See priceless works of art from the Papal collections with skip-the-line entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Go on a stirring journey…
Skip the long lines at the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with exclusive no-wait access. On your small group tour, experience the best of the…
Enjoy priority access to St. Peter’s Dome. You’ll skip the lines for the Dome as well as the Basilica. Admire spectacular views of Rome from the…
Enjoy immediate entry and a hassle-free tour of Saint Peter's Basilica, one of Rome’s prime attractions! Delight in hidden wonders of the Renaissance…
Take an amazing journey to discover the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, who was an artist, engineer, sculptor, architect and scientist. Admire a…
Discover the Mausoleum of Emperor Hadrian on a 3-hour guided tour of Rome’s impressive Castel Sant'Angelo; the fantastic Passetto used by Popes to…
Vatican City – everyone’s heard about it, but what is it exactly? Is it a part of Rome, is it independent, are only priests allowed in? There are a lot of mysteries and misconceptions surrounding Vatican City, so here are 5 fascinating facts.
With a tiny population of 842 and an area of 110 acres (roughly an eighth of New York’s Central Park), Vatican City is the world's smallest independent nation-state.
As a completely non-commercial economy, all of Vatican City’s money comes from donations, museum admission fees, and the sale of postage stamps, books and tourist souvenirs.
Featuring the world-famous Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City is a highly popular tourist destination, attracting over 4 million visitors yearly.
In 1277, a secret passageway was built between Vatican City and the nearby fortified castle Castel Sant’Angelo, providing an escape route for the pope if the city was attacked.
The colorfully dressed men standing in front of the city’s entrances are the famous Swiss Guards. Former mercenaries, they are now the permanent de facto army of Vatican City.
Although Vatican City is extremely popular with tourists all year around, if you’re looking for a quieter visit, your best bet is during the low season between November and February.
There is so much to see in Vatican City, make sure you’re not pressed for time. Importantly, if you want to see the Sistine Chapel, it’s essential that you enter the Vatican Museums before 3p.m. so you can reach the chapel before it closes.
Although there is more than enough to take in as an individual visitor, those who want to learn about Vatican City’s rich history would benefit from one of the many excellent tours offered. There are public as well as private tours. Note that latter need to be booked well in advance.
You’re unlikely to run into the pope on your visit to Vatican City. However, every Wednesday the pope holds a public audience on St. Peter’s Square in the summer and in the Audience Hall during winter. The audience starts at 10:30am, but most visitors arrive earlier to secure a good seat. Security opens between 8am and 8:30am.
- When to visit365 days a year!
- What is the price?Free to look at from the outside. Admission tickets vary.
- Will I need a guide?Not compulsory, but recommended.
- How to get thereTaxi, bus, Metro, tram or by foot from Rome. Look here for more detailed directions.
- Additional tips
- Large bags are not allowed in the museums, so pack light!
- There is often no air conditioning in the museums so make sure to dress accordingly and bring a bottle of water.
What People Are Saying About Vatican City
This tour was amazing. The amount of information on hand and the fact that all the different war machines and flying machines have been made and can be used (to an extent).
It is essential to get a guided tour as this site is so big that we would be lost in the mass of info and things to see. The guide brings to life some details and major cultural references that make all the difference.
This is a clever package to visit the Dome and the Cathedral. We did only 10min of line instead probably 3h (or more) with the regular one. The audio-guide (only for the Dome) is simple and a good choice in order to have a fast overview instead longer explanations of the guide. The view from the Dome is amazing!
This tour is fantastic - a must see for first time guests. Guides are knowledgeable about every nook of the Vatican and all it's many facets. This tour is the best way to see all three sites and even some extras!
First off, the line to enter the Vatican Museum when we arrived at 9:40am on December 29th was at least three blocks long. So glad we chose a "skip-the-line" kind of tour. But the tour was excellent beyond that - our guide, Valentina, was very engaging and knowledgeable. An archaeologist by training, she had a great knowledge of Roman & Mediterranean history going back 3,000 years. This was a 3-hour tour, and we were concerned that our two kids (ages 11 & 7) would be miserable, but even they were enthralled, and my 11-y.o. son says it was his favorite event of our trip. I give full credit to Valentina on that front. She was also very kind - she recommended a local restaurant to us when we parted, and then tracked us down about 15 minutes later in the square to correct the name of it.