How To Get Galleria Borghese Tickets

Getting Galleria Borghese tickets is easier than you can imagine. Follow this easy guide and find the ones that best suit your needs and interests.

Galleria Borghese is the best museum in Rome and one of the best art galleries in the world, and if you happen to be in the Italian capital it would be a real pity to miss it. Contrary to other famous places to visit in Rome, here you won’t find any big crowds. In fact, Galleria Borghese (or Borghese Gallery) caps the number of visitors to 100 for each time slot, which has to be booked in advance – tickets aren’t actually sold at the museum.

With such strict limitations on the number of visitors who are allowed to get in at once, in order to grab your preferred time you have to make it a point to book well ahead of time.

In this post, I will explain the various ways in which you can to get Galleria Borghese tickets and share a bunch of useful tips to plan your visit and make the most of it. Let me start with some useful background information on Galleria Borghese.

Canova Borghese Gallery
Canova statue at Borghese Gallery – photo courtesy of George M. Groutas (flickr)

Why You Must Visit Galleria Borghese When In Rome

There are many museums and art galleries in Rome – but if you only have time to visit one, it has to be Galleria Borghese. Also known as Villa Borghese, this is one of the best private art collections in the world, put together in the 17th century by Cardinal Scipione Borghese.

At Galleria Borghese you will be able to see beautiful examples of ancient Roman art, though these are a minority. Most of the pieces on display are from the 15th to the 18th century, with a strong focus on Renaissance and Baroque art and works of artists such as Bernini, Titian, Raphael, Caravaggio (my personal favorite), Rubens and many more.

Some background information about Galleria Borghese

Villa Borghese was built in the early 17th century by architect Flaminio Ponzio on a piece of land that used to belong to the Borghese family, one of the most prominent ones in the city. When in 1605 Camillo Borghese became Pope Paul V, his nephew Scipione Borghese, a Cardinal and a lover of art (he was one of the patrons of Bernini), started putting together his collection.

Some of the works you will see at Villa Borghese were bought by Scipione Borghese; others were donated; and others he had obtained in a less than honorable way, by simply confiscating them from their legitimate owners.

In the 1800s, Camillo Borghese married Paolina Bonaparte (the one of Canova statue), sister of Napoleon. At the time, Rome was under French rule and in 1807 Camillo Borghese was forced to surrender 500 pieces of his collections to Napoleon. That’s why some pieces of the original Borghese collection are now at the Louvre, in Paris.

In 1902 the Borghese family, unable to pay some of its debts, sold the villa and its contents to the Italian authorities, which turned it into a museum in 1903.

The villa is located in the heart of a gorgeous public park, which can be accessed from Piazza del Popolo, minutes away from the Spanish Steps. The park itself is a great place to relax away from the crowds and catch your breath. You will find several statues scattered around in Giardini del Pincio (Pincian Hill), a lake, and plenty of shade.

The museum spreads over two floors. The ground floor focuses on sculptures; whereas on the first floor you will see paintings and statues. The various rooms take their name from the main piece on display – so for example you will find a room that is called Sala della Paolina, which is where the sculpture of Paolina Borghese by Antonio Canova is on sight.

Now, let’s see how to plan your visit of Borghese Gallery.

Galleria Borghese tickets
Incredible art – photo courtesy of Sonse (flickr)

6 Ways To Get Galleria Borghese Tickets

Remember that you absolutely need to book a time slot for your visit to Borghese Gallery, as only 100 visitors are allowed during each time slot. There are several ways to get Galleria Borghese tickets. My favorite one is to book via a third-party site, which won’t send you over a number of loops and a million of windows to get your ticket. Anyways, let’s check out all the options available.

Way N. 1: Take a guided tour of Borghese Gallery

I mention this option first, as I think it’s by far the best. A guide will take you through the gallery during a guided tour – which can be a group or private tour, depending on your preference and budget. Tours can be fairly interactive and last around two hours and usually also include a visit of the gardens.

Booking a tour via a third-party reseller is extremely easy: you literally just pick the time slot for your tour, save the email with the booking code, and show up at the meeting point a bit before the scheduled time. Third party booking sites have very flexible cancellation policies too – so if something happen and you can’t make it to the tour, you can get a full refund in a matter o days.

Finally, while tours sold on the official site may be sold out for your preferred date and time, there usually is a bit more availability on third party sites. Of course, tours on third party sites are a bit more expensive than on the official site – but it is a small price to pay to avoid the nuisance of running around in circles trying to make a reservation.

Tours of Galleria Borghese start at $69.50 USD per person for a small group tour, and can be as expensive as $157 USD per person for a private tour.

