With its impressive display of churches, museums, archeological sites, monuments and gorgeous squares, Rome is often referred to as an open museum that you can enjoy for free. However, visiting museums in Rome (the top ones) could be an expensive part of your trip, especially if you are planning to book a tour, which are anything but cheap. Make the best of your visit to the main museums in the Eternal City with the following tips.

1. Arrive at the end of the month

 visiting museums in Rome like the Colosseum


Would you like to walk inside the Colosseum or admire the collections at the National Roman Museum for free? Then, I recommend visiting Rome towards the end/at the beginning of a new month. There is a simple reason for that: the first Sunday of each month there is free access to some of the most amazing museums and landmarks in Rome and its surroundings. For instance, if you stay at our cozy Tre Canelle apartment near Piazza Venezia, you could either spend your day visiting the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill or enjoying the works of artists such as Bernini and Caravaggio at the National Gallery of Ancient Art in the Barberini Palace nearby. As far as culture goes, there’s nothing better than the first Sunday of the month in Rome!

2. Visit the Vatican Museums for free

visiting museums in Rome like the Vatican


While the first Sunday of the month rule is valid for most of the museums in Rome, the famous Vatican Museums aren’t covered by that. The good news is that the Vatican has also established a free entrance date to visit its spectacular collections. If you want to enjoy the works of Michelangelo and Raphael without paying anything, you can do that the last Sunday of every month. Just keep in mind the Museums close at 2:00 PM and some restrictions may apply for special dates.

3. Don’t miss the free museums

Museum of the Walls in Rome - Courtesy Lalupa

Apart from the special dates I mentioned above, there are a notable group of museums in Rome that are free all year round! I highly recommend visiting the Museum of the Walls located at the S. Sebastiano Gate. There, you can discover everything about the ancient walls that once protected the city and enjoy amazing views from the top of the gate. Another interesting spot is the Giovanni Barraco Museum of Ancient Sculpture located in the Campo de’ Fiori / Navona area, which has a small but very interesting collection of Egyptian, Etruscan and Mediterranean art.

4. Take advantage of special tickets

Centrale Montemartini in Rome - Courtesy Carlos Quintana

Very often one single ticket gives you access to several museums across the city so it is important that you move early in the morning in order to fully take advantage of those kind of tickets. The following are some of the deals you need to be aware of when visiting museums in Rome:

  • Ticket to the Colosseum gives you access to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.
  • A visit to the National Roman Museum allows you to visit its four branches across the city: Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, Crypta Balbi and the Baths of Diocletian.
  • With the ticket to the Baths of Caracalla, you can also visit the Mausoleum of Caecilia Metella and the Villa of the Quintili along the Appian Way.
  • If you get the Capitolini Card for your visit to Capitoline Museums, you can also visit the suggestive Centrale Montemartini (highly recommended!) and the special exhibitions that are in place.

As you can see, there are several ways in which you can optimize your visit to Rome and discover its top museums on a very low budget. Of course, you want to be centrally located so you can move around with ease without worrying about time and getting exhausted. Do you want to be next to some of Rome’s most amazing museums and landmarks? Then take a look at our Sweet Inn apartments in Rome and get ready to discover the cultural treasures of the Eternal City.