Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani)
Small-group guided tours and skip-the-line tickets help guarantee hassle-free access to this popular attraction. Private morning tours offering early access before the museums open to the general public are excellent for enjoying the Vatican’s treasures in relative peace. Many group tours combine the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Gardens. If you’re traveling with kids, consider a kid-friendly guided tour focusing on museum highlights.
Recent reviews from experiences in Rome
Things to know before you go
Entry lines often stretch for blocks, and wait times can be two or three hours, especially in summer—book in advance.
Vatican Museums tickets include entrance to the Sistine Chapel, and the same opening hours apply.
Appropriate behavior and attire (shoulders, knees, and abdomen covered) are required to enter the Sistine Chapel.
Security for entering the museum complex includes a metal detector.
There is a free cloakroom for checking large bags, umbrellas, and luggage.
How to get there
The Vatican Museums complex is adjacent to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Ottaviano station on the Rome Metro Line A is about five minutes away on foot. Many, if not most, city sightseeing tours pass by or include a stop at this eternally popular spot.
When to get there
The Vatican Museums see crowds of travelers year-round. It's busiest in summer when skip-the-line tickets or private tour guides are essential; the museums are less crowded during winter. At any time of year, the museums are most crowded at midday, so aim to visit in the early morning or late afternoon if you’re looking for a more laid-back experience.
Seeing the Pope at the Vatican
On Wednesday mornings, the Pope gives weekly addresses in St. Peter's Square. The timing varies by season but the address typically starts at 9:30am or 10am. During the 1-2 hours address, the Pope gives speeches in various languages and extends official blessings to the audience. Note that the address draws massive crowds—book a ticket ahead of time and arrive up to 3 hours before the official start time.
- Things to do in Lake Bracciano
- Things to do in Lake Bolsena
- Things to do in Assisi
- Things to do in Siena
- Things to do in Naples
- Things to do in Capri
- Things to do in Pompeii
- Things to do in San Gimignano
- Things to do in Sorrento
- Things to do in Florence
- Things to do in Pisa
- Things to do in Bologna
- Things to do in Lazio
- Things to do in Umbria
- Things to do in Tuscany
- Vatican City (Citta del Vaticano)
- Raphael's Rooms (Stanze di Raffaello)
- Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina)
- La Pietà
- St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)
- St. Peter's Baldachin (Baldacchino di San Pietro)
- Vatican Gardens (Giardini Vaticani)
- St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro)
- Vatican Obelisk (Obelisco Vaticano)
- St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro)
- Vatican Grottoes (Grotte Vaticane)
- Paciotti Salumeria
- Leonardo Da Vinci Experience Museum (Museo Leonardo Da Vinci Experience)
- Via Cola di Rienzo
- Castel Sant'Angelo National Museum (Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo)