What time does the Vatican City Open?

No trip to Italy is complete without a visit to the eternal city of Rome, the Vatican City. Undoubtedly one of the most popular attractions in the country, home to incredible architecture, history, culture, and art. However, the opening hours can be tricky, as the Vatican in Rome is composed of the Vatican Museums, the Vatican Gardens, St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as the Sistine Chapel. Each of these attractions has their own opening hours, so where do you even start?

Opening Hours for the Top Attractions in the Vatican City

Vatican Museums

The opening hours are six days a week, from Monday to Saturday, from 9am-6pm, with the last entry at 4 pm. An exception of Sundays shutting applies on the last Sunday of every month, when the museums will be open from 9 am to 12:30 pm. Most people flock into the museum’s morning time, so if you would like a less crowded experience, we suggest visiting in the late afternoon. Otherwise, guided tours usually get to skip the lines, which are the longest in Rome.

Vatican Gardens

The garden’s entrance is limited, not opening to the public on all days of the week. Due to this restriction, there are three ways you can enter the gardens. Either by a group tour with an Official Vatican Tour Guide, a Vatican Gardens tour with a Private Tour Guide, or an open bus tour.

St. Peter’s Square

The square is not subjugated to any opening hours and is always freely accessible to the public. The only exception is for when masses and an audience with the Pope takes place.

St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica is open every day of the week, from 7 am until 6 pm or 7 pm in the winter months. The only exemption is on Wednesdays due to a papal audience but will reopen at around 12-1pm. If you are interested in visiting the Basilica’s dome, the hours are 8 am to 6 pm in the months of April to September, and from 8 am to 5 pm between October to March.

Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel’s opening times are similar to the museums, opening only six days a week, excluding Sundays, from 9 am – 6 pm (with the ticket office closing at 4 pm). The last Sunday of every month also applies here. Certain dates such as public holidays result in the Sistine chapel shutting, totalling 11 days of the year.

Tips for your adventure in the Vatican City

Always make sure to follow the guidelines of these attractions. As it is a religious city-state, the Vatican holds very strict religious rules to its visitors. By showing your respect and following these will make your venture into the city a much easier and better experience.

Check out our popular Vatican Museums and Gardens Tour today!

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