Sistine Chapel
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Sistine Chapel: Tours & Tickets

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Highlights of the Sistine Chapel

When it comes to touring the Vatican City, the best is saved until last: the revered Sistine Chapel. A tour de force of art and architecture by the most famous Renaissance artists, it will dazzle you. Here’s a list of highlights.

Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Sistine Chapel Ceiling

The Sistine Chapel is Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Its ceiling is divided into nine scenes from the Book of Genesis, depicting the creation of the world from light to dark, sun to moon, Adam to Eve.

The Creation of Adam

The Creation of Adam

One of the most famous artworks of all time, the centerpiece of the ceiling is a fresco painting depicting God bringing Adam to life with his fingertips.

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

Michelangelo’s fresco depicting the Last Judgment can be seen above the altar. Interestingly, he started working on it 25 years after the ceiling, and it took four years to complete.

Southern Wall: Story of Moses

Southern Wall: Story of Moses

See scenes from Moses’s life, including his journey through Egypt, portrayed by the Renaissance greats: Botticelli, Perugino and Rosselli.

Northern Wall: Story of Jesus

Northern Wall: Story of Jesus

The wall to the right of the altar shows scenes from Jesus’s life according to the great Renaissance painters.

Our insider tips

Why Is the Sistine Chapel Important?

Starting in 1508, Michelangelo spent lonely years painting the chapel's ceiling and altar, transforming these walls into one of the great masterpieces. In the words of Goethe, "If you haven't seen the Sistine Chapel, it's impossible to have any idea of what one man is capable of doing." The walls will come to life as you step in!

What to Know

Don't wear shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless shirts without bringing a scarf or covering, as you will not be allowed in. Taking photographs is strictly prohibited in the chapel.

Can You Visit the Sistine Chapel on Its Own?

Located in Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums, so can only be entered through the Museum. Admission is included in the purchase of a ticket to the Vatican Museum. Beware of anyone trying to sell you just for the Sistine Chapel, it’s a scam.

Avoiding the Lines

Over 4.5 million visitors come to the Sistine Chapel per year, so it’s difficult to completely avoid a crowd. During the Pope’s address on Wednesday mornings it’s a bit quieter, as at lunchtimes. Buying tickets in advance is always a good idea.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The Sistine Chapel is closed on Sundays and Catholic holidays. Opening hours can be erratic, so check online to avoid disappointment.
  • Is it expensive?
    €17 general entry
  • Will I need a guide?
    If you want to learn more about the amazing pieces of art, sure! There are tickets for small group tours, as well as a chance to make the Sistine Chapel part of your Rome City Pass.
  • How to get there
    The Vatican City is located inside of Rome. Bus 49 will get you there. Alternatively, take the red metro line to Cipro station.
  • Additional information

    • Beware of pickpockets, especially on crowded public transport. Hold onto your bags, and keep valuables out of sight.

    • Be sure to bring a cardigan or other long-sleeved garment to cover up your arms when entering the Sistine Chapel.

What people are saying about Sistine Chapel

Overall rating
4.4 / 5
based on 99,529 reviews

I only gave it 4 stars because it was so difficult to hear our tour guide. We had a group of 10 and N O audio headphones. We had a sweet older gentleman who has been doing tours for about 40+ years and very informative but super difficult to understand. We would have to gather around and basically play telephone to hear what was being said... other than that, the tour was great.

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Tour Reviewed by

Excellent guide (Yuri). 3 hours just about right. Not sure that leaving the best until last (The Sistine Chapel) is the best way to do the tour, by that time, with feet aching and needing a rest I just didn't absorb the magnitude of what I was seeing. Awesome artwork but by that time I just wanted a McDonald's!

Best of the Vatican 3-Hour Small Group Tour Reviewed by

Wonderful experience of visiting the Vatican Museums! Knowledgeable and friendly guide Matej did an excellent job of taking us through the centuries of history providing all relevant information and pointing to the most important and influential works of art exhibited in this marvelous place.

Best of the Vatican 3-Hour Small Group Tour Reviewed by

Booked this last minute as there wasn't a lot of options of things to do but so pleased I did. What a great way of doing a walking tour! Guide was amazing but the extra benefits of the app just made it perfect! Highly recommend this if you visit Rome.

Rome: Hop-on Hop-off Guided Walking Tour Reviewed by

Loved this tour! The guides were so friendly and knowledgeable and really helped us to get up close and personal with the city. I've done a lot of hop on hop off buses and I actually prefer and would recommend this walking option.

Rome: Hop-on Hop-off Guided Walking Tour Reviewed by