Visiting the Vatican city in 1 day is possible and enough to see most of the artistic and religious treasures.
This City-State, very important in the catholic world (Urbi et Orbi), is undoubtedly of the most visited places in Rome. ¡Don’t miss this city on your tour around Italy!
What to see in Vatican City in 1 day?
Like many places, the Vatican City has treasures to visit for several days. Unfortunately, holiday days are limited, so we show you what you can see in Vatican City in 1 day.
They consist of a broad set of museums and galleries: Pío-Clementino Museum, Gregorian Profane Museum, Gregorian Egyptian Museum, Ethnological Missionary Museum, Gallery of Maps, …
In these museums, you will find works of all kinds: frescoes, paintings, sculptures, goldsmiths, tapestries, … One of the largest art collections in the world!
It is difficult to highlight any work, since all have great artistic and historical value. However, we were struck by the immense sculpture of Hercules in bronze.
Another classic work that we really liked was the mythological sculpture of “Laocoonte and his children”. Worldwide known, it represents the struggle of the Trojan priest Laocoon and his children to escape from sea snakes. According to legend, this took place during the siege of the city of Troy.
Another of the places we visited was the “The Pine Cone square” , called in this way by the huge sculpture of a pineapple found here. It is of Roman origin and is sculpted in bronze.
In this garden we will also find a modern sculpture: Sfera con Sfera (Arnaldo Pomodoro). There are several interpretations of the sculpture: destruction caused by bombings in World War 2, rupture of the world, representation of Christianity, … What would be your explanation?
And it is not the only sculpture of this kind, there are several more in different corners of the world: Trinity College (Dublin), headquarters of the United Nations (New York), …
In addition to the Vatican museums, you can also visit the villas and gardens that are located within the Vatican City.
Take a leisurely stroll through these manicured gardens is the best option to relax, even more after seeing countless works of art in the Vatican museums.
From here you can see the the Vatican radio antenna, responsible for spreading messages from the Holy See.
It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the Vatican. The frescoes in the vault, painted by the great Michelangelo, are a reference in the history of art.
St. Peter’s Basilica
The immense basilica is one of the most sacred places of Catholicism since, according to Christian tradition, it is built on the tomb of St. Peter.
Inside the basilica is “La Piedad”, a universal work of art signed by Michelangelo. This Renaissance genius not only dominated painting, but he was also a master in sculpture art.
We also recommend that you go up to the Dome, from where of the entire Vatican City (and part of Rome) can be contemplated.
St. Peter’s Square
It was built between 1656 and 1667 following the designs of the great Renaissance sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Its laterals full of columns and statues represent the arms of the Church, hugging all visitors.
And right in the middle of the square is a imposing obelisk 25 meters high. Of Egyptian origin, it was placed shortly after the construction of St. Peter’s Square.
Papal Swiss Guard
One of the icons of the Vatican City. Its old uniforms and its striking colors attract the attention of all visitors.
It is the official guard of the Vatican City State since 1506, being her duty the protection of the Pope. His greatest achievement was defending Clement VII during the sack of Rome by the troops of Carlos V.
Vatican City map
The city is small, just 0.44 km2. Perfect to explore all its corners: basilica, squares, museums, gardens, monuments, …
Visiting the Vatican City in 1 day: Hours, fees and tour options
The visiting hours of the Vatican museums are from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, being the last access at 4:00 pm. However, there may be exceptions in the visiting hours of any of them (usually by works). That’s why we link you here the schedules of the Vatican museums.
There are several combinations of tickets to visit the Vatican City and the option to buy your ticket online (official link). Another option is to buy the ticket directly, but you will have to queue a lot or get up early (we don’t recommend it).
You can also hire a guided tour with an agency to avoid queues. It is more expensive, but you have a personal guide and you will enter into the Vatican museums before other visitors.
If you are interested in Vatican Museums, you have these options:
- The Vatican Museums and Sistine chapel (Read more)
- St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Museums (Read more)
- Vatican Museums and Gardens (Read more)
- Vatican Museums out of hours (Read more)
- Visit the Vatican City by train (Read more)
- The Hidden Vatican Museums (Read more)
- Breakfast at the Vatican Museums (Read more)
- Vatican Museums by night (opening on Fridays in the summer and autumn) (Read more)
However, if you have already visited the Vatican museums, you can visit the Pontifical Villas and Gardens:
Or visit the archeological sites located in Vatican City:
As you can see, you have many options to choose from. In our opinion, to visit the city of the Vatican in 1 day, the best option is to buy the ticket for Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, in addition to the simple entrance to see the Basilica of St. Peter In this way you will see the most important.
When is the best time to visit the Vatican City in 1 day?
If you have availability of dates, we recommend that you visit it in spring or autumn (softer temperatures).
However, any date is good to visit the Vatican City since, although the summer in Rome is very hot, most of the visit is inside the buildings, so there is no excessive heat.
Where to stay to visit the Vatican City in 1 day?
In the Vatican City, unless you are religious, there is no accommodation available.
The Roman neighborhoods that surround Vatican City are “Municipality I” and “Municipality XIII”, especially the first one. They are the best option to approach the Vatican city on foot. Similarly, any other “Municipality” serves you as there is a nearby metro stop: “Cipro – Musei Vaticani”, A Line (Orange).
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Kiss and hugs.