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Castel Sant’Angelo – tickets, prices, opening hours, guided tour

Edited by: Rekha Rajan
Fact checked by: Jamshed V Rajan


Castel Sant’Angelo is a fortress located on the right bank of the river Tiber, just outside Vatican City.

Built between 135 and 139 AD, Castel Sant’Angelo is also known as Hadrian’s Tomb and the Angel’s Castle.

The building of Castel Sant’Angelo has a distinctive cylindrical shape and is characterized by its towering cylindrical drum and a cone-shaped top.

It is made of Roman concrete and covered with travertine marble, and it once featured a golden quadrant on top of the cone.

In this article, we explain everything you need to know before buying Castel Sant Angelo tickets.

Castel Sant Angelo in Rome

What is Castel Sant’Angelo

This historic Mausoleum in Rome was meant to be a tomb for Emperor Hadrian and his family.

Over the years, it has taken on many purposes, including a Papal residence, a military building, a prison, etc.

At Castel Sant’Angelo, Pope Gregory I got the vision of St. Michael the Archangel announcing the end of the great epidemic in Rome in 590.

As a result, a statue of St. Michael was installed at the top of Castel Sant’ Angelo.

So what will it be? Do you want to buy the standard ticket, the cheapest way to explore the castle, or book a guided tour?

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Castel Sant’Angelo tickets

There are three ways to experience Castel Sant’Angelo.

You can buy the standard ticket online, which is the cheapest way to explore the castle, or book the guided tour, which is the best way, or opt for one of the combo tours and combine it with another Roman attraction. 

Online ticket prices tend to be cheaper than tickets at the attraction.

When you buy online, you can avoid the long queues at the ticket counters. 

When you book early, you also get your preferred time slot and booking early helps avoid last-minute disappointments.

How online tickets work

When you book Castel Sant’Angelo tickets online, you select your preferred time of visit.

Immediately after purchase, your tickets get emailed to you. You don’t need to take any printouts.

Now all you must do is reach the tourist attraction 15 minutes before the time mentioned on your ticket.

Since you have a ticket and are on time, you can show it on your smartphone and walk in right away.

Castel Sant’Angelo Priority Entrance tickets

This skip-the-line ticket gets you seamless entry into Castel Sant’Angelo.

You can access everything in the attraction with this ticket, including the Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo and the temporary exhibitions.

Explore the museum’s seven floors to discover an extensive collection of ancient artifacts and perfectly preserved frescoes from the Renaissance period.

Climb the spiral staircase to reach the Chamber of Ashes, where several historical figures were incarcerated, before visiting the Papal Residence.

Finish your experience with a panoramic view over Rome and the River Tiber from the castle terrace.

Ticket Price

Adult Ticket (18+ years): €24
Youth Ticket (6 to 17 years): €10
Child Ticket (up to 5 years): €5

Guided tour of Castel Sant’Angelo

During this two-hour guided tour of Castel Sant’Angelo, a local guide takes you around the attraction.

The fast-track entry of this ticket ensures you don’t waste time waiting in the queues.

The group is limited to 20 visitors, and all get a headset to hear the guide well.

After seeing all the exhibits in the castle, you go up to the terrace to take panoramic city views.

The guided tour starts at 10 am. 3 pm, and 5 pm.

Ticket Price 

Tour with Fast-Track Access: €51 per person

Tour with Drink on the Terrace: €87 per person

During the summer months, cruises along the Tiber river are pretty popular among tourists. These cruises sail off from Castel Sant’Angelo pier.

If you like to take it easy, we recommend the 3-hour hi-bike rental and skip the line Castel Sant’Angelo entry. Find out more

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Castel Sant’Angelo combo tours

There are many popular attractions within walking distance of Castel Sant’Angelo.

For instance, St Peter’s Basilica is a 9-minute walk from the Castle. Similarly, the Vatican Museums is just a brisk 15-minutes walk.

Because of this proximity to popular tourist attractions, tourists researching Castel Sant’Angelo tickets also look for combo tours.

After all, a combo tour ticket can help you save up to 20% of the ticket cost.

The combo tours below have a licensed guide who narrates exciting stories and anecdotes about the attractions.

Angels and Demons official tour

This experience is a four-hour guided tour where you find out who the Illuminati were.

