The Vatican Museum is open through the year from Monday to Saturday. It remains closed on Sundays (except the last Sunday of the month). Other closure dates in 2019 are: 1 January, 11 February 19 March, 22 April, 1 May, 29 June, 14 and 15 August, 1 November, 25 and 26 December.
Monday to Saturday
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM (final entry 4:00 PM)
Every last Sunday of the month
9:00 AM – 2:00 PM (final entry 12:30 PM)
April to September
7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
October to March
7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
The Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica are one of the most visited attraction in Rome. With more than 5 million people visiting it each year, the Vatican is quite crowded during peak hours. This can easily lead to wait times upwards of an hour if you're purchasing your ticket on site. Thus, to make the most of your time in the Vatican, plan your itinerary such that you avoid the busiest hours.
Time of Year
The slowest tourist months in the Vatican are the winter months from November to February (except Christmas and New Year holidays). These months are the best time to visit the Vatican if you wish to enjoy it in relative peace. The peak tourist season in Rome and Vatican lasts from April to September.
Day of Visit
The Vatican is closed on Sundays (except the last Sunday of the month) and open through the rest of the week. This makes Saturdays one of the busiest days to be visiting the Vatican as all weekend travellers to Rome visit the Vatican on Saturday. Also, the Pope hosts a papal audience at St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday mornings which makes it crowded as well. Thus, your best options are Friday, followed by Tuesday and Wednesday.
Time of Visit
Most people heading to the Vatican plan an early morning visit. To avoid the crowd, skip the mornings and visit the Vatican in the afternoon, after 3 PM. On Fridays at 3:00 PM, you can almost walk in without queuing.