St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksChurches & Cathedrals
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Monday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Saturday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Sunday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
About
Arguably one of the finest Cathedrals in the entire world, St. Peter's is the spiritual center of the Vatican and the product of many of Italy's great Renaissance's architects, among them Bramante, Raphael and Michelangelo.
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Vatican / Borgo
Frocked priests, colorful Swiss Guards, insistent souvenir shop owners, flag-waving tour guides, and pilgrims from around the world. This is the Vatican and Borgo, Rome's most recognized neighbourhood which acts as Vatican City's front yard. Aside from the souvenir boutiques and a few food spots, the only business conducted here is papal. In the daytime, the tiny medieval sector bustles with holy activity, as visitors vie for elbow room, or stand in line for a visit. Once the sun sets, the neighbourhood is transformed into a quiet and picturesque hamlet.
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See what travellers are saying
  • Worlds_of_Wonder
    315 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing and sooo huge/grand that you don't feel the people
    I've been in here 3 times and I'm always astounded by its magnificence. It suffers from the same crowd problem as other areas of the Vatican complex, but it's so big that you don't feel it and you have many opportunities to take pictures. Be sure to visit all parts.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 19 July 2023
  • WillieMacfan
    Healdsburg, California846 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must See and Take your Time
    St. Peter's Basilica is humongous, But wherever you wander, the views are inspiring and beautiful. Be respectful in your attire and keep your voices low. Pictures are ok without flash. I would encourage you to start on the right as you enter and proceed down the right side, cross to the left side near the altar. There is almost always a mass being performed and the seating upfront is roped off for those wishing to attend the mass and then reverse direction on the left side. Review a guide book before visiting to get an idea of the additional areas to visit. This is a religious site but be cautious- we were told of pick pockets in the basilica and one area of concern is to secure your wallet or purse while taking photos.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 July 2023
  • hamm-mmmmm
    Albuquerque, New Mexico72 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don't miss it
    This is a must see. Saw it 50+ year ago. There is a little more to see and the Pieta is now behind plastic. But oh the crowds. Waited in line to get in for close to two hours and there were over a thousand people inside. It is well worth it and the admission is free.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 28 July 2023
  • Depplep
    Florida1,778 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Most Amazing Church In Christendom
    This review is a long time coming. I don't know how I forgot this one. This was a must do on our list as we are Catholic and we tried to get tickets to Mass ahead of time but we never got a response. Our hotel concierge tried as well with no luck. I had heard that once you see St. Peter's Basilica no other church compares. I didn't know that I believed that as we have been to Westminster Abbey and York Minster and were very impressed. The Basilica is overwhelming, but in a good way. There is so much to take in, there is no space left unadorned. From Pope John Paul II's tomb to other various Popes to the Pieta. The Basilica is simply breathtaking and enormous. We didn't climb the stairs to the top of the dome as there are about 300 but you can spend a couple of hours here. There are altars for prayer and candles to light. You simply cannot convey the marvel that is the Basilica from outside in the square as well when you arrive.
    Visited October 2022
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 30 July 2023
  • Will B
    Solihull, United Kingdom54 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating!
    An incredibly fascinating experience. The church is incredibly beautiful and free entry into the basilica makes the trip even more worth it. Staff I spoke with were incredibly helpful and kind. The only problem was within the Popes’ Grottos in which many people were talking despite multiple signs telling people to be absolutely silent as it was a sacred place. Obviously this is not the basilica’s fault, just a small problem which was upsetting to see - especially in such a fascinating place. Overall a great place to visit however.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 August 2023
  • A Conway
    146 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Magnificent 🖤
    Absolutely gorgeous and worth the visit. We didn’t wait too long in the queue which was brilliant. The entry is €3 although you have to pay extra to access certain parts. I would recommend the museum because of the views from the top are just magical.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 August 2023
  • Chelsea R
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing tour by our guide Cosimo!
    We loved our tour. Our guide Cosimo T. was so knowledgeable, had a great sense of humor, and was easy to understand and keep up with. The whole tour is nothing short of amazing views after another, but the details we learned about what we were seeing in real time was top notch.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 August 2023
  • Barjan1
    Gloucestershire, United Kingdom86 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Exceeds expectations
    Beautifully impressive architecture, sculptures and paintings. We went at 5.30pm . There were no crowds and virtually walked straight in. There was a Mass at 6pm which was a moving experience which will never be forgotten. Would absolutely recommend going at this time of time, although it's too late for going up to the roof.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 August 2023
  • JoJ
    London, United Kingdom1,058 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Incredible
    Such an inspiring place. Impossible to comprehend the scale of this incredible church. We booked a guided tour and Vladimir our guide was hugely knowledgeable. Would totally recommend the tour to ensure you capture all the amazing Bernini and Raphael artwork.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 August 2023
  • soinic
    2,620 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Huge and impressive must see place!
    Plan your visit in advance and get some information ahead otherwise you risk to be overwhelmed and miss interesting details. Visit the "Vatican grotto", in fact crypta. You can also visit the top, by foot or elevator (for this you have to pay). No entrance fee for the not to be missed church. During peek times you risk to wait a long time in the burning sun (bring sun cream, water and hat!) before entering through security check (plastik bottles allowed inside, but no glass bottles). Don't be put off if you see a huge crowd waiting because inside is enough space to enjoy visiting this unique place.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 August 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles41,641 reviews
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Sarah C
Huntingdon, UK86 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Solo
For anyone travelling to Rome this is an absolute must. I decided to wake up early and take the stroll up to the Vatican City, it was beautiful watching the sun rise over the city as I headed up there. It’s a stunning building from the outside but nothing prepares you for walking inside. Going early you are part of just a few that has made the trip so you can enjoy everything peacefully without the hassle
Of hundreds of tourists. And I’d recommend heading to the dome, it’s 551 steps of narrow marble stairs that will get anyone’s heart rate going but the view is something else. Panoramic views of the whole city while the morning fog is still lifting made the entire trip, and the aching knees and ankles worth every second!
Written 4 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

