A Vatican Museum Hours Guide for 2024!

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The Vatican Museum occupies the biggest spot in Vatican City, attracting over 6 million visitors annually!

It is connected to the famous Michelangelo Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Visitors planning to explore this marvel must know all about the opening and closing hours and the least crowded time since these spots attract so many visitors. 

Read further to discover the time changes for the Vatican Museum in 2024 and discover closure dates to plan the best trip! 

Vatican Museum Opening Hours throughout the week

The Vatican Museums opens at 8 am and closes at 7 pm, from Mondays to Thursdays, with the last admission at 5 pm. 

As per the new March 2024 update, the Vatican Museum will be open from 8 am to 8 pm, with the last entry being at 6 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Museums remain closed on Sundays, except the last Sunday of every month. 

On the last Sunday of every month, The Vatican Museum opens between 9 am and 2 pm, with the last entry at 12.30 pm. Entry to the museum is free on these Sundays. 

The Museum is open for 11 hours as standard opening hours and 5 hours during the last Sunday, allowing visitors enough time to explore the exhibitions at their own pace! 

Please note: The above-mentioned timings are the updated opening hours of the Vatican Museums following the Vatican’s extended hours, effective from 1 March 2024.

The typical hours of Vatican Museums are 8 am to 7 pm, with the last entry at 5 pm. Monday to Friday. Sundays are closed except the last Sunday of the month.

Vatican Museum Closing Days

Apart from the Sundays, the Vatican Museum remains closed on the following days. 

  • January: Monday the 1st and Saturday the 6th
  • March: Tuesday the 19th 
  • April: Monday the 1st
  • May: Wednesday the 1st
  • June: Saturday the 29th
  • August: Wednesday the 14th and Friday the 16th
  • November: Friday the 1st
  • December: Monday the 25th and Tuesday the 26th 

Days for Temporary Closure of the Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museum is maintained well, and repairs must be conducted occasionally.

On these occasions, the Museums are temporarily closed to the public, which visitors should consider before visiting.

The dates in 2024 for temporary closure are:

14th February 2024 (Wednesday): 

All parts of the Museum will be closed from 8 am to 9 am on this day. 

Visitors can continue their trip to the Museum after it opens at 9 am. 

Closing hours and last entry time will remain unchanged. 

22nd March 2024 (Friday):

All parts of the museum will be closed from 8 am to 11 am on 22nd March.

Visitors can explore the Museum as usual after 11 am.

The Museum will close at 8 pm, as the above section states, with the last entry at 6 pm. 

Before you plan a visit to the Vatican Museum, we recommend reconfirming the temporary closures from the official website

Sistine Chapel Hours

The Sistine Chapel follows the same timings as the Vatican Museum. 

It is open from 8 am to 7 pm, Monday to Thursday, with the last entry at 5 pm.

On Fridays and Saturdays, the Sistine Chapel will be open from 8 am to 8 pm, with the last entry at 6 pm. 

Since it is a part of the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel is also closed on Sundays, except the last Sunday of the month when it opens between 9 am and 2 pm, with the last admission at 12.30 pm.

It will also follow the same temporary closure and holiday dates.

St. Peter’s Basilica Timings

St. Peter’s Basilica is not a part of the Vatican Museums and has separate opening hours.

In the winter season, from 1st October to 31st March, the St. Peter’s Basilica is open from 7 am to 7.10 pm.

In the summer season, from 1st April to 30th September, the Basilica is open from 7 am to 7 pm.

Visitors who want to explore for longer should visit in the summer season!  

What is the best time to visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel?

Best Time to visit Vatican Museum
Image: citalia.com

The Vatican Museum is the least crowded at 8 am, and as soon as it opens, you will find very short entry queues, making it the ideal time to visit this famous museum.

The crowd only increases after 11 am on most days, so you can have a calming experience in the morning hours at your own pace.

It is the most crowded on Saturdays and the last Sunday of every month because of free entry.

Wednesdays are also crowded as visitors want to combine their Vatican Museum trip with the Papal Audience experience. 

We recommend planning your visit any day from November to February for the least crowd, except during Christmas. 

How long will it take to explore the Vatican Museums? 

The time you take to explore the Vatican Museums depends on the rooms you plan to explore.

A nice exploration, including the popular museums, like Pio Clementino, Raphael’s Rooms, and others, will take around 2 hours.

Visitors will take an added 30 minutes to observe the Sistine Chapel wall frescos. 

Time duration to explore other parts of the Vatican City are:

AttractionTime Duration
St. Peter’s Basilica1.5 to 2 hours
Papal Audience 2 hours
St. Peter’s Square30 minutes 
Castle Gandolfo Palace 2 to 3 hours

FAQs on Vatican Museum Opening Hours 

  1. What are the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel opening hours?

    The Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel open at 8 am and close at 7 pm from Monday to Saturday.

    From 1st March, the Vatican will extend it’s opening hours on Fridays and Saturdays, making it 8 am to 8 pm, with the last entry at 6 pm.

  2. Is the Vatican Museum open on all Sundays?

    The Vatican Museum is closed on Sundays except for the last Sunday of every month. You can enjoy a free visit on this day!

  3. What is the best time to visit the Vatican Museum? 

    The Vatican Museums are least crowded from 8 am to 11 am. We do not recommend visiting on Saturdays.

  4. What is the best day of the week to visit the Vatican Museum?

    The Vatican Museum receives less crowd on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

  5. How many hours do you need at the Vatican Museum?

    You will need a minimum of 2 hours to explore the Vatican Museums. Add another 30 minutes for a Sistine Chapel visit.

  6. When is the Vatican Museum closed?

    Ans. The Museum is closed on these days in 2024:

    1st and 6th January
    19th March
    1st April
    1st May
    29th June
    14th and 16th August
    1st November
    25th and 26th December

  7. On which days in 2024 will the Vatican Museum open late?

    The Vatican Museum will open after 9 am on 14th February 2024. It will open after 11 am on 22nd March 2024 because of repairs.

  8. Which are the best days to plan a night visit to the Vatican Museum?

    From the 1st of March 2024, the Vatican Museum will close an hour later at 8 pm on all Fridays and Saturdays. You can plan a Vatican night trip on these days.

  9. Does St. Peter’s Basilica have the same timings as the Vatican Museum? 

    St. Peter’s Basilica opens at 7 am, an hour before the Vatican Museum. It closes at 6.30 pm from October to 31st March and 7 pm from April to 30th September.

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