There are many awesome things to do and places to visit in Vatican City. The city-state of Vatican City is surrounded by Rome and is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.
This place is also home to some of the world’s most iconic architecture and art. This is where the Pope lives and works. You can explore the museums, which house Renaissance frescoes and ancient Roman sculptures.
If you are a history buff, you will definitely enjoy the architecture of the Vatican City. You will be amazed at how beautifully the building was designed and constructed. There are countless sculptures to admire, and the ceiling of the Vatican Basilica depicts Old Testament stories.
You will also find frescoes from world-renowned artists. One of the most interesting and famous sites of the city is the Bernini Square, which was started in 1656. The facade of St. Peter’s Basilica is a must-see, as is the obelisk, a famous monument in Rome.
You can visit the Vatican without having a visa if you are a Catholic, but you should still observe the dress code. No revealing clothing is allowed inside the Vatican, but you should wear something that covers your shoulders, such as a scarf.
You can also wear sandals, but flip-flops are inappropriate. You also cannot wear hats on your head or shoulders, as they are considered too informal. Food and metal tools are not allowed, and you should not bring them into the buildings.
In Vatican City you can learn all about the Catholic faith and visit some of the most famous churches and monuments in the world. If you’re planning to visit the Vatican, here are some things to know before you go.
The Vatican City is one of the most sacred places in all of Christendom. It is the home of the tomb of the apostle Saint Peter and is the primary center for pilgrimage. Today, you can see many examples of Renaissance and Baroque art in the city. In fact, it was the first place where the Catholic Church adopted its modern name, which is “Status Civitatis Vaticanae.”
The Vatican has telephones, a postal service, a pharmacy, and a radio station. Since the 5th century, it has been inhabited by people from different countries. It has its own post office, astronomical observatory, and bank, and has its own astronomical observatory. It also has its own telegraph, radio, and postal system.
In addition, the Vatican has a Swiss Guards unit that protects the pope and his family. The Italian government hopes to decrease the role of the pope, but the pope is still considered a world leader.
The Vatican Museums are a must-see for any visitor. Founded in the early 16th century by Pope Julius II, they contain a wide range of artwork. From ancient busts to Etruscan bronzes, the museum is a treasure trove. The collection is huge, including works by Michelangelo. The Octagonal Courtyard is a beautiful open-air space that will captivate you.
Now let me share the list of the places and things you should not while visiting Vatican City.
12 Best Places to visit in Vatican City
- Vatican Necropolis
- Vatican Library
- Vatican Gardens
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- Sistine Chapel
- Piazza San Pietro
- Museo Pio Clementino
- Museo Chiaramonti
- La Pietà
- Gregorian Etruscan Museum
- Collection of Modern Religious Art
The Vatican Necropolis is a subterranean cemetery located under Vatican City, approximately five to twelve metres below Saint Peter’s Basilica. The site was discovered in the 1940s and 1949 through archaeological excavations sponsored by the Catholic Church.
During these excavations, part of the Imperial necropolis was uncovered. A portion of the necropolis lies below the Saint Peter’s Basilica.
Guests are allowed to visit the Necropolis, but are not allowed to take photographs. Individual tour groups of around 12 people are limited to a maximum of 250 visitors per day.
It is recommended to book tickets in advance to avoid long lines. You can also purchase skip-the-line tickets in advance to avoid the long lines. For more information, visit the Vatican Necropolis website. You can also buy tickets for a guided tour at the Vatican Museums and learn more about the Roman Catholic Church.
The Vatican Necropolis is one of the fascinating places to visit in Vatican City. The entrance to the Necropolis is through a side entrance on the south side of Saint Peter’s, which is different than the upper levels of the basilica.
The Vatican Library is one of the best places to visit in Vatican City. The library is a historic site and is located within the Vatican City.
Sixtus IV, Pope from 1471 to 1484, was the first pope to establish the Vatican Library. In 1475, he appointed Giovanni Andrea Bussi, the first official librarian, and hired Bartolomeo Platina as the library’s director.
During this time, the Pope also established a film library. The films were produced by the Vatican to promote art, architecture, and culture. This was the beginning of the modern Vatican Library.
The Vatican Library holds a small but valuable collections. The collections date from the eighteenth century to the present and are only accessible to those who are authorized to view them. This is due to the fact that access to the archive is restricted to a select group of people.
