St. Peter's Basilica
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St. Peter's Basilica: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in St. Peter's Basilica

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The Majestic Architecture of St. Peter's Basilica

The world-famous St. Peter's Basilica took 120 years to complete and involved some of the most talented architects of its time. It's arguably the greatest achievement of late-Renaissance architecture – here are five highlights amongst its countless marvels.

St. Peter's Square

The magnificent entrance to the Basilica consists of a gigantic square, featuring a 25-meter obelisk at the center, encircled by colossal Tuscan colonnades four columns deep.

The Facade

The Basilica's facade, designed by Baroque architect Maderno, is 114 meters wide and 45 meters tall. Built entirely from travertine stone, it's quite simply breathtaking.

The Nave

The opulent interiors, including Maderno's lavishly-decorated nave, are so immense that it can be hard to judge the building's proportions.

The Dome

At 136 meters, Michelangelo's famous dome is the tallest dome in the world. It stands proud in Rome's skyline and offers a staggering panorama of the city.

Vatican Grottoes

Below the Basilica, there's a large network of tunnels housing the Vatican Grottoes. Many popes are buried here, including John Paul II and the first ever pope, St. Peter himself.

Our insider tips

Mind the Dress Code

As a Catholic building, appropriate clothing is required to enter St. Peter's Basilica. Regardless of the high temperatures in Rome during the summer, shorts, bare shoulders and miniskirts are not allowed – the dress code is strictly enforced.

Arrive Early to Avoid the Lines

The queues to enter St. Peter's Basilica can get extremely long. It's therefore a good idea to arrive early, especially at the height of summer when temperatures can be sweltering. From April to September, the basilica's opening hours are from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM, while from October to March, the basilica is open from 7:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Note that most mornings, the queues are already snaking around the square by 11:00 AM.

See the Pope

Every Wednesday, the Pope holds a public audience on St. Peter’s Square, and in the Audience Hall during winter. The audience starts at 10:30 AM, but most visitors arrive earlier to score a good seat. Security opens between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    7:00 AM - 6:30 PM daily.
  • Is it expensive?
    Ticket prices vary depending on group size.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Recommended!
  • How to get there
    Buses 64, 60, and 40 will get you to the Vatican City. Alternatively, take the red metro line to Cipro station.
  • Additional information

    • Bring a covering for your shoulders, and do not wear shorts or short skirts.

    • Use sunscreen and bring water for when you are waiting in line outside.

What people are saying about St. Peter's Basilica

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, 09/17/2018

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.

Very good as we saw huge queues for tickets and entry.

Very good as we saw huge queues for tickets and entry. Was very glad as the sun was very strong and we also had only 4-5 hrs to do this city - best decision. Thank u. Fully worth the price.

Amazing tour - a must do for visiting the Vatican

The tour guide was amazing. We learned a great deal. His demeanor kept the tour lively and fun. Excellent job!

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