Vatican Museum hours

Vatican Museums Opening & Closing Hours 2021

A trip to Rome would not be complete without visiting Vatican City. However, it is probably best to plan your trip ahead of your visit. The opening hours of Vatican Museums, the Vatican Gardens, St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as the Sistine Chapel are different. Read on to find out about the opening times of each of these attractions.

Vatican Museums Hours

Please Note: Entry to the museums is permitted by online ticket reservation only. All the extraordinary openings of the last Sunday of the month are suspended until further notice.

Vatican Museums
Sistine Chapel
St. Peter's Basilica
Vatican Gardens
Vatican Museums Timings

Till 31 Oct 2021
Monday to Thursday: 8.30 AM - 6.30 PM (Final entry 4.30 PM)
Friday and Saturday: 8.30 AM to 10.30 PM (Final entry 8.30 PM)
From 2 Nov 2021
Monday to Saturday: 8.30 AM – 6.30 PM (final entry 4.30 PM)

Visitors are required to leave the halls 30 minutes before museum closing time

Temporary Closing Hours: 

10 November: 8.30 AM to 9.00 AM

24 and 31 December: 3.30 PM to 6.30 PM. The last entry is at 1.30 PM on both days.

Days Closed: 1 November, 8 December, and 25 December

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Timings

Monday to Saturday: 9 AM - 6 PM (Final entry is at 4 PM).

Days Closed: The Sistine Chapel is closed on Sundays, as well as 1 November, 8 December, and 25 December

St Peters Basilica

1 Oct to 31 Mar
8 AM - 5 PM
1 Apr to 30 Sep
7 AM - 7 PM

St. Peter's Basilica Dome

October to March: 8 AM - 5 PM
April to September: 8 AM - 6 PM

Days Closed: St Peter's Basilica is closed on Wednesdays as the Papal audience is held on these days. But it reopens again from around 12-1 PM.

St Peter's Basilica Opening Hours
Vatican Timings

Monday to Saturday: 9 AM – 6 PM.

Closed Days: Sundays and on December 8th, 25th and 26th, January 1st and 6th, and Easter Sunday.

Vatican Mass Timings

Papal Basilica of Saint Peter

  • Daily Mass Schedule: 9 AM, 10 AM, 11 AM, 12 PM, 5 PM
  • Sundays and Holiday Mass Schedule: 9 AM 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12.:5 PM, 1:16 PM, 5.30 PM

Basilica of Saint John Lateran

  • Winter Schedule: 7 AM, 8 AM, 9 AM, 10 AM, 11 AM, 12 PM, 5 PM
    Sunday: 5 PM, 6 PM
  • Summer Schedule: 7 AM, 8 AM, 9 AM, 10 AM, 11 AM, 12 PM, 6 PM

Basilica of Saint Mary Major

  • Sunday: 7 AM, 8 AM, 9 AM, 10 AM, 11 AM, 12 PM, 6 PM
  • Monday-Saturday: 7 AM, 8 AM, 9 AM, 10 AM, 12 PM, 6 PM

Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls

  • Weekday Winter Schedule: 6:45 AM, 8 AM, 9 AM, 10:30 AM, 5 PM
  • Summer Schedule:
    Public holidays: 7 AM, 8 AM, 9 AM, 10:30 AM, 12 PM, 6 PM
    Saturday and before public holidays: 6 PM

Benedictine Abbey of Saint Paul Outside the Walls

  • Monday -Saturday: 8:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 4 PM, 7 PM

Best Time to Visit the Vatican

  • The low visiting season in Vatican City and Rome is between November to February. However, avoid a visit during Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s.
  • April to October is the high season, which means that the number of tourists is significantly higher. However, if you are choosing to visit during this time, it is best to plan your visit to the Vatican around afternoon hours when the crowds would be lesser.
  • The best time to visit the Vatican would be during the low season; you can expect lesser crowds, cold winter, and easier access to prime attractions.
  • The best days to visit would be Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Avoid visiting on Saturday as you would see the maximum crowd then. 
  • The Pope holds an audience at St. Peter’s Basilica every Wednesday of the month. If you choose to visit on a Wednesday, make your way to the Vatican Museums first and then make your way to the St Peter's Basilica by the time the crowd makes their way to the Museums.

Getting to Vatican

Address: Città del Vaticano, 00120 Vatican City

Get Directions to the Vatican >

Getting to Vatican

By Metro

Closest Station: Ottaviano-S. Pietro

Getting to Vatican

By Bus

Closest Stop: Vatican City Square

Getting to Vatican

By Tram

Closest Station: Piazza del Risorgimento

All Your Questions About Vatican Museum Hours Answered

Q. What are Vatican Museum hours?

A. The Vatican Museums are open between 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM from Monday to Thursday and 8.30 AM to 10:30 PM on Friday and Saturday until 31 October. From 2 November, Vatican Museums will be open from Monday to Saturday, from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM.

Q. When are Vatican Museums closed?

A. Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays. Additionally, they are also closed on 1 November, 8 and 25 December.

Q. What is the best time to visit the Vatican?

A. Plan a visit during early mornings and late afternoons on a weekday in the months between October to March (excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s).

Q. How long does the visit to Vatican last?

A. Set aside at least 3-4 hours to entirely explore the Vatican Museums and about 1.5 hours to tour St Peter's Basilica.

Q. What are St. Peter’s Basilica hours?

A. St. Peter’s Basilica is open every day except for Wednesday from 8 AM to 5 PM between October to March and 7 AM to 7 PM between April to September. If there’s a mass on a Wednesday, St. Peter’s Basilica is open from 12:00 PM onwards.

Q. What are St. Peter’s Basilica Dome hours?

A. The St. Peter’s Basilica Dome is open from 8 AM - 5 PM from October to March and 8 AM - 6 PM between April to September. It is closed on Wednesdays.

Q. What are the timings of mass at St Peter's Basilica?

A. On weekdays, Holy Mass is held at 9 AM, 10 AM, 11 AM, 12 PM, 5 PM. On weekends and public holidays, Holy Mass is held at 9 AM 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12.:5 PM, 1:16 PM, 5.30 PM

Q. Is the Vatican open on Sunday?

A. Yes, you can visit the Vatican on Sunday. However, the Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays.

Q. Is Entry to the Vatian free?

A. You don't need to pay a fee to enter Vatican City. You can even explore St Peter's Basilica and the St Peter's Square for free. However, you might have to wait in a long queue without a skip-the-line ticket to St Peter's Basilica. To visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, you need to purchase tickets.

Q. Is entry to the Vatican free on Sundays?

A. On the last Sunday of every month, visitors would be allowed free entry into the Vatican Museums. However, all extraordinary openings on the last Sunday have been suspended for the time being. You can enter the other attractions for free.

Visiting Vatican Museums

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