Are you planning a family trip to the Vatican City? And wondering how to make it enjoyable for everyone? The Papal City, also known as the Vatican, is an independent city-state in Rome, Italy.

This place is full of history and beauty and is a must-see for families. It serves as the spiritual and administrative center of the Roman Catholic Church. Plus, as the residence of the Pope.

But before you go, there are a few things you should know to make your visit smooth and memorable. In this guide, we’ll give you a brief checklist of what to prepare for your family tour. Whether it’s your 1st trip or fifth, these tips will surely help you.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

1. Secure Tickets and Tours Early

The Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica are very popular. So, lots of people visit there every day. That’s why booking your Vatican tickets in advance is one of the most important steps to take. This pre-booking approach will let you skip the long lines and get prioritized entry. This means you have more time to explore everything without waiting a lot.

In addition to tickets, you might find some special tours available for families. They can make exploration fun for kids and adults. During the visit, they might tell interesting stories about the art and history of this place. In essence, they let everyone enjoy and understand what they see.

Pro Tip:  The Vatican is closed on some days. So, must check the calendar before you book your tickets.

2. Plan Your Visit Around Papal Audiences

A highlight for many families visiting here is the opportunity to attend a Papal Audience. It is held most Wednesdays when the Pope is in Vatican City. Here’s how you can make it a great experience for your family:

●       Get Tickets Early: Event tickets are entirely free, but you need to book them ahead of time.

●       Arrive Early: Since this is popular, lots of people come to see the Pope. So, getting there early means you can get a better view.

●       Prepare for Crowds: As there will be many people, tell your kids about staying close.

●       Dress Comfortably: You might be standing or sitting for long periods. So, wearing comfortable shoes and clothes is important.

●       Explain the Event: Before you go, tell your kids about the Papal Audience. This approach will make your visit more exciting.

3. Choose Family-Friendly Accommodations

After a busy day of exploration, having a comfortable place to rest is paramount. And choosing a place to stay near the Vatican is smart for families. It makes trips shorter and easier, especially with kids.

In addition to the nearest one, you should look for hotels or apartments that welcome families. These places often have useful amenities like small kitchens. This is great for making snacks or breakfast before starting your day.

Moreover, some places even have special rooms just for families. This gives everyone enough space to relax after a long day. They may also offer things like cribs or tips for kid-friendly activities.


Besides, when picking a place, consider how easy it is to get to other parts of the city. Remember, good transport links are a plus. This will help you to explore more than just the Vatican. Ultimately, selecting the right place to stay can make your visit more comfortable and fun for everyone.

4. Dress Appropriately for Sacred Sites

When visiting the Vatican, dressing right is key. This is because this country has some rules about how visitors should dress, especially in religious places. Here’s what you need to remember:

● Your shoulders and knees must be covered. This means no tank tops, short dresses, or shorts that are above the knee.

● Wearing hats inside the churches is not allowed. So, remember to take off your hats before you enter.

● It’s a good idea to dress in layers. This way, if it’s hot outside, you can stay cool, but you can also cover up when you go inside.

● If you’re wearing something that doesn’t cover your shoulders or knees, you can bring a shawl or a scarf. You can use these to cover up when needed.

Moreover, make sure to follow these rules even if you are visiting in the summer. It can be hot, but respecting the dress code is a must. In essence, it ensures that you and your family can enjoy your visit without any problems.

5. Research Nearby Dining Options

While there are limited dining options within the Vatican itself, the surrounding areas are filled with eateries. You will find various options that cater to every taste and dietary need.

Before your visit, research and identify family-friendly restaurants where you can enjoy a meal together. This proactive step will help you reduce the stress of searching for a place when everyone is already hungry.

In addition, you can consider locations in the Prati district, which is known for its wide range of dining options. From quick bites to sit-down meals, you will find everything here.

Moreover, while searching, read reviews and check menus online. This will help you find places that are welcoming to families and offer meals that cater to younger palates.

In essence, having a list of potential dining spots on hand can save time. Plus, it ensures that meal breaks seamlessly complement your day’s activities.

6. Familiarize Your Family with Vatican History

Learning about the Vatican before you visit can make your trip much more interesting. Here’s how you can help your family get excited and ready:

● Start with simple stories or fun facts about the Vatican and its art. This can help everyone, especially kids, feel more connected to what they will see.

● There are many books and online resources that can make learning fun and easy. You can look for ones with lots of pictures or interactive websites designed for kids.

● You can watch documentaries or short videos together. Choose family-friendly options that explore the Vatican’s history and significance in an engaging way.

● Talk about what you’ll see. Share interesting stories or facts you find with your family. For example, did you know the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling was painted by Michelangelo, and it took him four years to complete it?

● After telling, discuss what you’ve learned as a family. You can ask questions like, “What are you most excited to see?” or “Did you know…?” to spark curiosity.

By preparing in this simple yet effective way, you can ensure that your visit is not just a walk through old buildings. Instead, it is a journey through history that everyone will remember.

7. Prepare for Security Checks

Just like many major tourist attractions worldwide, the Vatican has implemented security measures to ensure the safety of visitors. So, preparing your family for these security checks can help make the process as smooth as possible.


You can advise everyone to carry only the essentials for the day to quicken screening. It will also help you to avoid the need for cloakroom services. Additionally, you can explain to your children what to expect during the security check. This practice will help them approach the situation calmly.

Moreover, items like scissors, knives, or large bottles of liquid are not allowed there. So before leaving your accommodation, check your bags to avoid any delays or confiscations.

Ultimately, preparing your family in this way eases the entry process. Also, it sets a tone of cooperation and respect for the rest of your visit.


Visiting the Vatican with your family is a chance to share a meaningful cultural and spiritual experience. This checklist will help you manage your trip, leaving room for awe and wonder.

From booking tickets to scheduling downtime, each step ensures a memorable journey. So, embrace these tips and enrich your family’s adventures.