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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
34,322 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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St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
star-4.5
$32.20 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Excellent tour, wrong meeting point information
Excellent tour. Very friendly and knowledgeable guide with superb language skills. Only downside: The information about the meeting point was incorrect. This is unnecessary aand should be improved. All in all an excellent cultural experience well worth the money.
Patrick, Jul 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Rome

star-5
Chira our tour guide is rome’s best kept secret!
Stacy_C, Sep 2021
The Original Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb
Chiara was such an amazing tour guide- with history stories and the best personality! She is quick witted and so knowledgeable- she saw us as her canadian friends and had such a great memory!
star-5
When in Rome Tours is great.
Bruce_B, Sep 2021
The Original Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb
The view from the top of Saint Peter’s Basilica was amazing. Well worth the climb up. The Basilica was jaw dropping and the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are absolutely a must to see when in Rome. Our tour guide, Chiara, had such a great personality and knowledge. Her degree in Art and History really shines through. She made the tour come alive and kept us all entertained. I would highly recommend this tour.
star-5
Well worth it
Tracie_M, Sep 2021
Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off
Our tour guide Maria Linda was spectacular. She was incredibly knowledgeable and gracious with our time, allowing us to move at our own pace. It was a pleasure to be picked up by private car so early in the morning. The tour was by far my favorite! The stroll back to our apartment was a great opportunity to see more of this beautiful city
star-5
Great experience!
Jamie_R, Aug 2021
Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off
This tour is fantastic! We were picked up around 7am and arrived at St. Peter's Basilica, where we were greeted with a beautiful view! Our tour guide was wonderful! He took his time explaining and sharing a lot of information. You could tell he is passionate about what he does! He also gave lots of pointers on where to take a great picture. This is a great tour for people who don't like crowds, as it is early and you beat the rush! A must do!
star-5
Amazing!
JodiLee_from_Ireland, Sep 2021
The Original Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb
Amazing trip, Chiara the guide was excellent, she timed it all well so we got enough time for everything and didn't feel rushed but we kept to schedule. She was very knowledgeable about everything and very personable. The sights itself were amazing and the view from the top of the dome was incredible even if it was quite a treck climbing all those stairs to get up there
star-5
Exclusive experience not to be missed
Ben_V, Jul 2021
Scavi Tour to the Tomb of St. Peter's & Skip Line Guided Tour of the Basilica
In this pandemic era, we must all be flexible in our plans. Due to changes at the Vatican, the tour operator had to request a time change. It was worth making the new time work. Barbara, our first guide, was excellent for the tour of the Basilica. She was warm, funny, and knowledgeable. The Scavi part was led by a phd on staff with the Vatican. It was a profound experience in a small group setting.
star-5
Great and knowledgeable tour guide!
Cameron_R, Aug 2021
Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off
Everything was amazing from the on-time pickup at our hotel to the drop off to our tour guide Dennis. Very professional, knowledgeable and fun! He also took great pictures of us. Highly recommend the early bird option because you’ll basically have everything to yourselves!
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
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 🙂
star-5
Scavi Tour
AnneMarie_W, Feb 2020
Scavi Tour to the Tomb of St. Peter's & Skip Line Guided Tour of the Basilica
Our guide, Paulo, was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. He had a joy of history that made our tour one of the best of our trip!
star-5
Fabulous
Patricia_K, Aug 2021
Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off
Flavio was patient, kind and knowledgeable. We truly enjoyed our experience. Thank you for a wonderful time!
star-5
Excellent service A+
rubenmerced, Nov 2019
from Civitavecchia Skip the line Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St Peter
The service was excellent. I would recommend and use it again. Thanks for a wonderful tour and memories.

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


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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