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Basilica of San Giovanni Tickets & Tours


The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, or the Basilica of San Giovanni, is the oldest Catholic cathedral that ranks highest among Rome’s four major papal basilicas.

Founded in the early 300s, it is one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome, holding the unique title of “archbasilica.”

This historic church holds the distinction of being the Pope’s cathedral and is a must-visit when in Rome.

This article covers everything you must know before booking Basilica di San Giovanni Laterano tickets.

Tour Cost
Tickets for The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran €11
Guided tour of San Callisto Catacombs & Basilica €24

Things to know before booking tickets

Where to buy Basilica of San Giovanni tickets
Image: Vatican.va

You can purchase your Archbasilica of St. John Lateran entry tickets at the attraction or online in advance.

If you arrive at the venue to buy tickets, you must line up at the counter. During peak hours, these lines can get long, and you will waste your time. 

Online tickets for the Basilica of San Giovanni are cheaper than those sold at the venue. 

Online tickets also help you avoid last-minute disappointments when tickets get sold out. 

To book tickets, go to the Basilica of San Giovanni ticket booking page, select your preferred date and the number of tickets, and buy those instantly.

After the purchase, you will receive the tickets in your email. 

You don’t need to take any printouts. 

On the day of your visit, when you enter the Basilica, walk directly into the Lateran corridor. 

At the end of this corridor, you’ll find the ORP desk (Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi) on your left-hand side. 

Show the e-ticket on your smartphone here and immediately walk into the Basilica.

Tickets for the Basilica of San Giovanni

Tickets for Basilica of San Giovanni
Image: Vatican.va

This ticket provides access to the Cloister, Sancta Sanctorum, Baptistery, Scala Sancta, and Treasure Museum.

In addition, you can see interesting artifacts and works of art, including relics of the apostles Peter and Paul and the statue of Constantine the Great.

Be it the Holy Door or the grand statues of Jesus Christ, you cannot take your eyes off anything at this attraction.

You will also get an English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish audio guide.

Cost of tickets

The Basilica of San Giovanni tickets are priced at €11 for all visitors aged 17 years and above. 

Kids aged six to 17 get a discount and pay only €10 for entry.

Children up to the age of 6 years can enter the church for free. 

Ticket Prices

Adult (18+ years): €11
Child (6 to 17 years): €10
Infant (up to 6 years): Free

Guided tour of the San Callisto Catacombs & Basilica

San Callisto Catacombs & Basilica of San Giovanni
Image: SDB.org

Get a 3-hour guided combo tour by a knowledgeable and experienced guide.

The tour guides will explain the historical significance of the Scala Santa (the Holy Staircase Jesus walked upon) and the underground cemetery.

This ticket includes admission to the San Callisto Catacombs, the Basilica of San Giovanni, the Cloister, the Holy Stairs, and the Sancta Sanctorum and includes a multilingual audio guide.

Ticket Prices

Adult (17+ years): €24
Child (7 to 16 years): €19
Infant (up to 6 years): Free

Palazzo Merulana + Digital Postcard + Archbasilica St. John Lateran

Palazzo Merulana + Digital Postcard + Archbasilica St. John Lateran
Image: Vatican.va, Palazzomerulana.it

Palazzo Merulana and Basilica are only 600 meters (.37 miles) away and can be reached on foot in 8 minutes.

So why not visit both historical sites on the same day?

Buy the combo ticket of Palazzo Merulana + Archbasilica St. John Lateran and amplify your Rome tour.

You get up to a 5% discount on this ticket, which is a steal deal!

The entire tour lasts for about 3 hours. 

You will also get a Digital Postcard that can be sent worldwide.

Ticket Cost: €24

Buy the Roma Pass and visit one or two of Rome’s top attractions with access to public transport. Pick either a 48-hour pass or a 72-hour pass and get direct entry into the famous gems of Rome. 

Frequently asked questions about tickets

Here are some questions tourists ask before purchasing their tickets for The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome.

Does the attraction offer free tickets?

All individuals can enter the Lateran Basilica for free. Only a visit to the cloister or the museum of the Lateran treasury requires a ticket. However, children aged up to six years get in free.

