We get an awful lot of emails with your questions regarding visiting and booking for the Vatican, and on this page we hope to answer the most common ones.
Q. What will I be seeing at the Vatican?
All of our offers allow you to see the the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. You may choose if you'll be visiting as part of a guided tour (accompanied by an official and knowledgeable tour guide), or as individuals (making your own way around). Again then - whether you opt for a Vatican tour or Vatican tickets, you'll be able to see the Sistine Chapel ('Cappella Sistina') and the Vatican Museums ('Musei Vaticani'). There's no ticket needed if you only want to visit St Peters ('Basilica di San Pietro').
Q. When may I visit and how long may I stay?
Hours for the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel are from 8.30 in the morning until 6.00 in the evening (08.30 - 18.00), with the last entrance at 4.00 in the afternoon (16.00). You may stay as long as you wish within these hours.
Q. Do I actually need to book in advance, then?
Very much so, yes. Availability, both for straightforward tickets and for tours is always, always limited. It is only possible to confirm reservation up to 60 days in advance of your visit, but we recommend you to book as far in advance as is possible - we'll put your order on 'back-order' and then try to fill it as soon as the 60 day limit is reached.
There is, of course, nothing to stop you arriving at the Vatican and joining a queue on the day. Be aware, though, that your wait for tickets may be a long and hot one - waits of several hours are far from uncommon.
Any tickets or tours that are marked like this will typically be confirmed within minutes, 24 hours a day, assuming they fall within the Vatican 60 day 'window':
Q. May I modify a booking once made?
Yes, up to a point. You may request a change of date or time, and, assuming availability, there will be no charge for such a change. Neither will there be a charge if you need to change the names in a reservation. We can only make a change to an already placed order once and once only, please note. Once a reservation has been confirmed we cannot offer any refund at all should you cancel, or if you miss your reservation time.
Q. How do I get in? Do you send me a ticket?
If there is availability for the date you have chosen then we shall charge your credit card and instantly send you an email containing a link to a page from where you'll be able to print out your voucher. The voucher will be in Adobe PDF format. While we recommend that you print these vouchers, it is also permissable to present them electronically, on your phone or mobile device. Methods vary with type of device, so please only use this option if you are confident that you know what you are doing. Screenshots, PDFs and offline documents are all acceptable.
Please do not modify your voucher in any way. Modified vouchers will not be accepted and you will be refused entry - no refunds will be available. Please note that we cannot accept any responsibility if you fail to supply your unmodified voucher.
On the day of your visit you will join the special 'pre-booked' queue located to the right hand side of the main entrance. You will need to present your voucher and some ID (passport is always best); next you'll need to pass security - everyone has to go through the metal detectors - and then you'll swap your voucher for entrance tickets. Please note that vouchers can only be used for the date and time specified and are not refundable.
Q. Payment and pricing - are there any reduced tickets?
The Vatican is, literally, another country, with very much their own way of doing business. At all times we will refer to the full price of your ticket(s), and you will never be charged more than this ... just please be aware that the total charge includes our handling fee (€6.50 per ticket and €10.00 per ticket for guided tours) and that this will not show on the actual voucher. You will arrive with a paid-in-full voucher, whether it be for an entrance ticket or a guided tour. Please ignore any reference to 'cash' payments on the Vatican voucher, these do not apply in any way to bookings made with tickitaly.com.
IMPORTANT: please note that any modifications, additions or removals to your Vatican voucher will render it INVALID.
Children under 6 years of age pay nothing at all, those between the ages of 6 and 18 are entitled to reduced priced tickets, as are students under 26 years of age (valid student ID required). Please note, however, that under-18's are only allowed entrance as part of a group containing at least one person over the age of 18.
If your group contains anyone with reduced tickets then please be sure that, when visiting, the person collecting the tickets is accompanied by all those on reduced tickets, and that they also have all of the ID/documentation that proves qualification for the reductions.
Q. Disabled access?
The Vatican has won awards in the area of disabled access, and wheelchairs are available at no cost inside the Vatican. Please be aware, however, that the route taken by our group Vatican tours is not suitable for wheelchairs. Disabled visitors will either need to look around by themselves (purchase straightforward Vatican tickets, in other words), or, if they do want to have a guided tour, it will need to be a private Vatican tour.
Q. Dress code and security?
You'll need to be wearing clothes that do not leave your shoulders/arms or lower legs bare. No shorts, short trousers, short skirts, sleeveless shirts or bare shoulders. All visitors to the Vatican Museums will be required to pass through a metal-detector prior to being granted admittance. We have a blog post here that features the (updated in 2011) full Vatican list of regulations for visitors. Please note that baby strollers/buggies cannot be taken into the Basilica.
Q. Booking in advance means no waiting in line, correct?
The visitor management aspect of the Vatican attractions is not like other Italian museums, and it is for this reason alone that we CANNOT GUARANTEE that there will be no queuing whatsoever prior to presenting your voucher. We can say that off-season you're pretty much certain to be able to walk straight in. We can say that if you opt for an afternoon visit, the chances are you may have to wait a couple of minutes, perhaps not even that. What we cannot say is that there will be no need to queue should you opt for a morning visit, or a visit on Saturday, especially in peak season.
