Gardens of Vatican City

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5 things to see and do at the Vatican Gardens

Roughly half of the Vatican is covered by flawlessly cultivated parks and gardens. You'll need to book a tour at least a week in advance if you want to see them, but here are a few of the treasures that'll be revealed if you do!

  • Sphere Within Sphere

    1. Sphere Within Sphere

    Arnaldo Pomodoro's Sphere Within Sphere was the first modern art piece to be exhibited at the Vatican Museums. It looks static, but push it firmly and it'll begin to rotate!

  • 2. Eagle Fountain

    Outside the Mater Ecclesiae nun monastery lies this spectacular fountain, designed by Giovanni Vasanzio to look like a heavenly lagoon.

  • Courtyard of the Pinecone

    3. Courtyard of the Pinecone

    The highest terrace in the famed Belvedere Courtyard takes its name from the 1st-century bronze sculpture of a pinecone that once crowned a Roman fountain.

  • Radio Vaticana

    4. Radio Vaticana

    Founded in 1931, the station played a vital role in the broadcast of anti-fascist information. Unfortunately, the first report on Nazi treatment of Poles and Jews fell on deaf ears.

  • House of Pius IV

    5. House of Pius IV

    Built in 1563, the beautiful "Casina di Pio IV" is the oldest building in the Vatican Gardens. It's now an integral part of the Pontificial Academy of Sciences.

Planning Your Visit

  • What are the opening times?

    Opening hours are subject to reservation. The Vatican Gardens aren't open to the general public, but you can still visit as part of a guided tour. Numbers are incredibly limited, however, so you'll need to book at least a week in advance.

  • How to get there?

    The closest Metro stop is Ottaviano-San Pietro. If you take a taxi though, ask about flat-rates (between major landmarks) or else make sure the meter's running. Some cab drivers try to get away with charging a special "Vatican fee" for tourists.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Monday-Tuesday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
    Thursday-Saturday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
    Holiday hours may vary
  • Is it expensive?
    Adult tickets, which include admission to the Museums, are €32.00 per person.
  • Will I need a guide?
    The garden tour can only be taken with a guide.
  • How to get there
    Take the Metro to the Ottaviano-San Pietro station.
  • Additional information
    *The walking tour of the gardens takes about two hours. | Open bus tours also available, check online for more details. *

Other Sightseeing Options in Gardens of Vatican City

Want to discover all there is to do in Gardens of Vatican City? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Vatican Gardens

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 541 reviews

The length of the experience may seem too long but it definitely didn't feel that way. The Vatican is incredible and time simply stands still when you are in the Sistine Chapel. You simply don't want to leave the beauty and peace. Our guide, Debora, was amazing. We had a group of 5 and she made an effort to connect with each person in the group throughout the day. She was very knowledgeable and personable. The train ride to Castel Gandolfo was fun. Imagine taking a private train in the back yard of the Pope's home as you exit the amazing gardens. I highly recommend you watch "The Two Popes" in advance of going. I always find myself imagining what life was like whenever I visit a site. The movie certainly brings to life the interactions that may have happened in real life.

I really enjoyed the Sistine Chapel and I learned a lot of history.

Amazing! I learnt so much about the Vatican and is history thanks to our friendly and enthusiastic guide,however, he was a little difficult to follow at certain points as he spoke very fast. I loved everything but my highlight was the Sistine Chapel, it was Very Beautiful! I could have spent hours gazing in awe at the images and colours there. St Peters, wow, the sheer size and atmosphere is incredible! Walking in and being surrounded by the architecture and walking up to the dome (after the tour) and seeing the mosaics up close was truly breathtaking. And to top it all seeing the view from the top of the Basillica was the perfect End.

Amazing , the most incredable thing I have every seen

Our guide was extremely nice and gave us a wonderful tour of the Vatican museum, St Peters and Sistine Chapel. A must have tour to truly understand what is all means!

Luigi was full of knowledge a very enjoyable experience and had massi

Very enjoyable experience. Luigi was full of information and had time for any questions. Mass in St Peters was lovely too. Pat and Nora

Excellent guide that really put in an amazing effort to connect with our kids. Wonderful tour!