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The Vatican

  • Rome, Lazio, Italy

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 07 April, 2024

Dominating Rome’s skyline, the Dome of St. Peters rises above Vatican City — the world’s smallest sovereign nation-state and Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, within its borders (44 hectares) are St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Apostolic Palace, the Pope’s official residence.

See the pope

Each Sunday at noon (if he’s in town) the Pope appears at the second window to the right of the Apostolic Palace to bless the crowd. No tickets are required.

On Wednesdays at 10am, the Pope holds a general audience in St. Peter’s Square. Tickets are required and can be obtained through the Papal Event Tickets.

Who to go with: tour operators

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Vatican Gardens

  • Vatican City, Lazio, Italy

Vatican Gardens

Experience

Beautiful and uncrowded, the Vatican Gardens can be accessed on a walking tour. There are limited places per day, so you’ll need to book in advance on the Vatican website. Ticket includes entry to the Vatican Museums too. Monday to Saturday mornings, around 2 hours.

Adult price: 15

Good for age: 18+

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Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

To get to Vatican City, take the Metro Line A (red line) towards Battistini and exit at Ottaviano-S. Pietro or Cipro-Musei Vaticani stops – both are equal walking distance from St. Peter’s Square (approx. 10-15 minutes).

An information office is located at the Charlemagne Wing (west end). An info desk can be found at the east end of the square.

Beware of ‘unofficial’ guides milling around the square pushing ‘Skip the Line’ tickets. The official tour service of the Vatican sells them online.

When to do it

High summer can be unbearably hot and humid in Rome, when the city throngs with tourists. Queues can be extremely long for the Vatican. If you are visiting then, try to go as early as possible in the morning (from 7am).

Spring or autumn are the best times for weather and less crowds, though the Easter holiday period, when pilgrims and school groups descend on the city, tends to be very busy.

Winter is a charming time to visit, especially around Christmas, and January and February can be mild – and lack the heavy crowds.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Skip-the-Line Tour of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's | Small Group

  • Rome

Why book this tour? You visit the Vatican once in a lifetime! Skip-the-line access means you’ll have more time to explore millennia of art and history within these hallowed walls without waiting in the long general admission lines. Explore the highlights of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica in a small group. Get straight inside with skip-the-line access to see a host of treasures of the Vatican City, all with enlightening storytelling from a passionate guide. Dive into the Vatican’s must-see attractions with the highlights you absolutely can't leave Rome without. This tour has been specifically designed to get you inside as quickly as possible with skip-the-line entry. This is hands down the perfect tour for families traveling with small children or teens, people who "don't do" museum tours, or those who have limited time and want to see the Eternal City in less than an eternity.

Price €79

Min age 0

Rating 4.88 / 5 [3216 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Skip the Line Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St Peter Small Group Tour

  • Rome

Experience a truly semi-private tour of max 6 people and embark on an incredible journey through the highlights of the Vatican. Accompanied by your local expert guide, enter with skip-the-line tickets and explore of one of the world's most famous museums. Along the way you'll enjoy unique sculptures, beautiful courtyards, and much more while learning all about the history of the Church, the Popes and the impressive works that adorn the museums. Be amazed while admiring the incredible beauty of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. Stroll through the Gallery of Maps and view the incredible tapestries, wonder at frescoes of the Raphael Rooms, and visit the breathtaking St Peter's Basilica - the final resting place of Saint Peter, and one of the holiest temples of the Roman Catholic Church. This tour provides you with a perfect overview of the Vatican in an intimate small group tour of max 6 people. A fully private tour option is available for an even more personalized experience.

Price €119

Min age 0

Rating 4.87 / 5 [2201 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Rome: VIP Vatican Breakfast with Guided Tour & Sistine Chapel

  • Rome

Embark on an extraordinary journey at the Vatican with this morning tour that includes an American-style breakfast inside the Vatican's Courtyard. You’ll explore the Vatican Museums before they open to the general public so you can admire famous sights like the Sistine Chapel in a more intimate atmosphere before finishing with skip-the-line access to St Peter’s Basilica through a reserved entrance.

Price €127

Min age 0

Rating 4.57 / 5 [1546 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
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The Original Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

  • Rome

Less than 1% of Vatican visitors ascend St. Peter's Dome, this is a remarkable statistic so for this reason we have decided to take it from the top! Meet your expert Vatican guide by St. Peter's Square. Sacred stairs (and an elevator) will carry you up to St. Peter's Terrace from where you will see all of Rome and even the Tyrrhenian Sea! Back on terra firma you will tour the entirety of St. Peter's Basilica too. Take a break before making the short walk to our Vatican meeting point for your second tour of the Vatican City and Sistine Chapel! Get fast track access to the masterpieces which make the Vatican Museums absolutely must-see when in Rome.

Price $129

Min age 0

Rating 4.79 / 5 [1497 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Complete Early Morning Vatican Tour | Small Group

  • Rome

Join our exclusive small group Vatican tour in the early morning with a top-notch tour guide and get early entrance to the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums & Raphael Rooms. In a small group, you will be able to discover with no rush the extraordinary abundance of history and art and you’re guaranteed to have personal attention that is hard to come by at this venue. Meet at our comfortable offices less than a block from the museum entrance. On one of our early Vatican tours, you’ll be one of just 12 other guests, so you’ll have more than the mic and earphones in common with your guide, getting real personalized attention. Enjoy the Vatican City in a small group for personal attention from your expert storyteller guide without getting herded around. Traveling in a small group with a top-rated English-speaking guide at the helm, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience at Rome's most fascinating art attraction.

Price €99

Min age 0

Rating 4.93 / 5 [1190 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
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