How to Reach The Vatican Museums From The Roman Forum

Vatican Museums are in close proximity to the Roman Forum and Colosseum.

The distance from the Roman Forum to Vatican City is around two miles (3 km), which can be covered in 41 minutes by foot.

However, public transportation options, such as the bus and metro, are also available, which could be faster. 

The best way to reach the Vatican Museums from the Roman Forum without driving is by taking a bus, which will take you to the museums within 30 minutes.

Vatican Museums By Bus 

From the Roman Forum, walk to the nearest bus stop, Ara Coeli/ Piazza Venezia, which is within walking distance.

From there, board the #81 bus and depart at the Risorgimento stop. The journey will take hardly 30 minutes.

Buy your ticket at any newsstand, tobacco shop (tabaccheria) or special ticket machines located at all metro stops at approx €2. 

Disembark at the Risorgimento stop in the Prati district, known for its elegant buildings and tree-lined venues.

The Vatican Museums is a short walk away to your west on Piazza Risorgimento.

Head straight, passing by shops and restaurants. Soon, you’ll see the high walls of Vatican City on your right.

It will take around five minutes to walk to the Vatican Museums. 

As you walk, enjoy the view of St. Peter’s Dome. It’s a big part of the city view and has amazed visitors for hundreds of years.

The bus operates daily, with service starting at 12 am. 

Vatican Museums By Metro 

Vatican Museums By Metro
Image: Romesightseeing.net

The nearest metro station to Vatican City is Ottaviano. From here, the museum is on a 5-minute walk.

Ottaviano is a sixth stop from the Termini metro station, the central metro station of the Roman Forum, and the eighth from the Colosseo metro station; therefore, it will take about 15 minutes.

Head to Colloseo metro station (line B) and take a metro to Termini station, the second station from Colosseo.

Exit at Termini and follow the signs for metro line A, which is going towards Basttistini.

Get off at Ottaviano metro station, the sixth station from Termini, and the journey will take around 10 minutes.

While switching at Termini, you don’t need to buy another ticket; your ticket is already validated when you get on line B.

Exit the Ottaviano station, and you’ll see the street, Ottaviano. Continue straight down this street until you come to Piazza del Risorgimento Square.

Upon reaching Piazza, you’ll see a large winding wall: the Vatican Border.

On peak days, this wall is often wrapped with long lines. However, you won’t find these lines if you have planned your visit strategically.

In that case, cross the street, turn right and follow the wall up a slight hill until you reach a line, or if you have your skip-the-line tickets, walk straight to the entrance. 

A Drive to Vatican Museums From the Roman Forum 

The fastest way to reach the Vatican Museum is through the picturesque Lungotevere dei Tebald, a drive along the Tiber River. 

The drive will take not more than 16 minutes.

There are two other routes that offer a more immersive experience of the city. 

Each route, taking no more than 16 minutes, will take you through different streets and neighborhoods, each with its own charm and history.

Viale Vaticano: This is the most direct and fastest route from the Roman Forum to the Vatican Museums. 

This route will take you via Lungotevere dei Tebaldi, taking only 15 minutes.

Via Crescenzio: This route is a bit more complex and time-consuming.

It starts from the Roman Forum and goes via Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, a major street in Rome named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy.

Then, it continues through Via Paola and Lungotevere Tor di Nona, located along the Tiber River. 

The route then passes through Lungotevere dei Tebaldi, Lungotevere in Sassia, and Lungotevere Castello, offering a beautiful view of the Castel Sant’Angelo, a towering cylindrical building. 

The route then goes through Piazza della Rovere, Via della Giuliana, and finally reaches the Vatican Museums via Via Crescenzio.

Vatican Museums From The Roman Forum By Foot 

A walk from the Roman Forum to the Vatican museums is itself a mini adventure, punctuated by dazzling sights and the beautiful life story of Rome. 

This mini adventure will take around 60 minutes.

Start your walking tour by exiting the Forum and heading straight northwest via dei Fori Imperiali, leading directly from the Roman Forum.

Walking through this route, you’ll see various ancient ruins and landmarks.

Continuing along this route until you reach Piazza Venezia, at your right is the Grandiose Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland).

From here, turn left onto Via del Plebiscito and continue walking Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge. 

After crossing the bridge, continue walking straight on Via della Concilizione, leading to St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro.)

As you approach St. Peter’s Square, find the entrance to your left (if facing St. Peter’s Basilica). 

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