Pope Francis holds a Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square every Wednesday morning at 10:30 am that usually runs 60-90 minutes. During the winter months, they are held in the Paul VI Hall, and occasionally at the Pope’s summer residence, Castel Gandolfo.
The Vatican website has an up-to-date schedule informing about the location the audience takes place.
The Pope greets pilgrims in his audience in every major language and then gives a series of small teachings and readings in Italian. In the end, the Pope prays with those in attendance and gives the Apostolic Blessing.
Tickets for the audience are always free, but you’ll need to get them in advance.
The easiest way to pick up your ticket is to get them from the Swiss Guards at the Bronze Doors (located just after security at St Peter’s Basilica) on the Tuesday before the audience between the hours of 15:00-19:00 (from 15:00-18:00 in winter) or Wednesday morning before the mass. The tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis and are only available for that week’s audience.
You can, however, also reserve your ticket online.
The Vatican issues more tickets than seats for the Papal Audience, so arrive early to get a good seat. Aim to be there around 7:00 before the doors officially open at 8:00. Once the square is full, access will be denied to all, including ticket holders.
Be aware to dress appropriately, meaning shoulders and knees must be covered for men, women, and children.
Another opportunity to see the Pope is at his weekly Angelus on Sunday mornings at 12:00 noon, when Pope Francis speaks from the window of the papal apartments at St. Peter’s Square. This is a more informal gathering, and you will not need to reserve tickets. The event usually lasts around 15 minutes.