Learn About the Papal Audience, How to Attend, Schedules & More

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Vatican TicketsPapal Audience

What is the Papal Audience?

Papal Audience

Have you ever wanted to see the Pope in real life? The Papal Audience is a great opportunity to do so. Every Wednesday at St. Peter's Square, the Pope greets and addresses pilgrims from all over the world. The Pope greets and addresses a gathering of Christian pilgrims, devotees, and inspired visitors around St. Peter’s Square. The Papal Audience is seen as a way for the Pope to keep in personal touch with his followers and strengthen their faith through his messages. 

The Pope makes a reading and delivers a short sermon followed by the final prayer and a bestowal of Papal blessings. These are delivered in Italian, though, short summaries are provided in English and other languages. The General Audience was started as early as 1939 by Pope Pius XII with the intention of praying for newly married couples. It ceased temporarily during World War II and resumed again in 1963 under Pope Paul VI to include all the faithful while speaking on themes each week such as hope, faith, and charity.

Learn all there is to know about the Papal Audience, its significance, and how you can be a part of it.

Note: While attending the Papal Audience is free, tickets are required for both individual seats and standing areas. This helps manage crowd control and ensure safety. Tickets specify a designated zone or section, not individual seats. For guaranteed seating, arrive early, especially during peak season.

How do I get Papal Audience Tickets?

third party

1. Third-Party Vendors

With third party tickets, you can purchase Papal Audience slots. It is perhaps the most convenient way to gain entry to the Papal Audience and get add-ons such as guided tours, and a viewing of the Vatican Gardens.


2. By Fax

In order to get tickets you will need to download and fill out a form from the Prefecture of the Papal Household and have it faxed to the Vatican. Once tickets are confirmed, you may collect them at the Bronze Door a day prior to the audience between 3 PM and 7 PM or between 7 AM and 10 AM on the morning of the audience.

By Email

3. By Email

You may also choose to email visitorsoffice@pnac.org with your request for tickets to the Pontifical North American College. Upon confirmation, you will be able to pick them up at the Trevi Fountain between 3 AM and 7 AM. 

st. Peter's square bronze door

4. Through the Swiss Guards

Three days prior to the audience, you have the option of picking up tickets directly from the Swiss Guards at the Bronze Door. However, the Swiss Guards have only a limited number of tickets on hand, therefore it is advisable to book tickets in advance.

Plan Your Visit to Papal Audience

What's the Papal Audience Schedule?
Where is the Papal Audience Held?
Dress Code
Rules & Regulations
Papal Audience

The General Audience with the Pope happens every Wednesday and usually begins at 9 AM. Security usually allows visitors in by 7:30 AM. The Pope’s official schedule is made known days ahead of the event. You can also refer to the Papal Audience calendar for dates when the event is held. 

There are times when the Pope is overseas or is engaged in some work in which case the Papal Audience will not be held for that week.

Papal Audience
Papal Audience
Papal Audience
Papal Audience

What to Expect During a Papal Audience?

People from all over the world visit the Vatican with the hope of seeing the Pope and listening to his words of wisdom. Experience the following while you’re there:

Papal Audience

The Pope

The Pope, also known as the Bishop of Rome and the Supreme Pontiff, is the leader of the Catholic Church. Deemed the spiritual successor of Saint Peter, the Pope is considered among Catholics to be the epitome of holiness, and seek his spiritual guidance in all matters. During the Papal Audience, the Pope is known to personally interact with the crowds, shaking hands with them and even signing autographs.

Papal Audience
Papal Audience

Sermon, Prayers, and Blessings

In his address to the faithful, the Pope will make a reading from the Gospels and disseminate small teachings in the form of a sermon based on the readings. The readings and the sermon will be summarized in various languages depending on the gathering. He will also say the Our Father in Latin. This is followed by the apostolic blessing which is given to the congregation, the sick, and loved ones.

Frequently asked questions about the Papal Audience in Vatican City

Do I need tickets to attend the Papal Audience?

Yes, tickets are mandatory to attend the Papal Audience.

How can I get tickets to the Papal Audience?

Tickets for the Papal audience can be bought online or from third party vendors. Alternatively, you can secure the tickets by faxing the Vatican or by emailing the Pontifical North American College. You may also purchase them directly from the Swiss guards by the Bronze door three days prior to the event.

Is there a fee to attend the Papal Audience?

Although tickets are required for the Papal Audience, these tickets are absolutely free.

How much are Papal Audience tickets?

Tickets to attend the Papal Audience are always free. However, inclusions such as guided tours and access to other places of interest are chargeable.

Can I cancel my Papal Audience tickets?

Yes, you can cancel Papal audience tickets up to 48 hours before the it begins and get a full refund.

What is the Papal Audience?

The Papal Audience is a weekly event where the Pope greets and addresses the gathering of the faithful in St. Peter’s Square.

What happens during the Papal audience?

The address by the Pope in a Papal Audience consists of a reading, a short sermon, the final prayers, and the papal blessing. It is attended by thousands.

Where is Papal Audience held?

The Papal Audience is usually held in St. Peter’s square of the Vatican. When the weather becomes cold or rainy, the Papal Audience is held indoors within the Papal Hall.

When was the Papal Hall built?

The construction of the Papal Hall was started in 1963 and inaugurated in 1971. It was designed by Italian engineer and architect Pier Luigi Nervi.

What are Papal Audience timings?

The Papal Audience starts every Wednesday morning between 9 AM and 10:30 AM. You may refer to the Pope’s official schedule for any changes in timings.

How long is the Papal Audience?

The Papal Audience takes about an hour and a half to complete but may extend to two hours.

What can I do at Papal Audience?

At the Papal Audience, you will get a chance to see the Pope live. You can listen to his teaching and receive his blessings. You will also get a chance to see St. Peter’s square, a magnificent oval pavilion.

What should I wear to the Papal Audience?

Casual dressing is recommended since the Papal audience is usually held outdoors. But be sure to dress modestly, covering knees and shoulders within the premises of the Vatican.

Can I take photos at Papal Audience?

Yes, taking photos and selfies is permitted at a Papal Audience.

Can I talk to the Pope in a Papal Audience?

During his arrival and exit, the Pope meets and greets the public under strict security measures. Unless you are part of the special groups seated near the speaking platform like disabled visitors and newlyweds, you will not get a chance to meet the Pope personally.

Do I have to be a Christian to attend a Papal Audience?

Of course not! The pope invites visitors from all faiths to attend Papal Audiences.

How can I get to the Papal Audience?

You can reach Vatican city using the metro, train, or bus system in Rome. However, there is no public transport inside Vatican city. The best way to reach the Papal Audience is by walking.