Saint Peter’s Basilica

Saint Peter’s Basilica tickets and tours

Italy

Things to do in Saint Peter’s Basilica

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The magnificent Saint Peter’s Basilica, located in Vatican City in Rome, is one of the largest Catholic churches in the world and is considered an iconic symbol of the city and the heart of Christianity. The combined work of Bramante, Michelangelo, Maderno and Bernini among others, the church overflows with Renaissance beauty and is a must-see for anyone visiting Rome.

Built on the tomb of Saint Peter and the remains of a 4th century church, Pope Julius II commissioned Bramante to build a new basilica in 1506. After Bramante died in 1514, construction stalled and he was succeeded by a number of different architects, all of whom made changes to the design. Most notably was Michelangelo, who took over in 1547 at the age of 72; he didn’t live to see its completion. It fell to Giacomo della Porta and Domenico Fontana to oversee the dome’s construction and Carlo Maderno to finish the project who completed the main facade in 1615.

Beyond its imposing architecture, it is also well worth a visit for its stunning interior features and masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque art. Don’t miss Bernini’s enormous Baldachin (canopy), which hangs over the main altar and is one of the heaviest bronze objects in the world. The cathedral is also home to Michelangelo’s famed Pieta, sculpted when the artist was just twenty-four.

Visit the Vatican Grottos, a necropolis below the nave where you will find the graves of more than one hundred popes. You can also climb to the top of the dome for an additional fee and experience magnificent views over Rome from the viewing platform.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome, Saint Peter’s Basilica receives thousands of visitors and pilgrims per day, so it is advisable to book ahead with a guided tour. Saint Peter’s Basilica is within walking distance to many of the other popular tourist attractions in Vatican City such as the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, so a combined tour is a popular option.

Dress code for entry into Saint Peter’s Basilica is strict and is reinforced by security so don’t be caught out when visiting. Men must wear long trousers and cover their shoulders and women must not have either bare shoulders or skirts shorter than knee length.

Saint Peters Basilica is open daily from 7am to 7pm April to September and 7am to 6pm October to March. It is advisable to visit early in the morning before the crowds arrive or book skip the line tickets as the line for security can be long. It is accessible by foot from many points in the city or via public transport. The nearest subway stop is Ottaviano-S. Pietro station and all hop on hop off buses stop at Vatican City.

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Experiences in Saint Peter’s Basilica

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Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel small-group tour with a local guide
Must see
Attractions & guided tours

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel small-group tour with a local guide

Book here for a small group tour of the Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Take advantage of a local guide and skip-the-line entrance.

free cancellation
Duration 3 hours
Available in:

en, it 

Reserved entrance and guided tour of Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
Likely to sell out
Attractions & guided tours

Reserved entrance and guided tour of Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Benefit from reserved access to admire the beautiful Vatican Museums and visit the greatest attractions in Rome, the Sistine Chapel.

free cancellation
Flexible
Available in:

en, it, fr, es, de, +2  pt, ru

Skip-the-line entrance to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
Likely to sell out
Attractions & guided tours

Skip-the-line entrance to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Benefit from skip-the-line access to admire the beautiful Vatican Museums and visit the greatest attractions in Rome, the Sistine Chapel.

free cancellation
Flexible
Instant Confirmation
St. Peter's Basilica guided tour
Attractions & guided tours

St. Peter's Basilica guided tour

Book your visit to St. Peter's Basilica with priority access and an official guide: avoid long queues and discover the masterpieces of Michelangelo and Bernini.

free cancellation
Duration up to 1 hour
Available in:

en, it, fr, es, de 

Complete skip-the-line Vatican tour for small groups
Attractions & guided tours

Complete skip-the-line Vatican tour for small groups

Book the ultimate Vatican experience with express access to the museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's and a full guided tour led by a Vatican expert.

free cancellation
Flexible
Available in:

en 

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine tour with Vatican Museums upgrade
Attractions & guided tours

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine tour with Vatican Museums upgrade

Visit the Vatican and the Colosseum in this day tour of Rome. Discover the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, as well as the Roman forum.

free cancellation
Duration up to 8 hours 30 minutes
Available in:

en 

Pristine Sistine Express: Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica
Must see
Attractions & guided tours

Pristine Sistine Express: Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica

Book your Pristine Sistine Express tour on Musement now! Skip the line, early access tickets allow you to see these incredible sites before the crowds arrive.

free cancellation
Duration up to 2 hours
Available in:

en 

Castel Sant'Angelo and St Peter's Square skip-the-line guided tour
Activities

Castel Sant'Angelo and St Peter's Square skip-the-line guided tour

Join a skip-the-line tour and discover the history of St. Peter's, Ponte Sant' Angelo and its statues of angels.

free cancellation
Duration 3 hours
Available in:

en, de 

Rome self-guided audio tour
Activities

Rome self-guided audio tour

Explore Rome at your own pace: enjoy an app containing over 130 points of interest, transport routes, sightseeing itineraries and walking tours.

Validity Flexible
Available in:

en, it, fr, es, de, +2  ru, zh

Instant Confirmation
Vatican Museums private tour with a local guide
Likely to sell out
Attractions & guided tours

Vatican Museums private tour with a local guide

Don't miss the chance to discover the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel with a private guide dedicated only to you and your friends and family!

free cancellation
Duration up to 3 hours
Available in:

en, it, fr, es, de 

VIP St. Peter's Basilica tour with Dome climb and Papal Crypt
Must see
Attractions & guided tours

VIP St. Peter's Basilica tour with Dome climb and Papal Crypt

Enjoy a VIP tour of St Peter's Basilica and climb the dome to admire Rome. Descend into the Papal Crypt for a rare guided tour with a small group of 15.

free cancellation
Duration up to 2 hours 30 minutes
Available in:

en 

Early Dome climb with skip-the-line access to St. Peter’s Basilica
Activities

Early Dome climb with skip-the-line access to St. Peter’s Basilica

Join this early guided tour of the spectacular St. Peter's Basilica's Dome along with the world-famous St. Peter's Basilica!

free cancellation
Duration 1 hour
Available in:

en 

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Saint Peter’s Basilica

Saint Peter’s Basilica

Rome

Italy

Reviews Saint Peter’s Basilica

Paulus, 01 Mar 2016
Lauren, 12 Feb 2016

“I highly recommend the tour of St. Peter's. It was so convenient to have it organized to avoid the long lines, be in a small group, have someone answer your questions personally, get your audioguide with easy to follow instructions and information you can access at your own pace, independently. We even went thru the Holy Door as part of our own tour...Wonderful and an easy way to fit in the Vatican tours. I recommend taking the Vatican Museum tour as well! The cafeteria was great!”

Diane L. Thompson, 19 Jan 2016

“Thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Obvious that Anna loves what she does. Good job”

Nicole Riter, 30 Nov 2015
Rome