Cookies help us to deliver our services. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Borghese Gardens and Gallery Tours & Tickets

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

May 14, 2021 • 10 min read

Borghese Gardens and Gallery Tours & Tickets

© Jordan Brierley

The Borghese Gallery is one of the most renowned art galleries in the world for its jewels by Bernini, Raphael, Botticelli and Rubens. Is it worth a visit? Of course, and not only for the works it contains but also for its incomparable location in the Villa Borghese Gardens.

1. Where to buy tickets for the Borghese Gallery

Lake of Villa Borghese | ©Unsplash
Lake of Villa Borghese | ©Unsplash

On the Internet

The best recommendation I can make to visit the Borghese Gallery is to buy your tickets well in advance of your trip to avoid missing out on this experience and do it online. I list the types of tickets below:

By phone

Given the large influx of tourists that attracts the Borghese Gallery, tickets can only be purchased in advance, by phone or online. This is the telephone number: (0039) 06 841 3979. For me, this is not the most convenient option, because of the cost of the call and because you will not be able to calmly compare the prices of the different types of tickets.

2. Tickets for the Borghese Gallery without queues

Detail of the interior of the Gallery | ©Unsplash
Detail of the interior of the Gallery | ©Unsplash

It is the basic ticket and with it you can access the museum at a time reserved in advance and without waiting. As in any other museum in the world, when you buy this skip-the-line entrance, you can enjoy a visit to its interior at your own pace, without having to follow any specific route. However, due to the large influx of visitors, I recommend you to be very punctual in your schedule to avoid problems in the access.

This is undoubtedly a good option for the traveler who does not want to miss this wonderful collection without having to pay extra for a professional guide. If this is the option that suits you best, I recommend that you get well informed about what you are going to see before the visit, to get the most out of this unique collection in the world.

What is included in the ticket for the Borghese Gallery?

  • Guaranteed entrance to the Borghese Gallery with no waiting lines.
  • Option to upgrade the ticket with a guided tour of the museum and gardens of Villa Borghese.
  • As soon as you purchase it, you will receive confirmation of your reservation immediately and your entrance ticket in electronic format. The cancellation of this ticket is completely free of charge, as long as it is cancelled 24 hours prior to the visit.

What is not included in the ticket for the Borghese Gallery?

  • Gratuities
  • Pick up and return to the hotel.
  • Food and beverages.

Possibility of hiring a guided tour

This no-queue entrance to the Borghese Gallery also offers you the possibility to take a 3-hour guided tour in which you can learn about the history of the museum and its pieces, thanks to the explanations of a guide and together with no more than 20 people. This guided tour also includes a walk through the wonderful Gardens of Villa Borghese.

Ana's Traveller Tip

Arrive well in advance of your visit, if you are late for your turn you will not be allowed entry.

3. Private tour of the Borghese Gallery with expert guide in Art History

Detail of the interior of the Gallery | ©Unsplash
Detail of the interior of the Gallery | ©Unsplash

If you are a true art lover and want an even more enriching experience, there is the possibility to take a private tour of the Borghese Gallery with an Art History expert in which an art history expert will explain all the details of the history of the Borghese Gallery and its works of art.

What does this tour consist of?
The guide will give you a guided tour of the Gallery and then the Gardens of the Villa. Finally, he will take you to the nearby large Piazza del Popolo, surrounded by two imposing churches. There you can compare the order and harmony of Raphael's Renaissance Chigi Chapel with the emotional and sensual strength of Caravaggio's Baroque works of art in the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, with two of the painter's most famous compositions: "The Crucifixion of St. Peter" and "The Conversion of St. Paul".

You can even customize your guide's explanations by indicating what you are most interested in learning about the museum so that he/she can go deeper into its history, sculpture or painting.

What does the private tour of the Borghese Gallery include?

  • Professional art historian guide
  • Entrance to the Borghese Gallery
  • Tour of the Borghese Gallery, the Gardens and Piazza del Popolo

What is not included in the private tour of the Borghese Gallery?

  • Gratuities
  • Food and beverage
  • Transfer to and from your hotel

Other details of interest about the private tour of the Borghese Gallery

  • Is wheelchair accessible
  • Baby carriages can be carried
  • Surfaces are suitable for wheelchair use.
  • This is a private activity, so only your group can participate.

4. Roma Pass and other passes that give you access to the Borghese Gallery

Jardines Borghese | ©Gabriella Clare
Jardines Borghese | ©Gabriella Clare

The visit to the Borghese Gallery is included in the Roma Pass, which includes a flat rate for access to the major attractions. With it, you will save a lot of money on individual museum tickets and a lot of time in queues.

Rome is one of the most touristic capitals and with more points of interest in the world, so if you are going to spend several days in the city and want to visit most of its wonders without dying in the attempt I advise you to get a Roma Pass without hesitation. You can check what it is and how to get it in this other article I wrote about Rome Pass and other passes.

However, remember that even if you have your Roma Pass, to visit the Borghese Gallery you are also required to reserve your entrance time in advance. To do so, you can make your reservation by phone at 0039 06 32 810 or by sending an e-mail to [email protected] (reply within 48 hours).

5. Schedule

The Borghese Gallery can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm.
In addition, the museum is open every day of the year except Mondays and on January 1 and December 25.

Ana's traveler tip

As far as possible, try to avoid the most crowded days in order to be able to visit the gallery more comfortably; these are usually weekends at midday.

6. How do I get to the Borghese Gallery?

How to get to Villa Borghese | ©Gabriella Clare
How to get to Villa Borghese | ©Gabriella Clare

As in most of Rome, to get to the Borghese Gallery you can move by subway or bus, as it is somewhat further away from the central core where many of the major attractions of the city are located.

Metro

The nearest Metro stop is Piazza di Spagna, line A.

Bus

To get there by bus there are different options, depending on where your accommodation is or where you are visiting the city at the time of departure to the Gallery:

  • Bus 52 (every 15 minutes): V.Tritone, Pza.Barberini, V.Veneto.... It will drop you off outside the park, 200 meters from the entrance.
  • Bus 53 (every 25 minutes): V.Tritone, Piazza Barberini, V.Veneto... You will get off at the same place as the previous one.
  • Bus 95 (every 15 minutes): Bocca Verità, V.Teatro Marcelo, P.Venezia, V. Corso. It leaves you inside the park itself and 10 minutes walk from the gallery.
  • Buses 86 and 116 (electric, through narrow streets, every 5-10 minutes): V. Giulia, V. dei Baullari, Corso Rinascimento, V. Zanardelli... You must get off at Porta Pinciana, more than 10 minutes from the park.

Please note that punctuality in accessing the Gallery is mandatory, so if you use public transportation to get there, leave your hotel well in advance in case the chaotic Roman traffic delays your bus more than usual.

7. A little history about the Borghese Gallery

David vs. Goliath | ©Mateus Campos
David vs. Goliath | ©Mateus Campos

The Borghese Gallery has an extraordinary collection of Italian painting from the 16th-17th centuries, with works by Titian, Antonello da Messina, Bellini.... It houses true gems of painting such as a 'Pietà' by Rubens, the 'Lady with a Unicorn' by Raphael and the 'Pauline Bonaparte' by Canova.

The museum

It shows rooms dedicated to the master of light and shadow, Caravaggio, with his impressive 'David with the head of Goliath' and others that house sculptures from the early period of the brilliant Bernini, such as 'Apollo and Daphne' and the 'David', as well as Roman antiquities with a 'Mosaic with gladiators', from the fourth century AD, and a 'Dancing Satyr' from the fourth century BC.

In addition, it is a really beautiful museum in ornamentation, with two floors that can be toured in two hours (it is the maximum duration allowed for each visit), and without crowds, only 360 people are accepted in each shift. This ensures a very relaxed tour.

The gallery is a 17th century palatial building, the so-called "Casino Nobile" of this Villa, built in 1633 as a residence and exhibition space for the private collection, already famous at that time, of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, patron of Bernini, nephew of Pope Paul V and to whom the gallery and the gardens where it is located owe their name.

