How To Get To Vatican City: Best Options (2024)

Embark on an captivating journey to the heart of one of the world’s most respected destinations – Vatican City.

Located in the bustling streets of Rome, this tiny but mighty city-state beckons with its rich tapestry of history, art, and spiritual significance. 

In this guide, we’re not just giving you directions; we’re unlocking the gateway to an experience that blends ancient wonders with modern-day accessibility. 

Whether you’re arriving by the rumble of a train, the swish of a bus, or the gentle stroll of your footsteps, each path to the Vatican City is a story waiting to unfold. 

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the best ways to navigate to this iconic destination, turning your travel into an effortless and memorable part of your Roman adventure. 

Welcome to the journey of a lifetime – your path to Vatican City starts here!


Where is Vatican City?

Address: 00120 Vatican City

Map Location: Visit Here

Closest Landmark: St. Peter’s Square, a grand testament to architectural brilliance and a warm welcome to all who visit.

Vatican City is more than a religious hub; it’s a cultural treasure. 

Within its walls, you’ll find the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums full of art that spans centuries, and the Sistine Chapel, home to Michelangelo’s masterpiece. 

But the beauty of Vatican City isn’t confined to its landmarks. 

It’s in the old stone paths, the hidden corners filled with stories, and the lively mix of Rome that embraces it. 

As you stand at the edge of Vatican City, you’re not just at a geographical location; you are at the crossroads of the past and present, of art and faith.

How to Get to Vatican via Public Transportation

Navigating Rome’s public transportation to reach Vatican City is an adventure and a lesson in the city’s daily rhythm. 

Here’s a guide to each option, complete with travel times, to help you choose the best route for your journey.

How To Get To Vatican By Metro:

  • Route: Metro Line A (Red Line)
  • Station: Ottaviano – S. Pietro – Musei Vaticani
  • Travel Time: About 20 minutes from central Rome
  • Pros: It’s a straight shot and the fastest option. A 10-minute walk from the station lands you right at St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums.

How To Get To Vatican By Bus:

  • Routes: 40, 64, 62, among others
  • Stops: Piazza Pia for St. Peter’s Square, Viale Vaticano for the Vatican Museums
  • Travel Time: Around 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic and starting point
  • Pros: Offers a scenic view of the city, but can be slower due to traffic.

How To Get To Vatican By Train:

  • Station: Rome St. Peter’s Station, convenient from Trastevere or Termini
  • Travel Time: About 25 minutes from Termini Station
  • Pros: Comfortable and less crowded than buses or the metro, with a scenic route.

How To Get To Vatican By Tram:

  • Route: Tram 19
  • Stop: Risorgimento – San Pietro
  • Travel Time: Approximately 30-40 minutes from the starting point
  • Pros: Enjoy a leisurely and scenic journey, but not as fast as the metro or train.

Fastest Option: If you’re aiming for speed and efficiency, the Metro (Line A) is your best bet

It’s one of the best ways to reach Vatican City, bypassing surface traffic and delivering you within a short walk of the Vatican’s main attractions.

Choosing the best mode of public transportation can greatly influence your experience. 

While the metro is the fastest, each option offers its unique view of Rome, turning your trip to Vatican City into an integral part of your Roman adventure.

Getting to the Vatican by Car

Driving to Vatican City offers flexibility and the thrill of navigating Rome’s legendary streets. 

If you’re someone who loves the freedom of exploring at your own pace, this option might be for you.

Imagine cruising along the Tiber, with Rome’s iconic landmarks playing peek-a-boo as you approach the Vatican. 

While driving in Rome can be an adventure in itself, with its bustling traffic and narrow lanes, it also gives you a sense of autonomy to explore hidden gems along the way.

Parking Near Vatican City: Finding parking can be a bit of a quest, as spaces near Vatican City are in high demand. 

However, there are few paid parking lots that can serve as your trusty steed waiting to rush away once your Vatican exploration is done. 

One such convenient spot is the Parking Vaticano on Viale Vaticano, offering a secure place to leave your car while you wander on foot.

