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Vatican Gardens
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Vatican Gardens: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in Vatican Gardens

Top sights in Rome

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5 things to see and do at the Vatican Gardens

Roughly half of the Vatican is covered by flawlessly cultivated parks and gardens. You'll need to book a tour at least a week in advance if you want to see them, but here are a few of the treasures that'll be revealed if you do!

Sphere Within Sphere

Sphere Within Sphere

Arnaldo Pomodoro's Sphere Within Sphere was the first modern art piece to be exhibited at the Vatican Museums. It looks static, but push it firmly and it'll begin to rotate!

Eagle Fountain

Outside the Mater Ecclesiae nun monastery lies this spectacular fountain, designed by Giovanni Vasanzio to look like a heavenly lagoon.

Courtyard of the Pinecone

Courtyard of the Pinecone

The highest terrace in the famed Belvedere Courtyard takes its name from the 1st-century bronze sculpture of a pinecone that once crowned a Roman fountain.

Radio Vaticana

Radio Vaticana

Founded in 1931, the station played a vital role in the broadcast of anti-fascist information. Unfortunately, the first report on Nazi treatment of Poles and Jews fell on deaf ears.

House of Pius IV

House of Pius IV

Built in 1563, the beautiful "Casina di Pio IV" is the oldest building in the Vatican Gardens. It's now an integral part of the Pontificial Academy of Sciences.

Our insider tips

What are the opening times?

Opening hours are subject to reservation. The Vatican Gardens aren't open to the general public, but you can still visit as part of a guided tour. Numbers are incredibly limited, however, so you'll need to book at least a week in advance.

How to get there?

The closest Metro stop is Ottaviano-San Pietro. If you take a taxi though, ask about flat-rates (between major landmarks) or else make sure the meter's running. Some cab drivers try to get away with charging a special "Vatican fee" for tourists.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open hours are subject to to reservation.
  • Is it expensive?
    Adult tickets, which include admission to the Museums, are €32.00 per person.
  • Will I need a guide?
    The garden tour can only be taken with a guide.
  • How to get there
    Take the Metro to the Ottaviano-San Pietro station.
  • Additional information
    *The walking tour of the gardens takes about two hours. | Open bus tours also available, check online for more details. *

What people are saying about Vatican Gardens

Overall rating
4.3 / 5
based on 24,381 reviews

Well worth a visit, very crowded but well organised

The timed entrance ticket worked well. Security check and obtaining ticket from my online voucher straightforward. It was very busy as I'd expected, but there were far too many tour groups. It was hard to get past them as a solo traveller, and when I did pass I got dirty looks and comments from people on the tours thinking I was jumping ahead of them. This happened alot and I didn't like it. Also it was extremely hot and humid inside. Of course the ceilings and tapestries were stunning, and the Sistine Chapel amazing, but I was very glad to get out into the fresh air, even though it was hot outside

Fascinating visit to Vatican but too busy!!

We are glad we pre booked the beat the line tickets because it was REALLY busy in mid July. This saved waiting in line outside, however the huge crowd of people all wanting to see the Sistine Chapel was too much! It was very hot and very claustrophobic. You just get swept along with crowd and there is not really the time to appreciate it. However the grounds are beautiful which is welcome after being jostled along in the queue. Don’t expect any smiles from the Vatican staff or security they are all very surly and rather unfriendly.

Great for skipping the massive queue outside!

We really enjoyed the trip and we're impressed how quickly and simply we entered the museum. Allow plenty of time (at least 3hrs) as there's loads to see. It was fantastic to see all the amazing artwork and the Sistine Chapel was a highlight. The only downside was the amount of people inside at the time – our trip was at 9am and the place was packed – we felt herded from one room to the next with little room to appreciate anything or take photos. If you take this trip, choose your time and date wisely.

Fast track ticket worked well to beat the queues in 35 degree heat.

Glad we booked the fast track for the Vatican museum. It’s well worth a visit, but be warned, you are on a one way treadmill with hoards if people. It’s a bit like going through ikea..., The Basilica was not included in this ticket, but it is free, and the queue we joined seemed long, but went down really quickly, so I wouldn’t pay to jump the queue for the church. I’ve been to the museum twice now, so most likely will not go again. The basilica is amazing though, and well worth repeat visits.

Fast track ticket really helped as very long queue.

The Sistine Chapel was amazing but we needed more time for the Vatican Museum. The ticket was brilliant as we entered straight away, there was a huge queue of people waiting in the heat to get in. We got the audio guide which really helped us understand what we were seeing. Guided tours need to be booked in advance so it would be worthwhile booking if you wanted one. Great ticket and well worth the money.

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