St. Peter’s Basilica 

By Om Kumar

St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City is a popular tourist destination noted for its beautiful artwork and long history. 

It is the Pope’s official home and features impressive architecture and artworks by world-famous artists like Michelangelo and Botticelli. 

Inside St. Peter’s Basilica, you’ll be surrounded by historical pictures visually carved and portrayed on the walls and ceiling. 

The Basilica’s beauty and spiritual aura make it a remarkable and unique experience that concludes your tour of the Vatican Museum

From Michelangelo’s Pietà to the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica dome, each corner contains a treasure.

Let’s explore this majestic masterpiece and learn what makes it so unique.

St. Peter’s Basilica Tickets

St. Peter Basilica is free to enter.  One does not require any ticket to enter this architectural masterpiece. 

However, the areas that you can explore with free entry are limited. 

And you will also have to wait in lines for hours to enter the attraction because many visitors wish to see St. Peter’s Basilica. 

However, the best way to visit the St. Peter Basilica is through the guided tour of the Vatican Museums.

With a Guided Vatican Tour, you can explore Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and access St. Peter’s Basilica while the guide informs you of all relevant details.

These guided tours are St. Peter’s Basilica skip-the-line tickets with priority entrance. 

So right after you finish your tour inside the Vatican Museum, you can get direct entry to the Basilica without waiting in long queues.

Other tickets are also available, giving access to the different areas of St. Peter Basilica. 

Apart from Guided Vatican Tours, other different categories of tickets include early access Vatican Tickets, Private Vatican Tickets and VIP Vatican Tickets.

St. Peter Basilica Ticket Prices

St. Peter Basilica Tickets are available at € 72 for adults above 18 years. 

With this guided tour ticket, you will get access to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel and a professional guide who will guide you inside the Basilica and tell you exciting stories about the attractions. 

Though the prices of tickets may change depending on the inclusions and accessibility of tickets.

The best way to save money on St. Peter Basilica tickets and avoid any last-moment disappointments is to book your tickets online.

What to expect at St. Peter’s Basilica?

St. Peter’s Basilica Rome is an absolute must-visit, offering an unforgettable visit. 

This famous monument represents architectural excellence and has significant historical and religious value. 

Inside St. Peter’s Basilica, you’ll find a fantastic collection of artistic wonders, including Michelangelo’s iconic sculpture, “Pietà,” 

You will also witness a beautiful dome with panoramic views of the neighborhood and a stunning picture of Mary holding Jesus’ body that decorated the St. Peter’s Basilica interior.

The basilica is also said to hold St. Peter’s tomb, which adds to its religious significance.

Top attractions at St. Peter’s Basilica

When you enter St. Peter’s Basilica, you’ll discover a stunning attraction with creative architecture and beautiful walls.

Here are some highlights:

1. Michelangelo’s Pieta:

The Pieta is a famous statue created by Michelangelo. It depicts Jesus in the arms of Mother Mary after he was crucified. 

It is around 6 ft tall and made of marble. The sculpture is called “Pieta” because it symbolizes compassion or pity. 

It is the only piece of art that Michelangelo signed, created in the late 15th century. 

When you enter St. Peter’s Basilica, look to your right and find the first chapel, where you will see the incredible statue. 

It is a must-see for anybody visiting St. Peter’s Basilica because it beautifully and deeply portrays the situation.

2. The Papal Altar:

The Papal Altar

The Papal Altar in St. Peter’s Basilica is a masterpiece designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. 

It took 11 years to complete, and its location is in the middle of the Basilica. 

Four pillars support a baroque-style bronze canopy and sit above the St. Peter’s Basilica altar. 

It is vital since it stands over St. Peter’s tomb, making it the focal point of the church. 

The St. Peter’s Baldacchino and St. Peter’s Chair are two unique features of the Papal Altar. 

The Pope conducts religious rituals and performs Mass here. 

The Papal Altar is an esteemed icon essential to the Catholic Church’s spiritual life.

3. Statue of St. Longinus:

The Statue of St. Longinus, carved by Bernini, can be found in a special gallery in St. Peter’s Basilica. 

The statue is nearly 13 ft tall and portrays St. Longinus, a Roman warrior. He is famous for wounding Jesus with a spear before becoming a Christian. 

You’ll need to look up to see it because it’s in a very high area. 

Inside the St. Peter’s Basilica, the Statue is a lovely and significant work of art that tells a story of development and faith.

4. St. Peter’s Basilica Cupola:

The Dome at St. Peter’s Basilica, constructed by Michelangelo, is one of the world’s largest domes. 

In 1590, Giacomo Della Porta completed it. The dome features six circles with windows, sculptures, and paintings of over 96 individuals. 

To get to the top, climb 231 steps or use the lift. You’ll enjoy beautiful views of the Vatican and Rome from there.

