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  • Address: Viale Vaticano, Vatican City, Italy
  • Hours: Monday–Saturday 9am–6pm
  • Admission: Varies

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Vatican Tours

The Vatican—a commonly used moniker for the Vatican Museums—is an enormous complex of galleries that hold some of Italy’s most important artistic masterpieces, from paintings and sculptures to tapestries and classical antiquities. Adjoining St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican’s miles of corridors connect buildings and courtyards housing the Pinacoteca, Egyptian Museum, Gallery of Tapestries, Pius-Clementine Museum, and Gallery of Maps. But the crown jewels are the Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo’s phenomenal ceiling and his fresco “The Last Judgment,” and the Raphael Rooms, covered in 16th-century frescoes by the eponymous Italian Renaissance painter and architect.

The Basics
The Vatican is the most popular attraction in Rome, hosting millions of visitors each year. Booking a small-group guided tour or skip-the-line access in advance is highly recommended. A private tour offering early access in the morning, before the museums are open to the general public, is an excellent way to enjoy the Vatican’s treasures in relative peace. Many group tours include visits to the museums and Sistine Chapel along with St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Gardens. There is a tremendous amount to take in here, so if you are traveling as a family with young children who may get overwhelmed, consider a guided kid-friendly tour that focuses on the Vatican highlights.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Entry lines often stretch for blocks, and wait times can be two or three hours, especially in summer. Book in advance.
  • Vatican Museums tickets include entrance to the Sistine Chapel, and the same opening hours apply.
  • Appropriate behavior and attire (shoulders, knees, and abdomen covered) are required to enter the Sistine Chapel.
  • Security for entering the museum complex includes a metal detector, so don’t bring any banned items—pocketknives, corkscrews, umbrellas, etc.
  • There is a free cloakroom where you can check large bags, umbrellas, and luggage.

How to Get There
The Vatican Museums complex is adjacent to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The Ottaviano station, on metro Line A, is about a five-minute walk away.

When to Get There
The Vatican sees crowds of travelers year-round. It is busiest in summer, when skip-the-line tickets or a private tour guide are essential; the museums are relatively less crowded during winter. At any time of year, the museums are most crowded at midday, so aim to visit in the early morning or late afternoon if you’re looking for a quieter experience.

Seeing the Pope at the Vatican
Each week, usually on Wednesday mornings, the pope and cardinals give a papal address in St. Peter’s Square. Throngs descend for the papal audience, so be sure to book official tickets in advance if you want to be assured a chance to see the pope deliver his weekly message.

Tours & Tickets

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Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, St Peter’s, Sistine Chapel, Small-Group Upgrade Option, Rome, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, St Peter’s, Sistine Chapel, Small-Group Upgrade Option

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 22962 Reviews

Visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica on this guided Vatican walking tour, in a group of no more than 20 people! See Raphael’s ...  Read more

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

From USD $76.70
Viator VIP: Sistine Chapel Private Viewing and Small-Group Tour of the Vatican's Secret Rooms, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Viator VIP: Sistine Chapel Private Viewing and Small-Group Tour of the Vatican's Secret Rooms

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 529 Reviews

See the Vatican like a VIP with a once-in-a-lifetime private Sistine Chapel viewing and tour of the Vatican Museum’s secret rooms. The small-group tour gives ...  Read more

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

From USD $414.96
Early Access Vatican Museums Small-Group Tour with St. Peter’s and Sistine Chapel, Rome, Viator VIP ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2385 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 $117.57
Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica Half-Day Walking Tour, Rome, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

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

4.5 star rating: Recommended 5962 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 fee ...  Read more

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

From USD $40.24
Skip the Line: Vatican Museums Tickets, Rome, Skip-the-Line Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums Tickets

4.5 star rating: Recommended 2241 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 $47.78
Early Access: Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums Ticket, Rome, Skip-the-Line Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Early Access: Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums Ticket

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 537 Reviews

Visit the Sistine Chapel 30 minutes before the doors are opened to the public, and see its Renaissance treasures without the crowds! After gazing in wonder at ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $61.62
Papal Audience Tickets and Presentation, Rome, Skip-the-Line Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Papal Audience Tickets and Presentation

4.5 star rating: Recommended 1100 Reviews

See the pope and his cardinals deliver their weekly address in Vatican City with a ticket to the papal audience. Follow a local guide through the crowds to a ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $49.04
Vatican VIP Experience: Exclusive Breakfast at the Vatican with Early Access to Vatican Museum and ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 607 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 $149.64
Skip the Line Private Tour: Vatican Museums Walking Tour, Rome, Viator VIP Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Skip the Line Private Tour: Vatican Museums Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 434 Reviews

What better way to see the Vatican than with your own private guide? Do just that on this 3-hour walking tour, and explore the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel ...  Read more

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

From USD $102.82
No Wait: Extended Vatican Museums Tour with Bramante Staircase, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

No Wait: Extended Vatican Museums Tour with Bramante Staircase, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 98 Reviews

While many Vatican tours include whistle-stop views of the art, this exciting 4.5-hour tour focuses on the Vatican Museum’s bounty of artistic treasures, with ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $111.91

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