How to visit Papal Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls ?
The final resting place of St Paul, this Basilica is the second largest of Rome’s four Basilicas, and is a lesser known attraction that is well worth a visit if you have the time whilst in Rome.
Completed in the 4th Century and restored after a fire in the mid-19th Century, this stunning church is a fine example of Rome’s early architecture, and the 13th Century Cloister which has survived to this day makes for wonderful photo opportunities.
What to see at the St Paul Basilica outside the Walls?
The stunning interior of the Basilica
A beautiful treat awaits those who make the effort to visit or who take a St Paul outside the walls tour.
Gold mosaic art and striking columns make up the interior, and whilst the 19th century fire damaged a large part of the church there are still glimpses of the original art that decorated the Basilica, as well as the tomb of St Paul which is well worth a glimpse.
The beautiful marble floors of the naves and the arches above make for a perfect visiting experience. Check out the mosaics of the popes, with a cleverly placed ray of sunlight lighting up only the current pope!
The awesome Atrium
The atrium is also a real treat, with its 150 striking columns, views to the Basilica, a gold mosaic and a statue of St Paul. Flanked by tall palms, the Atrium is a peaceful place to explore
The 13th century cloister is one of the highlights of any St Paul Outside the Walls tour. With beautiful columns, well-tended rose bushes and relaxing fountains the Cloister is the place in which to relax and check out the architecture.
How to get to the St Paul Outside the Walls?
Getting to the St Paul Outside the Walls is easy when in Rome, with plenty of different options available for all budgets.
The Basilica may be further from the city centre than most Rome attractions, but Rome’s extensive public transport network will ensure you are able to get to the St Paul Basilica without much trouble.
The public transport system in Rome is pretty good, and there are several options available for those who wish to travel in a cheap and convenient way.
Those who wish to can take the metro from any stop in Rome and disembark on Line B right at the St Pauls’ Basilica. The bus is another good option for those looking to keep the costs down, with line 23 and 271 going to St Paul Basilica directly.
When is the best time to visit the St Paul Outside the Walls?
The St Paul Outside the Walls opening hours are 7.30am until 6pm year round, so there is plenty of opportunity to check out the attractions. Get there early in the morning if you wish to avoid the crowds and you will truly be able to appreciate of this stunning and oftern overlooked Basilica.
The best time to visit any attraction in Rome is in the off season, when the crowds are less dense and the heat of the summer sun has abated – November is a quieter month, as is early December before the Christmas pilgrims arrive.
How to skip the line?
The Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls is free to enter! So, a skip the line ticket isn’t going to be of much use here.
Don’t worry though, the location of the Basilica, which is a bit further out from the centre of Rome, means that you are less likely to experience the overwhelming queues that you find at the Vatican Museums.
As the queues are less dense you will likely have more time to explore in peace.
How to visit St Paul outside the Walls?
There are two options for visiting Saint Paul Outside the Walls:
A self-guided tour
Grab yourself a good guidebook or, if you can opt for the hire of one of the audio guides available for rent inside the Basilica.
This is the best option for those who can’t afford (or who don’t want to) splash out on a guided tour of the attractions on offer at the Basilica.
An organised tour
The ultimate option, and often purchased as part of a guided tour of the other 4 Rome Basilicas, a St Paul Outside the Walls Tour with an official guide may be a more expensive option but is definitely one worth considering for those who want to know much more detail about the Basilica.
A tour will take in the Basilica, art gallery, cloister and atrium and give an excellent overview.
Are the Omnia card or Roma Pass worth it to visit the St Paul Outside the Walls?
The St Paul Outside the Walls Basilica is actually free to enter, although if you want to see the Cloister then you will have to pay.
One way to avoid this is to get an Omnia Card, which is a city pass that will give you free access to the cloister.
Make sure it is the Omnia pass you buy and not the Roma Pass, as the Roma Pass doesn’t include this option although will allow you to get there on the free travel card provide.
St Paul outside the Walls opening hours
- The Basilica is open from 7.30am until 6pm, so there is plenty of time to explore
- The St Paul outside the Walls opening hours for the Cloister are 9am until 6pm, and there is a small fee of €4 for those who do not have the Omnia Card.
What you need to know to go on a St Paul Outside the Walls tour?
- Dress code – this is a holy site, so please ensure shoulders and legs are covered. Ladies, a shawl is available to borrow at the entrance if needed.
- Security Control – There is a security checkpoint on entry which sometimes has a bit of a queue
- Restrooms are available within the compound
- Facilities – there is a gift shop and a café
- Personal Security – as with any tourist site in Rome we recommend avoiding any flashy displays of jewellery, and keeping your belongings zipped and close.
What is to see around Saint Paul Outside the Walls?
Whilst you are in this part of Rome it is worthwhile exploring the adjacent park, perhaps get your-self an ice cream and take some time to people watch outdoors
We hope this guide gives you just a little taste of the beautiful St Paul outside the Walls Basilica, and that you will enjoy your trip! Now’s the time to get planning, so check out some of our other Vatican City guides to get you started.