Things to do in Rome

7 Vatican City Attractions You Cannot Miss

Last Updated On

Vatican Museums is Now Open

Reopened On

May 3, 2021

Safety Measures

🚶🏻‍♂️🚶🏻‍♂️Social Distancing

😷 Mandatory Masks

🤒 Temperature Check

🧽 Frequent Cleaning

🧼 Hand Sanitisation Station

👮‍♂️ Reduced Capacity

New Rules and Guidelines

  • Mandatory Green Pass is needed to gain access to tourists attractions in Italy. Find more details [here](https://www.dgc.gov.it/web/) 
  • It is compulsory for visitors to book tickets online before arriving at the venue.
  • Mandatory to wear masks before visiting the museum.
  • Temperature checks will be conducted before entering the museum.
  • It is necessary to maintain social distancing at all times.
  • Group tours can have of only 20 members including the guide.
  • Groups tours that have more than 10 members can avail the radio transmitter system.
  • Exit that provides one access to St. Peter’s Basilica from the Sistine Chapel will remain closed until further notice.
More Updates

Revised Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday

8:30 am - 6:30 pm

Final entry 4:30 pm

Located within Rome, the Vatican City is a sovereign state, and the smallest country in the world. Within the city are some of the most important cultural and religious landmarks like the St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel. The only country in the world to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, Vatican City is a popular tourist destination, having been visited by over 6 million people in 2016. Spread over just 44 hectares, with 800 residents, Vatican City attractions have the highest tourist to resident ratio in the world.

Here, we list the top Vatican City attractions you cannot miss out on:

1St. Peter's Basilica

#1 of 53 things to do in Vatican City on TripAdvisor
Vatican City Attractions
Historic Sites

St. Peter's Basilica is the world's largest basilica of Christianity, and a remarkable example of Renaissance architecture. Primarily designed by by Bramante, Bernini, Michelangelo, and Maderno, this church is a must-see for those visiting Rome. Apart from being a center of religion, St. Peter's Basilica is also home to numerous works of Renaissance art. Some of the most popular works of art in the basilica are Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture, Bernini’s Baldachin, and the statue of St. Peter. Its main dome is a stunning piece of architecture, which is a dominant feature in the city's skyline.

Tips
• Sign up for a guided tour of the St.Peter's Basilica to make the most of your visit
• Visiting both the Vatican Museums and the Basilica could take around 6-7 hours, so plan your meal times accordingly.
• Make sure you are wearing appropriate clothes. Your shoulders and knees must be covered all the time. Avoid wearing shorts and bare shoulders.

Best Time to Visit
April - September: 7 AM to 7 PM, daily
October - March: 7 AM to 6 PM, daily
Duration
1 Hours

Checkout the top St. Peter's Basilica Tickets

2Sistine Chapel

#5 of 53 things to do in Vatican City on TripAdvisor
Vatican City Attractions
Architectural Buildings

One of the most important of the Vatican City attractions, the Sistine Chapel is a monument that everyone must visit at least onec in their lifetime. Its walls and ceilings are covered by some of the most opulent frescoes ever produced. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, covering over 800 sq. m., is especially famous. Painted by Michelangelo over a span of 4 years, the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel are considered to be a cornerstone of High Renaissance art. The chapel also contains some of the most remarkable pieces of art, such as Michaelangelo's The Creation of Adam and Botticelli's Temptation of Christ. But the chapel isn't just of artistic importance. Nestled in the holy Vatican City, it serves a distinct purpose - it is the site of the Papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected.

Tips
• You are not allowed to take pictures or videos inside the chapel.
• It is advisable to go after 2 PM, or after lunch time, as it is less crowded and you can explore the chapel in peace.
• Buy a Skip-the-Line ticket to avoid long queues, so you can spend more time inside the chapel rather than outside.

Hours
Monday to Saturday - 8:30 am to 6:30 pm
Final entry is at 4:30 pm
Closed on Sundays
Duration
2 Hours

Plan yor visit with the top Sistine Chapel Tickets

3Vatican Museums

#7 of 53 things to do in Vatican City on TripAdvisor
Vatican City Attractions
Museums

Visited by over 6 million people every year, the Vatican Museums consist of 54 galleries and have one of the largest collections of Renaissance and Medieval art in the world. The museums are home to a number of classical sculptures and paintings by the Renaissance greats such as Raphael, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, and Bernini. Artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dalí, and Pablo Picasso are also represented in the Modern Religious Art section. Famous rooms and galleries in the Vatican Museums include Raphael Rooms, the Gallery of Maps, the Sala Rotunda and the Gallery of Statues and the Hall of Busts.

