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How to get to the Vatican

The Vatican City is not in the center of Rome, but getting there is very easy if you know how. I'll tell you the best way to get to the Vatican to make your visit perfect.

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

6 min read

How to get to the Vatican

St. Peter's Square | Kevin et Laurianne

Are you organizing your visit to Rome and don't want to leave any loose ends? You're right, because the Eternal City has a lot to offer and there's no time to waste. So if you have already booked your ticket to the Vatican or your guided tour of the Vatican, I have put together this handy little guide so that, wherever you are, you can get to the Vatican according to the time and budget you have available.

1. Walking from the center of Rome, because walking is always a pleasure

Piazza di Spagna| ©Ilnur Kalimullin
Piazza di Spagna| ©Ilnur Kalimullin

Walking in Rome will always be my preferred method of transportation (and the most economical without a doubt!). There is no street, nook, fountain or square that does not deserve a visit or a photo. And that can only be achieved if you dedicate yourself to walk each and every one of its narrow streets, not just the most famous ones in the center.

If you find yourself visiting the historic center of the city, the best thing to do is to make your way to the Vatican on foot. Take it easy, stop when a facade or a square catches your attention and enjoy the walk.

Walking distances from the key points of the city

  • From Piazza Spagna: it will take you 33 minutes walking, going through the whole center and crossing the Tiber in front of Castel St'Angelo, spectacular!
  • From Piazza Navona: it will take you 24 minutes walking through the most beautiful streets of the city.
  • From Campo dei Fiori: only 24 minutes, a very short walk!
  • From Isola Tiberina: 36 minutes walk along the banks of the Tiber - a dream!
  • From Trastevere: 38 minutes walking along an authentic Roman route.
  • From the Colosseum: 50 minutes. This is probably the longest walk, but you will cross the entire city and enjoy the spectacle that this city has to offer.

2. By bus from the center

Bus through the streets of Rome| ©Chris Sampson
Bus through the streets of Rome| ©Chris Sampson

If you don't feel like walking or you prefer to save your strength for the visit to the Museums and the Basilica, getting to the Vatican by bus is also easy, comfortable and very economical. The closest bus stop to the Vatican is in Piazza del Risorgimento, from where you will only have to walk 5 minutes to the door of the Museums or St. Peter's Square.

Depending on where you are, you may also reach Via di Porta Cavalleggeri or Via Leone IV and Via degli Scipioni. Check timetables and prices on Rome's official public transport website.

Most recommended lines

  • Bus lines to Piazza del Risorgimento: the most popular ones are 49, 32, 81 (crosses the city from the Colosseum), 982
  • Bus lines to Via Leone IV with Via degli Scipioni: 492, 990
  • Bus line to Via di Porta Cavalleggeri: 64 (this bus is very popular because it connects Termini train station with the Vatican.
  • Other recommended lines: 62 (connects the city's key tourist attractions, such as Piazza Venezia with the Vatican) and 40 (also from Termini).

Use the tourist bus, if you have a ticket

If during your trip to Rome you have decided to buy a ticket for the Rome tourist bus, do not hesitate to use it also as a method of transportation. It is usually very convenient because it connects the main tourist points of the city, so as it has unlimited trips and stops, do not hesitate and get to the Vatican on the famous red double-decker bus.

3. By subway from any point of the city

Inside a carriage of the Rome Metro| ©N i c o l a
Inside a carriage of the Rome Metro| ©N i c o l a

Although there are not too many lines in Rome, the Vatican is well connected with the subway transport, the Rome Metro. The most convenient station is usually Ottaviano, because it is the closest, but if you don't mind walking a bit, you can also get off at Cipro or Lepanto. The ticket costs only 1.5 €, so this is certainly one of the cheapest ways to get to the Vatican.

  • Line A: It is best to take the Metro Line A, which also passes through the main points of the city, such as Piazza Spagna or Termini train station and get off at Ottaviano-S. Pietro. From there it is very easy to walk to the Vatican and it will take you only 5 minutes (follow the souvenir stands and you won't get lost).

4. By Tram, for an authentic experience

Streetcar through the streets of Rome| ©Rob Dammers
Streetcar through the streets of Rome| ©Rob Dammers

Rome still has some streetcar lines and although it is not always the most practical (you will see that it is not well connected to the historical and tourist center of the city), depending on where you are staying it may be convenient for you to use the streetcar. You can find prices and timetables on the official Rome public transport website.

The nearest streetcar line is number 19 and will drop you off in Piazza del Risorgimento (it is the last stop on the line, so you can't miss it). You may find it useful if you are staying near Villa Borghese or are walking around there or the Bioparco before your visit to the Vatican.

5. By cab for more comfort

Cab through the streets of Rome| ©Phillip Capper
Cab through the streets of Rome| ©Phillip Capper

The cab service in Rome works quite well: there are plenty of cabs available on the street and the main tourist spots of the city have cab ranks where you will not take more than 5 minutes to catch one.

The prices are reasonable for this type of service, but I recommend that you have a clear itinerary (to avoid being given an extra ride) and that you ask the cab driver to put the meter on before starting the route to avoid unpleasant surprises. In principle, it should not cost you more than 15 € from the center of Rome.

6. By Uber, which also operates in rome

Uber driver| ©Thibault Penin
Uber driver| ©Thibault Penin

If you are thinking of taking a comfortable door-to-door service, the most recommended is Uber. You can request it from the APP whenever you want, you will know the itinerary to follow and you will know the price of the trip regardless of the traffic you may encounter along the way. In addition, you will save having to take out your card or cash to pay.

7. By car2go or electric car if you dare to brave the Roman traffic

Car2go| ©Miwok
Car2go| ©Miwok

For some years now, car rental services by the minute have proliferated in Rome to move from one point of the city to another. If you already know this service, you probably have downloaded on your smartphone the APP of Share Now or Car2GO, one of the most international services.

On the app's map you can see how many cars are available near your location, book one with a single click and in a few minutes you will be at your destination. The vehicles are usually "Smarts" or similar, of a very small size, which makes parking in the center or near crowded areas much easier.

However, keep in mind that traffic in Rome can be chaotic and you will have to be careful not to park your car in a prohibited area (it is usually well signposted). The best of all is that the price does not usually go up to 5 € if you have taken the car somewhere in the city center.

8. By bike or scooter, if you dare to make your trip to Rome go on wheels

Get around Rome by bike| ©Rob Larsen
Get around Rome by bike| ©Rob Larsen

In the same way that there are Car Sharing services, you will see that Rome is literally full of scooters. There are several local and international companies that, from the APP, allow you to rent a scooter or a bike by the minute to move around the city at your own pace. This is usually quite convenient, fast and cheap.

But again, keep in mind that traffic in Rome can be a bit chaotic and there are many pedestrian streets in the center where it is better not to venture. Let's roll!