St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica tickets and tours

Italy

Things to do in St. Peter’s Basilica

4.5/5 (4429)

The magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica, located in Vatican City in Rome, is one of the largest Catholic churches in the world and is considered an iconic symbol of the city and the heart of Christianity. The combined work of Bramante, Michelangelo, Maderno and Bernini among others, the church overflows with Renaissance beauty and is a must-see for anyone visiting Rome.

Built on the tomb of Saint Peter and the remains of a 4th century church, Pope Julius II commissioned Bramante to build a new basilica in 1506. After Bramante died in 1514, construction stalled and he was succeeded by a number of different architects, all of whom made changes to the design. Most notably was Michelangelo, who took over in 1547 at the age of 72; he didn’t live to see its completion. It fell to Giacomo Della Porta and Domenico Fontana to oversee the dome’s construction and Carlo Maderno to finish the project who completed the main facade in 1615.

Beyond its imposing architecture, it is also well worth a visit for its stunning interior features and masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque art. Don’t miss Bernini’s enormous Baldachin (canopy), which hangs over the main altar and is one of the heaviest bronze objects in the world. The cathedral is also home to Michelangelo’s famed Pieta, sculpted when the artist was just twenty-four.

Visit the Vatican Grottos, a necropolis below the nave where you will find the graves of more than one hundred popes. You can also climb to the top of the dome for an additional fee and experience magnificent views over Rome from the viewing platform.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome, Saint Peter’s Basilica receives thousands of visitors and pilgrims per day, so it is advisable to book ahead with a guided tour. Saint Peter’s Basilica is within walking distance to many of the other popular tourist attractions in Vatican City such as the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, so a combined tour is a popular option.

The dress code for entry into St. Peter’s Basilica is strict and is reinforced by security so don’t be caught out when visiting. Men must wear long trousers and cover their shoulders and women must not have either bare shoulders or skirts shorter than knee length.

Saint Peters Basilica is open daily from 7 am to 7 pm April to September and 7 am to 6 pm October to March. It is advisable to visit early in the morning before the crowds arrive or book skip the line tickets as the line for security can be long. It is accessible by foot from many points in the city or via public transport. The nearest subway stop is Ottaviano-S. Pietro station and all hop on hop off buses stop at Vatican City.

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Best of Rome Pass
Attractions & guided tours

Best of Rome Pass

Visit all the best sites in Rome with a single pass, skip long queues and get easy access to Rome's major sights.

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Skip-the-line entrance to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
Likely to sell out
Attractions & guided tours

Skip-the-line entrance to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Benefit from skip-the-line access to admire the beautiful Vatican Museums and visit the greatest attractions in Rome, the Sistine Chapel.

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E-voucher
Reserved entrance and guided tour of Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
Likely to sell out
Attractions & guided tours

Reserved entrance and guided tour of Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Benefit from reserved access to admire the beautiful Vatican Museums and visit the greatest attractions in Rome, the Sistine Chapel.

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en, fr, es 

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Semi-Private Sistine Chapel Tour with Museums and St. Peter's Basilica
Attractions & guided tours

Semi-Private Sistine Chapel Tour with Museums and St. Peter's Basilica

Discover the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums and the St. Peter's Basilica during this essential guided tour.

free cancellation
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en 

Fast track Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica tour
Attractions & guided tours

Fast track Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica tour

Make the most of your time in Rome! Explore the Vatican Museums on a 2-hour guided tour and then visit the magnificent Basilica of St. Peter.

Duration 2 hours
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en 

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OMNIA Vatican and Roma Pass 72 hours with transport
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OMNIA Vatican and Roma Pass 72 hours with transport

Visit Rome and its monuments without queuing with the OMNIA Vatican and Roma Pass and move around easily on Rome's public transport system. It will be three unforgettable days!

Duration up to 72 hours
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Fast Track
Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and Basilica fast-track guided tour
Attractions & guided tours

Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and Basilica fast-track guided tour

Avoid stress with a skip-the-line guided tour to explore the stunning beauty and ancient history of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica.

free cancellation
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St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour and Dome Entrance Ticket
Attractions & guided tours

St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour and Dome Entrance Ticket

Relish a guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica led by an art historian, climb to Saint Peter's Dome and marvel at the panoramic views. Begin the tour, tasting typical Italian breakfast.

free cancellation
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VIP St. Peter's Basilica tour with Dome climb and Papal Crypt
Must see
Attractions & guided tours

VIP St. Peter's Basilica tour with Dome climb and Papal Crypt

Enjoy a VIP tour of St Peter's Basilica and climb the dome to admire Rome. Descend into the Papal Crypt for a rare guided tour with a small group.

free cancellation
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Vatican: Basilica, Dome and underground early bird tour
Activities

Vatican: Basilica, Dome and underground early bird tour

Admire the stunning frescoes, statues and mosaics of the Basilica and its square, set foot on the summit of the famous Michelangelo's Dome explore the history behind the Vatican Grottoes and Papal Tombs get a fast entry to the St. Peter's Basilica with our local guide

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Papal audience and St. Peter's Basilica guided tour
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Papal audience and St. Peter's Basilica guided tour

Attend the Papal audience in the Vatican City and take a guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica.

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St. Peter’s Dome Climb with Guided Tour of the Basilica & Papal Crypts
Attractions & guided tours

St. Peter’s Dome Climb with Guided Tour of the Basilica & Papal Crypts

Discover St. Peter's Basilica and enjoy a guided tour of the Basilica and the Papal Crypts with an expert guide, without having to stand in line

free cancellation
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St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica

Rome

Italy

Reviews St. Peter’s Basilica

3/5
David, Aug 10, 2023

“Skipped the queues which was good, but the Vatican was very busy so be prepared to be shoulder to shoulder. This is not a visit for small children in my opinion.”

3/5
Nichola, May 19, 2023

“Vincenzo the guide was excellent. He got us seats right at the front so had a good view of the pope. Not really sure why this cost £22.00 each considering tickets are free to watch. Also described as a guided tour, we was only guided through security and to a seat so not sure what part was a guided tour. It doesn't say in booking what the excursion actually includes so very misleading”

4/5
Paulus, Mar 01, 2016
4/5
GDPR Expired data, Feb 12, 2016

“I highly recommend the tour of St. Peter's. It was so convenient to have it organized to avoid the long lines, be in a small group, have someone answer your questions personally, get your audioguide with easy to follow instructions and information you can access at your own pace, independently. We even went thru the Holy Door as part of our own tour...Wonderful and an easy way to fit in the Vatican tours. I recommend taking the Vatican Museum tour as well! The cafeteria was great!”

Rome