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St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro)
St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro)

St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro)

star-5
33,561 Reviews
Open daily
Piazza san Pietro, Vatican City, 00120

The Basics

At the center of the square, a soaring Egyptian obelisk and two marble fountains—one by Carlo Maderno dating from 1613 and the second designed by Bernini to match in 1675—break up the sweeping cobblestone space. Within the colonnade, formed by massive Doric columns and topped by 140 statues of the saints, lies the security check for entry to St. Peter's and, on the other side, the Vatican post office. The square is the site of large public Masses on the main Catholic holidays and for papal audiences, when it is packed with pilgrims from all over Italy and the world.

St. Peter's Square is best visited with a tour guide as part of a small-group tour that touches on all the Vatican highlights, including the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Gardens, and the Vatican Grottoes containing the tombs of former popes. The Vatican is a vast repository of art and history; savor it as part of a private tour with skip-the-line tickets to avoid wasting time in the Vatican's notoriously long queues.

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Faster Than Skip-the-Line: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour
Faster Than Skip-the-Line: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour
$54.36 per adult
Traveler Favorite
A must see amazing tour!
A must see amazing tour. Every room absolutely breathtaking. The tour guide was great. I could have spent a week going through all these rooms. So much beauty. This is an absolute must do tour.
Rose_F, Jul 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Rome

star-5
Fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime experience
Namrata_A, Jul 2021
Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off
Fabulous tour with Elisa who was extremely knowledgeable and dynamic. Don’t miss! We got to enjoy a practically empty St Peter’s basilica. Detailed dive into Vatican Rooms and Sistine chapel.
star-4
Glad to Travel Again
Stan_Tillman, Jul 2021
Faster Than Skip-the-Line: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour
This was very impressive but it is hard to absorb the many vast treasures of the vatican! The museums had something around each corner. The one disappointment was the fact that we didn't get to see St. Peter's Basilica and we didn't have the hours to see it after the museum tour by going through the line. But overall, it was still a great tour and worth seeing.
star-5
Maria is an awesome tour guide!
Ben, Jul 2021
Faster Than Skip-the-Line: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour
Maria was a fantastic tour guide! She was very thorough and kept everything interesting as we swept through the Vatican grounds and museum. I’d do this tour again, but might consider something even smaller. Semi-private means ~10 people while normal tours are ~20 people.
star-5
We had an outstanding guide, PhD Fulbright from CA living and studying here for years.
Richar, Jul 2021
Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off
Vatican without crowds was beyond imagination Our guide brought it all to life in the period it was created.
star-4
L & L
Lla, Jul 2021
Faster Than Skip-the-Line: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour
Tour guide was friendly, did a nice job and was very knowledgeable. The amount of time worked well, giving us an opportunity to have a light dinner in the garden area prior to leaving.
star-5
Worth every penny
Tracy_H, Jul 2021
Faster Than Skip-the-Line: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour
Our guide was so knowledgeable about the topic. We learned so much about history, faith, and the artists of the Vatican.
star-5
Solid tour
CorreyH, Jul 2021
Faster Than Skip-the-Line: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour
YaYa (our group leader) was very passionate. She took the time to insure we had all of our questions answered. Her knowledge on the Vatican and it’s art was impressive.
star-5
Worthwhile
Gerald_M, Jun 2021
Meet Pope Francis at St Peter square Vatican City
This is the only event that went well the entire trip through Viator. The guide met us and took us in and we took seats where we could be very near the Pope (2-3 feet away). This was worth the money.
star-5
Good job GiGi
shahrzade, Jul 2021
Faster Than Skip-the-Line: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour
Great! We really enjoyed the tour. He included my children by remembering them by their first names and engaging them. I highly recommend the tour guide GIgi. Male tour guide
star-5
St Peters dome climb
STEPHEN_C, Aug 2020
The Original Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb
Really amazing tour of the Vatican , St Peters Dome and Vatican Museum with our tour guide Chiara really nice lady and knew her job inside and out a must tour for anyone going to Rome thank you all
star-5
Very informative and interesting
Carol_B, Jul 2021
Faster Than Skip-the-Line: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour
Georgia was an excellent guide. It was obvious that she has a great deal of knowledge and love for art and its history
star-5
Papal Audience
Mary, Feb 2020
Meet Pope Francis at St Peter square Vatican City
We were picked up on time at our hotel. Driver was very pleasant and courteous. Our tour guide was very interesting and informative. Great experience ... everything went smoothly and efficiently 🙂

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Vatican is its own municipality and issues stamps; visit the post office under the colonnade in St. Peter's Square to send your postcards directly from Vatican City.

  • If you would like to see Pope Francis, it is imperative to book papal audience tickets in advance.

  • The square is accessible to wheelchair users.

  • There is a dress code to enter St. Peter's Basilica that requires clothing that covers the shoulders and knees; there is no dress code for the square.

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How to Get There

The most spectacular way to enter St. Peter's Square is by foot, crossing the Emperor Hadrian's Ponte Sant'Angelo over the River Tiber to Castel Sant'Angelo (Hadrian's Tomb) and walking up the grand Via della Conciliazione. Otherwise, use one of two metro line A stops: Ottaviano–S.Pietro–Musei Vaticani or Cipro.

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Trip ideas

Virtual Pasta Cooking Class, Live from Rome

Virtual Pasta Cooking Class, Live from Rome


When to Get There

The square is crowded with visitors during the opening hours of St. Peter's Basilica, so consider booking a night tour or an early-entry basilica tour to see St. Peter's Square in relative peace.

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The Swiss Guards

St. Peter's Square, along with the rest of the Vatican, is protected by the historic Swiss Guards, established in the 16th century and still sporting their colorful Renaissance-style uniforms.

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