Travel Tip: Make sure that Vatican City and its surrounding areas can be quite busy, especially during peak tourist seasons or special events. 

Plan to arrive early to find parking and beat the crowds.

Driving to Vatican City isn’t just about the destination, it’s about the journey. 

The roads of Rome are like threads weaving through a tapestry of history, culture, and modern-day hustle.

Each turn could unveil a discovery, turning your drive to the Vatican into more than just a journey but a chapter in your Roman adventure.

Also Read: Best Vatican Tickets, Vatican Dress Code, & Best Hotels Near Vatican.

Arriving on Foot

There’s something truly magical about approaching Vatican City on foot. 

It’s a journey that allows you to immerse yourself fully in the Roman atmosphere, absorbing the city’s vibrant energy with every step. 

Walking to the Vatican is perfect for those who love to explore at a slow pace, discovering hidden alleys, charming cafes, and breathtaking views along the way.

Imagine walking through the old streets of Rome, where the cobblestones tell stories from the past with every step you take.

As you walk, the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica gradually comes into view, growing larger and more awe-inspiring with each step. 

This isn’t just a walk; it’s a transition from bustling city life to the serene and hallowed grounds of the Vatican.

Scenic Routes: Consider starting your walk from landmarks like the Castel Sant’Angelo or along the banks of the Tiber River.

These routes offer stunning vistas and a chance to experience Rome’s beauty up close.

Travel Tip: Make sure to wear comfy shoes! The streets in Rome might be a bit bumpy, but with the right shoes, your walk will be easygoing and pleasant.

Also, don’t forget to have a map or GPS with you, as Rome’s twisting streets can sometimes feel like a charming maze to explore.

Walking to Vatican City is an opportunity to connect with Rome in the most intimate way. 

It’s about sensing the city’s heartbeat, watching everyday life, and slowly discovering the greatness of one of the most sacred places on Earth.

By the time you reach the Vatican, you’ll not only have seen Rome, but you’ll have felt its heartbeat.

How to Get to Vatican City from Rome

Traveling from the bustling heart of Rome to the serene and historic Vatican City can be a highlight of your Roman adventure. 

Each mode of transportation offers its unique journey, complete with scenic views and local charm. 

Let’s delve into the details of each option, helping you decide the best way to reach Vatican City from Rome.

By Metro

  • Route: Metro Line A (Red Line)
  • Station for Vatican City: Ottaviano – S. Pietro – Musei Vaticani
  • Travel Time: Approximately 15-20 minutes from central Rome, depending on your starting point
  • Frequency: Trains run every few minutes, especially during peak hours
  • Pros: Fast and direct, avoiding surface traffic; brings you close to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica

By Bus

  • Popular Routes: 40, 64, 62, among others, heading towards Vatican City
  • Closest Stops: Piazza Pia for St. Peter’s Square, Viale Vaticano for the Vatican Museums
  • Travel Time: Varies from 20-40 minutes, depending on traffic and starting location
  • Frequency: Regular intervals, but can be crowded during peak times
  • Pros: Offers a more scenic route and a real feel of the city, but can be slower due to traffic

By Car

  • Travel Time: Highly variable; can take anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour, heavily dependent on traffic and starting location
  • Parking: Limited near Vatican City; consider Parking Vaticano on Viale Vaticano
  • Pros: Flexibility and the ability to explore at your own pace; however, traffic and parking can be challenging

On Foot

  • Starting Points: Central areas like Piazza Navona or the Pantheon
  • Travel Time: Approximately 30-60 minutes, depending on your walking speed and starting point
  • Pros: A scenic and immersive way to experience Rome’s charm; ideal for those who enjoy leisurely explorations

By Tram

  • Route: Tram 19 towards Risorgimento – San Pietro
  • Travel Time: About 30-45 minutes from major starting points
  • Pros: Enjoy a leisurely journey with scenic views, less crowded than buses or the metro.

Fastest Option: The Metro is generally the best way to reach Vatican City from central Rome, providing a straightforward and efficient route.

No matter which mode of transportation you choose, traveling from Rome to Vatican City is an integral part of your Roman experience. 

