Vatican Museum Map: An Essential for a Hassle-Free Vatican Visit

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The Vatican Museum is an interconnecting maze of 54 exhibition rooms covering over 460,000 square feet of land!

Navigating this huge space, surrounded by hundreds of Vatican Museum visitors, can be confusing. 

A Vatican Museum Map is essential for every visitor to enjoy a stress-free experience, especially when exploring alone. 

Read to discover the locations of the most popular museums inside Vatican Museums, washrooms, elevator facilities, and many other details to ease your visit with the Vatican Museum Map! 

How to get a Vatican Museums Map?

You can collect a map for free at the Vatican Museum tickets counter at the gates of the museum!

These lines are usually very long and can take hours to move ahead, so we recommend downloading a Vatican Museum Map pdf on your mobile phone.

This option is also great for people who have already bought their Vatican tickets online! 

Navigating the most famous Vatican Museums using the Vatican Museum Map

The Vatican Museum is a network of courtyards, interconnected corridors, and staircases to get you to different parts of the complex.

The map shows you the exact location of these routes and other hidden passageways to get to the Museum rooms. 

Let’s find the route to get some of the most famous Vatican Museum rooms so you can navigate the crowd quickly when visiting!

Pio Clementino Museum

The Pio Clementino Museum is the closest to the entrance and houses the biggest Roman and Greek collection in Vatican City.

If you keep walking straight instead of taking the double helix staircase at the entrance, you will get to the Pio Clementino Museum. 

You have to look at the Pinecone Courtyard, or Cortile della Pigna, on the map and you will spot it next to the Gregorian Egyptian Museum. 

It offers easy access to the Candelabra Gallery on the second floor, as it has a direct staircase leading to the top. 

Pinacoteca Art Gallery

The Pinacoteca Art Gallery has a huge 12th to 15th-century Renaissance painting display.

It is on the first floor and can be entered from the corridors near the Quatro Cancelli and Cortile della Corazze courtyard.

For a landmark, you can see a staircase leading to the basement in this corridor area that leads to Pinacoteca.

Raphael’s famous Transfiguration painting is in this room, and temporary exhibitions are held here. 

Gregorian Egyptian Museum

Spanning nine rooms, the Gregorian Egyptian Museum houses an impressive collection of funerary artifacts, epigraph tablets, and more!

The Gregorian Egyptian Museum opens onto the Pinecone Terrace, offering a great view of the surrounding courtyards.

It is beyond the staircase leading to Museum Gregorian Etrusco and opposite the corridor leading to the Pinacoteca Gallery.

You can access it easily from the Pinecone Courtyard, as it is near the corridor at the entrance leading to the courtyard.  

Gallery of Tapestries

The Gallery of Tapestries is a corridor on the second floor with walls covered in art showcasing Jesus’s life and honoring Popes.

It is called Galleria Degli Arazzi on the map and is located in line with the Gallery of Candelabra. 

The quickest way to get to the Tapestry Gallery is from the Pio Clementino Museum’s staircase, which leads to the Candelabra Gallery. 

This way is a shortcut instead of using the crowded double helix staircase from the entrance. 

There is an elevator for disabled visitors to use just near this staircase. 

Gallery of Maps

The Gallery of Maps is next in line after the Candelabra Gallery and Gallery of Tapestries in the same corridor. 

It houses a massive collection of ancient maps of Italy and is named the Galleria della Carte Geografiche on the Vatican Museum Map.

You can also get here from the Borgia Apartments staircase, a shorter route closer to the Sistine Chapel.

The staircase will get you to the Room of Immaculate Conception, after which you will see the Gallery of Maps. 

Raphael’s Rooms 

The Raphael Rooms are one of the most famous Vatican Museum exhibits, as the walls are covered with marvelous fresco paintings by Raphael.

The quickest way to get here is from the Borgia Apartments staircase.

You can also get here after passing through the Gallery of Maps and leaving beyond the Immaculate Conception Gallery. 

Visitors to the Sistine Chapel can get to the rooms by a staircase directly from the Chapel as well! 

Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is a holy spot in the Vatican Museum, known for its stunning Michelangelo ceiling Renaissance frescos.