During this tour, you also explore the Church of Illumination and the secret passage connecting the Vatican to the Castel Sant’ Angelo.

If you have read Dan Brown’s bestseller ‘Angels and Demons’ or watched the movie, you will love this tour.

Ticket Price

Adult Ticket (15+ years): €69
Youth Ticket (2 to 14 years): €64

Kids up to one year can enter for free.

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How to reach Castel Sant’ Angelo

Castel Sant’ Angelo is located right down the road from Vatican City.

It is 1.4 km (almost a mile) from the Vatican Museums, and a 15-minute walk can get you to the Castle.

It is almost a km from St Peter’s Basilica, and a brisk 9-minute walk helps bridge the distance. 

Address: Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma RM, Italy. Get Directions

If you prefer the subway, board Line A and arrive at Lepanto station.

The subway station is 15 minutes walk from the castle.

There are plenty of bus options as well. 

Bus NumbersBus Stop
40, 62, 23, 271, 982, 280Piazza Pia
34Via di Porta Castello
49, 87, 926, 990Piazza Cavour
64, 46Santo Spirito

Since it is not in a traffic-restricted area, you can drive to Castel Sant’Angelo as well.

The Prati neighborhood has plenty of parking houses available. The closest parking spots are in Piazza Cavour, 200 meters from Castel Sant’Angelo. Get Driving Directions

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Opening hours

From Tuesday to Sunday, Castel Sant’Angelo is open from 9 am to 7.30 pm.

The last entry is at 6.30 pm.

Castel Sant’Angelo remains closed on Mondays, 1 January, and 25 December.

Night timings

From early July to early September, Castel Sant’Angelo also opens in the evening – from 8.30 pm to 1 am the next day.

During these extended hours, the ticket office closes at midnight.

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How long does Castel Sant’Angelo take

Most tourists explore Castel Sant’Angelo castle in an hour, but the visitors who prefer to get into the details are known to spend up to two hours in the attraction.

There are five levels of exhibits in the Museums, and most visitors try to see them all.

However, the top floor is one of the most popular levels of this castle.

Besides the Archangel St. Michael statue, this level also offers fantastic views of Rome.

Archangel St. Michael Castel Sant’Angelo
St. Michael the Archangel on top of Castel Sant’ Angelo is made of bronze and got sculpted in the 1700s. Before this bronze version, a marble sculpture stood at the same spot. Image: Througheternity.com

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Best time to visit Castel Sant’Angelo

Papal Room in Castel Sant’ Angelo
One of the Papal rooms in Castel Sant’ Angelo. Image: Karel Jakubec / Wikimedia

The best time to visit Castel Sant’Angelo is when they open at 9 am.

When you start early, you can avoid the peak hours of the Castle, which are 10 am to 3 pm.

During these hours, waiting in lines can take up to one hour.

When the number of visitors is too high, the museum’s administration may apply further restrictions on the entry, making your waiting time even longer.

If you can’t make it in the morning, the next best time to visit the Castle is after 3 pm.

After 3 pm, there are fewer people at the Mausoleum, and the view is fantastic, especially at sunset hour.

We suggest you arrive at Sant’Angelo castle around 3 pm, visit all the rooms first, and then witness the sunset from the terrace bar facing St. Peter’s dome.

Recommendation for summer months

If you are in Rome from early July to early September, you can also visit the Castle in the evening – after 8.30 pm.

During these months, this Roman attraction remains open till 1 am.

The mood is incredible, and the crowd is almost negligible. 

To top it all, in the evening, you can also visit the suspended corridor that connects Castel Sant’Angelo to the Vatican.

The Vatican Popes used this corridor for centuries to escape to the safety of the Castle whenever armies invaded.

Go ahead, book tickets now

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Free entry into Castel Sant’ Angelo

On the first Sunday of every month, the most famous Roman landmarks open their doors to all visitors for free.

It is locally known as Domenica al Museo (Sunday at the Museum).

As a result, tourists can visit Castel Sant’Angelo for free on the first Sunday of every month.

However, we don’t recommend this because it can get very crowded.

Long waiting lines outside mean you waste a lot of your time.

Once inside, crowded rooms ensure you don’t get to explore the castle the way you may want to.