You can book your small group tour here. For a tour of the gallery and the gardens, click here. You can book your private tour here.

Borghese Gallery
A guided tour is the best way to enjoy Borghese Gallery

Way N. 2: Buy tickets via a 3rd party reseller 

If you are not a fan of guided tours, opt for plain tickets. Once again, my go-to option would be via third-party booking sites. Even though the ticket is more expensive than via the official site, third-party booking sites are more user friendly.

Tickets on third party sites cost $33 vs. the $22.50 on the official site (that’s the price you pay if you want a fully refundable ticket).

You can book your Galleria Borghese ticket here.

Tickets to Galleria Borghese
Bernini art can be admired at Borghese Gallery

Way N. 3: Get your ticket through the official website

This is definitely the most budget friendly option to get Galleria Borghese tickets. This is the official website to purchase the tickets. Once you click on “buy” you are taken to another website, and then another one, where you can buy the tickets. Until a couple of years ago the site was only in Italian, but a page in English was finally created so it is not so confusing anymore.

What is confusing about the site is the various additional fees you have to pay – some are explained, others aren’t. Let me give you a breakdown:

  • €15 – official price of the ticket;
  • €2 – booking fee;
  • €1.50 – insurance fee for cancellations.

The total cost you end up paying if you go via the official site is €18.50 ($22.50 USD).

Audioguides are not available.

Guided tours sold via the official website have an additional €8 ($9.75 USD) fee per person – on top of the ticket and booking fees. Tours are available every Friday at 3:00 and 5:00 pm, in Italian and English as well as other languages upon specific requests.

If your preferred time slot isn’t available online, you may want to call the museum at +390632810 to see if there are any last minute cancellations.

Galleria Borghese
The gardens or Galleria Borghese are a must

Way N. 4: Get the Roma Pass

Galleria Borghese is one of the attractions included in the 48 and 72 hours Roma Pass. Even in this case, you will have to book a time slot in advance by calling +390632810, active from Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. Alternatively, you can send an email to romapass@tosc.it to request your time slot. You will have to show your card at the ticket office for validation.

You can get your Roma Pass here.

Read my post How To Make The Most Of The Roma Pass.

Way N. 5: Call or email the museum

For the old fashioned reading this post, you can actually talk to a real person (if you call) and ask questions about your visit and even book a ticket. The number to call is +390632810. Press 2 for support in English. The Call Center is open Mondays to Fridays, from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm – all timings are intended as CET so make sure to verify the time difference with your time zone. Tickets sold by the call center cost €15.

Pincian Hill
You can access Galleria Borghese via the Pincian Hill

Way N. 6: Get your tickets from “bagarini” outside the museum 

If you forgot to make reservations for Borghese Gallery and can’t find last minute tickets via one of the above-mentioned options, you may want to try this method, which is less than guaranteed and certainly more expensive than all other options.

If you head to the museum, you may find people standing outside trying to sell their tickets. They are called “bagarini” (resellers) in Italian. These are people that may on occasions buy tickets by the bulk and then try to resell them for a higher price. They obviously take advantage of tourists who have failed to plan their visit – so try to avoid them unless it’s really a last resort!

Galleria Borghese tickets
You can book your visit of Galleria Borghese directly on the site

Other Useful Information For Visiting Galleria Borghese

Book in advance

All visitors need to specify a time slot for their visit to Galleria Borghese. If you are visiting Rome during peak season, book your tickets and time slot at least a month in advance.

Make sure to arrive to the gallery a bit before your scheduled visit. If you show up late you will be denied entry.

Once you get to the museum, head to the counter located on the left side of the main stairways and show your voucher. That will be exchanged for a physical ticket which will be scanned as you enter the museum.

Number of people allowed 

No more than 100 people are admitted to Galleria Borghese for each time slot, which is of two hours.

Official prices of Galleria Borghese tickets

These are the prices for Galleria Borghese tickets via the official website:

Adults: Up to €18.50 – it’s €15 for the ticket + €2 booking fee + €1.50 insurance fee for cancellation.

EU Citizens aged between 18 and 25: Up to €6.65 – it’s €4 for the ticket + €2 booking fee + €0.65 for the insurance fee.

Visitors under 18 years of age: €4.65 – €2 for the ticket + €2 for the booking fee + €0.65 for the insurance fee.

The prices of tickets may increase during special exhibits.

At the moment, audioguides are not available.

Group visits

A maximum of 5 groups (between 4 and 10 visitors) are allowed per time slot inside the gallery. Groups need to call the Call Center at +390632810 for reservations. Each group is assigned a different route inside the gallery.

