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Visiting Vatican Gardens

The Vatican Gardens cover an impressive 23 hectares (more than hald the entire are of the Vatican City) and include a Renaissance layout dotted with fountains, statues, and buldings dating as far back as the sixt century. 

These lovely gardens are closed to the general public and can only be visited as part of a guided tour. You can join an official group tour to enter the gardens through the Vatican Museums or book a skip-the-line private tour that includes a walking tour of the Vatican Gardens to avoid the long lines.

Vatican Gardens tours generally also include visits to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter's Basilica.

Things to know before you go to the Vatican Gardens

  • Picking plants and flowers from the garden is strictly forbidden.
  • There is a security check at the entrance to the museums so items like knives, corkscrews, umbrellas must be left at the coat check.
  • If your Vatican tour includes entrance to the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Basilica, be sure to wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.

The Vatican Gardens are not wheelchair accessible and tours generally require a bit of walking so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

The best time to visiting the Vatican Gardens

The Vatican Gardens are most crowded at midday, so choose morning tour if you prefer a quieter experience. Spring and fall are considered the most beautiful seasons to view the gardens.

How to reach the Vatican Gardens

The Vatican Gardens are accessed through the Vatican Museums on Viale Vaticano in Vatican City. The Vatican City is situated just to the north of the historic centre of Rome and is easily reachable from any part of the city.

The easiest and quickest way of getting to Vatican is to take metro line A to Ottaviano - St. Pietro station which is only 5 minute's walk from the entrance to the Vatican Museums. Another solution would be taking a train from Termini Station to San Pietro train station which is situated south of Vatican and you will need to walk for about 15-20 minutes to reach the Vatican Museums. 

There are also many Rome city buses that pass next to the Vatican. The number 40 and 64 bus drives frequently between Termini Station and the Vatican via the city centre including the Piazza Venezia. Besides these two there are also buses no. 62 and 81 as well as tram 19 which runs between Villa Borghese and Piazza Risorgimento.

For most people, walking is the most pleasant way of sightseeing of Rome, there is so much of interest around every corner of the city. Although Vatican City is just north of Rome's historic centre it's only 15-20 minute walk to Piazza Navona.

You just need to take one of streets leading towards the Tiber River to reach Ponte Sant'Angelo, cross the bridge and walk along Castel Sant'Angelo until you reach Via della Conciliazione which leads you to Saint Peter's Square from where you can walk to Vatican Museums.

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