Vatican Museums Ticket Guide

Vatican Museums Ticket Guide

Find out everything you need to know about Vatican Museums tickets in our Ticket Guide - from where to buy tickets, to what the different ticket options are, how much they cost, who is eligible for a discounted ticket, how to skip the line lines and much more.

Where to Buy Vatican Museums Tickets?

Vatican tickets can be bought online or directly at the ticket office located at the entrance of the Vatican Museums. Buying your ticket online is recommended, especially in high season when thousands of visitors visit the Vatican daily. Buying tickets online have the following advantages:

    Give you priority entrance - lines at the ticket office are famously long and visitors, especially in high season, will spend at least one hour standing in line at the ticket office. Your online ticket allows you to skip the long lines at the ticket office, thus saving you you a lot of time. Time which is much better spent exploring the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.

    Guarantee your visit - with thousands of daily visitors it’s no surprise that tickets sell out. With your advance booking you make sure that you will be let in on the day and at the time you want to visit the Vatican, thus also allowing you to perfectly plan your visit in advance.

Currently, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, you can only buy tickets online. The ticket offices are temporarily closed.

Vatican Museums Ticket Options Explained

There are different online ticket options available for visiting the Vatican Museums. Below we list all options, describing what each ticket includes and how much they cost.

    Vatican Museums Skip the Line Ticket - this smartphone ticket gives you fast track entry into the Vatican Museum. You will pass the long lines at the ticket office and go straight into the Vatican Museums. Your ticket gives you access to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. You also have the option to add an informative audioguide to your skip the line ticket.
    If you buy your ticket with you will also get a 20% discount on all the products in the Vatican Museums online shop.

    Skip the line Ticket with Host - this ticket is identical to the skip the line ticket with the only difference that you will meet your host at a designated meeting point and he/she will escort you to the priority entrance to the Vatican Museums as well as share useful information about the museums with you. This is the perfect ticket choice if you are looking for a complete hassle free experience. As you wont need to worry about finding the entrance nor about how to switch your smartphone to a paper ticket, your host will take care of this.

    Exclusive Early Access Tickets - with this ticket you will be able to visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in almost complete solitude and peace, this is a unique and once in a lifetime experience. You will be allowed to enter at 7:30am, 90 minutes before the Vatican Museums open to the general public and 15 minutes before any tours are allowed to visit. If you wish to visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel without the crowds than this is the perfect ticket for you.

    Vatican Museums Garden ticket - this ticket gives you access to the beautiful gardens of the Vatican. You will visit the gardens on eco-friendly bus listening to an informative audioguide. The bus tour lasts 45 minutes.
    Access to the Gardens is not included in the normal skip the line ticket. If you want to visit the Vatican Museums and Gardens you will need to buy two separate tickets, one for the gardens and one for the Vatican Museums. Alternative you can book a tour, there are many tour options available which include access to both the Vatican gardens and the museums.

Good to know about All Online Tickets

  • How to enter the Vatican Museums with your Smartphone ticket? At the Vatican Museums you will need to exchange your Smartphone ticket with a paper ticket. But don’t worry, this is fast and easy. All you need to do is show your ticket to the security guards at the entrance. They will show you the way to the “CASSA ONLINE E GRUPPI” area where you will get your paper ticket. With the paper ticket you can proceed to the entrance.
  • Skip the line entry - all online tickets give you priority entry into the museums. Skip the line entry means that you will pass the famously long lines at the ticket office but you wont be able to pass the lines at the security check. Every visitor needs to go through an airport style security check before being allowed in, however, luckily the lines at the security check are never too long.

  • Don’t be late - when you book your online ticket you need to select a date and time for your visit. It is important that you show up on time at the entrance of your select time slot. If you are late you might not be allowed in and will need to buy a new ticket. It’s a good idea to go 10 - 15 minutes earlier than your selected time slot.
  • Single Entry - your ticket allows you to enter the Vatican Museums only once. There is no re-entry allowed. Once you leave the Vatican Museums you won't be let in with the same ticket again. But, as long as you stay inside, you can spend as much time as you want visiting the museums.
  • Sistine Chapel Entry - entrance to the Sistine Chapel is included in all Vatican Museums tickets. You don't need to buy an additional ticket for entering the Sistine Chapel nor does a ticket option exists which gives you only access to the Sistine Chapel.
  • Bring a valid ID - you might be asked to show your ID at the entrance. Especially, all visitors entering with a discounted or free ticket will be asked to show a valid ID. Visitors, who want to visit with a discounted ticket and don't have an ID with them, will be asked to pay the full price ticket in order to enter. Students need to bring a valid student ID.
  • The audioguide is available in multiple languages including - Italian, English, French, Chinese, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish.

