Vatican museums and gardens tickets: how to visit the Vatican Gardens
A gorgeous network of manicured flowerbeds, sculptures and quiet places to sit, the Vatican Gardens are a stunning place to visit. Enjoy the relaxing sounds of fountains and seek shade under the trees on a Vatican Gardens guided tour.
Read on for the best tips and information to find out if the Vatican Gardens are worth visiting and find out how to visit the Vatican Gardens.
What are the Vatican Gardens?
Covering over one third of the Vatican City state, the Vatican Gardens are simply spectacular! If you watched the HBO series The Young Pope you will get a flavour for what the gardens are all about, and although the series was not actually filmed in the Vatican, it does a great job of replicating their atmosphere and scenery.
Landscaped in the 16th century but dating back to the 13th, the gardens are a welcome place for quiet following the hustle and bustle of the main Vatican attractions.
Not everyone can walk in – there are limited tickets and access is strictly controlled, so you can really enjoy the peace and quiet if you can afford to invest in a special Vatican museums and gardens tickets. You’ll be able to check out the fountains, sculptures and replica Lourdes shrine.
How to visit the Vatican Gardens – transport options?
The best way to get to the Vatican Gardens if you are staying in Rome is by public transport – which is both cheap and plentiful!
The metro station Ottaviano-S. Pietro is only a 5 minutes stroll from the Vatican City, and bus lines 61, 64, 81 and 40 all have stops very close by.
If you are staying in a hotel neat a number 19 tram stop then you may also find the tram a great option. If that’s the case then alight at the Piazza Risorgimento for access to the Holy See.
There is another option that may sound more expensive but could save you tonnes of cash if you are planning on seeing Rome’s many top attractions as well as all the wonders of the Vatican City and Gardens – a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus ticket.
These passes often include either a tour guide on board or at least a running audio commentary of all the attractions that are on the route, and most also include discounted access into some major attractions.
How to visit the Vatican Gardens – timing
The Vatican City is a busy and popular place, known for its queues and long lines snaking around the edge of buildings. Luckily however, the Vatican Gardens guided tour tickets are limited in number, so if you are lucky enough to score one you will not be competing with huge groups of people such as those queuing to get into St Peter’s Basilica for example.
You will however have to book special Vatican Museums and Gardens tickets to enter, and the walking tours associated with the tickets are only available in two time slots every morning – starting at .30am or 11am. Bus tours too are available, departing every day apart from Sunday starting at 8.15am.
The gardens are closed on Sundays and during papal masses, and there are no walking tours on Wednesdays. You therefore have quite a short window of opportunity during which you can visit, but the Vatican Gardens are worth visiting if you can manage it logistically.
How to best visit the Vatican Gardens?
There are really only two ways to visit the Vatican Gardens – on a Vatican Gardens guided tour by foot or on the official bus that tours the gardens.
For the walking tour you have the advantage of a guide who will be happy to answer any questions you have about the gardens, and you can really stop and take in the sights and smells of these glorious gardens.
If you prefer the tour bus option – which is still a great choice – bear in mind that you will only have an audio guide and you’ll not be able to actually get off the bus.
What is the difference between the Vatican Gardens and the Pope’s gardens at Castel Gandolfo?
Don’t get confused between the two – the Vatican Gardens in the Vatican city walls, accessible by a Vatican Museums and Gardens tickets, and the gardens of the pope’s summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, about thirty minutes’ drive from Rome.
Here, you can explore the Barberini Gardens of the pope, which Pope Francis opened up to the public in 2014.
Are the Vatican Gardens included in the Vatican Museums ticket?
Unfortunately not – Vatican Museum tickets do NOT include entry to the Vatican Gardens. For that, you’ll need to book one of the separate jaune mentioned above.
Tickets for the walking tours cost 33 euros, or you can book a group of maximum 15 people for about 250 euros. The tickets may seem pricey, but remember that once you are done you can head straight on over to the Vatican Museums – entry for this wonderful attraction is included in the ticket price, so it actually works out to be pretty good value!
Should you buy the Omnia card or Roma Pass to visit the Vatican Gardens?
We wouldn’t recommend buying an Omnia Card or a Roma Pass JUST to visit the Vatican Gardens – because they don’t include entry into the gardens! The only way you can visit the Vatican Gardens is with the special tickets mentioned above.
Don’t however rule these city passes out completely – both are hugely advantageous if you are pairing a visit to the Vatican with other Roman attractions. You’ll get free access so a number of top sights with the Omnia Card, and discounted access to others with both passes.
In addition to this, both the Omnia Card and the Roma Pass include free transport across Rome’s transport network, so you can use the pass to get to the Vatican Gardens for free!
What you need to know to visit the Vatican Gardens?
Here’s all you need to know for your visit to the Vatican Gardens:
Tour duration and cost
Walking tours last about 1 ½ hours and cost 33 euros
Bus tours last about 45 minutes and cost 35 euros
The gardens are only open to visitors during the official tour slots each morning and are closed on Sundays. On Wednesdays, no walking tours are available however the bus tours run as usual
Now you know the lowdown on the Vatican Garden’s it’s time to book your tickets and get planning the rest of your trip!