Things to do in Rome

How To Get Around Vatican Gardens And Make The Best Of Your Time

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Vatican City is beautiful and mysterious at the same time. It was founded in the year 1929 but has a history lingering with power and beauty. The St Peter’s Basilica is one of the most beautiful and the biggest churches in the world. Sistine Chapel’s ceilings have forever captured the essence of religious glory. While these may be overwhelming, there is a place inside the Vatican to calm you down. The Gardens of Vatican City cover more than half of the Vatican (57 Acres) with Statues, impressive fountains, and buildings dating back to the 6th century. While in Rome, Vatican City is a country you must visit, and here are the important information and reasons to check out the Vatican Gardens.

Vatican Gardens in a Nutshell

Must-See at the Vatican Gardens

  • Bramante’s Belvedere Courtyard
  • The Fountains
  • The Animals of the Vatican Gardens
  • Berlin Wall

Opening Hours

  • Thursday- Saturday: 9 AM - 6 PM
  • Monday - Tuesday: 9 AM - 6 PM
  • Wednesdays and Sundays: Closed

Why you should visit the Vatican Gardens

vatican gardens

Located in the west of Vatican City, the Vatican Gardens are the urban gardens of the Pope with Renaissance and Baroque style structures. The Garden is bound by stone walls in the north, south, and west. Although the gardens were originally established in 1929, they were not open to the public until 2014.

The origin of the gardens dates back to the medieval period when orchards and vineyards covered the hills of Sant'Egidio to the north of the Papal Apostolic Palace. The site underwent major redesigning in the 16th century under Pope Julius Ⅱ. Donato Bramante had originally designed the courtyards for the Pope and has one of the magnificent courtyards named after him today. Today, these manoeuvres have come together to form the Vatican Gardens full of historic fortifications, vibrant flower beds, vivid topiaries, verdant lawns, sculptures, and sumptuous fountains.

Top Things to see at the Vatican Gardens

The Gardens of Vatican spread over 57 acres. This means there is more to it than what meets the eyes. Here is a list of noteworthy things to see in there during your time.

1Bramante’s Belvedere Courtyard

Iconic Courtyard

Cortile del Belvedere or Bramante’s Belvedere Courtyard is an epitome of Renaissance architecture at the Vatican Palace. It was designed by the famous Donato Bramante. The long enclosed courtyard connected the Vatican Palace with the Villa Belvedere through a series of terraces and stairs. The famous Spiral Staircase is one of them. Unfortunately, Bramante did not live to see the completed work, but it will forever tell his legacy.

Vatican Gardens

2Berlin Wall

Historic Wall

It’s obviously true that the Berlin Wall is in Berlin, Germany. But did you know that Vatican Gardens has a piece of it inside? In the year 1994, Marco Piccininni gifted to the Vatican. Even before entering the Vatican Garden, you would find the Berlin Wall. If you are taking a Vatican Garden Tour, the Berlin Wall would be your first stop with the guide, and if you’re lucky, you can click many pictures standing next to it.

vatican gardens

3The Fountains

The Classics

Rome and fountains are inseparable. The best of them are in Vatican City. During the 1590s the Borghese Pope Paul V ordered the beautiful fountains to be stored around the Gardens. Of the hundreds of fountains that you would lay your eyes on at the Vatican, Galea fountain (Fontana della Galera) is one of the most stunning fountains that would capture your attention. It represents a medieval wrecked warship that is placed in the center of a massive water basin.

Vatican Gardens

4The Italian Garden

The Classics

One of the most recent installations of the Vatican, the Italian Gardens was created in 1929. The layout of the garden is very traditional and follows hedges and pine trees around them. It is very easily visible from the top of St Peter’s Basilica’s Dome. It makes for a quiet walk and offers many photo ops.

Italican Gardens - Vatican Gardens

Vatican Gardens Map

Vatican Gardens Tours - Best Recommended

To take a tour of the Vatican Gardens, you are required to purchase Vatican Gardens Ticket. Here is a chance foor you to enjoy a regenerating walk in the vast gardens of Villa Barberini and get to see the Italian Papal Villas of Castel Gandolfo, and trade the same path as the Popes would have. A trip to the Apostolic Palace is a bonus! Click on the card below to know more.

Vatican Gardens Facts No One Told You Before

  • A piece of the Berlin Wall is in the Gardens of the Vatican.
  • The gardens of the Vatican were started when Pope Nicholas III began planting an orchard, a lawn, and a garden in 1279.
  • The Garden covers 57 acres of land, which is more than half of Vatican City’s area.
  • The visitors usually go by the name of “Giardini Vaticani” to identify the gardens. It is also referred to as the Pope’s playgrounds.
  • The Gardens are designed in French, Italian, and English styles and you can see them individually.

Visit Vatican Gardens - Practical Information

Opening Hours

Thursday- Saturday - 9 AM - 6 PM
Monday - Tuesday - 9 AM - 6 PM
Wednesdays and Sundays are closed.

Getting There

  • Metro : The Rome Metro has a station just outside the Vatican walls at Ottaviano-S. Pietro. Line A direction Battistini, Ottaviano, or Cipro stations of the Metro have trains running every few minutes. It's a 5-minute walk from the Metro to both St Peter's Square and the Vatican Museums.
  • Bus : 49, stops in the square in front of the Vatican Museums 32, 81, 982, stops at Piazza del Risorgimento 492, 990, stop in Via Leone IV / Via degli Scipioni

Best Time to Visit

The are open to visitors with a pre-reserved ticket and the best time to book for a tour is during the off-season - October and November. The weather would not be too hot or cold and the Vatican would not be very crowded.


The Gardens are accessible by wheelchair. You may have to request in advance while booking your ticket.

Typical duration of visit

Typically, the Gardens of Vatican take 2- 3 hours to explore. Make sure you set aside enough time to explore the gardens.

Things to do around Vatican Gardens

FAQs: Vatican Gardens

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The Vatican Gardens Guide