The Vatican City
Create Your Most Memorable Visit Ever
Tools for Planning
See our most helpful articles on the Vatican from purchasing tickets & tours to what to see once you are inside. The best way to have a positive and memorable visit to the Vatican is to do a little research and find an option you feel is best for you. We recommend tours as they help curate and add depth to your visit that you really can’t get on your own. But our content provides info to help you on a self-guided visit as well, so read on.
The Catholic Church is the oldest running institution in western civilization dating back to the first bishop, or pope, St. Peter himself. According to Catholic dogma and substantial facts, Peter began his papacy around 33 B.C. until his death by the hand of Nero in 64 A.D.
The Vatican started off as a small “cult” surrounding the life and message of Jesus Christ and St. John the Lateran before exploding in Rome and eventually overthrowing paganism with Emperor Constantine the Great.
While the Catholic Church has been long established, the Vatican we know today did not always look like it does now. Much of what you have seen, or will hopefully see, was the product of the Renaissance and the great “builder popes” like Pope Sixtus IV, Alexander VI, Julius II, Paul III, and other ambitious popes of the 16th and 17th centuries.
These Popes were less like the beloved John Paul II and Francis of today. These Popes were ambitious kings of kings who controlled money, power, and influence throughout Europe. They did not have to threaten death to gain control, just damnation to everyone.
Many people criticize these popes for corruption and immorality and they likely would not be wrong. That said, they built the Rome we know today and the Vatican you and millions of people want to visit.
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Top Vatican City Tours
The Tour Guy offers a variety of small group and private tours of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Our tours are the best choice since we have many start times, durations, and group sizes to choose from.
We have a special agreement with the Vatican that lets us offer you exclusive entry times and after-hours access. The Vatican is best seen through the eyes of a passionate local guide. We secure the most exclusive tickets so you can have the best experience possible.
Top Rome Monuments
Trevi Fountain, Rome
Spanish Steps, Rome
St. Peter’s Basilica
Tips For Visiting The Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica
We believe the best way to visit a major attraction is with an expert guide and will recommend that as much as we can. That said, if you are going to try to brave it alone, we still want you to get the most out of your visit. Below you’ll see our best and most-read advice on visiting the Vatican. This way you get the most out of your visit.
10 Things to See Near the Vatican
Castel Sant’Angelo, local markets, underground passageways, and of course the Vatican gardens. Check out what to see and do near the Vatican!
Where to Eat Near the Vatican
Hunger is a feeling stimulated by the brain when it notices you will soon need more calories to go on. Visiting the Vatican will put your brain to work so here are some restaurants nearby – pasta time!
Who Painted the Sistine Chapel
Did you know Michelangelo was not the only person to paint the Sistine Chapel? He also didn’t do it all at once. Read more about the other Renaissance masters who painted the Sistine Chapel and got NONE of the credit!
Planning Your Trip to Europe
Looking for broader guides to give you inspiration on other European destinations? Check out our below pages that will connect you to all our planning advice for your next euro-trip!
Where to Stay in Europe
Location! Location! Location! We have top-notch articles that cover all of Europe’s major destinations. Don’t leave one of your most crucial travel decisions to chance – trust the experts!
Planning Ahead for Europe
It may feel like there are a lot of decisions to make about your next European vacation but it is more simple than it sounds. We break down your choices and make them easy so you can have a trip to look forward too!
Things to do in Europe
Europe has thousands of years of developmental histories. There have been multiple empires, many kings, and prosperous societies that have brought us the attractions you see today.
Latest Vatican City Articles
As the main patrons of the arts for centuries, the papal art collections are impressive and the Vatican Pinacoteca is no exception. Housing artwork by Raphael, Da Vinci, and Caravaggio, among others, art lovers won’t want to miss it. To make things easier for you, here’s our list of must-see art in the Vatican Pinacoteca.…
St. Peter’s Basilica is the most recognizable building inside tiny Vatican City and is worth visiting. The question is, what kind of tour should you take of St. Peter’s Basilica and should you combine it with a Vatican Museums tour? Find out what we recommend as the best tours of St. Peter’s Basilica so you…
The pope’s private chapel might be small, but it’s mighty. From Michelangelo’s iconic ceiling to The Last Judgement, art lovers will be awe-struck! But visiting will take some planning since you can’t just see the Sistine Chapel on its own. In this guide, we share everything you need to know about how to visit the…
How can one see all that Rome has to offer? From Trevi Fountain and the National Rome Museum to the Pantheon and the Colosseum, Rome is an ever-giving city of magnificent works. Let’s look at 19 of Rome’s most iconic art and architecture to make the most of your Rome trip! This article isn’t meant…
Heading to Rome and want to know if all those steps to get to the top of St. Peter’s Dome are worth it? It’s a great question because you’ll undoubtedly work up a sweat even if you take the elevator to see the best view in Rome. Luckily, I’ve done it myself and can paint…
Planning to visit Vatican City and not sure if a guided tour is worth it? In this article, we’ll go over the benefits of a guided Vatican tour so you can decide if it’s worth it and which one’s right for you! Pro Tip: Planning your visit to the Vatican in Rome? Bookmark this post in…
Planning to visit the Vatican but unsure what famous artwork you should see? Don’t worry! We’ve run tens of thousands of Vatican tours, which makes us Vatican experts. Here is what we believe is the most famous artwork that you absolutely must see when visiting the Vatican. Pro Tip: Planning your visit to the Vatican? Bookmark…
Planning to visit the Vatican but unsure what famous artwork you should see? Don’t worry, we are Vatican experts so we have you covered. Here are the most famous sculptures that you absolutely positively should not miss when visiting the Vatican. Pro Tip: Planning your visit to the Vatican? Bookmark this article in your browser so…
Planning to visit the Vatican but unsure what famous artwork you should see? Don’t worry! We’ve run tens of thousands of Vatican tours, which makes us Vatican experts. Here is what we believe are the most famous paintings you absolutely must see when visiting the Vatican Pro Tip: Planning your visit to the Vatican? Bookmark this…
Did you know St. Peter’s Basilica is the biggest Catholic Church in the world? That means there’s a lot to see, but don’t worry—we’re here to guide you through it. In this article, Brandon Shaw, a licensed Vatican tour guide, makes sure you see all the main highlights on your visit to this exquisite basilica.…
Think St. Peter’s Basilica is only for religious visitors? Wrong! For art and history lovers, this is a major bucket-list stop in Rome. Not only does this massive and important church house great works of art, it is one! Its beauty and history will blow your mind. Here’s everything you need to know about how…
Planning your first (or third) trip to Rome? In the Eternal City, there are lots of hidden gems to discover, monuments to explore, and places to experience local life. Deciding what to do can be tough, so we’ve put together this list of the best things to do in Rome, no matter your travel preference.…
Planning a trip to Vatican City and not sure what to see and do in the area? There are definitely no shortages of famous artwork, ancient Roman construction, monuments, and attractions. In this article, we’ll detail what there is to see in and near the Vatican so you can plan the most memorable visit possible.…
Planning to see the Sistine Chapel and want to know more about the masterpieces you’ll be looking at? To help you add depth and meaning to your trip, we detail the top things to see in the Sistine Chapel and why they are so important. Pro Tip: Planning your visit to the Vatican in Rome? Bookmark…