St. Peter's Square
St. Peter's Square
4.5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & Landmarks
About
This grand and magnificent square has retained its classical beauty and serves as the place from which the masses receive the Pope's weekly blessing.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Admission tickets
from $28.07
All you need to step foot in the door.
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Top ways to experience St. Peter's Square
The area
Address
Neighborhood: Vatican / Borgo
Frocked priests, colorful Swiss Guards, insistent souvenir shop owners, flag-waving tour guides, and pilgrims from around the world. This is the Vatican and Borgo, Rome's most recognized neighborhood which acts as Vatican City's front yard. Aside from the souvenir boutiques and a few food spots, the only business conducted here is papal. In the daytime, the tiny medieval sector bustles with holy activity, as visitors vie for elbow room, or stand in line for a visit. Once the sun sets, the neighborhood is transformed into a quiet and picturesque hamlet.
How to get there
  • Ottaviano - San Pietro - Musei Vaticani • 10 min walk
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See what travelers are saying
  • Andres72423
    Bridgeport, Connecticut4,768 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Massive Piazza
    A massive Piazza which is the home to the Vatican City Museum, the Sistine Chapel and the Basilica of St. Peter. When you walk in you are in awe of the grandness of this Piazza and of the history which has been made here. We had the opportunity to visit all three of the structures in the Piazza. Thousands of people move in and out on a regular basis.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 30, 2023
  • Braco
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see
    This attraction is highly recommended and not to be missed. Despite visiting at 16:00 on a scorching day in July, the experience was truly remarkable. Surprisingly, the heat deterred many visitors, resulting in a pleasantly uncrowded environment.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 12, 2023
  • andyh67186334
    Coalville, United Kingdom9,691 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spiritual Place
    This is probably the most visited square in Rome and it's easy to see why. The Basilica dominates the square and the statutes that adorn the columns and Basilica roof are stunning. If you manage to go inside the Basilica, which is free, you can pay to access the dome and get the iconic view of the square. It's well with the visit, go early as there is hardly anyone around.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 14, 2023
  • Skeney57
    Sydney, Australia24,427 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Crowded World
    Thank goodness I have previously done St Peters Basilica on previous trips, the most recent a behind the lines tour in 2018! For mid May I was amazed at how many people were in the queue to enter? The lines snaked around the square and seemed to have no tail? But even with the crowds the square still is a vibrant & alive place to visit and watch the world (literally) go by! My advice is to go early or book a tour, but either way enjoy while you can.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 30, 2023
  • Charlotte M
    Aylesbury, United Kingdom155 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing experience - and we saw The Pope!
    I visited St Peter's Square in May 2023 with my husband and 1 year old son. Amazingly, we managed to time our visit right and saw The Pope saying Mass in the square. Due to this, there was a large crowd, but this didn't stop us enjoying our visit. Actually, everything was very well organised and seemed very peaceful, even with that many people around. Security check you when you enter the Vatican City, so I felt quite safe. An amazing experience, topped off by seeing The Pope!
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 1, 2023
  • Jacqueline R
    Cork, Ireland627 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Magnificent square
