Vatican City
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skiptheline vatican sistine chapel st. peter’s tour

Skip-the-Line Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Tour

Duration: 2.5 hours
648 Reviews
GetYourGuide Original
648

Get more time to immerse yourself in the Vatican's awe-inspiring art with no-wait access to the museums and basilicas. Your expert guide will bring…

Vatican City: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in Vatican City

Top sights in Rome

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What is the Vatican City?

Vatican City – everyone’s heard about it, but what is it exactly? Is it a part of Rome, is it independent, are only priests allowed in? There are a lot of mysteries and misconceptions surrounding Vatican City, so here are 5 fascinating facts.

The Smallest Country in the World

The Smallest Country in the World

With a tiny population of 842 and an area of 110 acres (roughly an eighth of New York’s Central Park), Vatican City is the world's smallest independent nation-state.

An Economy without Trade or Taxes

An Economy without Trade or Taxes

As a completely non-commercial economy, all of Vatican City’s money comes from donations, museum admission fees and the sale of postage stamps, books and tourist souvenirs.

A Veritable Culture Treasure Trove

A Veritable Culture Treasure Trove

Featuring the world-famous Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City is a highly popular tourist destination, attracting over 4 million visitors yearly.

The Pope Has a Secret Escape Tunnel
Photo: Raja Patnaik @wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Pope Has a Secret Escape Tunnel

In 1277, a secret passageway was built between the Vatican City and the nearby fortified castle Castel Sant’Angelo, providing an escape route for the pope if the city was attacked.

Those are Not Harlequins

Those are Not Harlequins

The colorfully dressed men standing in front of the city’s entrances are the famous Swiss Guards. Former mercenaries, they are now the permanent de facto army of Vatican City.

Our insider tips

Best Time of Year to Visit

Although Vatican City is extremely popular with tourists all year around, if you’re looking for a quieter visit, your best bet is during the low season between November and February.

Give Yourself Enough Time

There is so much to see in Vatican City, make sure you’re not pressed for time. Importantly, if you want to see the Sistine Chapel, it’s essential that you enter the Vatican Museums before 3:00 PM so you can reach the chapel before it closes.

Book a Tour?

Although there is more than enough to take in as an individual visitor, those who want to learn about Vatican City’s rich history would benefit from one of the many excellent tours offered. There are public as well as private tours. Note that latter need to be booked well in advance.

See the Pope

You’re unlikely to run into the pope on your visit to Vatican City. However, every Wednesday the pope holds a public audience on St. Peter’s Square in the summer and in the Audience Hall during winter. The audience starts at 10:30 AM, but most visitors arrive earlier to secure a good seat. Security opens between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    365 days a year!
  • Is it expensive?
    Free to look at from the outside. Admission tickets vary.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Not compulsory, but recommended.
  • How to get there
    Taxi, bus, metro, tram or by foot from Rome. Look here for more detailed directions.
  • Additional information

    • Large bags are not allowed in the museums, so pack light!

    • There is often no air conditioning in the museums so make sure to dress accordingly and bring a bottle of water.

What people are saying about Vatican City

Excellent tour & knowledgeable tour guide

Marcelo was great! Very knowledgeable & passionate, but not overwhelming. Had a wonderful time & learned so much.

Lovely tour of the Rome outskirts in one wrap!

Our tour guide Francesca (I hope I spelled that right) was engaging, funny, and I was glad that she kept some grown up information discreet (but in good humor) so that our 11 year old didn't have a clue of what she was hinting in terms of "social services" of women :) Thank you for an informational and well organized tour, from sign up to the tour end. We are very happy with the overall experience of the tour and would like to refer others as well. In terms of tagging along children on tours, it was a tour that could be done on stroller and the activities were short and precise, therefore our four children from 2 to 11 were not bored at any point but I would also like to make a point that we were not rushed at all. I would recommend this tour to people without vehicles and also with small children as you can cover a lot in the morning, but still get to see the wonderful aqueducts and other historical places. If you try to get there yourself, you are sure to get lost/not find parking!

Great expiriance - the order is easy and email confirmation on time.

Great experience - the order is easy and email confirmation with a tickets came on time .

Guide with deep knowledge and genuine interest

Very good guide! Good tour. We got to see it all, and had a great time in the Vatican!

Well organized, outlining of the main subjects & disciplined guide.

The subject is a priori wonderfull, still with the numerous attendance, the guide could highlight what's most important.

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