Vatican Museums Opening & Closing Hours
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.
From Monday to Saturday
9 AM – 6 PM
The final entry is at 4 PM.
Every last Sunday of the month
9 AM to 2 PM
The Final entry is at 12:30 PM.
The extraordinary openings of the last Sunday of the month are only applicable when the last Sunday of the month does not coincide with Easter Sunday, 29 June, 25 December, 26 December, or 31 December.
Days Closed: 1 November, 8 December, and 25 December
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
- 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
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.
All Your Questions About Vatican Museum Hours Answered
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.
A. Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays. Additionally, they are also closed on 1 November, 8 and 25 December.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
A. Yes, you can visit the Vatican on Sunday. However, the Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays.
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.
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.