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.
There are two entrances to the Vatican City: Via Della Conciliazione and Viale Vaticano.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A. Vatican City can be easily accessed via public transport - metro, train, or bus.