Things to do in
Saint Peter's Square

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Saint Peter's Square: Our most recommended tours and activities

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour

1. Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour

Discover one of the greatest art collections in the world on a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Learn the fascinating history and facts about these sites from your licensed guide, leaving the tour with a wealth of information. Marvel at the incredible frescoes and more along the way. First your local guide will show you around the Rotunda, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Gallery of Maps. Marvel at the ornate ceilings, ancient statues, and intricate tapestries found throughout the Vatican Museums. A highlight will be an entire ceiling and wall completely frescoed by the Renaissance genius Michelangelo Buonarotti. Visit the world-famous Sistine Chapel, and see the Creation of Adam in real life. Listen as your guide tells you about Michelangelo’s private jokes and secret messages that were hidden amongst the painted frescoes on the ceiling of the chapel

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Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

2. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square then start the tour by climbing your way to the top of the Basilica’s Dome. Enjoy an exclusive look at the Dome’s impressive mosaics then head further up to the top balcony. From here, marvel at panoramic views across the city, spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and other iconic landmarks. Descend into the Basilica and admire its impressive interior and discover why it took 150 years to build. Gaze at the colorful marble, golden ceilings, and intricate mosaics that surround you. Learn about the renowned works of Renaissance and Neoclassic artists that are housed here.  Next, head underground to the Basilica’s historic grottoes and visit St. Peter’s Tomb. Touch the ancient walls of the original 4th-century Basilica and admire its beautiful frescoes. Finish the tour in St. Peter’s Square and soak up its majestic architecture. 

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Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour

3. Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour

Discover one of the greatest art collections in the world on a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.  Your local guide will take you to the most interesting galleries within the museums – the Rotunda, Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of Maps. Each of these rooms contains ornate ceilings with the walls decorated with ancient statues, frescoes, and tapestries. Of course, the greatest gem of the Vatican collection is not a painting on any wall, but an entire ceiling and wall completely frescoed by the greatest genius of the Renaissance period – Michelangelo Buonarotti. From the Creation of Adam to the Last Judgement, Michelangelo dedicated some of his greatest years to the Sistine Chapel, working day and night – even sleeping in the chapel – to satisfy the popes of Rome. He also expressed his frustration with his employers with jokes hidden in his work. Today these have been uncovered and understood. Listen as your guide lets you in on Michelangelo’s private jokes.

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Vatican: Papal Audience Ticket and St. Peter's Basilica Tour

4. Vatican: Papal Audience Ticket and St. Peter's Basilica Tour

See the Pope himself on a special early-access visit to the Papal Audience ceremony and guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica. Receive your ticket for the Papal Audience from the staff at Piazza del Sant'Uffizio, just in front of St Peter's Square. Then watch the Pope make his way to the stage and join the weekly gathering which includes prayers, blessings, and a homily. After the audience, enjoy a guided tour of the iconic Basilica of St. Peter. As you tour the Renaissance-style church, with its famous dome and unrivaled architecture, see masterpieces like Michelangelo's Pietà and Bernini's Baldacchino. Choose an audio-guided tour of the Vatican Gardens and enjoy insightful commentary on an open bus.

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Rome: Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

5. Rome: Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

The open-top, double-decker bus provides fantastic views and a great atmosphere to enjoy Rome's charm. From the iconic Colosseum and the famous Spanish Steps to the stunning Vatican, the city's history and majestic architecture will take your breath away. A fully narrated audio tour allows you to discover over 10 locations throughout the city with daily departures from the starting point at Termini Railway Station. You have the option to join the tour from any of the stops on the route. You may also experience the “eternal city” on foot with fantastic digital, self-guided walking tours. Some of the locations you can see on the tour route include: Colosseum Roman Forum Trevi Fountain Spanish Steps Piazza di Spagna Vatican St. Peter's Square Piazza Navona Pantheon Castel Sant'Angelo Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore Circus Maximus Piazza Venezia Altare della Patria Piazza Barberini Termini Railway Station

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Rome: Colosseum and Vatican Tour

6. Rome: Colosseum and Vatican Tour

Visit the Colosseum, one of the most iconic structures in the world. Skip the ticket line to access the Colosseum quickly and easily. Learn about the architecture and history of this massive amphitheater, which hosted senators, emperors, and gladiators, as well as animals from all over the world. You'll have the opportunity to visit Palatine Hill, site of the foundation of Rome, followed by exploring the Roman Forum site. Make your own way to the Vatican Museums. The complex is home to 54 different galleries and four statue museums: Museo Pio-Clementino, Museo Chiaramonti, Museo Gregoriano Etrusco and the Museo Gregoriano Egiziano. See some of the most famous works of art in the world, from artists including Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Carvaggio, Raphael and Giotto, to name a few. The 54th gallery of the Vatican Museums is the famed Sistine Chapel, completed around 1483. View many of the most famous frescoes in the world, including the famous ceiling and "The Last Judgement" painted by Michelangelo. The Sistine Chapel holds some of the world's most precious works of art, but is also used for the papal conclave, the process through which a new pope is chosen.

