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Vatican City: A Glimpse Into a Country Within a Country!

By Meeta Shah on Jan 5, 2024
Themes:  Interesting Facts  | Category: History & Culture, Places To Visit | Country:  Italy

Europe is a continent with infinite attractions. But, today, the focus of our blog is on the tiniest treasure of this continent – The Vatican City

Set in the heart of Italy, this small treasure is a mesmerizing blend of history, art, and spirituality. Featuring less than 0.2 square miles with around a thousand residents, the Vatican City in Europe may lack in size, but it makes up with its intricate artistic treasures. Imagine a country so small that you can easily stroll across it in an hour yet so royally that it houses some awe-inspiring masterpieces like St. Peter Basilica. This mini-nation of Italy Tourism combines faith, strength, and ethereal beauty in its tiny winding lanes. Join us on a mystical tour of the smallest country in the world. Every corner whispers a secret of the bygone era, and every cobblestone street has a story. Discover why Vatican City deserves to be on your checklist with our Italy tour packages.

Vatican City Europe

Read More: Indulge Your Palate: A Guide to 7 Must-Try Italian Foods During Your Italy Visit!

Why is Vatican City in Europe famous?

Vatican City is globally renowned for the reasons below

  • It is the smallest free city-state in the world, yet it is the main center for more than millions of Catholics.
  • It is one of the main tourist attractions in Italy due to its religious significance and stunning architecture. 
  • The city is home to the massive St. Peter’s Basilica where thousands of worshippers attend Mass by the Pope.
  • The awe-inspiring architecture and the iconic dome of St. Peter’s Basilica are testaments to the grandeur that defines Vatican City.
  • Vatican City features magnificent chapels with beautiful sculptures by Michelangelo, attracting millions of visitors each year. 
  • The extensive Vatican Museums house the largest art collection in Europe, spanning centuries of iconic artwork and culture. 
  • The proximity of Vatican City to Rome makes it an easy day trip from the capital city, adding to its popularity.
  • With a perfect blend of artistic treasures, size contrasts, iconic sights, and Catholic history, this tiny city-state is one of the must-visit places to visit in Italy.

How to Reach Vatican City

To reach Vatican City from India, traveling by air is the most preferred option. The closest airport to Vatican City is in Rome – the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport. Once you reach this airport you can either by rail or road. First and foremost, the most obvious way is to take a taxi and reach directly to the Vatican City. From there take a train to reach Roma Termini station and then take a bus or metro to reach the city. Bus #64, 62, and 492 will bring you to the city. Alternatively, if you want to soak in the travel experience, you can also walk from Rome to Vatican City. 

Best Time to Visit Vatican City

Winter season is the low season from December to February and is also the quietest time to visit the smallest country. There are fewer crowds as most tourists tend to avoid the colder months. It is the best time to visit the Vatican City minus the hordes of tourists and beautiful winter sun. However, if you do not prefer the European winter, then you should travel during the shoulder season- March to May and September to November. These months offer quieter crowds and pleasant weather. The ideal time of the day to visit is during late afternoons and early mornings. The opening hours of most tourist attractions in the city vary, so plan your trip accordingly. 

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Places to Visit near Vatican City

Discover the myriad places to see in Vatican City – where each corner of the city is filled with immense culture and history. From hidden gems to charming squares, there are several sites within and around the city.

  • Vatican Library
  • Pinacoteca
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Vatican Gardens
  • Vatican Museums
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Apostolic Palace
  • Vatican Obelisk
  • St. Peter’s Square
  • Vatican Necropolis

Read More: 5 Most Visited Cities of Europe to Include In Your Next Euro Trip!

Things to do in Vatican City

Vatican City Inside

Explore the wonders of the Vatican City. Visit the various tourist attractions in the Vatican City and immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of this city.