Can I buy tickets at the venue?

Yes, the tickets are available at the venue’s ticket office. However, due to high demand, the popular timeslots may sell out, so it’s better to get them online in advance.

Do we need to print online tickets?

Visitors can present their tickets on mobile devices, but printed tickets are also accepted at the Basilica. When entering the Basilica, you’ll walk directly into the Lateran corridor. At the end of this corridor, on your left-hand side, you’ll find the ORP desk (Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi). You can show the ticket on your mobile over there and walk in.

What is Basilica of San Giovanni’s arrival time?

While the attraction’s times are 7 am to 6.30 pm, the last admission will be no later than 4.30 pm. Arrive well in advance of your preferred timeslot, keeping in mind the time for a thorough security check before entry.

What is the attraction’s late arrival policy?

If you are late to join the guided tour, the tour will start without you, and entry is not guaranteed.

Does the Basilica offer discounts for locals?

The attraction offers free entry for all. The prices for the cloister and the museum are nominal. The guided tours

Does The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran offer a student discount?

Unfortunately, the attraction does not offer a dedicated student discount on admission tickets. However, the guided tours offer a reduced rate to children aged between six and 17.

Does the Basilica offer a military discount?

The attraction does not offer a military discount on its admission tickets.

Does the OMNIA Card and Roma Pass include access to the attraction?

Yes, the 3-day OMNIA Vatican Card and Roma Pass combo is a cost-effective option that provides entry to all the top sights in Vatican City. Enjoy a 3-day hop-on, hop-off bus tour. The card also allows you unlimited access to the public transportation network free of charge. You can avail of free entry to two out of five top attractions and reduced rate admission to 30 top sights.

What is the Basilica of San Giovanni’s refund policy?

This attraction of Rome has a flexible cancellation policy. You can cancel your ticket until 11:59 pm on the day before your visit for a full refund by selecting a refundable ticket during checkout.

How to reschedule the ticket?

The attraction does not allow you to change the date and time of your visit under any circumstances.

What is the Basilica’s rain policy?

The attraction is an all-weather experience, so all tickets are final.

Are there guided tours available for visitors at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran?

Guided and combo tours are offered at the Basilica, providing in-depth insights into the history, architecture, and significance of the attraction.

What is the duration of the tour?

A regular visit to the Basilica can last up to 2 hours, and guided or combo tours can last up to 3 hours.

Are there restrictions on photography during the tour?

Flash photography is restricted during the tour, and some areas may have specific rules. Checking with the tour guide is advisable as photography policies may vary.

Is the tour suitable for children?

These tours are family-friendly, but it’s essential to consider children’s attention spans and interests.

Is there wheelchair accessibility for the tour of the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano?

The tour is wheelchair accessible.

Are there audio guides available for self-guided tours?

Yes, audio guides are available for the Basilica of San Giovanni tour. The audio guide is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

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Basilica timings

San Giovanni
Image: Vatican.va

The Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano is open from 7 am to 6.30 pm.

The Lateran Baptistery is open from 9 am until 7 pm.

The Cloister opens at 9 am and closes at 6 pm, while the Museum of Basilica opens at 10 am and closes at 5.30 pm.

The Sancta Santorum welcomes guests from 9 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 5 pm.

The Scala Sancta is open from 9 am to 2 pm and 3 pm to 6.30 pm.

The Sacristy opens at 8 am, closes at 12 pm, reopens at 4 pm, and closes at 6 pm. 

The Basilica of San Giovanni is closed on Sundays.

The last entry to the Cathedral is 2 hours before closing.

How long does the tour take

A Basilica di San Giovanni tour in Laterano takes around 2 hours. 

You’d need 80 minutes for the Basilica and the Cloister and 40 minutes for the Scala Sancta and the Sancta Sanctorum.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Basilica of San Giovanni is 9 am.

By this time, the Cloister, the Sancta Sanctorum, the Baptistery, the Scala Sancta, and the Treasure Museum are open, and you can explore them all in one go.

However, if you want to visit the Basilica, you can do so as soon as it opens at 7 am. 

The crowd is usually less during the morning, giving you ample time to stroll inside the Cathedral and mindfully capture its beauty.

