About the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Comprised of 54 different galleries ("sale"), the Vatican Museum complex is home to the immense art collection of the Catholic Church, built up over the centuries by the papacy. The collection includes renowned pieces of ancient Roman sculpture and spectacular examples of Renaissance art, including Michelangelo's famous frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.

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History of the Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums were established in February 1506 after Pope Julius II heard of a marble sculpture discovered in a vineyard near the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. He sent the artist-architect-sculptor-engineers Giuliano da Sangallo and Michelangelo Buonarroti to see the sculpture, which they quickly recommended he purchase from the vintner. The scultpure, now known as Laocoön and His Sons, depicts the Trojan priest Laocoön and his two sons being attacked by giant serpents. It was probably sculpted between 27 BC and 68 AD.

What You'll See

Your entry ticket gives you the ability to explore the Vatican Museums at your own pace. There are 54 galleries ("sale") to explore, among them The Raphael Rooms, Gregorian Etruscan Museum, Gallery of Maps, Lapidary Gallery and of course, the Sistine Chapel. There are over 70,000 works of art on display, including pieces by Renaissance greats such as Raphael, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Bernini, and da Vinci.

Ticket Redemption Instructions

After booking from this website, a link to your Vatican entry ticket will be sent to you via email. Please download this and save it to your device or print it. On the day of your booked visit, display it at the Vatican Museums entrance to gain entry. If you do not download your Vatican entry ticket, you must see a Big Bus Tours staff member at our Termini Station stop (kiosk in Piazza Cinquecento, the forecourt outside the main entrance to Termini Station) to pick up your ticket at least 2 hours ahead of your booked Vatican entry time.

Important Information

The Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays. A dress-code applies - please ensure knees and shoulders are covered. Comfortable shoes are recommended. Those with a disability (and their carer or companion) go free of charge with a certificate of disability. Children aged 6–17 enter free or at reduced price with valid photo ID. Food, beverages, cigarettes and vapes are not permitted. Luggage and large objects must be stored in the cloakrooms. Mobile phones and photography are prohibited in the Sistine Chapel. All visitors must pass through airport-style security. During high season the wait at security may be up to 30 minutes, with the complex particularly busy in June, July & August.