The Sistine Chapel is certainly one of the best-known artistic treasures in the world. Mainly the Sistine owes its fame to Michelangelo's frescoes that decorate the vault and the apse wall.
Consequently this place represents one of the attractions of Rome most visited by tourists.
For this reason it is recommended to organize your visit in the best way to see the Sistine Chapel without queue and without stress. Indeed, millions of tourists flock to the Vatican every year with the sole purpose of seeing Michelangelo's masterpieces that decorates the sacred chapel.
How to visit the Sistine Chapel with no line
The Sistine Chapel is located inside the Vatican Museums. So in order to visit it you need to buy a ticket to the Vatican Museums.
As we said, given the large turnout that the museum has, it is recommended to book a skip-the-line ticket for the entrance.
Reserve your tickets for Vatican Museum
In order to avoid the lines there are many solutions.
The first option is to pre-purchase the skip-the-line entrance ticket that allows you to enter the Vatican Museums on the day and time you have chosen. By purchasing the simple entrance ticket, you also have the option of the official audio guide. This latter option permits you to orient better inside the museums and listen to the explanation of the main works on display. The explanation is customizable, so you can freely choose the path you wish most. Our advice is to get organized before entering the Museums having already clear what you want to visit. The Vatican Museums are indeed very large and consist of numerous sections. The paths inside should also be taken into consideration before starting your tour.
The second option is to participate in a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. It is therefore a visit with an official guide who will accompany you for about 3 hours to admire the main sections of the Vatican Museums and of course the Sistine Chapel. The tour takes place only on Saturdays from April and October and during the public holidays and the Christmas holidays.
Finally, you can also book a tour with a private guide to the Vatican Museums. With this option you will be able to deep the best of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel as you wish. In fact, with this tour you will have at your disposal an official guide dedicated only to you. The visit can last 3 hours. In this case you will visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Otherwise there is also a 4-hours tour which, in addition to the Vatican Museums, includes also the guided tour of St. Peter's basilica and the entire monumental complex.
In which times of entrance I can visit the Sistine Chapel
The Vatican Museums are open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 6:00 pm (last admission bookable at 3:00pm). During the summer months, an extraordinary evening opening is also planned until October, but only on Fridays.
On which day is the entrance at the Sistine Chapel free?
As we mention, the Sistine Chapel is inside the Vatican Museums.
The entrance inside the Vatican Museum is free every last Sunday of the Month from 09:00am to 2:00 pm. This may not happen just if the last Sunday of the month occur with Easter, on the 29th of June, on the 25th and 26th of December. During these religious holidays the Vatican Museum are always closed.
How to reach the Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel is located at the end of the path of the Vatican Museums.
The main entrance of the Vatican Museums is located in Viale Vaticano. The new entrance was built in 2000 and is located to the left of the old main entrance.
The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel are easily accessible by local means of transport (metro and bus).
The entrance to the Sistine Chapel and in general to the Vatican Museums is allowed only to visitors dressed in a proper way.
Armless and / or low-cut clothing, shorts, miniskirts and hats are not allowed.
Medium and large luggage
It is not possible to carry baggage, bags or backpacks inside the Vatican Museums that are not considered suitable by the staff, both in size and in type.
Inside the Vatican Museums there is a free wardrobe available to visitors.
Can I take photos inside the Sistine Chapel?
Inside the Sistine Chapel, taking pictures and filming videos with any electronic device is strictly prohibited.
Instead, photos and videos are allowed inside the Vatican Museums, the important thing is that they are taken without flashes or professional equipment.
Advices to better admire the Sistine Chapel
It is not allowed to speak inside the Sistine Chapel. The silence is in fact imposed by the sacredness of the place. In the case of a guided tour, not even the official Vatican guides have the right to explain inside the Sistine Chapel. Along the route of the Vatican Museums, there are panels to describe and explain the various frescoes present.
The vault of the Sistine Chapel is very high and therefore it is not possible to see the details of the paintings up close. Therefore, we advise you to look carefully at these panels and read up on what you will be able to admire inside the chapel. In fact the panels, besides having a descriptive part, also report an enlargement of the various representations.
Reductions and free tickets for the Sistine Chapel
Children aged between 6 and 18 are entitled to purchase a reduced ticket. In addition, students under the age of 26 with a Student Card or university booklet are entitled to this reduction.
Free admission is reserved for children younger than 5 years, journalists with a card and ICOM members.
Entrance for people with disability
People with a degree of disability greater than 74% can enter the Vatican Museums for free (and therefore in Sistine Chapel) together with an accompanying person.
The person must remember to present the certificate to be entitled to free admission.
Different path to visit the Sistine Chapel
As we said, to visit the Sistine Chapel it is necessary to enter the Vatican Museums.
Inside the Vatican Museums it is possible to choose between the two paths well signalled along the itinerary.
Therefore if you intend to visit mainly the Sistine Chapel there is a short path that avoids many of the halls of the Vatican Museums.
This route starts immediately once you go up the main escalators after the Atrio dei Quattro Cancelli and leads you directly towards the Sistine Chapel walking through the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Geographical Maps and the Pius V Apartment.
Consider that with this path you won’t see many important halls of the museums as the Pio Clementino Museum, which hosts the important statue of the Laocoonte, the Cortile del Belvedere and the Raphael’s Rooms. On the other side, with the longer path you will also see the Greek-roman section and some of the courtyard of the Vatican Museums. Signals are present almost everywhere.