It is located near the Borgia Apartments, and the only way to get on the first floor is through the main corridor outside the Gregorian Egyptian Museum. 

Plan your schedule in such a way that you will reach the Sistine Chapel last, as you can take a shortcut to St. Peter’s Basilica from here.

Visitors on the second floor can take a staircase from the Immaculate Conception gallery, leading directly to the Sistine Chapel. 

Locating the Artwork Highlights of the Vatican

Vatican Museum Artworks
Image: aleteia.org

Exploring the entire Vatican Museum can take around 3 hours, and if you don’t have this much time, we recommend seeing the best artworks before leaving.

A Vatican Museum Map will easily show you the rooms so you can navigate to them directly.

Here is the location of these artworks so you can find the rooms quickly on the map:

  • The Creation of Adam Michelangelo Fresco: Showing the relationship between God and man on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. 
  • Laoccon & His Sons: The sculpture tells the tragic story of the Trojan priest Laoccon from Greek mythology. You can see this masterpiece in Pio Clementino Museum’s Octagonal courtyard.
  • The Transfiguration by Raphael: This Pinacoteca Gallery masterpiece shows the divine ascension of Jesus into Heaven.
  • Apollo Belvedere: Standing in the Octagonal Courtyard of the Pio Clementino Museum, the Apollo sculpture showcases a youthful and powerful stance of the Greek God. 
  • School of Athens by Raphael: You can find this masterpiece in the Segnatura Raphael Room. It depicts a crowd of famous Greek and Roman philosophers and is the favorite piece of all philosophers.
  • Deposition by Carvaggio: A sorrowful painting of Jesus’s body being taken away to the tomb by his mother and disciples. You can see this painting on display in the Pinacoteca Art Gallery.  

Check out our Vatican tickets article to book your entry in advance to see these stunning art pieces! 

Vatican Museum Elevator Location

On entering the Vatican Museum, you will see three elevators leading to the second floor.

Two elevators are for all visitors, and one is reserved for those with disabilities.

Visitors who want to access the reserved elevators can also do so from:

  • The Corte della Pigna or Pinecone Courtyard 
  • Near the staircase leading to the Gregorian Etrusco Museum and in the museum on the second floor.
  • The Borgia Apartments
  • The second-floor Gallery of Tapestries
  • At the Vatican Museum exit

Elevators for all visitors can also be found at the Vatican Museum exit and near the Pinacoteca Art Gallery.

If the elevators are too crowded, visitors with mobility problems can use a wheelchair ramp to the second floor near Cortile delle Corazze.

You can ask any Vatican staff around you for help, as they will make space for the wheelchair in the crowd and direct you to all the shortcuts.

Where is the staircase to get to the Second Floor?

You will see a double helix staircase at the entrance of the Vatican Museum, which leads to the second floor.

If you want a less crowded option, choose the staircase in the Pio Clementino Museum, which will take you to the Candelabra Gallery.

Visitors to the Sistine Chapel can access a direct staircase, which comes out near the Immaculate Conception Gallery. 

Vatican Museum Washroom Location

The Vatican Museum washrooms are accessible to all visitors with disabilities, and some even have diaper-changing tables!

Washrooms for those with disabilities can be found at the Museum’s entrance and near the Raphael Rooms on the second floor. 

Parents looking for washrooms with baby-changing areas will find them near:

  • The entrance
  • The Pio Clementino Museum staircase leading to the Chiaramonti Museum corridor. 
  • Borgia Apartments
  • The Vatican Post Office in the Museum
  • Behind the Square Garden of the Museum
  • Raphael’s Room on the second floor. 

The least crowded washroom in the Museum is the one near Museum Gregoriano Profano, as it does not have a diaper-changing space. 

Location of the Vatican Museum Entrances

We recommend you enter from the Viale Vaticano entrance of the Vatican City, as this entrance is a seven-minute walk from the Museum. 

All you have to do is keep walking to the North side of the street, and you will come to the Museum on the right side of the road. 

If you enter the city from the Via della Concillazione entrance, you will reach St. Peter’s Square first.

