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St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro)
St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro)

St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro)

Open daily
Piazza san Pietro, Vatican City, 00120

The Basics

At the center of the square, a soaring Egyptian obelisk and two marble fountains—one by Carlo Maderno dating from 1613 and the second designed by Bernini to match in 1675—break up the sweeping cobblestone space. Within the colonnade, formed by massive Doric columns and topped by 140 statues of the saints, lies the security check for entry to St. Peter's and, on the other side, the Vatican post office. The square is the site of large public Masses on the main Catholic holidays and for papal audiences, when it is packed with pilgrims from all over Italy and the world.

St. Peter's Square is best visited with a tour guide as part of a small-group tour that touches on all the Vatican highlights, including the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Gardens, and the Vatican Grottoes containing the tombs of former popes. The Vatican is a vast repository of art and history; savor it as part of a private tour with skip-the-line tickets to avoid wasting time in the Vatican's notoriously long queues.

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St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
star-4.5
$30.83 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Vatican St petter Basilia
Amazing experience and espectacular place to visit. I will highly recommend this tour!! Beautiful country
Gioconda_G, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Rome

star-5
Excellent kickoff to our visit to Rome
Blake_B, Oct 2021
Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour
This was our very first tour when we arrived in Rome and it was spectacular! Our guide, Serena was the best and truly passionate about her city, history, and of course everything we would see at the Vatican. Highly recommended and definitely do the early morning tour to limit the crowds. This was perhaps one of the only silver linings of travelling during Covid but we had St. Peter's basically to ourselves. Highly recommended!
star-5
A tour to remember
Damion_H, Nov 2021
Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour
Alessia is a wonderful tour guide. It felt like we had met a friend who was walking us through her favorite landmarks. She has a way of delivering the history of the buildings that is so engaging. This tour is not to be missed. I would give this tour 10 stars if I could…
star-5
Meet with the inner power of yourself
Renato_B, Nov 2021
Meet Pope Francis at St Peter square Vatican City
So excited when the Pope Francisco Blessed the crowd. People got a memorable time ... After meet the Pope the expressions of happiness on the people are unthinkables.
star-5
Very well organised /...
christopher_g, Oct 2021
The Original Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb
Very well organised / great guide/wonderful experience/highly recommended / quite trying especially if busy and hot I guess
star-5
Vatican city tour
Denise_J, Oct 2021
Skip the Line: Semi-Private Tour of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's
Simon was very impressive guide. Very knowledgeable Great experience. My husband and l throughly enjoyed this tour.
star-5
We couldn’t have asked...
James_B, Oct 2021
The Original Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb
We couldn’t have asked for a better tour guide than Chiara! She made the tour fun, was extremely knowledgeable and always engaging! I completely recommend doing this tour and climbing to the top of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. The view from the top is absolutely breathtaking and worth the 500+ stair climb to get there. The only thing I will say is that the tour definitely runs closer to 5 hours rather than 4. Overall, a fantastic tour of the Vatican!
star-4
Helpful overall
Frances_B, Oct 2021
Meet Pope Francis at St Peter square Vatican City
Guide knew his way around and led us to the line. We had to queue up anyway and when we got to the indoor venue (it was raining), we found our seats on our own. Some sort of tour in description but due to so many people in the group and crazy crowd in the line, we were not able to understand nor hear much of it as it was only done whilst we were waiting in line.
star-5
Terrific tour!
Andrea_M, Oct 2021
2 in 1 Vatican Dome Climb & Entire Vatican Tour
Massimo was very knowledgeable and charming. Very interesting tour with lots of great views for pictures. We had a wonderful day!
star-5
Request Elaine!
Kevin_J, Sep 2021
Skip the Line: Semi-Private Tour of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's
This was the highlight of our visit to Rome! Elaine with "What a Life Tours" did an amazing job - very knowledgeable, full of energy and FUN! First, we visited St. Peter's Basilica where she showed us all of the highlights. She showed us the best places for pictures, and planned our visit so that we could catch the changing of the Swiss Guard. Then, off to the Vatican Museum where we learned and saw so much! It was a great day - highly recommend!
star-5
Amazing!
Monique_F, Oct 2021
Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour
Wonderful experience and wonderful tour! Going for the early morning means you really get privacy within the basilica. I wish the Vatican museums would have been first stop so there would have been less people, but even still there were very slim crowds
star-5
Exclusive experience not to be missed
Ben_V, Jul 2021
Scavi Tour to the Tomb of St. Peter's & Skip Line Guided Tour of the Basilica
In this pandemic era, we must all be flexible in our plans. Due to changes at the Vatican, the tour operator had to request a time change. It was worth making the new time work. Barbara, our first guide, was excellent for the tour of the Basilica. She was warm, funny, and knowledgeable. The Scavi part was led by a phd on staff with the Vatican. It was a profound experience in a small group setting.
star-5
Katie was a spectacular guide. Great story teller, knowledgeable, patient, professional. 100% would do it again.
Thomas_D, Oct 2021
Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour
Best for us was St Peters. Early morning gave us the time to enjoy and the driver was early, Katie (tour guide) was on time, and we enjoyed out time greatly.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Vatican is its own municipality and issues stamps; visit the post office under the colonnade in St. Peter's Square to send your postcards directly from Vatican City.

  • If you would like to see Pope Francis, it is imperative to book papal audience tickets in advance.

  • The square is accessible to wheelchair users.

  • There is a dress code to enter St. Peter's Basilica that requires clothing that covers the shoulders and knees; there is no dress code for the square.

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How to Get There

The most spectacular way to enter St. Peter's Square is by foot, crossing the Emperor Hadrian's Ponte Sant'Angelo over the River Tiber to Castel Sant'Angelo (Hadrian's Tomb) and walking up the grand Via della Conciliazione. Otherwise, use one of two metro line A stops: Ottaviano–S.Pietro–Musei Vaticani or Cipro.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

The square is crowded with visitors during the opening hours of St. Peter's Basilica, so consider booking a night tour or an early-entry basilica tour to see St. Peter's Square in relative peace.

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The Swiss Guards

St. Peter's Square, along with the rest of the Vatican, is protected by the historic Swiss Guards, established in the 16th century and still sporting their colorful Renaissance-style uniforms.

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