Known as Hadrian’s Tomb, Castel Sant’Angelo is a massive ancient mausoleum on the right bank of the river Tiber, not far from the Vatican, which was used by the Popes as a castle where they could hide in the event of a military attack or in times of political unrest. It could be reached by a walkway leading to the Vatican. The Castel Sant’Angelo is a fascinating example of the constant reuse of an ancient Roman building over the centuries. Originally an immense family tomb, it was then integrated with the defensive city walls (in the late 3rd century) and it eventually became a fortified place of refuge for the Popes, which was also used as a military barracks and a high-security prison until 1901. A tour of Castel Sant’Angelo will reveal all of its secrets, as well as its amazing history over the ages.
There are only two daily guided tours in English and in Italian, so it is a good idea to to reserve a spot in advance! Groups are small, made up of a maximum of 15 people, and visit several locations in the castle which aren’t on the main itinerary. There are guided tours available which take you to some areas of the castle not open to other tourists, such as the Passetto del Borgo (the Pope’s private passageway to St Peter’s Basilica), areas of the historic prisons, and the elaborately decorated Stufetta (or bathroom) of Clement VII. If you have the time and are able to book a guided tour then you will definitely have a great time! As another option, you can download the audio guide app, which is available in 7 languages and provides more context for the exhibits.
You must be sure to climb to the top of the building to admire the amazing view over the centre of Rome and to see the bronze statue of the angel, which refers to the legendary apparition that gave the castle its name. Your tour might also include a walk along the special raised walkway leading from the Vatican that features in the film based on Dan Brown’s novel ‘Angels & Demons’.
Overlook the Tiber from this iconic mausoleum-turned-museum
As low as
njoy a hassle-free entry ticket to the ancient Roman Sant’Angelo Castle. Skip all lines and admire the famous mausoleum's Renaissance paintings and majestic statues, plus its panoramic view of Rome.
As low as
Beat the queue and see the ancient tomb of Hadrian
As low as
Explore Castel Sant'Angelo with fast-track access and learn the history of its ancient fortress from your guide. Be impressed by the walls and statues before taking in stunning views of the city.
As low as
Decode the riddles of Rome in the heart of the Eternal City on a half-day tour of the locations from the “Angels and Demons” novel and movie. Discover a secret passage unused for many centuries, who the Illuminati were, and much more.
As low as
Explore the best-preserved mausoleum of ancient Rome and its one-of-a-kind treasures on a private guided tour with skip-the-line entry to Castel Sant'Angelo. Enjoy views from the castle's terrace.
As low as
This distinctive cylindrical building that towers over the right bank of the River Tiber was originally commissioned by the Emperor Hadrian as a tomb for himself and the members of his dynasty. He also had the bridge constructed across the Tiber that still leads to Castel Sant’Angelo. It was then converted by the Popes into an impregnable fortress, which they also used as a luxurious Renaissance residence.
Castel Sant’Angelo was built in 135–139 C.E. and then converted into a massive fortress, starting in around the 5th century. The main structure is almost 1,900 years old.
The Emperor Hadrian commissioned the building as a monumental mausoleum for himself, where the members of his family and the emperors of the Antonine dynasty would also be buried.
Useful information for your visit to Castel Sant’Angelo.
Castel Sant’Angelo is located on the pedestrian road known as Lungotevere Castello, at the eastern end of via della Conciliazione, a few metres from St. Peter’s Square. The address is: Lungotevere Catello, 50.
Castel Sant’Angelo is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday 9 am – 7.30 pm
Castel Sant’Angelo is closed to visitors on the 1st of January, the 1st of May and the 25th of December.
To reach Castel Sant’Angelo you can travel by:
Metro: take the Metro line B to Colosseo, and you will come out directly opposite the building (click to see our guide to the Metro)
Bus: Municipal bus numbers 23, 34, 40, 49, 62, 64, 87, 280, 492, 982 and 990 will all take you very close to Castel Sant’Angelo
Taxi: an effective way to get around Rome (click to see our guide to taxis in Rome)
Limo service (NCC): (click to see our guide to limo services in Rome)