Entry to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Gardens is permitted only to appropriately dressed visitors.
Low cut or sleeveless clothing, shorts, miniskirts and hats are not allowed.
Security checks by metal detector
To facilitate and speed up security checks by metal detector, visitors are advised to remove inadmissible items from their hand baggage beforehand, and to inform staff in advance (see sections Umbrellas, Knives, Weapons).
Luggage, bags and rucksacks
Before entering the exhibition spaces, visitors are required to leave in the cloakroom all luggage, suitcases, rucksacks, packages and containers not considered suitable by staff on account of their size or nature.
Visitors who continue their tour in the Vatican Basilica are reminded not to leave their baggage in the Vatican Museums. The cloakroom service is free of charge.
Medium and large umbrellas (or standard non-telescopic umbrellas), sticks (apart from those used for walking), tripods and stands for photography, video cameras, banners and signs of any type must all be left in the cloakroom.
Rods used by authorised tour guides for visibility purposes are permitted. The cloakroom service is free of charge.
Knives, scissors and metal tools
To ensure the safety of visitors and to protect the artistic patrimony, the Vatican Museums require all knives, scissors and/or metal tools of various types to be stored in the cloakroom. The cloakroom service is free of charge.
Weapons and/or hazardous materials
It is forbidden to bring any type of firearm and/or dangerous material into the Museums. In addition, entry is not permitted to armed visitors (including those holding a valid license).
This prohibition is extended to members of the Police carrying weapons. Firearms and hazardous materials may not be left in the cloakroom.
Lost & Found
The visitor is advised to report any loss of personal belongings at the nearest security point, to enable the object to be found.
If the visitor has already left the Museums, it is possible to make a request for assistance by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that items found and not reclaimed by the end of the day will be placed in storage at the Vatican Gendarmery. In no event can the Vatican Museums be held responsible for the loss of personal belongings.
Food and drink
It is not permitted to bring alcoholic and super alcoholic beverages inside the Vatican Museums (these must be left in the cloakroom for the duration of the visit). It is forbidden to consume food and drink inside the exhibition halls. Visitors can however store any type of food and/or drink in their possession in the cloakroom free of charge. (This must be reclaimed before the closing time of the day of the visit; unclaimed food and beverages will be destroyed).
Along the museum itinerary several vending machines and refreshment areas with cafeteria, self service and pizzeria services are available to the public.
Relaxation areas with seats are located along the museum itinerary to enable the visitor to take a break and to rest (Courtyard of the Cuirasses, Courtyard of the Pinacoteca, Square Garden, Courtyard of the Pine Cone).
Families at the Vatican Museums
The Museums are pleased to welcome families with children and strollers in tow.
The guard staff is responsible for showing visitors the easiest route and to direct them to dedicated elevators providing easy access to various museum spaces.
Along the itinerary there are dedicated spaces equipped with baby changing facilities and a nursing room for breastfeeding mothers. Highchairs are provided in some refreshment areas.
To view points of interest, see the official map of the Vatican Museums.
Pets and guide dogs
Access to the Museums is not permitted to animals, even small ones, with the exception of guide dogs for the blind or partially-sighted, provided they are equipped with a muzzle and lead, and animals for the certified purpose of pet therapy.
To enable reception and entry in these cases, communication of the visit must be submitted at least one day in advance by email at: email@example.com.
Supervision and protection of the artistic patrimony
It is strictly prohibited to touch the works of art throughout the museums (with the exception of blind and partially sighted visitors participating in tactile and multisensory visits).
To guarantee the safety of visitors and the protection of the entire artistic patrimony, all the museum spaces, along with the works conserved therein, are equipped with an advanced alarm and video surveillance system.
Photography at the Vatican Museums
It is permitted to take photographs, for personal use only, of the works in all areas of the Vatican Museums, apart from the Sistine Chapel. Flash photography is strictly forbidden.
The use of tripods, stands and/or professional equipment is not allowed; any eventual use must be authorised by the Directorate of the Museums and Cultural Heritage.
The use of telescopic "selfie sticks" is forbidden. In the Sistine Chapel it is forbidden to take photographs or films with any type of electronic equipment. The guard staffis authorised to request the immediate cancellation, in their presence, of video or photographic material produced in contravention of this rule.
Endeavouring to ensure the best possible experience for visitors, the Vatican Museums strongly discourage the use of mobile phones inside the exhibition spaces.
Visitors are required to activate the silent function of their mobile device. The use of mobile phones is forbidden in the Sistine Chapel.
Guided tour of the Sistine Chapel
With respect for and in view of the sanctity of the location, during the visit to the Sistine Chapel visitors are kindly requested to observe absolute silence.
Guided tour groups, although equipped with radio headsets, will receive all the relevant art-historical information prior to their entry in the Sistine Chapel. For this purpose, totem touch screens are available to authorised educational guides to illustrate to visitors what they will subsequently admire in silence.
A number of informative panels rich in details on the sacred Chapel and other areas of the Museum are available to individual visitors along the exhibition itinerary (Courtyard of the Pine Cone and Square Garden).
Works on loan
In planning a visit to the Vatican Museums, visitors are advised to consult the section "Museums in the World" to see the list of works temporarily on loan to other institutions for exhibitions and other events.
Drawing in the Vatican Museums
Special authorisation from the Directorate of the Museums and Cultural Heritage is required for the reproduction or drawing of the works on display (solely and exclusively in pencil).
By virtue of a didactic agreement between the Vatican Museums and the Rome Academy of Fine Arts, students enrolled on the Artistic Anatomy courses are permitted to draw the works within the academic programme they are following.
The use of amplified microphones is not permitted in the Vatican Museums.
For guided group tours with 11 or more participants, the internal hire of radio headset systems is obligatory.
The use of any type of laser pointer is forbidden inside the museum spaces.
For security reasons, no museum area has Wi-Fi coverage.
Map of the Vatican Museums
Visitors are advised to consult the official map of the Vatican Museums when planning and personalising their visit.
The map can be downloaded and printed from the Vatican Museums website or obtained free of charge in the ticket office.
Architectural constraints and the strict requirements for protection of the patrimony impose severe restrictions on air-conditioning (especially during the summer months) of some areas of the museums which receive heavy visitor traffic.
Paper, tins, bottles and other refuse must not be discarded in the Vatican Museums. They must be placed in the appropriate containers which, for safety reasons, are located only in the areas outside the itinerary (main entrance, courtyards, refreshment areas, and restrooms).
Smoking in the Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums are a "no smoking area", and smoking is strictly forbidden (including electronic cigarettes) along the entire museum itinerary, the Octagonal Court included.
Support and donations
In support of the Pope's commitment and charitable work in favour of those most in need, the Vatican Museums are able to provide interested visitors with an information kit on Peter's Pence, containing a postal payment slip and documentation on the Pope's apostolic and charitable work. There is a branch of the Vatican Post inside the Vatican Museums, where it is possible to make payments and other ordinary transactions.