With more than six million visitors per year, the Vatican Museums are fifth in the world ranking of the most visited attractions. The queues at the museum ticket offices were notorious and the museums were often very full.
The Vatican Museums have reduced the number of visitors due to Corona and there is no longer a museum ticket office. You have to buy the tickets in advance on the internet. There is only a certain number of tickets for each time slot of half an hour. If you arrive late, you will not be allowed in and the ticket will expire.
Video: The Vatican Museums are preparing to reopen
Entrance and tickets
See the report from the reopening on February 1, 2021 at Reuters.
You can only reserve online for the Vatican Museums and receive a QR code that you have to show at the entrance. In addition, all visitors must have valid ID with them.
Admission is free for children up to 6 years of age and they do not need a reservation. Young people up to the age of 18 pay reduced admission. This also applies to students up to 25 years of age with a valid student ID. Without ID, the reduced tickets are invalid and the ticket cannot be offset against a ticket at full price.
Exceptions to the reservation requirement:
- Children up to 5 years
- People with a disability from 75% and an accompanying person
You get the tickets at the cash desks “permessi speciali” or “reception”
Before you are admitted, your body temperature is measured. You will not be let in with a temperature of 37.5°C / 99.5°F or more. Masks are also obligatory in museums and gardens and you must keep a minimum distance of 1 m / 3.3 ft from other people. There is also a dress code: shoulders and knees must be covered, hats and beach sandals are not allowed.
A visit to the Sistine Chapel is included with all tickets.
The tickets to the gardens include a two-hour walking tour of the gardens. You can then visit the museums on your own.
The tickets with early entry before the official opening time are very exclusive. You then have the museums almost to yourself.
In summer, the Vatican Museums are open on Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m. On these evenings, too, there are fewer visitors to the museums, but not all departments are open.
You can only grasp the many exhibits in the Vatican Museums and the many details correctly with a guided tour.
The tours usually last three hours. There is a special passage to St. Peter’s Basilica for guided tours. However, the passage is currently closed.
Save a lot of time with the combined tours of the museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. However, you won’t see the exhibits on the way back from the chapel and the beautiful staircase at the exit. In addition, you cannot use the cloakroom.
Some departments of the museums can only be seen on the more detailed tours.
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The opening times are currently published at very short notice. You can find the current opening times in our monthly overviews.
The Vatican Museums are closed on Sunday and on the following days: January 1st and 6th, February 11th, March 19th, Easter Sunday and Monday, May 1st, June 29th, June 14th and 15th August, 1st November, 8th, 25th + 26th December.
What to see
Popes have collected and commissioned works of art for centuries, churchmen worldwide have missionized, researched, collected and reported to Rome in two millennia.
The Vatican Museums hold one of the largest and most important collections in the world. The highlight of the visit to the Vatican Museums is the Apostolic Palace with the Sistine Chapel.
The collections go from ancient Egypt to contemporary exhibits. Even the rooms are total works of art designed by famous artists.
On www.kolosseum.it you can find more
The Vatican Gardens
There is often a bit of confusion with the Vatican Gardens because the Barberini Gardens at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo are also called that.
At the back of St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums there is a large and well-kept park that can be visited. There are two options for viewing:
- The guided tour on foot. It starts at the Vatican Museums. You should be able to walk well.
- The tour with an ecological bus that starts to the left of St. Peter’s Basilica at the “Cancello Petriano”. The gate is on the left outside the Bernini colonnade. The trip through the Vatican Gardens in an environmentally friendly vehicle takes 45 minutes. It is not possible to get off while driving. Children under 6 years of age are not allowed to ride.
There are also trips and guided tours for the garden of Villa Barberini in Castel Gandolfo.
For entry into the Vatican Museums, clothing regulations and safety regulations must be observed.
The 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 will have to cover your knees. Hats are also not allowed.
It is forbidden to carry weapons in the Vatican Museums, even with a gun license. Dangerous objects must be left at the cloakroom as well as alcoholic beverages. Backpacks, large bags and luggage must also be left at the cloakroom.
Eating and drinking is only allowed in the museums in the designated rooms. Telephoning is undesirable in museums.
Animals are not allowed. This does not apply to guide dogs, which, however, must be kept on a leash and wear a muzzle.
How to get to the Vatican Museums
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 admitted for 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.