Vatican Museums Tickets

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Opening hours

Monday - Saturday: 9 am - 6 pm (final entry at 4pm).

Sunday: Closed apart from the last Sunday of the month (9 am - 2 pm, final entry at 12:30 pm).

Tickets cost €17, or €8 for children aged 6-18. Entry is free for younger children. For an extra €4, get ‘skip the line’ entry online.

How to get there

Viale Vaticano, 00165 Roma RM, Italy

When combining a visit to the Vatican Museums with St Peter’s Square and the Basilica you will want to start early as these sites are popular and you may have to queue to get into the basilica. You can take the metro to the Vatican Museums, getting off at Ottaviano. Buses 40, 62, 64, 81 and tram 19 all stop there as well.


What can I see in the Vatican Museums?
This is the pièce de résistence of Christian art collections, encompassing everything from 12th century paintings to Greek, Roman and Egyptian statues, tapestries and 21st century sculpture. The grounds also house superb gardens for sitting and enjoying some lunch in the sunshine between exploring the galleries. Many people visit specifically to see Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
What is the Sistine Chapel?
This chapel forms part of the Apostolic Palace, which is the official residence of the Pope. The iconic artist Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the chapel in 1508 and it took him four years to do so. This may sound like a long time but when you see the chapel for yourself you will wonder how such a feat was even possible. The Creation of Adam, which depicts him touching the finger of God, is an immediately recognisable image from its famous ceiling fresco.
How big is the museum?
There are an astounding 54 galleries in the Vatican Museums, offering an insight into the art and history of the Christian world. Unique sections include the Gallery of Maps, showing detailed topographies of different parts of Italy. History enthusiasts will be in for a treat in the Greek and Roman Antiquities gallery. It offers a fascinating insight into the Greek and Roman empires.
Are there any special restrictions?
As with other churches, St Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel have specific guidelines for dress and conduct. The Vatican in particular, being the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, places an emphasis on respect for these holy sites. You certainly don’t have to dress formally but exposed shoulders and knees are not permitted. The main areas of the museums don’t have this rule, but the Sistine Chapel does. If it


Lesser-known gems
There is so much to see in the museums that you will be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed at first. The Sistine Chapel is a must, as is a walk around the gardens to appreciate the incredible architecture of these buildings. Many visitors choose to focus on the older art, yet, the art of the 19th - 21st Centuries Galleries are a surprising treat for art lovers too. Civilisations Throughout the World is also great for a broader look at Christianity and beyond.
A quick tour or an all-day event
While you will need to book a specific starting time for your visit to the Vatican Museums, you can spend as much or as little time there as you please. You could run to the Sistine Chapel and be out again within an hour, or spend the whole day ambling through the galleries. There are plenty of fantastic spots where you will want to stop and appreciate the views of the Vatican and surrounding Rome. Stumbling upon a tiny, empty side room away from the crowds will offer a moment of respite.
The Vatican Post and more
If you still love posting old-school post cards, be sure to send them from the Vatican Post Office. Your friends and family will receive their cards stamped with the official Vatican seal, which is certainly unique. The fact that you are technically entering another country means you should appreciate the differences of the place. See the costumes of the Swiss Guard and take the time to admire the world’s biggest church, St Peter’s Basilica. From the top, you will have unparalleled views over Rome.

Places nearby

St Peter’s Basilica
The Vatican’s cathedral is a sight to behold, whether as part of a personal religious pilgrimage or to further appreciate the history of Rome. There is an enormous wealth of artwork to behold inside including the well-known Navicella mosaic, depicting a boat that symbolises the Church. You can book a tour of the Roman Necropolis below and also pay to climb to the top of the basilica for the amazing views.
St Peter’s Basilica

St Peter’s Basilica. vvoe /

Castel Sant’Angelo
Also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, the Castel Sant’Angelo houses the tomb of the Roman Emperor who was famous for the lasting mark he left on the city. Today, you can visit it and learn about the castle’s long history. You will also appreciate the magnificent views over the Tiber River. If the city is ever under siege, the Pope can make use of an underground tunnel to escape to this heavily-defended castle.
Castel Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo

Ancient Rome
A visit to the Vatican Museums will almost certainly form part of a holiday to Rome. Must-see monuments include the Colosseum, where gladiators, prisoners and animals fought to the death for the amusement of the Emperor and public crowds. The Roman Forum was the social and commercial core of Ancient Rome, and the Circus Maximus was the setting for thrilling ancient chariot races.
Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome