St Peter’s Basilica ticket: top tips to visit and how to skip the line
Saint Peter's Basilica is one of the oldest, largest and holiest renaissance temples of the Catholic Church. It is located in the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, Vatican City. It is described as a trove of iconic art and architecture.
It is also a very important religious center as all the liturgies are also offered in St Peter's Basilica. Thus, it is visited by hundreds of pilgrims and tourists daily.
Want to know how to book your St Peter's Basilica Ticket? The rest of the article goes on to say…
- 1 Download your free e-guide of Rome
- 2 St. Peter’s Basilica History
- 3 St Peter’s Basilica Ticket: Architecture and what you can see inside
- 4 What can you see with your St Peter’s Basilica ticket ?
- 5 When is the best time to visit St Peter’s Basilica ?
- 6 Opening hours to visit St Peter’s Basilica
- 7 St Peter’s Basilica ticket – how to skip the line
- 8 Where and how to buy St Peter’s Basilica tickets ?
- 9 St. Peter’s Basilica ticket and visiting tips
- 10 How to get to St Peter’s Basilica ?
- 11 Is the Omnia Card worth it to take a St Peter’s Basilica ticket ?
- 12 What you need to know to go on a St. Peter’s Basilica tour ?
- 13 Conclusion to St. Peter’s Basilica ticket
Download your free e-guide of Rome
St. Peter’s Basilica History
St. Peter's Basicilia has immense historical significance. The history behind the building is very empowering and interesting. When the Basilica was first constructed, it got teared up.
Therefore, it was reconstructed after almost 100 years. The building was constructed by the work of many skilled architects that together came up with its design.
The Circus of Nero
The area where the Basilica stands was previously a cemetery and Circus of Nero (Map Location). The famous temple got its name from one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, called Saint Peter. He was martyred during the reign of Emperor Nero.
When Constantine (the first Christian emperor of Rome) gained power in 306 AD, he ordered the construction of the Basilica on the location of St. Peter's tomb.
The Basilica construction
The construction of the tomb started in 319 AD, and after 30 years, the tomb was completed.
However, the tomb started to collapse after 1000 years, and it was decided to demolish it. Later on, the construction of the New Basilica began.
It took over 120 years for the Basilica to be completed, and many famous roman architects contributed to its completion. This is why St Peter's basilica architecture is still known to draw visitors.
Some of these architects and designers were Bramante, Raphael, Donato, Michelangelo, Maderno, and Giacomo Della Porta.
The church was open to the public in 1626.
St Peter’s Basilica Ticket: Architecture and what you can see inside
The initiation of construction of the present Basilica began in 1506. This was built to replace the Old Basilica that was demolished in the 4th century A.D. The construction came to an end on the 18th of November, 1626.
The St. Peter’s Basilica main artworks
The Basilica is one of the largest worshipping places in the world, and it can host around 20,000 people at once. St Peter's Basilica architecture stuns thousands of visitors.
It is covered with art and sculptures by some of the most renowned artists and architects. The impressive pieces of art will leave you in awe. You will find bright, vibrant art pieces.
You will also be able to find a baldachin that is made by a bronze by Bernini knows as St. Peter’s Baldachin (Map Location). The statue of St. Peter seated on his throne and a famous sculpture, The Pieta by Michallengo, will also be found here.
The Basilica San Pietro tomb
The tomb is one of the most significant parts of St Peter's Basilica. The design was laid out, and construction started under Michelangelo.
However, it was continued by the efforts of Giacomo Della Porta and was finally completed in 1614 by Carlo Maderno.
The tomb's design has been an inspiration for many buildings to this date. Many famous tombs were built on its design, such as the Capitol in the United States.
The Basilica Dome
You can also climb to the top of the tomb for a picturesque view of St. Peter's square. That's where you will be able to view marvellous fountains and a 40m high Egyptian obelisk (which also holds great historical significance as it was brought to Rome around 37 B.C.). There's no better resource to understand these monoliths than our detailed guide on Obelisks in Rome.
