Opening Hours of Vatican City

By Om Kumar

Welcome to Vatican City! If you’re considering visiting this lovely city, you should be aware of the opening hours of its many tourist attractions. 

The Vatican City is home to famous landmarks such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel

To make the most of your visit, be sure to familiarize yourself with the operating hours of these attractions. 

Whether you want to explore the artistic gems, attend a Papal Audience, or just relax and soak in the beautiful surroundings of Vatican Gardens.

Knowing the opening hours can help you organize your trip correctly and ensure an unforgettable stay in Vatican City.

Vatican Museum Opening Hours

The Vatican Museum can be visited Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm, with the last admission at 4 pm.

DaysOpening HoursClosing Hours
Monday9 am6 pm
Tuesday9 am6 pm
Wednesday9 am6 pm
Thursday9 am6 pm
Friday9 am6 pm
Saturday9 am6 pm
Sunday (except the last Sunday of every month)ClosedClosed
Last Sunday of every month9 am2 pm

Exceptions to the Opening Hours of the Vatican Museum

Vatican City follows specific operating hours for its museums, but there can be changes depending on the day and month of the year. 

Here are some of the following exceptions:

  • The Vatican Museums will open every Friday and Saturday at 9 am from 14 April till 28 October.

The closing time will be extended to 10.30 pm. 

The last entry will be at 8.30 pm on these days.

  • The Vatican Museum is closed on Sundays except for the final Sunday of each month. 

The museum can be visited from 9 am to 2 pm on the last Sundays, with the last entry at 12.30 pm.

  • Aside from Sundays, the Vatican museums are closed on the Feast of St. Peter and Paul (29 June), Christmas Day (25 December), and Saint Stephen’s Day (26 December).

Vatican Museum Closing time for 2023

Aside from Sundays and a few special occasion holidays, the Vatican Museum will be closed on specific days in 2023. 

Visitors should know these closing dates for a pleasant Vatican trip in 2023. 

  • Sundays (Except the last Sunday of every month) 
  • 1 January 2023 and 6 January 2023 
  • 11 February 2023 and 10 April 2023 
  • 1 May 2023 and 29 June 2023 
  • 15 and 16 August 2023 
  • 1 November and 8, 25, 26 & 31 December 2023

St. Peter Basilica Opening Hours

St. Peter’s Basilica is accessible every day of the year, but the hours of operation differ based on the season: 

  • Winter Season (1 October to 31 March): The Basilica can be visited from 7 am to 6.30 pm. 
  • Summer Season (1 April to 30 September): The Basilica can be visited from 7 am to 7 pm.

Sistine Chapel Opening Hours

The Sistine Chapel has the same hours as the Vatican Museums: 

  • Monday to Saturday: 9 am to 6 pm 
  • Sunday: Closed (except for the last Sunday of each month) 

Last Sunday of the month: 10 am to 2 pm.

Best Time to visit the Vatican City

The best time to visit the Vatican Museums depends on factors like crowd and special events. 

Consider visiting during winter in the early mornings/late afternoons between weekdays for fewer crowds. 

Spring and autumn are also great seasons with fewer tourists around. 

Check the official website of the Vatican for any special events or ceremonies that you might want to attend. 

The Best Month to visit the Vatican

The ideal time to visit the Vatican is during the off-season, which runs from November to February, including the quiet month of March. 

This time of year has fewer visitors and a more polished atmosphere. 

You can explore the area at your own pace around the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.

However, Christmas and New Year’s Week can be an exception to the off-season, as they attract many people. 

If you wish to avoid crowds, it is recommended to avoid the peak season, which begins in April.

The Best Day to visit the Vatican

If you want to attend the Pope’s audience and pray alongside him, Wednesday is the best day. 

Wednesdays are reserved for Papal Audiences at St. Peter’s Square, which can accommodate many visitors. 

However, it is important to know that Wednesdays can be packed due to the huge demand to attend the event. 

If you prefer a less crowded experience, it is recommended to avoid Wednesdays and weekends.

Consider your preferences and objectives when choosing the most suitable day for your visit.


In conclusion, To enjoy a less crowded visit to the Vatican, consider going between November and February, which is the off-time season. 

Avoid going on Mondays, Saturdays, and official holidays because they are usually crowded. 

Because many visitors arrive early in the morning, afternoons are less crowded than mornings. 

To save time and avoid long lines, reserve your Vatican Museum tickets online in advance, especially during the high season. 

Remember that Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s can be packed even during the off-season. 

Planning and choosing the best time to visit the Vatican Museum can make your visit more enjoyable and relaxing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What time does the Vatican Museum open?

The Vatican Museums can be visited from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Saturday, with the last entry at 4 pm. 

It is closed on Sundays, except for the last Sunday of each month, when admission is free, and visitors are welcome.

What are the days when the Vatican museums are closed?

Unless it is the last Sunday of the month, the Vatican Museum remains closed on Sundays. 
Excluding Sundays, The Vatican Museum remains closed on the following holidays: 
– 1 January and 6 January
– 11 February
– 10 April
– 1 May
– 29 June
– 15 August and 16 August
– 1 November
– 8 December, 25 December, 26 December, and 31 December

Is the Vatican open throughout the day?

No, The Vatican Museum is open from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Saturday, with the last entry at 4 pm. 

Can I go to the Vatican Museum at night?

Yes, with the Vatican Night tour Tickets, you can see the Vatican Museum at night. 

The Vatican night tour will allow you to experience the museum in a new light.

Does the Vatican Museums have a specific dress code?

Yes, visitors must dress appropriately to enter the Vatican Museums. 

Both men and women should cover their shoulders and knees

Do the Vatican Museums allow photography inside?

Yes, non-flash photography is permitted in most areas of the Vatican Museums, except in certain sections where photography is restricted. 

However, photography is not permitted in the Sistine Chapel.

Are there any specific opening hours for certain days or seasons?

During holidays or special occasions, special hours may be imposed. 

Check the official website or contact the Vatican Museums for the most up-to-date information.

Where should I buy tickets for the Vatican Museum?

You can buy tickets here (add ticket link)

Are there guided tours available at the Vatican Museums?

Yes, guided tours are available and highly recommended to experience the Vatican Museums’ rich history and art.

Are there any discounts available for visiting the Vatican Museums?

Yes, certain groups, such as students, elders, and children, may be eligible for discounted ticket prices. 

For information on discounts, visiting the official website or asking at the ticket counter is recommended.

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About the author

Om is a passionate wordsmith fueled by an insatiable thirst for adventure and exploration. He strives to immortalize wonders via his writing.