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

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St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro)
The heart of Rome's Vatican City is St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro), the grand space that provides a magnificent approach to St. Peter's Basilica. Designed by Bernini in the 17th century, Piazza San Pietro is lined by semicircular colonnades four columns deep on either side that seem to reach out and enfold visitors in an embrace. 

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.
Address: Piazza san Pietro, Vatican City, Lazio 00120, Italy
Hours: Open daily
Admission: Free
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419 Tours and Activities to Experience St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro)

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receive your invitation for the PAPAL audience directly at the hotel

receive your invitation for the PAPAL audience directly at the hotel

To avoid waiting at the counters to collect your invitations, we offer our delivery service, which will allow you to go directly to the hearing. Your invitation request will be facilitated and supported until delivery, knowing that invitations, without going through us, are only issued when available and that it is essential to obtain free tickets to attend the hearing. Attend this ancient and typical ceremony in the front rows while admiring the architecture of the magnificent Place St. Pierre. When the Pope is present in Rome, he holds Papal Audiences on Wednesday at 10:30 am in St. Peter's Square. In case of bad weather, they take place in the Paul XI room, located between Italian territory and the Vatican State, which can accommodate up to 12,000 people. This tradition dates back to Pope Pius XI who initiated it in 1925, at the time the Pope was both authoritarian and praised for his great kindness.
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  • 2 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$30.71
per group
From
$30.71
per group

Papal Audience With Host

Papal Audience With Host

Experience the weekly Papal audience that takes place every Wednesday in St. Peter Square. A papal audience is a unique event, a memorable experience not to miss during your trip to Rome, whether you are Christian or have another faith. You will attend the event from the best viewing point: do not miss the chance to admire both the impressive Basilica from outdoor and see Pope Francis. You will meet a friendly host of our staff at the reception of our office and get safely escorted to St. Peter's Square in the Vatican City.
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  • 2 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$42.99
From
$42.99
Taking safety measures

Fast Track Access Vatican Museums Sistine Chapel & St Peters Basilica Tour

Fast Track Access Vatican Museums Sistine Chapel & St Peters Basilica Tour

star-5
Save time, and head straight to the Vatican’s most popular sights and attractions, on this seamless and speedy tour. Pick from morning or afternoon departure times, and meet your guide. With skip-the-line tickets, you’ll beat the crowds and head straight into the Vatican Museums. Discover the Sistine Chapel at your own pace, and follow your guide directly to the museums’ other highlights. Your final stop is at the neighboring St. Peter’s Basilica.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.47
Price varies by group size
From
$72.47
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

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

star-4.5
Discover the Vatican on a tour of St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. Navigate the vast complex of rooms, artwork, and history with a guide, who brings the ancient collection to life. Skip all the entrance lines to explore halls such as the Gallery of the Maps and Raphael’s Rooms; step inside the Sistine Chapel to admire ‘The Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo; and hear little-known tales about sacred St. Peter’s Basilica (when the option is selected). Choose from several departures, or upgrade to an evening experience or small-group tour with 10 people.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.19
From
$60.19
Taking safety measures

Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off

Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off

star-5
Visit the Vatican without the crowds on a private early-bird tour and enter the Vatican Museums before the complex opens to the general public. Enjoy an exclusive exploration of world-renowned art by Renaissance masters, visit the Sistine Chapel, and enter St. Peter’s Basilica directly from the museums, without waiting in the main line. Upgrade for a prime version with even earlier priority access, including the Raphael Rooms.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$358.05
Price varies by group size
From
$358.05
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Skip-the-Line Group Tour of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

Skip-the-Line Group Tour of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

star-5
Make the most of your valuable vacation time by skipping the line at the Vatican Museums. You save hours waiting by booking a group tour, and get engaging commentary from your guide as you explore. Admission is included to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica; follow your guide on a carefully-crafted itinerary to ensure you don't miss a thing.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.19
From
$60.19
Taking safety measures

VIP Tour of Rome, Colosseum & Vatican Museums, Driver & Private Tour Guide with Skip the LIne Tickets

VIP Tour of Rome, Colosseum & Vatican Museums, Driver & Private Tour Guide with Skip the LIne Tickets

star-5
Get the most out of visiting the top must-see sights of Rome on a private guided tour. You’ll skip the lines with priority tickets, leaving more time to learn about the history of some of Rome’s most impressive ancient sites from your guide. While you’ll be transported around Rome via comfortable vehicle, you will walk with your guide through each site, for a more intimate and close-up experience. Tours are fully customizable to suit your needs and interests.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,166.90
per group
From
$1,166.90
per group
Taking safety measures

Family Friendly Semi-Private Vatican Tour including Sistine Chapel & Saint Peter

Family Friendly Semi-Private Vatican Tour including Sistine Chapel & Saint Peter

star-5
Families with young children will appreciate this family-focused tour of the Vatican Museums. Skip-the-line access is included, which is essential for fidgety young children. Walk through the galleries with a small group of just 10 people or fewer, led by an art historian guide who will keep the little ones occupied with games and puzzles. Access to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica are included.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$109.32
Price varies by group size
From
$109.32
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

VIP Tour of Rome from Civitavecchia, Colosseum & Vatican Museums, Driver & Private Tour Guide with Skip the Line Tickets

VIP Tour of Rome from Civitavecchia, Colosseum & Vatican Museums, Driver & Private Tour Guide with Skip the Line Tickets

star-5
Explore Rome—without the stress of planning—on a full-day shore excursion from the port of Civitavecchia. In addition to round-trip transport, the day’s itinerary includes private tours of the Vatican and Colosseum, as well as free time to explore. Unlike group trips offered by cruise companies, this private tour ensures a personal, customized experience.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$822.97
Price varies by group size
From
$822.97
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