Free visits

Free visits are available for several categories, which however need to pay the €2 booking fee. This is waived only for disabled visitors and their accompanying assistants (one per disabled visitor); officially recognized EU tour guides; accredited journalists.

Special exhibits

Any time there is a special exhibit at Galleria Borghese, the price of Galleria Borghese tickets may go up. Keep this in mind when purchasing your ticket directly via the website.

Galleria Borghese exterior
Advanced bookings are a must to visit Galleria Borghese – photo courtesy of Carmelo Peciña (flickr)

What to do if Galleria Borghese tickets are sold out

If you haven’t reserved your Galleria Borghese tickets and booked a time slot, or if nothing is available for the day and time you wish to visit, you may be unable to visit the museum. I suggest to look on third-party booking sites to see if anything is available, or to call the booking center at +39 0632810 to see if there are any last minute cancellations.

Opening times

Galleria Borghese is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (last entry is at 5:00 pm). The museum is closed on Mondays and on 25 December and 1 January.

Time slots

These are the available time slots to visit Borghese Gallery:

  • 9:00 to 11:00 am
  • 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • 1:00 to 3:00 pm
  • 3:00 to 5:00 pm
  • 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

The last admission is at 5:00 pm. You can stay in the museum for your entire booked time slot, after which you will be asked to leave.

Facilities at Galleria Borghese

Toilets are located in the basement. At the time of writing, the coffee shop is temporarily closed.

Accessibility of Galleria Borghese

Visitors with reduced mobility or on wheelchairs can access Galleria Borghese from the backdoor in Piazzale Scipione Borghese n. 5. There is an elevator to get to the upper floor, but it is very small – after all we are talking about a building that dates back to the 17th century – and it won’t fit a large wheelchair. Wheelchairs are available on all floors.

Disabled visitors are advised to contact +390667233753 to plan a smoother visit.

Dogs are not allowed in the museum, with the exception of guide dogs.

Access to Borghese Gallery
You can access Borghese Gallery from Piazza del Popolo via the Pincian Hill

How to get to Galleria Borghese

Galleria Borghese is located in Piazzale Scipione Borghese n. 5, inside the Borghese Gardens on the Pincian Hill.

Getting to Galleria Borghese is actually very easy, as you can easily access the Pincian Hill from Piazza del Popolo. Here are the best ways of getting there:

BY BUS – From Termini Station, take bus n. 92 or 910 towards Mancini / Marliana and get off at Via Pinciana (just 3 minutes away from the museum) or Piazzale Brasile, from where it is an easy 10 minutes walk. From Barberini Metro Station you can take bus n. 52, 53 or 61 towards Pinciana / Borghese and get off at Piazzale Brasile.

BY METRO – The closest metro station is Spagna, from where it you will have to follow the signs taking you to Galleria Borghese. It’s a 20 to 25 minutes walk.

Tickets to Galleria Borghese
The gorgeous Borghese Gardens

Final tips to maximize your time at Galleria Borghese

Bring your ID

Chances are that you won’t be asked to show your ID card to be admitted to the gallery, but take it with you anyways as you never know. In any case, although by Italian law you aren’t obliged to carry your ID with you at all times, you may be stopped and searched by the police, which may ask to provide your full name and date of birth.

Factor enough time

You should factor up to 4 hours for your visit of Galleria Borghese – that’s 2 hours for the time spent browsing around the museum as per the time slot you will be assigned, plus some time to browse the small gift shop, the gorgeous gardens and enough time to get to the museum (which obviously depends on where you are coming from) and sort a few things out before the visit.

Plan to arrive at the gallery around 30 minutes before your actual visit, so that you have enough time to Ipick up your Galleria Borghese tickets, check in your bags and use the toilets if needed.

If you are on the last time slot, visit the gift shop before you get in

The gift is located outside the museum and is open from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. If you are scheduled to get in on the last time slot (which means you will finish your visit at 7:00 pm) and think you may want to buy a small souvenir from the gift shop, head to Villa Borghese a bit earlier than your scheduled visit to browse the shop before you get in.

Check in your bags

You can’t take anything other than your camera or phone inside Galleria Borghese. You will be required to leave bags, large camera bags, selfie-sticks, backpacks, strollers and umbrellas at the cloak room – which is located outside the museum and is free.

Photography

Photography is allowed inside Galleria Borghese, but flash photography isn’t.

Don’t bring in food or drinks

Food and drinks – including water – aren’t allowed inside the museum, so leave anything you have inside the bag you will be checking in at the cloak room.

Further Readings

If you have limited time in Rome, make sure to check out my itineraries to help you plan your visit:

For more hacks, read the following posts:

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