Destination advisory & guidelines during Covid-19
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Sistine Chapel Tickets

Embark on a centuries-old pilgrimage to the crown jewel of the Vatican Museums with a Sistine Chapel tour! As you wind your way through the countless galleries filled with priceless art and artefacts, you can feel the buzz of anticipation from those around you. The goal for everyone is to lay eyes on Michelangelo’s most popular masterpiece, causing some to rush through an otherwise intriguing museum visit. Indeed, Michelangelo is on the mind of every visitor to the Vatican Museums. One cannot think of the Sistine Chapel without thinking about the famous, rebellious artist, and vice versa. So, put on some comfortable shoes because it’s about a two-hour walk through history before you reach La Capella Sistina and the lifework of a Renaissance master!

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Our tips for Sistine Chapel

  • Fashionably late. The Sistine Chapel draws quite a crowd. Try visiting during the mid to late afternoon to avoid feeling like herded cattle. Another option is booking the first tour of the morning when the chapel will be almost empty.
  • Stay just a little bit longer. Due to the crowds, it’s common to feel pressured to breeze through the Sistine Chapel. But, for most, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Michelangelo’s work. So, fight the urge to flee and stick it out as long as you can.
  • Paparazzi Protection. You can’t take photos inside the Sistine Chapel. So, as much as you’d like to snap a shot for posterity’s sake, please keep your camera holstered

Good to know

Best time to visit
Vatican City is one of the hottest travel destinations in Europe, both literally and figuratively speaking. If you’d like to avoid having your shoes melt into the asphalt, consider visiting the Sistine Chapel in late spring or early fall. Then, there’s the question of which day to plan a visit. The Sistine Chapel is closed on all Sundays except the last Sunday of the month. Wednesdays are to be avoided due to the Papal Audience. Friday and Saturday are understandably hectic. That leaves Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays as your best bets. But remember that there really is no best day to see the Sistine Chapel.
Getting there
Getting to the Vatican Museum is rather easy, on paper. If you don’t take a taxi, simply take Line A (the Orange line) to the Cipro-Musei Vaticani station. Of course, that’s just on paper. In reality, if you come during a busy time, prepare to muscle your way onto the metro. If you find it difficult to get on the train, the local police will give you a “helpful” shove in the back. Try not to react poorly. Otherwise, take one of the several bus lines and walk a short distance. But, keep in mind that bus line 49 is the only line that stops directly in front of the Vatican Museums’ entrance.
Money saving tips
Low on cash? No problem! If you consider yourself a rather brave person, try going to the Sistine Chapel on the last Sunday of any given month. Admission is free, but comes with a price. And, understandably, that price is crowds. Still, if you are willing to bump into a few fellow tourists, free entry represents a substantial savings.
Did you know?
Impress your friends by spouting off these Sistine Chapel factoids!
  • Contrary to popular belief, Michelangelo did not paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel while lying down. Instead, he stood on scaffolding he designed himself.
  • Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam contradicts the literal interpretation of Genesis because Adam is depicted as having a navel, just like the rest of us.
  • Many people believe Michelangelo intentionally created the shape of a human brain by careful placement of the angels and fabric surrounding God in The Creation of Adam. Supposedly, it depicts God bestowing intelligence on mankind.
  • Twentieth century restorations to Michelangelo’s frescos removed the fig leaves covering most of the nudes, restoring them back to Michelangelo’s original vision.

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