Welcome to the Vatican · St. Peter’s Basilica · Vatican Museums

The Vatican is a separate state and admission is precisely regulated. Find out about the dress code, skip-the-line tickets, and guided tours of the Vatican Museums, the Gardens, and St. Peter’s Basilica.

St. Peter's Basilica St. Peter's Square Obelisk

The Vatican is one of the most visited attractions in the world. With around 11 million visitors, in normal years, more than half of the around 20 million visitors to Rome visit St. Peter’s Basilica. There are around 7 million visitors to the Vatican Museums.

The Vatican City is the smallest state in the world. The head of state is Pope Francis.

Dress code in the Vatican

St. Peter's dress code

There is a dress code for entry to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica, all basilicas and churches in Rome and the catacombs. Shoulders and knees must be covered. Sturdy shoes are recommended in St. Peter’s Basilica. You will not be let in with beach sandals.

You will only be admitted barefoot in special cases. You are also not allowed to wear any headgear.

The Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums sphere of Arnaldo Pomodoro

The Vatican Museums are among the largest art collections in the world. They show the treasures that popes have accumulated over the centuries.

But not only the exhibits are worth seeing, but also the buildings. The rooms are artfully designed. Raffaello’s rooms, which he painted for Pope Julius II, and Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel are particularly famous.

Opening hours

The Vatican Museums are open:

Monday – Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Friday – Saturday 8:30 am – 10:30 pm

They are closed on January 1st + 6th, February 11th, March 19th, Easter Monday, May 1st, June 29th, around August 15th, November 1st, 8th, 25th + 26th. December.

Tickets to the Vatican Museums

You can only visit the Vatican Museums with online reservation. Tickets cannot be bought at the museum ticket office.

Entrance to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

This ticket sells out quickly. Online ticket for entry to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. The ticket is only valid for 15 minutes at the booked entry time. You scan the QR code you received at one of the machines in the entrance hall of the Vatican Museums and receive an entrance ticket that you can keep as a souvenir. Young people up to 18 years of age and students up to 25 years of age must show proof of age or student ID for the reduced tickets at the cash desks. Children under 6 do not need a reservation.

Vatican Pass

The Vatican Pass includes reserved entry to the Vatican Museums and a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica. You will also receive an audio guide app for Rome.

Rome Tourist Pass

The Rome Tourist Pass includes reserved entry to the Vatican Museums, a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica and reserved entry to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. In addition, you will receive the reserved entry to the Pantheon with audio guide and an audio guide app for Rome.

Guided tours of the Vatican Museums

The passage from the Vatican Museums to St. Peter’s Basilica is currently closed.

The most exclusive tour of the Vatican Museums

Accompany the museum guard in the early morning at 6 a.m. to unlock the rooms and enjoy the deserted Sistine Chapel. Afterwards, enjoy a breakfast buffet in the Pine court.

Breakfast in the Vatican Museums

Enjoy your breakfast buffet from 7:30 a.m. in the Pine court and be among the first to visit the museums and the Sistine Chapel. An expert will accompany you on your early viewing.

If you want, you can stay in the museums all day.

Guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

3 hour guided tour of the Vatican Museums.

After the tour, you can continue exploring the museums on your own.

Tickets and tours of the Vatican Gardens

Vatican gardens

The Vatican Gardens are a green oasis in the middle of the Vatican City.

To visit the gardens, you can choose between a ride in an open bus or a two-hour guided tour on foot.

There are also gardens at the Pope’s summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

Open bus

This ticket is valid for visiting the Vatican Gardens in an open bus. Children under 6 years of age are not allowed. Visits to the Vatican Museums are not included.

The bus leaves from St. Peter’s Basilica on the left at the entrance in Piazza del Sant’Uffizio. The same entrance also leads to the audience hall, the Campo Santo Teutonico and the office for the excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica.

Gardens and museums guided tour

Guided walking tour of the Vatican Gardens and the Vatican Museums.

A tour of St. Peter’s Basilica is not included.

Gardens guided tour and museums

Walking tour of the Vatican Gardens and entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.

How to get to the Vatican Museums

By bus :

Line 23 from the Basilica of St. Paul and the Pyramid (Ostiense) to Piazza Risorgimento

Line 81 from the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Capitol

Line 49 from Piazza Risorgimento to the museum entrance

By metro (underground) :

Line A from the Basilica of San Giovanni, Termini, Repubblica, Spanish Steps, Piazzale Flaminio (Piazza del Popolo) to Cipro

By tram :

Line 19 from Porta Maggiore, San Lorenzo, Bioparco

From Fiumicino airport :

Regional train FL1 towards Fara in Sabina to Trastevere and there change to Valle Aurelia station

From Ciampino Airport :

With the shuttle bus to Termini and then Metro A to Cipro

From the port of Civitavecchia :

Regional train from Civitavecchia station to Valle Aurelia station

Find the Vatican Museums on Google Maps Googlemapslogo

St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in Roman Catholic Christianity. It is the main church of the Pope.