Each journey offers a unique perspective of the city, enriching your visit with memories of not just the destination but also the path you took to get there.

How to Get to Vatican City from the Colosseum

The journey from the iconic Colosseum to the majestic Vatican City is a mini-odyssey through Rome’s rich tapestry of history and culture. 

Whether you’re marveling at ancient ruins or seeking spiritual solace, this route offers a transition between two of Rome’s most famous landmarks.

By Metro

  • Route: Metro Line B (Blue Line) to Metro Line A (Red Line)
  • Starting Point: Colosseo Station (Line B)
  • Changeover: Termini Station for Line A
  • Destination Station: Ottaviano – S. Pietro – Musei Vaticani (Line A)
  • Total Travel Time: About 25-30 minutes
  • Pros: Efficient and straightforward, bypassing surface traffic and offering a quick transition between two major lines.

By Bus

  • Routes: Various bus lines connect the Colosseum area to Vatican City.
  • Approximate Travel Time: 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic
  • Pros: Provides a more scenic route with views of Rome’s streets, though it can be slower due to traffic.

On Foot

  • Estimated Walking Time: About 60-75 minutes, depending on pace
  • Pros: A walk from the Colosseum to Vatican City is a journey through centuries of history, passing numerous landmarks and picturesque streets.

By Taxi or Rideshare

  • Travel Time: Around 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic
  • Pros: Convenient and direct way to travel, especially if you prefer to avoid public transportation.

By Bike or Scooter

  • Rental Options: Various bike and scooter rental services in Rome
  • Travel Time: Approximately 30-40 minutes
  • Pros: Adventurous and flexible way to see the city, suitable for those comfortable with urban cycling or scootering.

Fastest Option: If time is crucial, taking the metro is likely the best way to travel from the Colosseum to Vatican City.

Embarking on this journey, whether by foot, metro, bus, or bike, is not just about moving from one landmark to another; it’s about experiencing the layers of Rome, each mode of transport offering a different perspective of this eternal city.

Airport Transfer Information:

Arriving in Rome and heading straight to Vatican City from the airport is a common start to many travelers’ journeys. 

Whether you’re landing at Fiumicino or Ciampino at Rome’s major airports, there are several convenient options to reach the Vatican. 

Let’s navigate you through these choices, ensuring your arrival in Rome transitions smoothly into your Vatican City exploration.

From Fiumicino Airport (Leonardo da Vinci Airport)

  • By Train: The Leonardo Express train is a non-stop service directly to Rome’s Termini Station. From Termini, switch to Metro Line A and alight at Ottaviano for the Vatican. The train from the airport runs every 15-30 minutes, and the total journey time to the Vatican is about 1 hour.
  • By Taxi or Rideshare: A direct taxi or rideshare to Vatican City can take about 40-60 minutes, depending on traffic. This is a more comfortable and direct option, though more expensive than public transport.
  • By Bus: Various bus services run from Fiumicino to central Rome. Once in the city center, you can transfer to the metro, bus, or even walk to Vatican City, depending on where you disembark.

From Ciampino Airport

  • By Bus and Metro: There is no direct train service from Ciampino Airport to central Rome. Instead, take a bus to either the Anagnina Metro Station (Line A) or to Termini Station, then continue by metro to Ottaviano. The total journey time is approximately 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • By Taxi or Rideshare: A taxi or rideshare from Ciampino to Vatican City typically takes around 30-50 minutes. It’s a straightforward route and can be a convenient option if you’re traveling with luggage or prefer a direct route.

Travel Tips:

  • Check Schedules: Always verify the latest schedules for trains and buses, especially if you’re arriving late at night or early in the morning.
  • Taxi Fixed Rates: Rome’s airports have fixed taxi fares to the city center. Ensure you confirm the price with the driver before starting your journey.

Best Option: 

From Fiumicino, the Leonardo Express train combined with the metro is the most efficient. 

From Ciampino, a bus to the metro line is your best bet unless you prefer the convenience of a taxi.

Whether you’re starting your Roman adventure after a long flight or a short hop, these airport transfer options are designed to make your journey to Vatican City as seamless as possible. 

