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Basilica Papale San Paolo Fuori le Mura, Rome

4.8
#19 of 249 in Historic Sites in Rome
Church Historic Site
Basilica Papale San Paolo Fuori le Mura represents the second largest church in Rome and houses St. Paul's tomb below its crypt. As one of Rome's four ancient basilicas, this church was founded by Roman Emperor Constantine I in the 4th century--later emperors and popes continued to add to the building's structure. Today, visitors tour the building to see its Classical facade, colossal columns, the ancient and original apse and triumphal arch, and the Holy Door, a feature found in each of the four major basilicas. Be sure to check out the past popes' portraits hanging on the walls. Make Basilica Papale San Paolo Fuori le Mura part of your personalized Rome itinerary using our Rome itinerary builder.
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Where to stay in Rome

For easy foot access to most of the city's main historical sites, consider staying in Rome's old town center. The area is conveniently placed for public transport, only a walk away from the city's main railway station. Accommodations here span all hotels sectors, from cheap hostels to luxury brand names. To avoid the steep prices and overcrowding of the town center, explore the hotels in the inner suburbs of Rome. They offer comfortable rooms and excellent food at a fraction of the price charged by the centrally located hotel chains. Another affordable option is the area around Vatican, which boasts a good selection of family-owned B&Bs.
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4.7
  • Very easy to find once you get off the metro at San Paolo, walk past McDonalds on the same side as it and then take the 2nd road on the right, you'll walk past the bambino hospital and then it's the n...  more »
  • Beautiful art and architecture. The mosaic scenes on the ceiling inside are truly beautiful. There is such a peaceful aura about this place that stands in stark contrast to the troubled life of the ap...  more »
  • My twin brother Stephen and I had jumped the metro down to stop Garbatella and we were exploring around this wonderful part of the city and decided to visit Basilica Papale San Paulo Fuori le Mura AKA...  more »
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  • Makes St Peter's look like an overdone glitzy try hard. We arrived during a Sunday mass. Would have converted if I hadn't been dragged out in the nick of time. This is a building with class, style and refinement not just gold. Amazing acoustics. Amazing glazing. Amazing architecture. Free entry, very low key and no crowds. If you don't feel God here you will at least see why some do. If you don't have time for this and the Vatican drop the Vatican.
  • Less visited than the other basilicas, but perhaps the most interesting of the four. Burnt down and rebuilt, it has retained the form of the early basilicas and gives you an idea of what the original St. Peter's would have looked like. Inside the atmosphere is always peaceful thanks to the size and the lack of large numbers of visitors. The portraits of the popes are worth seeing, as is the cloister. Keep your ticket when you leave as you'll need it to get into the recently opened archaeological area outside the bookshop.
  • Gorgeous building, great English signage, and not too many crowds. I know most short term visitors don't stay this far out of city Centre but I recommend you come here and take a look. No long lines or vendors like the Vatican and honestly this probably almost as beautiful. Excited to go back and see the cloister tour for a great price, 4€. The restoration work and explanations are amazing. You can come here to see the resting place of St Paul, which is breathtaking.
  • A truely amazing place. I am not religious, but I know some of the story of St Paul's life and how he was converted to faith in Jesus. A huge history​ lesson inside these walls.
  • A charming church, nice area. Ideal spot for a walk and lunch.