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4.6 (34774 reviews)

Vatican Museums Tickets

Explore artistic and historical treasures of some of the world's greatest artists

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32 options • from $32.63

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Vatican Museums FAQs

The name's a little misleading – the Vatican Museums are the home of the Catholic Church's huge collection of priceless art and sculpture, and are found inside the Vatican City itself. The museums are all in the same vicinity, not scattered in different locations. The Vatican Museums are made up of galleries, rooms, courtyards, towers, staircases, chapels, and more.

The Vatican Museums collection began in the early 16th century when Pope Julius II purchased the famous ode to snake-wrestling, Laocoön and His Sons.

Holders of Vatican Museums tickets can explore a trove of religious art, which now houses masterpieces by everyone from Michelangelo to Raphael and Bernini. And, of course, it's home to the world-famous Sistine Chapel and its wonderful ceiling, which is gawped at by as many as 25,000 people every day.

There's a lot to see at the Vatican Museums. Thousands of people visit the Holy Enclave every day and miss many of its treasures. In terms of highlights, you should definitely:

  • Stop to admire the huge Roman bronze pinecone statue in Pinecone Courtyard

  • Visit the Raphael Rooms to see the Italian master's frescoes and workshop

  • Wander the golden Gallery of Maps to admire stunning 16th-century cartography

  • Find Caravaggio's famous depiction of the Deposition of Christ in the Pinacoteca

  • See works by Van Gogh and Rodin in the Collection of Contemporary Art

  • Walk the Vatican Museums' famous spiral staircase on exiting the museums

  • Look up at the Sistine Chapel ceiling and look for the Creation of Adam

If you really want to make the most of your Vatican Museums tickets, try to allow for 4-5 hours inside. That'll give you enough time to visit the popular exhibits, plus the Pinacoteca Vaticana, Ethnological Museum, New Wing, and Collection of Contemporary Art.

Of course, you might not have the time (or the luxury) to allocate most of your day to the Vatican Museums. Two hours is the minimum amount of time you'll need to see some highlights and have a good long look at the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

The Vatican is one of Rome's most popular tourist locations, so you can never guarantee you'll avoid a crowd.

October through April is the low season, so things are a little quieter then. Friday nights are usually quieter than other days of the week, plus there are longer opening hours.

To save yourself some standing around, opt for skip-the-line Vatican Museums tickets!

Dressing appropriately for your visit to the Vatican Museums is important. It's the 21st century, so you don't need to worry too much about the dress code. But here are some tips to make sure you don't commit any outfit faux-pas!

  • Avoid revealing or low-cut clothing – sleeveless tops and see-through clothing are banned

  • Short shorts (above the knee) and miniskirts are not allowed

  • You'll be asked to remove hats on arrival

  • Jeans and sneakers are permitted, so your Nike high-tops have Papal approval

  • Of course you can't carry your backpack or suitcase around. You'll have to leave those in the cloakroom!

Looking to get into the Vatican Museums before the crowds? There are ticket options that allow you to enter before the daily flock of cultural visitors arrives.

Our tip would be to purchase a VIP early-access ticket that includes a guided tour and a sit-down breakfast in the evocative atmosphere of the Cortile della Pigna. That way, you're rewarded for getting up at the crack of dawn and beating the rush.

Does this sound like your dream Vatican Museums ticket? Book your guided tour and breakfast now!

Tickets overview

  • You won't get a passport stamp, but you can say you've visited the smallest country in the world – the Vatican's land mass is only 0.49 square-kilometers

  • See the most popular attraction in Rome

  • Stare up in wonder at Michelangelo's magnum opus, the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

  • Admire exquisite art collections curated over the centuries by various pontiffs

  • Find a sense of peace with a wander through the tranquil Vatican Gardens

  • Step inside Christianity's most famous church, St. Peter's Cathedral

Booking Vatican Museums tickets in advance is a must! It's one of Italy's most famous sights and securing last-minute tickets can be difficult.

So, plan ahead and consider skip-the-line tickets, or combine your visit with more of Rome's top attractions.

Vatican Museums tickets include:

Opening times

  • The Vatican Museums are open six days a week, from Monday to Saturday

  • The Vatican Museums are closed on the first three Sundays of the month

  • The Vatican Museums are free on the last Sunday of the month, but queues are long and opening hours are reduced (09:00 – 14:00; last admission at 12:30). You can beat the queues with a skip-the-line ticket though!

When to visit Vatican Museums

  • The best time of the year to visit is in March or April when the weather is mild and summer crowds haven't arrived

  • The best day to visit is late on a Friday; opening hours are longer and you can avoid weekend traffic

  • Allow yourself around three hours to visit the Vatican Museums

Useful information

  • The Papal Audience is held on Wednesday, tickets are free and can be collected at the Bronze Door (under the right-hand colonnade in St Peter's Square) between 15:00 and 19:00 on the preceding afternoon, or on the morning of the audience from 07:00

  • There's a dress code for visiting the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. You are required to have your shoulders and knees covered. Taking a light scarf with you is a good alternative if you want to stay cool during the hot Italian summer

  • There is a self-service cafeteria in the Vatican Museums where you can pick up simple pizza and pasta; it's better to eat outside of the Vatican though, Rome is filled with more delicious options

  • Credit and debit cards are accepted

  • You can take photos throughout most of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica, but photography inside the Sistine Chapel is strictly prohibited. Flash photography, tripods, and selfie sticks are also forbidden

Vatican Museums reviews

34774 verified customer reviews

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3 reviews
Ewen,  Canada Canada
01 Nov 2023
Anna-Maria was fantastic and made the tour most enjoyable. It is extremely busy and there are very few places where you can stop and take it all in. Overwhelming is an understatement, absolutely worth it
Anna-Maria was fantastic and made the tour most enjoyable. It is extremely busy and there are very few places where you can stop and take it all in. Overwhelming is an understatement, absolutely worth it
Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel: Guided Tour
Peter ,  United Kingdom United Kingdom
07 Nov 2023
Excellent so easy to book, everything done on phone download voucher go to entrance get scanned go to ticket desk and scan again for desk to print tickets then the amazement begins
Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel: Skip The Line with Optional Audio Guide
Robert James,  Philippines Philippines
27 Oct 2023
Nothing went wrong. Super awesome experience. Spend at least three hours to get the most of the entire attraction. The only hitch was how strict they were with taking photos of the Sistine Chapel....
Nothing went wrong. Super awesome experience. Spend at least three hours to get the most of the entire attraction. The only hitch was how strict they were with taking photos of the Sistine Chapel. Like, why?!
Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel: Skip The Line with Optional Audio Guide

About: Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums are full of artistic and historical treasures by some of the world's greatest artists. Inside you’ll find epoch-defining masterpieces from Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian and Caravaggio (to name a few).

The collection, housed in 54 galleries, includes the statue of Laocoön, the Apollo del Belvedere, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Maps, and of course, the Sistine Chapel, with Michelangelo's renowned frescoes. The artwork here changed the course of Western art.

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
Monday 09:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 18:00
Thursday 09:00 - 18:00
Friday 09:00 - 18:00
Saturday 09:00 - 19:00
Sunday Closed
Vatican Museums
Viale Vaticano, 00165, Rome
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