Things to do in
Gardens of Vatican City

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Gardens of Vatican City: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rome: St. Peter's Basilica, Square and Grottoes Guided Tour

1. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica, Square and Grottoes Guided Tour

Embark on a guided tour of Rome to discover the history and the secrets of St. Peter's Basilica, the largest Basilica in the world. Admire the stunning architecture, famous artworks, and visit the Papal Grottoes. After meeting your guide, explore the wonders that fill the Basilica. Follow your guide as you discover the past of St. Peter’s Basilica and marvel at its grand interior, covered in gold and breathtaking colors. See the artworks that were created by Michelangelo, Bernini, and Bramante, a focal point for religion and a representative of the beauty of the Renaissance and Baroque eras. After visiting the Basilica, head to the Papal Grottoes, where the previous pontiffs were buried. Get indications to visit the St. Peter’s Dome on request at the end of the tour.

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Vatican: Papal Audience Ticket and St. Peter's Basilica Tour

2. Vatican: Papal Audience Ticket and St. Peter's Basilica Tour

See the Pope himself on a special early-access visit to the Papal Audience ceremony and guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica. Receive your ticket for the Papal Audience from the staff at Piazza del Sant'Uffizio, just in front of St Peter's Square. Then watch the Pope make his way to the stage and join the weekly gathering which includes prayers, blessings, and a homily. After the audience, enjoy a guided tour of the iconic Basilica of St. Peter. As you tour the Renaissance-style church, with its famous dome and unrivaled architecture, see masterpieces like Michelangelo's Pietà and Bernini's Baldacchino. Choose an audio-guided tour of the Vatican Gardens and enjoy insightful commentary on an open bus.

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Rome: Best of Rome All-Access Pass

3. Rome: Best of Rome All-Access Pass

Discover the Eternal City at your own pace with an all-access pass to the main monuments of Rome. Redeem your voucher at the office at your selected booking time and the staff will help you reserve all of your attractions. Visit St Peter’s Basilica at your own pace. Stroll through the striking aisles of the largest church in the world, admire Michelangelo's "Pieta", and the beautifully carved Bernini Pulpit. Take the stress out of your visit with accompanied entrance to each attraction. Encounter masterpieces of art in the corridors, courtyards, and galleries of the Vatican Museums. See Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and pay your respects to former popes at the site of their tombs. Journey back to the days of the Roman Empire with a ticket to the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Follow in the footsteps of Roman citizens at the Via Sacra and discover where the city was founded on Palatine Hill. Use your 72 hours unlimited public transport card to explore the city. Enrich your base option with the Vatican Gardens by minibus and discover the architectural wonders of the Vatican Gardens with a multi-lingual audioguide.

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Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Ticket

4. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Ticket

Put yourself in safe hands and make the most out of a skip-the-line ticket with a host to maximize your Vatican visit. Enjoy some of the museums' 70,000 works including the Sistine Chapel's highly decorated ceiling painted by the renowned Michelangelo. Have a personal host wait for you at the office to provide excellent service and avoid the long lines. The staff member will show you the best way to the Vatican Museums and provide you with your skip-the-line ticket.

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Vatican City: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line

5. Vatican City: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line

Enter into the smallest country in the world as you arrive at Vatican City. Your host will escort you to redeem your ticket passing the long queues outside the Vatican Museum so that you can spend more time inside the fantastic papal collection of art. Visit at your own pace the artistic masterpieces inside this vast museum, which contains 54 galleries and about 7km of art. Discover famous pieces by Caravaggio and Raphael, along with lesser-known achievements, such as the impressive Gallery of Maps and Gallery of the Tapestries. Arrive at the final and most famous room of the Vatican Museums: the Sistine Chapel. Home to Michelangelo’s incredible frescoes, see first-hand the artwork that earned Michelangelo his global legacy as one of the best artists of all time.

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Rome: Vatican Gardens and Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tour

6. Rome: Vatican Gardens and Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tour

Skip the lines at the Vatican and enjoy a small-group tour through the Vatican Gardens and the Sistine Chapel alongside an expert guide. Stroll through the vast gardens and see all of the highlights, including the Vatican Radio, the Academy of Sciences, the Apostolic Residence, and the Vatican Government Palace. See for yourself a piece of the original Berlin Wall, as well as the famous Fountain of the Eagle along with many others from the Renaissance and baroque periods. Admire St. Peter's Dome and the Vatican Museums from a unique perspective. Take photos in the beautiful Vatican Gardens and then continue on to the Sistine Chapel where you can marvel at Michelangelo's frescoes.

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Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-line Tickets

7. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-line Tickets

Drive straight into the action with skip-the-line tickets to the Vatican Museum and make the most of your time in Rome. Uncover masterpieces as you make your way through 15 kilometers of artwork and facinating historical items. Meet your host at the tour provider's office and be led to the entry point of the Vatican Museums. Breeze through the line and go through a quick security check that ensures your visit is safe. Use your map to help you navigate through the massive collection with ease. Stroll through over 3000-years of art history. Uncover a world of ancient secrets in the Gregorian Egyptian Museum. Appreciate at your own pace works by Caravaggio, Giotto, Raphael and Leonardo. Admire an impressive collection of classical sculptures in the Pio Clementino Museum. Wander the halls of the ornate and elaborate papal apartments at the Raphael Rooms and the Borgia Apartments. Finally, stand beneath Michelangelo’s most renowned masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel.

