Vatican Museums

Holiday Travel Guide
Ashmolean Museum which includes a statue or sculpture

Forget the Louvre, the Met or the Hermitage, some of the world’s greatest collections of art can be found in the Vatican Museums.

Perhaps the greatest collection of exhibits in the entire world, the jaw-dropping Vatican Museums combine sublime Renaissance masterpieces with time-honored Roman relics.

The Vatican Museums collection was created by Pope Julius II in 1506 — the same year the foundation stone was laid for St. Peter’s Basilica — to display the masterpieces acquired by the Catholic Church over the previous centuries. These works, which include paintings, sculpture and historical artifacts, now attract more than 5 million visitors each year.

There are many smaller collections that make up the Vatican Museums collection, with each boasting spectacular works of art, but there are a few particular highlights visitors should prioritize. The Pinacoteca Vaticana art gallery contains renowned paintings and altarpieces by Old Masters including Giotto, Raphael and da Vinci as well as Caravaggio's signature work The Entombment of Christ. The Museo Pio-Clementino is home to examples of Greek and Roman sculpture. There are also sprawling collections of Ancient Egyptian artifacts, contemporary religious art and decorative Italian maps through the ages.

Most notably, there are a series of rooms dedicated to the Renaissance master Raphael. Originally intended as a suite of apartments for Pope Julius II, but now existing as a shrine to the great artist. The four rooms here have some of Raphael’s greatest surviving frescoes and other works, including The School of Athens, Adam and Eve and The Parnassus.

However, perhaps the most famous room isn’t actually in the museum’s collection, but en route to it. The Sistine Chapel was designed and painted by the finest group of interior decorators ever assembled. The walls are covered in stunning frescoes by Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, Cosimo Rosselli and other great Renaissance artists, while the ceiling has what is considered Michelangelo’s greatest work, The Creation of Adam and Eve.

The Vatican Museum is in central Rome and is open Monday to Saturday, and is also open the last Sunday of each month when entry is free. It is closed for several holidays throughout the year. Check the museum’s website for details.

You can walk there from the city center; the most direct route is to cross the Tiber and walk straight up Via della Conciliazione. The Metro train station Ottaviano is a short walk away along Via Ottaviano.

Top things to do in Vatican Museums

Top 10 Hotels Near Vatican Museums

Grand Hotel Olympic
Grand Hotel Olympic
4 out of 5
Via Properzio 2/a, Rome, RM
The price is S$95 per night from 7 Nov to 7 Nov
Excludes taxes & fees
Located in Rome Historic Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Cola di Rienzo, Auditorium Conciliazione and Castel Sant'Angelo. St. Peter's Square ...
3.6/5 Good! (1,099 reviews)
"Stay away. It looks all nice and wonderful and the price is great, but let me tell you, you get what you pay for. Day 1: Check in. Was told our room was not ready and we had to come back an hour later after spending the morning traveling from another town. Day 2: Come back from a full day walking ..."

Reviewed on 13 Sep,2021

Grand Hotel Olympic
Hotel Quirinale
Hotel Quirinale
4 out of 5
Via Nazionale 7, Rome, RM
The price is S$166 per night from 21 Nov to 21 Nov
Excludes taxes & fees
Located in Rome Historic Centre, this family-friendly Rome hotel is steps away from Via Nazionale and Piazza della Repubblica. Via Veneto and Via del Tritone ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,727 reviews)
"The room was very nice. We enjoyed our stay here and were even allowed to check out an hour later when we requested. The location of the hotel was nice too."

Reviewed on 11 Oct,2021

Hotel Quirinale
Starhotels Michelangelo
Starhotels Michelangelo
4 out of 5
Via Della Stazione Di San Pietro 14, Rome, RM
The price is S$211 per night from 18 Nov to 18 Nov
Excludes taxes & fees
Located in Rome Historic Centre, this family-friendly Rome hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Peter's Square, St. Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel. Via ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (993 reviews)
"We liked the location of property,room’s view and amenities was good. The only thing that bothered us that person who worked in reception.Last day we were trying to pay fee which we have used in room and he didn’t answer our questions we were waiting some explanation.Instead of that he just gave ..."

Reviewed on 16 Oct,2021

Starhotels Michelangelo
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums


Top Vatican Museums Hotel Deals

Hotel Museum
Hotel Museum
3 out of 5
Via Tunisi 8, Rome
The price is S$94 per night from 7 Nov to 7 Nov
Excludes taxes & fees
Hotel Museum
Grand Hotel Olympic
Grand Hotel Olympic
4 out of 5
Via Properzio 2/a, Rome, RM
The price is S$95 per night from 7 Nov to 7 Nov
Excludes taxes & fees
Grand Hotel Olympic
Hotel Quirinale
Hotel Quirinale
4 out of 5
Via Nazionale 7, Rome, RM
The price is S$166 per night from 21 Nov to 21 Nov
Excludes taxes & fees
Hotel Quirinale
Starhotels Michelangelo
Starhotels Michelangelo
4 out of 5
Via Della Stazione Di San Pietro 14, Rome, RM
The price is S$211 per night from 18 Nov to 18 Nov
Excludes taxes & fees
Starhotels Michelangelo
Best Western Plus Hotel Spring House
Best Western Plus Hotel Spring House
4 out of 5
Via Mocenigo 7, Rome, RM
The price is S$197 per night from 10 Nov to 10 Nov
Excludes taxes & fees
Best Western Plus Hotel Spring House
Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
5 out of 5
Via Alberto Cadlolo 101, Rome, RM
The price is S$399 per night from 10 Nov to 10 Nov
Excludes taxes & fees
Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Best Western Plus Hotel Universo
Best Western Plus Hotel Universo
4 out of 5
Via Principe Amedeo 5/B, Rome, RM
The price is S$148 per night from 7 Nov to 7 Nov
Excludes taxes & fees
Best Western Plus Hotel Universo
9Hotel Cesari
9Hotel Cesari
3 out of 5
Via di Pietra 89a, Rome, RM
The price is S$199 per night from 17 Nov to 17 Nov
Excludes taxes & fees
9Hotel Cesari
Hotel Raffaello, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western
Hotel Raffaello, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western
3 out of 5
Via Urbana 3/5, Rome, RM
The price is S$108 per night from 21 Nov to 21 Nov
Excludes taxes & fees
Hotel Raffaello, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.