What To Look For In A Tour Of The Vatican
Your choice really comes down to timing, group size, inclusions, length and style and price of tour. Generally, the size and length of tour will determine the price, however you also pay extra for exclusive experiences.
- Timing early morning and evening tours are available and are strictly limited so you will have fewer crowds to contend with
- Group size if budget allows, try to book a tour with a group size less than 20. Any more than this and youll be struggling to hear or engage with your guide
- Inclusions and itinerary basic and express tours of the Vatican focus on the highlights of the Vatican Museums plus St Peters interior. Longer tours will take you to the Underground Crypts, the Carriage Pavilion and Neros bath
- Length the shortest tours available are around 2 hours and you can also join full day tours of the Vatican.
- Budget basic tours start at around 20 for large group tours while you can pay between 300 500 for a private tour of the Vatican
Fast Entrance Vatican Tour With Sistine Chapel
The Roman Guy tour company, too, runs a late tour of the Vatican Museums including the Sistine Chapel. You will enter after closing time when the crowd is gone so that you can admire peacefully and in silence the huge collection of treasures on the path leading to the Sistine Chapel.
Among the other rooms, on the way, you will stop at the Gallery of the Maps, Raphael Rooms, just to appreciate his talent along with the rivalry with Michelangelo, and the Gallery of the Candelabra, a feast of marble artwork. In the end, the room everyone looks forward to, where the tour ends, the Sistine Chapel.
What Is Thereto See
The Vatican Museums are a complex of 15 museums and 30 collections. Highlights include the Egyptian Museum, the Pio Clementino Museum with its famous Roman sculptures, the Vatican Pinacoteca and, of course, the famous Raphaels Rooms and Michelangelos Sistine Chapel.
With 7 km of galleries to explore, theres so much to see that you could, in theory, spend a whole day here. However, the museums do get very busy. You really dont want to take a wrong turn or lose your group or your partner . Before visiting, make a plan and work out exactly what you want to see. You dont want to miss out on seeing the Laocoön Group statue or Raphaels Transfiguration. To help you out, Ive put together a list of must-see attractions.
The list orders all the museums and rooms within the Vatican Museums complex by importance :
1. Sistine Chapel 2. Raphaels Rooms 3. Pinacoteca 4. 5. Pio Clementino Museum 6. Chiaramonti Museum 7. Egyptian Museum 8. Gallery of Tapestries 9. Gallery of Maps 10. Collection of Modern Religious Art 11. Vatican Library 12. Gregoriano Profano Museum 13. Pius-Christian Museum 14. Ethnological Museum 15. Atrium of the Four Gates 16. Lapidary Gallery 17. Etruscan Museum 18. Niccoline Chapel 19. Chapel of Urban VIII 20. Borgia Apartment 21. Salette Borgia 22. Christian Museum 23. New Wing 24. Profane Museum
Read Also: Museum Of The Moving Image Jobs
Evening Vatican Museums Tours
During the summer months the Vatican Museums open from 19:00pm to 23:00pm on Friday evenings. With limited numbers allowed into the galleries you can enjoy them without the crowds and in the cooler night air. This exclusive experience will no doubt be a highlight of your trip to Rome.
Note this experience does not include visiting St Peters basilica so you would need to go there separately
Recommended night vatican tours
The Best Galleries At The Vatican
Led by our friendly guide, visit our other favorite galleries including the Borgia Apartments, Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Maps. Predating a unified Italy by nearly 300 years, the Gallery of the Maps is one of the coolest places in the Vatican Museums as it includes original painted topographical maps of Italy that are incredibly accurate.
Also Check: Fine Arts Museums Of San Francisco Jobs
No One Gets You In Faster
With our Reserved Entrance, you can head straight inside and explore without wasting any time – youll also discover the stories about the characters that walked these corridors before you as artists and Popes.
This tour has been adjusted to adhere to current safety regulations with enhanced security measures and social distancing, you can enjoy a safe and exciting trip to Vatican. The crowds are normally plentiful here, but now is the ideal time to book your Vatican tour as you will be one of few people admitted to the museums at any one time. Get up close and personal with the stunning artwork throughout the Vatican without having to jostle for space with other visitors, and make once-in-a-lifetime memories of this incredible location.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vatican Tickets
The Vatican Museums reopened to the public on 3 May 2021 following a closure to the pandemic. For the safety of its visitors, the Vatican now accepts only online reservations and has administered several health measures in place.
The Vatican Museums have reopened to the public in 2021 with various public safety measures in place. Only bookings made online are accepted at the entrance. It is mandatory that visitors wear masks that cover their nose and face at all times and their temperature will be checked before entry. Hand sanitizer stations are also available for public use. Guided tours now permit only groups of 20.
Yes. The Vatican Museum is only accepting online reservations now. You can book your Vatican tickets online.
It depends on the ticket you choose to book. While some tickets offer a full refund on canceling tickets up to 48-72 hours in advance, for others there may be no refund available on cancelation. Please check before you make your reservation.
