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

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 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 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

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

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?
    Open daily, 7:00 AM-6:00 PM
    Wednesdays (Papal audience), 12:00 PM-6:00 PM
    Holiday hours may vary
  • 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

Overall rating
4.4 / 5
based on 83,430 reviews

This was a fantastic tour made particularly good by our excellent tour guide Matej. The wealth of art and architecture on display was incredible, and Matej's knowledge of it all was very impressive. If anything, 3 hours wasn't enough, and in fact by the time we left St Peter's Basilica it had been closer to 4. It was nice to go at a time when it was less busy due to Covid, and I would highly recommend it to anyone in Rome.

3-Hour Semi-Private Early Vatican Tour Reviewed by

Wonderful tour full of information and all the perfect highlights! Would highly recommend to anyone traveling to the area and wanting to see the Vatican and St. Peters Basilica. David was an amazing tour guide that was experienced and knowledgeable. Thankful to have had this tour otherwise we would have been so lost and not known what to do or what we were seeing.

3-Hour Semi-Private Early Vatican Tour Reviewed by

Excellent guide (Yuri). 3 hours just about right. Not sure that leaving the best until last (The Sistine Chapel) is the best way to do the tour, by that time, with feet aching and needing a rest I just didn't absorb the magnitude of what I was seeing. Awesome artwork but by that time I just wanted a McDonald's!

Best of the Vatican 3-Hour Small Group Tour Reviewed by

I had a a great experience visiting without waiting on line the Basilica of St. Peter and the Vatican Museums with the Sistine Chapel. Well organized. The Basilica and the Museums are in different areas of the Vatican City with different entrances It was nice to have this combination ! Thanks

Yuri our tour guide was great! Our tour was in english and he was super informative and answered all our questions and gave us an amazing 3-hour tour of the Vatican-City plus museums! Would definitely recommend this tour!

Best of the Vatican 3-Hour Small Group Tour Reviewed by