On Fridays Through Fall, See the Vatican Under the Stars

Raphael rooms of Vatican museums

If you want to avoid the usual Sistine Chapel crowds, here's one way to do it: Go to the Vatican at night.

For the third year in a row, the Vatican museums are having their "extraordinary opening" from 7pm-11pm. Last year, more than 30,000 people took advantage. And whether your day is completely booked or you'd simply like to see the Sistine Chapel and Laocoön in a bit of a more serene atmosphere, now's your chance.

The museums will be open on Friday nights from now until July 15, and then again from Sep. 2 until Oct. 28. Last admission is at 9:30pm.

The areas open in the museums are the Egyptian museum, Pio-Clementine, Galleries of Tapestries, Candelabra, and Maps, Raphael Rooms, Borgia Apartment, Collection of Modern Religious Art, and, of course, the Sistine Chapel. (There's no guarantee, and it's in fact unlikely, that other areas, like the Pinacoteca, will be open).

Tickets must be booked in advance, so the full-price ticket is €19 (includes the €4 reservation fee), or €12 reduced (students, bring your I.D.s!). Click here to book.

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  1. Hi, what a wonderful website! Thank you for taking the time to provide such valuable information. From now on, we’re turning to you for all of our Rome trip planning. 🙂 Quick question: what if you’re already in Rome and don’t have access to a printer — can you still book your tickets to see the Vatican Museum at night? It seems they can only be booked online and they send you a barcode to present at check-in, but we don’t have any means of printing this out.

  2. Hi Katy,

    Glad to be helpful! As for the tickets – yes, you need to print these out. But don’t worry, Rome is full of internet cafes where you can do this in a jiffy! Just ask at your hotel where the closest one is. There’s even one right near the Vatican on Via Leone IV.

    Hope that helps!

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