Vatican Museum Map -Essential for a Nice Vatican Visit

The Vatican Museum is the fifth largest art museum in the world, with galleries covering more than 460,000 square feet!

It has 56 museums inside one big museum space, which can be difficult to navigate for first-time visitors. 

Visitors must have a Vatican Museum map to find their way around such a huge museum complex. 

Read further to find your way around the Museum and plan an exploration schedule with the help of a detailed Vatican Museum Map!

From where can I get the Vatican Museum Map? 

The Vatican Museum gives out free maps when you purchase a ticket from the entrance! However, the ticket lines at the museum are too crowded and lengthy.

If you have already bought the Vatican Museum tickets online and do not want to stand in line, you can download the Vatican Museum Map PDF online.

Directions to all the Famous Vatican Museums! 

The Vatican Museum is a large network of corridors and courtyards leading you to all the different museums, which might overwhelm you if you don’t have a map on hand. 

The Vatican Museum map also shows you the staircase and elevator locations, which is important information to navigate the museum smoothly. 

You can also discover uncrowded shortcuts between the rooms on the map! 

We recommend observing the courtyards on the map, as most museums are divided around them, making the map easier to read. 

Here is a simple instruction guide so you can get to any of the popular museums in the Vatican Museum without losing your way!

Pio Clementino Museum

Pio Clementino Museum
Image: Culturalheritageonline.com

The Pio Clementino Museum houses a Roman and Greek art collection and is the biggest Vatican City exhibition!

We recommend that you begin your visit from the Pio Clementino Museum, as it is just beyond this entrance double helix staircase on the right side. 

It is close to the Gregorian Egyptian Museum and Pinecone Courtyard, also known on the map as Cortile della Pigna.

The Pinacoteca

The Pinacoteca covers six rooms of the Vatican Museum and has a massive painting display.

Raphael’s famous paintings of the Transfiguration and Oddi Altarpiece are in the Pinacoteca. 

It is on the first floor, and you can enter the room from the corridor near the Quatro Cancelli and Cortile della Corazze courts. 

Gregorian Egyptian Museum

The Gregorian Egyptian Museum houses ancient artifacts, like the Amendiris Mummy, funeral items, and much more! 

It is made up of nine rooms, opening onto the Niche of the Pinecone terrace in the Vatican Museum. 

This museum is located close to the Vatican Museum entrance, beyond the staircase that leads to Museum Gregoriano Etrusco.

It is on the left side of the corridor leading to the Pinecone Courtyard. 

Gallery of Tapestries

The Gallery of Tapestries, known as Galleria Degli Arazzi, is in the same line as the Gallery of Candelabra.

It houses a huge collection of tapestries of the Life of Christ, and the Pope decorates all walls of the gallery. 

You can easily get here from the Pio Clementino Museum on the first floor, as it has a direct staircase to the Gallery of Candelabra. 

Visitors with mobility issues will find an Elevator for the disabled just beside the staircase. 

Gallery of Maps

The Gallery of Maps is known as the Galleria della Carte Geografiche on the map, whose walls are covered with Italian maps. 

It is in the corridor just after the Gallery of Tapestries, and you can get here from the Pio Clementino Museum staircase. 

Another way to get here is from the Borgia Apartments or Sistine Chapel staircase.

This will bring you to the Room of the Immaculate Conception, which you have to cross to get to the Gallery. 

Raphael’s Rooms

The Raphael Rooms are the most beautiful in the Vatican Museum, displaying stunning wall fresco paintings by famous Italian artist Raphael. 

These rooms are on the second floor beside the Borgia Apartments staircase. 

You can also get here by passing through the Gallery of Tapestries and Maps and taking a left. 

It is just beyond this Immaculate Conception Room on the left. 

Visitors can take a direct staircase from the Sistine Chapel to get here as well! 

The Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is a holy spot in the Vatican Museum, known for its marvelous Michelangelo ceiling!

It is at the far end of the first floor of the Vatican Museum. 

You can also take a staircase or a lift for the disabled from the Borgia Apartments to get to the Sistine Chapel. 

The Sistine Chapel should be your end exploration spot, as you can go directly to St. Peter’s Basilica from a shortcut in the Chapel.

It can take some time to navigate all the Vatican Museums, and exploring all the rooms in a few hours can be very difficult. 

Visitors wanting to explore the Vatican Museums on a time crunch should check out our How to explore the Vatican Museums in 2-hour article! 

Highlight Artworks of the Vatican Museum & their Location

If you do not have time to cover these rooms of the Vatican Museum, we recommend you check out the most beautiful highlights at least.

And if you have a Vatican Museum Mao with you, finding these highlights is quite an easy task. 

  • The Creation of Adam Fresco: You can find this fresco on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. It is Michelangelo’s most iconic work in the Vatican! 
  • Laocoon and His Sons Sculpture: A beautiful marble sculpture telling the tragic story of a Trojan priest. This statue is in the Octagonal Court of the Pio Clementino Museum. 
  • The Transfiguration: Raphael’s most famous artwork shows the ascension of Jesus to Heaven. This masterpiece is in the Pinacoteca Art Gallery.   
  • Apollo Belvedere: The classical sculpture of Apollo, crafted with perfection! This statue adorns the Octagonal Court in the Pio Clementino Museum. 
  • School of Athens: A must-see for philosophy lovers, as this fresco by Raphael depicts all famous Greek and Roman philosophers. The School of Athens is in the Segnatura Raphael Room. 
  • The Deposition: A captivating piece depicting Jesus being laid in the Tomb by Caravaggio. This painting is in the Pinacoteca. 

Artists who enjoyed exploring the Vatican Museum artworks should check out our Michelangelo in Vatican article to discover more breathtaking artworks in the city! 

Where are the Elevators in the Vatican Museum? 

As soon as you enter the Vatican Museum, you will see three elevators leading to the second floor. 

Two elevators are for all visitors, and the other is for people with disabilities. 

Visitors who need mobility assistance can find more of the reserved elevators at:

  • Two elevators in the Cortile delle Pigna (Pinecone Courtyard) on the first floor
  • Near the staircase leading to Museum Gregorian Etrusco on the first floor
  • In the Borgia Apartments on the first floor
  • In the Gallery of Tapestries on the second floor
  • In Museum Gregorian Etrusco on the second floor
  • At the exit of the Vatican Museums 

Visitors who do not need mobility assistance can access elevators at the Vatican Museum exit and near the Pinacoteca. 

Wheelchair users will find a wheelchair ramp close to the Cortile delle Corazze.

Vatican Museum staff help those with mobility problems navigate the Museum and divert the crowd so you can have a comfortable experience if you ask for help. 

Vatican Museum Staircases to get to the Second Floor.

Vatican Museum Staircases
Image: Commons.wikimedia.org

As soon as you enter the Vatican Museum, you will see a Double Helix Staircase leading to the second level. 

You can also find a staircase in the Pio Clementino Museum, which will take you to the Gallery of Candelabra on the second floor.

Visitors to the Sistine Chapel can take a direct staircase to the Raphael rooms as well. 

Where can I find the Washrooms in the Vatican Museum? 

The Vatican Museum has washroom facilities accessible to those with disabilities and for nursing infants all over the museum.

Parents can also find well-maintained washrooms equipped with baby-changing tables for a comfortable visit. 

You can find these washrooms with diaper-changing tables on the first floor near:

  • At the entrance
  • Staircase of Pio Clementino Museum leading to Chiaramonti Museum
  • Near the Vatican Post Office in the Museum
  • Borgia Apartments
  • In the Square Garden behind the Vatican Museum
  • In the Raphael Rooms on the second floor

You can also find a washroom without a diaper-changing table near the Museum Gregoriano Profano. 

Washrooms reserved for visitors with disabilities are near the entrance of the Vatican Museum and Raphael’s Rooms on the second floor. 

How to Get to the Vatican Museum Entrance? 

Via della Concillazione
Image: Commons.wikimedia.org

You must read this section before visiting the Vatican Museum to take the shortcut route from the city gates to the Vatican Museum! 

The Vatican City has two entrances: the Viale Vaticano entrance and the Via della Concillazione entrance. 

1. The Viale Vaticano Entrance

You can enter from either side, but we recommend the Viale Vaticano entrance as it drops you near the Vatican Museum entrance. 

If you enter from here, you have to walk along the North side of this street. 

After around 7 minutes of walking, you will see a sign directing you to the Vatican Museum. 

The Museum will be on the right side of the road. 