The Original Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

The Original Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

star-5
Begin your Vatican experience a little differently with a climb up the dome of St. Peter's Basilica with a guide. After getting sweeping views of Vatican City and Rome beyond, proceed inside for a guided tour of the church itself, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel. This half-day tour takes place in the morning, before much of the crowds arrive at the Vatican.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.97
From
$128.97
Taking safety measures

Private Skip the Line Vatican Hidden Gems Tour with Hotel Pick-up and Drop-off

Private Skip the Line Vatican Hidden Gems Tour with Hotel Pick-up and Drop-off

star-5
Skip-the-line at the Vatican Museums on this tour of one of the world’s most renowned collections of art. With a private guide, go straight inside the complex to admire the Vatican’s architecture, marvel at works by masters like Raphael and Caravaggio, and see some of the ‘hidden,’ off-the-beaten-path sites that many visitors miss. Of course, you visit the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s famous frescoes, and enter St. Peter’s Basilica from the museums, avoiding the main entrance line.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$280.06
Price varies by group size
From
$280.06
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Meet Pope Francis at St Peter square Vatican City

Meet Pope Francis at St Peter square Vatican City

star-3
Attend a Papal Audience with Pope Francis I at the Vatican. Tickets may be free but they are extremely hard to come by, so booking in advance is essential. By booking ahead, you're ensuring you won't waste any time trying to get tickets while you're on vacation in the Eternal City. 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$39.31
From
$39.31
Taking safety measures

Peter's Tomb: Exclusive Visit of the Basilica & Its Necropolis

Peter's Tomb: Exclusive Visit of the Basilica & Its Necropolis

star-5
St. Peter’s Basilica may grab you with its grandeur, but much of its history lies in its hidden details. Head beneath the famous church and discover the Vatican necropolis, a Roman cemetery that’s said to house the relics of St. Peter the Apostle. Walk amid tombs that trace pagan Rome to the start of Christianity, then return to the basilica for a tour. Michelangelo’s ‘La Pietà’ and Bernini’s bronze baldachin are among the highlights.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.47
From
$72.47
Taking safety measures

Skip the Line: Private Vatican and Sistine Chapel Tour for Kids and Families

Skip the Line: Private Vatican and Sistine Chapel Tour for Kids and Families

star-5
Delve deep into the religious history of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel on this 3-hour private tour designed for families. Skip the long entry lines and proceed directly inside to admire masterpieces including Michelangelo's Pietà and The Last Judgment. Visit the Gallery of Maps, St Peter's Basilica and Raphael's Rooms. This private tour for just you and your family is fully customizable and ensures your guide's personalized attention.Children learn through play; with your guide you will solve quizzes, answer trivia and engage in scavenger hunts. All entrance fees included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$244.43
Price varies by group size
From
$244.43
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Vatican Highlights Tour - Skip the Line Entry - Small Group of 12

Vatican Highlights Tour - Skip the Line Entry - Small Group of 12

star-5
Save time in the smallest country in the world with priority access tickets to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. This hassle-free tour take you to some of the Vatican's must-see sights. Rather than get lost in the enormous churches and museums, your guide picks the best sights for you to see.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$84.75
From
$84.75
Taking safety measures

Rome Highlights Half-Day Tour (max 8 people with driver)

Rome Highlights Half-Day Tour (max 8 people with driver)

star-5
Short on time? Check off Rome’s best bits on a whistle-stop tour of the city – the ideal way for first-time visitors to get their bearings. Explore lively Piazza Venezia and Piazza Navona and admire views of the mighty Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Capitoline Hill. Hop off along the way to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, snap photos of the Spanish Steps, or marvel at the Pantheon. This small-group tour is limited to just 8 people, ensuring plenty of attention from your guide.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$121.55
From
$121.55
Taking safety measures

Skip the Line: Colosseum, Vatican and Historic Rome Small-Group or Private Tour

Skip the Line: Colosseum, Vatican and Historic Rome Small-Group or Private Tour

star-5
Get acquainted with Rome's most important sites, including skip-the-line entry at the Vatican and the Colosseum, on this whirlwind full-day tour. Optimized for travelers without time to spare, learn about ancient Rome's history, culture, art, and architecture. Round-trip transportation from downtown Rome included.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$158.45
From
$158.45
Taking safety measures

St. Peter's Basilica : Fast Entry Guided Tour with Vatican official guides

St. Peter's Basilica : Fast Entry Guided Tour with Vatican official guides

star-4.5
To dig deep into the history and art of St Peter’s Basilica, explore the church on a walking tour with a Vatican guide. From St Peter’s Square, walk to the basilica, jumping past the entrance queue with your No Wait Access Ticket. Inside, listen to stories about the popes, pilgrims and Renaissance art masters who have left their marks on this iconic Catholic site, whose Michelangelo-designed dome dominates the Rome skyline.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$33.16
From
$33.16
Taking safety measures

Private Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel & Museums Fast Access plus Hotel Pickup

Private Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel & Museums Fast Access plus Hotel Pickup

star-5
Avoid the queues with our private 3-hour Vatican tour, accompanied by a local guide.  You will visit the Vatican Museums, Saint Peter’s Basilica and other noteworthy venues.  Hear the history, facts, and curiosities of the Sistine Chapel during your visit there. Your guide will tell you  something of the history of these fascinating places as you meander through these wonderful buildings, drinking in the atmosphere.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$244.43
Price varies by group size
From
$244.43
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures