See priceless works of art from the Papal collections in the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Marvel at masterpieces from antiquity to…
Enjoy a 45-minute bus tour with audio guide commentary and admire the Vatican Gardens' fountains, sculptures, and historical buildings.
Join a 2.5-hour tour of the Vatican with skip-the-ticket-line access. Explore the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel during off-hours with an…
Choose your preferred time and skip the ticket lines within the booked slot! Enter St. Peter’s Basilica and the tombs (crypt) and enjoy the freedom…
See all the most important sights of Vatican City with a guide in your chosen language. Skip the ticket lines to the Vatican Museums and Sistine…
Enjoy a small-group guided tour of the Vatican Museums prior to the general opening time. Then, discover the Sistine Chapel with its marvelous with…
Skip the ticket lines and discover one of the world's top art collections at the Vatican Museums at your own pace. Marvel at Michelangelo's frescoes…
See the unparalleled collections assembled by the popes throughout the ages with skip-the-ticket-line access into the Vatican Museums and Sistine…
Optimize your time at the Vatican with skip-the-ticket-line entry, and explore at your own pace. Visit the Vatican Museums to discover the…
Enjoy tour of Saint Peter's Basilica, one of Rome’s prime attractions, with skip-the-ticket-line access. Delight in hidden wonders of the Renaissance…
Top sights in Rome
Vatican City – everyone’s heard about it, but what is it exactly? Is it a part of Rome, is it independent, are only priests allowed in? There are a lot of mysteries and misconceptions surrounding Vatican City, so here are 5 fascinating facts.
With a tiny population of 842 and an area of 110 acres (roughly an eighth of New York’s Central Park), Vatican City is the world's smallest independent nation-state.
As a completely non-commercial economy, all of Vatican City’s money comes from donations, museum admission fees and the sale of postage stamps, books and tourist souvenirs.
Featuring the world-famous Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City is a highly popular tourist destination, attracting over 4 million visitors yearly.
In 1277, a secret passageway was built between the Vatican City and the nearby fortified castle Castel Sant’Angelo, providing an escape route for the pope if the city was attacked.
The colorfully dressed men standing in front of the city’s entrances are the famous Swiss Guards. Former mercenaries, they are now the permanent de facto army of Vatican City.
Although Vatican City is 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.
There is so much to see in Vatican City, make sure you’re not pressed for time. Importantly, if you want to see the Sistine Chapel, it’s essential that you enter the Vatican Museums before 3:00 PM so you can reach the chapel before it closes.
Although there is more than enough to take in as an individual visitor, those who want to learn about Vatican City’s rich history would benefit from one of the many excellent tours offered. There are public as well as private tours. Note that latter need to be booked well in advance.
You’re unlikely to run into the pope on your visit to Vatican City. However, every Wednesday the pope holds a public audience on St. Peter’s Square in the summer and in the Audience Hall during winter. The audience starts at 10:30 AM, but most visitors arrive earlier to secure a good seat. Security opens between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM.
- 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 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 City
Once actually on the tour, the guide was very good at getting the group through the formalities. She was very pleasant, very knowledgeable with excellent spoken English. The online booking process was straightforward, however on arrival at the meeting point, our booking had not been logged on the time slot sheet, (we were not the only ones) although we were still permitted on the tour. In view of the numbers on the tour, the area for waiting was very small and crowded and staff dealt with several different tour participants at the same time, which led to confusion and long delays. Our arrival at the Vatican was therefore delayed by over one hour, with no apologies. We felt the group size was too big to be manageable and the number was over that stated for the tour. The museums were packed with movement through very slow, which meant that our group were strung out along the rooms. Audio then kept breaking up as we were often out of range of the tour guide.
tour started off a little out of order mostly at the check in process due to number of people in all the tours. Seemed like they started four tours at the same time so it was a little confusing. But once we got into the vatican our tour guide (who is a former archaeologist) provided TONS of interesting details about everything were looking at. Very informative and interesting. overall would take the tour again, hopefully they work out the check in details
Our guide Marie-Terese took us through the skip the line entrance on a very busy day . Once hooked up with our radio she pointed out all the most relevant things to see in the short time ( 3 hours) we had with her . You could spend a week there and still not see everything! She managed to keep us all together during our tour and at the end of the tour gave us some usefull pointers to see other things . We went up into the dome which was amazing .
Our tour consisted of only the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel as St. Peter's Basilica was closed. The problem was the provider of the tour never told us this and left us at the entrance to the Sistine Chapel. I contacted Ger Your Guide and, Angelica did some fact-checking and refunded us some money. That said, I guide was good and the tour was good, just disappointed that we could not see St. Peter's Basilica. Great job Get your Guide.
I would recommend this option for seeing the museum Sistine chapel and St Peters with minimal delays. One word of advice don’t leave the Vatican with your guide if you wish to spend more time browsing on your own. We didn’t realise we couldn’t go back until it was too late.