Interested in free entry to the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica, and Sistine Chapel? Buy Omnia Card

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What to see at Castel Sant’ Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo holds many good and sinister stories which are worth knowing.

Besides the stories, there are numerous must-see exhibits and experiences at Castel Sant’ Angelo.

View of Rome from terrace

Castel Sant Angelo’s roof is also known as the ‘Terrace of the Angel’ because of the Archangel St. Michael statue, which proudly rests on this floor.

The terrace offers excellent views of the city of Rome on all sides.

View from roof of Castel Sant Angelo
View of Rome from the roof of Castel Sant Angelo. Image: Marthasitaly.com

While the terrace is fun in itself, the experience is much better if you are watching the Roman skyline during sunset.

Papal Rooms

Castel Sant’Angelo has numerous Papal rooms where the Popes used to stay.

One such Pope who stayed in this Castle for a while was Clement VII.

While exploring the papal apartments, do not miss Pope Clement VII’s bathroom.

These rooms were designed with the lifestyle of the popes in mind and have numerous paintings, frescoes, etc.

The Armoury

Every Castle has an armory, and Castel Sant’Angelo is no different.

Its armory is on the fourth floor, and the Castel Sant Angelo tickets get you access to this fascinating arms and ammunition room as well. 

The Prisons

This castle has served many purposes in its long history, including the local jail.

Prisoners sent to the guillotine or being burnt at the stake were a regular occurrence at Castel Sant’Angelo.

During your visit, you can see the prison cells.

The Bastions

Castel Sant’Angelo has four bastions built to defend the Castle during attacks.

As of today, these platforms are accessible through the second floor.

Tourists climb the St. Matthew Bastion and the San Giovanni Bastion to enjoy the excellent views of the Tiber River.

Hall of the Urns

Hall of the Urns was once used to house the remains of the imperial family.

Even though the family’s urns aren’t there anymore, this room still draws the tourists.

After visiting Castel Sant’Angelo you can also see other nearby attractions like St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museums, The Mausoleum of Augustus, Piazza Navona, and The Pantheon.

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History of Castel Sant’ Angelo

In 135, Emperor Hadrian started the construction of the castle, which lasted four years. 

Initially, it was to be a Mausoleum, but it got used for military purposes with time.

In 590, Rome got hit by the plague, and the whole city was devastated.

Pope Gregory I saw a vision of Saint Michael the Archangel, who announced the epidemic’s end.

In memory of the incident, the Pope got Saint Michael’s statue erected on the roof of the building.

Many centuries later (in 1277), an 800-meter corridor was built connecting the Castle with the Vatican City so that the Pope could escape during emergencies.

FAQs about Castel Sant’Angelo

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Castel Sant’Angelo:

Can I take photographs inside Castel Sant’Angelo?

Yes, you can take pictures inside Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome, but you can’t take film, use a flash, or use a tripod or selfie pole.

Do I need to purchase tickets in advance for Castel Sant’Angelo, or can I buy them on my visit?

While you can purchase tickets for Castel Sant’Angelo on the day of your visit, it is advisable to book them in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to avoid long lines and ensure entry.

Do I need to print my tickets, or can I show them on my mobile device?

Castel Sant’Angelo, accepts mobile tickets displayed on smartphones or other electronic devices.

Are tickets for Castel Sant’Angelo timed?

Tickets for Castel Sant’Angelo are timed, and we recommend reaching the tourist attraction 15 minutes before the time mentioned on your ticket.

Tourist attractions in Rome

PompeiiColosseumVatican Museums
Sistine ChapelSt Peters BasilicaRoman Forum
Capitoline MuseumCastel Sant AngeloBorghese Gallery
Catacombs of RomePantheon RomeMamertine Prison
Da Vinci ExperienceGladiator SchoolAquafelix Waterpark
Catacombs of San SebastianoCatacombs of PriscillaCallixtus Catacombs
Museum of IllusionsPalace of Castel GandolfoZoomarine Rome
Trevi FountainCapuchin CryptVilla d’Este in Tivoli
Domus AureaOlympic StadiumPalazzo Colonna
Villa AdrianaBioparco di RomaDoria Pamphilj Gallery
Basilica of San GiovanniNational Etruscan MuseumStadium of Domitian
Da Vinci ExhibitionLa Traviata OperaPalazzo Cipolla

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