Vatican Dress Code

Being a religious city-state, the Vatican City imposes a strict dress code for its visitors, which has to be adhered to at all costs. With an eye to modesty, the Vatican City dress code requires both men and women to cover their shoulders and knees while visiting the city.

The ideal clothing for ladies would be a dress or skirt that is below the knee-length, maybe made of a light fabric like linen. Additionally, you want to put on a blouse or t-shirt that covers your shoulders and chest. If you’re wearing a sleeveless top, you might want to carry a shawl or a cardigan to drape it around yourself.

Men should wear long sleeve shirts and appropriate slacks, although t-shirts and shorts are OK as long as they are below the knee. When entering the Cathedral, you will be required to take off your hats and sunglasses as per the Vatican City dress code.

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Dress Code Vatican
General Dress Code
  • Throughout the trip, you must always keep your shoulders covered.
  • Clothes that expose your knees- such as shorts or skirts- are not allowed
  • There should not be any objectionable tattoos or religious symbols on display
  • You must take off any hats or caps.
  • It's also not recommended to wear see-through apparel, ripped jeans, or t-shirts.

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Dress Code Vatican
Dress Code for Men
  • While formal shirts are the preferred apparel, one may choose to wear shirts as long as they don’t have any loud or offensive graphics or writing
  • If you’re planning to wear shorts, make sure they cover your knees
  • Since shoulders shouldn’t be exposed, vests are strictly not allowed

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Vatican Museum Dress Code
Dress Code for Women
  • If you’re wearing a skirt, dress or shorts, make sure they cover your knees
  • Shoulders have to be covered at all times, so avoid sleeveless tops, or keep it covered with a shawl throughout your visit
  • Low cut tops and crop tops should not be worn

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Vatican Museum Dress Code
Dress Code for Kids
  • While the Vatican City dress code does not issue any specific rules for children, younger visitors should adhere by the same rules as stated for adults

  • Shorts should cover one’s knees, and shoulders should be covered at all times

Vatican Museum Dress Code
Papal Audience Dress Code
  • The Papal Audience accepts casual yet modest clothes; nevertheless, ladies should still cover their shoulders, especially if the event is held inside.

  • Pack hats, sunscreen, water, and as many layers of clothes as you can to prevent sunburn since the Audience is often held outside in the summer and Rome is very hot.

  • Men are permitted to wear hats throughout the duration of the audience

What Can You Wear at the Vatican City

Vatican Museums Dress Code
  • Dresses or skirts that cover one’s knees
  • Pants - trousers or mid-length shorts- that cover knees
  • Formal shirts
  • T Shirts without any offensive graphics
  • Tops that cover one’s shoulders
  • If you plan to wear a tank top or spaghetti, carry a shawl or cardigan to wrap it up
  • Although flip flops or sandals are not expressly prohibited, it’s better to wear covered shoes for the sake of formality
  • Exploring the Vatican Museums take a fair bit of walking, so stick to flat, comfortable shoes that are easy to walk in
  • Women may continue wearing hats, but men would have to take theirs off

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FAQ's Of Vatican Museum

Why is there a dress code for the Vatican?

    The Vatican, an independent city-state and the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, follows certain clothing codes in line with its religious traditions. Like many other faiths, the Vatican promotes modest attire and the covering of skin, reflecting its status as a religious institution. These regulations are observed throughout the city, emphasizing the significance of respectful and reverent dressing in this spiritual and historic location.

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