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Castel Sant’Angelo

Updated: March 9, 2023

Located right down the road from Vatican City, Castel Sant’Angelo is one of the most popular landmarks in all of Rome.

This post provides all the information you need to visit the historic building and its museum, including ticket prices, operational hours, and opportunities to save money.


This historic location was originally built to be a tomb for Emperor Hadrian and his family and it was finished in 139 AD.

Despite its original purpose, Castel Sant’Angelo was almost immediately converted into a military building.

Several centuries later, a corridor would be built to connect the castle with Vatican City so that the Pope could escape in the event of an emergency.

In 1527, Pope Clement VII actually used this building as a refuge during sieges that were taking place in Rome.

Today, visitors are welcome to enter the castle and look around at the many exhibits available in their museum. 


Most people will need to pay admission to get into Castel Sant’Angelo, but there are ways to save money on these tickets or even get in for free.

Check out the discounts section below for more details.


This section lists the multiple ways you can find discounted or free entry into Castel Sant'Angelo.

Tourist Attraction Discount Passes

Castel Sant'Angelo skip-the-line tickets are included with the purchase of several tourist attraction discount passes:

These passes work by bundling together ticket entry fees to several popular attractions and tours in Rome for one discounted price. They can save you up to 55%.

Learn about which discount pass can save you the most with our full comparison post.

Domenica al Museo

On the first Sunday of every month, some of the most famous landmarks in Rome open their doors to all visitors for free.

This is an excellent chance to see Castel Sant’Angelo without having to pay any money.

That said, you can usually expect a much larger crowd than usual on this day.

Youth / Children Discount

The museum is free for all visitors under 18 years old. 

Military Discount

Unfortunately, we could not find any military discounts for Castel Sant'Angelo.


The following section provides all the details you need to plan a trip to Castel Sant’Angelo.

We include information such as how to get there, what the hours are, how much time to spend, and what to expect. 

How to Get Here

Castel Sant’Angelo is located just a few blocks from St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican, right alongside the River Tiber.

Regardless of how you get here, we recommend using this Google Maps link for directions.

Where is Castle Santangelo

It should be fairly easy to walk here from many different places in Rome, but anyone looking for an easier method should consider one of the following options.


Rome’s metro service provides a stop roughly 7-8 blocks North of the landmark, but they also have bus stops right outside the castle (Crescenzio/Orazio).

If you want to take the metro, make sure to get off at either the Lepanto or Ottaviano stations.

Be sure to read our guide on how to use Rome’s Metro and bus services.

Hop-on-Hop-off Bus:

Several Roman bus tours offer a stop right next to the Ponte Sant’Angelo, a bridge across the river that will take you directly to the castle. 

Best Times to Visit

Castel Sant’Angelo is actually open every day of the week. They also offer pretty long opening hours to accommodate as many visitors as possible.

Opening Hours: 9 am - 7:30 pm

Popular weekday times at Castel Sant'Angelo. Image Source:

As with most attractions in Rome, this landmark is particularly popular in the middle of the day.

Thankfully, crowds are much more reasonable during both the morning and the evening.

To be specific, the best time to come is between 9 am - 11 am and 6 pm - 7:30 pm.

Popular times on weekends at Castel Sant'Angelo. Image Source:

In addition to this factor, it’s worth noting that not as many people come to see Castel Sant’Angelo during the beginning of the week.

This historic site is much more popular on the weekends, so it probably makes more sense to visit on a weekday. 

What to Expect

With 7 levels of exhibits and other things to see, it’s easy to spend a lot of time wandering around Castel Sant’Angelo.

That being said, most people won’t spend an entire day here.

Castel Sant'Angelo in the Day

While some visitors will only stay for about an hour or so, a majority of people will spend at least 2 hours here.

Coat Room

There is no cloakroom to keep large bags inside Castel Sant'Angelo.

If you don't want to drag luggage with you over multiple levels, why not store your belongings in one of these convenient luggage storage locations?

Nearby Attractions

With a history dating back to 139 AD, it should be no surprise that Castel Sant’Angelo is very close to many popular attractions in Rome.

Here is a list of other nearby points of interest: 

NOTE: Many of these sites are included in our self-guided walking tour of Rome. If you want to find more places to visit, consider taking a Rome walking tour.


There are several interesting exhibits and things to see at Castel Sant’Angelo.

This section will cover some of the more popular attractions and rooms to visit while you’re here.

Castel Sant'Angelo at Night

Terrace of the Angel

This is the roof of Castel Sant’Angelo, where you will be able to get a good look at the statue of the Archangel St. Michael.

While on the terrace, you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy one of the best views in Rome.

Papal Rooms

There are several historic rooms in Castel Sant’Angelo that were once designed for use by popes such as Clement VII.

Today, they house popular exhibits with paintings, frescoes, and other decorations.

The Prisons

There was a time when this castle was actually used to house prisoners, and you can still see the prison cells to this day.

As with most of the other rooms in the building, you will find various paintings and other exhibits on display.

The Armory

For many years, Castel Sant’Angelo was actually used as a military base.

The armory located on the fourth floor is still accessible, although it has changed a lot over the years due to necessary repairs.

The Bastions

Originally developed to give the castle a more defensive appearance, these platforms are now accessible via the second floor.

Visitors can enjoy an excellent view of the River Tiber from both the St. Matthew Bastion and the San Giovanni Bastion.

Hall of the Urns

This is considered to be one of the most sacred places in Castel Sant’Angelo, as it was once used to house the remains of the imperial family.

Although it no longer serves that function, it’s still a very interesting room in the castle.


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: March 9th, 2023
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