Of all the global cultural wonders that have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, only one represents an entire country: Vatican City. The world’s smallest sovereign state is the spiritual home of the Catholic Church and an incomparable storehouse of artistic treasures. Here are our top picks.
The Vatican Museums house the largest collection of art in the world, and with so much to see, a guided tour is the best way to ensure you check off all the highlights. Opt for a private tour, an early-access Vatican tour, or skip-the-line entrance to avoid the crowds and marvel at the Raphael Rooms, Gallery of the Maps, and the Gallery of Tapestries. Take a VIP tour to explore the Vatican’s Secret Rooms or Vatican Gardens.
Often included in tours of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel is one of Rome’s most visited sights, famous for its magnificent ceiling frescoes—Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment and The Creation of Adam. For a more personalized experience, take in the Renaissance masterpiece on a private or early-access Sistine Chapel tour.
St. Peter’s Basilica
One of the world’s most important catholic pilgrimage sites, St. Peter's Basilica is home to Renaissance gems like Michelangelo’s La Pieta sculpture and Bernini’s Baldacchino. Choose a tour with skip-the-line entrance, an audio guide or tour guide, or take in the views from the basilica’s cupola.
St. Peter’s Square
The grand centerpiece of Vatican City and the starting point of any walking tour, St. Peter’s Square offers a dramatic view of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel. It’s also the site of the weekly address of the pope—pre-book to secure a papal audience ticket.