Vatican Museum Hours: Opening, Closing, Last Entry & More..

Welcome to your comprehensive guide to the Vatican Museum hours! 

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, understanding the museum’s schedule is crucial for planning your visit. 

Let’s dive into the details, ensuring you make the most out of your Vatican City experience.

Regular Vatican Museum Hours

The Vatican Museum typically opens its doors at 9:00 AM, welcoming visitors to explore its rich history and artistic treasures. 

Closing time is generally 6:00 PM, with the last entry at 4:00 PM. 

This schedule holds from Monday to Saturday, providing ample time for guests to immerse themselves in the museum’s wonders.

MONDAY9:00 AM4:00 PM6:00 PM
TUESDAY9:00 AM4:00 PM6:00 PM
WEDNESDAY9:00 AM4:00 PM6:00 PM
THRUSDAY9:00 AM4:00 PM6:00 PM
FRIDAY9:00 AM4:00 PM6:00 PM
SATURDAY9:00 AM4:00 PM6:00 PM

Vatican Museum Hours on Sunday:

Sundays at the Vatican Museums are special. 

They open their doors to the public on the last Sunday of each month, free of charge, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (final entry at 12:30 PM). 

This day is not just about viewing art; it’s a communal experience, a shared journey through the corridors of history. 

Remember, on Sundays, Vatican mass times, especially the Vatican mass times on Sunday, add a layer of spiritual splendor to the experience.

Beginning in January 2024, the Vatican Museum will be open from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and the last entry will be at 5:00 PM.

Vatican Museum Closing Days

  • The Vatican Museum observes a weekly closure on Sundays, with a delightful exception: on the last Sunday of each month, it opens its doors free of charge. 
  • In 2023 and 2024, the museum will be closed on specific dates, including January 1 and 6, February 11, April 10, May 1, June 29, August 15 and 16, November 1, and several days in December (8, 25, 26, and 31).
  • Notably, December 20, 2023, sees a unique schedule with the museum open only from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM. The following day, December 21, the hours were extended a bit more, from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM.

Vatican Mass Times

When planning a visit to Vatican City, understanding the Vatican mass times is crucial for those who wish to participate in the religious services. 

This is particularly relevant for visitors interested in the Vatican mass times on Sunday, which offer a range of options for worship.

Daily and Sunday Mass Schedule at the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter

Vatican Mass Times (Weekdays): Masses are conducted at 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, and 17:00 (5:00 PM).

Vatican Mass Times on Sundays and Holidays: The schedule is more extensive, with masses at 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:30, 12:30, 13:00 (1:00 PM), 16:00 (4:00 PM), 17:00 (5:00 PM), and 18:00 (6:00 PM)​​.

Specific Mass Times at Saint Peter’s Basilica on Sundays

Vatican Mass Times on Sunday and Holy Days: Masses are held at the Altar of the Chair at 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM (solemn Mass in Latin) and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at 11:15 AM. 

Another mass occurred at 12:15 PM​​.

Additional Vatican Mass Times

Weekdays: Mass times include 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 17:00 (5:00 PM).

Vatican Mass Times on Sundays and Holidays: Additional masses at 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:15 PM, 13:00 (1:00 PM), 16:00 (4:00 PM), and 17:30 (5:30 PM)

Vatican Museum Hours During Special Events

For visitors planning to explore the Vatican Museums from April 14 to October 28, 2023, there are special extended vatican hours to consider. 

This change offers a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the museums’ rich collections and breathtaking art in a less crowded, more serene setting.

Extended Vatican Museum Hours on Fridays and Saturdays

April 14 to October 28, 2023: Every Friday and Saturday within this period, the Vatican Museums extend their opening hours until 10:30 PM. 

That means visitors can enjoy the museums’ exhibits and ambiance well into the evening.

Last Entrance Time: Despite the extended closing time, the last entrance for visitors is set at 8:30 PM. 

This allows enough time for a full and unhurried exploration of the museums.

Vatican Museum Hours on Saturday Starting May 6: 

Starting May 6, 2023: There’s a slight adjustment to the extended hours specifically for Saturdays. 

From this date onwards, the Vatican Museums will close earlier at 8:00 PM instead of 10:30 PM.

Revised Last Entrance Time on Saturdays: Corresponding to the earlier closing time, the last entrance on Saturdays is adjusted to 6:00 PM. 

