Vatican Museums · Sistine Chapel · Admission · Tickets

Vatican Museums Admission and tickets without queuing, Sistine Chapel Admission and Tickets, Gardens of the Vatican, here you will find all information at a glance.

The Vatican Museums

Queue in front of the Vatican museums
Queue in front of the Vatican museums

Popes have collected and commissioned works of art for centuries, worldwide, during two millennia, church men have missioned, researched, collected and reported to Rome.

The Vatican Museums comprise one of the largest and most important collections in the world. The highlight of the visit to the Vatican Museums is the Sistine Chapel. It can only be visited together with the Vatican Museums.

The collection is divided into 26 museums, including the Sistine Chapel. It is therefore impossible to visit everything in one day.

Guided tours show the most important parts of the collections. Some tours also include a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Sistine Chapel

There are no tickets for the Sistine Chapel. The visit to the Sistine Chapel is included in the tickets of the Vatican Museums.

Sistine Chapel · Admission

Vatican Museums Sistine Chapel No photography allowed
No photography allowed in the Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is one of the main attractions of the Vatican Museums, so it is always packed. In order to enter the Sistine Chapel, you usually have to wait.

Photography is not allowed in the Sistine Chapel. In addition, one should behave quietly, as befits the dignity of the sacred place.


Evening in the Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Dome
Evening in the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Dome

The Vatican Museums rank fifth in the world of the most visited tourist attractions with more than six million visitors per year. There are always queues at the ticket offices, every day and every hour. In order to visit the Vatican Museums without having to queue, you must definitely reserve the tickets online. With the online tickets, you can reserve admission for a specific day and time and then go straight in. Without a reserved ticket you may have to wait more than an hour at the ticket office.

Children up to the age of 6 are free. Young people up to 18 years and students up to 25 years pay a reduced entrance fee. You must show proof of age or a student ID at the entrance.

Please note that tickets are often fully booked for some time in advance. You should therefore book early.

In addition to the normal tickets, there are tickets for the early morning. The advantage of early entry is to be one of the first to visit the Sistine Chapel in the morning. During the day there is a big crowd and this reduces the enjoyment of art. Even earlier you may go to the Vatican Museums booking the breakfast buffet.

In summer and autumn there are also tickets for the Friday evening. On Friday evening, the number of visitors is much lower than during normal opening hours.

Guided tours

Vatican museums routes itineraries
Vatican Museums itineraries pdf (download)

Guided tours have the advantage of being able to visit the most important exhibits of the Vatican Museums in a fixed timeframe. You get the most important information without losing much time. In addition, some tours provide quick access to St. Peter’s Basilica, saving you miles of walking and several hours of time.

Guided tours are a good solution especially when visiting the Vatican Museums for the first time. Without guide, you may lose yourself in the multitude of collections and the time spent on visiting the museum becomes unpredictable.

Vatican Museums movements
The Vatican Museums like my photo on Instagram

The tours usually have a duration of three hours. Through a special passage, open only to guided groups, you can go straight from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Basilica.

This passage saves a tremendous amount of time as you do not have to walk back through the Vatican Museums to the entrance and then walk around the museums to St. Peter’s Basilica. In addition, one saves the security control at St. Peter’s Basilica.

The downside is that you can not see a part of the museums that are on the way back to the entrance. Besides, you should not leave anything in the cloakroom at the entrance of the Vatican Museums, because otherwise you have to return to the entrance.

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The Vatican Gardens

Vatican gardens are on the Vatican hill behind St. Peter’s Basilica and at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

The Vatican Gardens at St. Peter’s are only accessible through the Vatican Museums. Visiting the Vatican Gardens is an option that must be booked separately.

The tour of the Vatican Gardens takes place with ecological vehicles and has a duration of 45 minutes. It is not possible to walk alone through the Vatican Gardens or get off the vehicle while driving.

The garden in Castel Gandolfo is the Garden of Villa Barberini. Also this garden can be visited with ecological vehicles.

Opening hours

Vatican Museums View of Rome at full moon
View of Rome at full moon

The Vatican Museums are open from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm with last admission at 4pm. Around Easter and the 2nd November 2019 the Vatican Museums are open until 7pm.

In addition, from the 26th of April to the 25th of October 2019, they will be open on Friday from 7pm-11pm, with the last admission at 9:30pm.

On the last Sunday of the month the museums are open from 9am to 2pm with the last admission at 12:30 and admission is free. There are no reserved tickets on these Sundays and you have to join the queue.

The Vatican Museums are always closed on January 1st + 6th, February 11th, March 19th, Easter Sunday and Monday, May 1st, June 29th, June 15th + 16th August, 1st November, 8th, 25th + 26th December.

Dress Code

For entry into the Vatican Museums, clothing regulations and safety regulations must be observed.

Pictogram clothing at sacral sites St. PeterThe dress codes are the same as for all sacral sites in Rome: shoulders and knees must be covered. Strapless dresses and skirts are not allowed, even in off-the-shoulder shirts, mini skirts or hot pants you can not get into the Vatican Museums. Short pants have to cover your knees. Also hats are not allowed.

In the Vatican Museums, the wearing of weapons is prohibited even with a license. Dangerous items must be handed in at the cloakroom as well as alcoholic beverages. Weapons can not be handed over at the cloakroom. Also backpacks, large bags and luggage must be handed in at the cloakroom.

Eating and drinking in the museums is only allowed in the provided rooms. Telephoning is undesirable in the museums.

Animals may not be taken. Excluded are guide dogs, which must, however, be kept on a leash and must wear a muzzle.

How to get to the Vatican Museums

Satellite Image Vatican Museums
Satellite Image Vatican Museums and Surroundings (Google)

The Vatican Museums are to the right of St. Peter’s Square, above Piazza del Risorgimento. From St. Peter’s Square it is a half mile walk to the entrance of the Vatican Museums.

Piazza del Risorgimento is the terminus of tram line no. 19, from there it is still a third mile to the entrance. The metro station Cipro of Metrolinie A. is about a quarter mile away.

Right in front of the entrance is the bus line 49, which comes from Piazza Cavour. The line also stops in Via Crescenzio corner Via Terenzio, near to Castel Sant’Angelo.

Access for persons with disabilities

Persons with a certified disability of more than 74% have free admission to the Vatican Museums and the Papal Villa in Castel Gandolfo. If they can not cope alone, an accompanying person is also free.

The tickets can not be pre-ordered, but will be picked up in the lobby of the Vatican Museums at the counters “Permessi Speciali” or “Reception” on presentation of a certificate of invalidity. The tickets provide preferential access “skip the line”.

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