St Peter’s Basilica Tickets: A Guide with Prices, Discounts, and What to Expect at the Church

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St. Peter’s Basilica, located in Vatican City, is a Renaissance-style church standing as the holiest Catholic shrine renowned for its incredible architecture. 

It is a masterpiece of engineering portraying the genius of Michelangelo’s Renaissance dome and many artworks and sculptures crafted by history’s most celebrated artists.

Among the world’s four significant basilicas, St. Peter’s Basilica holds a distinguished place, attracting 10 million tourists and pilgrims annually from around the globe. 

It claims the title of the world’s largest church, and legend has it that the Basilica was constructed above the tomb of St. Peter, the first Bishop of Rome and one of Jesus’ apostles. 

Today, it serves as the final resting place for several Popes, preserving this longstanding tradition.

Whether you’re a religious pilgrim or an art and history enthusiast, this basilica promises a memorable experience for every visitor.

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday: 7 am to 7 pm.

Last Entry: 6.45 pm on weekdays and weekends.

Time Needed: 1 to 2 hours for a comprehensive visit.

Best Time: Avoid Mass services; weekdays are generally less crowded.

Ticket Price: Starting from €17

Address: Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City. Get Directions!

Nearest Station: Ottaviano – San Pietro – Musei Vaticani (Line A)

St. Peter’s Basilica Free Entry

Entry to St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world, is free of charge.

While the Basilica of St. Peters itself offers free entry, it’s important to note that access to certain areas, such as the dome (Cupola), may require a separate ticket. Buy Tickets to St. Peter’s Basilica Dome.

The dome provides a stunning view of the basilica’s interior and the picturesque skyline of Rome.

Given the popularity of St. Peter’s Basilica, especially among tourists and pilgrims, it’s common to encounter long queues as the attraction receives about 50,000 visitors daily.

If you wish to avoid waiting for at least an hour, or if you are traveling with the elderly or children, you should definitely consider purchasing a Skip the Line ticket.

Hence, you must consider opting for a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica, including a climb to the dome. 

If you prefer exploring independently, an audioguide for St. Peter’s Basilica can be your ideal companion, providing insights and information during your visit.

Given its proximity to the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, located at a distance of 1 km (0.62 miles), which is 13 mins by foot, many visitors choose to tour these three landmarks together. Buy Ticket.

Booking St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums saves you money and ensures efficient use of your time.

For travelers seeking a budget-friendly option to discover Rome’s renowned attractions, the Rome Tourist Card provides discounted access to some of the city’s most famous sights, including St. Peter’s Basilica.

What to Expect at St. Peter’s Basilica?

Situated in the heart of Rome, St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most popular tourist spots globally, a must-visit for anyone touring the city.

It is known for its Renaissance architecture and is considered the holiest Catholic shrine and the grandest church in Christendom.

It covers an expansive area of over 22,300 square meters (2,40,035 square feet) and seats 60,000 people.

It is the main church of the Roman Catholic Church and the official home of the Pope in Vatican City.

You’ll be amazed by the architecture and intricate decorations on the walls and ceilings when you step inside the Basilica. 

Filled with treasures made of marble and bronze, along with papal tombs and famous paintings, the Basilica offers a peek into its rich history and art.

The interior is vast and spacious, easily accommodating the thousands of daily visitors.

Look out for Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the statue of Pieta, the bronze statue of St. Peter, and the statue of Longinus. 

The tomb of St. Peter is a significant attraction for tourists, enhancing the basilica’s appeal.

St. Peter’s Basilica Entrance

The main entrance of St. Peter’s Basilica is located at the church’s portico.

It is the most popular entrance (Used by those who want free entry). As a result, it remains busy due to a huge number of visitors daily.

Consider booking a guided tour to skip lines, as the entrance is different, and you may face fewer crowds.

Guided Tour Entrance:

  • Situated on the south side, separate from the main entrance.
  • Less crowded, making it an excellent choice to avoid long lines.

Vatican Grottoes Entrance:

  • Inside the main church, accessible near statues of St. Helen and St. Andrew.
  • Leads to underground chapels and tombs beneath the basilica.

Bronze Door Entrance:

  • Found on the right side of St. Peter’s Square, beyond the colonnade.
  • Functions as an entrance to the Apostolic Palace.
  • Open only during holy years, the next being in 2025.

Porta Santa Entrance:

  • Northernmost entrance, also known as the Holy Door.
  • It is a Special entrance typically sealed and only opened during Jubilee Years, which are special years of remission of sins and universal pardon. 
  • Significant site during Jubilee Years.

Why Should You Buy St. Peter’s Tickets Online in Advance?

You can purchase St. Peter’s Basilica tickets at the venue. 

However, you must be prepared for long queues at the counter as it is a popular attraction receiving 50,000 visitors daily.

While you can buy tickets to St Peter’s Basilica on the site, getting them online has many advantages.

