National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome

National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome (must see)

Standing on the right bank of the River Tiber in Rome, the beautifully kept cylindrical tower of Castel Sant’ Angelo is a home to the eponymous museum. Commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the building initially served as a mausoleum for the emperor and his family. In the 5th century AD, it was turned into a fortress and, in the 14th century, converted again, this time into a castle and a prison combined. It also served as a hideaway for the popes during the periods of unrest, wars, etc. For that purpose, there is a walking path to the castle, with the papal apartments in it, leading straight from the Vatican City. The remnants of war, such as canons and armor, are there to be seen even today; however, over time, the apartments became more decorated, some quite cutely actually.

There is a good deal of walking around this museum involved, but it seems like a good way to pass an hour or two embarking on an excursion through centuries, which is also quite easy to navigate on one's own. There is also a special tour offered into the Passetto, a hidden passageway taken by popes from Vatican into the castle, which is quite fascinating.

To wrap up the experience on a pleasant note, visitors are advised to check out the on-site coffee shop which, apart from decent coffee itself, offers some truly amazing views of St. Peter's Basilica and, if you care to climb all the way up to the rooftop terrace, a spectacular panorama of Rome and Vatican City. It is, therefore, highly recommended to pick a bright day to appreciate these views to the maximum or to come in the evening and see the city in its night ambiance.

Why You Should Visit:
An interesting combination of war times, art, religion, and pure history.
The bridge leading to it has beautiful statues, as well.

Tip:
Climb up all the way to the top for spectacular panoramic views of Rome and Vatican City!
You may bring water and snacks to the castle, or have a snack/espresso at the café upstairs.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-7:30pm
CLOSED: Jan 1st, May 1st, Dec 25th

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Rome, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo on Map

Sight Name: National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo
Sight Location: Rome, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rome is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Spanish Steps to Trevi Fountain

Spanish Steps to Trevi Fountain

An established tourist mecca, today's Rome is hardly imaginable without two of its much loved attractions – the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. Magnets for tourists as they are, these two sights are surrounded with a number of other, not less worthy of attention locations, such as the Fountain of the Longboat, Keats-Shelley Memorial House, Piazza Colonna and its centerpiece, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Food Walk in Historic Rome

Food Walk in Historic Rome

Whether it’s a long lunch or a stop-off for an ice cream on an evening stroll, eating in Rome is a very social activity. Culinary traditions run deep in Rome, and it may well be one of Italy’s most pleasurable cities in which to eat. Most restaurants exclusively serve Italian or Roman cuisine – either traditional or “with a touch of creativity” – with more and more choosing organic...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Rome Introduction Walk I

Rome Introduction Walk I

Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 BC by twin brothers Romulus and Remus who were raised by a she-wolf. However, the pair argued about who had the support of the gods, and Romulus ended up killing Remus in a fight on what became Palatine Hill. Thus, Romulus named the city after himself and declared himself as king.

In a slightly less glorious account, Rome actually began as an Iron Age...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Ancient Rome around Colosseum

Ancient Rome around Colosseum

Undoubtedly, Rome's ancient past has been the main Roman attraction for centuries, drawing millions of tourists to the Eternal City each year. The Colosseum and the surrounding sights, like the Arch of Constantine, Palatine Hill, Imperial Fora, Roman Forum and other monuments – or rather what's left of them now – are the stately reminders of what was once the center of one of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" (1953) is a movie, filmed entirely in Rome and beloved by generations of people. Starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, the film won three Oscars, giving Hepburn a boost to her glorious film career. The main storyline centers around a day of freedom in the beautiful Italian capital for an otherwise duty-bound Princess Ann. Take the following tour to live the happiest...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.0 Km or 5.6 Miles
Rome Introduction Walk II

Rome Introduction Walk II

The historic center of Rome is packed with numerous landmarks and genuine works of art, to see all of which may take days if not weeks. This Rome Orientation Walk Part II highlights some of the key sights emerged during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, comprising some truly magnificent marvels of architecture. Among the featured landmarks here are the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Piazza...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Souvenirs Shopping: 15 Authentic Italian Things To Buy in Rome

Souvenirs Shopping: 15 Authentic Italian Things To Buy in Rome

Rome is the Eternal City and, as such, the list of gift options available here is countless. Whether it's something edible, drinkable, wearable or pleasing to the eye that you want - you will find it all here in abundance. However, if time or budget is the factor, perhaps you might want to...
10 Best Food Markets in Rome Italy

10 Best Food Markets in Rome Italy

Of all the things Italy is most famous for (cars, music, fashion, movies, etc.), food is, undoubtedly, top of the list. Rome may well not be the whole Italy, but no Italy is whole without Rome... And the Romans, much as all their fellow-Italians, like it "fresco", hence the abundance of...
17 Best Gelaterias in Rome Italy

17 Best Gelaterias in Rome Italy

For ice cream lovers and dabblers this guide is a treasure chest of Rome’s best gelato shops. There are gelaterias everywhere. Many visitors to Rome only have a few days to explore the city. You owe it to yourself to make the most of your time and find the gelato locals eat. Often the authentic...