Vatican Dress Code

The Vatican City is a religious city-state where the Roman Catholic Church is headquartered. Wearing anything that hurts the sentiments of the Catholic church or the Christian community is prohibited. However, a modest combination of clothes will ensure you a hassle-free experience. Therefore, it is important to follow the dress code while touring the premises of this place. The Vatican dress code maintains a decent and formal decorum for the larger well-being of all communities and the Papal conduct. 

Irrespective of the age, gender, nationality, and religious affiliation of a person, it is mandatory to abide by the rules of Vatican City regarding dresses and clothes. These rules are inclusive of the kind of shoes, hats, jewellery and accessories that is suggested for the visitors to wear. It is important to keep in mind that despite being the smallest country in the world, the security of Vatican City is very strict and particular about rules. It is in their power to stop you from entering the premises, so, it is suggested that the visitors follow the dress codes.

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General Dress Code
General Dress Code
  • Skin covering is observed here as a part of their religious institution, so people of all identities are suggested to cover their knees and shoulders.
  • Hats and sunglasses are not allowed inside the Palace as per the Vatican Dress code. 
  • Exposure of offensive tattoos or graphic t-shirts is discouraged. Ripped jeans and vests that reveal skin are not allowed. 
  • Covered shoes are encouraged, although there is no direct prohibition of slippers or sandals.

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Dress Code for Men
Dress Code for Men
  • Men are encouraged to keep their shoulders and knees covered. Avoiding clothes that are revealing would be a good option.
  • A formal shirt is encouraged, however, t-shirts with offensive designs and slogans are not allowed. 
  • Ripped jeans, vests, and shorts above the knees are not allowed.
  • Hats and sunglasses will not be allowed inside the Palace, except for Papal Audience.

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Dress Code for Women
Dress Code for Women
  • Women are required to cover their shoulders and knees primarily.
  • During the Papal Audience, hats are not allowed. All other accessories will be kept at the entrance of the Palace which you can collect afterwards.
  • It is suggested that you avoid wearing anything that is revealing, be it crop tops or deep blouses, according to the Vatican tour dress code.
  • Dresses and skirts that are below the knee, and tops that cover your chest and shoulders are good to go.

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Dress Code for Kids
Dress Code for Kids
  • There are no specific dress codes mentioned for kids, therefore the same rules for adults apply to them as well.
  • The shoulders and knees of the baby need to be covered.
  • It is advisable to avoid any accessories or jewelleries on the baby.
  • The feet of the babies are advised to be covered, and hats are discouraged.

Papal Audience Dress Code
Papal Audience Dress Code
  • During the Papal Audience, only men are allowed to wear hats
  • Women are suggested to cover their shoulders, especially if the Audience is taking place inside the Palace.
  • If the Audience takes place outside the Palace, take necessary precautions to protect yourself from the harsh climate.
  • You can use a scarf or a stole to cover your shoulders and chest as well.

What Can You Wear at the Vatican City

What Can You Wear at the Vatican City
  • Clothes covering the shoulders- Be it shirts or t-shirts, you can wear dresses that cover your shoulders completely.

  • Dresses covering the knees- You can wear clothes that cover your knees fully, be it skirts, jeans, or one-pieces. Choose the quality and material of your dress according to the weather. Vatican City experiences extreme climate, so take proper precautions while packing your bags.

  • Comfortable shoes- There are no rules against wearing slippers and sandals, although it is advisable to wear covered and formal shoes as per the dress code for Vatican City. Heels are not specifically prohibited, however, it is advisable to avoid them as touring the Vatican would require a lot of walking.

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What You Cannot Wear at the Vatican

What You Cannot Wear at the Vatican
  • Clothes exposing shoulders and knees- You cannot wear dresses that are revealing of your skin, especially of your shoulders, knees and chest. You can use a stole to cover your shoulders and chest in case you need to.
  • Offensive graphic t-shirts and tattoos- Avoid wearing t-shirts that have slogans or graphics imprinted on them that are offensive to the Catholic sentiment and other communities. It is discouraged to expose tattoos that are offensive in any manner as well.
  • Hats and accessories- You can wear them outside, although you need to open them while entering the premises of the Palace.

FAQ's Of Vatican Museum

Are you allowed to wear jeans in the Vatican?

    Yes, you are allowed to wear full-length jeans in the Vatican city as per the Vatican clothing rules. However, ripped and shredded jeans are not allowed. It is a facet of the institution of the Roman Catholic Church to avoid clothes that reveal skin. So, it is advisable to pack your bags with caution while planning your trip to the Vatican City. 

Why Does the Vatican Have A Dress Code?

Can I wear a t-shirt while visiting the Vatican?

Are backpacks allowed in the Vatican?

What should I wear to the Vatican while visiting during the summer?

How strict is the dress code at the Vatican?

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