You will also be able to see some magnificently sculptured 140 statues of saints that are going to be behind large statues of St. Peter and St. Paul.
What can you see with your St Peter’s Basilica ticket ?
With your St. Peter's Basilica ticket you will be able to visit a lot of different places. You may be overwhelmed with how much you can see, and you may not be able to decide.
However, there are some things that one should not miss if they are visiting St. Peter's Basilica. You can find St. Peter's Basilica skip the line ticket here, therefore, get yours now to see a world of ancient roman architecture.
1. St Peter’s Dome
St Peter's Dome might be one of the most spectacular attractions of Rome. The Dome was made under 3 of the most famous architects, and it is Michelangelo's intricate details that gave the Dome a new look.
It attracts a lot of visitors as you get to see the Basilica from a new angle. It is a rather extraordinary experience.
You can climb to the top of the Dome, although the St Peter's Basilica Dome tickets might cost more, your money will go to good use. There are different levels of the Dome. The first level is filled with extravagant mosaics, and you can see the St. Peter's Basilica architecture up close.
2. Vatican Necropolis
With your St. Peter's Basilica ticket, you can also get access to the Vatican Necropolis, which was an underground cemetery located 5 to 12 meters below the St Peter's Basilica.
The site has excavations that date back to the imperial time. It was not initially a Roman catacomb, but it was a cemetery with mausolea and tombs.
Today the Vatican Necropolis attracts visitors because of its historical significance.
3. St. Peter’s Tomb
One of the most exclusive places to visit in the Vatican City. The tomb is located right under St. Peter's Basilica; it is an underground tomb. If you purchase St. Peter's Basilica ticket, you can also visit the St. Peter's tomb.
However, if you can take out the time, you should visit the tomb on another day. From the tomb, you can directly enter the St. Peter's Basilica and avoid long lines.
At the beginning of the tour, you will be shown a wooden model of where you will go and towards the end, you will see the tomb.
4. The papal audience on St. Peter’s square
The papal audience is the name given to the crowd that comes and listens to the Pope addressing the crowd. After the themed address, there are usually prayers made, after which holy signing follows.
The papal audience is held at St. Peter's square (Map location). If you are on a trip to the Vatican City, you must see the papal audience (book your place here). This is conducted every Wednesday around 10 or 10.30 am. The Pope also blesses babies and other religious articles if you get a chance to get closer to him.
You can also book a combo ticket including the Papal Audience + entrance to St Peter's Basilica.
When is the best time to visit St Peter’s Basilica ?
If you want to visit St. Peter’s Basilica, you should plan your visit before time. This will help you get in the Basilica faster, and you will be able to enjoy your trip. Usually, the Basilica is very crowded, and you may have to wait in long lines.
Preferred visiting hours
Therefore, the best time to visit the Basilica would be on weekdays between 7 am to 9 am, this is because during this time the queue for waiting is not very long and the average waiting time is approximately 20- 25 minutes.
However, from 10 am the queues to visit the Basilica get very long, and you may have to wait as long as 1 hour in the queue (avoid the crowd here). If you can not make it at this time, then you may want to read ahead to find out more about how you can skip long queues and get to the Basilica faster.
If you visit the St Peter's Basilica during the spring season, you might get access to their night tours that are reported to be much less busy than their regular day tours. The timing of this tour is 7 pm to 11 pm. You can also see St Peter's square.
Opening hours to visit St Peter’s Basilica
|April to the 7th of September||am to 7 pm|
|October to March||7 am to 6 pm|
|Fridays of Spring or Summer (midnight tour)||7 pm to 11 pm|
St Peter’s Basilica ticket – how to skip the line
Is there any entrance fee to visit St Peter’s Basilica?
There is no standard entry fee to visit St Peter's Basilica. It is open to the public and is totally free. No ticket is required to enter the Basilica.
The prices for all these tickets may vary. They can provide good value for the money as they can help you save time and make you enjoy your trip more.
