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

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.

Via Della Conciliazione

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.

Vatican Museums entrance | Location and getting there

Map of the Vatican City

1. Via Della Conciliazione

Where is it? South-east of Vatican City.

This is the entrance to the Vatican from the St. Peter's Basilica side, leading you right to St. Peter's Square.

How to reach: Bus No. 40 stops at Piazza Risorgimento from the Rome Termini station, and it is a 5-minute walk to the Via della Conciliazione entrance. Other bus routes are 49, 62, 64 and 81. If you're coming by metro, the nearest station to the Via della Conciliazione entrance is Ottaviano-San Pietro. Take Line A (red line) and get off at this station. From here, the Via Della Conciliazione entrance is a 10-12 minute walk away.

Timings: In 2024, the Vatican Museum is open from Monday to Saturday from 8 AM to 7 PM, with extended hours beginning March 1 for the high tourist season (8 AM-8 PM). On the last Sunday of every month, museum timings are from 9 AM to 2 PM.

Average wait time: Without pre-booked tickets, you can expect a wait time upwards of 2 hours, especially during the peak season between April and October. In the lean season (November to March), wait times typically drop to less than 30 minutes with pre-booked tickets.

Facilities: Audio guides, book shops and souvenir stores, cafes, accessible washrooms and ramps, wheelchairs on rent.

Disability access: Yes

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. 

2. Viale Vaticano

Where is it? North side of Vatican City.

This entrance is a good option for visitors who want to start their tour with the Vatican Museums or the Sistine Chapel.

How to reach: Take bus No. 49 and alight at the Viale Vaticano stop. You'll see the Vatican Museum's Arch right in front of you. You could also take buses 492 or 990 and get off at the Via Leone IV stop, a 5-minute walk away from the Vatican Museum entrance. By metro, take Line A to Valle Aurelia. From here, the museum is a 5-minute walk. If you're taking the tram, no. 19 stops at Piazza del Risorgimento. From here, a 10-minute walk will get you to the Vatican Museum entrance.

Timings: In 2024, the Vatican Museum is open from Monday to Saturday from 8 AM to 7 PM, with extended hours beginning March 1 for the high tourist season (8 AM-8 PM). On the last Sunday of every month, museum timings are from 9 AM to 2 PM.

Average wait time: If you haven't booked your tickets in advance, you might have to wait 2+ hours to gain entry, especially during the peak season between April and October. In the off-peak season (November to March), wait times can come down to less than 30 minutes with pre-booked tickets.

Facilities: Nursing rooms, baby nappy-changing rooms, service animals on leash and muzzle, relaxation areas, lost-and-found desk.

Disability access: Yes

How to get from the Vatican Museums to St. Peter’s Square?

Exit the Vatican Museums through the main exit near the Pinecone Courtyard. Turn right onto Viale Vaticano and follow the Vatican walls. Go down to the bottom of the street, still following the walls. Turn right again following the walls at Piazza Risorgimento and keep going until you reach the piazza. Voila! St. Peter's Square is right in front of you.

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.

Disabled access

Visitors with disabilities and their companions can use the special entrance located at the Viale Vaticano, situated opposite the Pine Cone Courtyard. This entrance avoids the main queue and offers easier access. Most of the museums are accessible through wheelchair ramps and elevators, allowing easy navigation throughout the major galleries and exhibitions. Free wheelchair loan is available at the cloakroom, subject to availability.




How To Book Vatican Tickets & Tours?

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour
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2 hr. 30 min.
Guided Tour
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Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour
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3 hr.
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Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tickets
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Audio Guide
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Frequently asked questions about the Vatican Museums entrances

How many Vatican entrances are there?

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.

Which Vatican entrance to use to visit Vatican Museums?

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

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

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.

Is there an entrance fee to enter Vatican?

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.

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

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.

How long does the visit to the Vatican last?

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.

How do I get to the Vatican from Rome?

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