The wealth of the Vatican museums in terms of art and artifacts is stunning. The collection of this museum will impress even the most jaded person on earth. From artifacts from ancient Egypt to the most stunning sculptures, this museum has it all. And, to top it off, the Sistine Chapel is part of the museum.
For the Sistine chapel, you need to go to this article. It deserves its own page.
|How much time should I spend here?||At least half a day|
|How much does it cost?||It depends|
|How far from the city center?||20-30 minutes|
|What modes of transport are available?||Train, bus, tram, walking|
|What is the nearest subway stop?||Ottaviano or Cipro|
|Where can I find it?||Google Maps link|
|Is there an official website?||Click here|
The museum is extremely large, so don’t come here thinking you’ll be done within an hour. This place really is huge and you can spend an entire day here if you want to see everything. There are however a few highlights you should be aware of and then you can take the map of the museum and explore to your liking.
A word of caution: do not get swept along with the crowds. To most people, the museum is merely a way into the Sistine chapel. This means that the lines are filled with people that basically skip the museum, and if you don’t want to do that, then you should not follow the crowds.
What is there to see in the Vatican Museums?
The Vatican has one of the most extensive collections of art and historical artifacts in the world. Some of that treasure is displayed in the Vatican Museums in Rome. You really can fill an entire day at this museum.
When you go there, I would suggest either taking your time to see everything or making a selection of what you want to see ahead of time. If there’s a particular time in history you are interested in (say ancient Egypt) you should find that on the museum map and head over there.
I would recommend ancient Egypt as the collection is really cool and you can get up close and personal with a lot of the exhibits. Now please don’t go around touching stuff that is over 2000 years old. Your travel insurance won’t cover any accidents ;). But it is cool that you can get this close to history.
As you progress through the museum, you will find that there is a large stream of visitors heading through the halls, avoiding the rooms of the museum. These visitors are heading straight to the Sistine Chapel. So it’s good to remember that if you want to do this as well, you can take the fast route to the chapel by following the signs.
How do I get there?
The Vatican Museums are not accessible from St. Peter’s square or the basilica. The museum is large and runs up right to the square, but there is no entrance. You will need to head toward the Via di Porta Angelica. Once you are there, head to the Piazza del Risorgimento. When you are there, turn left and keep the Vatican walls to your left. Follow them around the corner and turn left onto the Viale Vaticano. Keep walking until you see the entrance to the museum to your left.
It should be a 10-15 minute walk.
If you are coming from the subway, then go to the Ottaviano station. From there head west through the Via Giulio Cesare. Turn left on the Via Leone IV and keep going until you see the Viale Vaticano to your left. Head in there and the entrance will be to your left.
This too should be a 10-15 minute walk.