Only professional researchers, university professors, and graduate students are allowed to see these documents. The collection is kept strictly confidential, so if you are a researcher, you should have a proper research proposal.
The Vatican City’s Gardens, also known as Vatican Garden, are a major tourist attraction in the entire country. These beautiful and lush parks cover more than half the territory. The Pope owns the whole area, so it is only right for tourists to visit and explore it.
These gardens have many attractions, including the largest tulip house in the world. Visitors to the Gardens will be delighted by the lush, colorful flowers and colorful trees that line the pathways.
The Vatican Gardens are a 23-hectare oasis that is well manicured. There is an impressive view of St. Peter’s Basilica from here. There are special tours available, but most visitors stay for a few hours to see it all.
The gardens are an excellent way to get a taste of history while touring this unique city. You can even take a boat trip around the island and admire the beautiful view of St. Peter’s Basilica.
The gardens were originally designed by Pope Nicholas III in 1279. The gardens were planted with an orchard, garden, and lawn. In the sixteenth century, under Pope Julius II, the Vatican changed the entire look of the garden.
The Italian architect Donato Bramante redesigned the gardens, making them more spacious and elegant. The grounds have three Renaissance styles. The tallest point is 60 meters high and features a rectangular labyrinth. The Vatican Gardens are considered the smallest government in the world, so only visitors are allowed.
The green Vatican Garden is home to more than one hundred statues of Mary. Sculptures and fountains can be found throughout. The Pope’s Tower is the most recognizable feature of the gardens.
If you’re a history buff, you can visit Saint Peter’s Basilica, the largest and most important church in the Vatican. The Saint Peter’s Basilica is a very famous church and counted as one of the best places to visit in Vatican City. It was constructed in the Renaissance style and is considered to be one of the best in the world. The neo-Renaissance structure is one of the most beautiful in the world.
The church is one of the largest and most famous in the city and is an important part of the Vatican. Visiting the basilica is a must for any visitor to Rome.
Visitors to St. Peter’s Basilica can take in a number of important religious events. Masses are held here throughout the day, and confessions are conducted there nearly every hour. You can also attend a wedding, a funeral, or an ordination ceremony here.
Throughout the year, the Basilica is the location of many ceremonial events. The Basilica has hosted two solemn ecumenical councils, canonizations, and elevations to the College of Cardinals.
The interior of St. Peter’s Basilica is richly decorated, with tombs of notable people and sculptures. Michelangelo’s Pieta can be found here. The baldachin, a canopy that covers the Papal Altar, is another highlight. A sculptural ensemble with 95 bronze lamps is found near the apse.
List of best places to visit in Vatican City is incomplete without mentioning The Sistine Chapel. It is located in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City, and was originally known as the Cappella Magna. The chapel took its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who built it between 1473 and 1481.
This magnificent building is a must-see attraction for visitors to the city. While there, be sure to view all of the treasures. After visiting the Sistine, you can learn more about the Catholic religion and its rites.
The Sistine chapel’s ceiling is a spectacular masterpiece. Painted between 1508 and 1512, the ceiling’s design changed the course of Western art, and is considered one of the greatest achievements of human civilization.
After the Sack of Rome, Michelangelo returned to Rome and painted several other works, including the Last Judgment. Today, Michelangelo’s masterpieces have brought millions of visitors to the chapel since it was constructed five hundred years ago.
The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is 40.9 metres long and fourteen metres wide. It is more than a dozen metres high, and the vault is highly elaborate. Michelangelo’s work is still awe-inspiring, and the chapel is an amazing sight to see.
However, it may be difficult to appreciate all of its details. There is an impressively detailed ceiling, so it’s important to know what to look for.
The Pinacoteca is a gallery located in Rome, Italy. It was founded by Pope Pius VI in 1797 and has been housed at the current gallery since 1932.
The Pinacoteca is one of the most famous art galleries in the world, but not the most accessible. Its security measures have halted public access to the gallery, and its doors remain closed for the time being.
However, the Pinacoteca is a cultural institution, and the public’s experience of the collections is important to the museum. Its goal is to promote artistic production and to preserve its holdings.
The museum’s collections include a great selection of Italian religious paintings, as well as Russian and Byzantine works. The collections are divided into five divisions. Read on to discover more about each one. Listed below are a few highlights from the gallery.
