Contents

Vatican Museums opening & closing hours

Today

Open 8 AM–7 PM

Last Admission

5 PM

Vatican Museums

Mar 1 TO Dec 31 Timings

Days (Mar 1 TO Dec 31)

TIMINGSLast Admission
Monday8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Tuesday8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Wednesday (Today)8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Thursday8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Friday8:00 AM–8:00 PM6:00 PM
Saturday8:00 AM–8:00 PM6:00 PM
SundayClosed
Vatican Museum hours
  • Visitors are required to leave the halls 30 minutes before closing.
  • The Museums offer free entry on the last Sunday of each month, from 9am to 2pm (final entry at 12:30pm), provided this does not coincide with holidays like Easter Sunday, June 29 (Sts. Peter and Paul), and Christmas Day.
  • In December, the Sunday opening with free admission will be exceptionally brought forward to the 24th to allow visitors to enjoy the Museums during the festive season.

St Peter's Basilica

Summer (1 April - 30 September): 7am to 7pm

Winter (1 October - 31 March): 7am to 6:30pm

Jan 1 TO Mar 31 Timings

Days (Jan 1 TO Mar 31)

TIMINGSLast Admission
Monday7:00 AM–6:30 PM6:30 PM
Tuesday7:00 AM–6:30 PM6:30 PM
Wednesday12:30 PM–6:30 PM6:30 PM
Thursday7:00 AM–6:30 PM6:30 PM
Friday7:00 AM–6:30 PM6:30 PM
Saturday7:00 AM–6:30 PM6:30 PM
Sunday7:00 AM–6:30 PM6:30 PM
  • Closed on Wednesdays for the Papal audience held in the Square, but it reopens at around 12:30 pm.

Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo

Mar 26 TO Mar 31 Timings

Days (Mar 26 TO Mar 31)

TIMINGSLast Admission
MondayClosed
Tuesday9:00 AM–2:30 PM1:00 PM
Wednesday9:00 AM–2:30 PM1:00 PM
Thursday9:00 AM–2:30 PM1:00 PM
Friday9:00 AM–2:30 PM1:00 PM
Saturday9:00 AM–5:30 PM4:00 PM
SundayClosed

Gardens of Vatican City

Jan 1 TO Dec 31 Timings

Days (Jan 1 TO Dec 31)

TIMINGS
Monday9:00 AM–6:00 PM
Tuesday9:00 AM–6:00 PM
Wednesday (Today)9:00 AM–6:00 PM
Thursday9:00 AM–6:00 PM
Friday9:00 AM–6:00 PM
Saturday9:00 AM–6:00 PM
SundayClosed
  • The gardens remain closed on Sundays and on January 1 and 6, Easter Sunday and December 8, 25 and 26.

Sistine Chapel

Jan 1 TO Dec 31 Timings

Days (Jan 1 TO Dec 31)

TIMINGSLast Admission
Monday8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Tuesday8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Wednesday (Today)8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Thursday8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Friday8:00 AM–8:00 PM6:00 PM
Saturday8:00 AM–8:00 PM6:00 PM
SundayClosed

The Sistine Chapel is closed on Sundays (except the last Sunday of each month), as well as on January 1 and 6, March 19, April 1, May 1, June 29, August 15, November 1, and December 25 and 26. 

Villa Barberini

Jan 1 TO Dec 31 Timings

Days (Jan 1 TO Dec 31)

TIMINGSLast Admission
Monday8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Tuesday8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Wednesday (Today)8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Thursday8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Friday8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Saturday8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM
Sunday8:00 AM–7:00 PM5:00 PM



Visiting Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour
Mobile Ticket
2 hr. 30 min.
Guided Tour
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Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour
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Mobile Ticket
3 hr.
Guided Tour
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€79.20
Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tickets
1 hr.
Audio Guide
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€30.90

Best time to visit the Vatican Museums

Weekday vs Weekend

  • Monday, Tuesday & Thursday are optimal for visiting the Vatican, with fewer tourists. Mornings are generally quieter and recommended during the high season. Friday evenings can be busier due to the extended hours at the museum.
  • Visit the museums first if you are visiting Vatican on a Wednesday, as mornings might be busier, particularly because of the Papal audience, which draws larger crowds to St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • Weekends are the busiest, with Saturday facing extreme crowds. Arriving around 8am-9am is best on these days. Sundays are generally quieter, except for the last Sunday of the month when free entry to the Museums attracts large crowds.

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Pleasant
Crowded
Very Crowded

Peak season vs Low season

  • Peak Season (April to October) aligns with the European summer holidays. The weather is warm, making it ideal for exploring, but this is when the Vatican sees the highest influx of tourists, leading to longer waits. Afternoons are better for visits during this period, as the crowds tend to diminish.
  • Low Season (November to March) experiences fewer visitors, except for the Christmas and Easter periods. The weather is cooler and more comfortable for visiting, and the crowds are significantly less dense, making it a good time to enjoy the Vatican at a more leisurely pace.

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Off Season
Moderate Season
Peak Season

Vatican Mass Timings

Papal Basilica of Saint Peter

  • Weekdays 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, 12:15 PM, 13 PM, 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

How Long Do I Need to Tour Vatican Museums?

To thoroughly explore the Vatican Museums, which is a vast and intricate attraction, you should allocate at least 4 hours. This duration allows you to appreciate the major galleries, including the Raphael Rooms, the Sistine Chapel, and the various art, sculpture, and historical collections, without feeling rushed.

Given the extensive range of art and historical artifacts on display, covering everything in one visit can be challenging. If you have a strong interest in art or history, you might even consider spending a full day to delve deeper into the collections and enjoy the details.

For a more focused visit, targeting specific areas of interest like the Sistine Chapel and the Pinacoteca, 2 to 3 hours could suffice. However, keep in mind that the museums are vast, and there's a considerable amount of walking involved, so it’s wise to allow some extra time for rest and contemplation of the artworks.

Frequently asked questions about Vatican Museums

Is the Vatican City open on Sundays?

Vatican City is open on Sundays, but the Vatican Museums are closed except the last Sunday of each month when entry is free from 9 am to 2 pm. St. Peter's Basilica is open for mass.

Are there any specific days when the Vatican is closed?

The Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays (except the last Sunday of the month), January 1, December 25, and other specific Holy Days.

Do I need to make reservations for specific entry times?

Yes, it's highly recommended to make reservations for specific entry times to the Vatican Museums to ensure entry and reduce waiting time, especially during peak season.

Are there any discounts for visiting during specific times?

Discounts are typically not offered based on visitation times, but students and elderly visitors may receive discounted entry.

Can I visit the Vatican Museum at night?

Yes, the Vatican Museums offer night openings on select Fridays from April to October, requiring advance booking.

Are the St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums on the same schedule?

No, St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums have different operating hours; the Basilica usually opens earlier and closes later than the Museums.

What are St. Peter’s Basilica Dome hours?

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

Is the Vatican open all day?

St. Peter's Basilica is open all day, but the Vatican Museums have specific opening and closing times.

How early should I arrive before my ticket time?

Arrive at least 15-30 minutes before your scheduled ticket time to allow enough time for security checks.

Is there a time limit for my visit to the Vatican Museums?

There's no strict time limit, but the visit is typically bound by the closing hours of the Museums. Vistors are expected to exit the museums 30 minutes before closing time.