Immerse yourself in the Vatican's awe-inspiring art with no-wait access to the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, and more.
Enjoy fast entry tickets to see the awe-inspiring art and design of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Uncover the important religious history…
See priceless works of art from the Papal collections in the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Marvel at masterpieces from antiquity to…
Choose your preferred time and enter with no line within the booked slot! Enter St. Peter’s Basilica and the tombs (crypt) and enjoy the freedom to…
This stunning visit, under the direction of an Art Historian, will take you through the features inside the world renowned Vatican Museums, Raphael's…
Join this 3-hour tour of the Vatican with skip-the-line access. Explore the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and the St. Peter's Basilica, and…
See priceless works of art from the papal collections with your skip-the-line ticket to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Receive a 15%…
See all the most important sights of the Vatican City with a guide in your chosen language. Skip the long lines to the Vatican Museums, Sistine…
Take a guided tour of Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. Enter through an exclusive privileged entry for Vatican Museums…
Top sights in Rome
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
Is this worth it? Yes. Is it going to blow your mind? Yes. So do I recommend it overall? Yes, for sure. However, it’s just important that you know this tour is like lightning speed version overall. You definitely save precious time with the skip the line options but know you will still have to wait at various times for various things. Also, you will have a chunk of time where you’ll stand outside and they’ll just talk at you describing certain things because you can’t talk in the Sistine chapel. There is SO much to see at the Vatican museums and you’ll probably see about 1/3 of it. Then at the end you get dropped off in St Peters Basilica and find your own way from there, which is great if you have time to wander around. The tour guide was very helpful and deepened our appreciate for the art and the experience, so I recommend a tour guide for sure. Especially if you can afford a private tour guide! So, definitely a good experience, just have the proper expectations going into it!
Very helpful guide, who took us round the main collections in the Vatican museum and then into the superb Sistine Chapel. It wasn't his fault that the Pope had decided to induct new cardinals that day so we couldn't go through to St Peter's basilica and had to queue another day! Be warned - security at St Peter's was tight: we inadvertently left a picnic knife in our rucsac and had to give it up or not get in!
The tour guide was excellent. There was lots of information. It took a while before we actually left to go to the places and then it was so busy inside that we were unable to take the time to look at the things or get pictures. There was so many people inside the chapel and the museum that it was becoming dangerous and a health and safety matter due to many people pushing and getting hurt.
We were the first people into the Sistine Chapel on the day we visited. Within 15 minutes it was busy, but by then we'd had time to soak it up without the crowd. We were leaving St Peter's Basilica before 10am to wander round other parts of Rome, passing long queues waiting to go in. This is not an easy option and it's not cheap, but it is well worth doing.
Thanks Lindy, the best guide we have had by far. Not only did you count numbers and check we were all there, you rotated us around so all could look at the objects and take pics. You had a sense of humour, excellent English and a good knowledge of your subject. Superb job. Thanks a million.