Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel)
Vatican Museum tickets & Sistine Chapel tours in Rome
All information about the Vatican museum tickets, which includes a visit to the famous Sistine Chapel (Capella Sistina). More tips, tours and tickets for the Vatican City museums.
Info Vatican Museum Tickets - Sistine Chapel tour
|Metro||Stop Cipro-Musei Vaticani (Line A)|
WARNING: The queues for the Vatican museums are extremely long and tickets are often sold out on the day because most tickets are already sold online. If there is one attraction in Rome for which I absolutely recommend reserving tickets, it are the Vatican museums with the Sistine Chapel tour. To book your Vatican museum tickets online there are two reliable websites; It is advisable to compare availability and ticket prices.
|Dresscode||Please wear appropriate clothing. Your knees and shoulders should be fully covered. Flip-flops are not allowed either.|
The Vatican Museums (‘I Museu Vaticani’) are some of the largest museums in the world with an enormous collection that varies from ancient Roman and Egyptian artefacts, religious objects, beautifully painted rooms and even modern art. The 26 different museums of the Vatican are housed in a complex of multiple Apostolic palaces, and are by far the most popular museum destination in Rome, in part because of the famous Sistine Chapel. During your visit, you will marvel at the many art treasures that the popes have collected in 54 halls since the 16th century.
The absolute highlight of the route through the Vatican museums is a visit to the Sistine Chapel ('Capella Sistina'). The name is derived from the founder of the chapel, pope Sixtus IV. The impressive ceiling of this 15th-century Sistine Chapel was painted in the 16th century by Michelangelo. It portrays the story of creation, the great flood and other scenes. The side walls are equally beautiful with paintings of the life of Jesus made by Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Perugino, Pinturicchio and others. The wall behind the alter shows Michelangelo's painting of the ‘Last Judgement’. The Sistine Chapel is mostly known for being the space where the cardinals meet for conclave when electing a new pope. When a new pope is being elected, smoke comes from the chapel's chimney twice a day. White smoke means a new pope has been elected, while black smoke means the cardinals were not yet successful in their mission.
Other highlights of 'I Museu Vaticani'
If you would like to learn more about the background of the artworks in the Vatican Museums, we recommend using an audio guide. Do you plan not to spend too much time in the museums? Then – in addition to the Sistine chapel tour – these are the rooms and artworks you should not miss on your visit to the Vatican museums:
- Stanza della Segnatura: This room lies on the second floor and was originally pope Julius II's library. Later it was used as a church tribunal. This room is one of the main attractions of the Vatican as it displays the works of Raphael Santi.
- Stanze di Raffaello: These rooms on the first floor were decorated by Raphael Santi for Pope Julius II. The paintings represent theology, philosophy, poetry and law. For instance, the famous painting of ’The School of Athens’ from 1509 depicts philosophy with philosophers Plato and Aristotle being displayed centrally.
- Laocoön group: A group of marble statues from 40 – 20 BCE of the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons. According to tradition, the priest wanted to prevent the Trojan horse from being let inside the city. The statue shows Laocoön being strangled by Poseidon's snakes.
- La Galleria della Carte geografiche: The first floor is also home to the 16th-century gallery of maps with enormous topographical maps on the walls and the ceiling. The 40 beautiful wall panels were created by Ignazio Danti.
- The Vatican Pinacotheca: The ground floor houses a large collection of tapestries and paintings of the Vatican with works by the great masters, including Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian and Raphael Santi.
Tickets & Guided tours
Video: Tour of Vatican & Capella Sistina
Where are the Vatican Museums in Rome?
I Musei Vaticani are located in Vatican City, the closest address in Rome to the entrance of the museum with the Cappella Sistina is Viale Vaticano 100 Roma.
FAQ Vatican Museum visit and tickets
Do I have to buy tickets for the Vatican Museums?
Without tickets it is not possible to visit the Vatican Museums. A limited number of visitors are admitted per hour and due to the enormous popularity of the Vatican museums, it is strongly recommended to book tickets in advance, which allows you to secure your visit at your preferred timeslot and your great advantage will be avoiding the long queues.
Do I have to buy tickets for the Sistine Chapel?
The Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums. To visit the Sistine Chapel you just need a regular entrance ticket, which also includes the chapel.
How can I book a guided tour?
Read more about booking guided tours at this Vatican page. You should especially consider whether you want a guided tour including St. Peter's Basilica or not.
Is there a dress code in the museum?
Wear appropriate clothing. Your knees should be completely covered, as should your shoulders. Flip flops are also prohibited.