot more expensive than the other options. If you would like to find an approximate price for a taxi to the museum try using this taxi fare calculator. If you would like to get from the Colosseum to the Galleria Borghese the taxi would cost approximately 68€. A taxi from Vatican City on the other hand only costs approximately 12€.
You can select whichever option you prefer but personally, I prefer to take the bus since it’s a relatively cheaper option compared to the taxi and it is also a great way to soak in the scenery on the way to the museum.
When was Galleria Borghese built?
Galleria Borghese was commissioned in 1613 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese who was a passionate art collector. Architects Flaminio Ponzio and Giovanni Vasansio were in charge of designing the building. I wonder if they knew that it would become one of the best museums in Rome, renown worldwide for its Borghese sculptures and paintings?
Galleria Borghese – artworks you cannot miss
Borghese Gallery is full of amazing pieces of art, which makes it one of the most visited museums in the entire country. Apollo and Daphne is a Baroque marble sculpture by Bernini and it is probably one of the most beautiful and famous Borghese Gallery artworks. “Pauline Bonaparte” (who was Napoleon’s sister) is another gorgeous sculpture craved by Canova in marble. As for the paintings, Caravaggio’s “Basket of Fruit” and “Sacred and Profane Love” by Titian can be admired in the gallery, both of them being iconic works of Italian art!
When is the museum open? Are there any days that offer cheaper fees?
Like most museums, it’s closed on Mondays. On working days, the Borghese Gallery hours are from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. However, final admission is at 5:00 PM. Here is the schedule on the official website.
The museum is (practically) free to enter during the first Sunday of the month. I say “practically” because you will still have to book in advance and pay a booking fee (2€) online. If you would like to go on a guided tour, you will still have to pay a 5€ fee.
Tickets to Galleria Borghese may be more expensive during certain times of the year when the museum hosts special exhibitions and cultural events
What if I am under 18?
Visitors under the age of 18 have free access to the gallery, but they also have to pay the 2€ reservation fee. The online booking fee is only waived in the case of visitors under the age of 6. By the way, the museum is very strict about the 360 people rule, but exceptions are made for visitors younger than 6.
Remember to bring your ID with you. Even though they usually do not require it at the entrance, they might ask for it.
Is there a dress code for Borghese Gallery?
There is no specific dress code for the Borghese Gallery. Summer is quite hot in Rome, so during my trip it was not odd to see people in shorts and sleeveless shirts.
Do they have a bag policy? Is photography allowed in the Borghese Gallery?
You will not be allowed to bring any bags or backpacks into the museum. All of these items will be left outside in a special locker. You will be able to bring your camera inside, but remember that flash photography is not allowed in the Borghese Gallery.
PRO TIP 1: As I mentioned, each time slot in the museum lasts for 2 hours. Therefore, I strongly recommend arriving at least 40 minutes before your slot in order to avoid wasting precious time standing in line, leaving your bags in the locker, etc. During your 2-hour slot you should be enjoying the beautiful artwork, not waiting in line! Oh, and by the way, after visiting the museum you can spend as much time as you want in the lovely outdoor garden!
PRO TIP 2: If you are visiting the museum by yourself I recommend heading directly to the upper floor in order to see the paintings first! There is a strict limit of 90 people in the painting room so, since most people begin downstairs with the Borghese Gallery sculptures, it may be best to go “off the beaten path”. By doing this you will be able to enjoy the paintings at your own pace upstairs before heading downstairs as the other visitors begin to line up to view the paintings.
Rome, like many of the other destinations I have visited, is notorious for having long lines around its famous attractions. However, after living in the city for a few years, I found out that there are many smart ways to get around waiting in those long lines!
If you want to visit the Borghese Gallery in Rome but you are intimidated by the long queues, don’t be discouraged! Try out any of the 4 awesome solutions that I mentioned in this article. You will find that you will be able to enjoy your time taking in the beauty of the museum rather than wasting your precious vacation time in line! Make sure to keep the practical information that I mentioned in mind about the working hours, dress code, transportation, reduced price options etc.
I truly hope this article was useful but if you need more help planning your vacation in Rome, here you can find all my articles about the city.
I hope you have a wonderful visit to the Borghese Gallery! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. You can leave your questions in the comments section and I will be sure to get back to you!
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