St. Peter's BasilicaMore Tickets
Tickets for Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour
St. Peter's Basilica, Square & Papal Grottoes: Afternoon Guided Tour
St. Peter's Basilica, Rome
About St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica, or to give it it's full title the 'Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano' or in English 'The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican' is located in the heart of Vatican City.
Its the second basilica to stand on the site. The first was traced back to the 4th century and was commissioned by the then Emperor Constantine and was built on the burial site of St. Peter, being one of Jesus's 12 apostles.
As the first basilica started to age, the current basilica was then commissioned by Pope Julius II in 1506 and was finally completed in 1615 under the direction of Paul V. Sometimes referred to as 'New St. Peter's Basilica' was given UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1984.
Although still a place of worship, its also a symbol of the grandeur of Catholicism and attracts millions of visitors and pilgrims to Vatican City each year. Designed by several of the greatest minds of the Renaissance period including Bramante, Raphael and Michelangelo, amongst others during its construction.
Carlo Maderno was responsible for the façade, including the famous Corinthian columns that have stood proudly since the 17th century.
The St. Peter's Basilica Dome
Michelangelo designed the famous Dome, which is one of the basilica's most recognisable features. However, it wasn't completed until after his death by Giacomo della Porta and Domenico Fontana.
The Dome stands at 136 meters (448 feet) in height and posed engineering challenges at the time. Michelangelo's ingenious solution was to actually construct two domes instead of one, so the Dome is actually a double dome, an inner and an outer dome, which made it more stable.
Visitors can actually climb the dome with the appropriate ticket (click here for ticket details). There are 550 steps that take you to the top and the views of Rome waiting for you are incredible.
You don't actually need a ticket to enter St. Peter's Basilica, however the queues are normally very long indeed. However, if you want to avoid most of the queue, you can purchase any of the tickets we offer, and most of which include a guided tour, which means you can then skip the long queue and go to the special queue for ticket holders. You do need to buy a ticket if you want to climb the Dome.
What you see in St. Peter's Basilica
As you climb the Dome you will see the incredible intricate mosaics that tell stories about the history of the church and life. Once you reach the top, it offers incredible views of the city including St' Peter's Square and Vatican Gardens. See if you can also spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon and Castel Sant'Angelo as well as other famous landmarks.
In the basilica you will see the nave surrounded by more incredible columns and the baldacchio (a huge canopy that marks the final resting place of St. Peter himself, beneath the basilica. The interior is also full of incredible works of art from the likes of Canova, Michelangelo and Bernini amongst others. Michelangelo's 'Pieta' is on show inside, for example. This is the sculpture of the Virgin Mary cradling the body of Jesus and its one of the most prised treasures of the basilica.
You will also see the Navicella, an incredible mosiac attributed to Giotto which adorns the central nave floor. The Navicella shows a ship, representing the church, as it sails through stormy seas around the world. If you are on one of our guided tours, your guide will also provide you with more information as they guide you around.
Useful Information About St. Peter's Basilica, Rome
St. Peter's Basilica Address
St. Peter's Basilica, Piazza San Pietro, 00120, Citta del Vaticano, Vatican City
St. Peter's Basilica Opening Hours
Saturday: 07:00 - 18:00 | Sunday: 13:30 - 18:00 | Monday: 07:00 - 18:00 | Tuesday: 07:00 - 18:00 | Wednesday: 13:30 - 18:00 | Thursday: 07:00 - 18:00 | Friday: 07:00 - 18:00
St Peter's BasilicaMore Tickets
St. Peter's Basilica
Just be respectful and remember it is a church, so clothes that cover the shoulders and knees.
St. Peter's Basilica is not part of the Vatican Museums, no.
This is a really good question, but no you don't. Passports are not required to enter or exit Vatican City.
No. You don't actually need a ticket to enter St. Peter's Basilica. However, the queue for entry without tickets can be long and we mean LONG! Waiting times are usually over an hour. Whereas if you purchase a skip the line guided tour ticket you can actually go to the special entry point avoiding that queue and you will also learn a lot more as part of the tour!
St. Peter's Basilica is located inside Vatican City.