5. The Confessio:

‘Confessio’ refers to St. Peter’s confession of faith, which ultimately led to his crucifixion. 

Carlo Maderno designed this small altar in front of St. Peter’s grave. 

The Confessio is accessible through a stairway and on the same level as the Grottoes. 

A Confessio is said to have existed since the basilica’s construction. 

However, the current form of the altar was established during the era of Clement VIII and mainly during the reign of Paul V.

6. Bronze Statue of St. Peter:

The iconic statue of St. Peter is located near the St. Longinus pillar in St. Peter’s Basilica. 

This old statue, created in the 5th century, is significant. 

It shows St. Peter in a marble chair, holding heaven’s keys in his left hand and lifting his right hand in a blessing gesture. 

Many pilgrims touch and kiss the statue’s worn-out foot. 

The statue is dressed in different attire for St. Peter’s Day on 29 June, and its base is beautifully carved with excellent marble and precious stones.

7. St. Peter’s Tomb:

One of the apostles, St. Peter, was crucified in Caligula’s Circus in 64 CE. 

Following his death, a church was constructed on his burial site atop Vatican Hill. 

This cathedral evolved through time into the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica that we see today. 

In front of St. Peter’s grave, a unique area called the Confessio was built to honor his death. 

The papal altar was built above the tomb, and several popes have been buried below in the Vatican Necropolis.

8. Vatican Grottoes:

Vatican Grottoes

St. Peter’s Basilica is a magnificent church and a resting place for many popes and historical figures. 

You will find over 100 tombs and chapels dedicated to these notable people in the underground area known as the Vatican Grottoes. 

The grottoes are artificial caves with stunning designs, paintings, and inscriptions. 

The Chapel of St. Peter, Christina of Sweden’s tomb, a beautiful marble figure of St. Peter seated on a throne, and Queen Charlotte of Cyprus’s tomb are all notable sights.

St. Peter’s Basilica’s opening hours

Here are the St. Peter’s Basilica hours:

  • April to September: 7 am to 7 pm
  • October to March: 7 am to 6 pm

Best time to visit St. Peter’s Basilica

The ideal months to visit St. Peter’s Basilica are November and January to March when it is less crowded. 

December can be lovely, besides the busy Christmas and New Year’s holidays.  

Visit between 7 am and 9 am to avoid overcrowding.

How to reach St. Peter’s Basilica from Vatican Museum?

Here are the instructions on how to make your way from the Vatican Museums to the St. Peter’s Basilica:

1. Exit the Vatican Museums:

Make your way to the exit after exploring the Vatican Museums. 

If you need directions, ask the museum staff or watch the signs.

2. Proceed to St. Peter’s Square: 

As you leave the Vatican Museums, you’ll be at St. Peter’s Square, a vast open space in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. 

To get to the basilica, follow the crowd or the signs.

3. Walk towards St. Peter’s Basilica: 

From St. Peter’s Square, start heading towards St. Peter’s Basilica. 

The basilica is a popular and easily visible monument, so you can use it as a reference point.

4. Enjoy the walk:

Admire the breathtaking scenery and architecture of Vatican City as you make your way toward St. Peter’s Basilica. 

You can come across statues, fountains, and other places during the walk.

5. Arrive at St. Peter’s Basilica:

After a short walk, you will arrive at the entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica.


In Conclusion, remember to visit St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. 

It’s a mesmerizing blend of art, history, and spirituality that amazes you. 

From Michelangelo’s masterpiece to the underground Grottoes, it’s a memorable experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

When was St. Peter’s Basilica built?

St. Peter’s Basilica was constructed in the 16th century, beginning in 1506 and completed in 1626.

Where is St. Peter’s Basilica?

St. Peter’s Basilica is in the Vatican City, a city-state in Rome, Italy.  

Who designed St. Peter’s Basilica?

St. Peter’s Basilica was mainly designed by notable architects like, Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, among others.

How big is St. Peter’s Basilica?

St. Peter’s Basilica is an architectural masterpiece, measuring 218 meters in length, 136 meters in height (including the dome), and covering an area of 23,000 square meters.

What is the location of St. Peter’s Basilica?

The address of St. Peter’s Basilica is Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City.

How long did it take to build St. Peter’s Basilica?

The construction of St. Peter’s Basilica began in 1506 and was completed in 1626, taking approximately 120 years.

Is St. Peter’s Basilica open all day?

St. Peter’s Basilica is usually open from early morning till sunset, allowing tourists to appreciate its magnificence throughout the day.

The timings are –
April to September: 7 am to 7 pm
October to March: 7 am to 6 pm

However, it is best to verify the timings online closer to your day of visit

What are St. Peter’s Basilica mass times?

The mass times at St. Peter’s Basilica vary.

However, there are usually regular masses held throughout the day. 

However, it is best to verify the timings online closer to your day of visit. 

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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.