Vatican Museum tickets & tours

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Vatican Museums | Treasure trove of art and history in Vatican City

Explore the iconic Vatican Museums, home to some of the world's most famous artworks and historical artifacts. Choose from skip-the-line tickets for quick access, guided tours for in-depth exploration, combo tickets for a broader experience, or early morning and after-hour options that offer a more private visit.

Read on to find the best ticket option that will help you dive into the impressive art collection, and architecture that make the Vatican Museums a must-visit cultural landmark.

Things to know before you book your Vatican tickets

When it comes to visiting the Vatican, the experience you have can be greatly influenced by the choices you make while booking. Here are some tips to guide you in making the best decisions for a memorable visit:

  • Skip-the-Line is a game-changer: The queues can be incredibly long, especially for St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums. Skip-the-line tickets can be bought at the venue for €17, while the prices start at €27 online. The premium cost of online booking, however us absolutely worth it because it will help you save anywhere between 1-3 hours of waiting time, irrespective of when you visit. That's time you can spend exploring more of Rome.
  • Guided tours enhance the experience: The Vatican, with its intricate history at every corner, is one attraction where a guide can profoundly enhance the quality of your visit. Opting for a guided tour can significantly elevate your experience, offering insights into the art, architecture, and stories behind the landmarks. However, if you prefer to explore at your own pace, audio guides are a flexible alternative.
  • Morning vs. afternoon: Opting for an early morning tour of the Vatican ensures a serene experience, free from the afternoon crowds. You'll enjoy unhindered views of iconic art and architecture, capturing the Vatican's beauty in the soft morning light. Plus, the cooler temperatures make for a more comfortable exploration.
  • Visiting St. Peter's Basilica: While entry to St. Peter's Basilica is free, the queues can be extensive. Purchasing guided tours allows direct entry with your guide, though a mandatory security check, which can take up to 3 hours, remains.
  • Timing matters: The Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica operate on different schedules. When planning the sequence of your visit, note that the entry doors are 20 minutes apart. After touring the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, you'd need to circle back for the Basilica. A hidden door connecting the two closed during the pandemic and is expected to reopen during the Jubilee year in 2025.
  • Visit Vatican Gardens: The Vatican Gardens, spanning nearly 50 acres, is a serene oasis in Rome, boasting sculptures, fountains, and lush vegetation. Opt for a guided tour or explore at your leisure before heading to the basilica. Consider the open-top bus for a comfortable journey after hours of standing in the museums and basilica.

Which Vatican Museum ticket is best for you?

Skip-the-line tickets - Vatican Museums

If you are short on time

Go for: Skip-the-line tickets
Duration: Flexible
Sistine Chapel access: Yes
Guide: No

  • Enjoy fast-track entrance into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, allowing you to make the most of your limited time. This is especially beneficial during peak seasons when wait times can extend for hours.
  • Enjoy the freedom to focus on areas that interest you most. Whether it's the intricate frescoes of the Sistine Chapel or the vast collection of Renaissance art, you set the pace and itinerary.

Recommended tours

Vatican Museum Combo tickets

If you are seeking the full Vatican City experience

Go for: Combos tickets
Duration: 5 - 5.5 hr.
Sistine Chapel access: Yes
Guide: Expert local guide

  • These tickets offer a comprehensive experience, covering the Vatican Gardens and St. Peter's Basilica in addition to the museums making it ideal for those who want to see all that Vatican City has to offer in one go.
  • Gain deeper insights into the Vatican by opting for tickets that provide access to the Apostolic PalaceVilla Barberini, and the pontifical gardens located in Castel Gandolfo, less than 30 km from Vatican City.

Recommended Tours

Budget Vatican Tickets

If you are on a budget

Go for: Skip-the-line tickets, Combo tickets
Duration: Flexible
Sistine Chapel access: Yes
Guide: No

  • Gain skip-the-line access without the cost of a guided tour and explore the museums at your own pace.
  • Explore popular Roman attractions outside Vatican City, such as the Colosseum or the Borghese Gallery at a budgeted rate with combo tickets.

Recommended tours

Explore more:

Art and history buffs on a Guided Vatican tour

If you are an art history buff

Go for: Guided tours
Duration: 2.5 hr. - 5 hr. 30 min.
Sistine Chapel access: Yes
Guide: Expert local guide

  • Delve deep into the Vatican Museums' extensive art collection, historical artifacts, and exhibits with the help of expert guides.
  • If you want a more personalized and interactive experience opt for a small-size tour.

Recommended tours

For an intimate experience:

Discounted Vatican Tickets

Visitors between the age of 18-25 enjoy reduced pricing on their tickets.

Cancelation Policy

Most Vatican tickets can be canceled 24-72 hours before the experience begins. However, some tickets cannot be canceled or rescheduled. Please check your ticket for details at the time of booking.

Explore the Vatican

Vatican Museums
Sistine Chapel
St. Peter's Basilica
Apostolic Palace
Vatican Gardens
Necropolis
Grottoes
Vatican Museums
Creation of Adam at the Sistine Chapel
St. Peter's Basilica Interiors
Apostolic Palace
Vatican Gardens
Vatican Necropolis

The Apostolic Palace, also known as the Papal Palace, is the official residence of the Pope, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. It is thus, a symbol of symbol of the papacy and the Catholic Church and serves as the venue for many official ceremonies, gatherings, and decisions related to the governance of the Church.

