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Vatican Gardens tour – is it worth it? All you need to know

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Want to make a Vatican Gardens tour ? If you ever got addicted to the HBO series The Young Pope you will surely remember plenty of scenes set in the Vatican Gardens.

Whilst the series itself was not actually permitted to be filmed in the Vatican City – the garden scenes for example were mainly shot in and around gardens in Rome – the scenery in the drama certainly whets the appetite for the lush formal greenery of the 57 acres of Vatican Gardens.

The Gardens are not open to the public or to even those who have a Vatican Museum ticket – the only way to visit is by taking a guided tour of the Vatican Gardens.

Costing around 33€ for a full paying adult, you may be asking yourself is it worth the money. Well read on to find out!

Why should you book a Vatican Gardens tour ?

The Vatican Gardens should not be missed! Here’s why

  • Take in some of the most spectacular views of the Basilica, often unseen by the majority of people who visit the Holy See.
  • Learn all sorts of interesting facts about the Vatican Gardens, such as how a radio station came to be built here, and what the Pope likes to do in the gardens.
  • See some of the most splendid formal flower beds, statues and other interesting features such as relaxing fountains and sculptures
  • Added bonus – tickets (see on this website) also include entry to the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica
vatican gardens tour saint peters basilica

Advantages of a guided tour of the Vatican Gardens

  • Access is by reserved tour only, so you’ll have the chance to explore a lesser known part of the Vatican, away from hoards of tourists visiting the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica
  • Visitors on a Vatican Guided Tour will be able to skip the lines to the Basilica
  • Access to a part of the Vatican that the vast majority of people haven’t even seen
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Most interesting Vatican Garden Tour ?

Several different standard tours exist for those wishing to tour the Vatican Gardens either on a private tour or as a group (see details here). These usually last around 2 hours and will inform visitors of the history of the Vatican Gardens and lots of other interesting facts.

There are also some very interesting non-standard options for visiting the Vatican Gardens, such as:

Vatican Garden with Breakfast

  • Start your day with breakfast in one of the Vatican cafes
  • Once fuelled by coffee, embark on a tour of the stunning Vatican Gardens
  • Finish up with the old favourites of The Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica
  • Prices start at around €130

Vatican Gardens Bus Tour

  • Ideal for those with limited mobility
  • Great for those who are pressed for time – Vatican Garden Tours by Bus last only 45 minutes
  • See all the sights from an open top bus and get a unique vantage point of this lush landscape
  • Prices start at around €80 (check last price here)
vatican gardens tour guided

Vatican Museums, Gardens and Pope’s Summer Residence

  • Includes all the usual Vatican city attractions – St Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, as well as the Vatican Gardens
  • Delightful tour outside the Vatican City to the Pope’s beautiful summer residence in the charming town of Castel Gandolfo
  • Take the train from the Vatican City direct to Castel Gandolfo
  • Explore the villa there, as well as the Barberini Gardens, before spending some free time in Castel Gandolfo
  • Lunch is included
  • Prices start at around €130

How to book a Vatican Gardens tour?

For the best discounts on Vatican Garden Tour tickets we would recommend to book online.  This is especially important for those wanting to do a tour of the Vatican Gardens, as there are limited tours available and in the peak periods you may miss out if you leave it to the last minute!

There are several advantages to this, including the ability to skip the line at the Vatican Museums and Basilica.

You will also be able to avail of any discounts or online promotions that many tour companies give for online bookings.

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How to visit Vatican Gardens without a tour guide?

There are only a few ways to visit the Vatican Gardens without a guide – you’d have to be elected Pope, work in the Vatican household or undertake some illegal activity, against which we definitely advise!

You can see the Vatican Gardens from some windows in the museums, however how depressing is it to look at something and not be able to access it!

The gardens are intended as a place of sanctuary for the pontiff and as a result access is limited and controlled – you’ll just have to buy a ticket!

vatican gardens window view

When to visit the Vatican Gardens?

The gardens are open to those with a pre-reserved ticket between 9am and 6pm, apart from Sundays and Wednesdays.

As with many of the Vatican attractions, the off season (October / November) is a great time to visit the gardens, with lighter crowds and a temperature more suited to exploring.

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Is a guided tour included with the Omnia Pass?

Very unfortunately, the Vatican Gardens Tours are not available for those who have an Omnia Pass. The best way to work the Vatican Gardens if you wish to get a city pass is to get a cheaper pass – such as the Roma Pass (about €52) – that covers many Rome attractions, and then just use the Vatican Gardens Tour and complimentary tickets for the Museums, Basilica and Sistine Chapel!

A good option is the Rome Tourist Card with Vatican option. For €120 you'll get entrance to Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. And it comes with an audio guide in English. Then, you can book a Vatican Gardens tour in addition to all the benefits of the Card. It's not the cheapest option, but it's an ultra complete pass and the one we recommend.

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Vatican Garden’s calendar

The Vatican Gardens are open all year round so can be visited whenever you want – just make sure to not plan a trip for Sundays or Wednesdays as they are closed an you will  be extremely disappointed!!


We hope we’ve convinced you to take a guided tour of the fabulous and mostly missed Vatican Gardens. It really is the place to head to in the Vatican for some quiet contemplation and beautiful scenery.

Book your tickets at least three days in advance and skip the lines to access some of the most wonderful flowers and gardens in Italy!

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1 Comment

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