The building

The Borghese Gallery is, in fact, one of the first buildings in the world to be built expressly for exhibition purposes, which, compared to other modern art galleries, denotes a certain antiquity. This, despite its remodeling in 1775 under the direction of the architect Antonio Asprucci, who relocated the sculptures and antiquities of the museum under a single thematic criterion.

At the end of the 18th century the building was converted into a public museum. Some time later, in 1808 and as a result of the impossibility of maintaining the legacy, the family was forced to sell several of the sculptures and antiques to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, brother-in-law of Prince Camillo Borghese. As a result, some of the jewels housed in the gallery are now in the Louvre in Paris, such as the remarkable statue of the 'Borghese Gladiator'.

Ana's Traveller Tip

The Villa Borghese park is free to enter and you can enjoy it even if you don't have a ticket for the Galleria. For me, the park is a must stop on any trip to Rome.

8. What can I see around the Borghese Gallery?

Gardens Villa Borghese | ©Jordan Brierley
Gardens Villa Borghese | ©Jordan Brierley

Villa Borghese Gardens
In the vicinity of the Borghese Gallery there are many other points of interest that you can take the opportunity to visit on the same day of your visit to the museum. If you have already decided to buy your ticket for the Borghese Gallery, you will pass through the magnificent Villa Borghese Gardens, which are worth a separate visit as one of the largest urban parks in Europe and where nature and art come together to create a truly dreamlike setting.

In addition to the gallery, sculptures, ponds, gazebos and groves, the Zoo of Rome, known as Bioparco, with more than 1,000 animals of 200 different species; the Pincio Water Clock, an example of nineteenth-century engineering that is still in full operation and even a copy of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre. Quite a spectacle for the senses.

Santa María de la Concepción de los Capuchinos

Very close to the area, about a kilometer away, stand two renowned churches. The Church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini is one of the most special in Rome for housing a decorated crypt with the bones of more than 4,000 Capuchin friars who died between 1528 and 1870 and built between 1626 and 1631 under the orders of Pope Urban VIII.

Santa Maria della Vittoria is the other basilica of interest in this area which, built in the 17th century to commemorate the victory of Emperor Ferdinand II at the Battle of Monte Bianco, will ring a bell especially if you have seen the movie based on Dan Brown's bestseller Angels and Demons, as it serves as the setting for part of the film.

Plaza de España and other unmissable streets and squares

A short distance from there you can visit another of Rome's fundamental sites, the famous Spanish Steps and its lively staircases which, built in the early eighteenth century to connect the square with the Church of Trinità dei Monti, are always crowded with tourists, street artists, street vendors and Romans themselves.

A little more than a kilometer away, you can enjoy another of the most emblematic squares of the city, the Plaza Barberini, located at the end of Via Veneto and which is particularly striking thanks to the two important fountains by Bernini that decorate it, the Triton and the Bees.

A short distance from the square is Palazzo Barberini, a wonderful Baroque palace that houses the National Gallery of Ancient Art, with more than 1,400 pieces by renowned artists from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries, among which you can find works by Titian, El Greco, Caravaggio, Tintoretto and Raphael, with his brilliant work "La Fornarina".

Guided tours of the best of Rome

If you do not want to miss any of the most incredible streets or squares of the city, I recommend you to take a guided tour. The amount of alleys, statues, fountains and works of art that you can find on the street in Rome can go unnoticed if you don't go with an expert to explain them to you. I wrote this guide on Best Rome Tours that can help you choose which guided tour is right for you.

9. If you are interested in the Borghese Gallery you will also be interested in...

Rome itself is an open-air museum, but once you've visited its main attractions, getting out of the Italian capital is also a great way to complete your trip. Around Rome there are real wonders accessible on a day trip. In my article on Best Day Trips from Rome I suggest the most interesting ones.

If you prefer to continue exploring the capital, do not hesitate to get to know Trastevere in depth, as it is one of the most picturesque and bohemian neighborhoods of the city. I tell you how in this article: Trastevere Tours.

Traveller tips

Helpful advice from us and our travellers so you can enjoy your experience to the fullest.