St Peter’s Basilica tickets options and prices
|Ticket option||Price for adults/ €||Price for Children/ €||Book your ticket|
|Fast track entry + audio guide||€19.5||Free for children -6||Skip the Line|
|Fast track entry + guided tour||€34||€25 for children aged 7 to 17||Guided Tour|
|Fast track entry + Dome + guided tour||€49||Aged 2 to 14 years old|
|Combined tour of St Peter's Basilica + Vatican Museums with fast track entry||€96.5||91.50 for children from 6-18|
Where and how to buy St Peter’s Basilica tickets ?
There are several ways to get St Peter's basilica tickets. You can book your tickets online on the official website of Vatican attractions.
You can also book skip the line tickets faster here. Or you can book tickets at nearby bookshops, phone calls or you can get them at the Basilica directly.
However, we highly recommend to book your ticket beforehand if you don’t want to loose time in line.
St. Peter’s Basilica ticket and visiting tips
Avoid the queue via the Sistine Chapel
Avoid the weekends
Avoid Holy Days
Avoid the Papal appearances if you are not interested
Make sure you follow the dress code (read head to know more about the dress code)
St Peter's Basilica does not have an admission fee; you might be wondering why you should get a ticket to see Basilica if it is free? However, it will save you a lot of time because St Peter's Basilica has one of the longest queues.
Therefore, investing a St Peter's Basilica ticket might be the wisest option. With that said, there are several other tips that you can follow to save yourself much more time.
How to get to St Peter’s Basilica ?
If you want to get to St. Peter's Basicila, you can use google maps to get to the security line directly. It is located close to the Vatican Museums, and if you are over there, you can walk to the place easily.
If you are using a hop-on and hop-off bus (ticket from €23), it is most likely to stop there. Get the combo open bus + entrance to St Peter's Basilica ticket here!
You can take metro A and walk from the station to St Peter's Basilica. Similarly, you can also use the bus service. It is also accessible by cars.
Is the Omnia Card worth it to take a St Peter’s Basilica ticket ?
The Omnia Card might seem a little more expensive than other passes that allow access at discounted rates to St. Peter's Basilica and helps you skip lines. This is because the Omnia Card has a lot of services to offer its users. Book your Omnia Card here.
The Roma pass (ticket) is also a great option if you want to visit the Colosseum. If you are traveling to Rome with children, it is advised that you do not purchase this pass as your kids will get free entry.
Here you can visit the official website of Omnia Card.
What you need to know to go on a St. Peter’s Basilica tour ?
When you are visiting St Peter's Basilica, you must keep in mind some things that can be very helpful. We have brought together a list of things that you must know about before you go to St Peter's Basilica tour.
The Romans are very strict about the dress code. The St. Peter's Basilica and Vatican museum have a specific dress code. This is because these places are regarded as holy. Therefore you should not wear shorts or miniskirts. Your shoulder should be covered, and no exceptions are made. If you do not comply, they will not let you enter these places.
Just near the entrance of the Basicila is a reception where you can get access to a restroom; you can also store your luggage, such as bags and children strollers. You will also find refreshment shops and gift shops over there.
Before you enter the Basilica, you will go through a complete security check. There are certain items that are not allowed inside, such as metal tools, video cameras, microphones, suitcases, umbrellas, sticks, etc. You are also not allowed to do flash photography, eat food or drink, and talk loudly in the chapel. There have been some incidents of pickpocketing reported. Therefore, you should be careful with your belongings.
Conclusion to St. Peter’s Basilica ticket
Now that you know all about St. Peter's Basilica, you should book your ticket and start your voyage to discover one of the most enchanting holy places in the world. You should purchase your St. Peter's Basilica ticket if you wish to doge the line and get to the church fast so that you are fully energized and excited about the tour.
Fully-equipped with all the right information, you can now decide for yourself what ticketing option is the best for you. This is going to be an unforgettable and worthwhile experience for you.