  1. You can skip the long lines at the counter.
  2. Online tour tickets are cheaper and save you from the usual long lines at the venue.
  3. Booking your guided tour in advance ensures your preferred time, avoiding last-minute letdowns.
  4. Many online tickets offer a customer-friendly cancellation policy.

St. Peter’s Basilica Tickets

Select your preferred St. Peter’s Basilica ticket from the many available options.

Here are our top recommendations based on ticket type:

St. Peter’s Basilica Skip the Line Tickets

St. Peter’s Basilica entry is free, but you need a ticket to access its notable areas.

Given the free entry, be prepared for substantial crowds.

Get a Guided Vatican tour ticket to skip long queues and access the Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s.

The tour guides you through St. Peter’s Basilica, including climbing the Dome for Rome views.

Ideal for those wanting to save time, especially if you’re with kids or seniors. 

Live guides are available in different languages for personalized experiences.

Ticket Price:

Adult (18 years & above): €49

Child (6 to 17 years): €45

Infant (up to 5 years): Free

St. Peter’s Basilica Guided Tour

St. Peter’s Basilica, Dome Climb, and Underground Guided Tour

The guided tour covers the dome, basilica, and underground crypts with an expert English-speaking guide.

Begin your tour by reaching the top of the dome and a viewing platform.

Here, you can enjoy stunning views from Vatican City’s highest point.

Gain fast-track entry to St. Peter’s Basilica after descending from the dome.

Witness incredible mosaics and artifacts from the first-level balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Enjoy the intimate experience, as the tour is limited to only 15 visitors in a small group setting.

Ticket Price:

Adult (18 years & above): €42

Child (6 to 17 years): €37

Infant (up to 5 years): Free

St. Peter’s Basilica Guided Tour with Dome and Papal Tombs

It provides exclusive access to St. Peter’s Basilica’s dome with an elevator for stunning views.

Witness sights like Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà,’ and St. Peter’s final resting place.

Next up, marvel at colorful marble, golden ceilings, and intricate mosaics.

Best for individuals or groups interested in art, history, and a comprehensive exploration.

Ticket Price:

Adult (17 years & above): €65

Child (4 to 16 years): €54

Infant (up to 4 years): Free

St. Peter’s Basilica Combo Tickets

When visiting St. Peter’s Basilica, it’s a good idea to pair it with other famous places to complete your trip.

That’s why combo St. Peter’s Basilica Combo Tickets are great for this!

The most popular choice among visitors is the Vatican Museums+Sistine Chapel+St Peter’s Basilica combo tour.

It offers skip-the-line access to the Vatican Museums and a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.

Benefit from a small group size of 20 or less, ensuring an intimate and personalized visit.

Stay engaged with audio headsets during the tour for insightful commentary.

Perfect for those seeking a hassle-free Vatican experience without the crowds.

Ticket Price:

Adult (19 years & above): €73

Child (6 to 18 years): €68

Infant (up to 6 years): Free

Some other handpicked combos are

Ticket TypeWhat’s IncludedPrice
Colosseum & Vatican Skip the Line Guided Tour– Reserved skip-the-line access- Guides for Colosseum, Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, & St. Peter’s.-Free time between tours for flexibility.From €138
St. Peter’s Basilica Audio Tour + Open Bus Tour In Rome– Explore St. Peter’s Basilica with a 1-hour audio guide.- Open Bus Tour: Colosseum, Piazza Venezia, more.- Secure payment, digital tickets, and 100% online access.From €30
St Peter’s Basilica & Dome: Guided Tour + Borghese Gallery-Exclusive entry to Borghese Gallery.-Guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica with access to the dome.-Headset provided for guided tour.From €65
Vatican City Pass– Get digital access to 4 top experiences in Rome.- Access to the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and more.- Enjoy a 10% discount on other attractions.From €96

St. Peter’s Basilica Opening Hours

St. Peter’s Basilica is open all year, but the hours change with the seasons.

The winter timings (1 October to 31 March) of St. Peter’s Basilica are 7 am to 7 pm.

During the summer (1 April to 30 September), it is open from 7 am to 6.30 pm.

Papal Audience Timings at Saint Peter’s Basilica:

You can meet and interact with the Pope every Wednesday at St. Peter’s Basilica. 

Thus, you’ll receive the most visitors at St. Peters on Wednesday. 

The papal audience at St. Peter’s Basilica typically begins around 10 am, lasting two hours.

In winter (1 October to 31 March), it may start half an hour later, at 10.30 am.

You must arrive an hour early, by 9 am, for a good seat.

Mass Hours at St. Peter’s Basilica:

You can attend daily masses at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City for free.

You don’t need to book tickets to St. Peter’s Basilica to attend the Mass. You just need to pass through the security checkpoint queue.

We recommend you arrive one to two hours before the scheduled mass for a good spot and timed entrance.

Mass is conducted only in Italian or Latin; mass in English is not available.

Wait Times at St. Peter’s Basilica:

Expect varying wait times at St. Peter’s Basilica depending on the season and time of day.

