How to get to Vatican City- By Train, Metro, Bus, Car

Planning a trip to Vatican City, the heart of the Catholic faith and the smallest country in the world can be exciting and full of amazing sights. 

Nestled within Rome, it’s a top spot for visitors wanting to see important Christian sites. 

This guide is here to help you find the easiest ways to get there, covering all the main transportation options. 

We’ll ensure you have all the information you need to reach this special place smoothly.

Introduction to Vatican City

Vatican City, officially known as the State of Vatican City, is the epicenter of the Roman Catholic Church. 

With its independent status established by the Lateran Treaty of 1929, it stands on the west bank of the River Tiber, about 5 kilometers from downtown Rome. 

Despite its small size, Vatican City boasts a wealth of spiritual and cultural landmarks, from the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica to the artistic wonders of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.

Location of Vatican City:

Vatican City is located approximately 5 kilometers from the center of Rome, on the west bank of the River Tiber. 

Vatican City stands as an independent sovereign entity entirely surrounded by Rome. 

Several transportation methods are available for those looking to visit this unique city-state.

Address of Vatican City:

Città del Vaticano, 00120 Vatican City. Get the directions on Google Maps

How to Get to Vatican City – By Public Transportation

Embarking on your Vatican adventure is easy, thanks to the many transport options available. 

Whether you’re coming from within Rome or the iconic Colosseum, here’s how to effortlessly reach the heart of Catholicism.

How to Get to Vatian By Metro: The Fastest Route

  • Closest Station: Ottaviano-S. Pietro Station
  • Travel Time: 11 -15 mins
  • Timings: 5:30 AM to 11:30 PM (Sunday to Thursday); extends to 1:30 AM on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • How to use: Take the Line A metro in Rome and exit at Ottaviano-S. Pietro station.
    From there, it’s a short 5-minute walk to St. Peter’s Square.
    You could also choose to alight at Lepanto station for a pleasant walk and some shopping on Cola di Rienzo Street before making your way to the Vatican Museums.
    Another option is Cipro Station, also on Line A, which is conveniently close to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.

How to Get to Vatian By Bus:

Vatican city from Colosseum By Bus
Image: Viator.com
  • Closest Stop: Viale Vaticano- Musei Vaticani
  • Timings: Standard bus services operate from 5.30 am until midnight, while night bus services are available from midnight until 5.30 am.
  • Travel Time: Varies based on starting point
  • How to use: Bus 49 arrives directly at the square in front of the Vatican Museums.
    You can catch buses 40 or 64 from Roma Termini for alternative routes.
    Bus 40 stops at Piazza Pia, close to the Vatican, with St. Peter’s Square just a 10-minute walk away.
    Meanwhile, Bus 64 drops passengers off at Terminal Gianicolo or Holy Spirit Hospital, both around 10-12 minutes on foot from St. Peter’s Square.
    Busses 32, 81, and 982 also halt at Piazza del Risorgimento.
    Buses 492 and 990 are also available, stopping at Via degli Scipioni & Via Leone IV.

How to Get to Vatian By Train:

  • Closest Station: St. Pietro Station
  • Timings: The first train from Roma Termini sets off at 5:35 AM, followed by subsequent trains departing every 30 minutes. The final train for the day departs Roma Termini at 10:35 PM.
  • Travel Time: Around 10 minutes on foot to St. Peter’s Square
  • How to use: Vatican City is served by the St. Pietro train station. From Roma Termini, you can take either the RE 12524 train headed for Civitavecchia or the RE 4134 train directed to Pisa Centrale. Alight at St. Pietro, which is situated roughly a 10-minute walk from St. Peter’s Square.

How to Get to Vatian By Tram:

  • Closest Station: Piazza del Risorgimento
  • Timings: Trams operate daily from 5:30 AM to midnight.
  • Travel Time: A 7-minute walk to Vatican Museums
  • How to use: Catch tram number 19 from Gerani and get off at Piazza del Risorgimento, located right outside the walls of Vatican City.
    A brief 7-minute walk will lead you directly to the Vatican Museum.

If you are already at Vatican City and planning to visit the Colosseum next. Read our article on how to reach the Colosseum from the Vatican.

How to Get to Vatian By Car:

Although driving directly into Vatican City is not permitted for the general public, numerous parking facilities nearby offer convenient options.

If you drive from Rome, the quickest path is via Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.

Alternatively, you can bypass tolls via Viale del Muro Torto, though this route may extend your journey time. 

Remember that access to Vatican City by car is reserved solely for those on official business.

Here are some of the famous parking facilities near Vatican City where you can park your ride:

  • Parking Prati is situated at Piazza Unità, 62 – 193, and is conveniently close to Vatican City. It’s important to note that you must leave your keys at the Prati Car Park. 
  • Garage San Pietro, found on Via di Santa Maria alle Fornaci, 26 – 165, offers to park a mere 5-minute walk from Vatican City. .
  • Vespasian Garage, which is also within walking distance from the Vatican, provides parking options with hourly, daily, nightly, and monthly rates.

How to Get to Vatian on Foot:

  • From Piazza Navona: Approximately 28 minutes
  • Route: Via de Coronari → Via di Panico → Ponte Sant’Angelo → Via della Conciliazione to St. Peter’s Square.
  • Experience: Walking to Vatican City from Rome is an excellent choice if you’re not in a rush.
    It’s easy on the wallet and offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the sights along the way.
    Starting from Piazza Navona, head down Via de Coronari, a street full of shops and cafes, and then make a right turn onto Via di Panico.
    Follow this road to its end, where you’ll encounter a public crossing leading to Ponte Sant’Angelo.
    Cross this bridge, turn left at Castel Sant’Angelo, and you’ll be on Via della Conciliazione, a direct road that takes you straight to St Peter’s Square.

