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Vatican Museums, Vatican City

(4.1/5 based on 22,000+ reviews on the web)
The easiest way to experience Vatican Museums, featuring an outstanding collection of fine art, is by joining a guided tour. These museums display works from an immense collection that the Roman Catholic church built up over several centuries. You can see some of the most renowned Classical sculptures in the world, as well as numerous Renaissance art masterpieces. Founded in the early 16th century by Pope Julius II, the museums contain 54 galleries. The last stop and a highlight of every tour is the Sistine Chapel, featuring the world-famous ceiling decorated by Michelangelo. You are not required to join a tour, but the collection is spread over an area of nearly 15 km (9 mi), so it's highly recommended. Look online beforehand to choose from many different tour options. Add Vatican Museums to your Vatican City travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Vatican City itinerary maker.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • So beautiful and interesting, a constant wonder. I only had time to visit the sculpture room, the tapestry room and the map room before the Sistine chapel- but each of these was absolutely stunning, I...  more »
  • It is better to go with a guide. There are a lot of people. It is very interesting even if you're not fond of the art by the Majesty of the rooms. The frescoes, sculptures and tapestries are impressive.
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  • Go between 11 and 13: 00 to the tail and start with the Sistine Chapel! It's a must-do, with a lot of people, even outside of school holidays, which would take hours to visit but which allows to see a lot of things. The audio-guide is a bit expensive for what it is (7 euros) but allows to dwell deeper on the chapel Sixitine
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Google
  • There were plenty to see in these museums, and you could easily spend a day or two in there, however the large number of tourist groups made it difficult to move around. I found it sometimes hard to enjoy the moment when there were no room to move around. It was not easy to read the signs with so many people so purchasing the audio guide was a good idea. You could bring two sets of earphones and share one audio guide as mine had two earphone output jacks. The Sistine Chapel does not allow photography, so just put the audio guide on and enjoy the artwork. Expect large crowds of tourist groups and blockages everywhere you turn. There were plenty of clean and well looked after toilets around. We found two cafeterias and the prices for coffee and tea were very reasonable. Benches were available outside and packed lunches could be consumed in that area. I suggest buying the tickets online to avoid the queue to buy the tickets at the door. It was well worth the extra €2 each. Got in immediately! No need to print out the tickets as you could show them the downloaded tickets on your phone.
  • I am sure the history of this sacred space would have been interesting had there not been a billion people being herded like cattle through the halls. It was ornate and extravagant and there is a lot of walking and a lot to see. We booked our tickets ahead online, as we wanted to go at our own pace, but if you want more of the distinct history and info, be sure to book a decent tour. Also, do your research. St Peter's was closed the day we went and we couldn't even enter the square. Be aware of the things you want to see and do ahead of time. Also know that ever three steps someone will try to sell you some piece of crap you don't need- selfie pole, tours, wooden baskets, etc. It's all a bit much. Again, SO MANY PEOPLE... and we went during off peak. This was not for me, though I'm certainly glad I had the opportunity to see it. Others may have a better experience and might be more at ease with tight crowds.
  • First, I don't like museums and I am not religious. But this one is pretty low because of all the people. Stop and take a photo of tapestry. Another 20 of baby Jesus. Great. Block the narrow halls. Now, I am sure there's some great art, but the congestion coupled with forced museum legs, and the build up to the Sistine chapel kind of ruined everything. I later read that you can go to the basilica via the right exit and not the left exit. The right exit said "for special groups only" and there was no indication (via signs) that they connect. We're not making another journey to see whether it connects. Exiting and going direct. If you're not religious, don't go.
  • The Vatican is HUGE. Wear comfy shoes, and dress conservatively! Also, book a small guided tour for the morning! You get in over an HOUR before the general public, and they are also a wealth of information. Completely worth the money. The Sistine Chapel is SMALL, and it is PACKED. Kinda takes away from the Magic of the place, but still worth it to see. Afterwards go to the Jewish Quarter a couple blocks down, and grab a chicken curry pita and thank me later.
  • An amazing experience in word class art! The beauty is truly incredible, and there will be such an experience every meter or so. Wow! We took a night tour - WELL worth the extra expense. They all meet at the wide steps across from the museum and proceed together. The guides have excellent stories to share and they chronicle artists and their lives, bringing it all to life as you stroll through the museum unimpeded by the numbers of people seen during the day. You must book well in advance of your trip or you won't get in. Do it, and you will be well rewarded.