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Is St. Peter’s Basilica worth it?- reasons to visit

St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City isn’t just some building; it is a magnificent Renaissance masterpiece.

While visiting the Vatican, tourists often wonder if the Basilica is worth the effort and time.

If you ask us, it is definitely a must-visit.

The Basilica is one of the most iconic churches in the world, drawing an average of 10 million people every year.

On average, 40,000 to 50,000 tourists and believers enter the church daily.

Here are the top eight reasons you should visit St. Peter’s Basilica.

Visiting St Peter’s costs nothing! 

Unlike most attractions worldwide, entry to St. Peter’s Basilica is free.

This includes strolling around St. Peter’s Square, admiring the Basilica, and taking photos with the Swiss Guard.

However, you must know that you must deal with long queues, especially during the peak season.

One of the best ways to avoid the crowd and serpentine queue is to opt for a guided tour ticket.

This ticket gives you access to a local expert to explore the church.

Ticket Prices

Adult (18+ years): €24
Child (7 to 17 years): €19

Check out more combo tours:
# St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Museum
# St. Peter’s Basilica and Colosseum
# Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica

It is the world’s largest church

Wouldn’t you want to visit the world’s largest church if it were right in front of you?

St. Peter’s Basilica isn’t just massive when considering its cultural, historical, and spiritual significance.

When you first see the Basilica, you know it’s big. But after you explore and see everything inside, you understand it’s even bigger than you thought!

Spread over 21,000 square meters, the church is 610 feet (186 meters) long, has a dome that soars to 446 feet (136 meters), and can accommodate 60,000 people in one go.

Fantastic views from the Dome

At St. Peter’s Dome, you are treated to one of the most awe-inspiring panoramas in Rome—if not the world.

This structure, designed by Michelangelo, rises about 136.6 meters (448 feet) from the Basilica’s floor when you measure it to the top of the cross.

Buying tickets to the St. Peter’s Basilica dome allows you to see both the beautiful outside scenery and its impressive interiors.

From this high vantage point, you first see the amazing view of St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican Museums and Gardens.

You can also see the Piazza San Pietro and the city’s thoroughfares from the terrace.

The River Tiber and its historic bridges lie east of the Basilica. If you visit the Dome at the right time, you can see the sun rising or setting over Rome. 

Be it dusk or dawn, the mix of light and shadow and the city’s old shape make it a memorable sight.

If you want to ascend St Peter’s Dome, you can book a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica with the Dome climb. This ticket includes visiting the underground Papal Grottoes and Michelangelo’s Pietà. The tour begins at 7.30 am, so it’s best to be at the meeting point at least 15 minutes earlier.

A thrilling climb to the top

Did you know that the path to the Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica is not only a thrilling adventure but also one that tests your fitness?

To reach the Dome, you have two options: Walking up 871 steps or using an elevator for the first 320 steps and then climbing the rest to reach the terrace.

As you climb to the top of the Dome, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Basilica’s interior below. 

The best part is that as you go up the dome, the stairs get narrower, but you won’t feel dizzy because there are windows in the walls to help you.

You’ll also see the fine details of the frescoes and mosaics up close and appreciate the Dome’s size and design.

Before planning your trip, read about the best time to visit St. Peter’s Basilica.

It is one of the holiest sites

Did you know St. Peter was the first pope of Christendom?

It is believed that St. Peter was martyred and buried in the Basilica.

St. Peter’s Basilica is the place to be if you love seeking something deeper and meaningful.

It is the primary church of the Pope and is considered one of the holiest sites for Christianity.

It remains a proof of faith and human creativity, welcoming everyone, irrespective of creed and religion, to enjoy its beauty and spiritual history. 

Get emotional at St Peter’s tomb

St. Peter’s tomb can be found in the depths of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican Necropolis. 

You can visit the tomb through the Basilica during its opening hours, between 7 am and 6.30 pm.

It is believed to be Saint Peter’s final resting place and holds profound significance within the Christian faith.

Visiting St. Peter’s tomb is a spiritual, humbling experience for pilgrims and tourists.

As you near the holy place, you automatically bow your head in reverence and deep thought. 

Spending time at St. Peter’s tomb will make you feel grateful for being here and taking time to think about your own beliefs.

Recommended Reading
# Facts about St. Peter’s Basilica
# What’s inside St. Peter’s Basilica

Marvel at La Pietà, Michelangelo’s masterpiece

After seeing Michalangelo’s Creation of Adam at the Sistine Chapel, how can you not see the magnificence of his La Pieta at St Peter’s Basilica?

This beautiful sculpture is in the Basilica’s grand interior and offers a gentle portrayal of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus Christ’s lifeless body, mesmerizing everyone.

La Pieta is carved from a single block of Carrara Marble with perfect accuracy and elegance, and it showcases Michelangelo’s unmatched talent and spiritual insight.

The sculpture’s sadness and peace will make you think about Christian beliefs and inspiration.

The Paintings here are mosaics

Yes, the paintings inside St. Peter’s Basilica are made of mosaics.

While you are here, admire the detailed paintings on the walls and ceilings of St. Peter’s Basilica etched by renowned artists such as Michelangelo and Giotto di Bondone.

The paintings depict stories from the Bible and other religious themes.

Even after many years, these mosaics still show strong faith and artistic talent.

St. Peter’s Basilica is a must-visit if you’re a fan of art that speaks to the soul.

Check out all the things to do in Rome

This article was researched & written by

Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

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