Category Archives: Basics for First Time Visitor

Basics for First Time Visitor

Basic Advice for First Time Visitor

Vatican welcomes visitors every single day of the year.

If you are visiting for the first time:
see St Peters Basilica, the Grottoes ( Popes Tombs ), the highlights of Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel which is part of Museums. Plan between 3 to 4 hours for your visit.

if you are returning and would like to add new sights:
book Vatican gardens tour ( book at ) and Scavi tour ( book via email at ) and  climb Michelangello’s Dome.
book after hours visit of Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel ( The Vatican Museums remain open for after hour visits every Friday from 0700 pm till 1100 pm  (see post “Vatican Museums after Hours”).

if you are visiting any day of the year except Sunday or Catholic holiday opening hours are as follows:
St Peter’s Basilica from 0700 am to 0700 pm,the Grottoes from from 0900 am to 0500 pmthe Dome of St Peter’s from 0830 am to 0500 pmthe Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel from 0830 am to 0600 pm ( last entry at 0400 pm ).

if you are visiting on Wednesday bear in mind St Peters Basilica may be closed till 0100 pmas the Pope will be holding audience at St Peter’s Square.

if you are visiting on Sunday or any Catholic Holiday (see post Vatican Closed Days):
Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel will remain closed with exception of last Sunday of the month when they will remain open from 0830 am till 0200 pm ( last entry at 1230 pm ). Since admission on the last Sunday is free there are big crowds and very long lines. Tickets cannot be booked and tours are not offered on that day.

if you are planning a self guided visit:
you may purchase in advance admission tickets with priority passes to skip all the lines.Tickets are emailed to you to be printed at home before you leave for Italy. Please visit

if you are planning join a small group tour:
you have a choice of three hour Vatican classical tour and five hour in Depth tour please visit to book on line.

if you would like to hire a private guide, if you are traveling with kids or you need a tourat a slower pace please visit for customized services.


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