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Our recommendations in Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums tickets and tours

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Best of Rome Pass
Attractions & guided tours

Best of Rome Pass

Visit all the best sites in Rome with a single pass, skip long queues and get easy access to Rome's major sights.

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Skip-the-line entrance to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
Attractions & guided tours

Skip-the-line entrance to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Benefit from skip-the-line access to admire the beautiful Vatican Museums and visit the greatest attractions in Rome, the Sistine Chapel.

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E-voucher
Reserved entrance and guided tour of Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
Attractions & guided tours

Reserved entrance and guided tour of Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Benefit from reserved access to admire the beautiful Vatican Museums and visit the greatest attractions in Rome, the Sistine Chapel.

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en, fr, es 

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Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica guided tour
Attractions & guided tours

Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica guided tour

Book your guided tour including Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Less time in line, more time on art!

free cancellation
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en 

Complete skip-the-line Vatican tour for small groups
Attractions & guided tours

Complete skip-the-line Vatican tour for small groups

Book the ultimate Vatican experience with express access to the museums and Sistine Chapel and a full guided tour led by a Vatican expert.

free cancellation
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en 

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel skip-the-line tickets with assistance at the entrance
Attractions & guided tours

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel skip-the-line tickets with assistance at the entrance

Enjoy skip-the-line access to the Vatican museums with assistance at the entrance. Includes access to the Sistine Chapel and courtyards.

free cancellation
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24 or 48-hour hop-on hop-off bus and Vatican Museums tickets
Activities

24 or 48-hour hop-on hop-off bus and Vatican Museums tickets

Book a 24 or 48-hour hop-on hop-off Rome sightseeing tour that includes skip-the-line tickets to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.

free cancellation
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en, it, fr, es, de, +2  pt, ru

Semi-Private Sistine Chapel Tour with Museums and St. Peter's Basilica
Attractions & guided tours

Semi-Private Sistine Chapel Tour with Museums and St. Peter's Basilica

Discover the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums and the St. Peter's Basilica during this essential guided tour.

free cancellation
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en 

Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter Basilica guided tour
Attractions & guided tours

Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter Basilica guided tour

Skip the line and make the most of your time admiring the divine architecture, and discovering the fascinating history of Rome with a guide.

Duration 3 hours
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en, it 

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Exclusive first entry: Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums tour
Attractions & guided tours

Exclusive first entry: Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums tour

Book this combo offer including Exclusive First Entry Tickets: Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums!

free cancellation
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en 

Fast track Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica tour
Attractions & guided tours

Fast track Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica tour

Make the most of your time in Rome! Explore the Vatican Museums on a 2-hour guided tour and then visit the magnificent Basilica of St. Peter.

Duration 2 hours
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en 

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Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel self-guided audio tour

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel self-guided audio tour

Get to explore the Vatican Museums at your own pace and find out plenty of facts and curiosities about its masterpieces thanks to your self-guided tour!

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en, it, de 

Italy

4.5/5 (13051)

About the Vatican Museums

Nestled in the heart of Rome, the Vatican Museums house one of the most extensive and important art collections in the world. Awaiting you is an artistic assortment of priceless works – collected over the centuries by popes and other religious representatives – including sculptures, geographical maps, paintings and archaeological artefacts. The museums are made up of several sections, the most famous being the chamber of the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museums are a must-see attraction during your trip to Rome

Established by Pope Julius II in 1506, the museums were not opened to the public until 1771. Originally created as a collection of classical sculptures, the museum’s core is the Cortile Ottagono, which still houses the Laocoon sculptural group, considered the Vatican Museums’ first exhibit. Over the centuries, the collection expanded considerably, leading to the opening of the ‘Braccio Nuovo’ in 1822 and several thematic museums, including the Egyptian Museum, the Etruscan Museum and the Profane Lateran. Today, the Vatican Museums boasts a plethora of priceless works of art. They’re all housed in 12 different museums ranging from classical sculpture, and Renaissance art to religious frescoes. The museum itinerary is 7km long and has more than 70,000 exhibits. 

Things to know before you go 

  • Avoid clothing that’s unbuttoned, low-cut and does not cover up to the knees. 

  • Photographs for domestic and private use are permitted anywhere but the Sistine Chapel.  

  • Flash photography is not permitted 

  • The Vatican Museums are accessible to people with disabilities. However, for reasons of space, access may be barred in some areas if you’re moving with mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs. 

