Sistine Chapel

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Highlights of the Sistine Chapel

When it comes to touring the Vatican City, the best is saved until last: the revered Sistine Chapel. A tour de force of art and architecture by the most famous Renaissance artists, it will dazzle you. Here’s a list of highlights.

  • Sistine Chapel Ceiling

    1. Sistine Chapel Ceiling

    The Sistine Chapel is Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Its ceiling is divided into nine scenes from the Book of Genesis, depicting the creation of the world from light to dark, sun to moon, Adam to Eve.

  • The Creation of Adam

    2. The Creation of Adam

    One of the most famous artworks of all time, the centerpiece of the ceiling is a fresco painting depicting God bringing Adam to life with his fingertips.

  • The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

    3. The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

    Michelangelo’s fresco depicting the Last Judgment can be seen above the altar. Interestingly, he started working on it 25 years after the ceiling, and it took four years to complete.

  • Southern Wall: Story of Moses

    4. Southern Wall: Story of Moses

    See scenes from Moses’s life, including his journey through Egypt, portrayed by the Renaissance greats: Botticelli, Perugino and Rosselli.

  • Northern Wall: Story of Jesus

    5. Northern Wall: Story of Jesus

    The wall to the right of the altar shows scenes from Jesus’s life according to the great Renaissance painters.

Planning Your Visit

  • Why Is the Sistine Chapel Important?

    Starting in 1508, Michelangelo spent lonely years painting the chapel's ceiling and altar, transforming these walls into one of the great masterpieces. In the words of Goethe, "If you haven't seen the Sistine Chapel, it's impossible to have any idea of what one man is capable of doing." The walls will come to life as you step in!

  • What to Know

    Don't wear shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless shirts without bringing a scarf or covering, as you will not be allowed in. Taking photographs is strictly prohibited in the chapel.

  • Can You Visit the Sistine Chapel on Its Own?

    Located in Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums, so can only be entered through the Museum. Admission is included in the purchase of a ticket to the Vatican Museum. Beware of anyone trying to sell you just for the Sistine Chapel, it’s a scam.

  • Avoiding the Lines

    Over 4.5 million visitors come to the Sistine Chapel per year, so it’s difficult to completely avoid a crowd. During the Pope’s address on Wednesday mornings it’s a bit quieter, as at lunchtimes. Buying tickets in advance is always a good idea.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The Sistine Chapel is closed on Sundays and Catholic holidays. Opening hours can be erratic, so check online to avoid disappointment.
  • Is it expensive?
    €17 general entry
  • Will I need a guide?
    If you want to learn more about the amazing pieces of art, sure! There are tickets for small group tours, as well as a chance to make the Sistine Chapel part of your Rome City Pass.
  • How to get there
    The Vatican City is located inside of Rome. Bus 49 will get you there. Alternatively, take the red metro line to Cipro station.
  • Additional information

    • Beware of pickpockets, especially on crowded public transport. Hold onto your bags, and keep valuables out of sight.

    • Be sure to bring a cardigan or other long-sleeved garment to cover up your arms when entering the Sistine Chapel.

Other Sightseeing Options in Sistine Chapel

Want to discover all there is to do in Sistine Chapel? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Sistine Chapel

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 102,020 reviews

Really glad I booked this tour! Our tour guide was amazing, she was so informative and it was fruitful listening to her. She’s a great storyteller! The company was also amazing at working with me to get an extra ticket last minute bc I accidentally only bought 1 when I needed 2

Ana was my tour guide, she was so lovely and helpful, did everything to explain such a vast topic and make everyone feel at ease. Would highly recommend this tour.

I am happy we got the guided tour tickets. Our guide was great and funny and gave us so much information about everything we saw.

Velmi milá průvodkyně, zajistila vstupenky, vše zajistila, doprovodila nás až k turniketům.

Great tour. Julius was very knowledgeable and nice. Would certainly recommend.