Those interested in attending the Papal Audience are often surprised at just how simple it is to get tickets! Online booking and extensive pre-planning are completely unnecessary. In fact, you don’t even have to pay a dime for these sought-after stubs, so definitely be wary of companies that resell them. Read on to find out how to secure your once-in-a-lifetime seat!
what is the Papal Audience?
Papal Audiences are large, weekly gatherings hosted by the Pope in St. Peter’s Square. The Pontiff greets the crowds, recites a prayer, and imparts the Papal Blessing. These gatherings are held in St. Peter’s Square from April to November on Wednesday mornings (check the Papal Audience Schedule to make sure the Pope is in Rome) and tickets to attend are absolutely FREE! If you come in the colder months never fear, the audience is moved indoors to the Paul VI Audience Hall.
So, How Do I Get Tickets?
Don’t be intimidated by the fancy uniforms… these are the guys with the free tickets for you!
Tickets should be requested in person from the Swiss Guards at the Bronze Doors within the colonnades of St. Peter’s Square. Click here for a map.
Pre-Booking for Groups of 10 or More
To be safe, you’ll need to pre-book for groups of 10 or more. This reservation should be made in advance as reservations can only be handled via fax and the Vatican fax line can be very busy. Fax your Vatican Ticket Request to the Prefecture of the Papal Household and you will be provided with instructions about when and where to pick-up your tickets.
Prefecture of the Papal Household
00120 Vatican City State
Fax: +39 06 6988 5863
From the US & Canada: 011 39 06 6988 5863
From the UK and Europe: 0039 06 6988 5863
From Argentina: 0039 06 6988 5863
Tips for Getting a Good Seat
Who wouldn’t want to meet this friendly guy? Pope Francis is extremely popular.
While the Papal Audience ticket does secure a seat for you, seating is not assigned. As seating is “first come first serve”, front row spots fill up early. The Pope usually comes out around 10 am but, if you’re hoping to grab a front row seat, you may plan to arrive when the gates open at 8 am.
Can I Attend Without Tickets?
Of course, you can! Everyone is welcome to attend the Papal Audiences. A ticket will secure a seat and a closer look at the Pope, but it is not unusual for standing crowds to fill up to the edges of St. Peter’s Square.
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