From there, the Vatican Museum is a 15-minute walk away, and all you have to do is keep following the Vatican border wall. 

You have to turn left from Piazza del Risorgimento and right from Via Lione VI Street.

Take the first left turn you see and keep walking in a straight path until you reach the Vatican Museum! 

Vatican Museum Address: 00120 Vatican City. Get Directions

Check out our How to get to Vatican City article to discover public transport leading to the City from Rome! 

How do I plan an Exploration route with the help of the Vatican Museum Map?

To avoid backtracking your steps and entering museums you did not want to explore, you must create an exploration path in the Vatican Museum.

The map will help you find easy shortcuts, and you can plan your trip in a way that leads directly to your destination on the second floor as well!

Do your Research: Before making your path, you must decide what you want to see in the Museum. You can circle the areas on the map and draw arrows so you don’t miss the path. 

Dedicate a particular time amount: Check the timings of all the galleries you plan to visit. Planning a time slot for each room helps you avoid crowds and ensures that you cover more ground in a day. 

Use the Signs in the Museum: Look for signboards, as they are easier to follow than the map in a crowded museum space. 

Be Flexible: Change your route and visit the other museum first if one of the rooms is crowded.

Take the Guided Tour first: The Vatican Museum Guided Tour is perfect for visitors who did not plan their schedule. After exploring the most famous museum rooms, you can look at the map and decide where to go next! 

It takes a minimum of 2 hours to explore the famous rooms of the Vatican Museum. 

Why should I get a Vatican Museum Map?

If you are not already convinced as to how having a Vatican Museum Map will benefit you, here are some other reasons to follow a map!

  • Visitors traveling with big groups of family and friends will know where their group is despite the crowd if you plan a route on the map.
  • You won’t have to stand around and discover the way since the map will guide you.
  • During peak hours, the map will help you find shortcuts to avoid crowds.
  • An updated map is essential to know if any areas of the Museum are under repair. 
  • You can get to restaurants, washrooms, and other facilities quickly with the help of a map. 
  • Visitors in wheelchairs can navigate through the crowded museums easily with information on reserved areas on the map! 

FAQs for Vatican Museum Map

  1. What is the best route to get to the Vatican Museums?

    The Viale Vaticano entrance is the best Vatican City entrance to get to the Museum, as it is only a 7-minute walk away.

  2. Is the Vatican Museum Map only available in English? 

    You can also get the Vatican Museum Map in Spanish, French, and German.

  3. Where is the meeting point for guided tours in the Vatican Museum?

    The Guided tours begin at the entrance of the Vatican Museum.

  4. Where will I find Vatican Museum elevators reserved for those with mobility issues?

    A reserved elevator is available at the entrance and exit of the museum. Some other spots where you can find the reserved elevators are:

    At the Corte della Pigna or Pinecone Courtyard 
    Near the staircase leading to the Gregorian Etrusco Museum 
    The Borgia Apartments
    The second-floor Gallery of Tapestries

  5. Which is the best staircase to get to the second floor of the Vatican Museum?

    The least crowded staircase is in the Pio Clementino Museum, leading to the Gallery of Candelabra on the second floor.

  6. If I want more information about navigating the Vatican Museum, who should I ask?

    You can ask for help at the Information Desk of the Vatican Museum. The staff around the Museum can also help you.

  7. Will I get a Vatican Museum Map for free if I book my ticket online?

    You can download a free Vatican Museums Map pdf from online. Visitors can also collect one for free at the entrance.

  8. Where are the Vatican Museum washroom facilities for visitors with disabilities? 

    You can find washroom facilities for those with mobility issues at the entrance and in the Raphael Rooms in the Museum.

  9. Are there any washrooms with baby care facilities in the Vatican Museum? 

    You will find washrooms with baby diaper-changing tables at the entrance and near the post office of the Vatican Museum. Some other spots are:

    Near the Pio Clementino Museum staircase leading to the Chiaramonti Museum corridor. 
    In the Borgia Apartments
    Behind the Square Garden of the Museum
    Raphael’s Room on the second floor. 
    Visitors can also ask the Vatican Museum staff to direct them to the nursing room.

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