The Vatican Museums (Italian: Musei Vaticani; Latin: Musea Vaticana) are the public museums of the Vatican City. They display works from the immense collection amassed by the Catholic Church and the papacy throughout the centuries, including several of the most renowned Roman sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The museums contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display, and currently employ 640 people who work in 40 different administrative, scholarly, and restoration departments.
Pope Julius II founded the museums in the early 16th century. The Sistine Chapel, with its ceiling and altar wall decorated by Michelangelo, and the Stanze di Raffaello (decorated by Raphael) are on the visitor route through the Vatican Museums.
|Monday||9:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
|Tuesday||9:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
|Wednesday||9:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
|Thursday||9:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
|Friday||9:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
|Saturday||9:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
T D B Das | Mar 21, 2018
Honestly this will take couple of days to finish but if you want to do it, you'll be able to do it in about 2.5 hrs- if you take the guides tour. Walking leisurely with the audio guide will be longer if you plan to listen every single one of them. Entrance to the museum is great. You go upstairs to get the ticket and still go up to get the audio guides. Last Sunday of the month is FREE. Sistine Chapel is the best attraction. Before you head there, ppl look at the scores of sculptures and one of the most beautiful and important one is that of Thinking man by Rodin. Last time when I went there, I didn't even know it was there. This time I didn't miss it. Don't know how many pictures your camera can take but you still will be running out of time, memory and battery!! Lasting memories of Sistine Chapel and if you listen to the audio guide you will be able to understand the trials and tribulations of the artists and their mentors of those days! In early days, the power was with the church as they had the knowledge. If I remember correctly so many Popes were actually mathematicians, astronomers, physicists etc. Good thing that they wrote the books and were able to spread the knowledge.
Kristina Jeleva | Mar 18, 2018
Exceptional experience. Every bit of it is worth your time and money. World renowned piece of art and history in a dramatic center of worship. We arrived at 13pm with online tickets and just had enough time until 18pm to see everything. The grand finale was St. Peter's basilica, which takes your breath away and is like nothing you've seen before.
Ryan Mooneyham | Apr 1, 2018
Amazing artwork. Very crowded. The museum itself is quite large and will require a visitor to walk around 3 miles down the halls to see it all. I recommend listening to an audio guide (they provide them, and Rick Steve's has ones that I like) to get the most out of the trip. Some rooms are so filled you won't know where to start, and the audio guide will help with that.
Sabrina Gell | Mar 31, 2018
This place houses some amazing works of art from history. Do not go unless you have a ticket to skip the line. Seriously! The line was blocks long, and hours to wait. Get some sort of audio guide, or tour. It's worth it unless you know about the pieces, because instead of just seeing the works, you can get some real history and appreciation. Parts of it get crazy packed full of people, but it's a big deal, so just expect it and deal with it. Take in the views, don't just rush through. The Sistine Chapel is gorgeous, and you should also have some sort of guide for it. Also look for Raphael in his pieces.
Margaret Dailey | Mar 13, 2018
Some of the world's greatest art treasures are housed here. If you are a Westerner, the contents of these museums form the core of your esthetic senses, whatever they may be. Highly recommend skip-the-line guided tours if you can build them into your budget for your Roman holiday. (Don't get the ones you can buy on the street but buy online in advance.) Thousands of people wait to get in every day, and there is simply too much to take in here without knowledgeable guidance. Must, must, must see.
Elmar Zwart | Apr 27, 2018
Beautiful museum with a amazing collection. It just never stops. It is maybe a little bit too much collection for one day, so choose wisely what to see. Be early, because queue can be very long. There are a lot of "companies" that offer tour guides and 'skip the line' tickets. Be very careful with those people! Negotiate about price and the real waiting time. I would recommend to book tickets at the official website.
Mário Salgado | Apr 27, 2018
Simply the best. Vatican takes really good care of their stuff and it’s generous to show it all to the world. The place has big queues but they move fast specially in the morning. We got there around 10:00 and got in at 10:30. I recommend at least 3-4 hours to visit this it properly, there are rooms that you can spend 30 minutes easily. Don’t miss!
Christine Dyer | Apr 21, 2018
Amazing art! I went with a tour and was able to skip the lengthy lines and learn about the art works displayed which was awesome. The Sistine Chapel gets absolutely packed like a can of sardines but it is a must, the labour that went into painting the ceiling is just amazing. Make sure to wear comfy shoes as there’s a lot to see and come early morning to try and avoid the lines and crowds
Arthur Massei | May 4, 2018
When in Rome make sure you take a guided tour of the Vatican. It is massive with tons of artwork so you really need an expert to point everything out and you have a separate entrance which means you will get in there pretty quick. I purchased the tour prior to leaving on my trip from City Wonders (formerly Dark Rome) I highly recommend City Wonders. Our guide was brilliant!
