Apostolic Palace | Vatican | Residence of the Pope
Plan Your Visit to the Apostolic Palace
You can visit the attractions of the Apostolic Palace between 8.30 AM and 4.30 PM. The Vatican is not functional on Sundays.
Best Time To Visit
- Off-seasons are a very good time to visit, with less heat and no chaos.
- Wednesdays are quite packed at the Vatican Palace as a lot of tourists head to attend an audience with the Pope. But it is a great time to visit the museums.
The Palace is situated within the Vatican City walls.
- By Train: From the Roma Termini station take the RE 12524 towards Civitavecchia or RE 4134 towards Pisa Centrale and alight at St. Pietro.
- By Bus: Take bus 40 or 64 from Roma Termini. Bus 40 stops at Piazza Pia, and bus 64 stops at Terminal Gianicolo or Holy Spirit Hospital.
- By Metro: Take Line A to the Ottaviano-S. Pietro station. From here, it’s just a 5-minute walk to St. Peter’s Square.
- By Tram: Take line number 19 to Piazza del Risorgimento.
- Standard Entry Tickets: With these tickets, you can enjoy access to the Vatican Museums & the Sistine Chapel.
- Skip-the-line Tickets: Bypass long queues and enter the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel with these tickets. Depending on the ticket, you might even enjoy access to St. Peter’s Basilica.
- Guided Tours: A guided tour will allow you to skip the lines with an expert guide.
- They follow a strict dress code. If you are not dressed appropriately, you will be denied entry.
- Video cameras, umbrellas, banners, signs, and sharp objects like knives, are not allowed inside.
- Phones must be kept in silent mode. The use of phones is forbidden in the Sistine Chapel.
- Visitors are allowed to take photographs for personal and domestic use only. Photography is prohibited in the Sistine Chapel
Book Tickets to Apostolic Palace in Vatican
Structure of the Apostolic Palace
Arranged around the Courtyard of Sixtus V, the Apostolic Palace is a series of self-contained buildings consisting of a recognized outer structure.
The Sistine Chapel is the best known amongst the Palace chapels and is named in honor of Sixtus IV. The Chapel is well-known for being a venue for the gathering of the College of Cardinals, used for the election of each successive Pope. Here, the cardinals elect a successor to the traditionally first pope, St. Peter, who is traditionally buried in the crypts near St. Peter’s Church. The Chapel is famous for its frescoes by various Renaissance artists during the era.Know More
The Raphael Rooms are a suite of reception rooms in the Apostolic Palace, which is now a portion of the Vatican Museums, in Vatican City. These rooms are popular for their frescoes, done by a team of artists who were guided under Raphael. Commonly known as the Stanze, situated above Alexander’s Borgia Apartments, the Raphael Rooms were the apartments intended for Pope Julius II. He decided to redecorate the interiors of the rooms entirely, possibly to outshine the apartments of his predecessor.
The Borgia Apartments consists of a suite of rooms that were for the personal usage of Pope Alexander VI. The apartments were decorated lavishly with frescoes and used iconic themes from medieval encyclopedias, to add meaning and to celebrate the divine origins of Borgias.
The rooms are a part of the Vatican Library and Museums. Currently, these rooms are used for the Vatican Collection of Modern Religious Art, by Pope Paul VI in 1973.
The Clementine Hall, also called the Sala Clementina, was created in the 16th century in honor of the third Pope, Pope Clement I, by Pope Clement VIII. Just like the other apartments, the Clementine Hall also consists of numerous large collections of artifacts and frescos, that make the Clementine Hall a famous structure in itself. It is used by the pope as a reception room and sometimes as a site of various ceremonies and rituals. It is in the Clementine Hall that the body of the pope lies for private visitation by officials of the Vatican until it is moved to St. Peter's Basilica or the Basilica of San Giovanni.
Who lives in the Vatican Palace?
Wondering who lives within the walls of the Apostolic Palace? The Apostolic Palace, commonly known as the Vatican Palace is the home to the Pope of the Catholic Church. Apart from them, many officials and members are also seen working within the Palace for several religious jobs related to the Church and various administrative functions of the Vatican.
Paintings Inside Vatican Palace
The paintings present in the Sistine Chapel are the most prominent works of art in the Apostolic Palace. You can spot The Vision of The Cross (in the Hall of Constantine) and The Fire in the Borgo in the Raphael Rooms. The Pinacoteca room in the Apostolic Palace has in itself close to 16 rooms that are filled with art. The Crucifixion of St. Peter in the Pinacoteca room is a very famous one amongst the lot.Book Tickets to Sistine Chapel
Apostolic Palace of Vatican | Site of Administrative Functions of the Holy See
Apart from being home to the Pope, the Apostolic Palace serves many functions. The Palace is used for performing several administrative meetings of the Vatican in terms of political, social, and economic aspects as a State. The palace has within it beautiful gardens, museums, a library, and more. Hence, this structure has become one of the top tourist attractions in the city of Rome, Italy.
Due to its dual nature as being the home to the pope as well as the site of administrative functions of the Holy See, it has assumed the same stature as the White House. It is a space that exercises various economic, political, and social responsibilities as a State. The term Apostolic Palace has, hence, come to be used as a metonym for the papacy itself, and not just the physical building.
All Your Questions About the Apostolic Palace Answered
A. The massive Apostolic Palace is the Pope’s place of residence. It's also home to various apartments, museums, offices, public and private chapels, to name a few amongst the lot. The Palace is inclusive of rooms such as the Sistine Chapel as well as Raphael’s room famous for its paintings and architecture. The Palace serves as a space to perform the religious and administrative functions of the city.
A. The Apostolic Palace, also known as Vatican Palace, is the home to the head of the Catholic Church, the Pope, and is located in Vatican City.
A. Apart from the Pope who resides in the Palace, the Vatican Palace has a large number of officials who work for the church regarding several religious and administrative functions of the Vatican.
A. Yes, around 20 rooms of the Apostolic Palace are accessible by the public. Visitors can get an insight into the Popes’ lifestyle over the last 500 years.
A. The Papal Palace is hardly two minutes away from St. Peter’s Square.
A. The construction of the Apostolic Palace (the Vatican or Papal Palace) in the Vatican City, was done between 1471 and 1605.
A. Nicholas V commenced the construction of the Vatican Palace, to serve as an alternative to their then-residence, the Lateran Palace.