Vatican City

Vatican Dress Code

Vatican Dress Code | Know How to Dress for Your Visit to the Vatican
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About 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.

Vatican Dress Code

Vatican City
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 For Men
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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Dress Code For Women
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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Dress Code For Children
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

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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

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What Can You Wear at the Vatican

Vatican City
  • 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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Why is there a dress code for the Vatican?

The Roman Catholic Church's headquarters are located in the Vatican, an independent city-state. Because the Vatican is a religious state, there are clothing codes in place throughout the whole city. Similar to how other faiths have doctrines regulating suitable apparel, they support modest clothes and skin covering as a religious institution.

Can I wear jeans to the Vatican?

Full length jeans are allowed in the Vatican, but the Vatican dress code prohibits jeans that have rips in them.

Are backpacks allowed in the Vatican?

While smaller bags can be taken inside the Vatican City, large backpacks are not allowed.

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

Yes, one can wear shirts to the Vatican, although it’d be wise to wear ones without any loud graphic or religious writing on them.

Can I wear a hat while visiting the Vatican?

Wearing a hat at the Vatican is deemed ‘bad manners’; visitors will be expected to take off their hats while entering the city premises,

How strict is the Vatican dress code?

The Vatican dress code is a strict mandate that has to be followed at all costs. If you do not adhere to the dress code and are dressed inappropriately, the guards have the power to deny you admission to the city and its attractions.

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