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Private Vatican Tour: Museums & Sistine Chapel

8. Private Vatican Tour: Museums & Sistine Chapel

Enjoy a private tour of the Vatican Museums, and see Michelangelo’s fabulous frescoes in the Sistine Chapel on a private tour. After meeting your guide, make your way to the Vatican Museums entrance. Before you enter the galleries, view part of the lovely Vatican Gardens from the Belvedere Courtyard, designed by Donato Bramante. The long Belvedere Court connects the Vatican Palace with the Villa Belvedere in a series of terraces connected by stairs. Enter the museums and wander through the Gallery of Maps to the Raffaello Rooms. The largest of the 4 rooms is the Hall of Constantine, the last stop on your museums tour. You will also see the Room of Heliodorus, Room of the Signatura, and Room of the Fire in the Borgo. Continue to the Sistine Chapel to admire the legendary frescoes by Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio and others. The ceiling, and especially “The Last Judgment,” is widely believed to be Michelangelo's crowning achievement.

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Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Early Morning Tour

9. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Early Morning Tour

Explore one of Rome's most visited sites away from the crowd and find out why it took almost 120 years to get it done. St.Peter's Basilica is the most prominent building in the Vatican City with a surface area enough to accommodate up to 60,000 visitors, its dome is a dominant feature of the skyline of Rome. The largest church in Christendom, and one of the holiest sites of Christianity and Catholic Tradition, it is traditionally the burial site of its titular, St. Peter, the first Bishop of Rome,the first Pope. As you enter Basilica your guide will walk you towards famous Bernini's Baldachin underneet which the tomb of St. Peter is located. For this reason, many Popes have, from the early years of the Church, been buried near Pope St. Peter in the necropolis beneath the Basilica which occasionlly can be visited as well. You will then continue towards another Masterpiece, famous Pieta di Michelangelo. An art historian tour guide will reveal you some of the most important facts about this unique sculture carved from a single slab of marble and commissioned by a french cardinal Jean de Billheres. Not to mention the door on the right side, famous Porta Santa, the holy door which is only opened once every twenty-five years. Save the best for the last, exclusive visit, to famous Vatican Grottoes positioned just below the Renaissance basilica and above Constantine’s 4th century basilica, the grottos contain chapels dedicated to various saints and tombs of kings, queens and popes, dating from the 10th century. This unique guided tour will end on St. Peter's Square a grandiose elliptical esplanade created in the mid seventeenth century by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The square is bordered by massive colonnades that symbolize outstretched arms. Bernini and his assistants sculpted the 140 statues of saints that grace the balustrades on the colonnades. The square is decorated with fountains and an Egyptian obelisk that was transported to Rome in 37 AD.

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Rome: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2 to 7 Attractions

10. Rome: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2 to 7 Attractions

Explore Rome at your own pace with the Go City Rome Explorer Pass. Choose from 2 to 7 attractions and tours from a list of over 35 activities including the Colosseum, a hop-on hop-off bus tour, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and more. Visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, join a mouth-watering tasting tour, enjoy an evening at the Opera, go bike riding among ancient Roman ruins, or eat like a local with an authentic Italian set menu lunch ─ the choice is yours. Save up to 35% off compared to buying individual tickets and enjoy a complimentary digital audio guide packed with attraction information and instructions on booking your visits. Enjoy the ease of a fully digital pass with maximum flexibility. You have 2 years from your purchase date to use your pass and then 60 days after you redeem your first attraction or tour. Choose activities as you go: there’s no need to pre-select attractions (some of the most popular activities may require reservations). To redeem, simply display your pass on your mobile device or print it at home. 

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Planning Your Visit

  • What are the opening times?

    Opening hours are subject to reservation. The Vatican Gardens aren't open to the general public, but you can still visit as part of a guided tour. Numbers are incredibly limited, however, so you'll need to book at least a week in advance.

  • How to get there?

    The closest Metro stop is Ottaviano-San Pietro. If you take a taxi though, ask about flat-rates (between major landmarks) or else make sure the meter's running. Some cab drivers try to get away with charging a special "Vatican fee" for tourists.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Monday-Tuesday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
    Thursday-Saturday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
    Holiday hours may vary
  • Is it expensive?
    Adult tickets, which include admission to the Museums, are €32.00 per person.
  • Will I need a guide?
    The garden tour can only be taken with a guide.
  • How to get there
    Take the Metro to the Ottaviano-San Pietro station.
  • Additional information
    *The walking tour of the gardens takes about two hours. | Open bus tours also available, check online for more details. *

Other Sightseeing Options in Gardens of Vatican City

Want to discover all there is to do in Gardens of Vatican City? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Gardens of Vatican City

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 10,177 reviews

Let me tell you about Rich….he was a fantastic guide had tons of information to share, knew the location well and to top it off he even shared some of skittles with me. The location itself was beyond beautiful. I wish I would’ve read up a little more just so I could’ve prepared myself for the right stairwell but nonetheless totally worth it!!

We just got our tickets for the papal audience at the entrance to the Vatican but no one showed us to a great seat, luckily we got there early we were able to be well seated and see the Pope up close. ! The following guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica was very nice! I recommend this activity to you!

Alessandra, our guide, was very helpful and provided all the necessary information about the sightseeings with details. Would definitely recommend this page to everyone in order to avoid the lines.

The experience was excellent!! The guide was on time waiting for us and she knows about everything a lot!!!

Our guide was great he was knowledgeable and entertaining. Thank you city tours