The Vatican Museum Entrances | A Detailed Guide on How to Enter the Attraction


One of the smallest and most significant countries in the world, the Vatican is the official headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. It is home to the stunning Basilica of St. Peter and the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum is another popular attraction in Vatican City, housing an exquisite selection of ancient Roman artworks and pieces from the Renaissance era. 

If you’re a first-timer in the area, getting to the Vatican might be confusing. The Vatican City is located in an enclave in Rome and has two main entrances. We’ve put together a simplified guide to choosing the right entrance when you visit the Vatican. 

Where is the Vatican? 

The Vatican is a small city-state surrounded by Rome in Italy. It is situated on the west bank of the Tiber River and to the north of the city center in Rome. Distance-wise, it’s about 1.6 km from the city center, which will take you approximately 15 minutes on foot.

How to Enter the Vatican in Rome? 

To enter Vatican City, you don't need a passport or Visa or even tickets for the attractions inside. You can simply walk inside. However, if you wish to enter the attractions inside, such as the Vatican Museums, you would need to buy tickets.

Vatican City Entrances

There are two entrances to the Vatican City: Via Della Conciliazione and Viale Vaticano.

St Peters Basilica Entrance

Via Della Conciliazione

St. Peter’s Basilica is located on the Southeast side of Vatican City and can be accessed from Via Della Conciliazione. This entrance will get you right into St. Peter’s Square.

Vatican Museums Entrances

Viale Vaticano

The Vatican Museums can be accessed using the entrance from Viale Vaticano. This is located on the Northside of Vatican City and is the fastest way to reach the museums. You can purchase tickets to the museums at this entrance.

Where is the Vatican Museum Entrance?

Although Vatican City is the smallest of its kind in the world, it still pans over a massive area. There’s much to see inside the city-state and knowing which entrance to choose will help you navigate your way faster and more efficiently.

There are only two entrances to the Vatican museums, Via Della Conciliazione and Via Vaticano.

  • Via Della Conciliazione: If you’re planning on starting your tour at St. Peter’s Basilica, then we recommend entering from Via Della Conciliazione.
  • Viale Vaticano: If the museum is your first stop, then enter from Viale Vaticano.

Vatican Entrances, Map

How to Get From St. Peter’s Square to the Vatican Museum? 

Exit St. Peter’s Square towards Largo del Colonnato and walk north to the end of the street and then take a left onto Piazza del Risorgimento. Turn left onto Viale Vaticano and the entrance to the Vatican Museums will be on your left. It will take you about 15 minutes to get to the museums from St. Peter’s Square. 

How to Get From the Vatican Museum to St. Peter’s Square? 

The entrance and exit to the museums are in the same area. Once you exit, walk right on Viale Vaticano along the walls of the Vatican. When you get to the bottom of the street, turn right until you reach the piazza. You will see arches at the end of the road and the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square behind it. In total, you will have to walk for about 15 to 20 minutes. 

How to Get to the Vatican Museums Entrances?

Getting to Vatican Museums Entrance

Queue at Viale Vaticano Entrance

Once you get to the entry point of the Vatican Museum, you’ll notice three lines swarming with tourists.

Queue 1: If you haven't purchased a ticket, this is the line for you. Join this queue to purchase tickets on-site. Be warned, this is the longest line of the lot.

Queue 2: This line is reserved for those who have purchased online tickets to the Vatican Museums.

How To Book Vatican Tickets & Tours?

Tickets to Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel with Escorted Entrance
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Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour
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Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour with St. Peter's Basilica Tickets
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Frequently Asked Questions About the Vatican Museums Entrances

Q. How many Vatican entrances are there?

A. The Vatican has 2 main entrances - through St. Peter’s Basilica from Via Della Conciliazione and the Vatican Museums from Viale Vaticano on the northern side of the city.

Q. Which Vatican entrance to use to visit Vatican Museums?

A. If you want to visit the Vatican Museums first, take the museum entrance located on the northern side of the city from Viale Vaticano.

Q. Which Vatican entrance to use to enter St Peter’s Square?

A. If you want to visit St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, use the Vatican entrance located on the southeastern side of the city from Via Della Conciliazione.

Q. Is there an entrance fee to enter Vatican?

A. No, you don't need to pay to enter Vatican City. However, you do need a ticket to visit the attractions including St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums.

Q. Which Vatican Museums Entrance should I choose if I’m visiting during peak hours?

A. If you’re visiting during peak hours, choose the Vatican Museum entrance. Keep in mind there are three queues here so you will have to choose the online ticket holders queue for the shortest wait time. This is located near the yellow signboard at the entrance. This also means that you have to purchase your Vatican Museum tickets online in advance.

Q. How long does the visit to the Vatican last?

A. We recommend spending the day at the Vatican, however, if you’re on a time crunch, make sure you spend at least 3 hours so you can see the major attractions inside.

Q. How do I get to the Vatican from Rome?

A. Vatican City can be easily accessed via public transport - metro, train, or bus.