St. Peter's Basilica Dress Code

A Guide to the St. Peter’s Basilica Dress Code

St. Peter’s Basilica is the most important church in all of Christendom. Every year, millions of people visit the Basilica which can house up to 60,000 visitors. To visit the Basilica, everyone, including men, women, and children, must follow the St. Peter's Basilica Dress Code.

Why is There a Dress Code at St. Peter’s Basilica?

St. Peter's Basilica Dress Code

Roman Catholic Churches have always had a dress code, dating back to the earliest centuries. However, since the 1970s, the application of a dress code has loosened in most cases, especially for women. In the whole of Vatican City, the basic clothing guidelines are centered around modesty for both men and women. 

Since it is believed by Catholic tradition to be the burial site of St. Peter, the chief spiritual leader of Jesus and the first Bishop of Rome, St. Peter's Basilica is considered one of the holiest Catholic Churches in the world. For this reason, modest clothing and skin coverage are a must at the Basilica.

Visit St. Peter's Basilica

General Dress Code for All Visitors

All visitors are required to follow the dress code at St. Peter’s Basilica. Basic guidelines mandate that the knees and shoulders must be covered before entering the Church.

Dress Code at St. Peter’s Basilica | A Break Down

There is a dress code for St. Peter’s Basilica that must be followed by all visitors, irrespective of age or gender. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the dress code before your visit.

St. Peter's Basilica Dress Code

Dress Code for Mass

During mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, men and women are required to cover their knees and shoulders. Men can wear trousers and shirts, while women can wear long skirts or dresses, both of which must cover the knees. 

Women are allowed to wear hats for mass, however, men must take their hats off before entering the Church.

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St. Peter's Basilica Dress Code

Dress Code for Men

Consider leaving the ripped jeans and sweatpants at home. You can't even wear a baseball cap or any other type of hat inside, so don't carry one. Trousers and shirts are good examples of complete clothing that cover the majority of your body.

Getting around Rome during the summer months can be difficult. During summer, men are allowed to wear shorts, as long as the knee-length is observed. Linen trousers and t-shirts are also acceptable.

St. Peter's Basilica Dress Code

Dress Code for Women

Vatican City adheres to the same modesty standards for both men and women. However, there are some occasions when women must adhere to a specific dress code. According to the St. Peter's Basilica Dress Code, women are not permitted to wear sleeveless tops, crop tops, or tight shirts. Shoulders should be covered, and if wearing a skirt or dress, it must cover the knees.

It is usually a good idea for women to bring a shawl and a pair of leggings when visiting during the colder months, as well as a light jacket that can be rolled up into a pleasingly tiny bag.

St. Peter's Basilica Dress Code

Dress Code for Children

Children have no formal dress code, but in the summer, you may want to cover their arms to protect them from the sun. A decent pair of trousers with a t-shirt for boys and a knee-covering summer dress for girls would be ideal during the summer months. 

In the winter, make sure they have something warm to wear. St. Peter's Basilica can be particularly chilly in the winter.

Handy Tips

St. Peter's Basilica Dress Code

What to Wear to St. Peter’s Basilica

Shirts or blouses that cover your shoulders: Plain t-shirts, formal shirts, or full-sleeved blouses or tops are permitted. 

Trousers or skirts that cover your knees: Pants that cover your knees and long skirts or dresses can be worn inside the Basilica. 

Flat shoes: Go for flat shoes or sneakers. Don’t wear heels, open sandals, or flip-flops, as it is a sacred area. 

Loose clothing: Visitors are encouraged to wear clothes that are casual and loose-fitting.

Weather-appropriate clothes: In summer, loose linens will work, however, sweaters & jackets are a good choice for winters.

St. Peter's Basilica Dress Code

What Not to Wear to St. Peter’s Basilica

Sleeveless shirts or tops: Avoid wearing anything sleeveless or with straps or anything too tight.

Low-cut tops: Low-cut tops or crop tops that expose your chest or stomach are strictly forbidden.

Shorts or skirts that are above the knee: Do not wear mini-skirts or shorts that don’t cover your knees.

Obscene or offensive tattoos: If you have any offensive tattoos, make sure you cover them up before you head into the Church.

Hats: Hats are allowed for women but men have to take them off before entering the Basilica.

What To Do If You're Not Dressed According to the St. Peter’s Basilica Dress Code? 

If you find yourself not dressed according to the St. Peter’s Basilica dress code then you can quickly go to a variety of shops nearby like Tommy Hilfiger or Plaza 43. You will find lots of clothes that are in keeping with the dress code of the Basilica.

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All Youe St. Peter's Basilica Dress Code Questions Answered

Q. Is there a dress code to enter St. Peter’s Basilica?

A. Yes, there is a dress code that visitors need to follow to enter St. Peter’s Basilica.

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

A. The St. Peter's Basilica dress code is very strict. People who are found breaking the rules and codes of decent dressing are not permitted to enter the Church.

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

A. You can wear trousers, long skirts, long dresses, and shirts & tops covering the shoulders on your visit to St. Peter’s Basilica.

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

A. The dress code for St. Peter’s is very simple. Both men and women must cover their knees and upper arms as a basic rule.

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

A. If you are not dressing according to the guidelines at St. Peter’s Basilica, you can go to nearby shops like Plaza 43 and buy cheap yet decent clothing keeping in mind the St. Peter’s Basilica Dress Code.

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

A. Children are also required to follow the dress code at St. Peter’s Basilica. A decent pair of pants and a t-shirt for boys and a long summer dress for girls would be sufficient in the summer. In the winter, make sure they have something warm to wear.

Q. Where can I buy appropriate clothes for St. Peter’s Basilica?

A. You can find many clothing stores around the city where you can pick up a poncho or any other item of your choice to wear to St. Peter’s Basilica.

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

A. T-shirts are acceptable, as long as they have no offensive text or images printed on them.

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

A. Yes. You can wear a skirt to St. Peter’s Basilica as long as it falls below the knee.

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

A. Yes. You can wear jeans inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Make sure they're simple with no distracting patterns or strategic ripping.

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

A. A long and simple dress that covers the shoulders and knees is permitted inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Short dresses, straps, and the like are not allowed.

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

A. Yes. You can wear shorts inside St. Peter’s Basilica as long as they cover your knees.

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

A. Simple dress, trousers, shirts, and any other clothes that can cover both your knees and shoulders can work for mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.

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

A. Wear flat shoes or sneakers inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Avoid wearing high heels, flip-flops, and open sandals.