Vatican Attractions

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A Guide to Vatican Attractions

The Vatican City — the smallest state in the world — is located in the heart of Rome, Italy and is a major tourist destination for religious and historical travelers alike. The Vatican is home to some of the world’s most iconic attractions, such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. Rich in history, the Vatican is a popular attraction for visitors from all over the world.

The History of the Vatican City

The history of the Vatican City dates back to ancient Roman times, when it was known as the Borgo district — a small neighborhood near the Tiber River. The area was once home to various Roman temples, and in 337 AD it was converted into a Christian pilgrimage site by Emperor Constantine I. In the following centuries, the area became known as the Papal States, and in 1929 it was declared an independent sovereign state by Pope Pius XI.

Today, the Vatican City is home to some of the world’s most iconic religious and cultural sites. It is also home to the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church’s administrative center. The Vatican City is a walled enclave within Rome and covers an area of roughly 110 acres (44 hectares). It is home to around 900 residents and has its own national symbols, including a flag, an anthem, and a coat of arms.

Popular Attractions in the Vatican City

The Vatican City is full of attractions and activities for travelers to enjoy. Here are some of the most popular attractions in the Vatican City:

St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most iconic churches in the world and is home to some of Christianity’s most important relics. Built in the early 16th century, it is the largest church in the world and features an impressive façade with five domes, an ornate interior filled with artwork and artifacts, and Michelangelo’s magnificent Pietà sculpture. Visitors can also explore St. Peter’s Square and its famous obelisk.

Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is one of the most popular attractions in the Vatican City. This historic chapel was built in the mid-15th century and features artwork from some of the world’s most renowned Renaissance artists, including Michelangelo’s famous frescoes on the ceiling. Visitors can admire these masterpieces up close during guided tours of the chapel.

Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums are home to one of the world’s largest collections of art and artifacts. It includes works from some of history’s most famous artists, including Raphael, Caravaggio, and Botticelli. The museum complex also includes several galleries dedicated to ancient sculptures and other works from the Renaissance period.

Vatican Gardens

The Vatican Gardens are a beautiful oasis on the outskirts of Rome. This stunning park covers over 80 acres (32 hectares) and features a variety of gardens, fountains, and sculptures. Visitors can explore these gardens on guided tours or take a leisurely stroll through its pathways.

Vatican Library

The Vatican Library is one of the world’s most important libraries and contains over 1.6 million books and manuscripts. Established in 1475, it is home to some of the rarest books and documents in history, ranging from ancient manuscripts to rare editions from the Renaissance period.

Two Popular Tours in the Vatican City

When visiting the Vatican City, there are plenty of tours to choose from that will take you to some of its most iconic attractions. Here we will take a look at two popular tours that will give you an unforgettable experience:

Vatican Highlights Private Tour

The Vatican Highlights Private Tour offers a unique opportunity to explore some of the most famous attractions in the Vatican City in a private setting with an expert tour guide. This tour will take you to St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and other highlights of this historic city state. You will also be able to admire some of the world’s most renowned works of art up close while learning more about their history from your expert guide. You can book this tour online with Viator here.

Vatican Combination Tour

The Vatican Combination Tour will take you on an unforgettable journey through some of the most iconic attractions in Rome and the Vatican City. This tour includes visits to St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and other historic sites within Rome. You will also get to explore some of Rome’s most iconic attractions such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and more. At each destination you will be able to learn more about its history from your knowledgeable tour guide and take in stunning views of Rome along the way. You can book this tour online with GetYourGuide here.


The Vatican City is full of attractions for tourists from all over the world to explore and enjoy. From iconic churches such as St. Peter’s Basilica to world-renowned art collections like those found in the Vatican Museums, there is something for everyone here in this historic city state. If you’re looking for a unique experience with plenty of culture and beauty, then make sure to add a trip to the Vatican City to your list!

Vatican Attractions

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!