St. Peter's Basilica Dress Code

Learn about the importance of St. Peter's Basilica Dress Code

St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City is the largest church in the world and one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Christianity. Due to its religious, historical, and architectural importance, millions of people from all over the globe visit St. Peter’s Basilica every year. However, a large number of them face difficulties in entering the Basilica primarily due to their attire. 

Since Vatican City is a holy destination, all of its landmarks, including St. Peter’s Basilica, follow a strict dress code for St Peter's basilica. All visitors, including men, women, and children, need to be dressed appropriately to gain access to the Vatican attractions. As a symbol of respect for the holy shrine, both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders at St. Peter's Basilica. If you fail to comply with the dress code for St. Peter's Basilica, you may be turned away from the entrance. 

Dress Code & Modesty Guidelines in St. Peter's Basilica

Since the establishment of St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican City has been considered one of the holiest sites in Christianity. It serves as the principal residence of the Pope and the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. As a result, Vatican City is an independent religious country with rigid norms governing correct human conduct, including clothing. Like any other holy city, it promotes modest skin-covering clothes. Locals and visitors are urged to dress appropriately, avoiding shorts and miniskirts in favour of long pants or long-sleeved shirts. These laws apply not only to St. Peter's Basilica but also to all of the city's major monuments.

The St. Peter's Basilica dress code is very strict. If visitors fail to adhere to it, the guards may even restrict them entry to the cathedral. Hence, it is best to dress appropriately beforehand to avoid any such inconveniences. In case you forget to bring modest clothing, you may shop for plastic cloaks available around the centre to cover your legs and shoulders.

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Attire guidelines for St. Peter’s Basilica

Dress Code for Mass

At St. Peter’s Basilica, masses are held daily till 5 PM. If you wish to attend one, ensure that you follow St. Peter’s Basilica dress code which requires all men and women to dress modestly and cover their shoulders and knees. The ideal attire for men is shirts and trousers while women can carry long skirts and dresses. Women can also carry hats to the mass but men are not allowed to do so.

Dress Code for Men

The dress code at St. Peter’s Basilica demands men to dress appropriately and modestly. It is forbidden to enter the church wearing ripped jeans, sweatpants, baseball caps, or other types of headgear. To visit St. Peter's Basilica, wear attire that covers most of your body, like trousers and a shirt. During the summer, men are allowed to wear knee-length shorts, t-shirts, and linen trousers.

Dress Code for Women

Like men, women also need to follow the dress code for St Peter’s Basilica. Sleeveless tops, tight shirts, and crop tops are prohibited at the church. According to St. Peter's Basilica dress code, women must keep their knees and shoulders covered at all times. Wearing knee-length skirts and dresses is preferable. During winters, women may also carry a shawl, a pair of leggings, or a light jacket to keep themselves warm.

Dress Code for Children

Unlike men and women, there is no formal dress code at St. Peter’s Basilica for children. However, it is advisable to dress your kids in a t-shirt and a good pair of trousers during the summer. For girls, a knee-length summer dress is an excellent option. Since the winters in Vatican City are rather cold, make sure you dress your kids in multiple layers of warm clothing.

Additional information on St. Peter's Dress Code

  • Wear shoulder-covering shirts and blouses, such as formal shirts, t-shirts, and full-sleeved tops. Sleeveless, cropped, or tight-fitting shirts are strictly prohibited.
  • Shirts with low necklines, as well as any other attire that exposes your chest and stomach, are not permitted inside the Basilica.
  • The Basilica allows trousers and knee-length skirts that cover your knees. Miniskirts and shorts that do not cover the knees are not permitted.
  • The church does not allow high heels, flip-flops, or open sandals. Instead, wear sneakers or flat shoes.
  • Visitors are recommended to dress casually in loose-fit clothes rather than in body-hugging clothes.
  • Wear linens in the summer to beat the heat.
  • Carry a jacket and a shawl or wear numerous layers of warm clothing during the cold months.
  • Kindly hide any tattoos that contain unsuitable symbols or words before entering the church.
  • While women are permitted to wear hats, men must remove them when visiting St. Peter's Basilica.


What should I wear to St. Peter’s Basilica?

The dress code at St. Peter’s Basilica requires all visitors to wear modest clothes that cover their shoulders and knees, like full-sleeve shirts, trousers, and knee-length dresses.

Read More: St. Peter's basilica Architecture

What is the dress code for St. Peter’s Basilica?

St. Peter’s Basilica dress code for men is t-shirts or full-sleeve shirts with trousers or knee-length shorts. For women, knee-length skirts, trousers, and shirts are permitted. Please note that crop tops, mini-skirts, sleeveless shirts and dresses, and tight-fitted clothes are not allowed. 

How strict is the dress code at St. Peter’s Basilica?

St. Peter’s Basilica dress code is highly stringent. Visitors who do not adhere to the dress code are not allowed to enter the church.

What is the dress code for children at St. Peter’s Basilica?

St. Peter’s Basilica does not have a formal dress code for children. However, they must be suitably dressed according to the weather. The ideal outfit for boys is a shirt and a pair of trousers. For girls, a knee-length dress is suitable to visit St. Peter’s Basilica.

 What do I wear for mass at St. Peter’s Basilica?

As long as your attire covers your knees, shoulders, chest, and stomach, it is appropriate to attend mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. A knee-length dress, shirt, and a pair of trousers are recommended dress options.

Also Checkout: St Peter's Basilica Dome

What kind of footwear is allowed inside St. Peter’s Basilica?

Flat shoes or sneakers are permitted inside St. Peter’s Basilica.

What do I do if I’m not dressed according to the guidelines at St. Peter’s Basilica?

If your attire doesn't follow St. Peter's Basilica guidelines, consider visiting nearby shops such as Plaza 43. There, you can find affordable yet suitable clothing that aligns with the dress code of the basilica

Also Read: St. Peter's basilica At Night

Can I wear a t-shirt to St. Peter’s Basilica?

T-shirts are permissible if they lack offensive text or images.

Can I wear a skirt to St. Peter’s Basilica?

Certainly, you're welcome to wear a skirt at St. Peter's Basilica, provided it extends below the knee.

Can I wear jeans to St. Peter’s Basilica?

Absolutely, jeans are allowed in St. Peter's Basilica. Opt for plain ones without distracting patterns or intentional distressing.

Can I wear shorts to St. Peter’s Basilica?

Indeed, wearing shorts within St. Peter's Basilica is acceptable if they extend to cover your knees.

What do I wear for mass at St. Peter’s Basilica?

For attending mass at St. Peter's Basilica, suitable options include modest dresses, trousers, shirts, and garments that cover both shoulders and knees.


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