  • Marvel at the Sistine Chapel
  • Go up the St. Peter’s Basilica Dome
  • Walk around the Vatican Museums
  • Visit St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Visit the Vatican Grottoes
  • Visit the Necropolis
  • Attend a Mass
  • Roam through the Vatican Gardens
  • Stroll along the St. Peter’s Square
  • See the Vatican Mosaic Studio
  • Go for the Vatican City night tour.

Hotels in and around Vatican City

You will find a range of comfortable accommodation options in and around the Vatican City. From budget hotels to boutique resorts, you will find options of Vatican hotels that suit every traveler’s preferences.

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti
  • Starhotels Michelangelo
  • Best Western Plus Hotel Spring House Rome
  • Hotel Indigo Rome – St. George
  • Best Western Plus Hotel Universo
  • Hotel Artemide
  • Residenza Paolo VI
  • Atlante Garden Hotel
  • Hotel Savoy
  • Rome Cavalieri – A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
  • Orazio Palace Hotel

Tips for Visiting Vatican City

Vatican City Images

  • There are plenty of gorgeous sites in Vatican City. Thus, make sure you have a good camera handy.
  • If you want to see Vatican City without crowds, think of visiting during the off-season.
  • If you plan to visit the Vatican Museums, take an audio tour.
  • When visiting specific sites in Vatican City, you must adhere to a dress code. St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums have dress codes that compel you to cover your shoulders and knees. If you are visiting during the summer, pack a scarf to cover your shoulders while wearing a singlet. 
  • If you are not wearing flip-flops inside Vatican City, any other footwear will do. Wear comfortable footwear.
  • Book – skip the line tickets for the Vatican.
  • Take a guided tour of the Vatican for a better experience.
  • Wednesdays and Sundays are the best times to view the Pope in person.
  • The majority of museums lack air conditioning, except a handful.
  • Avoid taking pictures in the Sistine Chapel.
  • The opening hours of most places vary according to the season, and it is closed for religious holidays. So, plan your visit accordingly.
  • While entry to Saint Peter’s Basilica is free, getting to the top of the dome requires payment.


The tiny size of the Vatican City has numerous treasures that make it a must-see while visiting Rome. To easily fit a visit to the Vatican with your customized Italy tour packages, ask Flamingo Travels. Let our destination experts create an interesting trip to the Vatican City and let every moment of your visit be a memorable experience. 

Read More: 6 Reasons To Visit Europe In Summer For Fabulous Euro Trip!

FAQs Regarding Vatican City in Europe

In which European city is the Vatican?

Vatican City is a free city-state surrounded by Rome, Italy. It is a landlocked sovereign city-state within Rome. It is the smallest free state in the world by both people and area.

Why is Vatican City famous?

Vatican City is special owing to its small area and its religious importance. It is the holiest and smallest country in the entire world. The country is also known for its autocratic management, with the pope holding ultimate power. Rome is the power center of the Roman Catholic Church, and Vatican City is the seat of its authority.  There is even a dress code at the Vatican to be followed even by tourists. The charm of the Vatican is incomparable, and every place is rich in art and history.

Do Indians need visas for Vatican City?

Yes, Indian nationals do require a visa before traveling to Vatican City. You will need a Schengen Visa. 

Who is the most famous person that lives in Vatican City?

The most famous person in the Vatican City is the Pope. He is the head of the state of the Vatican City and the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The current Pope is Pope Francis. 

Why is St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City important?

St. Peter’s Basilica is not only the biggest church globally but also the holiest shrine in Christianity, as it was built on Saint Peter’s tomb. It is home to several stunning and precious statues and artwork.

About Author

Meeta Shah
Meeta Shah

I graduated in commerce from Bombay University and run a family-owned business where we believe in transparency, trust, knowledge distribution and provide quality tours to our customers. According to me “Customers are our brand ambassadors and employees are our biggest Strength”. I also believe that “Travel brings knowledge, Knowledge brings opportunity and Opportunity brings prosperity”. With God’s grace was awarded the “Best Female Entrepreneur of India” by Tourism awards Gujarat. And currently, I am actively involved in key decisions and itinerary staff management in the travel industry. 

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