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Vatican Gardens
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Vatican Gardens: Tours & Tickets

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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
4.4 / 5
based on 423 reviews

Loved it! We really skipped the entire line and crowds and went in

This was a wonderful option with kids. This allows you to just skip the line, go right in and and see what you want-no tour guide. This was so important in the summer heat. With young kids, we opted to bypass a lot of the museum (the first half) and go into the Sistine Chapel... in order to get into the Sistine Chapel during the busy summer months, you still have to see a good portion of the museum anyway as you work your way on the path to the Sistine chapel. With this ticket, you aren’t with a tour so you don’t have to wait in a group... you can go at your pace. After the Sistine Chapel you can also go into St Peters Basilica-Free and open to just walk in before leaving Vatican City. Enjoy!

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.

Don’t follow the directions - follow the crowd!

Even with all the crowds, follow them for the entrance to this place. The address listed takes you to the top behind the place!. Also expect about a 3 hr experience - most in which there is no air conditioning and the chapel is VeRY crowded with no reasonable exit. Do not go if you are claustrophobic! Otherwise this is a fantastic experience. Just long and hot... and we made the hike to meet the address listed which was exhausting and unnecessary.

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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