9 BEST Places to Visit in Vatican City

Nestled within the heart of Rome, Vatican City is the world's smallest independent state, both by area and population. Despite its compact size, this unique enclave houses a wealth of cultural, historical, and spiritual treasures that hold a colossal reputation across the globe. One of the important things to know before traveling to Europe is that Vatican City serves as the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.

Moreover, it is also the official residence of the Pope. It's a sanctuary adorned with iconic structures and extraordinary works of art. These include the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museums, which collectively embody the long-standing history and tradition of the Church.

There are many things to do in Vatican City. This place offers an enriching experience, offering a journey through centuries of religious and cultural history. Its prestigious art collections, time-honored monuments, intricate architecture, and serene gardens engage travelers from all walks of life.

Every corner of this city-state breathes history and grandeur, and to step into this city is to immerse oneself in a remarkable tableau of humanity’s cultural and spiritual heritage. Although you won’t get a passport stamp, a visit to Vatican City means you’ve taken a day trip to another country — the smallest country in the world, in fact. But we all know it's much more than that.

The Vatican is the center of the Catholic world and home to the Pope and the Holy See. It’s one of the most unique places on the planet and boasts some of the most iconic historical landmarks and masterpieces of the arts. It hosts St Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world by capacity, and the world-famous Sistine Chapel, where visitors are awed by Michelangelo’s renowned ceiling.

Visiting Vatican City is a unique foray into the world's vast cultural panorama. Moreover, it offers a timeless journey through globally renowned art and history. This city-state welcomes all visitors and serves as a testament to centuries of human creativity. A reasonably famous chap lives in the Vatican, and millions travel across the world to celebrate the major holy dates.

Visit the residence of the Pope as well as the vast collection of museums which chronicle the progress and history of mankind in the last 2000 years. Get away from the crowds and visit an experience at the Sistine Chapel in quiet solitude during the Waking up in tour. Vatican private tour. If it's the Pope you're looking to meet make sure you get into every week's Papal public audience and have a personal meeting with one of the most revered religious figures of the world.

best places to visit in vatican city

So, whether you're a history enthusiast, an art lover, or even someone flying with a dog, the city promises an unparalleled voyage into the heart of cultural significance and historical grandeur. It's a testament to the city's accessibility and appeal to a broad range of travelers.

1. Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel, renowned for its architectural finesse and artistic splendor, is a cornerstone of the city. The ceiling is adorned with Michelangelo's breathtaking frescoes, including the iconic "Creation of Adam" and "The Last Judgment." Therefore, it showcases an unparalleled amalgamation of art and theology. A visit here is a must.

You'll have the opportunity to witness these monumental works that have captivated and inspired generations of art connoisseurs, historians, and visitors alike.

2. St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica, an architectural marvel and a symbol of Christendom, towers majestically over Vatican City. With its awe-inspiring dome designed by Michelangelo, opulent interiors, and the magnificent 'Pietà,' this Basilica embodies grandeur. As one of the world’s largest and most significant churches, it's a testament to the amalgamation of faith, history, and unparalleled artistry that shouldn't be missed.

3. Vatican Museums

Don’t forget to make time for the Vatican museums, which hosts an astonishing 9 miles of artwork featuring the likes of Da Vinci, Raphael, and of course, Michelangelo. Visiting the Vatican Museums is one of the 'obligations' inherent in any visit to the city of Rome. This small state embedded in the western bank of the Tiber River is, in itself, a work of art.

They say there are more than 80,000 works of art in the museums guarded by the Peter's in Rome. Every single thing in these museums is stunning. There you can admire the artwork of some of the very geniuses of Renaissance, such as Michelangelo and Raphael. Art lovers can praise art at the Vatican Museums.

Everything fits: archaeological remains of the greatest civilizations of antiquity; Greek and Roman sculptures; works of art signed by the greatest geniuses of humanity; old floats; frescoes signed by Miguel Angel or Rafael; Ethnographic artifacts sent by missionaries from all corners of the world. Seeing everything as it deserves is a task that takes weeks.