During peak tourist months (April to September), the wait can be up to 60 minutes, especially midday. 

Mornings (before 9 AM) and late afternoons (after 4 PM) typically have shorter lines. 

Off-peak months (November to March) generally have minimal wait times. 

Best Time to Visit Saint Peter’s Basilica

The best time to visit St. Peter’s Basilica is early morning, ideally between 7 am and 9 am, when it’s less crowded as it is a very popular attraction. 

During the early hours of the day, you can get a more peaceful experience. 

If mornings don’t work for you, try around 4 pm, another time when fewer people are around.

The best months for visiting St. Peter’s Basilica are November and January through March, as you’ll find fewer tourists.

December is also a good time, but remember, it gets busier around Christmas and New Year’s.

St. Peter’s Basilica Dress Code:

You must dress modestly to ensure entry into the Basilica of St. Peters in Vatican City.

 Make sure to wear clothes that cover your knees and shoulders. 

You must avoid sleeveless tops, shorts, miniskirts, and hats.

This simple dress code is strictly enforced and respects the Basilica’s sacred nature. 

Know more about the dress code.

How to Reach St. Peter’s Basilica: Guide to Easy Access

Saint Peter’s Basilica is located in Vatican City. Here’s the exact location:

Address: St. Peter’s Basilica, Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City. Get Directions.

Tourists visiting Saint Peter’s Basilica must take public transportation in Vatican City to reach the location.

There are no special restrictions for using public transport to and from Vatican City, making it a convenient option to reach St. Peter’s Basilica.

By Metro:

  • Nearest Station: Ottaviano–San Pietro–Musei Vaticani.
  • Line: Take the Line A Metro trains, which run frequently.
  • Walking Distance: After getting off at the Ottaviano station, it’s just a 10-minute walk to St. Peter’s Basilica, located at the end of St. Peter’s Square.

By Train:

  • Nearest Station: St Pietro Station.
  • Walking Distance: A 12-minute walk will take you from St. Pietro Station to St. Peter’s Square.

By Bus:

  • Bus Routes: Numbers 64, 62, 40, and 81 lead to St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • Most Popular Route: Bus no. 64 is widely used, as it connects Termini Station with Vatican City.

Nearby Popular Attractions to St. Peter’s Basilica

Here’s a table showing nearby attractions to St. Peter’s Basilica and their respective distances:

AttractionDistance from St. Peter’s Basilica
Vatican Museums0.8 km (0.5 miles)
Sistine Chapel0.5 km (0.31 miles)
Castel Sant’Angelo0.7 km (0.43 miles)
Piazza Navona1.8 km (1.12 miles)
Pantheon Rome2.1 km (1.3 miles)

These attractions are all within a short distance, making it convenient to visit them during your trip to St. Peter’s Basilica.

FAQs

What is the St. Peter’s Basilica famous for?

St. Peter’s Basilica is renowned for being the holiest Catholic shrine and the grandest church in Christendom.

It is famous for its incredible Renaissance-style architecture, including Michelangelo’s dome, and houses numerous artworks and sculptures by celebrated artists.

As the world’s largest church, it attracts millions of tourists and pilgrims annually.

Can you enter St. Peter’s Basilica for free?

Yes, entry to St. Peter’s Basilica is free. Visitors can explore the main areas of the basilica without purchasing a ticket.

However, certain sections, such as the dome (Cupola), may require a separate ticket for access.

Consider a Skip the Line ticket for a more convenient visit to avoid long queues and access specific areas like the dome.

Is St. Peter’s Basilica the same as the Vatican?

St. Peter’s Basilica is located within Vatican City, which is an independent city-state surrounded by Rome.

While St. Peter’s Basilica is a significant religious site within Vatican City, the Vatican also encompasses other attractions like the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Square.

Opt for a combo ticket that includes access to St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel for a comprehensive Vatican experience.

Do I need tickets to St. Peter’s Basilica?

Entry to St. Peter’s Basilica is generally free.

However, tickets may be required for access to certain areas within the basilica, such as the dome (Cupola) or for guided tours.

Visitors can purchase tickets for specific experiences or choose skip-the-line options to avoid long queues.

Is entry to St. Peter’s Basilica free?

Yes, entry to St. Peter’s Basilica is free for general visits to the main areas of the basilica, including the nave and the central part.

However, visitors may need to purchase tickets for additional experiences, such as climbing the dome or participating in guided tours.

How much does it cost to go to St. Peter’s Basilica?

While entry to St. Peter’s Basilica is free, there may be associated costs for specific experiences within the Basilica.

For example, tickets for climbing the dome or participating in guided tours have varying prices. The cost can range from €17 for basic entry to higher prices for guided tours and combo tickets.

Is it free to climb St. Peter’s Basilica?

Climbing St. Peter’s Basilica requires a separate ticket, specifically the dome (Cupola). 

While general entry to the basilica is free, the dome offers a panoramic view of the interior and the skyline of Rome.

Visitors interested in climbing the dome may need to purchase a ticket for this experience.

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