This change ensures the museums can manage visitor flow effectively while still providing ample time for a comprehensive visit.

These extended vatican museum hours are particularly beneficial for those who prefer to visit the museums after regular hours, offering a more relaxed atmosphere. 

It’s an ideal time for those who wish to avoid the usual daytime crowds and enjoy a more contemplative experience of the Vatican Museums’ world-renowned art and history.

Best Time To Visit Vatican City

When planning a trip to Vatican, a key consideration is selecting the best time to visit Vatican City. 

This decision can greatly enhance your experience, allowing you to fully appreciate the rich history and artistic heritage of this unique destination.

Ideal Seasons: Spring and Fall

The best time to visit Vatican City is typically during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) months. 

These seasons offer a comfortable climate, with mild temperatures and fewer crowds. 

The spring season, in particular, is a feast for the senses, as the Vatican Gardens burst into bloom, offering a stunning backdrop for your visit. 

Fall, with its crisp air and changing leaves, provides a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for exploring at a leisurely pace.

Avoiding Crowds: Mid-Week Visits

For a more serene experience, consider visiting Vatican City mid-week. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays often have fewer visitors, allowing for a more intimate exploration of iconic sites like St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums. 

These periods avoid the influx of weekend tourists and are outside the usual schedule of large tour groups.

Special Events: Easter and Christmas

If you’re interested in experiencing Vatican City’s religious events, Easter and Christmas are significant times to visit. 

During these periods, you can witness traditional ceremonies and celebrations, including the Papal Mass. 

However, it’s crucial to note that these are also peak times for tourism, so expect larger crowds and plan accordingly.

Off-Peak Times: Winter Visits

For those who don’t mind cooler temperatures, visiting Vatican City during the winter months (December to February) can be advantageous. 

This period is considered off-peak, resulting in shorter lines and less crowded attractions. 

It’s an ideal time for those who prioritize ease of access to the city’s treasures over warmer weather.

Also Read: Best Vatican Tickets, Best Ways To Get To Vatican City, & Vatican Dress Code.
vatican city 4
Image Credit:

How Many Hours To Visit The Vatican Museum?

The amount of time needed to visit the Vatican Museum varies, but typically, a comprehensive visit requires about three to four hours. 

This duration allows visitors to comfortably explore the museum’s major highlights, including the renowned Sistine Chapel and Raphael Rooms. 

However, for art enthusiasts or those who wish to delve deeper into the museum’s vast collection, extending the visit to five to six hours might be more appropriate. 

The exact time can also depend on factors like crowd levels and individual pace.

Also Read: Hotels In Vatican City, & Restaurants In Vatican City.

Frequently Asked Questions On Vatican Museum Hours

Q. What are the regular opening hours of the Vatican Museum?

The Vatican Museum usually opens at 9:00 AM and closes at 6:00 PM, with the last entry at 4:00 PM. This schedule applies from Monday to Saturday.

Q. Are there extended hours for the Vatican Museum?

Yes, from April to October, on Fridays and Saturdays, the museum extends its hours until 10:30 PM, with the last entry at 8:30 PM.

Q. How do Vatican Museum hours vary on holidays?

The museum’s hours can vary during holidays like Christmas and Easter, often resulting in different opening times or closures. It’s best to check the official website for specific holiday hours.

Q. When is the Vatican Museum closed?

The Vatican Museum is closed on Sundays, except for the last Sunday of each month. It’s also closed on January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th.

Q. What are the Vatican Mass times?

Vatican Mass times vary, with regular masses held at St. Peter’s Basilica and other chapels in Vatican City. Sunday and Papal Masses have specific schedules, so checking the Vatican’s official site for exact times is advisable.

Q. Can special exhibitions or events change the Vatican Museum’s hours?

Yes, special exhibitions or events might lead to adjustments in the regular operating hours. Always check the museum’s website for any temporary changes.

Q. What is the best time to visit the Vatican Museum to avoid crowds?

The best times to avoid crowds are during the off-peak months (November to February), early mornings, late afternoons, and during the extended hours on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Q. How many hours should I allocate for a visit to the Vatican Museum?

A thorough visit typically takes between 2 to 4 hours, but this can vary depending on your pace and interest level.

Q. Is there a time when entrance to the Vatican Museum is free?

Yes, the Vatican Museum offers free entry on the last Sunday of each month.

Leave a Comment