2. Via della Concillazione

Most visitors coming from the Via della Concillazione entrance get confused because of the crowd.

They end up standing in the St. Peter’s Basilica entry line, as the Museum is visible from here.

Ignore this line and take a right from St. Peter’s Square while facing the St. Peter’s Basilica.

Ensure that you are walking towards Largo del Colonnatto

If you are lost, you can ask for the way to Via di Porta Angelica and keep walking till you see the left Vatican border wall. 

Keep advancing on this street until you reach Piazza Del Risorgimento, from where you can turn left. 

Remember, if you are walking along the Vatican border wall here, you are going in the correct direction!

The Vatican wall will turn right from the Via Lione VI Street, but you must keep going straight until you see a left turn. 

The street on the left is Viale Vaticano, from where you must walk in a straight path till you reach the Vatican Museum!

It should take around 15 minutes to get to the Vatican Museum from St. Peter’s Basilica. 

We recommend using Google Maps by entering your current location and the Vatican Museum as your destination. 

Vatican Museum Address: 00120 Vatican City. Get Directions

If you need help getting to the Vatican City, check out our Ultimate Guide on How to Get to the Vatican article! 

Planning your Exploration Route on the Vatican Museum Map

To save time and have the best experience so you avoid backtracking your steps, we recommend planning a route to follow in advance!

Here are some tips to help you plan your time and exploration path with the help of a Vatican Museum Map:

  • Research: You must check the details of all the Vatican Museums and plan what you want to see. This research will help you set a fixed path to follow when using the map. Cross off the areas on your map that you are not visiting. 
  • Give Allotted Time: Do not spend too much time in one place, especially if you are visiting on a time limit. Check the opening time of the Museum and all galleries. 
  • Use Navigation Signs: Instead of relying completely on the Map of the Vatican Museum, we recommend looking for signboards. It is quicker to find the room of your choice using these directions. 
  • Be Flexible with Your Schedule: If a room you want to visit is crowded, try changing your route. For example, if the Pio Clementino Museum is crowded you can go up to the Gallery of Candelabra and come back down later. 
  • Finish all Guided Tours First!: A Vatican Museum guided tour is the best way to navigate the museum without any hassles. This tour is excellent for first-time visitors. You will have enough time to explore the less crowded spaces later. 

You will take a minimum of 2 hours to complete exploring only the famous Vatican Museum rooms. 

Why Should I Get a Vatican Museum Map? 

The Vatican Museum is one of the biggest attractions in the Vatican City and can be difficult to explore without guidance.

If you are not already convinced why you need a map, here are some benefits of having a Vatican Museum map!

  • The map ensures that you are not going around in circles. You can save more time in this way. 
  • It makes it easier for visitors with disabilities to plan their trip without navigation problems.
  • Parents with small children can plan their route on the map. Planning ensures that kids won’t have to stand around till you decide on a room. 
  • Visitors can find hidden shortcuts that help them navigate the crowd during peak hours.
  • An updated map will help you avoid areas of the Museum under repair so you don’t have to push through the crowd to get there. 

FAQs for Vatican Museums Map

What languages are the Vatican Museum Maps available in?

The Vatican Museum map is available in English, French, Spanish, and German. 

From where should I ask for guidance in the Vatican Museum?

You can ask for help at the information desk at the Vatican Museum entrance. You can also ask any museum staff for help. 

Where are the Courtyards located on the Vatican Museum Map?

All the courtyards are near the entrance of the Vatican Museum. The Pinecone Courtyard is on the left, next to the Egyptian Museum. 

From where do the guided tours of the Vatican Museum begin?

The Vatican Museum guided tour groups meet at the entrance and begin from there.  

From where can I get a digital copy of the Vatican Museum map?

You can find a detailed digital map copy from the official Vatican Museum website. Visitors can download other copies from travel websites or blogs, but they might not be updated.

Where is the Bramante Staircase located on the map? 

The original Bramante Staircase is in the Pio Clementino Museum. 

Should I choose the Audio Guide instead of the Map? 

An audio guide is better for first-time visitors, as it provides a more detailed explanation. Paper maps can be complex for those with disabilities, so they should opt for an audio guide instead. 

Where can I store luggage in the Vatican Museum? 

You can store your luggage in the Cloakroom at the entrance of the Vatican Museum.

Featured Image: Tripadvisor.in

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!