While the Vatican is accepting reservations for guided tours, it has placed a cap on the maximum number of visitors in a group. Each guided tour group can comprise a maximum of 20 visitors now.
Vatican Museum opening hours have been renewed following the reopening in 2021. The opening hours are now 08:30 AM to 06:30 PM from Monday to Saturday. Last entry into the museums will be at 04:30 and all guests must exit the exhibition rooms by 06:00 PM.
Recommended Reading: Best Parking For Field Museum
Highlights Of The Vatican Museum And The Sistine Chapel
There is a lot to experience at the Vatican Museums and inside the Sistine Chapel.
Some guests have even indicated that it could take upwards of a month to see everything they have to offer.
Its far too easy to become overwhelmed, so weve decided to provide a few noteworthy details about some of the most popular exhibits.
This guide should be handy for anyone who just wants to see the basics.
At The Vatican Museums With The Green Pass Covid
Visits will be organised according to the criteria briefly described below.These rules are necessary to ensure that your visit can take place in the best and safest conditions. Therefore they prevail over the ordinary conditions reported in the individual sections of our official website.For this reason, we invite you to take due note of them before making your reservation and to keep them in mind during your visit to our collections.Our Office of Services and Public Relations remains at your disposal to provide useful assistance and to answer your questions .
From 2 November to 31 December 2021Monday to Saturday08.30 a.m. 06.30 p.m. All the extraordinary openings of the last sunday of the month are suspended Entry to the Museums is by obligatory online bookingFrom 3 January 2022 09.00 a.m. 06.00 p.m. Every last Sunday of the month 09.00 a.m. 02.00 p.m.
Don’t Miss: Hours For Titanic Museum Pigeon Forge
Enter The Vatican Museums 60 To 90 Minutes Before The Crowds
See All 277 Reviews 3.00h 14 maxVatican,
Want to visit the Vatican Museums without all the long lines and crowds? Enter 60 to 90 minutes before the museum’s public opening and skip the long lines and crowds! Thanks to our close relationship with the Holy See you will be afforded an early-access experience to the Vatican that includes areas that are off-limits to the general public. The magic of the experience comes from your knowledgeable guide who will share insightful history, stories, and crazy facts that will wow you.
- View of St. Peter’s Basilica
- Pinecone Courtyard
- St Peters Basilica on Your Own
- La Pietá
- Baldacchino By Bernini
Meet your local guide at the top of the stairs near Caffé Vaticano, across from the Vatican Museums. With your small group of 14 or fewer, you’ll enter the Vatican earlier than the general public, so you can enjoy walking in the Sistine Chapel without large crowds. From there, your knowledgeable guide will show you the other amazing galleries and rooms from Raphael Rooms to the Pio-Clementino Museums. Your 3.5-hour Vatican tour includes:
Skip-the-line entry to the Vatican
Maximum group size of 14
8 am start for early entry at 8:30 am
A professional, English-speaking guide
Vatican Night Tour Of The Vatican Museums With Sistine Chapel
One of the favorite Vatican evening tours, your experience will start after closing time and will include only 15 people.
This Vatican VIP tour includes the Papal Palaces, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. You wont be heading to St. Peters Basilica because by this time it will be already closed for the night.
This is a Vatican Museum tour only, so you will visit and learn everything about its history and art with the perk of not being disturbed by the crowds.
You May Like: Hotels Near Walton’s Mountain Museum
Select Participants And Date
Know before you go
- On arrival at the Vatican, please follow the signs for the separate Partners Entrance
- All visitors must pass through airport-style security. During high season the wait at security may be up to 30 minutes
- St Peters Basilica and the Square may be closed in the morning due to Papal Audience
- The opening hours are subject to change due to special events at the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St Peter’s Basilica
- Children under 6 years old go free of charge with a valid ID
- Those with a disability and their carer or companion go free of charge with a certificate of disability, which you must present at the Special Permits and/or the Reception desk in the hall of the museum
- The minibus tour is not available for children 6 years old or younger
- The Vatican can get very crowded all year round. June, July and August are particularly busy as they are high-season months
FromC$ 30.53per person
Vatican Museums + Vatican Gardens Combo Tour
The Vatican is home to some amazing gardens, which are beautifully kept and landscaped.
But they are in two places: one is just behind St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
The other is in the summer residence of the Pope, Castel Gandolfo.
You can easily book the Vatican Gardens tour through the Vatican Museums website.
It includes entry to the Vatican Museums but no tour or guide.
If you want, you can book this through an outside agency so you get a more complete tour experience. See below for options
Tour of Vatican Museums and Vatican Gardens in Vatican City
With this small-group tour, you will first visit the Vatican Gardens.
After visiting the gardens, your group will head inside to tour the Vatican Museums, finishing inside the Sistine Chapel.
