Vatican Museums
Enter your dates to find available activities

Top Pick

Browse by tickets and tours

See all tours & things to do in Vatican Museums

Top sights in Rome

See all 1224 tickets & tours

Top 5 Things to See at the Vatican Museums

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.

Our insider 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 9:00 AM until 12:30 PM. 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 9:00 AM. 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 1:00 PM. 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 4:00 PM and the Vatican Museums close at 6:00 PM. If you want to have time to see the Sistine Chapel, you should arrive at the Vatican Museums by 3:00 PM at the latest.

Good to know

  • 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 highly 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 Museums

Booking this cut out lots of queuing time and was worthwhile

We had been advised to book in advance to save queuing time - this was definitely the case. Due to the huge amount of people in and around the queues, it was very chaotic - my criticism would be that once inside, the guide was not able to brief everyone because of the amount of noise, therefore, we missed most of the tips. None the less, definitely worth booking this skip the line ticket in advance.

Really well organised and in within minutes

So glad we booked the skip the line for this, the queue was huge when we arrived. We got straight in with the Get Your Guide rep, no hassle. It was incredibly busy inside but was certainly a sight not to miss.

Wouldn’t do Vatican tour again.-too crowded!!

The Vatican tour was terrible. Too crowded. Guide went through too quickly and was constantly talking in the microphone. Heard every and all conversations. The Colliseum tour was amazing. Guide was very informative and patient!! Would highly recommend the Colliseum tour any day.

Vatican and Colosseum 1-Day Combo Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 06/07/2018

Best way to experience a stressful journey

For a fast track introduction to Vatican City, this was great. Our guide was phenomenal. As these places are beyond packed this time of year, this was a good way to get through in a less stressful way to figure out what I wanted more of.

Our guide was knowledgeable and entertaining.

Biggest problem was that that the “skip the line” claim is not true. You’ve just traded one line for another, “guided tour” line. It STILL took over an hour in line outside just to enter the door!! -then another 20-30 minutes waiting in the lobby till our guide got our tickets. : (.

Things to do near Vatican Museums