Vatican Museums
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Vatican Museums: Tours & Tickets

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Top 5 things to see at the Vatican museum

When in Rome, don’t miss out on the Vatican’s world-famous Vatican Museums. Over the centuries, popes have built up a truly astounding collection of artistic masterpieces. There are countless things to see, but make sure not to miss these 5 highlights.

The Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel alone would be worth a trip to the Vatican Museums. Painted by the greatest Renaissance painters, the chapel’s famous frescoes are quite simply sublime.

Raphael Rooms

The 4 dazzling Raphael Rooms form the public part of the pope’s apartments. Raphael’s magnificent frescoes decorating the walls give those of the Sistine Chapel a run for their money.

The Belvedere Torso

This stunning sculpture of a muscly male torso was highly influential for Renaissance artists like Michelangelo (note Christ’s similar pose in the Sistine Chapel’s Last Judgement).

Leonardo Da Vinci’s St. Jerome in the Wilderness

Despite being unfinished, this gorgeous painting is a glorious demonstration of Leonardo’s painterly prowess. Unbelievably, it was once cut up and used to cover a barber’s stool.

Sala Rotonda (Round Room)

A masterpiece of neo-classical architecture, this majestic room is shaped like a miniature pantheon, with lavish mosaics covering the floors and ancient statues lining the walls.

Vatican Museums: Our Tips

Best time of year to visit

Although the Vatican Museums are 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.

Save money

On the last Sunday of every month, entrance to the Vatican Museums is free during opening hours, from 9am until 12:30pm. This is a great way of saving money, but be warned: these free days are also the most popular. If you’d rather avoid the large crowds, you’re better off going on a regular day.

Pick the right time of day

The ticket office opens at 9am. If you want to see as much as possible, then you should arrive early, as the Vatican Museums are huge (over 9 miles!) and long lines can start forming at the entrance even before opening time. However, if you’re more interested in avoiding the queues, come around 1pm. Most people will be headed for lunch at that time and it’s often possible to walk straight in without wait.

Don’t leave it too late

Even if you’re intending to avoid the queues, don’t come too late. The ticket office closes at 4pm and the Vatican Museums close at 6pm. If you want to have time to see the Sistine Chapel, you should arrive at the Vatican Museums by 3pm at the latest.

Good to Know

  • When to visit
    365 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 highly recommended
  • How to get there
    Taxi, 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 Museums

Everything was perfect. Special thanks to our guide Chiara!

We are glad we booked in advance, and fully enjoyed our visit to Vaticano! It was perfect

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Reviewed by Natércia Maria, 11/29/2016

Brilliant loved it and guide and Licia the guide was great

Would highly recommend. Well organised and the guide was very knowledgeable and made the trip very interesting.

Informative, well organised and interesting

I would definitely recommend going with a tour guide otherwise you will not know what you are looking at. You can ask questions, the tour guide remains with you the whole time and when you are finished the 3 hours you can explore more of the St Peters if you want to. I wouldn't recommend this tour to anyone who cannot walk / stand for 3 hours. There is no rest period, which if fine for those who are able.

The only way to visit the major tourist attractions

The office staff were so friendly. They ensured the mobile headphones were all working and our guide Linda was fantastic. She was able to keep everyone interested for the whole duration of the tour and had many funny anecdotes to tell.

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 11/28/2016

Magnificent experience with a perfect guide

We are very pleased from our guide -David. He was the perfect company for this tour inside the Vatican, with the right ammount of info for everything that mattered. If you can choose him do so and you will not regret. Well informed and educated, good english, funny and entertaining and you will not understand how fast time passed by! Ask him about his favorite football (soccer for US) team...He loves talking about that! :P Cheers!

Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums, Sistine & St Peters Tour Reviewed by Panagiotis, 11/27/2016

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Vatican Museums
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Based on 14,237 reviews by GetYourGuide customers