Exploring the Holy See, Vatican

There are many tiny states in the world. Some of them are within other countries. Such as San Marino or the Vatican in Italy. Eventhough it's a tiny city within a city, there is a lot to explore. Check out my text, pictures and videos from the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel (Sixtinische Kapelle), St. Peter's Basilica (Petersdom) and much more.

Table of contents


Saint Peter's Basilica

The Saint Peter's Basilica (Petersdom) is one of the most impressive churches. It is the biggest among Christian churches and free of charge. Waiting in the queue doesn't last that long, but you may consider to wear at least a cap or something to protect you from the sun. 

Getting up the dom by elevator costs 7€, walking up the stairs is 5€. We did the latter. You have to walk up the stairs to the dome anyways. Even if you take the elevator, you only save up 10% of the way. 

Do you get easily dizzy? If so, the dome could be a challenge for you. Round and round it goes. I got pretty much spinning giddy :-) Claustrophobia might be a disadvantage as well. But once you're up, you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking view.

A painting of the Staint Peter's cahtedral.

The traditional "Schweizergarde" (Swiss guard), protecting the Vatican since Janurary 22nd, 1506.

Vatican Museums

Inside the museum, we took a lot of pictures of the building itself and several exhibitions. Unfortunatelly it was not allowed to take pictures inside the Sistine Chapel, so I can't provide some.

The price to get in is 15€ per person. The audio guide was 7€, I'd recommend to take your own headset from your MP3-player, as the audio guide had a plug for that. Otherwise you need to hold it like a phone the whole time. That of course itself is not a problem, but keep in mind what happens to you and your ear, when you call someone for several hours...

You may consider an online registration, to avoid the queue at the entrance, but you need to do it at least a month ahead. We couldn't do it anymore so we had to wait in the queue. We went there on Thursday around 10am in the morning. It was very hot at that time already. But luckily it didn't last so long, after approximately half an hour we could buy our tickets. After that, we were able to visit dozens of dozens of rooms furnished with extravagant sculptures, paintings and statues.


See full photo gallery

Check out the whole collection on my photoblog:


We took hundreds of pictures at the Vatican museum, nevertheless it isn't easy to reduze them to a small selection. The vatican museum is actually several museums in one place. Definitely worth visiting! The Saint Peter's cathedral is breathtaking. It doesn't take that long to visit, so if you run out of time and you have to skip the museum, try at least to go inside the cathedral and up the dome.

Coat of arms of the Vatican
Coat of arms of the Vatican

Vivi at the entrance of the Vatican museum
Vivi at the entrance of the Vatican museum

Saint Peter's cathedral at sunset
Saint Peter's cathedral at sunset

It takes at least a day to see everything, at least superficially. Take some headspeakers with you for the audio guide and reserve your ticket online to avoid the queue: http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/index.html. If you haven't got any reserveration, waiting doesn't take that long (30min). Some "business men" are walking along the queue trying to convince you to buy tickets from them by telling you,that it will take two hours to wait until you get in. That is simply wrong. 

The Saint Peter's Cathedral, the museum and walking up the dome are MUST-DO in Rome, we've enjoyed it a lot. 

More about Rome

Want to know more about Rome?

© Copyright 2004-2017 - Dominik Amon