The Pinacoteca presents over 30 exhibitions each year. The museum has two floors, the first floor receives temporary exhibitions, and the second floor hosts permanent exhibits from the collection.
The central area is home to the Contemporary Art Octagon Project, which has pieces from contemporary artists from around the world. The ground floor houses technical facilities, an auditorium, a restaurant, and a shop. It also contains the Tactile Gallery, which features 12 art works mounted for tactile appreciation.
The Tactile Gallery is dedicated to visitors with visual disabilities and provides information in braille. It is a fantastic resource for art lovers. It is a must-see. You won’t regret it. The Pinacoteca is a great place to see works by modern and contemporary artists.
In addition to its permanent collections, the Pinacoteca presents many rotating exhibitions. Its annual report provides information about the museum’s collection, and shows dialogues, re-exhibitions, and the organization’s activities.
In the Vatican City, Piazza San Peter is a large plaza in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. The square is west of the Borgo neighborhood and is named after the apostle of Jesus, who is also considered the first Pope. To many visitors, this is the heart of the city and among the best places to visit in Vatican City.
The centerpiece of the piazza is the red obelisk, which stands 83′ high. Known as the ‘witness,’ this obelisk was said to be standing at the time of Saint Peter’s crucifixion. The obelisk is also 132 feet tall and was originally built in Heliopolis, Egypt.
It stood in the Julian Forum of Alexandra until Caligula moved it to Rome. Then, in 1586, Pope Sixtus V commissioned an engineer to raise the monument.
The obelisk was commissioned in 1657 by Pope Sisto IV, who wanted the piazza to be wider and more spacious. The obelisk took four months to move, and hundreds of men were needed to do it.
The obelisk is a reminder of the rebirth of Christ. The obelisk is a symbol of the Catholic Church, and the Catholic faithful around the world will gather here to pray.
The Pio Clementino Museum is named after two popes. The first was Clement XIV Ganganelli, who was pope from 1769 to 1774. The second pope, Pius VI Braschi, was elected in 1799 and is the one responsible for the museum’s name.
Located in Vatican City, the Museo Pio Clementino is a must-visit for those who want to learn about ancient Greek and Roman sculptures. Here inside the museum Visitors can even see the remains of ancient Greek and Roman emperors.
The collection at the museum is huge, filling several large exhibition halls. It was built adjacent to the Belvedere Palace of Innocent VIII, which was later demolished. The sculptural works in this museum have been restored and many of the missing pieces have been preserved.
The museum is free of charge, and the collections include sculptures dating from the third and fourth centuries B.C. The collections of the museum grew during the reigns of Pope Clemens XIV and Pope Pius VI.
The Chiaramonti Museum was founded in 1805 and was named for Pope Pius VII. It has three galleries and contains a collection of sculptures. The three galleries include the Lapidary Gallery, the Braccio Nuovo Gallery, and the Gallery of Ancient Art.
The collections of this museum include Roman and Renaissance sculptures and important Renaissance artwork. For this reason, Museo Chiaramonti is a must-see for those visiting Rome.
The museum is a great place to explore the history of Rome. It is filled with fascinating artifacts that can help you understand how Rome was once a prosperous city. The Galleria Lapidaria features more than 3,000 stone tablets and inscriptions, which are accessible only with special permission.
While the exhibitions at Museo Chiaramonti are vast and informative, the Galleria Lapidaria is a special treat for those interested in history and culture.
You can also walk along the grand loggia lined with classical statues. You can also see Roman busts and friezes. This is the only museum in Italy with a collection of this kind. In addition to its great classical sculptures, Museo Chiaramonti also houses a large number of modern works.
10. La Pietà
The Pietà is a masterpiece by Michelangelo Buonarroti, and is located in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The artist commissioned this masterpiece for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, who was then the French ambassador in Rome.
The artist created many works on the theme, including the Mona Lisa. In addition to the Pietà, Buonarroti created other pieces for the Pope and other prominent men of the church.
In 1964, the Vatican lent the Pieta to the New York World’s Fair. There, people waited for hours to see this beautiful work of art. It was so popular that the sculpture was accessible via conveyor belt.
