This list of places to visit in the Vatican It will help you prepare a trip to the smallest country in the world, located within the city of Rome, a visit that we are sure, will not disappoint you.
It must be taken into account that the Vatican did not become an independent state until 1929 with the signing of the Lateran Pacts and that the extension of the country does not exceed 0.44 square kilometers, also having among its walls only as inhabitants around 800 people, including the Pope, without a doubt, its most famous resident.
The nerve center of the Catholic Church when the Holy See is located, its highest institution in the Vatican, in addition to this religious importance, it should be noted that all buildings have great historical and artistic value, which have made it one of the most visited places in Rome.
Based on the three times we have visited this small country, the last two during our trip to Rome in 3 days and the month we spent in the Trastevere neighborhood, from where we wrote this guide to Rome, we have made this list of those that are for us, the 5 essential places to see in the Vatican.
1. St. Peter's Basilica
Without a doubt, St. Peter's Basilica is one of the most sacred temples of Catholicism and one of the essential places to visit in the Vatican.
It is also one of the largest buildings in the world, in which its enormous dome stands out, visible from all the viewpoints of Rome and in which during its construction and interior decoration, great Italian artists of the Renaissance intervened, such as the brilliant Michelangelo.
Once inside, you can not miss the statue of La Piedad by Michelangelo, Bernini's Baldachin and the statue of St. Peter, to which we recommend, take time, as they are true wonders.
After visiting the interior, you can not miss climbing the dome of the basilica to enjoy the views of the entire city with St. Mark's Square in the foreground, which is one of the best things to do in Rome.
Keep in mind that although the entrance to the basilica is free, long lines are formed in the access security control located in the Plaza San Pedro, so a highly recommended option is to book the guided tour of the Vatican in Spanish, in which includes the skip-the-line entrance to St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums. Having a guide you will not miss any detail of its interesting history and all the monuments that you will see during the tour.
Remember that to enter the basilica and other Vatican precincts such as museums, you cannot go with very short pants, mini skirt or tank tops.
Visiting hours: every day from 7 am to 7 pm from April to September and from 7 am to 6 pm from October to March. The dome opens one hour later and closes one hour earlier.
If you are going to visit the best-known places in Rome, a good way to save time and money is to book the OMNIA Vatican and Roma Card with which you will skip the lines of places like the Colosseum or the Basilica and also have unlimited public transport and Free tourist bus service.
2. Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums is another one of the places to see in the Vatican and that is also in the list of the 20 most essential places to visit in Rome.
These museums, owned by the Catholic Church, have one of the most impressive art collections in the world whereby more than 6 million tourists come inside to marvel at their perfectly decorated paintings, sculptures and rooms.
If you are not an art expert, we recommend visiting the most striking rooms such as the Galleries of the maps, the tapestries, Raphael Stays, the Candelabra Gallery and the great jewel of museums, the Sistine Chapel.
The Sistine Chapel, another of the places to visit in the Vatican, is one of the great works of the history of mankind and it is only worth visiting the museums. The walls of this chapel were decorated by the great Michelangelo between 1473 and 1481 and among the beautiful frescoes we must highlight the famous image of Adan creation located in the central part of the roof and the Final judgment located on the main altar.
When you approach the entrance, located about 500 meters from the Plaza de San Pedro, you will see long lines that can reach 3 hours. The best option to visit the Vatican Museums are the skip-the-line tickets or the guided tour.
To enter without long queues you can book the ticket online on this official website.
Another good way to learn more about the history of each important piece is to book this visit with a specialized guide.
If during your trip to Rome you also visit the Colosseum, the Forum and the Palatine it is preferable to book this offer that includes all this and the museums, skipping all the queues.
Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm, the last access is two hours before closing. Sundays open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., last access at 12:30 p.m. On this official page you can check the days that it is closed for holidays.
Map of the best places to see in the Vatican
If you want to help us complete the list of 5 essential places to visit in the Vatican, add yours in the comments.