Vatican Museums Tickets

Vatican Museums Tickets


Vatican Museums Ticket Information

Why book Vatican Museums Tickets in advance?

Vatican Museums is the most popular attraction in Rome. Every year millions of visitors travel to Rome from the far reaches of the world to revel in its unparalleled art collection and architectural wonders. As one might expect for a museum of its standing, you are likely to find long lines at the ticket office. If you don’t buy your ticket in advance, you should expect to spend 2-3 hours waiting in line – or even longer in high season!
Your ticket purchased online in advance will allow you to skip the long lines and to proceed straight to the security check. Though you will incur a small booking fee when buying your ticket online, your time is much better spent visiting the museums than waiting in a long line (which in the summer can be exhausting due to the extreme heat and lack of shade).

Where to buy Vatican tickets?

Normally tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket office. At the moment, however, due to the ongoing pandemic and the necessity to restrict the number of visitors, tickets can only be purchased online and advance booking is required.

Vatican Museums Ticket Options

There are various ticket options available for visiting the Vatican Museums. Below we list the different options available with a small description of each and how much they cost:

    Vatican Skip the Line Ticket - this ticket gives you skip the line entry into the Vatican, allowing you to bypass the long lines at the ticket office and to jump straight into your visit. Your ticket gives you access to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. You can also include an audio guide. This is highly recommended as it is a great way to learn about the incredible history of the museums and the art on display.

    Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Ticket with Host - this ticket guarantees a complete hassle-free entrance experience. You will meet your host at a designated meeting spot and he/she will accompany you to the priority entrance of the museum. Before entering the museum he/she will provide an orientation and share some interesting information about the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Once inside you will be free to explore the Vatican Museums at your leisure.

    Vatican Early Access Ticket - this ticket gives you access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel 90 minutes before the Vatican opens to the general public and 30 minutes before any other guided tour is allowed in. Your visit will start with the Sistine Chapel followed by a visit of the rest of the Vatican Museums. This ticket is the perfect option if you want to experience the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel without the crowds. It’s an incredible and unforgettable experience. You can choose between a ticket with audioguide or visiting with a tour guide.

    Vatican Gardens Ticket - Entry to the Vatican Gardens is not included in the standard Vatican Museums ticket. In order to visit the gardens you must buy a separate ticket which grants you entry to the Vatican Gardens. You will visit the Vatican garden on an electric bus tour. The tour lasts 45 minutes and includes an informative audioguide which is available in multiple languages.

Vatican Tickets: Good to know

  • Vatican tickets purchased online are smartphone tickets. You don't need to print them but, before entering, you will need to exchange your smartphone ticket with a paper ticket. Luckily, this is fast and convenient at the Vatican Museums. Go to the “Cassa online e gruppi” area where you will show your smartphone ticket to the staff to receive your paper ticket.
  • All Vatican tickets give you access to the Sistine Chapel.
  • It’s important to be punctual. When you buy your ticket you need to select a date and a time slot for your visit. This is the designated time for entry which must be respected. If you are late, you won't be admitted and will need to buy a new ticket.
  • Spend as much time as you want inside the Vatican Museums.
  • All tickets purchased online give you fast track entry. They allow you to skip the lines at the ticket office but not at the security check, which all visitors need to go through before entering the museums.
  • Bring your ID. Visitors may be asked to provide valid proof of identity at the entrance.
  • The audio guide is available in the following languages: Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian.

Are there discounted tickets for the Vatican Museums?

Yes. A number of visitors can visit the Vatican with a discounted ticket. This includes:

  • Children between the age of 6 and 18 years old
  • Students between the age of 18 and 25 years old
  • Priests and men and women in religious orders and positions. One companion can also enjoy the discount.
  • Current or retired employees of the Holy See and/or the Vatican City State

In order to be granted discounted entry, visitors are required to prove their eligibility for the discount at the entrance. To do so they must show a valid ID, a valid International Student Identity Card or other relevant documentation to the staff. If the necessary documents are not provided, visitors won't be allowed in with the discounted ticket and will need to buy a new full priced ticket. The discounted ticket will not be refunded.
The discounted ticket costs 8 euro, a significant saving when compared to the standard entry price of 17 euro.
Note, there are no discounts for seniors of any age.

Visiting the Vatican Museums for free

There are some groups of visitors who can visit the Vatican Museums always for free. These include:

  • Children younger than 6 years old
  • Disabled people with an invalidity over 74% and their carers
  • Museum directors
  • 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).

Meanwhile, on the last Sunday of the month and on the World Tourism Day, the 27th of September, entrance to the Vatican is free for all visitors.
The Vatican Museum is usually closed on Sundays except for the last Sunday of the month when the Vatican opens its doors from 9am to 2pm for a free visit. However, if the last Sunday of the month coincides with Easter Sunday, 29th of June, the 25th or 26th of December then the Vatican remains closed.
Currently, the free entry on the last Sunday of the month has been suspended.

Popular combo tickets and passes to visit the Vatican

There are many combo tickets and passes which include entry to the Vatican Museums. Below we list the most popular ones.