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Rome: Half-Day Angels and Demons Semi-Private Tour

7. Rome: Half-Day Angels and Demons Semi-Private Tour

Explore Rome following the trail of Robert Langdon in Dan Brown's best-selling novel, Angels and Demons. The 3.5-hour tour begins at Pantheon, where Robert Langdon, the protagonist of Dan Brown's best-selling novel, arrives having misunderstood a clue. His intended destination was the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, and that is the tour's second stop. The church is noted for the Chigi Chapel, where Langdon found the first dead cardinal, branded with the word earth on his chest. Your next stop will be St. Peter's Basilica, the center of Christianity. In the middle of St. Peter’s Square you’ll find an obelisk surrounded by a wind compass rose. On the west ponente oval tile the protagonist found another dead cardinal, branded with the word air. After this, Langdon enters the Vatican’s secret archives to look for information about the Illuminati. From the Vatican you’ll head to the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, where you’ll see Bernini's sculpture, Estasi di Santa Teresa. It was here that Langdon found the third dead cardinal, who was branded with the word fire. Your guide will take you through the most important places in the ancient city center, including Repubblica Square, and Navona Square, where you’ll see Bernini's stunning Fountain of the 4 Rivers and the obelisk. According to the book, Langdon finds the last dead cardinal here, branded with the word water. From Navona Square you’ll head to the last stop, Castel Sant’Angelo, a gathering place of the Illuminati, and hear about the passetto, a hidden passage that leads to Vatican City. This shortcut was used by past popes as a way to escape, and in the book it is used as a hideout for the assassin.

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Rome: Castel Sant'Angelo and St. Peter’s Square Tour

8. Rome: Castel Sant'Angelo and St. Peter’s Square Tour

Discover the dark side of 2 iconic attractions in Rome on a 3-hour walking tour of the Castel Sant’ Angelo and St. Peter’s Square, connected by the Passetto di Borgo. Meet your guide on Ponte Sant’ Angelo, formerly known as the “Aelian Bridge” or “Pons Aelius.” Built in 134 AD by Emperor Hadrian, the bridge spans the River Tiber from the city center to his mausoleum in the Castel Sant'Angelo. Admire sculptures of angels by Bernini, Raggi and Morelli, before skipping the ticket lines to see Hadrian’s tomb. Feast your eyes on the frescoes, Papal apartments, and magnificent corridors of the castle. Experience the fear of former prisoners as you learn about the castle’s time as a prison. Follow in the footsteps of former popes as you walk the Passetto di Borgo, and learn how they would escape death threats from their opponents. Your guide will explain the dark connections between the castle and Vatican State. Upon arrival in St. Peter's Square, admire Bernini’s massive colonnade. Look at the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica, and learn about the architects behind its astonishing construction, including Michelangelo, Bernini and Borromini. See the lovely fountains and red granite obelisk, originally erected at Heliopolis and moved to the Vatican in 1586.

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Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Early Morning Tour

9. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Early Morning Tour

Explore one of Rome's most visited sites away from the crowd and find out why it took almost 120 years to get it done. St.Peter's Basilica is the most prominent building in the Vatican City with a surface area enough to accommodate up to 60,000 visitors, its dome is a dominant feature of the skyline of Rome. The largest church in Christendom, and one of the holiest sites of Christianity and Catholic Tradition, it is traditionally the burial site of its titular, St. Peter, the first Bishop of Rome,the first Pope. As you enter Basilica your guide will walk you towards famous Bernini's Baldachin underneet which the tomb of St. Peter is located. For this reason, many Popes have, from the early years of the Church, been buried near Pope St. Peter in the necropolis beneath the Basilica which occasionlly can be visited as well. You will then continue towards another Masterpiece, famous Pieta di Michelangelo. An art historian tour guide will reveal you some of the most important facts about this unique sculture carved from a single slab of marble and commissioned by a french cardinal Jean de Billheres. Not to mention the door on the right side, famous Porta Santa, the holy door which is only opened once every twenty-five years. Save the best for the last, exclusive visit, to famous Vatican Grottoes positioned just below the Renaissance basilica and above Constantine’s 4th century basilica, the grottos contain chapels dedicated to various saints and tombs of kings, queens and popes, dating from the 10th century. This unique guided tour will end on St. Peter's Square a grandiose elliptical esplanade created in the mid seventeenth century by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The square is bordered by massive colonnades that symbolize outstretched arms. Bernini and his assistants sculpted the 140 statues of saints that grace the balustrades on the colonnades. The square is decorated with fountains and an Egyptian obelisk that was transported to Rome in 37 AD.

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Skip-The-Line Vatican, Sistine & St. Peter with Small Group

10. Skip-The-Line Vatican, Sistine & St. Peter with Small Group

Begin your guided tour at the Vatican Museums, with their immense collection built by the Popes throughout the centuries. See the Pio Clementino Hall, the Laocoon and Apollo Belvedere, the Maps Gallery, the Candelabra Gallery, the Tapestries Gallery, and the Sistine Chapel. From the Museum, exit directly into St. Peter’s Basilica, the most important Christian church in the world, where you will admire, among others, Michelangelo’s masterpiece the Pietà, and the impressive Baldachin Altar by Bernini. The tour ends in St. Peter’s Square, dominated by Michelangelo’s imposing Cupola and surrounded by the famous Bernini’s double Colonnade.  

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Other Sightseeing Options in Saint Peter's Square

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What people are saying about Saint Peter's Square

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 15,542 reviews

Absolutely amazing experience and Karolina our tour guide was brilliant very knowledgeable and warm. My favourite tour guide from all Rome experiences. This particular tour is the best option and prepare lot of time for that. Definitely recommend all this experience and it is really must seen . Thank you. Sylwia

Nous avons fait un tour guidé du Vatican avec le guide Mathéo, un excellent narrateur, passionné ! Grave à lui et à la splendeur du Vatican nous avons voyagé à travers le temps. Excellente expérience.

Davide, la nostra guida, è stato fantastico e ci ha trasmesso moltissime nozioni durante la visita. Davvero molto bravo, consigliato A+++

The experience was excellent!! The guide was on time waiting for us and she knows about everything a lot!!!

Well organized, no waiting in line and guided tour with all your questions answered.