    St Peter’s Square was definitely the highlight of our day at the Vatican. It is such an impressive area. The colonnade, the porticos, the obelisk, the fountain, all with the backdrop of the Basilica makes for a wonderful experience. Yes it was very busy and there were crowds of people queueing but it is such a vast area that it’s impossible not to find a space to simply stand and appreciate the beauty.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 19, 2023
  • Tommo
    Melbourne, Australia55,601 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive square
    This square is located directly in front of St Peters Basilica in Vatican City. It’s a very busy and popular square. It was named after the apostle of Jesus Saint Peter. Its one of the largest squares in Italy. In the centre of the square there is an anchient Egyptian obelisk which was erected in 1586.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 6, 2024
  • Herbert C
    1,372 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of the world’s most beautiful public square
    Designed in the 17th century by the famous Italian sculptor and architect, Bernini, and often regarded as one of the most beautiful public square in the world, St Peter's Square sits at the feet of the iconic St Peter's Basilica, with 2 fountains and the 25 meters Vatican obelisk transplanted from Egypt at its centre, flanked by 2 semi-circular colonnades of 284 Doric columns and 88 pilasters, and watched over by 140 statues of saints and martyrs standing on top of the columns. Strategically located at the main entrance to the Vatican City, it is no surprise that swarms of visitors crowd this grand plaza, mainly queueing to enter the basilica. But with an impressively colossal dimension of 320 meters by 240 meters capable of holding up to 300,000 people, you will easily find your personal space for photo opportunities, relaxation, as well as to mull over its historical and religious significance. Make your visit to this papal enclave within Rome even more memorable by sending a Vatican postcard to your home address, complete with the Vatican stamp and chop, at the post-office located at the square. The best place to capture the bird’s-eye view of this square is undoubtedly from the top of the basilica’s dome. Impressionante and fantastico!
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 5, 2024
  • John A Carter
    Lower Sackville, Canada5,225 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Saint Peters Square.
    This place is huge. The amount of people that can be here and still look empty and impressive. It’s like two arms, hugging a child, one of the most impressive building structures that serves little or no purpose in the world and it’s free to enter.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written March 12, 2024
  • Waddler
    York, United Kingdom11,656 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A nice half hour
    With kids, and on a busy Easter weekend, we did not think it was best to go to the museums or sistine etc, or queue up for the basilica (the queues were already snaking all around the square by 9am). But we had enough fun jumping between Italy and Vatican City, looking at the Vatican Guards, going to the post office on the square and buying a postcard for 50 cents and a Vatican stamp to the UK for a couple of euros and posting it in the yellow Vatican post boxes, and also finding the circles on the floor where there is the optical illusion of there only being one set of columns in the structure surrounding the square. We then walked down the attractive road to Castel Sant'Angelo.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written April 2, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Morrittaja
Helsinki, Finland46 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Crossing the border of Italy to Vatican City requires no passport. You actually probably won't even notice that you're suddenly in another country. The square itself is a free public area that has a couple of identical fountains and a monument in the middle. Your time is probably spent looking a the many, many saints upon the top of the arches. A good place to visit during non-rush hours so that you can move freely. The line to St. Peter's Basilica goes among the Eastern side of the archway but people let you pass through it.