    Omnia Card - this is the most popular pass for visiting the Vatican Museums. It’s a fantastic pass as it combines priority entry to the top attractions in the Vatican City with the 72 hour Roma pass and the Hop-on Hop-off Rome bus ticket.
    It includes priority entrance to the top attractions in Rome - Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. As well as access to the Cloister of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls Basilica and Carcer Tullianum. The pass also includes free unlimited use for 72 hours of Rome’s public transportation system as well as the Hop on Hop off Bus.
    For more details about the validity of the pass, where to buy it, how to use it and other useful information we suggest you read our Omnia Card page.

    Best of Rome: Vatican, Colosseum & St Peter's Basilica Pass - this is a great combo ticket for the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum. This ticket gives you fast track entry into the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Also included is an audio guide for the St. Peter's Basilica, one for the city of Rome and an multimedia video of ancient Rome. This pass is valid for 3 days and costs 80.10 euro.

Best time to visit the Vatican Museums

The best time to visit the Vatican Museums, if you want to avoid the crowds, is either early morning or in the late afternoon. Make sure to start your visit no later than 3pm since it takes at least 3 hours to see the most important highlights of the museums.
The best time during the week is from Tuesday to Friday. Saturday is the busiest day of the week and Monday can also be crowded because most other museums in Rome are closed.
If you want to visit Rome for a weekend and are keen to visit the Vatican Museums then consider going in the low season, between November and February.
Another great way to avoid the crowds is to take a night tour of the Vatican Museums. During the warmer months, from April to October, the Vatican stays open on Friday night from 7 pm to 11 pm. Access at night is only granted to visitors who booked a night tour. There are not many night tours available and each tour is limited to a few participants making this the perfect opportunity to visit the Vatican Museums without a lot of people.

Take a Tour

Visiting the Vatican Museums with an official guide is guaranteed to be a great experience. In addition to a visit of the Vatican Museums, a Vatican tour also includes a visit of the Sistine Chapel and the St. Peter’s Basilica. Both private and small group tour options are available. When you book your tour, you will be provided with details on the time and meeting point with your guide outside the venue. You are guaranteed skip the line access to the museums with your guide.
If you are visiting the Vatican Museums with children, we suggest booking a kid-friendly tour. These specially designed tours guaranteed to provide a fun and interactive learning experience for all the family.

Attend the Papal Audience

The papal audience takes place at 10:30 am on Wednesday and lasts 90 minutes to 2 hours. During spring, summer and autumn this is held in St. Peter’s square.
During the winter it is held in a private hall where space is limited. To attend you will need to buy a ticket in advance and arrive early (8-8:30am to get a good seat or before 9am to make sure to get in). When the hall fills up they close the doors and no more visitors are admitted - even ticket holders will be turned away.
Alternatively, you could attend on Sunday when the Pope gives a speech from a balcony in St. Peter’s square. It lasts about 20 minutes and is followed by the Angelus and a blessing.

Vatican Museums: Visiting Tips & Good to Know

  • The dress code is strictly enforced. Visitors need to cover shoulders, knees and abdomen. Sleeveless shirts and blouses, hats, miniskirts and shorts are not permitted. And don't forget to wear comfortable shoes.
  • Most visitors spend at least 3 hours visiting the Vatican Museums.
  • After visiting the Vatican Museums you may want to visit St. Peter's Basilica. Admission is free and the basilica is open daily from 7am to 6pm. For access to the crypt and the dome a ticket is required.
  • If you plan on visiting the Vatican on the free entry day then go as early as possible to avoid spending too much time in line.
  • The Vatican is wheelchair accessible and also offers free wheelchairs for rent.
  • All items bigger than 40cm x 30cm x 15cm, including selfie-sticks and tripods, are not allowed in and have to be stored at the cloak rooms, which are free of charge.
  • Drinking and eating inside the Vatican Museums is not allowed.
  • Taking pictures without flash inside the Vatican Museums is permitted. However, it’s forbidden to take photos and/or videos inside the Sistine Chapel.

How to get to the Vatican Museums with public transportation?

    By Metro - the closest metro station is Ottaviano-S. Pietro (Line A). Another metro station, located a bit further away, but also on Line A, is the Cipro station.

    By Bus - there are a number of buses which take you to the Vatican City including: 49, 64, 32, 81, 982, 492 and 990.

    By Tram - you can take tram 19 to Piazza del Risorgimento.

    By Hop-on Hop-off Bus - the HoHo bus stops at “Vaticano / Lungotevere Tor di Nona” which is close to the Sant'Angelo Bridge, this is the closest stop to the Vatican Museums.

Vatican Museums Opening Hours

  • Monday - Saturday: 8:30am - 6:30pm
  • Last entry is at 4:30pm
  • The Vatican is closed on Sundays
  • Other days the Vatican Museums are closed include: 19th of March, the 11th of June, the 29th June, 14th of August, 15th of August, 8th of December, 25th of December and the 26th of December.