Sistine Chapel
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Sistine Chapel: Tours & Tickets

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Highlights of the Sistine Chapel

When it comes to touring the Vatican City, the best is saved until last: the revered Sistine Chapel. A tour de force of art and architecture by the most famous Renaissance artists, it will dazzle you. Here’s a list of highlights.

Sistine Chapel Ceiling

The Sistine Chapel is Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Its ceiling is divided into nine scenes from the Book of Genesis, depicting the creation of the world from light to dark, sun to moon, Adam to Eve.

The Creation of Adam

One of the most famous artworks of all time, the centerpiece of the ceiling is a fresco painting depicting God bringing Adam to life with his fingertips.

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

Michelangelo’s fresco depicting the Last Judgment can be seen above the altar. Interestingly, he started working on it 25 years after the ceiling, and it took four years to complete.

Southern Wall: Story of Moses

See scenes from Moses’s life, including his journey through Egypt, portrayed by the Renaissance greats: Botticelli, Perugino, and Rosselli.

Northern Wall: Story of Jesus

The wall to the right of the altar shows scenes from Jesus’ life according to the great Renaissance painters.

Sistine Chapel: Our Tips

Why is the Sistine Chapel Important?

Starting in 1508, Michelangelo spent years of lonely solitude painting the chapel's ceiling and altar, transforming these walls into one of the great masterpieces. In the words of Goethe, "If you haven't seen the Sistine Chapel, it's impossible to have any idea of what one man is capable of doing." The walls will come to life as you step in!

What to Know

Don't wear shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless shirts without bringing a scarf or covering, as you will not be allowed in. Taking photographs is strictly prohibited in the chapel.

Can You Visit the Sistine Chapel on Its Own?

Located in Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums, so can only be entered through the Museum. Admission is included in the purchase of a ticket to the Vatican Museum. Beware of anyone trying to sell you just for the Sistine Chapel, it’s a scam.

Avoiding the Lines

Over 4.5 million visitors come to the Sistine Chapel per year, so it’s difficult to completely avoid a crowd. During the Pope’s address on Wednesday mornings it’s a bit quieter, as at lunchtimes. It’s a good idea to buy tickets online in advance, and a small guided group tour is a great way to skip the line.

Good to Know

  • When to visit
    Closed on Sundays and Catholic holidays. Opening hours can be erratic, so check online to avoid disappointment.
  • What is the price?
    €14 general entry
  • Will I need a guide?
    If you want to learn more about the amazing pieces of art, sure! There are tickets for small group tours, as well as a chance to make the Sistine Chapel part of your Rome City Pass.
  • How to get there
    The Vatican City is located inside of Rome. Buses 64, 60, and 40 will get you there. Alternatively, take the red metro line to Cipro station.
  • Additional tips
    • Beware of pickpockets, especially on crowded public transport. Hold onto your bags, and keep valuables out of sight.
    • Be sure to bring a cardigan or other long-sleeved garment to cover up your arms when entering the Sistine Chapel.

What People Are Saying About Sistine Chapel

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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Sistine Chapel
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