Vatican attractions other than St Peter's and Vatican Museums

Including the Vatican Post Office, Papal audience and Vatican Gardens tour

The Vatican Post Office

Vatican Post Office: get your own Vatican stamp and postmark

On this page

Although the Vatican Museums and St Peter's Basilica are the major attractions at the Vatican there is plenty more to the Vatican than these two blockbuster draws.


Vatican Gardens : hidden from public view to the west of St Peter's Basilica and south of the Vatican Museum are the Vatican Gardens. The gardens are large, a bus is used to take visitors around on one tour taking 45 minutes. You can combine a visit to the Vatican Gardens with a visit to the Vatican Museums in one ticket.


Vatican Post Office : not a formal attraction itself but a popular activity for visitors is to send a postcard or letter from the Vatican with its own Vatican stamps. Great if you or a friend are a stamp collector.


Audience with the Pope : Papal Audiences are held on Wednesdays in St Peter's Square if the Pope is in Rome, giving pilgrims and visitors the chance to “see the Pope”. Note during the month of August the Pope is on holiday so the audience doesn't happen for the entire month of August.


The Vatican Gardens

The Vatican Gardens are not open to the public for independent exploration. To see the Vatican Gardens you need to take a tour with an officially appointed guide.


The unique tour of the Vatican Garden takes you through 2,000 years of history. Besides the natural beauty of the gardens, the Vatican Gardens are rich in monuments and precious works of art.


There are two tours available, a tour on foot lasts 2 hours, the other on a bus with no stops takes around 45 minutes.


The tour ticket also provides the visitor entrance to Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.


Option 1 - Vatican Gardens with walking tour + Vatican Museums admission

After meeting your knowledgeable guide enter the Vatican Gardens for a 2 hour walking tour of this serene green space.

 

Stroll around some of its 57 acres (23 hectares) of paths, fountains, grottoes and flowers while you learn about the history of the gardens, which started as a fruit orchard in the 13th century and evolved into the lavish respite it is today by subsequent popes.


Then head over to the Vatican Museums with entry to this world-renowned art collection included and explore independently.


Papal Audience at Vatican City Tickets

Option 2 - Vatican Gardens with bus tour + Vatican Museums admission

A unique tour of the Vatican Gardens on an open-top ecological bus, and enjoy commentary from a multi-lingual audio guide.

The tour lasts about 45 minutes, and there are no stops along the route.


Then head over to the Vatican Museums with entry to this world-renowned art collection included and explore independently.


Papal Audience at Vatican City Tickets

Option 3 - Complete Vatican guided tour with breakfast and Vatican Gardens

  • American buffet breakfast to start your day

  • 45-minute Vatican City bus tour including the Vatican gardens

  • 3-hour Vatican Museums guided tour with Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica

  • Skip-the-line access to St Peter's Basilica and fast track access to Vatican Museums

  • Small group, 25 or less people


Papal Audience at Vatican City Tickets

Vatican Post Office

The Vatican has its own post office and postage stamps and a favourite activity is to send a postcard with a Vatican stamp and postmark, especially appreciated if you have any stamp collector friends.

The Vatican has acquired a reputation for producing attractive issues in limited quantities (the average production run for most issues is only between 300,000 and 500,000 stamps).


There are a few post office locations in Vatican City – one of them is inside the Vatican Museum, another is as you leave St Peter's Basilica at the bottom of the exit steps (see image at top of page).

 

This main post office is open year-round, and open Monday-Saturday from 8.30-6.30pm. There are tables and seats where you can sit down and write your letter or postcard too. There is often also a portable Vatican Post Office sited on St Peter's Square itself.


Papal audience at Vatican City

The Pope presides over a weekly Wednesday mass in the Vatican City at either St. Peter's Square or Nervi Hall if he is in Rome. Note in August the Pope retires to his summer residence.

 

Tickets are free of charge.


The Papal Audience is usually scheduled to start at 10:00am. However, you will find that most people will arrive early (up to 3 hours before) to get a good seat. Security opens generally at 8:00am. tickets are limited and you must have a confirmed reservation booked in advance to attend.


If you don't have a ticket in St Peter's Square there is enough room to stand at the back of the rows of seats and look on .


What happens at the Papal Audience

The Audience with the Pope consists of small teachings and readings mainly in Italian but also in English and other languages.


At the end of the Audience the Pope will pray together with those attending the Audience. At the end of the Prayer as Head of the Catholic Church he will impart his Apostolic Blessing upon the crowd.


Obtaining tickets

If you need less than 10 tickets you can normally pick up tickets without a reservation from the Swiss Guards at the “Bronze Doors” located just after security at St Peter's Basilica.


You can pick up tickets the day before the audience after 3pm until 7.00pm (Summer) until 6pm (Winter). Or you can pick up tickets on the day of the mass from 7:00am until 10:00am.


Why take a tour for the Audience with the Pope

If you want to avoid all the hassle and inconvenience of obtaining tickets and appreciate being guided by someone who knows the procedure and how to get the best seats a tour may be appropriate for your needs.

 

The tour departs from a central Rome meeting point a short walk from Termini Railway Station. Hotel pick-ups are available from selected Rome hotels.


Your experience includes a short panoramic tour of Rome.

Your experienced guide will take you to a spot where you will have an excellent view of the ceremony. You are free to pray and be part of the ceremony or just simply observe a unique experience and tradition.


After about 3.5 hours in total you are returned to your original departure point.

 

Papal Audience at Vatican City Tickets

Vatican Fast Track Tickets & Tours

Vatican Museums Tours & Fast Track Tickets

Vatican Museums Fast Track Tickets   €27.00

Fast track admission to Vatican Museum

Vatican Museums Fast Track Tickets + Audio Guide  €31.00

Fast track admission to Vatican Museum with Audio Guide

Vatican Museums Fast Track Tickets + Early Entrance    €52.00

Fast track admission to Vatican Museum before public opening

Vatican Museums Fast Track Access With Coach Transfers    €66.00

Tour in English plus hotel pickups

Vatican Museums Private Tours With Fast Track Access    Prices vary on numbers

Your own personal guide for your own grouo of 1 to 9 people

St Peter's Basilica Tours & Fast Track Tickets

St Peter's Basilica Fastrack with audio guide    €16.50

Fast track access to St Peter's together with audio guide in choice of languages

St Peter's Basilica guided tour    €27.00

Small group tour maximum 20 people

St Peter's Basilica guided tour with access to cupola (Dome)    €45.00

includes lift access to the dome of St Peter's with far reaching views

St Peter's & Vatican Museums Combined Tours

Vatican Museums + St Peter's (With Fast Track Access) Tour 1    From €41.00 + admissions)

Guided 3 hour walking tour with Fast Track Access + early/evening entrance options

Vatican Museums + St Peter's (With Fast Track Access) Tour 2    From €66.00

Guided 3 hour walking tour with Fast Track Access + early/evening entrance options

Early Access Vatican Museums Small-Group Tour with St Peter’s    €96.50

Entry when doors open to Vatican Museums + St Peter's Basilicas

Vatican Museums, Vatican Gardens & St Peter’s guided tour with breakfast    €139

Complete tour of the Vatican with American breakfast in the Vatican Cafeteria

Vatican Gardens Tours

Vatican Gardens Walking Tour    €41.00

Includes admission to Vatican Museums

Vatican Gardens Bus Tour    €85.00

Includes admission to Vatican Museums

Audience with the Pope

Audience With The Pope    €27.00

Attending Wednesday audience with transfers


Tours From Rome

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