Access included: Not all Vatican tickets include access to the Vatican Necropolis. You will have to book tickets that specifically include entry into the Vatican Necropolis.

Vatican Grottoes

The Vatican Grottoes are a series of underground chapels and tombs located beneath St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. They serve as the final resting place for many popes and other significant figures associated with the Catholic Church.

Access included: You can plan your visit to the Vatican Grottoes as part of your visit to St. Peter’s Basilica. Once you enter St. Peter’s Basilica, you can make your way below towards the grottoes.

Plan Your Visit to Vatican Museums

Timings
Location
Entrances
Facilities
Rules
Dress Code
Celebrating Christmas
Dine
Stay
Airport Transfers
Vatican Museum Timings

Viale Vaticano Entrance
Drinking Fountain Facility in the Vatican
Vatican Museum Rules & Regulations
Dress Code at the Vatican
Christmas at Vatican

Celebrating Christmas at Vatican is a magical affair. The city decks itself in pretty lights, a Christmas tree, and a Nativity scene. However, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel is closed on December 25 and 26.

The Mass

The mass at St. Peter's Basilica, which takes place on December 24, at 9.30 PM, is one of the most viewed masses around the world. To book the Papal Audience tickets, you have to fill out a form and fax it to +39 06 698 85863 at least 2 months in advance. You’ll receive a letter that confirms that the church has received your request. However, this is not a ticket confirmation. You will have to go to the Preffetura Office 4-5 days before the mass, between 8 AM to 6 PM, to get the ticket.

Pizzarium by Gabriele Bonci - Dining in the Vatican
  • La Vittoria: A quaint trattoria offering classic Roman dishes, perfect for a hearty lunch after exploring the Vatican Museums.
  • Pizzarium by Gabriele Bonci: Renowned for its gourmet pizza slices, this spot is ideal for a quick and delicious bite.
  • Il Sorpasso: A rustic eatery with a diverse menu, from fresh pastas to savory meat dishes, ensuring something for everyone.
  • Gelateria dei Gracchi: After a long day of sightseeing, cool down with some artisanal gelato, known for its natural ingredients and unique flavors.
  • Duecento Gradi: A sandwich shop offering a wide variety of paninis made with fresh ingredients, perfect for a light meal or takeaway.
Accomodation options in Vatican

Budget

  • Hotel Ferrari (5.4 km away), Taormina Hotel (7.4 km away), Hotel Dina (5.8 km away)

Mid-Range

  • Hotel Oceania (4.8 km away), Hotel Columbia (5.3 km away), Hotel Canova (5.8 km away)

Luxury

  • Castello della Castelluccia (15 km away)
SIT Shuttle Bus

Beyond the Vatican

Roman Colosseum
Villa Barberini
Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo

Frequently asked questions about Vatican Tickets

How much is a ticket to the Vatican Museums?

The starting price for Vatican Museums tickets is €29. This typically includes skip-the-line access to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Prices may vary based on additional features like guided tours or access to special areas.

How to book tickets to the Vatican Museums?

You can purchase tickets to the Vatican Museums online or at the venue. Online purchasing allows you to avoid the long queues at the ticket office. Additionally, some tickets offer combined access to St. Peter’s Basilica, providing a more comprehensive experience.

Why should I book Vatican Museums tickets online?

Booking Vatican Museums tickets online offers several advantages:
- Skip the lines: The Vatican Museums are a major tourist attraction, and the lines can be extensive, especially during peak seasons. By purchasing tickets in advance online, you can bypass the ticket lines and save valuable time.
- Guaranteed entry: Especially during peak seasons, walk-in tickets might be sold out. By booking in advance, you ensure your entry.
- Variety of options: Plan your experience by choosing from various options, such as guided tours or evening tours. Combo tours to visit other attractions in Rome are also available.
- Discounts & offers: Online bookings often come with special discounts and offers not available at the ticket office.
- Customer service: Benefit from 24/7 customer service via phone, email, or chat.

What do Vatican Museums tickets include?

A standard Vatican Museums ticket includes skip-the-line access to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Depending on the experience you choose, you may also get guided tours or special access to areas like the Raphael Rooms.

Are discounts available on Vatican Museums tickets?

Yes, EU citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 can avail of reduced pricing on their tickets with a valid ID. EU and non-EU citizens under 18, as well as teaching staff, can enjoy free or reduced entry into the Vatican Museums.

Can I get skip-the-line tickets for the Vatican Museums?

Absolutely! You can purchase Vatican Museums skip-the-line tickets, allowing you to bypass the long queues and enter with priority access. Some popular options include:
- Tickets to Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel with Escorted Entrance
- Early Morning or After-Hours Skip-the-Line Tour of Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Do Vatican Museums tickets allow entry into St. Peter’s Basilica?

Standard Vatican Museums tickets grant access to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. For entry into St. Peter’s Basilica, you'll need to opt for specific combo tickets.

What is the cancellation policy for Vatican Museums tickets?

The cancellation policy varies based on the ticket type. Some tickets offer a full refund upon cancellation up to 48-72 hours in advance, while others might be non-refundable. Always check the specific terms before booking.