Sistine Chapel
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Highlights of the Sistine Chapel

When it comes to touring the Vatican City, the best is saved until last: the revered Sistine Chapel. A tour de force of art and architecture by the most famous Renaissance artists, it will dazzle you. Here’s a list of highlights.

Sistine Chapel Ceiling

The Sistine Chapel is Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Its ceiling is divided into nine scenes from the Book of Genesis, depicting the creation of the world from light to dark, sun to moon, Adam to Eve.

The Creation of Adam

One of the most famous artworks of all time, the centerpiece of the ceiling is a fresco painting depicting God bringing Adam to life with his fingertips.

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

Michelangelo’s fresco depicting the Last Judgment can be seen above the altar. Interestingly, he started working on it 25 years after the ceiling, and it took four years to complete.

Southern Wall: Story of Moses

See scenes from Moses’s life, including his journey through Egypt, portrayed by the Renaissance greats: Botticelli, Perugino and Rosselli.

Northern Wall: Story of Jesus

The wall to the right of the altar shows scenes from Jesus’s life according to the great Renaissance painters.

Our insider tips

Why Is the Sistine Chapel Important?

Starting in 1508, Michelangelo spent lonely years painting the chapel's ceiling and altar, transforming these walls into one of the great masterpieces. In the words of Goethe, "If you haven't seen the Sistine Chapel, it's impossible to have any idea of what one man is capable of doing." The walls will come to life as you step in!

What to Know

Don't wear shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless shirts without bringing a scarf or covering, as you will not be allowed in. Taking photographs is strictly prohibited in the chapel.

Can You Visit the Sistine Chapel on Its Own?

Located in Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums, so can only be entered through the Museum. Admission is included in the purchase of a ticket to the Vatican Museum. Beware of anyone trying to sell you just for the Sistine Chapel, it’s a scam.

Avoiding the Lines

Over 4.5 million visitors come to the Sistine Chapel per year, so it’s difficult to completely avoid a crowd. During the Pope’s address on Wednesday mornings it’s a bit quieter, as at lunchtimes. It’s a good idea to buy tickets online in advance, and a small guided group tour is a great way to skip the line.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The Sistine Chapel is closed on Sundays and Catholic holidays. Opening hours can be erratic, so check online to avoid disappointment.
  • Is it expensive?
    €17 general entry
  • Will I need a guide?
    If you want to learn more about the amazing pieces of art, sure! There are tickets for small group tours, as well as a chance to make the Sistine Chapel part of your Rome City Pass.
  • How to get there
    The Vatican City is located inside of Rome. Bus 49 will get you there. Alternatively, take the red metro line to Cipro station.
  • Additional information

    • Beware of pickpockets, especially on crowded public transport. Hold onto your bags, and keep valuables out of sight.

    • Be sure to bring a cardigan or other long-sleeved garment to cover up your arms when entering the Sistine Chapel.

What people are saying about Sistine Chapel

Assunta was outstanding and gave us much more than trying this on own!

Skip-the-line is worth the extra that was included with our tour. Assunta was able to weave us in and out of very busy rooms with skill but not missing out on anything. Her knowledge was amazing and she answered every question that was asked of her.

Fantastic experience, professional throughout.

Excellent value for money. The time was well used enjoying the Vatican, instead of standing in queues. I’ve done long queues and crowds when travelling solo in Florence! I would ALWAYS choose ‘Get you Guide’ from now on. Simon ( our guide), was superb. Professional, informative and a great sense of humour. He created a very relaxing experience. Well done, Simon, you’re the best!

Exclusive Early Morning Vatican Tour Reviewed by Janet, 03/15/2018

Highly recommend a skip the line guided tour!

The tour guide spoke English very well and was very informative. There was no waiting in line the only hold ups were security checks but they are necessary and don’t take too long. St Peters was closed on the day of our tour for a special service but we still had a full 3 hour tour. We visited St Peters at 5pm the next day when the line wasn’t too bad again the huge line is held up by security checks but it is always moving. It is free to enter St Peters and so worth waiting in line for.

Quick entry but could have explained more

We paid around €35 each to enter with an audio guide. (Tickets for the Vatican are €17 so you pay double to queue jump basically) Entry was quick and easy with no queuing, but once in there was a bit of a scramble at the desk and very little explanation on how to use the audio guide. We worked it out ok but people who are less into technology may like a quick demo. Our entry time was 3pm and the last entry to the Cistine Chapel was 5.30. I would recommend to enter early so you don’t have to rush. The audio guide was very useful though. Overall it’s worth paying , even if it is double, to skip the queue and of course to see the beauty of the Vatican and St Peter’s. I’ve been before and had a guided tour. I would recommend anyone to do this with a reputable company. The guides are very knowledgable and explain everything as they take you through. It’s the best way to see it. Book before you go as we left it too late to get a guide. Check reviews!

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Fast-Track Entry Reviewed by Trudie, 03/07/2018

Very personal, interesting and great instruction for the Vatican tour.

Linda was a great guide showing just the right things without overpowering you with info. Answered many questions and what an incredible sight to see!

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