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Essential Vatican City: How to Make the Most of Your Day - Top Things to See and Do (2023)

Vatican City Plaza. 2022. 2023 Vatican City
Vatican City

Vatican City, located in the very heart of Rome, is a small independent state home to the Pope and the Catholic Church. The city is rich in culture and history, with stunning architecture and art dating back to the Renaissance. Vatican City will not disappoint you if you're looking for a unique travel destination!

Vatican City was first established as a sovereign state in 1929, following the signing of the Lateran Treaty by Pope Pius XI and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini. The treaty recognized Vatican City as an independent state and also granted the Vatican City extraterritorial rights, including immunity from Italian law.

To help you make the most of your day trip to Vatican City, below are what we consider the top things to do and see there during your visit!

Best Time to Visit

Birds eye view of the Saint Peter's Square. Best time to visit the Vatican City in 2023.
Birds eye view of the Saint Peter's Square.

Vatican City is a great place to visit year-round; however, the city is a trendy tourist destination, meaning it can get pretty crowded. The best time to visit Vatican City is during the autumn or spring when the weather is mild, and there are fewer tourists. October and November are also particularly good months to visit Vatican City as many summer tourists have left, and the Christmas tourist season has not yet begun. Vatican City can be pretty cold during the winter, so if you plan on visiting during this time, pack warm clothing.

Also, Vatican City is also less crowded on weekdays compared to weekends. So if you want a more intimate Vatican experience, plan your trip accordingly. Nonetheless, regardless of when you choose to go, a visit to Vatican City is sure to be a memorable one!

The Sistine Chapel

Visiting Vatican City during the summer time.
Not a picture of the Sistine Chapel since there are no photos allowed inside the chamber.

Completed in the early 16th century, the Sistine Chapel is one of the world's most famous and iconic Renaissance architecture buildings. Located in Vatican City, it is the official residence of the Pope and the site of many important papal ceremonies. The Chapel is also home to some of the most significant artworks in history, including Italian artist Michelangelo's renowned frescoes on the ceiling and walls. The Sistine Chapel roof features nine scenes inspired by the Book of Genesis (biblical reference), including the moment God created Adam and Eve.

A visit to the Sistine Chapel is a truly unforgettable experience. The scale and detail of the artworks are breathtaking, and the sense of history is palpable. Even if you are not religious, it is impossible not to be moved by this place.

The Sistine Chapel is located within the Vatican Museums, a series of museums and art galleries located inside Vatican City. If you are visiting Rome, add the Sistine Chapel to your itinerary, you will not regret it!

Note: Be sure to respect the rules, keep quiet, and don't take pictures while in the Sistine Chapel!

Vatican Museums

Paintings Inside the Vatican Museum. 2022; 2023
Inside the Vatican Museum.

The Vatican Museums are located in Vatican City and are some of the most famous museums in the world. They house a collection of art and artifacts that span centuries, and their displays provide a fascinating look at the history of the Catholic Church. A visit to the Vatican Museums is an unforgettable experience, and it is easy to see why they are so popular with tourists. The museums are vast and filled with incredible works of art, and there is something to see around every corner. There is also a beautiful courtyard that provides a chance to take in the stunning architecture of the Vatican.

Whether you are a fan of history or simply looking for a place to spend a few hours, the Vatican Museums are well worth a visit! The museums are open to the public from Monday to Saturday, and you can purchase tickets online in advance. If you're visiting Rome during the summer, it's worth noting that the Vatican Museums are top-rated, so be sure to book your tickets well in advance!

St. Peter's Basilica

Michelangelo's Pietà inside St. Peter's Basilica 2023.
The original Pietà by Michelangelo inside St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica is one of the largest churches in the world and is located within Vatican City. The basilica was built between the 16th and 17th centuries and is home to many famous works of art, including Michelangelo's Pietà. The basilica is also home to St. Peter's tomb, which is located beneath the altar. A visit to St. Peter's Basilica is a truly unforgettable experience.

St. Peter's Basilica is open to the public from Monday to Saturday, and Mass is held every day at noon. Visitors can also climb to the top of the basilica's dome for a stunning view of Rome.


In summary, Vatican City is definitely worth visiting if you're looking for a unique travel destination. The city will leave a lasting impression with its rich history and culture, beautiful architecture, and fascinating attractions!

Have you been to Vatican City? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below!


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