paulinemaher1959
Limerick, Ireland12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Solo
I attented Christmas Eve Mass with Pope Francis on 24th December 2019. An occasion that has been long on my Bucket List. It was a wonderful and holy experience and I would recommend it to everyone no matter what your beliefs.
The Basilica itself is so beautiful and so big, the music rebounded off the walls adding to the experience. At the end of the Mass I left feeling I had just truly experienced the meaning of Christmas.
Tickets for this Mass as with all ceremonies at the Vatican are free however to secure a ticket you need to apply for a ticket months before hand. I applied in August 2019.
Apply to the Prefecture of the Papal Household, Vatican City.
Written 6 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Justin B
Blaine, MN145 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Wow. So much wow. Inside and out is breath taking.

We prebooked a tour of the museums, Sistine chapel and St Peters. This is absolutely the way to go. Entrance is on the opposite side of the city from St Peters and with ticket in hand you walk right up. I was here in February and literally walked right in to the metal detector to meet the tour group. Lines at St Peters and lines outside the tour entrance are not your problem with a ticket. Go past the line on the tour side and show a guard and he lets you pass right in.

You can buy the tour on the Vaticans official website and do not need any of the after market options. You also do not need any of the “skip the line” options people charge so much more for. Now, I will remind you I was here in February. Maybe it’s longer or different during the summer months but I am not sure how with the timed tour. The guards won’t let you pass until 30-45 minutes before your tour. I assume that would be consistent year round.

Finally, at the end of the tour, you can remain inside St Peter’s Basilica and explore that as long as you like.
Written 19 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eva K.
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Absolutely stunning!
I recommend you come on Sunday to see the Pope give a small speech from his window at 12pm (my and a fellow traveler tried to see him on Wednesday at 10 but according to one of the guards you only see him Sundays). Do come earlier to choose a spot, as people start arriving an hour before at least.

With Covid restrictions, the crowd isn't as big (about a quarter of the square fills up). Also the entrance to the Basillica is free if you don't want to climb the dome (you must cover your arms and knees. I recommend in the Summer to bring a loose skirt or baggy trousers to wear on top of shorts so you don't have to boil for the rest of the day.)

Inside is definitely the most beautiful church I've ever seen, there are frescos and statues and ceiling paintings. There is also a "secret door" behind St Peter's statue holding the big X cross where you can visit St Peter's tomb and the other popes' tombs too. I went after seeing the Pope, so there was a bit of a crowd.

