Things to do in
Vatican City

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Our most recommended things to do in Vatican City

Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

1. Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

Take a stirring journey through art and religious history with skip-the-ticket-line entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Avoid the long ticket lines and then enjoy your visit at your own pace.  Wander through the Greek Cross Gallery to see elaborately-carved sarcophagi that might just contain the earthly remains of some of antiquity's famous kings and queens. Peek at the Cabinet of the Masks, or tour the Sala degli Animali to see a virtual menagerie of fantastic beasts, real and imagined. Walk the Upper Galleries, including the Gallery of Maps, to see how cartographers depicted the world through the ages. See masterpieces by Renaissance masters in the Raphael Rooms, and rest for a while in the Borgia Apartments. Then, it’s time to marvel at Michelangelo’s exquisite Sistine Chapel, the crown jewel of the Vatican, and perhaps even of all the world’s art treasures.

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

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

Explore iconic sights in Rome on this guided walking tour. Stroll thorugh St. Peter's square and take in the views of the city from the top of St. Peter's Basilica. Admire artwork like Michelangelo's emotive 'Pietà' statue and go below the Basilica to uncover St. Peter's final resting place. 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. 

Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

3. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

Explore St. Peter's Basilica, the Renaissance-style church with its dome that dominates the skyline of Rome. Discover why the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson described it as "an ornament of the earth...the sublime of the beautiful". Marvel at the interior, lavishly decorated with marble, reliefs, architectural sculpture, and gilding. Discover the underground Chapel of the Confession and marvel at its curving marble staircases. After the tour, you can use the online Rome City Guide, a self-guided audio tour with stories from local experts, which is included in the experience. Learn about the city's points of interest, hidden gems, public transport, Wi-Fi access points, and best photo stops.

Rome: City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off Bus with Audioguide

4. Rome: City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off Bus with Audioguide

Explore the Eternal City from a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus with your 24, 48, or 72-hour ticket. Travel past the city's icons, leave the bus at any of the eight stops, and hop back on the next bus when you want to continue. Stay flexible while seeing all the amazing sights in Rome. Legend tells of Romulus and Remus and the 7 hills of Rome. Today the city is home to one of the world's largest churches, the Basilica di San Pietro of the Vatican, approached through a marvelous elliptical piazza. Among its other famous sights are the magnificent Colosseum, cinematic Trevi Fountain, and romantic Spanish Steps. With its vibrant café culture and quaint trattorias, Rome never fails to inspire. The full loop takes 100 minutes and you can jump off at any of the following points along the way: STOPS Stop 1: Terminal A Largo di Villa Peretti or Terminal B Largo di Villa Peretti Stop 2: Santa Maria Maggiore Stop 3: Colosseo Stop 4: Circo Massimo Stop 5: Piazza Venezia Stop 6: Vaticano  Stop 7: Fontana Di Trevi  Stop 8: Piazza Barberini

Rome: Castel Sant'Angelo with Reserved Ticket

5. Rome: Castel Sant'Angelo with Reserved Ticket

Discover the history of this mausoleum-turned-museum with skip-the-line, hosted access. Located on the right bank of the Tiber only a short distance from the Vatican City, the Castel Sant'Angelo is an ancient fortress with centuries of history. Explore the museum's seven floors to discover an extensive collection of ancient artifacts and perfectly preserved frescoes from the Renaissance period. Built in 135 AD for the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the building has played an important part in Rome’s architectural history. Climb the spiral staircase to reach the Chamber of Ashes where a number of historical figures were incarcerated, before continuing up to visit the Papal Residence. Immerse yourself in the stories of each different room as you admire the art within. Finish your experience with a panoramic view over Rome and the River Tiber from the castle terrace. A great opportunity to take some photos of the Ponte Sant'Angelo bridge, also known as the Bridge of Angels.

Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

6. Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

Skip the ticket line and gain fast access to both the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Once inside, meet your guide who will conduct your tour and reveal the intriguing story behind the seminal design. Enter the Pio Clementino Museum and get up close to the astonishing classical Roman and Greek sculptures, before walking through to the Gallery of the Candelabras which is populated with majestic marble structures throughout. Continue on to see the 40 maps frescoed on the walls of the Gallery of the Geographical Maps, the hanging renaissance artworks at Gallery of the Tapestries, and the four Raphael Rooms. Finally, marvel at Michelangelo's fresco "The Creation of Adam" in the Sistine Chapel.

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tickets

7. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tickets

Visit the Vatican Museums and marvel at the breath-taking collection of renowned Roman sculptures and some of the most seminal works of Renaissance art without having to wait an eternity to do so, thanks to the Skip-the-Line Tickets. From there, take in the magnificence of the Sistine Chapel, known as the Cappella Magna and see Michelangelo’s masterpiece, The Last Judgement. A local and professional Host will welcome you and assist you through the entrance while giving you the most important tips for maximum enjoyment. 

Saint Peter's Basilica Official Audioguide

8. Saint Peter's Basilica Official Audioguide

Explore one of Rome's most famous and magnificent sites! Discover why the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson described this site as "an ornament of the earth … the sublime of the beautiful". St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican is the primary temple of Christianity, and is built in the Renaissance style, with a central dome dominating the skyline of Rome. As you enter the church, you will see that its interior is much bigger than those of any other cathedral. Using an official audio-guide of the Basilica, you can start your visit at any point of the church, without having to follow the order dictated by the presence of a guide. You can decide, for example, to begin with the heart of the Basilica, beneath the high altar and the Bernini's Baldachin, where you will discover the “Confession” or “Chapel of the Confession”, in reference to the confession of faith by St. Peter, which led to his martyrdom and burial place. You may choose to end with "La Pietà", the masterpiece of Michelangelo Buonarroti, or with the St. Peter's bronze statue (so worshipped by all the pilgrims visiting over the centuries).

Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

9. Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

Start your day at the Vatican early and skip the notoriously long ticket lines by following a special route through the museums that gets you to the Sistine Chapel just as it opens for the day. Enter before most of the crowd and spend a peaceful half-hour soaking up Michelangelo’s masterpiece along with stunning frescoes by other important Renaissance artists. Continue on to the Pinecone Courtyard for large buffet breakfast including hot and cold dishes, fruit juice, tea, and coffee. Once you’ve eaten your fill, head back into the museums for a tour of the most famous artifacts, including the Belvedere Torso, the Apollo Belvedere, the Laocoön Group, and the Raphael Rooms, widely considered to be among the most beautifully-frescoed interiors in the world. Visit the Gallery of the Candelabra with ancient Greek and Roman artworks. Learn about Raphael Sanzio at the Gallery of Tapestries, one of the most spectacular rooms of the museums.

Rome: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

10. 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

Other Sightseeing Options in Vatican City

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What people are saying about Vatican City

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 142,240 reviews

It was truly amazing. The wonders and beauty in the museum and Sistine Chapel so extraordinary that it would be possible to spend a year and not see them all. Locating the tour was the easiest of all tours we enjoyed over two weeks. Antonio, our guide, was also great.

Alessandra, our guide, guided us through the museums in 3 hours in a way that was easy to understand and with excellent expertise. Questions were also answered competently. This tour is well organized and will be remembered for a long time. Thanks very much!

This tour was wonderful. We had not fathomed the spiritual and beautiful significance of this Basilica and all it contained. Our guide was so knowledgeable, she did such a great job. We also located her easily thanks to the meeting location.

Great tickets! Tips for your experience. Go straight to the security and head in, no lines! Once inside, go upstairs to the ticket booth and get your tickets. The audio guides are just inside. Enjoy!

Amazing guide, great presentation of knowledge about the Vatican, and everything was on time.