Be sure to visit the Basilica itself. You can just go straight into the line when you arrive. That way you can absorb the beauty around you while getting closer to the entrance. A line that crossed all the way the Eastern half-circle took about 40 minutes to clear and it didn't feel that long since there's enough to see while waiting.
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

L3K
Guisborough, UK1,789 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We were amongst the vast crowds that came here because the pope was giving an address after Sunday morning mass. In our protestant (or atheist) ignorance, we were expecting him to give it from the central balcony above the main door to the basilica, and so ensured we had a good view of that area. needless to say, he didn't. He was in some building to the North of the square, hidden from our view by the colonnade. Ah well.

The square and the colonnade are magnificent, but try to see them when it's not so crowded.
Written March 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CLM
11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We visited St. Peter's Square during the Christmas season when the Nativity and tree were still up. It really put us in a festive mood. The Nativity had large figures of the Holy Family, the Magi, shepherds, animals and figures of people that would be present in a village setting. As an American that was something that I wasn't familiar with. It conveyed the message that Christ is present with us in our daily lives in all of our towns and villages.
The architecture, grand size, statues above the Basilica and colonnade and the many buildings that are contained in Vatican City are magnificent. A must see for when you're in Rome. Also take the tour of the Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica and the tomb of St. Peter. If you will be in Rome on a Wednesday, also book your ticket for an audience with the Pope. You may never make it back to Rome so make sure you get the full experience while you are there.
Written February 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JRMADA
United States3,326 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
This is a great square and it is a work of art. We went at sunrise and took lots of pics with very little interference. It was mostly empty. It is a popular destination and it can fill up quickly with tour guides bringing bus loads of people. Avoid Wednesdays and weekends if you can as it can get very crowded.
Written October 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GAN L
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia10,663 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
A large plaza located directly in front of St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. At the centre of the square is an ancient Egyptian obelisk, erected in 1586. Then there is the massive Doric colonnades, four columns deep , which embrace visitors in "the maternal arms of Mother Church". The colonnades frame the trapezoidal entrance to the basilica and the massive elliptical area which precedes it. There is also a granite fountain. Lots of people in the square - some were taking photos, some just sitting, some just gazing, some busy with their hand phones, some searching for their separated ones, some q in up to get into the basilica. We also saw the new 20 foot tall bronze sculpture " Angels Unaware" . The sculpture shows 140 people from different cultures and from different times in history - from indigenous people to Jews escaping Nazi Germany to Syrians and Africans fleeing war and famine today.
Written February 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Donald D
Kollam, India764 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
We could spend some time everyday of our five days in Vatican. There's some much life and it's fun to watch people come over with that surprise look on their faces, seeing in reality the Basilica and the Square with the Colonade and the 140 statues of saints. At the centre is an Obelisk and on either sides are two fountains. A dedication to the refugees is titled " the pilgrims" was placed by Pope Francis. Pigeons are seen all the time as they are often fed by visitors.
Memorable times !!
Written April 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vadim
Murmansk, Russia33,993 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
The Piazza San Pietro would not have made such a powerful impression if not for Bernini's colonnade. It is believed that its shape symbolizes the embrace of faith. From above , the square together with the cathedral resembles the key of St. Peter, but this is the speculation of our time. In Bernini's time there were no quadrocopters and video cameras. Before Mussolini 's urban planning experiments , the square made an even stronger impression . Tourists were wandering through the streets of medieval quarters (as now in Trastevere) and suddenly It opened up in front of them! In all its greatness. Now the Via della Conciliazione ("Reconciliation Street"), cut through by order of the possessed Duce, prepares us for the meeting in advance. Interestingly, Bernini created the composition of the square 100 years after the obelisk in the center and the fountains had already been erected. The colonnade consists of two half-rings of 284 13-meter columns of the Tuscan order placed in four rows. There is one optical effect. If you approach the obelisk and stand on one of the white marble circles located to the left and right of it, then all the rows of columns merged into one. 140 of the large family of Catholic saints are located on the colonnade. The square could accommodate 400 thousand people. In pre-pandemic times, when it was not necessary to keep a distance of 1.5 meters. There were times...
Written November 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Malgorzata
12,091 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019
A beautiful place to visit . Saint Peter's Square is located in front of the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, belongs to the axis connecting the Basilica and Via della Conciliazione. It was designed in 1656 by Bernini as a perpendicular oval, which opens from the west through a trapezoidal part to the facade of the basilica, from the east facing a pierced in the 1930s Via della Conciliazione. It is surrounded by a portico of Bernini built in 1656-1667. The huge, four-row colonnade is topped with an attic, on which statues of 140 saints are placed. In the central place of the square you can see an Egyptian obelisk, dating from the 13th century BC. Beautiful historic place. Definitely worth visiting while in Rome.
Written April 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dapper777
Monaco64,004 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Friends
St. Peter's Square is the queen of the squares, perhaps the most monumental in the world, the masterpiece of Bernini who created it from 1656 to 1667, with the aim of giving a worthy setting, a solemn access to the greatest temple of Christianity, and thus exalting the values of Catholicism.
It has an unusual elliptical shape surrounded by the imposing colonnade that seems to welcome every year millions of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world in a symbolic embrace.
The dimensions of the square are spectacular: 320 meters long and 240 meters wide. On the occasion of important liturgical events, St. Peter's Square was able to welcome more than 300,000 people.
In recent times, due to the Covid pandemic,
it was possible to see this very famous square completely empty.
It has happened to us:
the square has never been more beautiful and majestic.
Written June 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

inthecityintherain
Los Angeles, CA1,611 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
When visiting Vatican City, one must come to the center of this piazza and revel in Gian Lorenzo Bernini's brilliance. The master design of the piazza is his, as are the colonnades that adorn either side.

If possible, take in the aerial view from atop the duomo to get the full picture.
Written July 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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St. Peter's Square - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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