St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter\'s Basilica showing a square or plaza, a church or cathedral and a city

St. Peter's Basilica

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Experience this high-domed church at the heart of Catholicism and its magnificent gallery at the heart of the art world.

The lofty dome of St. Peter’s Basilica is the great towering symbol of the minuscule Vatican state and a towering artistic statement of the Late Renaissance and Baroque periods.

The history of this site incorporates a great deal of Christian mythology. The story goes that, after the crucifixion of Jesus, one of his 12 disciples, Peter from Galilee, embarked on a long trek to Rome where he was martyred by Emperor Nero. The location where he died, close to the Egyptian obelisk in the Circus (which still stands today), was initially marked by a red rock, and then by a shrine, followed by the first (Old) St. Peter’s Basilica in 360. This wooden structure stood for more than a millennium until it fell into disrepair in the 15th century. In 1506, Pope Julius II broke ground on the basilica and a series of Renaissance masters began an immense century-long construction project.

Officially opened on November 18, 1626, the last 400 years have seen St. Peter’s Basilica become one of the most sacred sites of Catholicism and one of the world’s top tourist attractions. The beautiful exterior is a cross-generational collaboration between Bramante, Raphael and Michelangelo, and includes an enormous nave and the high, iconic dome. It’s what stands inside, however, that really impresses.

Once inside, you’ll find frescoes and mosaics by the likes of Bernini and Giotto and a host of other treasures. Michelangelo’s Pietà and Arnolfo di Cambio’s Saint Peter sculptures, Vico Consorti’s Holy Door and Bernini’s famous altar are in good company with the treasures buried below the ground, such as the beautiful tombs of significant Vatican figures, from St. Peter to Pope John Paul II. Whether you’re a Catholic, an art aficionado or just a lover of beauty, St. Peter’s Basilica is a must-see.

The basilica is in central Rome and is open daily, although opening times vary according to the season. If you are planning to visit the Vatican Museums at the same time, be aware it is closed on Sundays with the exception of the last Sunday of the month. 


You can walk to the basilica from the city center; the most direct route is to cross the Tiber and walk straight up Via della Conciliazione. The Metro train station Ottaviano is a short walk away along Via Ottaviano.

Top Trending Hotels Near St. Peter's Basilica

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UNAHOTELS Decò Roma
4 out of 5
Via Giovanni Amendola, 57, Rome, RM, 185
The price is £159 per night from 13 Jun to 14 Jun
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Rome. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast and on-site parking. Our guests praise the bar and the clean rooms in their reviews. ...
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"Very close to Termini station, less than 5 minutes walk. Love my room in the fifth floor. 20 minutes walk to the Parthenon. Highly recommend. Very courteous and efficient staff."

Reviewed on 13 May 2022

UNAHOTELS Decò Roma
Starhotels Michelangelo
Starhotels Michelangelo
4 out of 5
Via Della Stazione Di San Pietro 14, Rome, RM, 165
The price is £176 per night from 5 Jun to 6 Jun
Stay at this 4-star family-friendly hotel in Rome. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast and room service. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the comfy rooms in their ...
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Reviewed on 3 May 2022

Starhotels Michelangelo
NH Collection Roma Giustiniano
NH Collection Roma Giustiniano
4 out of 5
Via Virgilio 1 E/F/G, Rome, RM, 00193
The price is £234 per night from 1 Jun to 2 Jun
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Rome. Enjoy free WiFi, a restaurant and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff in their reviews. Popular ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (979 reviews)
"Hotel restaurant could open earlier than 7:00 am"

Reviewed on 26 Apr 2022

NH Collection Roma Giustiniano
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Top Hotel Deals

Grand Hotel Olympic
Grand Hotel Olympic
4 out of 5
Via Properzio 2/a, Rome, RM, 193
The price is £90 per night from 6 Jun to 7 Jun
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Starhotels Michelangelo
Starhotels Michelangelo
4 out of 5
Via Della Stazione Di San Pietro 14, Rome, RM, 165
The price is £176 per night from 5 Jun to 6 Jun
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UNAHOTELS Decò Roma
UNAHOTELS Decò Roma
4 out of 5
Via Giovanni Amendola, 57, Rome, RM, 185
The price is £159 per night from 13 Jun to 14 Jun
UNAHOTELS Decò Roma
NH Collection Roma Giustiniano
NH Collection Roma Giustiniano
4 out of 5
Via Virgilio 1 E/F/G, Rome, RM, 00193
The price is £234 per night from 1 Jun to 2 Jun
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Best Western Plus Hotel Universo
Best Western Plus Hotel Universo
4 out of 5
Via Principe Amedeo 5/B, Rome, RM, 185
The price is £154 per night from 1 Jun to 2 Jun
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iQ Hotel Roma
iQ Hotel Roma
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Via Firenze, 8, Rome, RM, 184
The price is £132 per night from 7 Jun to 8 Jun
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Best Western Plus Hotel Spring House
Best Western Plus Hotel Spring House
4 out of 5
Via Mocenigo 7, Rome, RM, 00192
The price is £148 per night from 22 May to 23 May
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Residenza Paolo VI
Residenza Paolo VI
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The price is £149 per night from 20 May to 21 May
Residenza Paolo VI
Mama Shelter Roma
Mama Shelter Roma
4 out of 5
Via Luigi Rizzo 20, Rome, 136
The price is £168 per night from 30 May to 31 May
Mama Shelter Roma
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.