Each mode of transfer offers its mix of convenience, speed, and cost, allowing you to choose what best fits your travel style and needs.

Frequently Asked Questions On How to Get to Vatican City

Q. What is the fastest way to reach Vatican City from central Rome?

The fastest way is usually by Metro. Take Metro Line A (Red Line) and get off at Ottaviano – S. Pietro – Musei Vaticani station. The journey typically takes about 15-20 minutes from central Rome.

Q. Can I drive to Vatican City? Is parking available?

Yes, you can drive to Vatican City. However, parking can be challenging due to high demand. Paid parking lots, like Parking Vaticano on Viale Vaticano, are available but might be a bit of a walk from the main attractions.

Q. Is it feasible to walk to Vatican City from central Rome?

Absolutely! Walking to Vatican City from central Rome, like from Piazza Navona or the Pantheon, is a wonderful experience. It takes about 30-60 minutes, depending on your pace, and allows you to soak in the city’s ambiance.

Q. What are the public transportation options to get to Vatican City from Rome’s airports?

From Fiumicino Airport, take the Leonardo Express train to Termini Station and then the Metro Line A to Ottaviano. From Ciampino Airport, take a bus to either Anagnina Metro Station or Termini Station, and then continue by metro. Taxis and rideshares are also available from both airports.

Q. Are there tourist passes available for public transport in Rome?

Yes, Rome offers various tourist passes that include unlimited public transport and discounts at certain attractions. These can be a cost-effective option if you plan to use public transport extensively.

Q. What should I know about using buses in Rome to get to Vatican City?

Buses are a scenic way to travel, but they can be slower due to traffic. Check the routes and stops beforehand, as several buses go near Vatican City. Always validate your ticket upon boarding.

Q. Is the public transportation system in Rome accessible for travelers with disabilities?

Many metro stations and buses in Rome are equipped for travelers with mobility issues, but it’s advisable to check accessibility for specific routes and stations in advance.

Q. How do I ensure my safety while using public transportation in Rome?

Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded spaces. Be mindful of pickpockets and maintain general vigilance as you would in any major city.

Q. What is the most scenic route to Vatican City?

Walking or taking a bus can offer more scenic routes, especially if you pass through historic areas or along the Tiber River. The journey becomes part of the experience, offering views of Rome’s streets and landmarks.

Q. Are there night transportation options to Vatican City?

Yes, Rome has night buses that operate after midnight. However, they run less frequently, so it’s advisable to check the schedules in advance if you plan to travel late at night.

Q. What is the cost of public transportation to Vatican City?

Costs vary depending on the mode of transportation. A single metro or bus ticket is relatively inexpensive, and there are options for daily or multi-day passes which offer unlimited travel and can be cost-effective for longer stays.

Q. Can I use the same ticket for the metro, bus, and tram?

Yes, a standard public transportation ticket in Rome is valid for all three modes of transport: metro, bus, and tram, within the validity period of the ticket.

Q. How early should I start my journey to Vatican City to avoid crowds?

It’s advisable to start early in the morning, especially if you plan to visit popular sites like St. Peter’s Basilica or the Vatican Museums. Public transport starts running around 5:30 AM, so planning a journey around this time can help you beat the crowds.

Q. Is it easy to find taxis in Rome to get to Vatican City?

Yes, taxis are readily available throughout Rome. You can hail a taxi on the street, find them at taxi stands, or book them through various apps. Remember to use licensed taxis to ensure fair pricing.

Q. Are there any specific public transportation routes to avoid when traveling to Vatican City?

There are no specific routes to avoid, but it’s important to be aware that some bus routes might be more crowded or slower due to traffic, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Q. Can I bring luggage on public transportation when traveling from the airport to Vatican City?

Yes, you can bring luggage, but space might be limited during peak hours. If you have a lot of luggage, a taxi or a rideshare might be a more comfortable option.

Q. Are there bicycle rental options to travel to Vatican City?

Yes, Rome offers bicycle rentals, and biking to Vatican City can be a pleasant experience. However, it’s best suited for those comfortable with cycling in urban environments.