However, if you do find yourselves queuing, the average wait is 15 to 20 minutes, and it is very rare that you'll need to wait for more than 30 minutes. We cannot stress enough that this is totally out with our control, that it affects ALL visitors to the Vatican, and it is not something we can predict - the Vatican makes arbitrary, last minute decisions, and never gives any notice. There is simply no way around this issue, but, again, it doesn't affect all visitors, and is of limited impact when it does. We would always recommend that you arrive at the Vatican a good 30 minutes before the time on your voucher.
Q. One more time - what do I get to see?
You may visit as many of the rooms, buildings or museums featured on our Vatican information page as you wish. The Sistine Chapel and St Peters need no explanation - the 'Vatican Museums' are, well, everything else! Again, depending on your choice of ticket or tour, you may be seeing some of these as part of a tour, whilst others are to be explored under your own steam. There is one exception to this 'go anywhere' rule, and that's the Vatican Gardens. Please see the next point below.
Q. Am I able to visit the Vatican Gardens?
Yes, but only as part of a guided tour. We sell tickets for a guided, two hour tour of the Vatican Gardens; once the tour is over, you are free to explore St Peters, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums at leisure - entrance is included in the price of the garden tour. This does not work in the other direction, however - none of our 'Vatican only' tours will get you into the gardens.
Q. May I stop reading now please?
Sorry, we know this is getting a bit drawn-out! The above points should stand you in pretty good stead, but below we reproduce, verbatim, a selection of your specific emailed questions; it's always possible that one or more of them will address your concerns directly.
Q. I ordered Tickets to the vatican ands sistine chapel on the 28th and you sent me a vatican museums booking voucher, why?? If the vatican and chapel were not available why make that substitution??
The voucher we will provide you with may well feature the image and wording of the 'Musei Vaticani' and/or 'Vatican Museums', but that's simply the name of the organisation managing ticket supply for all Vatican attractions. Our vouchers will be exchanged for tickets that allow access to the museums, the Sistine Chapel and St Peters.
Q. We are a family group of 5 wanting entrance tickets to the Vatican. 3 are over 18 and 2 under. It is unclear whether I should book for the under 18 separately as although I mentioned all 5 names in the group space, the quoted price seems to be only for the over 18. Pls advise
All tickets should be ordered as one order - during the checkout process you are able to specify exactly how many tickets of each type you require.
Q. If we book a Vatican tour rather than just entrance tickets, will we avoid any lines, such as getting in the Sistine Chapel?
The voucher you'll be sent will mean you won't need to join any gargantuan lines at the main Vatican entrance - there is a dedicated entrance for 'pre-booked' visitors (you, if we haven't made that clear!). However, once inside, there can be no guarantees as regards slight delays. Clearly, however, access is strictly controlled to ensure that visitors are not packed in too tight to move. It's the queues outside, the queues to merely obtain a ticket, that you avoid by pre-booking, that and a potential few hours of waiting in line in very high temperatures.
Q. DEAR SIR, WE BOOKED TICKETS FOR THE SISTINE CHAPEL AND THE VATICAN FOR TWO FULL PRICED AND ONE REDUCED UNDER 18 TICKET. WE RECEIVED AN E-MAIL THAT OUR BOOKING WAS APPROVED. WE ARE HAVING TROUBLE PRINTING OUT THE VOUCHERS. IS THERE SUPPOSED TO BE A VOUCHER FOR EACH OF US? IS THERE SUPPOSED TO BE ONE VOUCHER FOR THE SISTINE CHAPEL AND ONE VOUCHER FOR THE VATICAN? WE ARE VERY SORRY BUT COULD YOU PLEASE GET BACK TO US AND KINDLY TELL US WHAT WE HAVE TO DO TO RECEIVE THESE VOUCHERS FOR THE VATICAN AND THE SISTINE CHAPEL.
Q. Dear Sir/Madam: I am confused. I have a voucher for the Vatican Museum. Your site says I should also have a voucher for the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, but that has a separate login? Does this also cover admission to the Vatican and Sistine Chapel? If not, where is my voucher as that is what I requested (I thought). Please help clear this up. Thanks
No, it's one-voucher and one voucher only. If you made a single order (be it for full priced or a mix of full and reduced-price tickets), then you'll receive a single voucher, and that voucher gets you into all places mentioned.
Q. Message: Hi, Not sure what day we will be going to the Vatican,just that it would be 5-7 September. Can you buy tickets that don't require a date? How much? Thankyou for your assistance.
No. It is not possible to buy 'open' tickets or book an 'open' tour. Dates must always be specified.
Q. Message: If you book a group tour of the vatican, are you allowed to stay in the museum after the tour is over? Also can you return to the Sistine Chapel after the tour?
Yes and yes.
Please let us know if you still have any questions regarding tickets or tours of the Vatican - we'll do what we can to answer them and add the information to this FAQ.
Use the links below to begin the booking procedure for either a tour or ticket to the Vatican:
Tickitaly are official agents for the Vatican and offer individual ticket booking as well as both group and private tours - click here for information on arranging a private tour for you and your party, and click here for information on joining a group tour of the Vatican.