The Vatican Museums offer a phenomenal voyage through time, housing an expansive collection of artistic and historical artifacts. This world-class museum ensemble spans vast corridors and renowned highlights. These include the Raphael Rooms, Gallery of Maps, and the impressive spiral Bramante Staircase. A wander through these culturally-rich exhibits provides an immersive dive into centuries of human creativity.

Attending a Papal Audience is a rare opportunity to witness a timeless tradition of the Catholic faith. Usually held weekly, this ceremony allows pilgrims and visitors to see the Pope and receive his blessing. It's integral to Vatican City's religious life, offering a unique, authentic, and spiritually enriching experience.

4. Vatican Gardens

The Vatican Gardens provide a serene escape within the bustling city. Much like these beautiful gardens, moving homes should be a tranquil transition. müv | Trusted Florida Movers advise taking time to plan and organize, just as these gardens have been meticulously designed and maintained.

Comprising nearly half the city's territory, these manicured gardens, adorned with vibrant flowerbeds, tranquil fountains, and exquisite sculptures, offer a peaceful retreat. Similarly, a well-orchestrated move can provide peace amidst life's bustling transitions. A stroll here is a delightful way to appreciate the city's quieter side while soaking up its scenic beauty.

5. Castel Sant’Angelo

Once a mausoleum, a fortress, and now a museum, Castel Sant’Angelo is a fascinating piece of Roman history nestled near the city. Its layered history, panoramic views from the terrace, and ornate interiors adorned with frescoes make it a unique attraction that offers a compelling journey into the city's past.

6. Saint Peter's Square

St. Peter's Square is a significant and vibrant hub of the city. This grand elliptical plaza, flanked by colonnades and dotted with symbolic statues, is where the faithful from around the world converge for Papal ceremonies. Offering an awe-inspiring atmosphere and architectural splendor, a visit to this monumental square is an unforgettable experience.

7. Vatican Necropolis

Just as the Vatican Necropolis safeguards the remnants of ancient history beneath St. Peter's Basilica, a storage service can provide a safe place for your items when traveling. If you're embarking on an extended journey like exploring the timeless treasures of the city and beyond, renting storage in Orlando, FL, can ensure your belongings are well-protected.

This underground city of the dead, with its labyrinth of tombs and mausoleums, stands as a testament to the importance of preservation. A visit to the Vatican Necropolis adds an unexpected and unique dimension to the Vatican City experience.

8. Apostolic Palace

The Apostolic Palace, an architectural jewel, is the Pope's official residence and the epicenter of the Catholic Church's administrative functions. Its importance is multifold. It houses majestic halls and chapels, including the Sistine Chapel and a platform for Papal addresses. This palace truly stands as a symbol of the city’s spiritual and political prominence.

9. Vatican Apostolic Archive

The name of the archives is a little bit of a misnomer. The archives aren’t secret, but they are private. The archives, or Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Vaticanum, have been closed to outsiders for centuries. Some of the oldest surviving pieces of paper are housed in this 52-mile long pile of archives, and having people walk in and out without anyone checking them would be disastrous to the papers inside.

However, if you have a list of accreditation, you might be able to peek at two or three things a day. But jokes on you; some of the books and papers aren’t sorted right and some aren’t cataloged at all. The main archives you can't get to those which are not yet 75 years of age. Lists are accessible for individuals who need to check whether a report exists in the documents.

The Vatican Library, one of the oldest libraries in the world, is a treasure trove for bibliophiles and scholars. It's an ideal destination if you want to get money for your travels through academic pursuits, historical research, or writing projects. This place houses a vast collection of historical texts, precious manuscripts, and rare books.

As a result, it's a testament to the Church's commitment to preserving knowledge. Whether for academic interest, professional development, or sheer curiosity, visiting this literary paradise offers invaluable insight into the human intellectual history and a unique avenue to fund your travels.


With its cultural richness and historical significance, the city offers a unique tapestry of experiences. From admiring Michelangelo's masterpieces at the Sistine Chapel to enjoying the serene beauty of the Vatican Gardens, there are many things to do. So, explore these top things to do in Vatican City, immersing yourself in its indelible charm and grandeur.

Kalyan Panja