The Basilica experiences a huge rush on weekends, which may prevent you from exploring it conveniently.

What to expect

The Basilica of San Giovanni is Rome’s official cathedral and serves as the seat of the bishop of Rome, the Pope.

Its interiors feature a stunning Gothic design, with soaring columns, intricate stonework, and beautiful stained glass windows.

Baroque, neoclassical, and early Christian architecture inspired the spectacular illusions and biblical paintings inside the Basilica.

On your tour, you explore the baptistery, chapel, church, cloister, and many other exciting attractions.

What to see at the Basilica

Here is a list of places to explore at the Basilica of San Giovanni:

Papal Archbasilica

The Basilica is considered the mother of all churches in the Western world. 

It was consecrated in 324 AD by Pope Sylvester I and has undergone many changes and renovations over the centuries.

Sancta Santorum

The Sancta Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies, is a small Basilica di San Giovanni chapel.

It was originally built as a private chapel for the Pope, but over time, it has become a popular place of pilgrimage for Catholics. 

The Sancta Sanctorum contains many important relics, such as fragments of the True Cross, a piece of the Column of Flagellation, and the icon of the Acheiropoieton, believed to have been painted by Saint Luke himself.

Lateran Baptistery

The Lateran Baptistery is adorned with beautiful octagonal mosaics and frescoes that depict scenes from the Bible and early Christian history. 

This site is still used for baptisms and is considered a significant place of worship and historical importance.


The Sacristy inside the Basilica is an important part of the church, where priests and bishops prepare for Mass and other religious ceremonies. 

It is located to the right of the high altar and is richly decorated with valuable and historical objects, such as liturgical vestments, chalices, and other religious artifacts.


The Basilica also has a beautiful cloister that dates back to the 13th century. 

It features intricate stonework, beautiful fountains, and a peaceful garden where visitors can relax and enjoy the scenery.

Scala Sancta

The Scala Sancta, or Holy Stairs, is a set of 28 marble steps that are said to have been brought to Rome by Saint Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine. 

The stairs are believed to be the ones Jesus climbed on the way to his trial before Pontius Pilate.

Tombs of 6 Popes

The Basilica is home to the six papal tombs of Pope Sergius IV, Pope Alexander III, Pope Innocent III, Pope Martinus V, Pope Clement XII, and Pope Leo XII.

Statues of the Apostles

Twelve statues inside the Lateran Basilica Church represent the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.

On the North Wall: statues of Saint Simon, Saint Bartholomew, Saint James the Lesser, Saint John, Saint Andrew, and Saint Peter.

On the South Wall: statues of Saint Paul, Saint James the Greater, Saint Thomas, Saint Philip, Saint Matthew, and Saint Jude Thaddeus.

Papal Altar

The high Basilica altar is one of the most significant features and is said to contain the wooden table on which Saint Peter himself celebrated Mass.


The Baldacchino is a large, ornate canopy that covers the high altar.

It was designed by the famous Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini and is considered one of his masterpieces.

What to wear

When visiting the Basilica in Rome, it is important to dress modestly and respectfully, as it is a place of worship.

This typically means covering your shoulders, avoiding short skirts or shorts, and wearing clothing that is not too tight or revealing.

Wearing head coverings such as hats or scarves is also recommended for women.

Moreover, you should wear formal shoes or sandals that cover your feet.

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How to reach

Basilica di San Giovanni is located in Laterano.

Address: P.za di S. Giovanni in Laterano, 4, 00184 Roma RM, Italy. Get Directions

You can reach the attraction via public and private transport. 

However, we recommend using public transport to reach the cathedral.

By Bus

You can board bus numbers 81 and 792 to reach the P.Za S. Giovanni In Laterano Bus Stop, a 4-minute walk to the attraction.

By Subway

You can take Subway Line A to reach the San Giovanni Subway Station, which is just 5 minutes away from the attraction.

By Car

If you’re driving, you can turn on Google Maps on your smartphone and get started.

There are enough parking garages around the attraction.


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The travel specialists at TheBetterVacation.com use only high-quality sources while researching & writing their articles. We make every attempt to keep our content current, reliable and trustworthy.

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