We urge you to do a little homework and decide what you want to see at the
Vatican Museums before
your visit. From the comfort of your home, you can take one of several, detailed
tours courtesy of the official Vatican
Although many combine a visit to the Museums with an exploration of
Peter’s Basilica and the Piazza San Pietro, doing so makes for a lot of
walking. The “new” entrance to the Museums is at the north end of the
Vatican and cannot be reached directly from St. Peter’s. Instead, you must
St. Peter's Square and follow the Vatican Walls for what is a relatively long
walk to the north.
Many visitors prefer to tour the Vatican Museums as a separate exploration, since
there are so many unique treasures in the Museum complex. If you
make this choice you can take the underground, buses or a taxi to reach
the entrance from your hotel.
yourself a favor and buy your tickets in advance, if you have not arranged a
tour. You can do so from the
Vatican website or from resellers and tour companies. Buying your
ticket in advance means that you will not have to wait in line to buy
tickets, which can take quite a bit of time. See this page at the
Vatican’s website for information on visiting the
During their over five-hundred years of existence, the Vatican Museums have
grown, mutated, merged and, then, been reformulated. Today’s incarnation
modest collection of museums, but
the majority of visits are focused on the frescoes and other artistic
efforts that can be found in the Vatican Palaces, which include
Michelangelo’s triumph, the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s Rooms (Raphael's Stanze)
and the glorious Borgia Apartments. Other popular attractions include the Pinocoteca
(paintings), the Gregorian Egyptian Museum, the Gregorian Etruscan Museum
and the Classical Antiquities Museum with its exotic sculptures.
the curious, there are mini-museums focused on Christianity, the Vatican,
Ceramics, Tapestry, Ethnography, Missionary work and other subjects.
Almost everywhere you look, there is something unique, beautiful or just
plain interesting that demands your attention, so choose wisely, by
preparing before you visit. In the next page of our guide to the Vatican Museums we provide a taste of what you
will see during your visit,
but leave other discoveries to you.
We recommend visiting the
Sistine Chapel, Raphael's Rooms, The Pinacoteca,
The Gregorian Egyptian Museum, The Gregorian Etruscan Museum, and the Map
Room. You can find photographs and descriptions of these treasures on the
of our Guide to the Vatican Museums.
Next - Highlights
of the Vatican Museums
Return to the Best Places to Visit in the Vatican
Or - Return to our
Rome Travel Guide Home Page
Return to Best Places to Visit in Italy
If you need information about another travel destination, try
Destination Guide Index or Googling ThereArePlaces.