St. Peter's Basilica interior

It is erected on the place where the tomb of the church dignitary Peter is said to be. The apostle Peter is said to have been buried here after he was crucified in Nero’s circus, which was located near this place at the time.

The first basilica was built by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. The current church was built from 1505 to 1626 over the first basilica.

The beautiful dome of Michelangelo and the imposing altar of the Pope are located above the place where the tomb of the Apostle Peter is said to be.

Opening hours

St. Peter’s Basilica is open:

St. Peter's Basilica Rome Pietà

April – September 7am – 7pm

October – March 7am – 6.30pm

St. Peter’s Basilica is closed during the Pope’s masses and during the Pope’s general audiences on Wednesday mornings.

St. Peter’s Basilica is closed during papal masses and when the Pope’s general audiences take place on Wednesday morning in St. Peter’s Square.

St. Peter’s Basilica tickets

There are usually long queues at the security checkpoint at St. Peter’s Basilica. The official visitor service of St. Peter’s Basilica therefore usually offers priority access without queues together with its guided tours or with the audio guide. As there are far fewer visitors to Rome this year, this priority access is not offered.

St. Peter’s Basilica guided tours

Skip-the-line guided tour

The tour through the visitor service of St. Peter’s Basilica lasts one hour. If preferential skip the line access is offered, it is included in this tour.

Guided tour with dome and grottoes

Visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the dome, and the grottoes with an expert guide. Experience the adventure of climbing the winding stairs inside the Michelangelo’s dome. Reward yourself with a fantastic view from the platform at the top of the dome.

You can also book this tour as a private tour.

How to get to St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica is located on the Vatican Hill on the orographic right side of the Tiber. In the 1st century the area was outside the city and here was Nero’s circus and a burial ground.

This is the best way to get to St. Peter’s Basilica:

By bus :

Lines 40, 64 from Termini Station, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Navona

Line 23 from the Basilica of St. Paul and the Pyramid (Ostiense)

Line 81 from the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Capitol

Line 98, 881 from Aurelia Antica, Via Gregorio VII

By metro (underground) :

Line A from the Basilica of San Giovanni, Repubblica, Spanish Steps, Piazzale Flaminio (Piazza del Popolo) to Ottaviano

By tram :

Line 19 from Porta Maggiore, San Lorenzo, Bioparco

From Fiumicino airport :

Regional train FL1 direction Fara in Sabina to Trastevere and there change direction San Pietro

With the shuttle bus to Castel Sant’Angelo (stop Via Crescenzio)

From Ciampino Airport :

With the shuttle bus to Termini and then with bus number 40 or 64

From the port of Civitavecchia :

Regional train from Civitavecchia station to San Pietro station

Find St. Peter’s Basilica on Google Maps Googlemapslogo

Castel Sant’Angelo

View from Castel Sant'Angelo

Emperor Hadrian had a mausoleum built on the right side of the Tiber in the 2nd century. At that time the area was outside Rome and was a cemetery, which is also said to be the tomb of the Apostle Peter.

The structure was later modified frequently. Popes used Castel Sant’Angelo as a refuge in troubled times or as a prison for their opponents.

Castel Sant’Angelo is now a museum and offers wonderful viewpoints of the Vatican and the city of Rome.

Opening hours

The Castel Sant’Angelo is open all year round. It is closed on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.

9 am – 6:30 pm, closing 7:30 pm. In summer there are often longer opening times.

Castel Sant’Angelo tickets and tours

With the online ticket you secure easy access to Castel Sant’Angelo. From the roof terrace you can enjoy a breathtaking view over Rome.

Castel Sant’Angelo has a very complex history. In addition to dungeons and ghosts of the past, there are various exhibitions from the collection of weapons and armor to sumptuous rooms and rich art collections. A guided tour will help you better understand the history and the exhibitions.

How to get to Castel Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant'Angelo view from the Angel's bridge

Castel Sant’Angelo is located near St. Peter’s Basilica and you can use ore or less the same means of transport. However, the metro, tram and the train station are further away.

By bus:

Lines 40, 64 from Termini Station, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Navona

Line 23 from the Basilica of St. Paul and the Pyramid (Ostiense)

Line 81 from the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Capitol

Line 98, 881 from Aurelia Antica, Via Gregorio VII

From Fiumicino airport:

With the shuttle bus to Castel Sant’Angelo (Via Crescenzio stop)