Sistine Chapel
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Sistine Chapel: Tours & Tickets

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Highlights of the Sistine Chapel

When it comes to touring the Vatican City, the best is saved until last: the revered Sistine Chapel. A tour de force of art and architecture by the most famous Renaissance artists, it will dazzle you. Here’s a list of highlights.

Sistine Chapel Ceiling

The Sistine Chapel is Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Its ceiling is divided into nine scenes from the Book of Genesis, depicting the creation of the world from light to dark, sun to moon, Adam to Eve.

The Creation of Adam

One of the most famous artworks of all time, the centerpiece of the ceiling is a fresco painting depicting God bringing Adam to life with his fingertips.

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

Michelangelo’s fresco depicting the Last Judgment can be seen above the altar. Interestingly, he started working on it 25 years after the ceiling, and it took four years to complete.

Southern Wall: Story of Moses

See scenes from Moses’s life, including his journey through Egypt, portrayed by the Renaissance greats: Botticelli, Perugino and Rosselli.

Northern Wall: Story of Jesus

The wall to the right of the altar shows scenes from Jesus’s life according to the great Renaissance painters.

Our insider tips

Why Is the Sistine Chapel Important?

Starting in 1508, Michelangelo spent lonely years painting the chapel's ceiling and altar, transforming these walls into one of the great masterpieces. In the words of Goethe, "If you haven't seen the Sistine Chapel, it's impossible to have any idea of what one man is capable of doing." The walls will come to life as you step in!

What to Know

Don't wear shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless shirts without bringing a scarf or covering, as you will not be allowed in. Taking photographs is strictly prohibited in the chapel.

Can You Visit the Sistine Chapel on Its Own?

Located in Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums, so can only be entered through the Museum. Admission is included in the purchase of a ticket to the Vatican Museum. Beware of anyone trying to sell you just for the Sistine Chapel, it’s a scam.

Avoiding the Lines

Over 4.5 million visitors come to the Sistine Chapel per year, so it’s difficult to completely avoid a crowd. During the Pope’s address on Wednesday mornings it’s a bit quieter, as at lunchtimes. It’s a good idea to buy tickets online in advance, and a small guided group tour is a great way to skip the line.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The Sistine Chapel is closed on Sundays and Catholic holidays. Opening hours can be erratic, so check online to avoid disappointment.
  • Is it expensive?
    €17 general entry
  • Will I need a guide?
    If you want to learn more about the amazing pieces of art, sure! There are tickets for small group tours, as well as a chance to make the Sistine Chapel part of your Rome City Pass.
  • How to get there
    The Vatican City is located inside of Rome. Bus 49 will get you there. Alternatively, take the red metro line to Cipro station.
  • Additional information

    • Beware of pickpockets, especially on crowded public transport. Hold onto your bags, and keep valuables out of sight.

    • Be sure to bring a cardigan or other long-sleeved garment to cover up your arms when entering the Sistine Chapel.

What people are saying about Sistine Chapel

Staff were courteous and did a good job explaining the drill.

You might consider putting into the confirmation the google map coordinates to assist those using electronics to find the gathering point.

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Fast-Track Entry Reviewed by Melvin, 18/09/2018

Loved Christina!! She had so much personality and gave so much insight

Christina was wonderful! She gave all the deep details and happily answered all questions. Her personality really brought all the stories to life! My boyfriend and I were on a two week trip around Europe and took numerous guided tours. We both agreed this one was hands down the best.

Skip the Line: Vatican Highlights Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 17/09/2018

Our tour guide Vasco was fantastic. Very informative!

The meeting place however is called “enjoy Rome” and not “nicom” which was slightly confusing. The tour itself though was amazing.

Highly worthwhile. Excellent tour guide.

Alessandra was excellent. Her knowledge of everything we saw was phenomenal and she made it fun for the kids aged 10 and 7. She was informative and engaging with stories that took us back to ancient times. We asked lots of questions and she knew the answers. Her props and games made learning fun so the kids learnt without feeling like they were learning! I highly recommend this tour. It made the most of being there.

An absolute must see if in Rome - fantastic!!

Words failed us - we came out of there in absolute awe of this production. So, so clever and amazing. Please see it if you can, it is definitely 75 minutes of your time that you will never regret.

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