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  • Address: Vialle Vaticano, Vatican City 00120, Italy
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Rome ATTRACTIONS See all

Vatican City Tours

Vatican City may be the smallest sovereign nation-state in the world, but it is a religious and cultural superpower, home to some of the world’s greatest artistic and architectural marvels—namely St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter’s Square, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. It is located wholly within the confines of Rome, covers 110 acres (44 hectares), and has an official population of about 800. Having gained recognition of full independence in 1929 and today governed by the pope, Vatican City has its own post office that issues official stamps and a banking system that mints coins (though the euro is used for commerce).

The Basics
Some of Rome’s most visited attractions are set in Vatican City. The Vatican Museums often have long entry lines stretching for blocks along the city walls; to avoid the crowds, consider reserving a small-group Vatican tour with skip-the-line access or a private tour with VIP priority access in the morning or evening. Vatican City private and group tours generally include visits to the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pinacoteca, other sights in the Vatican Museums complex, and the Vatican Gardens.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The pope’s weekly address in St. Peter’s Square is wildly popular, so be sure to book official Papal Audience tickets in advance.
  • Vatican City houses some of Italy’s most important artistic masterpieces, including Michelangelo’s “Pietà” in St. Peter’s Basilica and ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, plus the museum complex’s Raphael Rooms.
  • To enter St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, appropriate attire and behavior are required. Wear modest clothing and keep your voice low.
  • Security for entering the museum complex and the basilica includes a metal detector, so don’t bring any banned items—pocketknives, corkscrews, umbrellas, etc.

How to Get There
The most scenic way to enter Vatican City is by foot from the center of Rome, across Ponte Sant'Angelo to Piazza San Pietro. Alternatively, the Ottaviano station, on metro Line A, is about a five-minute walk away.

When to Get There
Vatican City heaves with tourists year-round. Summer is the busiest time of year, when skip-the-line tickets or a private tour guide are essential; the museums are less crowded during the winter months. At any time of year, Vatican City’s sights are busiest at midday, so plan your Rome tour around a visit in the early morning or late afternoon.

The Swiss Guards
One of the most photographed sights in Vatican City are the brightly costumed Swiss Guards, who stand at attention around St. Peter’s Square. This small force of Swiss soldiers is maintained by the Holy See and provides security for the papal residence and the pope, as it has since 1506.

Tours & Tickets

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Skip the Line: Vatican Museum, Rome, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 2

Skip the Line: Vatican Museum

4.5 star rating: Recommended 2274 Reviews

Use your skip-the-line Vatican Museums ticket to explore one of the world’s greatest museum complexes at leisure! A veritable Aladdin’s Cave, the Vatican ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $47.13
Private Early Morning Vatican Tour with Hotel Pickup, Rome, Skip-the-Line Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Private Early Morning Vatican Tour with Hotel Pickup

The Vatican museums are one of the world's most visited museum complexes and undoubtedly on Rome's "must see" list. Yet with long lines, crowds and its ...  Read more

Location: Vatican City, Vatican City
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $117.81
Vatican Highlights Group Tour Specialized for Families with Children, Rome, Cultural Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Vatican Highlights Group Tour Specialized for Families with Children

4.5 star rating: Recommended 12 Reviews

Explore the highlights of the Vatican Museums on this specially tailored 2.5-hour tour for families with children. A scavenger hunt helps to engage visitors ...  Read more

Location: Vatican City, Vatican City
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $118.00
Early Access Vatican Museums Small-Group Tour with St. Peter’s and Sistine Chapel, Rome, Kid ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 4

Early Access Vatican Museums Small-Group Tour with St. Peter’s and Sistine Chapel

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2425 Reviews

See the highlights of the world-famous Vatican Museums in one morning on this intimate, small-group Vatican walking tour! Starting early in the morning to beat ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $113.69
Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica Half-Day Walking Tour, Rome, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 4

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica Half-Day Walking Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 6014 Reviews

See the highlights of Vatican City with an expert guide, visiting the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica! After paying your entrance ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $43.59
Vatican VIP Experience: Exclusive Breakfast at the Vatican with Early Access to Vatican Museum and ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 4

Vatican VIP Experience: Exclusive Breakfast at the Vatican with Early Access to Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 615 Reviews

Start your day at the Vatican with a lavish buffet breakfast in the Pinecone Courtyard, followed by a small-group tour (limited to 16) of the Vatican Museums ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours 45 minutes (approx.)

From USD $128.42
Before Hours Vatican Museums with Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s, Rome, Viator VIP Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 4

Before Hours Vatican Museums with Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 149 Reviews

Begin your exploration of the Vatican Museums an hour before the general public on this three hour tour. With your small group and professional ...  Read more

Location: Vatican City, Vatican City
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $99.00
Skip the Line: Vatican Experience Tour, Rome, Cultural Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 4

Skip the Line: Vatican Experience Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 117 Reviews

Explore the Vatican City with our specialized guides for an all-inclusive itinerary - you will walk through the labyrinth of the Vatican Museums , ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $89.54
Vatican for Kids Private Tour, Rome, Skip-the-Line Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 4

Vatican for Kids Private Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 37 Reviews

With this 3-hour private tour of the Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica, the whole family will be captivated by stunning works of art and ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $106.03
Entire Vatican and Vatacombs: Heritage of Rome Tour, Rome, Kid Friendly Tours & Activities
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 4

Entire Vatican and Vatacombs: Heritage of Rome Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 166 Reviews

This comprehensive 3-hour Vatican tour includes Sistine Chapel, the extensive Vatican Museums and the ‘Vatacombs’ - the final resting place of many popes. ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $76.58

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