The Vatican Museums, along with the Sistine Chapel, are one of the most visited spots in Rome. The opening times are not tricky, yet I still see people every Sunday showing up to wait in line. Booking tickets is not hard, yet every day I see thousands of people waiting up to an hour to get into the Museums and shuffle through with thousands of others.
Here I list the hours, dates, and prices you need to know.
The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Nearly 30,000 people visit the Museums each day. To avoid the ridiculously long line, book your tickets on the official Vatican Museums website. The reservation fee is only €4 on top of the €16 ticket. It’s so worth it.
Special openings and closings
From May through October, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are open on Friday evenings from 7:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. More details on the night openings.
The Museums are open and completely free on the last Sunday of each month from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The exception being Christmas in 2016.
For 2016, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are closed on the following Vatican holidays:
Tickets are €16 per person. Reduces rates are available for students and even pilgrimage groups. See the official site for details.
Other cool stuff
In addition to a standard visit or a guided tour, the Vatican Museums offer several unique options for visiting.
The latest exclusive tour includes a train ride to the Papal Summer Residence of Castel Gandolfo.
There is an option to have breakfast in the Museums.
Tours are available of the Vatican Gardens.
You can visit the Necropolis of the Via Triumphalis (this is not the Scavi Tour).
The Friday night visits are my favorite, and most affordable.
All these tours are available directly from the Vatican.