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

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

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

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

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

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

Our guide was extremely knowledgeable answered all our questions was a

Was sad to end our tour Rebeca was more then we could have imagined. Her knowledge of all things Rome was very impressive. Would do it again when we return to Rome 110% Happy

A great value trip, covers the Vatican very well for about 3 hours.

The guide, Vasco, was really good. Took us through the entire trip with a combination of information and humor, and ensured the entire group kept pace with him. We went through the museums, the Sistine Chapel and the St Peter's Basilica and managed to see a lot of the important artifacts, paintings and statues and hear the history behind them. A guided tour is certainly recommended for the first timers to the Vatican.

Excellent tour with a exceptional guide.

We booked this tour based on our son's recommendation. The tour was wonderful. Our guide, Faviania was knowledgable, delightful, and very caring.

Excellent show, no problems getting tickets

The show was really good, Glad we did this activity. The venue was easy to find and staff were very friendly.

The Last Judgement: A Musical and Visual Spectacle Reviewed by Consuelo, 11/05/2018

We got he most despite one of the busiest day of the year

Thank you to Sabina who perfectly knows the Vatican and could avoid us most annoying queuing lines. We were happy to have her as our guide (since she has been performing this tour for over 22 years now!). A visitors digest!

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