Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Rome, Italy
Kirker Holidays

The Vatican Museums are the public museums of Vatican City. Founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century, they display works from the vast collection amassed by the Catholic Church and the papacy, including some of the most well-known Ancient Roman sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The museums contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display.

The Sistine Chapel’s magnificent ceiling, completed by Michelangelo in 1512, and the Last Judgement behind the altar, have now been restored to their former splendour after extensive work. The galleries leading to the Chapel are light and airy, full of treasures and have a great view of the Vatican gardens. Allow plenty of time to visit the Raphael Rooms and Loggia, including the famous School of Athens in the Stanza della Segatura as well as the exquisite marble sculptures of Laocoön and His Sons, Apollo Belvedere and the Belvedere Torso.

Timed entrance tickets must be pre-booked at any time of year and the peak summer months can be particularly busy. All Kirker clients travelling to Rome are offered complimentary timed entrance tickets to either the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel or the Villa Borghese – a voucher will be included with your travel documents which is to be exchanged for real tickets on the day. A private guide for a personalised tour, although expensive, is the most rewarding way to fully appreciate all that the Vatican has to offer. Please contact the Kirker Concierge for further details, or to pre-book tickets if they are not already included in your holiday.

Please note that the main entrance to the museums is on the north side of the complex. The nearest Metro is Ottoviano or Cipro which are both a 10-minute walk away. If getting a taxi there, ask to be dropped off at ‘Ingresso Musei Vaticani’ on Viale Vaticano.

It is open from Monday to Saturday 08:00 – 18:00, last entrance at 16:00. Closed religious holidays and Sundays, except the last Sunday in each month when admission is free (09:00 – 12:30). To beat the worst of the crowds, it is advisable to visit the museums first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon.

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