Vatican City Dress Code

Welcome to the holy city of the Vatican, the most prominent place of Christendom and a city of art and culture.

But, before you enter the city, there’s one important question, “are you dressed according to the Vatican City dress code?”

Enveloped by Rome, the Vatican City is home to Roman Catholic Church.

Being such a religious state, the Vatican does have its own set of rules and regulations for visitors entering the city. 

Visitors must follow the Vatican City dress code in order to access the city.

The Vatican City promotes a modest, skin-covering dress code following religious intuitions. 

The guards around the city and its attractions can deny your entry if you aren’t dressed modestly and are not following the Vatican dress code. 

What to Wear at VaticanWhat not to Wear at Vatican
Shoulder-covering Shirts or topsSleeveless or low-cut tops
Knee-covering Trousers Knee-revealing Shorts or bottoms
Flat shoes (Recommended; Not Prohibited)Offensive tattoos
Mid-Length Bottoms (Knee Covered)Hats

Why is there a dress code for the Vatican?

The reason Vatican city has a dress code is that the city has a known history of holding great significance for Christianity and is known as a pre-eminently holy city for Catholics.

Important sites like Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter basilica hold prominent reputations in the spiritual world of Christianity.

Known as the center of Christianity, the Vatican City now hold the permanent seat of the Popes. 

Having such great religious significance, the Vatican has a set of rules for the clothing of visitors entering the city. 

The Vatican City dress code promotes a modest, skin-covering dress code following religious intuitions. 

Every visitor must abide by this dress code to enter Vatican City.

Vatican Museum Dress code 

Vatican museum, The Museum of Museums, is a place known for its historical heritage and has its own dress code. 

Visitors must abide by the dress code for Vatican Museum in order to enter this historical site. 

Vatican dress code for Men

  • Men are allowed to wear a T-shirt, but it should not contain any offensive images or slogans.
  • Shoulders and knees should not be exposed. 
  • Thus, long pants and long-sleeved shirts are the most preferred choice for male visitors.
  • Hats are also not allowed inside the Vatican museums.

Vatican dress code for women

  • Your dress should cover your shoulders; wearing sleeveless or any Low-cut clothing is prohibited. 
  • Belly crop tops are strictly prohibited.
  • If you’re wearing pants or a skirt, make sure they cover your knees.
  • You can also buy plastic cloaks to wrap around or cover your knees and shoulders.

Vatican dress code for Kids 

  • Well, the Vatican City dress code does not impose any particular instructions related to kids’ clothing. 
  • The dress code goes the same for them, just like the adults. 
  • Knees and Shoulders should be covered.
  • There should be no offensive slogans or images on clothes.

Sistine Chapel dress code

The Sistine chapel dress code is the same as the dress code for Vatican Museum. 

  • Men should preferably wear Shirts and T-shirts (shoulders covering), with no inappropriate slogans or pictures. 
  • For Women, The dress should cover their belly, shoulders and knees. 
  • Men also should wear long trousers, so that their knees are covered. 
  • Miniskirts, sleeveless, low-cut dresses and Hats are prohibited inside the Sistine Chapel.

St Peter’s Basilica dress code is the same as the dress code followed by Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.

Papal Audience dress code

The papal audience is held every Wednesday (only when the Pope is in Rome) at the st. Peter’s Square

A lot of people all around the world visit the Vatican in order to attend this Papal Audience and get a chance to pray with Pope. 

The Papal Audience Dress code remains the same as the Vatican City Dress code.

  • The knees and shoulders should be covered.
  • You can wear casual clothes but they should be modest and follow the Vatican museum dress code. 
  • Men are allowed to wear hats during the audience. 
  • Rome experiences extreme temperatures, so it’s best to pack caps, sunblocks, and enough clothes to avoid sunburns.

Not dressed according to the Vatican City dress code?

Vatican City and the other attraction inside its border follows a strict dress code with no exceptions. 

They need all the visitors to follow the Vatican city dress code in order for them to get permission to enter the city and other attractions. 

But what if you aren’t dressed according to the Vatican dress code? 

Don’t worry; we know a way through. 

You can always buy a plastic clock (poncho) or a robe to wear that covers your shoulders and knees. 

These ponchos and robes are available all around the city.


1. What is the dress code for visiting the Vatican?

The Vatican City dress code requires visitors to dress modestly and cover their shoulders and knees.

Shorts, skirts, and dresses should be at least knee-length, and sleeveless or low-cut tops are not allowed.

Visitors who do not adhere to the dress code will get their entry denied at the entrance of the Museum and other important places.

2. Do these dress code requirements apply to both men and women?

Yes, The Vatican dress code applies to both men and women visiting the city.
Following the Vatican City dress code, men are expected to dress modestly and wear long pants or shorts that cover the knees.

While women also are required to wear clothing that covers the shoulders and knees.

Belly crop tops and skirts are not allowed.

3. Are there any specific requirements for footwear?

There are no specific requirements for footwear, but visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes for walking and standing for extended periods of time.

4.  What to wear to the Vatican in the summer?

The Vatican City dress code remains constant irrespective of seasonal changes.

Even in summer, Visitors should still dress modestly but can choose lighter-weight clothing that is still appropriate, such as long shorts or lightweight pants for men and lightweight dresses or skirts that cover the knees for women.

5. What should I wear to attend a Mass or other religious service at the Vatican?

Visitors attending a Mass or other religious service at the Vatican should dress more formally and conservatively and may be required to wear specific clothing or accessories such as a veil or head covering for women.

For Instance, following the Vatican City Dress code, wearing hats inside the Vatican Museum is strictly prohibited, but for attending a Papal Audience, visitors are allowed to wear hats.

It is recommended to check the specific dress requirements for the event in advance.

6. What should I do if I am not following the Vatican City dress code?

Visitors will get their entries denied if they are not dressed appropriately for the Vatican. It is recommended to dress appropriately in advance and to bring a cover-up or scarf that can be used to cover exposed shoulders or legs if necessary.

Some locations may also have shawls or other items available to rent or borrow.

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