St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

St. Peter's Basilica is not only among the most renowned works of Renaissance architecture, but it is also one of the largest churches in the world. Built over a period of about 120 years, this imposing structure was designed by several prominent Renaissance architects, including Michelangelo and Bernini. Tradition and strong historical evince hold that the tomb of Saint Peter, one of Jesus’s twelve apostles, is located directly below the altar of the church. Because of its location in the Vatican, the Pope presides at a number of services held here throughout the year, frequently drawing audiences of up to 80,000 people. Take the elevator up to the roof and then climb the 323 steps to the top of the dome, which offers sweeping views of the surrounding area. A strict dress code forbids shorts, bare shoulders, or miniskirts inside the site. Arrange your visit to St. Peter's Basilica and discover more family-friendly attractions in Vatican City using our Vatican City road trip app .
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  • One of the most beautiful basilicas we visited. The sheer size and grandeur is hard to put into words. That said, go with a tour of the Vatican that includes St Peters as there are long lines meaning ...  more »
  • Beautiful Basilica with a lot of art different from other churches where we've been many tourists present and no/hardly silence, what you can expect in such a church
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  • After dodging the millions of tourist information people trying to sell me ‘skip the line’ tickets - I finally made it to St Peter’s Square and it was amazing! The queue was insane but I joined it any...  more »
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  • The Vatican City is always an amazing experience. The works inside St. Peter's Basilica, its size, the view from the top... simply amazing. The line moves fast so don't worry about the crowd you'll find there. They also have a lot of souvenirs, including jewelry... just make sure you have enough money on you, they're pricey to say the least. One interesting fact is that the nuns there speak an impressive amount of languages, so you'll feel like home no matter where you're from. Also, everything there is protected by Swiss Guards (basically their military)... they're not like the queens guards, so admire them from afar.
  • The pinnacle of the trip to Rome. Mind-blowing beauty and grandeur. To better enjoy it, expect to spend the whole day (in the Vatican). If possible, go to the top of the basilica - unforgettable! It was only €6 or €8 (the line was long but moving pretty quickly). Mind you, the stairs are not that easy: 551 stairs up and some tight passageways (being in great physical shape I felt every muscle in my body going up, going down and after). There is an elevator but not to the very top, I believe. The views are tremendous, and inside the basilica everything is a masterpiece. Definitely stop by Pieta by Michelangelo, his first work of that kind. Don’t forget to send a postcard from Vatican City (there is a mobile post office parked outside the basilica right on the piazza, and it’s very cheap to send a postcard to anywhere in the world).
  • Absolutely stunning! It truly showcases the power of Catholicism in the mid century. The art work and architecture is a true statement. It will leave even the most veteran of cultural tourists star struck. There is no point in going to Rome if you don't visit the Vatican for at least a day. It is well worth both a visit inside and to the top of the dome. One of my favorite times in Rome! Enjoy!
  • This might be a bit controversial. From an architectural and historical point of view, I found the Basilica to be beautiful and interesting. You are visually overwhelmed because there is so much to see that you aren't sure what to focus on first or where to spend your time looking. In addition, it is a tourist attraction of note (as evidenced by the pictures). So it's noisy, loud and visually stimulating. It is also very imposing. From a spiritual point of I found it lacking. It is ornate and filled with dramatic sculptures, carvings and lettering of almost 2ft tall Roman numerals and letters. It is literally so opulent that it is such a dramatic juxtaposition to who and what Jesus was. I struggled to reconcile the battered body of Christ in rags and his thorny crown on a cross with the opulence displayed around it.
  • St. Peter's Basilica is awesome! We went there during Easter time and and grateful for getting the blessed rose! Do expect a lot of people. If you are going to Vatican Museum, you can consider tio join guided tour including st. Peter Basilica so that you can get in directly from Vatican. But the guided tour is not cheap. Alternatively, you can come at 7am where the Basilica opens at 7am, you can save the queue time. We arrived at 9.30am and spent 2 hrs on queue. Anyway, st. Peter Basilica is worth a visit!
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