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

What an amazing tour, the three hours seemed to pass by in no time,

My family an i really enjoyed the tour. what an amazing opertunity to visit such an incredible area. Would defently recomend this to anybody that is in Rome. One thing i would recomend is that if you have any children with you it would be worth bring some photo ID of them....

The ticket was convenient, allowing us to skip the long lines.

We had no problem locating where to get the tickets, and were glad to skip the lines by the ticket office. We went right in by the groups enterance.

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Fast-Track Entry Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 06/17/2018

Very good program and very excellent staff

Special thanks to coordinator, Ms Maria Laura. We, whole family planned to visit on 15/6/18, 3:30pm, but as I am not familiar with the online booking system, I wrongly booked or 16/6/18, 3:30pm trip but I did not aware of it until I arrived at the venue. My family members were very disappointed. Fortunately, Laura coordinated with customer services to advanced my appointment by one day so that can join the program on 15/6/18 and no need to miss it as we could not come back again on 16/6/18. So, once again, I and my family members would like to express our greatest gratitude and appreciation towards Ms Maria Laura.

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Fast-Track Entry Reviewed by YIU KWOK, 06/17/2018

Fantastic, tour guide Alma was sensational, very knowledgeable. Thankd

Alma our tour guide was amazing, very informative and knowledgeable. Well organised. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour through Enjoy Rome. Thanks

Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel & Saint Peter's Guided Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 06/15/2018

An excellent tour along with an outstanding and knowledgeable guide

Our guide, Valerio, was an absolute master with his presentation. His depth of facts and information was outstanding.

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