Vatican City view from the Vatican - Guide to Vatican City

Guide to Vatican City

Vatican City Facts & Info

Vatican City sits within Rome Italy and is the smallest country in the world at just .44 square kilometers. Not only is it the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, it is also home to many works of art including Michelangelo’s Sistene Chapel. Vatican City contains no prisons, no hospitals, no hotels, and no permanent citizenships. If you work in service to the Pope, you are granted a temporary citizenship. Less than 1000 people live in Vatican City. It is the only country in the world to be entirely designated as a World Heritage Site. Explore more in our Guide to Vatican City.

Interested in another country in Europe? Head over to our Guide to Europe page and choose another country to read about.

Guide to Vatican City: What you need to know

Currency: The Euro
Language: Italian is the official language of Vatican City but Latin is considered the official language of the Pope. 
Population: around 800 
Voltage: Vatican City’s voltage is 230V  
Swiss Guard: There are about 135 Swiss Guard who reside inside Vatican City and guard the Pope
Visitors: More than 5 million people a year that visit Vatican City

Guide to Vatican City: Travel Info

The Vatican and it’s museums are open year round. The museums are open Monday – Saturday from 9am – 6pm. The museums are closed on Sundays except for the last Sunday of every month when it is open from 9am – 2pm. St. Peter’s Basilica is open from 7am – 7pm every day of the week.

With Vatican City located within Rome, most people will arrive at the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport. If you are arriving from another city in Italy, you’ll most likely be arriving by train. Once you arrive in Rome you can take a taxi or the subway to Vatican City. Rome’s subway system will take you near the Vatican. From there you can take just a short walk. 

Visiting St. Peter’s Basilica is free. If you want an audioguide, that will cost around $20. You can also climb to the top of St. Peter’s Dome for about $10. Note that it is 320 steps to the top but the view is worth it! There are several options for the Vatican Museum.
Museums & Sistine Chapel: About $25. With an audioguide: About $35.

There is no transportation inside Vatican City. Everything is walkable. 

Vatican City doesn’t have hotels so you will have to stay in Rome. You can stay in high end name brand hotels, boutique hotels, and even hostals in Rome. If you’re on a budget then stay outside the center of Rome and away from the tourist spots. Just remember that you will have to travel either by taxi or the subway to get to Vatican City. 

You can spend 1/2 day to a whole day in Vatican City. It’s small enough to walk the grounds in just 1 hour. It’s advised to get your ticket to the museum ahead of time so you don’t have to wait in the long line. You’ll have a time and you just show up and go inside at your scheduled time. The earlier you go, the less crowded it will be so try and get there when the museum opens. Read more about the Vatican in our Vatican City Travel Guides below.

Vatican City map - Guide to Vatican City

Vatican City Travel Guides


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