The Villa Borghese Park in Rome

Picture of Sebastian Erkens
Sebastian Erkens

One of Rome’s most popular amusement parks is the Villa Borghese Park, which covers around 5 km². It is located near the banks of the River Tiber, in the center of the Eternal City.

One of the best things to do in Rome is to visit Villa Borghese Park. The extensive green spaces of this magnificent park are a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of the city center.

In spring and summer, many Romans meet here to barbecue, play soccer, go jogging, or have a picnic. The park landscape is anything but small!

You should allow enough time for a visit to Villa Borghese Park. The Galleria  Borghese, one of Europe’s most renowned art galleries, is located directly in the park!

Park Villa Borghese in Rome Italy
Park Villa Borghese Rome, Italy

Visitor Information:

Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma

Metro Station: Piazza di Spagna, Line A.
Buses: 5, 19, 52, 53, 63, 86, 88, 92, 95, 116, 204, 217, 231, 360, 490, 491, 495, 630, 910 and 926.

Opening hours:
The park is freely accessible at all times.

Galleria Borghese (0,1 km)
Spanish Steps (0,8 km)

Tickets Galleria Borghese:

Information about Villa Borghese Park in the video:

The Borghese Gallery

An absolute highlight of the park is the museum in the Villa Borghese. This is called the Galleria Borghese and is located in the eastern part of the grounds. Art lovers will get their money’s worth here.

In the park’s museum, you can view one of Europe’s most famous art collections. These include works of art by Caravaggio and Bernini!

Tickets cost 15 euros per person and 2 euros per child. You should definitely book tickets online in advance! The museum has a limited admission quota.

Park-Villa-Borghese-in-Rome Italy
Museum Galleria Borghese

The "Bioparco" zoo

The park also has its own zoo. With over 200 different, sometimes exotic animal species, the over one-hundred-year-old “Bioparco” zoo also offers the youngest an entertaining attraction to Rome’s otherwise “dry” cultural program.

The Bioparco was once designed by Hagenbeck (Hamburg) and was intended to provide the animals with the largest possible habitat.

Today, the situation has unfortunately changed – as is typical for zoos. Nevertheless, the zoo is well attended. It is advisable to buy tickets online in advance.

Bioparco Zoo Rome Italy
Entrance to the zoo "Bioparco"

History of Villa Borghese Park

Villa Borghese has been the property of the noble Borghese family of the same name since 1580. The term “villa,” which today mainly describes elegant country houses, still embodied the country residence of a significant person at that time.

However, as we know it today, the park’s theme only emerged towards the end of the 18th century. When the magnificent estate passed to Scipione Caffarelli Borghese, a cardinal and nephew of the then Pope Paul V, he had the summer residence rebuilt.

The park, which was still much smaller then, was to increase in size over time and boast a Baroque style in particular. A dozen fantastic water features and variously designed areas were to turn the green spaces into something extraordinary.

Boat rental at the park Villa Borghese
Boat rental at the park

In 1901, Villa Borghese finally became the property of Rome. From then on, the magnificent park was open to the public. As a passionate art collector, the cardinal attached great importance to rare works of art. As a result, his private collection still forms the basis of the Galleria Borghese today.

View of St. Peter's Basilica and other great photo backdrops!

If you are a photography enthusiast, you will find some worthwhile backdrops at Villa Borghese. Beautifully landscaped gardens will inspire you with significant photo motifs in the right lighting conditions.

The view from Pincio Hill, at the south-western entrance to the park, is awe-inspiring. You can see Rome’s old town and the Vatican, including St. Peter’s Basilica and the St. Peter’s Basilica Dome.

You should visit the park well before dark. Even though the city of Rome is generally very safe, there are always shady characters hanging around in the parks in the evening. However, you need not worry during the day. The park is always busy!

View of St. Peter's Basilica
Villa-Borghese-Nature Photography
Lots of interesting photo opportunities

By Segway through the Villa Borghese

Some tourists hire a bike or golf cart on site or explore the park via Segway Tour. However, you can also hire a small rowing boat and enjoy the tranquillity of the small but romantic “ghetto” lake.

If that’s not for you, you might prefer to stroll along one of the many cypress avenues and enjoy the weather with a coffee in the “Casina del Lago” – a lovely café in the park.

Segway tour through the park
Casina del Lago
Coffee break in between

Other museums in and around Villa Borghese Park:

Villa Medici

The 16th-century Villa Medici Museum is located on the park’s southern edge. Piazza del Popolo is just a 10-minute walk away, as is Pincio Hill. Today, the Accademia di Francia a Roma is housed here. However, to see the works of art and the gardens of the Villa Medici, you must book a guided tour.

Villa Giulia

Villa Giulia also dates back to the 16th century and was once the country residence of Pope Julius III. Today’s “Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia” is a national Etruscan museum from pre-Roman times.

How to get to Villa Borghese Park:

Editor: Sebastian Erkens
Hey and welcome to Rome-Tourist! My name is Sebastian and I travel regularly to Rome, Italy.
On our Rome blog you will get valuable travel tips. If you have any questions about specific tours or sights, feel free to leave us a comment.

These articles may also interest you: