The two main entrances to Vatican City for tourists are A) the Vatican Museums, accessible from Viale Vaticano on the North side of the city state and B) St. Peter's Basilica, on the Southeast side of the city and accessible from Via della Conciliazione. St. Peter's Basilica is open usually from 7-7. The Vatican Museums is open to the public from 9 AM - 4 PM Monday - Saturday. Visitors can stay inside until 6 PM. The Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays except for the last Sunday of each month when it is open from 9-12:30. Visitors can stay inside until 2 PM. Take note that this day is usually extremely busy so it is preferable to visit another day if you are able to afford it.
While guidebooks do their best to provide an aid for viewing the collections inside the Vatican, a guided tour is a far better way to make sure you get the most out of your visit.
Guided tours are provided by the Vatican itself for the cost of 30.00 Euro. These may be requested in advance by fax from one month to one week before the requested tour date, or online from two months before the requested tour date. The Vatican is notorious for failing to reply via fax, and repeat requests are often necessary. Full details on booking such tours are available at (http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN...)