How Long to Visit the Vatican? - Rome Hacks
Written by Ash

How Long to Visit the Vatican?


Here’s another of the most common questions I get: how long to visit the Vatican?

Well, the answer can be as simple as your interest in the monuments, as well as your own personal religious attachment to the place.

Let’s break down a typical visit in hours so you can figure how out how long to stay at the Vatican.

How Long to Visit the Vatican?

In short, I’d plan to dedicate a minimum of 4-6 hours for a comprehensive visit to the Vatican Museums.

This timeframe allows you to cover the main highlights and have a fulfilling experience without feeling rushed.

Here’s a suggested itinerary for your visit including many of the top things to see at the Vatican:

Vatican Museums (2-3 hours)

Start your visit at the Vatican Museums, which house an extensive collection of art and artifacts from various time periods and regions.

While it’s impossible to see everything in detail, you can focus on the must-see highlights such as the Sistine Chapel, the Gallery of Maps, and the Raphael Rooms.

Whatever you do, ensure you book your tickets in advance online (buttons below) or you’ll be waiting in huge lines, especially in summer.

Skip The Line, Last Minute Tickets

You should also consider taking a guided tour of the Vatican museums to make the most of your time:

Book Vatican Museum
guided tours

St. Peter’s Basilica (1-2 hours)

After exiting the Vatican Museums, make your way to St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world.

Spend time admiring the grandeur of the basilica, including Michelangelo’s Pietà and Bernini’s Baldachin.

You can also take the time to explore the various chapels, statues, and artwork within the basilica.

Book St.Peter Basilica
guided tours

St. Peter’s Square (30 minutes to 1 hour)

As you exit St. Peter’s Basilica, take a stroll in St. Peter’s Square, an iconic piazza known for its unique colonnades and central obelisk.

Take in the panoramic view of the basilica and the Vatican City from the square, and appreciate the significance of this historic site.

👍 Pro tipBest Days to Visit the Vatican

Optional: Vatican Gardens or Dome Climb (1-2 hours)

If time allows and you’re interested in exploring more, you can consider visiting the Vatican Gardens or climbing to the top of the dome for panoramic views of Rome.

Keep in mind that these are optional activities and may require additional time.

Vatican Garden Guided tour

It’s important to note that the suggested timeframe may vary depending on factors such as crowd levels, personal interests, and pace of exploration.

Be sure to allocate additional time for breaks, rest, and refreshments.

Also, keep in mind that the Vatican is a religious site, and you should be following the Vatican dress code.

A little nervous? Follow my 10 rules to visit the Vatican and you’ll be fine 😊

🎟️ Looking to buy? Read my post: Where to Buy Tickets for the Vatican

Still Wondering How Much Time to Spend at the Vatican?

Again, to have a comprehensive visit to the Vatican as a typical tourist, plan to dedicate a minimum of 4-6 hours.

This allows you to cover the main highlights, including the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, and St. Peter’s Square.

If you’re still unsure on how much time to spend, write me in the comments below and I’ll help you craft a custom itinerary!

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