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Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Italy  /  Lazio  /  Vatican City  /  St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

4.8
#1 of 47 in Things to do in Vatican City
Must see · Historic Site · Landmark
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St. Peter's Basilica is not only among the most renowned works of Renaissance architecture, but it is also one of the largest churches in the world. Built over a period of about 120 years, this imposing structure was designed by several prominent Renaissance architects, including Michelangelo and Bernini. Tradition and strong historical evince hold that the tomb of Saint Peter, one of Jesus’s twelve apostles, is located directly below the altar of the church. Because of its location in the Vatican, the Pope presides at a number of services held here throughout the year, frequently drawing audiences of up to 80,000 people. Take the elevator up to the roof and then climb the 323 steps to the top of the dome, which offers sweeping views of the surrounding area. A strict dress code forbids shorts, bare shoulders, or miniskirts inside the site. Arrange your visit to St. Peter's Basilica and discover more family-friendly attractions in Vatican City using our Vatican City road trip app.
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St. Peter's Basilica reviews

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4.8
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  • Must see bit of Rome. You can also book to see the underground cemetery as well as to go up to the cupola. 
    Must see bit of Rome. You can also book to see the underground cemetery as well as to go up to the cupola.  more »
  • We arrived early to avoid the lines and the hot summer sun. Still, it took us about 1 hours to get in. It is Free to visit the church and you can reserve guides once you are inside the basilica. It... 
    We arrived early to avoid the lines and the hot summer sun. Still, it took us about 1 hours to get in. It is Free to visit the church and you can reserve guides once you are inside the basilica. It...  more »
Google
  • While in Rome be sure to visit St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums even if you aren’t Catholic. The crowds are tremendous and it’s very, very hot especially in the summer months. Even though it’s super hot, be sure to keep yourself covered. It is disrespectful to have your shoulders bare and to wear short skirts, dresses and super short shorts. If you aren’t dressed properly, you will be given paper like clothing to cover up or be denied entry. It would be helpful to do a bit of research online before visiting to understand the extraordinary history and pieces of art you will be seeing. Expect to spend at least 3-5 hours exploring. You can easily spend an entire day and wonder where the time went. The shops are plentiful and apparently everything in them is blessed by the Pope. The line and wait to get into the Sistine Chapel is very long but worth waiting to see. It is amazing and, for most people, a once in a lifetime experience. Be sure to look up and enjoy one of the most famous and celebrated interior paintings in world by Michelangelo 1508-1512. It is absolutely breathtaking.
  • A must see. Architectural and artistic marvel. The scale is immense. The artworks and decor are awe inspiring. Several hours are needed for a thorough experience. A digital or online guide is recommended if you are interested in art or history. The Basilica is open every day free of charge which is especially nice and helpful to plan around other activities which require reservations. Highly recommended.

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