Eamonn Baulk | Apr 12, 2018
Beautiful! The place is just amazing. We had a good guide, who knew his stuff. Beware though, it can take a long time. Leave yourself at least 4 hours! There is so much to see. The Sistine chapel is jam packed but you can manoeuvre around. Try and get under the middle of the ceiling (the Adam picture) and you get a good view of it all from there
Dimah M | Jun 2, 2018
Remember please that on last Sunday of the month the entrance to the Vatican museums is FREE except major religious holidays. Don’t be scared big crowds on free day just come over earlier and enjoy. I was there on free Sunday and I was surprised the museum was not overcrowded as I expected so don’t listen anyone just don’t be late and plan the visit . But the museums and Sistine Chapel will be closed earlier on free Sunday FYI. They have one of the best art collections in the world. Luxury and beauty that you will not find anywhere else. I would recommend to spend there whole day. Don’t miss that place and come back again.
Michael Stephens | Jun 11, 2018
Wonderful. I purchased a 5-hour in-depth tour that featured the Museums and Basilica. (I definitely recommend buying a tour.) The museum is quite remarkable and is unquestionably one of the great museums of the world for the artifacts there. But as with any world-class museum, be prepared to either return or spend several hours taking in everything. Just the buildings alone...kinda like the Louvre...are monuments in themselves. The Sistine Chapel is stunning, but it is literally a can of human sardines, too. Think of all the great Renaissance painters who lived and worked here, let alone the popes. The frescoes, sculptures, Roman Empire art. There are some exhibits I completely missed, like the Egyptian art, mummies, and animals. Try to get here if you can. It's totally worth it.
mausami chaudry | May 31, 2018
It was so crowded and it was very difficult to enjoy. The place is worth a visit. Buy tickets online from their website. You would have to pick a day and time slot and arrive 10 minutes early to the entrance. Entry is well managed. Security line took 10 minutes. Pictures are only allowed in Vatican Museum but not in Sistine Chapel. Chapel was a mad house. Employees screening at guests to move and “be quite” while they were yelling on top of their lungs. As it is the last place we ended up in the Vatican museum visit it left a very bad last impression.
Cesar Grave | Jun 5, 2018
A spiritual experience, just the wrong kind. PETA would probably approve of this authentic cattle experience. To be fair it is easily the best museum out there, you just won't get to enjoy or see 90% of it because there doesn't seem to be a limit on the number of people allowed inside. The few parts where tours don't go are amazing; the majority of people are literally paying to be herded around/skip amazing collections. Bought tickets ahead of time and got there early, it was still orders of magnitude more packed than the Rome metro at peak hours.
Amber Montgomery | Jul 10, 2018
I went by myself with no tour but I booked a ticket ahead of time with a prearranged time slot and I'm so glad I did. I think it's a few euros more expensive but so worth it to skip the line. Don't be fooled into thinking you need to buy a tour in order to skip the line. You can do so if you buy the tickets online, just be sure to do so well in advance so there are still times available. The museums get very crowded so be prepared to be overwhelmed and very crowded. You could easily spend all day wondering around if you are a big art fan but since the main attraction for me was the Sistine Chapel, I took the short path and enjoyed what I saw but mainly headed straight for the chapel. Even so I think it took me about an hour/hour and a half just to get to the Chapel. No photography allowed and I would recommend bringing a pair of binoculars to get a better view of the paintings since the ceilings really are very high. Even after leaving the Chapel, it took me another 30-45 minutes to walk through and exit the museum. So be sure to budget plenty of time depending on what and how much you want to see. I had friends who went and did a four hour tour and said they were so exhausted by the end they barely enjoyed the Sistine Chapel, which was a big shame in my opinion. Be smart when planning your trip here and no what you want to see so you can enjoy it and the rest of Vatican City in the best way.
Barbara | Jun 30, 2018
I purchased the ‘Breakfast at the Vatican Museum’ without a guided tour directly from the Vatican website. It also included self-guided audio recordings. This was the best decision ever! I was one of the first to get into the museum had a large wonderful breakfast and given an audio self-tour after we ate. I was able to take my time walking through the museum looking at things I wanted to look at and passing quickly through other things that were not as of much interest. I saw and heard that the groups that had a guided tour were rushed through some exhibits because of a strict timeline. When I finished my relaxing tour of the Vatican museums and Sistine Chapel, I exited to find an astonishingly large amount of people standing in line to see the museum. I would recommend buying the tickets directly from the Vatican website regardless of what option you choose.
Adam Hennebury | Jul 4, 2018
Way too much to see in one visit, but amazing. The Sistine Chapel brought me to tears, for both it’s beauty and the sacred history. I’d highly recommend looking into the Patrons of the Vatican Museums program, which also gives one a special tour before regular opening hours of the museum! Was able to see a restoration work in progress as part of said tour.
Mary Vaughan | Jul 1, 2018
You are probably wondering why I am only giving two stars to the Vatican Museums. There is so much amazing art and history here, however our experience with this SECOND visit to the Vatican was not that great. It was SO CROWDED... you literally could not exit the rooms. I felt like I was at Disney! They are allowing too many people in at one time!!! We paid extra money for a smaller tour group.... I am 5' tall and could hardly see!!! Not a good experience. This was a weekday, so I don't even know what day to recommend!
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