The shops in the Vatican are cheaper than the center of Rome, I did a fair bit of gift shopping around the area afterward (e.g. stands with beautiful jewelry for 1 euro, and the Vatican post in St Peter's square sells postage stamps for 1.15 a piece rather than 1.60 as I've seen in Rome. I was there also on a Monday morning around 10am and there was no one else, so I dropped my postcards in the box immediately after buying the stamps.)
Written 7 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grizzler56
Southampton, UK23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020 • Couples
We went here on 29sep 2020, we had booked a time for 10am using the omnia card we had bought online (worth buying) we got there at 9.30, hardly any tourists, we we escorted to main entrance straightaway, no waiting. We had bag scanned and temp taken, and then we were in, nothing can prepare you for the sight you get when you walk into the basilica, it is absolutely stunning, it is massive with so many things to look at (we were offered a free guide, but we just wandered around ourselves, with the omnia card you can get a guide you can download onto your phone, you tap the numbers on the little map and it gives you a spoken guide for where you are, handy.
You can go up the dome, which is 551 steps, it is €8 to go up, or €10 to get the lift( we paid €10 we thought it takes you most of the way,it skips 230 steps, you still have to walk up 321 steps) most of them are quite narrow, and some parts you are leaning to the side because of the dome, I have to say I found it quite hard, so if you have any medical issues give this a miss. You get a good view of Rome from top, but you can get a good view from castel sant’ Angelo or from pincio hill,having known now about how bad the steps were I wouldn’t have bothered
The basilica is one of the top places you should visit whilst in Rome, we were lucky we came at the moment as there were hardly any people around
Written 4 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joey86
uk69 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
One of the most beautiful views in the Vatican, but the climb is not for the faint hearted. Entry to the church is free of charge but to climb the dome is €8, or €10 per person if you want to take the lift half way. You can only pay by cash on entry, but also be aware that there were signs to say that they do not accept the Roma tour passes or passes purchased through travel agents.
The climb is over 500steps, or just over 300steps if you take the lift option. The stairway becomes very narrow the higher you climb, and some of the stair case is winding and on a slant which can feel a bit weird. If you are claustrophobic then just be aware that approx the last 50steps are snug to say the least - not too much more than shoulder width room.
The views are absolutely stunning when you reach the top. It was well worth the climb as you won’t get views like this anywhere else in the Vatican.
Written 8 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

clivefield
Harare, Zimbabwe22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
The Basilica is quite literally breath-taking, both inside and out. Too many superlatives for words! The biggest Church, the most amazing paintings and sculptures. The Vatican Guards, the chiming bell, the cupola and the sheer beauty, proportion and scale of the Basilica defy description. Give yourself a full day to explore the cavernous Basicila - it is massive and absolutely overflowing with art and stunning architecture and visual spectacles to quietly savour. And also try to climb the cupola if you can. It is an experience you will never forget. I also recommend you sit in the square in the late afternoon in front of the Basilica for 2 hours and watch the light change as the daylight fades and the night falls and the lights come on on the Basilica. Rome has so many unique and iconic sights, but St Peters Basilica tops them all.
Written 5 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael U
Las Vegas, NV46,371 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Although technically not the Cathedral of Rome, St. Peter's Basilica is arguably one of the finest churches in the world. As the spiritual center of Vatican City this stunning structure harbors not only stunning art but architectural contributions from Raphael and Michelangelo. Capable of holding up to 20,000 worshippers, and free to visit, look for a separate entrance from the Vatican Museums, and for those physically fit enough do consider the supplementary $$$ to ascend to the Cupola di San Pietro.
Written 17 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Morrittaja
Helsinki, Finland46 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
This place is huge! So many halls art (sculptures, paintings and architecture) to marvel at. Be sure to pay the entrance fee of 8 or 10 euros to go up to the cupola and see Rome from up high!

10€ gets you into the elevator line that gets you about 150 steps closer to the top. Unfortunately some 350 steps wait for your demise after that. Can't pay your way to the top here!

8€ on the other hand buys you express line straight to the first steps!

Be aware that this trip to the top takes physique and takes you to pretty confined spaces you can't turn around from. Not for the faint of heart (both figuratively and literally). The way to the cupola goes through the upper level of church interior first. This is the level the elevators stop. Don't worry about this! There's still plenty of stairs to climb from there in the outside!

This is my second favourite sight in Rome right after Coliseum!
Written 13 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Smokie24
Stafford, UK129 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We visited the basilica without a tour. It means queuing but although the queue was quite lengthy (due to security) it did move reasonably quickly.
It was awesome to see the Square whilst queuing, a sight so familiar from news broadcasts.
The basilica itself is beautiful - floors, ceilings, altars and chapels. The height is impressive and the building is so large that it did not feel crowded. Further, there are areas where visitors can choose to pray or sit quietly, where photographs are not allowed.
Definitely to be recommended. The view out over the square on leaving is also iconic, even without the crowds!
Written 6 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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St. Peter's Basilica - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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