Discover one of the most beautiful sites in the world on this fantastic 3.5-hour tour of the Vatican with skip-the-line access. Explore the Vatican…
See priceless works of art from the Papal collections with skip-the-line entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Go on a stirring journey…
Skip the long lines at the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with exclusive no-wait access. On your small group tour, experience the best of the…
Enjoy priority access to St. Peter’s Dome. You’ll skip the lines for the Dome as well as the Basilica. Admire spectacular views of Rome from the…
See the sights of Rome at your own pace on board an open-top hop-on and hop-off sightseeing bus. Access two loops in the historic city center to…
Enjoy immediate entry and a hassle-free tour of Saint Peter's Basilica, one of Rome’s prime attractions! Delight in hidden wonders of the Renaissance…
Vatican City – everyone’s heard about it, but what is it exactly? Is it a part of Rome, is it independent, are only priests allowed in? There are a lot of mysteries and misconceptions surrounding Vatican City, so here are 5 fascinating facts.
With a tiny population of 842 and an area of 110 acres (roughly an eighth of New York’s Central Park), Vatican City is the world's smallest independent nation-state.
As a completely non-commercial economy, all of Vatican City’s money comes from donations, museum admission fees, and the sale of postage stamps, books and tourist souvenirs.
Featuring the world-famous Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City is a highly popular tourist destination, attracting over 4 million visitors yearly.
In 1277, a secret passageway was built between Vatican City and the nearby fortified castle Castel Sant’Angelo, providing an escape route for the pope if the city was attacked.
The colorfully dressed men standing in front of the city’s entrances are the famous Swiss Guards. Former mercenaries, they are now the permanent de facto army of Vatican City.
Although Vatican City is extremely popular with tourists all year around, if you’re looking for a quieter visit, your best bet is during the low season between November and February.
There is so much to see in Vatican City, make sure you’re not pressed for time. Importantly, if you want to see the Sistine Chapel, it’s essential that you enter the Vatican Museums before 3p.m. so you can reach the chapel before it closes.
Although there is more than enough to take in as an individual visitor, those who want to learn about Vatican City’s rich history would benefit from one of the many excellent tours offered. There are public as well as private tours. Note that latter need to be booked well in advance.
You’re unlikely to run into the pope on your visit to Vatican City. However, every Wednesday the pope holds a public audience on St. Peter’s Square in the summer and in the Audience Hall during winter. The audience starts at 10:30am, but most visitors arrive earlier to secure a good seat. Security opens between 8am and 8:30am.
- When to visit365 days a year!
- What is the price?Free to look at from the outside. Admission tickets vary.
- Will I need a guide?Not compulsory, but recommended.
- How to get thereTaxi, bus, Metro, tram or by foot from Rome. Look here for more detailed directions.
- Additional tips
- Large bags are not allowed in the museums, so pack light!
- There is often no air conditioning in the museums so make sure to dress accordingly and bring a bottle of water.
What People Are Saying About Vatican City
The girl (I didn't get the name unfortunately) who was in charge of our group was just amazing.. amazing command of several languages! The entrance was fast and swift just as promised...
The trip was easy to book, the tickets were e mailed promptly and the tour guide was excellent.
Very informative guide, saw everything we wanted and not rushed in any way. Brilliant value and worthwhile to skip huge queues and this was a quieter time of year. The only downside was the radio kept losing sound but assumed this was down the walls and being inside but didn't impact on the actual tour in any way.
Brought our kids along, aged 10 and 12. They were captivated every minute of the 3 hour tour.
It was a very interesting tour and we would never have done it, if we had to wait in line for hours even before entering the Vatican! This way it went smoothly. Our guide, Claudia, was very friendly, explained everything very clearly and was very patient with everyone. Although it was tiring, especially due to the enormous crowds everywhere, it was very impressive. We were very happy with Claudia as a guide.