Visit to Vatican Museums and Gardens in Castel Gandolfo
If you have a full day to dedicate to this, and want to experience something really special, a whole world of tranquility, quiet and beauty, away from the hustle and bustle of Rome, this is a wonderful tour.
It allows you to skip the line and visit the Vatican Museums, then walk through the Vatican Gardens and get on a train that will take you just half-hour outside Rome to the summer residence of the Pope: the stunning Barberini Gardens at Castel Gandolfo, only recently opened to the public.
Recommended Reading: Top Museums In San Diego
Family Friendly Tour Of The Vatican
Do you want to take the whole family to tour the Vatican Museums? We suggest giving this a lot of consideration especially if you have very young children. They will need to do a lot of walking, often in hot and stuffy rooms and remain silent in the Sistine Chapel.
If you do decide to go, booking a family friendly tour is a great idea. Your tour will be tailored to the interests of children and your guide will assist in keeping your kids entertained so you can enjoy the experience too.
Withlocals offer a fun scavenger hunt in the Vatican designed especially for families. This is a great way to introduce your children to the history and stories behind this precious art collection.
The Best Vatican Tour Companies
Here are some of the most popular operators and our assessment of how they differ. There are literally hundreds of tour operators working in the Vatican so we have chosen the best for different types of travelers.
- Take Walks working closely in partnership with the Vatican Museums to create unique and engaging experiences for English speaking visitors, the Take Walks offerings Pristine Sistine and VIP Key Masters tours are outstanding
- Vatican official tours The Vatican Museums tours are generally the least expensive option but note that group sizes start at 16 people. Expect a focus on religious history and the church. Their Art and Faith tours are focused on the relationship between art and religion in the context of the history of the Catholic church in Rome view all official Vatican tours
- Liv Tours this Rome based company is known for their very small group and private tours and knowledgeable guides who are expert at adjusting tours for their guests interest and knowledge level view all Liv Tours Vatican tours PLUS 5% off with code UntoldItaly
- Withlocals very reasonably priced private tours. Choose your own guide and itinerary from the experienced licenses professionals at Withlocals. They offer several different Vatican itineraries you can choose from or adapt view all Withlocals Vatican tours
Don’t Miss: National African American Museum Dc
How To Visit The Sistine Chapel And Vatican Museums
This post will provide information about how to visit the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums.
We include information on tickets, the best times to go, security, how to skip long lines, guided tours, and a preview of the highlights.
Be sure to also check out our guide to visiting St. Peter’s Basilica. Let’s get started!
How To Get There
The Vatican Museums are located on the west side of the Tiber River and on the northern edge of Vatican City.
There are many options for traveling to this location, but we will be focusing on some of the easiest and most affordable choices.
However you end up here, we recommend using this Google Maps link for exact directions to the Vatican Museums.
to learn more about the metro system in Rome.
Don’t Miss: How Much Is The Wax Museum In Vegas
Vatican Gardens Museums And Sistine Chapel Tour
Alongside the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, your guide will accompany you on a tour of the Vatican Gardens.
This 3-hour tour will take you to the stunning Vatican Gardens, where you will enjoy a stroll among statues and fountains, and show you the behind-the-scenes of St. Peters Basilica and the Vatican including Pope Emerito House and the Vatican Radio Station among the other places.
After that, you will head to the Vatican Museums with your expert guide who will give you the necessary explanations about the history of the main masterpieces by artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael, and Giotto.
What To Expect From Your Vatican Guided Tour
A visit to the Vatican can be overwhelming for the uninitiated, especially since this tiny city, only 120 acres in total, packs a punch. A guided tour is possibly one of the best ways to get the most out of your trip to Vatican City, a vestige of Renaissance-era architecture and baroque style. Once you meet your certified guide and group at the meeting point, you will be taken straight into the Vatican Museums where you can observe the finest and largest art collection in the world. Explore the Gallery of Maps, tapestries, Raphaels Rooms, and more. Through the Vatican Museum, you will be taken to the world-famous Sistine Chapel that is home to famous frescoes like Michelangelos The Last Judgment and Botticellis Temptation of Christ, among others. Both these landmarks take a couple of hours to explore, not including St. Peters Basilica. The Basilica has two main visitor entrances: a front entrance that is free for tourists but is always packed with long waiting queues, and a second entrance that you can access through the Sistine Chapel specifically through a guided tour.At St. Peters Basilica, you can observe art and architecture by famed artists like Raphael and Michelangelo, the architectural marvel that is the Dome which you can climb up to as well to get splendid views of Rome and Vatican City and more. Your Vatican tour ends at St. Peters Square.
You May Like: Country Music Hall Of Fame And Museum Admission
Can You Do The Colosseum And Vatican In One Day
YES! There are multiple Vatican and Colosseum combo tours you can book if you would like to see all of the must-visit sites in Rome. This is an excellent option for you if you want to save money and don’t like to do a lot of detailed planning. These tours include skip-the-line tickets and museum entrance. A combo tour like this has more value than usual Vatican tours because you can visit the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, all in one day.