Tips
• The museum is least crowded during the noons and off-season.

Best Time to Visit
Monday to Saturday - 8:30 am to 6:30 pm
Final entry is at 4:30 pm
Closed on Sundays
Duration
2 Hours

Here are the top Vatican Museum tickets

4Raphael Rooms

#8 of 53 things to do in Vatican City on TripAdvisor
Vatican City Attractions
Museums

Raphael's Rooms, or Stanze di Rafaello, were part of the second floor of the Pontifical Palace. The rooms, originally intended as a suite of apartments for Pope Julius II, were painted by Raphael and his workshop. There are four "rooms" within the apartment: Room of Constantine, Room of Heliodorus, Room of Segnatura, and the Room of the Fire in the Borgo. The Room of Constantine was intended to be used for receptions and official ceremonies. The Room of Heliodorus was originally used for the private audiences of the Pope. The four scenes from the Old Testament on the ceiling were done by Raphael. The Room of Segnatura was used by the pontiff, and has some of Raphael's most famous frescoes. The Room of the Fire in the Borgo was used for the meetings of the highest court of the Holy See.

Best Time to Visit
9 AM - 6 PM, Monday to Saturday 9 AM - 2 PM
Every last Sunday of the month
Duration
30 minutes

5Vatican Necropolis

#10 of 53 things to do in Vatican City on TripAdvisor
Vatican City Attractions
Sacred & Religious Sites

Also known as the Vatican Scavi, the Vatican Necropolis lies beneath St. Peter's Basilica. The Necropolis, a Roman cemetery with elaborate tombs, was excavated between 1940-49 under the orders of Pope Pius XII, to find the burial site of St. Peter. The first centry necropolis has corridors where once the first Christians walked, and you can too. You will see at least fifteen mausoleums. Mausoleums usually house tombs, and the ones you see here are ornate and beautiful, indicating those tht were buried here were of high social status. St. Peter was one of the Twelve Disciples of Jesus, and is known as the first Bishop of Rome. It is believed that he was crucified under the rule of Nero, and was famously crucified upside down, as he did not deem himself worthy to be crucified the same way as Jesus. Today, his remains are under the St. Peter's Basilica, within the Vatican Necropolis.

Tips
• The museum is least crowded during the noons and off-season.

Hours
Monday-Friday: 9 AM - 6 PM Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm
Duration
45 minutes

Get your hands on Vatican Necropolis Ticket

6 Vatican Gardens

#12 of 53 things to do in Vatican City on TripAdvisor
Vatican City Attractions
Nature & Parks

The Gardens of Vatican City, more popularly known as the Vatican Gardens, are a series of gardens and parks which cover nearly half of the state. Spread over 23 hectares, the gardens feature medieval fortifications, and monuments and buildings from the 9th century to present day. You will get to see opulent fountains, incredible winding paths, vibrant colored flowers, and magnificent oaks. You will also get to see amazing sculptures and artificial grottoes dedicated to the Madonna.

Hours
9 AM- 6 PM, closed on Wednesdays and Sundays
Duration
45 minutes

Plan your visit by booking the Vatican Gardens Ticket

7 Walking Tours

#16 of 53 things to do in Vatican City on TripAdvisor
Vatican City Attractions
Tours

Vatican City attractions are super popular among tourists visiting Rome. With some of the most opulent churches and museums in the world, it is absolutely unmissable when in Italy! Some of the most famous destinations include the St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museums (within which is the Sistine Chapel), and the Raphael Rooms. Walking tours of Vatican City help you see the wonderful city, along with a knowledgeable guide to reveal to you the history of each marvelous monument.

Ready to explore Rome?

While the Vatican City Attractions are a must-see in Italy, here are some other attractions that are now open to the public that cannot be missed! Check out more things to do in Rome with our all-inclusive Rome Travel Guide.

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