Vatican Museums Tickets

Vatican Museums Tickets

Why book Vatican Museums Tickets in advance?

Vatican Museums is the most popular attraction in Rome, with millions visiting each year. It is notorious for its long lines at the entrance. If you don’t buy your Vatican ticket in advance, you should expect to spend 2-3 hours waiting in line – or even longer in high season!
Buying your ticket in advance will allow you to skip the long lines and go straight to security check. Though you might incur a small booking fee, your time is much better spent visiting the museums, rather than waiting in a long line, which in the summer can be exhausting due to the extreme heat and lack of shade.

Pick your Vatican Museums Ticket

There are a few ticket options available for visiting the Vatican Museums. Below we list the different tickets options available to purchase online with a small description of each:

    Vatican Skip the Line Ticket - this mobile ticket gives you skip the line entry into the Vatican, allowing you to bypass the long lines at the ticket office and jump straight into your visit. When buying your ticket you need to pick a date and time slot for your visit and it’s important to be on time. But once inside you can spend unlimited time inside. There is the possibility to include an audio guide, which we highly recommend as it is a great way to learn about the incredible history of the museums and the art on display.

    Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Last Minute Tickets - If you are looking for the hassle-free approach this escorted skip the line ticket is a great option for you. With this ticket you will meet your host at a designated meeting spot, then he/she will accompany you into the museum with no lines. Once inside you will be free to explore at your leisure the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.

    Vatican Early Access Ticket - if you want an exclusive Vatican Museums experience then this is your ticket. With this ticket you can visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel half an hour before any other guided tour and 1 hour and a half before the museums open to the general public. You will visit the Sistine Chapel first. An expert guide will lead you to the Sistine Chapel to make sure that you don't get lost on your way. After your visit you can visit the Vatican Museums and stay as long as you like. This ticket option is highly recommended as visiting the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums almost alone is a unique experience you will never forget.

    Vatican Gardens & Museums Ticket - Entry to the Vatican Gardens is not included in the standard Vatican Museums ticket. If you want to visit the gardens you need to either buy a separate ticket which only includes access to the Vatican Gardens or you can buy the Vatican Gardens & Museums Combo Ticket. In both cases, the ticket includes skip the line access to the Vatican Gardens, a 45 minute electric-bus tour with an audio guide available in multiple languages.

A few more notes about the tickets:
  • All tickets for the Vatican Museum give you access to the Sistine Chapel.
  • When buying your ticket online you need to select a date and time slot for your visit. It’s important to be on time.
  • If you purchased a discounted ticket it is required that you show a valid ID at the Vatican’s entrance. If you fail to show a valid ID you will be asked to pay the full price of the ticket and they will not refund the discounted ticket.

Visiting the Vatican with a Pass or Combo ticket

There are also a several combo tickets and Vatican passes available. Below we describe the most popular ones.

    Omnia Vatican & Rome Card: this pass combines the 72 hour Roma pass with free skip the line entry to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and to St. Peter’s Basilica. It also includes Hop-on Hop-off Rome bus pass, which is a very convenient and informative way to get around Rome. Informative as the HoHo bus ticket also includes an audio guide of Rome.

    Best of Rome: Vatican, Colosseum & St Peter's Basilica Pass: this is another great combo ticket for the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum. This ticket gives you fast track entry into the following attractions: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. It also includes an audio guide, available in multiple languages, for the St. Peter's Basilica and another for Rome City. Lastly, it includes an ancient Rome multimedia video. 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 is either early morning or in the late afternoon as these are the less crowded times. Make sure to start your visit no later than 3pm since it takes at least 3 hours to see the important highlights of the museums, which close at 6pm.
To avoid the crowds, it is better to visit the Vatican Museums between Tuesday and Friday. Saturday is the busiest day of the week and Monday can also be crowded since most other museums in Rome are closed.
If you are trying to decide on when to come to Rome for a weekend, and keen to visit the Vatican Museums when it’s not too busy, you might consider going in the low season, between November and February.

Take a Tour

Visiting the Vatican City with an official guide is highly recommended as it is a great way to experience the Vatican. Usually, the tour includes a visit to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and the St. Peter’s Basilica. Private and small group tour options are both 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. In these, the tour guide will focus on the highlights and make it a fun 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 - there is not much shade so bring sunscreen and a hat.
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 - 8:30 am 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.

Good to know

  • Tickets for the Vatican Museums always include access to the Sistine Chapel.
  • The dress code requires that shoulders, knees and abdomen are covered. Sleeveless shirts and blouses, hats, miniskirts and shorts are not permitted.
  • It takes about 3 hours to visit the Vatican Museums.
  • After visiting the Vatican Museums you may want to visit St. Peter's Basilica. Admission is free and open daily from 7am to 6pm. For access to the crypt and the dome a ticket is required.
  • The closest metro is Ottaviano-S. Pietro.
  • The last Sunday of the month the museum is open and free, except if this is a religious holiday (Easter Sunday, 29 June Sts. Peter and Paul, 25 December Christmas Day, and 26 December Feast of St. Stephen). Go very early to avoid long lines.
  • The 27th of September (World tourism day) is also free.

Vatican Museums Opening Hours

  • Monday to Thursday: 10am to 8pm (final entry at 6pm)
  • Friday to Saturday: 10am to 10pm (final entry at 8pm)