  • Drinking and eating aren’t allowed inside the exhibition halls, though there are numerous refreshment areas along the route where snacks and drinks can be purchased and consumed 

Opening hours of the Vatican Museums: 

  • Monday through Saturday from 09:00 to 18:00, admission permitted until 16:00. 

  • From April 14 to October 28, 2023, Monday through Saturday from 09:00 to 22:30. 

  • Sunday closed, except for the last Sunday of the month, free admission, 09:00 to 14:00. 

How to get to the Vatican Museums 

  • The Vatican Museums are in the Vatican City, on the west bank of the River Tiber, in a location well connected by public transportation.  

  • The entrance to the museums is from Viale Vaticano 6, Rome, on Italian territory. 

  • By Metro – Line A, Ottaviano or Cipro stops, about 20 and 15 minutes’ walk from the entrance to the museums, respectively. 

  • By bus – take lines 49, Piazzale Musei Vaticani stop, about 15 minutes’ walk from the entrance, 32, 81, 982, stop Piazza del Risorgimento, about 20 minutes’ walk from the entrance, 492, 990, stop Via Leone IV/Via degli Scipioni, about 15 minutes’ walk from the entrance. 

  • By tram – take line 19, stop at Piazza del Risorgimento. 

  • By car – park at Super Garage San Pietro, about 15 minutes’ walk from the entrance, or Aurelia Parking, about 14 minutes’ walk from the entrance. 

  • By taxi – station in the square in front of the Vatican Museums

Get ready to visit the Vatican Museums

What should I really see at the Vatican Museums?

  • The Vatican Museums hold a vast collection of artworks, which is why it’s important to have a clear idea of the attractions you plan to view. It’s impossible not to mention the Sistine Chapel, world-famous for being frescoed by Michelangelo, with the Creation of Adam and the Last Judgment. 

  • Other outstanding areas are the Raphael Rooms, decorated by the Renaissance master, and the iconic spiral staircase, which with its double spiral prevents those going up from meeting those coming down. 

  • Among the sculptures, not to be missed are the Laocoon sculptural group, the Apollo del Belvedere and Bernini’s Charity with Four Children. 

  • Finally, honourable mentions go out to the Gallery of Maps and the Pinacoteca, with paintings by the likes of Caravaggio, Giotto, Leonardo and Raphael. 

What are the best ways to visit the Vatican Museums?

The skip-the-line entrance ticket is one of the most popular and convenient options, allowing you to bypass the long queues and directly head to the entrance of the museums. You can always accompany your visit with an audio guide. However, given the size of the museums, the best way to visit them is by joining a guided tour, accompanied by an experienced local guide. Another very interesting option is to combine the guided tour of the museums with a tour that also includes St Peter’s Basilica.  

Finally, for a more exclusive experience, consider a private tour with access before it opens to the public or in the evening. 

Whichever option you decide to purchase, we recommend that you book your visit to the Vatican Museums well in advance. 

How much time do I need for visiting the Vatican Museums?

On average, a guided tour of the Vatican Museums takes about 3 hours. Visiting them independently, however, can take between 2 and 4 hours, depending on how long you linger in front of the works and whether you choose the option with or without an audio guide. As you continue your visit to St Peter’s Basilica, add at least 1 extra hour to the total time of the experience. In general, we recommend devoting at least half a full day to visiting the Museums and other attractions in Vatican City. 

What’s the best time to visit the Vatican Museums?

The Vatican Museums are popular all year round, so it’s essential to book your admission in advance and, if possible, choose generally less crowded periods. Overall, it’s advisable to prefer midweek days, with early morning or late evening entry. In terms of season, the months when Rome is least crowded are the winter months – except for around Christmas. It’s therefore also the best season to enjoy popular attractions that tend to be a bit freer. 

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Reviews Vatican Museums

  • John

    - March 2024

    Average

    Overall rated

    3/5

    The vatican museum is so big and there is simply too much art to see. What most wanted was to see Rafaels art and the sistine chapel...but we had to g ...

  • David

    - August 2023

    Average

    Overall rated

    3/5

    Skipped the queues which was good, but the Vatican was very busy so be prepared to be shoulder to shoulder. This is not a visit for small children in ...

  • Nichola

    - May 2023

    Average

    Overall rated

    3/5

    Vincenzo the guide was excellent. He got us seats right at the front so had a good view of the pope. Not really sure why this cost £22.00 each conside ...

  • GDPR Expired data

    - May 2016

    Excellent

    Overall rated

    5/5

    Ottima esperienza, guida molto preparata, tutto ben organizzato, assolutamente consigliato.