Top Travel Questions – Answered

Unveiling the Truth: Is St. Peter’s Square a Free Destination?

Is St. Peter’s Square free?

St. Peter’s Square, located in Vatican City, is one of Rome’s most iconic landmarks and a major tourist attraction. Many travelers visiting Rome often wonder if there is an entrance fee to enter St. Peter’s Square. In this article, we will explore whether St. Peter’s Square is free to enter and provide you with valuable information for your travel plans.

Historical significance of St. Peter’s Square

Before delving into the question of whether St. Peter’s Square is free to enter, it is important to understand the historical significance of this magnificent square. St. Peter’s Square, also known as Piazza San Pietro in Italian, is an enormous square in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest and most famous Catholic church in the world. The square was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 17th century and is an outstanding example of Baroque architecture.
The square has great religious and cultural significance, as it serves as the central hub for various papal ceremonies and events. St. Peter’s Square is also known as the place where pilgrims gather to witness the Papal Mass and receive the Pope’s Apostolic Blessing. Its grandeur, rich history, and spiritual significance make it a must-see for travelers exploring Rome.

Access to St. Peter’s Square

Now let’s address the burning question: Is access to St. Peter’s Square free? The good news is that entry to St. Peter’s Square is indeed free. Visitors are free to explore the Square and admire its magnificent architecture without paying an entrance fee. Whether you are a religious pilgrim or a curious traveler, you are welcome to enter and soak up the atmosphere of this remarkable place.
However, it is important to note that due to the high profile nature of St. Peter’s Square and its proximity to the Vatican, certain restrictions and security measures are in place. Visitors must pass through security checkpoints before entering the square, which include a brief bag search and metal detector screening. These security measures are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all visitors and to protect the integrity of the religious site.

Exploring St. Peter’s Square

Once inside St. Peter’s Square, visitors can take their time to explore and appreciate the architectural wonders that surround them. The square is adorned with breathtaking features, including the famous Bernini Colonnades, which welcome visitors like open arms. The colonnades consist of four rows of Doric columns, symbolizing the welcoming embrace of the Catholic Church.

In the center of the square is an imposing Egyptian obelisk that dates back to ancient Rome. This obelisk is flanked by two beautiful fountains designed by Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. These fountains not only add to the aesthetic appeal of the square, but also provide a sense of tranquility and serenity amidst the bustling atmosphere.

Attend papal events

While entry to St. Peter’s Square is free, attending certain papal events may require advance arrangements or tickets. For example, if you are interested in attending the papal mass or the pope’s weekly address, known as the Angelus or Regina Coeli, it is advisable to check the official Vatican website for information on how to obtain tickets or secure a seat.

During major events, such as Easter Sunday or Christmas, the demand to attend papal ceremonies is exceptionally high. In such cases, it is important to purchase tickets or plan your visit well in advance. The official Vatican website provides detailed information on ticket availability and the procedures required to attend these events.


St. Peter’s Square, with its historical significance and breathtaking beauty, is an essential part of any traveler’s visit to Rome. The good news is that there is no entrance fee to St. Peter’s Square, so everyone is free to experience its grandeur. Remember to observe the security measures in place and enjoy exploring this iconic square at your own pace. If you are planning to attend specific papal events, it is advisable to check the official Vatican website for any necessary arrangements or ticket requirements. May your visit to St. Peter’s Square be an unforgettable and enriching experience!


Is St Peter’s Square free?

Yes, St Peter’s Square is free and open to the public.

Are there any entrance fees for St Peter’s Square?

No, there are no entrance fees or tickets required to visit St Peter’s Square.

Can I visit St Peter’s Square without visiting St Peter’s Basilica?

Yes, you can visit St Peter’s Square without entering St Peter’s Basilica. The square is a separate open area accessible to the public.

Are there any restrictions on visiting St Peter’s Square?

While there is no fee to enter St Peter’s Square, there may be certain restrictions or security measures in place due to events or ceremonies taking place at the Vatican. It’s always a good idea to check for any advisories or closures before your visit.

What are the visiting hours for St Peter’s Square?

St Peter’s Square is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, keep in mind that certain areas within the square, such as the colonnade, may have restricted access during specific times.

Can I take photographs in St Peter’s Square?

Yes, photography is generally allowed in St Peter’s Square for personal use. However, it’s important to be respectful of the surroundings and any guidelines provided by the Vatican authorities.