Sistine Chapel tickets: how to visit the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City?
This famous masterpiece is known the world over for its magnificent frescos. And those with Sistine Chapel tickets will experience a sensory overload on entry as they find themselves surrounded by stunning pictures on the walls and ceilings of the chapel.
The 15th century artwork includes Michelangelo’s depictions of Moses and Jesus, with portraits of the Pope’s also adorning the chapel. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is the highlight of anyone’s trip, so read on to find out the most important things to know about visiting the Sistine Chapel.
Who was Michelangelo?
Michelangelo is perhaps the most famous renaissance artist, known not only for the frescos in the Sistine Chapel but also for his other works including sculptures and poems such as the Pieta sculpture. Michelangelo dies at the grand old age of 88, and the majority of people heading on a Sistine Chapel tour will likely know about the fabulous frescos painted by him (at much protest – he didn’t originally want to take on the task!)
Things to see at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican
Michelangelo’s frescoes are the must see in the Sistine Chapel, but you may be surprised find out that some of the other great artists such as Botticelli and Perugino. Here’s the top things to see at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican:
The works of Michelangelo
The ceiling and the altar of the Sistine Chapel is decorated in frescos of stories from the Bible, including creation and the great flood, as well as the fall of Adam and Eve. The Altar features the Last Judgement, a pretty scary piece of work if you can get the space and time to stare at it a little.
The works of Botticelli
These include The Temptation of Jesus, The Punishment of Korah, and Scenes from the life of Moses.
The works of Rosselli
This is the famous Last Supper piece known worldwide
The Cosmatesque floor
If you have booked a Sistine Chapel tour your guide should definitely stop and point the striking mosaic floor beneath your feet – it is hard to draw your eyes away from the frescoes above you but the floor itself is a real work of art too!
Sistine Chapel location: how to get to there?
Rome’s easy to access and use public transport network is a cheap and easy way to get to the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. Here are your options, and it costs just €1.50 for a trip on the metro or 100 minutes on the bus network.
– Sistine Chapel by Bus – a number of lines stop a short walk from the Vatican City, including lines 81, 62, 40 and 64
– Sistine Chapel by Metro – use line A which will have you coming above ground at the Ottaviano-S. Pietro station
– Sistine Chapel by Tram – line 19 stops at the Piazza Risorgimento
When is the best time to visit the Sistine Chapel?
Being such a major tourist spot within the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel is always busy, and it can be hard to get a good view of the frescoes with so many people cramming in to get a look! If you plan well ahead you may be able to hit a time that will have less crowds: we suggest heading to the Vatican City in the off season – November or February are good options – and staying away from the summer months, Easter and Christmas.
Another secret tip – although Wednesdays see the Vatican City stuffed with people coming to see an audience with the pope, you could use this time to rush through the museums to the Sistine Chapel first thing on a Wednesday morning whilst everyone else queue for a glimpse of the pontiff.
How to skip the line?
Sistine Chapel tickets come as part of your entry ticket to the Vatican Museums, and you’ll have to go through security no matter what type of ticket you have, but there are a few ways to bypass the lines.
Prebook Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel tickets online
This way, you will not have to stand in the long queue for those who don’t have tickets and join a shorter queue for those who booked online.
Prebook an early entry Vatican Museums tour
A pricy option, but some tour companies offer Sistine Chapel tours that begin before the official opening hours of the museums
Special skip the line tip – any Vatican Museums tour will allow passage to the short cut through to St Peter’s Basilica which will help cut down your queuing time here as well!
Should you buy the Omnia card or Roma Pass to visit the Sistine Chapel?
The Omnia Card includes not only free transport within Rome, as well as hop on hop off bus access but also fast track entry to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel! So, if you are planning to visit the Sistine Chapel as part of a wider tour of Rome then yes, we definitely recommend this option! The Roma Pass also has the same entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel too, so either one is a good option.
What you need to know to go on a Sistine Chapel tour?
Here’s some other useful information for your Sistine Chapel Tour….
You will need to go through airport style security to enter the Vatican museums, certain items such as tripods and knives are prohibited
Available throughout the Vatican Museums – they are well signposted and accessible for all
As with any big city or tourist attraction we recommend keeping your belongings in a bag that can be zipped closed, and do not make any unnecessary displays of valuables.
Now you know all there is to know about the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican it’s time to start booking your trip and sorting out your skip the line tickets to make the most of the experience!