Saint Peter’s Basilica

Saint Peter’s Basilica tickets and tours

Italy

Things to do in Saint Peter’s Basilica

4.4/5 (3491)

The magnificent Saint Peter’s Basilica, located in Vatican City in Rome, is one of the largest Catholic churches in the world and is considered an iconic symbol of the city and the heart of Christianity. The combined work of Bramante, Michelangelo, Maderno and Bernini among others, the church overflows with Renaissance beauty and is a must-see for anyone visiting Rome.

Built on the tomb of Saint Peter and the remains of a 4th century church, Pope Julius II commissioned Bramante to build a new basilica in 1506. After Bramante died in 1514, construction stalled and he was succeeded by a number of different architects, all of whom made changes to the design. Most notably was Michelangelo, who took over in 1547 at the age of 72; he didn’t live to see its completion. It fell to Giacomo della Porta and Domenico Fontana to oversee the dome’s construction and Carlo Maderno to finish the project who completed the main facade in 1615.

Beyond its imposing architecture, it is also well worth a visit for its stunning interior features and masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque art. Don’t miss Bernini’s enormous Baldachin (canopy), which hangs over the main altar and is one of the heaviest bronze objects in the world. The cathedral is also home to Michelangelo’s famed Pieta, sculpted when the artist was just twenty-four.

Visit the Vatican Grottos, a necropolis below the nave where you will find the graves of more than one hundred popes. You can also climb to the top of the dome for an additional fee and experience magnificent views over Rome from the viewing platform.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome, Saint Peter’s Basilica receives thousands of visitors and pilgrims per day, so it is advisable to book ahead with a guided tour. Saint Peter’s Basilica is within walking distance to many of the other popular tourist attractions in Vatican City such as the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, so a combined tour is a popular option.

Dress code for entry into Saint Peter’s Basilica is strict and is reinforced by security so don’t be caught out when visiting. Men must wear long trousers and cover their shoulders and women must not have either bare shoulders or skirts shorter than knee length.

Saint Peters Basilica is open daily from 7am to 7pm April to September and 7am to 6pm October to March. It is advisable to visit early in the morning before the crowds arrive or book skip the line tickets as the line for security can be long. It is accessible by foot from many points in the city or via public transport. The nearest subway stop is Ottaviano-S. Pietro station and all hop on hop off buses stop at Vatican City.

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Experiences in Saint Peter’s Basilica

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Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel small-group tour with a local guide
Must see
Attractions & guided tours

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel small-group tour with a local guide

Book your small group tour of the Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Take advantage of a expert local guide and skip-the-line entrance.

free cancellation
Available in:

en, it 

Skip-the-line entrance to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
Likely to sell out
Attractions & guided tours

Skip-the-line entrance to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Benefit from skip-the-line access to admire the beautiful Vatican Museums and visit the greatest attractions in Rome, the Sistine Chapel.

free cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Reserved entrance and guided tour of Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
Likely to sell out
Attractions & guided tours

Reserved entrance and guided tour of Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Benefit from reserved access to admire the beautiful Vatican Museums and visit the greatest attractions in Rome, the Sistine Chapel.

free cancellation
Available in:

en, it, fr, es, de, +2  pt, ru

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel VIP small group tour
Attractions & guided tours

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel VIP small group tour

Enjoy a small-group guided experience including skip-the-line access and get to see the Vatican's top attractions!

free cancellation
Available in:

en, it, fr, de 

Sistine Chapel guided tour with Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica
Attractions & guided tours

Sistine Chapel guided tour with Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica

Discover the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums and the St. Peter's Basilica during this essential guided tour.

Duration 3 hours 30 minutes
Available in:

en 

Instant Confirmation
Fast track Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica tour
Attractions & guided tours

Fast track Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica tour

Make the most of your time in Rome! Explore the Vatican Museums on a 2-hour guided tour and then visit the magnificent Basilica of St. Peter.

free cancellation
Available in:

en, fr, es 

Rome self-guided audio tour
Activities

Rome self-guided audio tour

Explore Rome at your own pace: enjoy an app containing over 130 points of interest, transport routes, sightseeing itineraries and walking tours.

Validity Flexible
Available in:

en, it, fr, es, de, +2  ru, zh

Instant Confirmation
Vatican Museums skip-the-line private tour with local expert guide
Likely to sell out
Attractions & guided tours

Vatican Museums skip-the-line private tour with local expert guide

Book now to discover the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in Rome during a private tour with a local expert guide.

free cancellation
Available in:

en, it, fr, es, de 

St. Peter's Basilica guided tour
Attractions & guided tours

St. Peter's Basilica guided tour

Book your visit to St. Peter's Basilica with priority access and an official guide: avoid long queues and discover the masterpieces of Michelangelo and Bernini.

free cancellation
Available in:

en, it, fr, es, de 

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine tour with Vatican Museums upgrade
Attractions & guided tours

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine tour with Vatican Museums upgrade

Visit the Vatican and the Colosseum in this day tour of Rome. Discover the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, as well as the Roman forum.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Best of Rome Pass
Attractions & guided tours

Best of Rome Pass

Visit all the best sites in Rome with a single pass, skip long queues and get easy access to Rome's major sights.

free cancellation
Available in:

en, it, fr, es, de, +4  pt, ru, pl, zh

24 or 48-hour hop-on hop-off bus + official Saint Peter's Basilica audioguide
Activities

24 or 48-hour hop-on hop-off bus + official Saint Peter's Basilica audioguide

24 or 48-hour hop-on hop-off bus + official Saint Peter's Basilica audioguide - Find and book the most amazing activities in Rome with Musement.

free cancellation
Available in:

en, it, fr, es, de 

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Saint Peter’s Basilica

Saint Peter’s Basilica

Rome

Italy

Reviews Saint Peter’s Basilica

4/5
Paulus, 01 Mar 2016
4/5
Lauren, 12 Feb 2016

“I highly recommend the tour of St. Peter's. It was so convenient to have it organized to avoid the long lines, be in a small group, have someone answer your questions personally, get your audioguide with easy to follow instructions and information you can access at your own pace, independently. We even went thru the Holy Door as part of our own tour...Wonderful and an easy way to fit in the Vatican tours. I recommend taking the Vatican Museum tour as well! The cafeteria was great!”

4/5
David, 13 Nov 2015
4/5
Tina, 31 Oct 2015
Rome