Vatican Museums
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Vatican Museums: Tours & Tickets

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Top 5 things to see at the Vatican museum

When in Rome, don’t miss out on the Vatican’s world-famous Vatican Museums. Over the centuries, popes have built up a truly astounding collection of artistic masterpieces. There are countless things to see, but make sure not to miss these 5 highlights.

The Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel alone would be worth a trip to the Vatican Museums. Painted by the greatest Renaissance painters, the chapel’s famous frescoes are quite simply sublime.

Raphael Rooms

The 4 dazzling Raphael Rooms form the public part of the pope’s apartments. Raphael’s magnificent frescoes decorating the walls give those of the Sistine Chapel a run for their money.

The Belvedere Torso

This stunning sculpture of a muscly male torso was highly influential for Renaissance artists like Michelangelo (note Christ’s similar pose in the Sistine Chapel’s Last Judgement).

Leonardo Da Vinci’s St. Jerome in the Wilderness

Despite being unfinished, this gorgeous painting is a glorious demonstration of Leonardo’s painterly prowess. Unbelievably, it was once cut up and used to cover a barber’s stool.

Sala Rotonda (Round Room)

A masterpiece of neo-classical architecture, this majestic room is shaped like a miniature pantheon, with lavish mosaics covering the floors and ancient statues lining the walls.

Vatican Museums: Our Tips

Best time of year to visit

Although the Vatican Museums are 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.

Save money

On the last Sunday of every month, entrance to the Vatican Museums is free during opening hours, from 9am until 12:30pm. This is a great way of saving money, but be warned: these free days are also the most popular. If you’d rather avoid the large crowds, you’re better off going on a regular day.

Pick the right time of day

The ticket office opens at 9am. If you want to see as much as possible, then you should arrive early, as the Vatican Museums are huge (over 9 miles!) and long lines can start forming at the entrance even before opening time. However, if you’re more interested in avoiding the queues, come around 1pm. Most people will be headed for lunch at that time and it’s often possible to walk straight in without wait.

Don’t leave it too late

Even if you’re intending to avoid the queues, don’t come too late. The ticket office closes at 4pm and the Vatican Museums close at 6pm. If you want to have time to see the Sistine Chapel, you should arrive at the Vatican Museums by 3pm at the latest.

Good to Know

  • When to visit
    365 days a year!
  • What is the price?
    Free to look at from the outside. Admission tickets vary.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Not compulsory, but highly recommended
  • How to get there
    Taxi, bus, Metro, tram or by foot from Rome. Look here for more detailed directions.
  • Additional tips
    • 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 Museums

Sabrina was an excellent guide. Should not miss !

Sabrina made our day. The tour of The Vatican was wonderful. She was informative and engaging.

Great quality of Historic information and attention from The Guide.

The meeting spot was convenient and transition into The Vatican was smooth and Quick. Definitely worth just skipping the outrageous lineup outside. The Gudie was knowledgeable and Very thorough with any questions pertaining to the art/displays. It was an incredible experience and Inwould definitely reccomend the guide tour to anybody looking to have a better understanding of the gorgeous Art and history that Resides inside the Vatican.

Crowded with people on a hot day but excellent guide on the tour.

The male guide took us to The Vatican and informed us, helped us to find water and rest in the shadow on this hot friday. Humour and good knowledge and the sense to inform us only the most needed made him the perfect guide.

Our guide PG was what made the tour amazing and very informative,

Our guide PG was simply amazing, he was very knowledgeable and very attentive. The tour was very enjoyable

Our guide was excellent, informative and enthusiastic.

The tour was very good and very well organised. The guide was knowledgable and interesting and it was a good size group. The amount of people in the Vatican was rather a disappointment as we were herded through without really having time to look at things properly but that is an observation - not a criticism of the tour company. I would definitely recommend this company to friends

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