As a tourist in Rome, you may find yourself in a situation where you ask one of the most common questions: can you visit the Vatican at night?
Whether you’re on limited time or just want to see it in a different light (quite literally), I’m here to help.
Here’s my post on whether visiting the Vatican at night is an option.
Is It Possible to Visit the Vatican at Night?
As mentioned in my Vatican hours post, the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica typically close their doors to visitors in the late afternoon.
Generally, the opening hours are 9:00 am to 6:00 pm with last entries at 4:00 pm.
That said, there are some special occasions when they offer evening access for visitors.
Between April and October there are extended visiting hours on Saturdays and Sundays, making this one of the biggest secrets in Rome.
During peak summer times it can open until 10:30 pm (Fridays, last entry 8:30 pm) and 8:00 pm (Saturdays, last entry 6:00 pm) – though these times are subject to change.
Make sure you you click through to the ticket booking platform to see the exact times:
Vatican Museums by Night: What to Expect
Again, the Vatican Museums by Night program is an exclusive evening experience that takes place on selected Fridays and Saturdays from April to October.
During this time, the Vatican Museums open their doors for longer, providing a unique opportunity to explore the collections in a more intimate and less crowded setting.
As part of the Vatican Museums by Night program, visitors can expect to see the main highlights of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms, and other galleries.
However, it’s important to note that not all areas of the museums may be open during this time, and some sections may be closed off or limited in access.
These tickets sell out incredibly fast – so it’s mandatory to book your Vatican Museums tickets online.
Tips for Visiting the Vatican at Night
If you’re considering visiting the Vatican at night, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Check the Dates: The Vatican Museums by Night program takes place on selected Fridays from April to October. Be sure to check the official Vatican website or contact the Vatican Museums directly for the most up-to-date information on the availability of evening visits.
- Purchase Tickets in Advance: Tickets for the Vatican Museums by Night program are limited and often sell out quickly. It’s recommended to purchase tickets in advance to secure your spot and avoid disappointment.
- Plan Your Time: While the Vatican Museums by Night program provides extended access, keep in mind that you may still need several hours to explore the collections at a leisurely pace. Be mindful of your flight time the next day and plan your visit accordingly to ensure you have enough time to enjoy the experience.
- Dress Appropriately: Just like during regular daytime visits, Vatican Dress code is required when visiting the Vatican at night. Remember to dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees, and avoid wearing revealing clothing.
- Respect the Rules: As with any visit to a religious site, it’s important to respect the rules and regulations of the Vatican, including photography restrictions, no-flash photography in the Sistine Chapel, and respectful behavior towards the artwork and fellow visitors.
😅 Intimidated? Check out my 10 rules for visiting the Vatican post before coming.
🎟️ Looking to buy? Read my post: Where to Buy Tickets for the Vatican
Still Wondering If It’s Possible to Visit the Vatican Museums at Night?
While visiting the Vatican at night is possible through the “Vatican Museums by Night” program, it’s important to plan ahead, purchase tickets in advance, and be mindful of your limited time if you have an early flight the next day.
Keep in mind the dress code and rules of the Vatican, and make the most of your visit by enjoying the unique opportunity to explore the collections after regular closing hours.
Safe travels, and may your visit to the Vatican be a memorable experience! 😊