Finding Your Way Inside Vatican City: Entrances and Tips

Vatican City welcomes visitors through two main entrances:

Viale Vaticano: The northern gateway leading directly to the Vatican Museums.

Via della Conciliazione: The southeastern path offers a direct route to St. Peter’s Basilica.

Tips for hassle-free navigation to Vatican City

  • Leave for the Vatican City early in the morning because the public transportation is much less crowded in the morning hours. 
  • Before you visit Vatican City, make sure you check the Vatican Museum hours so that you can be there right when it starts accepting visitors for the day. 
  • Even though Rome City is car-friendly and well-connected to the Vatican, we advise you to use public transportation to reach Vatican City. 
  • As Vatican City holds great religious significance, make sure you leave your stay dressed according to the Vatican dressing guidelines. 

Conclusion – How to Get to the Vatican City

Visiting Vatican City is a journey like no other, offering a deep dive into the heart of Catholic tradition, breathtaking art, and architecture. 

Whether you choose to arrive by public transport, car, or foot, this guide ensures your pilgrimage to Vatican City in 2024 is both memorable and spiritually rewarding. 

Prepare to be awe-inspired by this tiny but mighty city-state’s profound beauty and history.


1. How to get to the Vatican from the city center?

To get to the Vatican from the city center, you can use the Metro (Line A to Ottaviano-S. Pietro station), buses (40, 64, and others), the train (from Roma Termini to St. Pietro Station), or walk.

The Vatican is approximately 5 kilometers from the center of Rome.

2. Which metro station is Vatican City?

The closest metro station to Vatican City is Ottaviano-S. Pietro station on Line A.

3. How much does it cost to get into Vatican City?

Entering Vatican City itself is free, but to enter certain attractions like the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, you must have a general admission ticket to the Vatican Museums or a Vatican Guided Tour.

4. Can a tourist just walk into Vatican City?

Yes, tourists can walk into Vatican City, specifically into St. Peter’s Square and Basilica.

However, entrance to the Vatican Museums requires an entrance ticket.

5. Do you need a passport for the Vatican?

You do not need a passport to enter Vatican City as a tourist visiting public areas like St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums.

6. Does the metro go to the Vatican?

Yes, the Rome Metro Line A goes to Vatican City with Ottaviano-S. Pietro station is the closest stop.

7. How long do you need in Vatican City?

The time needed can vary, but a half-day to a full day is typically recommended to visit major sites like the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Check Vatican Museum Hours to get detailed information about the time required to visit Vatican City.

8. Can I take a taxi to Vatican City?

Yes, you can take a taxi to Vatican City. While vehicles cannot enter the city-state itself, you can get dropped off nearby.

9. Is there border Control between Italy and Vatican City?

There is no formal border control for tourists entering Vatican City from Rome to visit public areas.

10. How much is the train from Rome to Vatican City?

The train ticket from Rome (Roma Termini) to Vatican City (St. Pietro Station), costs  €1 – €4 and takes around 19 minutes to reach the Vatican.  

11. Is it hard to get into Vatican City?

No, visiting public areas is not hard to get into Vatican City. However, entry to specific attractions requires tickets, which should be booked in advance due to high demand.

12. Can you do the Colosseum and Vatican in one day?

It’s possible to visit both the Colosseum and the Vatican in one day, but it’s a packed schedule.

By taking a guided walking tour of Vatican museums and the Colosseum, you can visit both attractions in 7-8 hours.

13. How early should I get to the Vatican?

It’s recommended to arrive early in the morning, right before opening time, to avoid long lines, especially at the Vatican Museums.

14. Where are the Vatican Museums Located?

The Vatican Museums is located within Vatican City, a sovereign city-state completely surrounded by Rome, Italy. The official address is 00120 Vatican City.

15. Where exactly is Vatican City in Relation to Rome?

Vatican City is positioned to the northwest of central Rome. It is remarkably accessible and seamlessly connected to the rest of the city, making it easy for visitors to reach.

16. How Do I Travel from Rome to Vatican City?

You have several options for traveling from Rome to Vatican City, including public transportation methods like the metro, train, tram, or bus.

Alternatively, driving or walking are viable options for those nearby.

17. What is the Easiest Way to Reach the Vatican Museums?

The simplest and most direct route to the Vatican Museums is via the Metro. 

Taking Line A to the Ottaviano-S. Pietro station places you right outside Vatican City, offering easy access.

18. Which Bus Stop is Closest to the Vatican Museums?

The closest bus stop to the Vatican Museums is Viale Vaticano- Musei Vaticani, providing a convenient stopping point for those opting for bus travel.

19. What is the Nearest Train Station to the Vatican Museums?

The St. Pietro train station, merely a 10-minute walk from St. Peter’s Square, is the nearest train station to the Vatican Museums.

20. Is Parking Available Near the Vatican Museums?

Yes, numerous paid parking facilities are available near the Vatican Museums, including the Prati Car Park and the Vespasian Garage, among others.

21. What is the Closest Tram Station to the Vatican Museums?

The tram station at Piazza del Risorgimento, only a 7-minute walk from the Vatican, is the closest tram station to the Museums.

22. What is the Distance Between Vatican City and Rome?

The distance between Vatican City and the center of Rome is quite short, generally only a few kilometers.

The specific distance varies based on your starting location in Rome. For instance, the distance from Rome Termini station to Vatican City is 4.9 kilometers, easily traversable by bus, taxi, metro, or on foot.

23. How Can I Get from Vatican City to Rome?

Returning to Rome from Vatican City is straightforward, with options including buses, taxis, and the Rome Metro.

Public transportation or taxis are the most commonly used methods for this journey.

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Featured Photo by Anna Church on Unsplash

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