The Capitoline Museums are the first space dedicated to art in history. Located at the top of the Capitoline Hill, they are two buildings that hold a collection of art of the Catholic Church donated by Pope Sixtus IV.
If you are thinking of visiting them during your trip to Rome, I will tell you how to do it:
Access to the Capitoline Museums without queues and at the best price
Perfect if you want to explore the museum at your own pace and not join a guided tour. With this option, you'll save time by skipping the queues at the ticket office.
Buying your tickets to the Capitoline Museums online is a very good option to avoid the entrance queues and ensure your visit. This museum operates with time slots to distribute tickets to visitors, so I highly recommend buying your ticket in advance.
You will be able to explore the rooms full of sculptures, artefacts and archaeological remains of the Roman Empire, at your own pace and without haste because even though you have a fixed entry time you can stay in the Capitoline Museums buildings as long as you want.
Why I like this option: it is the easiest and cheapest way to visit the Capitoline Museums at your own pace. You won't have to stick to a guide's itinerary and you'll have time to visit at your own pace.
I recommend it if... you organise your trip on your own or you know the history of Rome well enough to not need a guide during the visit.
Discover the Museum with an expert guide
This is the best option to join a guided tour of the Capitoline Museums in English. You will walk through all the rooms with a specialised guide who will make sure you enjoy the tour to the fullest.
Another way to do this visit is with a guided tour of the Capitoline Museums, in which a professional guide expert in the history of the Roman Empire will take you to see the most unique works of art and objects that this museum has to offer.
Something that sets this tour apart from the others is that it is done in a small group of a maximum of 13 people, which ensures a close relationship with the guide and avoids the stress of being part of a crowd of tourists.
Why I like this option: a guided tour in a place with so much historical context and so many details, in my opinion, is always a good idea. You'll be able to understand everything you see and an expert guide will make sure you don't miss the essential works.
I recommend it if... you want to better understand and contextualise what you see, as well as being surrounded by a small group, which will make the visit much more intimate.
Buy your ticket to the Capitoline Museums at the ticket office
You can buy your tickets at the ticket office, which is on the ground floor of the Palazzo dei Conservatori. General admission is 15 €, and reduced admission for people between 6 and 25 years old or over 65 is 13 €. My recommendation, both for this experience and for any other visit to Rome that requires a ticket, is to purchase tickets online in advance.
The only advantage of deciding to buy tickets at the ticket office is that you can improvise the visit and leave it for the moment you feel like it, but in exchange you will lose a lot of time in the queue and nothing assures you will get a ticket for the time you want.
What to see in the Capitoline Museums
The Capitoline Museums are spread over two buildings that surround the Piazza del Campidoglio, and are considered a single museum where you can see everything: Roman bronze and marble statues from ancient times, impressive frescoes from medieval and Renaissance times and also from the museum you will have an amazing view of the Roman Forum.
Here are some of the spaces you can't miss:
Palazzo dei Conservatori
Start your visit by entering the building opposite Palazzo Nuovo. In the courtyard, you can admire the fragments of the imposing Colossus of Constantine, a statue that used to occupy a prominent place in the Roman Forum.
Continue to the Hall of the Tapestries, also known as the Throne Room, since in the 18th century it was used as the command room of the pontiff of Rome. You will see impressive tapestries depicting historical scenes from Ancient Rome, and reproductions of works by Rubens.
This is an underground gallery displaying more than a hundred stone inscriptions that were used for both public and private life in Rome in Antiquity. You can read informative texts about tombs, laws, trades and merchant affairs, and military orders.
This is, in my opinion and in the opinion of many people who visit the Capitoline Museums, the wing of the museum that is definitely not to be missed. Here you will find some of the most beautiful marble statues in the History of Art, and as you enter you will fall under the hypnosis of the statue of Marforio, the god of the river, who will greet you in a portico flanked by niches inhabited by statues in perfect symmetry with the design of the floor. A real fantasy.
What to consider before booking
- You will receive a confirmation email when you book your tickets or tour, to the email address you have provided. Open it to check that everything is correct, and my advice is to keep it in prominent post as you will need to show it at the ticket office or to your guide at the meeting point.
- You can return the tickets or cancel the tour at any time, which is an advantage over buying tickets by other means. However, to receive a 100% refund, you will need to do so 24 hours before the start of the experience. You will see the instructions in the confirmation email.
Tips for visiting the Capitoline Museums
- In addition to what I've been telling you about in my itinerary, the museum has a lot of other things to see, such as coins and jewellery from ancient times that you'll love to peruse if you're passionate about history.
- The Capitoline Museums are open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from **9:30am to 7:**30pm, except on 24 and 31 December when they close at 2pm. On 1 January, 1 May and 25 December the museum is closed all day.
- You can take photos inside the museum, but flash and tripods are not allowed.
- If you are carrying a large backpack or bag, you will have to leave it at the ticket office, which costs €1. If you do, remember to bring loose change.
- The closest metro stop to the Capitoline Museums is Colosseo (line B), which is about a 15-minute walk away. Some nearby bus stops are Teatro Marcello-Ara Coeli, Teatro Marcello, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Venezia-Ara Coeli, Fori Imperiali and Plebiscito.
Other activities that may interest you
After touring the Capitoline Museums, if you haven't already done so, I recommend visiting the Roman Forum. There are plenty of guided tours and experiences that take you to visit them along with the Colosseum, and you can read more about Rome Colosseum tickets and Colosseum guided tours.
And if you are one of those people who tirelessly tour the museums of the cities you visit, you can't miss the Vatican Museums. The richness of centuries and centuries of art are the treasure of its collection, which houses works by Da Vinci, Titian, Caravaggio, Raphael, and a must-see of Rome such as the Sistine Chapel.