The Vatican Museums typically charge an entrance fee for visitors. However, there are certain days throughout the year when the Vatican Museums offer free admission. These free entry days usually include special occasions such as certain religious holidays or cultural celebrations.
Additionally, specific categories of people might be eligible for free admission, such as Vatican employees, some scholars, and diplomats. Moreover, children and students might have reduced or free entry on certain conditions, often upon presentation of valid identification or student cards.
The Vatican Museums are open six days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM. In addition, the museums welcome visitors every last Sunday of the month. However, the museums are closed on essential feasts in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church, including the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29) and Saint Stephen's Day (December 26).
Being one of the top-rated tourist destinations, the Vatican Museums are busy even in the early morning hours, especially on Saturdays, when Rome gets its maximum number of visitors. On the last Sunday of each month, when the museums are open to the public for free, the situation is even worse, and it is common to wait in line for many hours.
The museums tend to be less crowded in the winter months and the evening hours, but please note that the final entry is at 04:00 PM.
The museums contain and display thousands of artworks amassed by the Catholic Church throughout the centuries. In the Vatican Pinacoteca (Art Gallery), you can find numerous masterpieces of the greatest Italian artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Paolo Veronese, and Pietro Perugino.
One of the most famous Vatican Museums is the Pio-Clementino Museum, which contains some of the most renowned sculptures of Antiquity. You can see, among others, the Sleeping Ariadne and the Apollo Belvedere.
The museums also house a collection of Modern and Contemporary Art. It includes artworks by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and other prominent artists of the 20th century.
The Vatican is located on the west bank of the Tiber River, a 15–20-minute walk from the Rome city center. There are two entrances to the city. If you want to start your trip at St. Peter's Basilica, choose Via Della Conciliazione. Otherwise, enter from Viale Vaticano — it is the fastest way to reach the museums.
To get there by subway, take Line A and get off at one of the following stations: Ottaviano or Crispo. If you prefer light rail, take line 19 to Piazza del Risorgimento.
Immerse yourself into the world of religious art with our in-app audio tour Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel: The History of the Western World. It will help you learn more about this beautiful and mysterious place and better understand the ideas of famous sculptures and paintings.
A full-price ticket for the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel costs €17 if you purchase it on-site and €21 if you prefer online booking to skip the line. The price for children aged 6–18 and students up to 25 with an International Student Card is €8 (€12 with online booking).
Entry is free for children under 6, disabled visitors with more than 74% certified invalidity and their companions, and holders of ICOM or ICOMOC cards. On the last Sunday of each month, the museums guarantee free admission to all visitors.
The Vatican Museums attract millions of visitors annually, so it is better to reserve your spot in advance and skip the line on the chosen day. You can save time and book a ticket along with the self-guided audio tour on our website.
Tickets for the Vatican Museums become available around two months in advance. You can choose the most convenient day and reserve your ticket on our website while booking the audio tour.