It may seem an obvious thing to say, but there is just so much to see at the Vatican. If your time is limited then you may decide that a guided tour is the best way to be sure you don't miss anything essential.
We offer a range of guided group tours from Monday to Saturday, some lasting a couple of hours, some three or even four hours. All of them are skip-the-queue, some with early morning privileged access. Some include a guided visit to St Peters*, others leave you to explore St Peters by yourself after the tour has finished. Most tours include a guided visit to the Sistine Chapel, and we even have a guided tour of the extensive Vatican gardens. If you'd like to be shown around in your own group, then we also arrange private Vatican tours.
The Vatican is not open to visitors on Sundays, and is open from 9.00 AM to 6.00 PM Monday to Saturday, with last entrance usually at 3.00 PM. There are some exceptions to this, with late night openings on Friday during the summer, and with some tours offering privileged early access, ahead of normal opening hours.
If you're simply requiring 'plain' tickets (not guided tours, in other words), we sell those too - Vatican tickets. The buttons below will give greater detail on the various tours we offer throughout the year, but it doesn't follow that they're always available ... many are seasonal, some only run on certain days of the week, so please do use our calendar to check availability!
If you're a bit confused about what to see then check out the information tab above, as well as our extensive 'visiting the Vatican' FAQ. Please note that in the event of unexpected, last-minute closures by the Vatican, we reserve the right to alter the itinerary of the tours, or to offer an explanation of the monuments from the outside.
*As St Peter's is a church you do not need a ticket to enter and you can visit at any time during its opening hours, although you may have to queue depending on the number of visitors. If you want to skip the St Peter's queues, we offer these tours.
Reserving a tour of the Vatican - how does it work and what do I need to know?
Payment and timing.
To reserve a Vatican tour, just fill out the booking form, supply us with credit card details, and we'll do the rest. There will be no charge whatsoever until we confirm your reservation, at which point you'll be sent a login link from where you may print out/download your entrance vouchers. Some tours may only be confirmed up to sixty days in advance - we'll put such orders on back-order hold (you'll be sent an email if this happens) and fulfill them as soon as we're able to.
Are there any types of reduced tickets?
The short answer is 'yes', the longer answer is 'yes, but the reductions are sometimes quite small and sometimes only apply to young children'. This also varies from tour to tour - we'll specify exactly what is available during checkout.
How do I get my tickets, how do I get into the Vatican?
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 - download the viewer here if you need it. You may also view PDF's with this software - a much smaller download than Adobe's own reader. IMPORTANT: Any modifications, removals or additions to your Vatican voucher will render it INVALID.
Do I really need to book in advance?
You've quite wisely decided to investigate advance booking for your visit to the Vatican - each passing year sees longer and longer queues full of people who've decided to leave things until they're in Rome. If you're visiting in low season, ok, get there at the right time and there may be little or no queueing ... in high season, well, bring sun hats, a good book and lots and lots of patience.
Are these 'skip the queue' tours?
Yes, they are. Doing things 'last minute' is risky when it comes to the Vatican, but it's not just avoiding the 'fully booked' email that makes pre-booking so advisable, it's also the 'skip the queue on the day' advantage. All pre-booked tours have pre-arranged meeting points and dedicated entrances. That said, recent years have seen an incredible surge in bookings for the Vatican, and a less-than-perfectly-organised administration has seen some small amount of queueing necessary in peak season, even for these pre-arranged official tours. There is simply nothing that can be done about this, and if you find someone claiming to be able to bypass this, then they're being disingenuous, to put it mildly.
Dress code, security and disabled access.
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. Wheelchairs are available onsite and do not need to be reserved. Finally, please be sure to bring some ID with you (passport is always best) on the day of your visit.
Bags, backpacks and umbrellas.
The cloakroom staff will accept all sorts of bags and personal belongings, regardless of size or shape, with the exception of clothes, hats and compact umbrellas.
It is obligatory to deposit the following items in the cloakroom:
It is forbidden to enter the Vatican with firearms or any kind of weapon.
Clearly if you opt for a guided tour then you'll have a specific visit time and visit duration. However, once your tour is over you are free to explore the Vatican as you wish. Given that, the opening hours for the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel are from 9.00 in the morning until 6.00 in the evening (09.00 - 18.00), with the last entrance at 3.00 in the afternoon (15.00).
The 'Whisper' system.
For groups of more than seven people it is obligatory to use the 'Whisper' audio system. Your guide will be talking into a small microphone and you'll each be listening on special earpieces. This is included in the price.
Almost certainly. For some important information (dress code, disabled access and the like) see the 'Vatican visitor information' tab above. We also have a full Vatican FAQ page as well as some visitor information for the various sites that make up the Vatican City.
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