If you have always wondered when the entrance for the Vatican Museums is free, you will find in this article all the information you need for your visit.
Vatican Museums: when they are free and how to visit them.
Vatican Museums should be visited at least once in a lifetime. They are the center of the Vatican City. Founded by Pope Julius II in the 16th century and open to the public in the 18th century, over the years the Vatican Museums gained the position of the second most visited museum in Europe after the Louvre.
Nowadays, the Vatican Museums are one of the largest collections of art in the world, since inside there is an immense vastness of works of art. For visitors, they represent a journey through history of art between antiquity and modernity. In fact, inside the papal palaces, it is possible to walk over 8 km of galleries! It is a vast display of treasures of immense beauty and value that the popes have collected over the centuries.
In addition to the exhibition galleries, divided into real museums, we cannot forget the Sistine Chapel. This is an integral part of the Vatican Museums and it represents a concentration of unique masterpieces in the world. To access and see the Sistine Chapel it is necessary to buy a ticket to the Vatican Museums.
How can I visit the Vatican Museums without paying the entrance tickets?
Vatican Museums are open from Monday to Saturday, with the exception of the religious festivity. In these days they are usually very crowded, therefore to visit them it is needed a jump the line ticket.
However, you should know that during the year some days are scheduled for the free visits.
Once in a month and most precisely every last Sunday of the month, the visitor of the Vatican Museum has the possibility to enter into the museum without paying the ticket! Entrance is free every last Sunday of the month from 09am to 2pm, except from Easter Sunday, the 29th of June (St. Peter and Paul day), 25th of December (Christmas) and on the 26th of December (St. Stephen Day).
You have only to consider that on these days you will need a bit of patience, as the jump the line service is not available.
The dates when the Vatican Museums are scheduled are the following:
- 26 January
- 23 February
- 29 March
- 26 April
- 31 May
- 28 June
- 26 July
- 30 August
- 27 September
- 25 October
- 29 November
- 27 December
Vatican Museums on the last Sunday of the Month with no line
However, there is a possibility to avoid the long lines at the entrance on the last Sunday of the month. You can join a guided tour at the Vatican Museums. This is a visit with an official guide who will accompany you for about 3 hours to admire the main sections of the Vatican Museums. This tour will allow you to fully appreciate the masterpieces inside the museum. And above all, beyond the fact that it is skip the line, you will take advantage of a truly exceptional offer! The tour is in fact discounted by the cost of the ticket, so you will save about 50% of the price of the same guided tour scheduled during a day when the ticket is not free!
Vatican Museums – free ticket – what can I visit?
You will probably think that during free days many parts of the museum are closed to the public. Wrong! Also during the last Sunday of the month, you will have the pleasure and honour of visit everything that is normally accessible to paying visitors.
In fact, inside the museums of the Pope there are a lot of attractions available to the public: the Pinacoteca, the Pio Clementino Museum, the Collection of Modern Religious Art, the Ethnological Museum, the Gregorian Egyptian and Etruscan Museum, the Pio Clementino Museum, the Carriage Pavillon, the Gregoriano Profano Museum, the Philatelic and Numismatic Museum, the Chiaramonti Museum, the Museums of the Vatican Apostolic Library, the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael’s Rooms, the Gallery of Maps and may others. Not to be missed are also the Apostolic Palaces and the courtyards: the most famous is the Cortile della Pigna, but also the Octagonal Court and the Belvedere are a wonderful scenario.
Useful tips for your free visit for the Vatican Museums
Generally the Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays. As previously mentioned, they are exceptionally open on the last Sunday of the month, with some possible restrictions. On this free days, the closing time is at 2pm and it is not possible to book skip the line tickets. Once you enter, after the mandatory security checks, we suggest you consult a guidebook or an audio guide to help you find your way in this immensity. This will make it easier for you to move around the various museum sections. Another small recommendation is to leave any bulky items in the cloakroom, which is free of charge.
How long is the visit for the Vatican museums?
Considering the number of the works of art and the vastness of the museum, the visit won’t be brief. In fact, also the most rushed ones will stay inside the museum at least one hour and half. For this reason, we suggest you to do the visit in complete calmness, leaving at your disposal at least 3 hours. Many tourists decide to take advantage of the free admission for the visit of the Vatican Museums. A fundamental requirement for these days is patience and some organization in order not to lose the most precious masterpieces.
If you have planned the visit during the summer season, it is recommended to avoid improper clothing as sleeveless or backless dresses or hats. The sacredness of the places requires appropriate clothing.
Is it possible to visit the Vatican Museum during the evening for free?
The Vatican Museums at night is an event available from April to October on Fridays, but in this case there are no discounts or free tickets available. The ticket has the same cost of the daily entrance, it can be always reserved and it is never for free.
How to reach 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 are easily accessible with local transport, as the metro and the bus.