Popular Combo Tickets and City Passes for visiting the Vatican Museums

There are many combo tickets and city passes available with which you can visit the Vatican Museums. Since there are so many, below we list only the most popular ones. If you are interested in more options, go to our Vatican Museum Combo tickets page (add link).

    Omnia Card - The most popular city pass for visiting the Vatican Museums is the Omnia Card. The Omnia card gives you skip the line access to the most popular attractions in Rome - the Vatican Museums and Colosseum as well as the Sistine Chapel, St. Peters Basilica, Cloister of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls Basilica, Carcer Tullianum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. It also gives you free unlimited use of Rome’s public transportation system as well as the Hop on Hop off Bus. In short, it combines priority access to the top attractions in the Vatican City with the Roma Pass and the Hop-on Hop-off Bus pass. For more information about the validity of the pass, where to buy it, how to use it and many more useful information go to our Omnia Card post.

    Best of Rome Pass - this is certainly one of the most popular combo tickets for the Vatican Museums. It’s popularity comes from combining skip the line entry to the two most popular attractions in Rome - the Colosseum and Vatican Museums. With this ticket you get fast track entry to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peters Basilica. Included in the pass is also a downloadable audioguide for your St. Peter's Basilica visit. Also included is a audioguide for the city of Rome and a 15 minutes ancient Rome multimedia video. This pass is valid for 3 days.

    Vatican & Rome Experience Pass - this is another great combo ticket which gives you access to 3, 5, or 7 attractions. You can choose from more than 30 attractions, of course including the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica and the Colosseum to name a few. This combo ticket also includes a downloadable audioguide available in a number of languages, a sightseeing map to help you plan your itinerary and find your way around the city and usage of the HoHp Rome Bus.

Who can visit with Vatican Museums with a Discounted Ticket?

There are a few visitors who can visit the Vatican at a reduced ticket price. Discount tickets for the Vatican Museums cost 8 euro instead of 17 euro. Visitors who are eligible for the discount include:

  • Children aged 6 - 18. They will need to show a valid ID at the entrance.
  • Students aged 18 - 25. Students need to present a valid student ID at the entrance in order to be let in.
  • Priests and men and women in religious orders and positions. One companion can also enjoy the discount. They need to present valid documents as proof at the entrance to be led in.
  • Current or retired employees of the Holy See and/or the Vatican City State. They need to present valid identification documents at the entrance.
  • There is no discount for Seniors of any age.

In order to be let in with the discount ticket visitors need to show a valid ID, valid student Id or present valid documents as proof that they are eligible for the discount. If the necessary documents are not shown, visitors won't be allowed in with the discount ticket and will need to buy a new full priced ticket. The discount ticket will not be refunded.

Visiting the Vatican Museums for free

Similar to discounted tickets, some visitors can visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel always for free. These include:

  • Children under the age of 6 (do they need a ticket or reservation)?
  • Disabled visitors with an invalidity over 74% and their carers
  • Museum directors but a ticket and reservation are required
  • Journalists who are approved by the Directorate of the Museums and have registration with the Holy See Press Office, the Foreign Press Association in Italy and the National Order of Journalists (Italy).
  • For a complete list of visitors who enjoy free entry please visit the official website

While on certain days of the year everyone can visit the Vatican Museums for free. The free entrance days include:

  • The last Sunday of each month. The Vatican is usually closed on Sundays. But on the last Sunday of each month it opens from 9am to 2pm with the last entry being at 12:30pm for the free visit. However, if the last Sunday of the month coincides with Easter Sunday, 29 June Saints Peter and Paul, Christmas Day and 26 December Feast of Saint Stephen then the Vatican remains closed.
  • On the World Tourism Day, which is on the 27th September.

Currently, because of the Coronavirus pandemic the free entry on Sunday has been suspended.

However, please note that days when visiting the Vatican Museums for free are extremely popular. Attracting many more visitors than during normal visiting days. This results in extremely long lines at the entrance. Be prepared to spend hours in line and visiting the museums with huge crowds is never an very enjoyable experience.
If you really want to visit on a free day, go as early in the morning as possible. Try to be there at least one hour before the museums open.