Sistine Chapel
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Sistine Chapel: Tours & Tickets

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Highlights of the Sistine Chapel

When it comes to touring the Vatican City, the best is saved until last: the revered Sistine Chapel. A tour de force of art and architecture by the most famous Renaissance artists, it will dazzle you. Here’s a list of highlights.

Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Sistine Chapel Ceiling

The Sistine Chapel is Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Its ceiling is divided into nine scenes from the Book of Genesis, depicting the creation of the world from light to dark, sun to moon, Adam to Eve.

The Creation of Adam

The Creation of Adam

One of the most famous artworks of all time, the centerpiece of the ceiling is a fresco painting depicting God bringing Adam to life with his fingertips.

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

Michelangelo’s fresco depicting the Last Judgment can be seen above the altar. Interestingly, he started working on it 25 years after the ceiling, and it took four years to complete.

Southern Wall: Story of Moses

Southern Wall: Story of Moses

See scenes from Moses’s life, including his journey through Egypt, portrayed by the Renaissance greats: Botticelli, Perugino and Rosselli.

Northern Wall: Story of Jesus

Northern Wall: Story of Jesus

The wall to the right of the altar shows scenes from Jesus’s life according to the great Renaissance painters.

Our insider tips

Why Is the Sistine Chapel Important?

Starting in 1508, Michelangelo spent lonely years painting the chapel's ceiling and altar, transforming these walls into one of the great masterpieces. In the words of Goethe, "If you haven't seen the Sistine Chapel, it's impossible to have any idea of what one man is capable of doing." The walls will come to life as you step in!

What to Know

Don't wear shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless shirts without bringing a scarf or covering, as you will not be allowed in. Taking photographs is strictly prohibited in the chapel.

Can You Visit the Sistine Chapel on Its Own?

Located in Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums, so can only be entered through the Museum. Admission is included in the purchase of a ticket to the Vatican Museum. Beware of anyone trying to sell you just for the Sistine Chapel, it’s a scam.

Avoiding the Lines

Over 4.5 million visitors come to the Sistine Chapel per year, so it’s difficult to completely avoid a crowd. During the Pope’s address on Wednesday mornings it’s a bit quieter, as at lunchtimes. Buying tickets in advance is always a good idea.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The Sistine Chapel is closed on Sundays and Catholic holidays. Opening hours can be erratic, so check online to avoid disappointment.
  • Is it expensive?
    €17 general entry
  • Will I need a guide?
    If you want to learn more about the amazing pieces of art, sure! There are tickets for small group tours, as well as a chance to make the Sistine Chapel part of your Rome City Pass.
  • How to get there
    The Vatican City is located inside of Rome. Bus 49 will get you there. Alternatively, take the red metro line to Cipro station.
  • Additional information

    • Beware of pickpockets, especially on crowded public transport. Hold onto your bags, and keep valuables out of sight.

    • Be sure to bring a cardigan or other long-sleeved garment to cover up your arms when entering the Sistine Chapel.

What people are saying about Sistine Chapel

Overall rating
4.4 / 5
based on 99,529 reviews

Having the right expectations is important...

Is this worth it? Yes. Is it going to blow your mind? Yes. So do I recommend it overall? Yes, for sure. However, it’s just important that you know this tour is like lightning speed version overall. You definitely save precious time with the skip the line options but know you will still have to wait at various times for various things. Also, you will have a chunk of time where you’ll stand outside and they’ll just talk at you describing certain things because you can’t talk in the Sistine chapel. There is SO much to see at the Vatican museums and you’ll probably see about 1/3 of it. Then at the end you get dropped off in St Peters Basilica and find your own way from there, which is great if you have time to wander around. The tour guide was very helpful and deepened our appreciate for the art and the experience, so I recommend a tour guide for sure. Especially if you can afford a private tour guide! So, definitely a good experience, just have the proper expectations going into it!

Skip-the-Ticket-Line Vatican Tour and Sistine Chapel Reviewed by

Knowledgeable tour guide with excellent spoken English

Once actually on the tour, the guide was very good at getting the group through the formalities. She was very pleasant, very knowledgeable with excellent spoken English. The online booking process was straightforward, however on arrival at the meeting point, our booking had not been logged on the time slot sheet, (we were not the only ones) although we were still permitted on the tour. In view of the numbers on the tour, the area for waiting was very small and crowded and staff dealt with several different tour participants at the same time, which led to confusion and long delays. Our arrival at the Vatican was therefore delayed by over one hour, with no apologies. We felt the group size was too big to be manageable and the number was over that stated for the tour. The museums were packed with movement through very slow, which meant that our group were strung out along the rooms. Audio then kept breaking up as we were often out of range of the tour guide.

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Tour Reviewed by

big group, but tons of facts and overall a great tour

tour started off a little out of order mostly at the check in process due to number of people in all the tours. Seemed like they started four tours at the same time so it was a little confusing. But once we got into the vatican our tour guide (who is a former archaeologist) provided TONS of interesting details about everything were looking at. Very informative and interesting. overall would take the tour again, hopefully they work out the check in details

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Tour Reviewed by

Very knowledgeable guide and excellent tour.

Our guide Marie-Terese took us through the skip the line entrance on a very busy day . Once hooked up with our radio she pointed out all the most relevant things to see in the short time ( 3 hours) we had with her . You could spend a week there and still not see everything! She managed to keep us all together during our tour and at the end of the tour gave us some usefull pointers to see other things . We went up into the dome which was amazing .

Vatican & Sistine Chapel Tour Reviewed by

Great Service from Angelica as she refunded us $$ as the tour changed.

Our tour consisted of only the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel as St. Peter's Basilica was closed. The problem was the provider of the tour never told us this and left us at the entrance to the Sistine Chapel. I contacted Ger Your Guide and, Angelica did some fact-checking and refunded us some money. That said, I guide was good and the tour was good, just disappointed that we could not see St. Peter's Basilica. Great job Get your Guide.

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Tour Reviewed by