After the World’s Fair, however, the Pieta returned to the Vatican. This is one of the most famous paintings in the world. And if you’ve ever wondered why this painting is so popular, here’s what you need to know about it.
Like the Lamentation, the Pieta is a timeless piece of art. Its meditative and reflective character is accentuated by the simple yet elegant shapes. While Lamentation focuses on a specific scene in Christ’s Passion, the Pieta is timeless.
The Gregorian Etruscan Museum is a cultural center in Vatican. Founded in 1837, the museum features an extensive collection of objects from southern Etruria and Hellenized Italy, as well as artifacts from the Roman and Greek eras.
The Gregorian Etruscan Museum has a wide range of items, including Greek and Egyptian vases. You can view some of these pieces in Hall XXII, which displays the museum’s collections of Greek and Etruscan ceramics.
The Regolini Galassi tomb is housed in Room II. There are also numerous collections of gold jewelry, including works by Etruscan goldsmiths exhibited throughout the ten centuries. The Gregorian Epruscan Museum also showcases rare, unique works of art.
The museums collection includes a number of famous pieces, including the Sarcophagus of the Spouses, which is a sixth century BC terracotta statue. Other exhibits include the Apollo of Veii, which is a famous astronomical instrument used by the Secretary of State of the Vatican in the 6th century.
The Maurizio Sannibale, who is responsible for the museum’s Etruscan-Italian antiquities department, studied archaeology at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in both cases.
Maurizio Sannibale holds a correspondent fellow status with the National Institute for Etruscan and Italic Studies in Florence, and is an effective member of the Pontifical Roman Academy of Archaeology.
A visit to the museum’s collection is free, but admission is required. This museum gets included in the list of most popular places to visit in Vatican City.
The Collection of Modern Religious Art at the Vatican Museums consists of paintings, graphic art, sculptures, and more. It is an excellent place to get a taste of contemporary religious art.
The Collection of Modern Religious Art has more than eight hundred works by over 250 renowned artists. This includes works by Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Gauguin, and Alice Lok Cahana.
The museum also includes work by Wassily Kandinsky and Ernst Barlach. You can even visit some of the other religious art museums in the city. The collections of the Museums of Ancient and Modern Religion are a must-see.
It is an excellent way to get acquainted with some of the most significant artwork of the twentieth century. Here, you can also see the works of many artists, including Pablo Picasso and Gustav Klimt. This exhibit features works from the early twentieth century.
In addition to the collection of old and contemporary religious art, this museum also has works by several famous artists. It contains works by renowned artists, including renowned Italian painter Mario Ferrazza.
The Collection of Modern Religious Art is a great place to find religious art and learn about its history. This museum is a must-visit destination for those interested in contemporary art. Its extensive display of Christian and Catholic works of art will leave you wanting more.
Once you’re done visting the above mentioned places, it’s time to move on to the rest of the city. I am sure you can explore that by yourself without any problem.
To get some visual Experience watch this video.
Frequently Asked Questions about Vatican City.
There are many questions flooding throughout the internet about Vatican City. Here I tried to answer few of those.
How to reach Vatican City?
You can reach Vatican city easily by public transports like train, metro or bus.
By train, the nearest station is St Pietro. From the station you can visit St. Peter’s Square by 10-minutes of walk. Taxi service is available from there.
Two nearest metro stations are the Ottaviano and Cipro. Vatican Museum is situated in walking distance from these metro stations. Metro tickets can be purchased from the metro stations.
By bus you need to reach Piazza Stazione S. Pietro bus stop from anywhere within the city. It is about a 15-minute walk to reach Vatican Museum.
If you are travelling from any international location, the nearest Airport to Vatican city will be Rome Ciampino (CIA) Airport which is about 16 kilometer away.
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Where to stay in Vatican City ?
It will be very easy for you to commute within the city if you stay near to St. Peter’s Basilica area.
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What is best time to visit Vatican City?
You can visit any time throughout the year, but you have to be choosy about scheduling the day. Let me tell you why
On every Saturday and Sunday Rome receives the highest amount of visitors from various regions of Italy and Europe and Vatican Museums stay closed on Sundays and Mondays. Except the last Sunday of every month.
So to avoid huge crowd never plan to visit on Saturday or last Sunday of every month. You can also plan your visit from the month of April to October, especially on Friday nights, as the museum is not as crowded.