Best Vatican Gardens Tour 2023 – Everything you need to know
Vatican City offers numerous incredible attractions you should visit while spending your holidays there. It is common knowledge that touring the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel is a must. However, those aren’t the only sites worth your visit. Vatican Gardens are another magnificent feature of this city that you should definitely explore. Located right behind the St. Peters Basilica, they are undoubtedly the most beautiful landscaped gardens you can see in Rome.
Why should you visit Vatican Gardens?
Taking a stroll through the peaceful paths of the Vatican Gardens will allow you to see them in three different styles – Italian, French, and English, each with their respective characteristics. The Italian-style garden has very formal and geometrical features with a touch of the Renaissance. The French gardens distinguish their great expression in the classic baroque art, enriched with beautiful statues. The English garden has natural features with artificial elements such as trees, caves, shrubs, pagodas, pergolas, temples, and ruins.
The best time to visit Vatican Gardens
The best time of the day for visiting the Vatican Gardens is early in the morning. If you would like to avoid large crowds, it is strongly recommended not to visit the Vatican Museums and gardens on Wednesdays and weekends. On Wednesdays, the Pope holds a papal audience, and Vatican City gets really crowded.
Another great time to visit Vatican Gardens is late afternoon, more precisely 45 minutes before the closing time. The crowds will have cleared out by that time, so you will be able to explore the gardens in peace.
Vatican Gardens Working Hours
- Thursday- Saturday: 9 AM – 6 PM
- Monday – Tuesday: 9 AM – 6 PM
- Wednesdays and Sundays, the gardens are closed.
Getting to the gardens of the Vatican
METRO: There is a Rome metro station just outside the Vatican walls at Ottaviano-S. Pietro. Line A direction Ottaviano, Battistini, or Cipro train stations have trains running every few minutes. It is only a 5-minute walk from the Metro to both Vatican Gardens and St. Peters’ Basilica.
BUS: Number 49 stops in the square in front of the Vatican Museums. Bus number 32, 81, 982, stops at Piazza del Risorgimento and 492, 990, stop in Via Leone IV / Via degli Scipioni.
How to visit Vatican Gardens?
The Vatican Gardens can only be visited in the company of the internal staff of the museums, so it is necessary to book a guided tour. There are multiple tour options, and choosing the right one can be difficult. For that reason, we have hand-picked the best tour of Vatican Gardens. Take a look and find out what is included in this tour and what you need to know before visiting the gardens.
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Vatican Gardens Bus Tour
Explore both the Vatican gardens and the Vatican Museums on this day tour with included skip-the-line tickets. Marvel at the different types of gardens while listening to an audio guide that is available in many languages. Finish your self-guided tour by visiting one of the world’s most famous museums – Vatican Museums.
Skip the line
Highlights of Vatican Gardens Bus Tour
Bramante’s Belvedere Courtyard
Bramante’s Belvedere Courtyard, or “Cortile del Belvedere,” is a great example of Renaissance architecture at the Vatican Palace. Designed by Donato Bramante, this long enclosed courtyard connects the Villa Belvedere with the Vatican Palace through a series of terraces and stairs. The famous Spiral Staircase is one of them.
There are hundreds of fountains in the Vatican, but one that is sure to capture your attention is the Galea fountain (Fontana della Galera). It represents a medieval wrecked warship placed in the center of a massive water basin.
On this tour, you will also be able to see the marvelous Vatican Museums and the world-famous Sistine Chapel, located at the end of the Vatican Museums. Discover many incredible artworks from famous artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Perugino, Giotto, Fra Angelico, Melozzo da Forlì, Raphael, Titian, and Caravaggio.
The Italian Garden
The magnificent Italian Gardens was created in 1929. It follows the Italian-style layout with geometric hedges and paths framed by pine trees, cypresses, and other native trees, making it one of the most visually impressive gardens. While you stroll through this beautiful garden, do not miss the opportunity to take some good photos.
The Apostolic Palace
The Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo is a section of a 135-acre complex with buildings surrounded by beautiful gardens. It served as a summer residence of the Pope for centuries. In 2016, it was opened to the public as a museum. If you are visiting the Vatican Gardens, make sure not to miss this palace.
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THIS TOUR INCLUDES
- Vatican Gardens entry
- Entrance to Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel (guided tour available if option selected)
- Audio guide in all languages
- Helpline and assistance
So worth it to skip the line into the Vatican Museum! The tour of the gardens is a must and gives you a view of the Vatican that shouldn’t be missed! Excellent guide as well.
Great guide. We learned a lot. Pre-booking cut the queues and crowds which made the experience much more comfortable in these covid times. Perhaps visiting the Sistine Chapel first would have made the experience even better!
FAQ – Vatican Gardens Tour
Can you visit the Vatican Gardens without a tour?
Yes, you can see the Vatican Museums and gardens without a tour. Although, be prepared to spend hours in line to get an entrance ticket. If you want to save time and avoid waiting in long queues, we highly recommend purchasing Vatican Museums Guided Tour. That way, not only will you get direct access to the Vatican Museums and gardens, but you will also learn much more about the sites you visit accompanied by an expert tour guide.
How much is the guided tour of Vatican Gardens?
The price of the Vatican Gardens Tour is around 54€, which is quite reasonable since you get to see both Vatican Museums and gardens with privileged access. Also, after the guided tour, you will have the opportunity to explore the monuments on your own.
How long does it take to visit the Vatican Gardens?
When you book a tour of the Vatican Gardens, you will automatically get admission to the Vatican Museums. So approximately, you will need 3 to 4 hours to explore all sites fully.
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