This post was last updated on January 20th, 2022 at 04:15 pm
WHERE IS THE VATICAN?
The Vatican is located in Rome. Yes, it’s not another city far away from Rome—the Vatican is just a few meters away from the other sights of Rome and can be reached with the metro.
Although it is an independent state—the smallest in the world, in fact—no one will ask you for a passport nor will you cross any kind of border.
It is literally the center of the Catholic Church, and the Pope is the head state. Even if you are not religious, a visit to the Vatican is worth it to see the famous St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the famous museums of the Vatican.
VATICAN OPENING HOURS
A visit to the Vatican includes:
- the Peter’s square and the Basilica of St. Peter, which are both FREE, and
- the Vatican Museums, which require a ticket.
The opening hours of the St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican are as follows: 7:00 to 19:00 from April to September and 7:00 to 18:30 from October to March.
The Vatican Museums are open until December 31, 2021 on Monday to Saturday from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm. Last entry is at 16:30 and the museums are closed on Sundays.
Starting January 3, 2022, the museums are open:
- from Monday to Saturday, 9:00 to 18:00. Last entry at 16:00
- Closed every Sunday except the last Sunday of each month, when they are open from 9:00 to 14:00. Last entrance at 12:30.
On December 24 and December 31 the museums will be open from 8:30 until 15:30. Last entry is at 13:30. They are closed on Christmas day, New Year and on January 6.
The closest metro stop for the Vatican is Ottaviano-San Pietro , line A.
TICKETS AT THE VATICAN
*** The Vatican Tickets are being sold only online ***
Ticket prices for the Vatican museums:
- 17,00 €: adult ticket
- 8,00 €: reduced
You can buy tickets for the Vatican online by visiting the official website for an additional cost of 4€, or you can buy them via Paypal or debit card from this website. They are a bit more expensive because they offer “fast-track entry” and the ability to cancel. The reduced ticket is valid only for children up to 18 years old and for students up to 25 if they have a student ID and the International Student Card.
Remember that St. Peter’s Basilica still remains a church, so they ask guests to be dressed “appropriately.” What does this mean? Short shorts, mini skirts, and tank tops are forbidden!
FREE ENTRY TO THE VATICAN MUSEUMS
*** For the safety of all the following measure is suspended ***
If you want to save some euros, remember that on the last Sunday of every month from 9 am to 2 pm the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel are free! But arm yourself with patience—the queues are endless.
THE SWISS GUARD
Certainly, no one visited the Vatican and did not leave without taking a picture of the Pope’s Swiss Guards, who are dressed in colorful uniforms.
ARE THERE ENORMOUS QUEUES?
It is estimated that around 20,000 tourists visit the Vatican State every summer. It is certainly one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The queues are a bit scary (especially in St. Peter’s Square), but since the entry is ticket-free and only a simple security check is done, the queues move quickly.
The queues at the Vatican Museums are also famous, but I must say, during my visit, which was on a Friday afternoon in March, I did not find a single person in the queue. It might have been a lucky coincidence, but I would advise anyone to visit in the afternoon.
♦ My Pretty Travels tip: just like I said in a previous post about the Colosseum, if anyone approaches you and tells you that you can enter the Vatican Museums without waiting in line, DO NOT PAY IN ADVANCE. They will probably take your money and disappear. It is a very famous scam, unfortunately! The best case scenario (which happened to a friend of mine) is that they’ll put you together with a group, so you will skip the queue, but they will ask you to pay for the ticket that includes the tour (but you won’t have access to the tour!)
WHERE TO GO AFTER THE VATICAN
A visit to the Vatican and the museums can take from 2 to 6 hours, depending on the crowds, the queues, whether you’re with a tour guide and of course how much time you spend on each artwork. Most people spend a whole day in this tiny country-state, as part of an easy-going schedule. If you’re looking for other attractions to visit nearby, Castel Sant’Angelo is a 15-minute walk.
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