How to Visit the Vatican

Tips to Save Time and Money while Avoiding the Big Crowds

Author: The Traveling Professor/Friday, February 19, 2016/Categories: Italy

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The Traveling Professor has been to the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Basilica over 20 times.  I have done it the wrong way, and I have done it the right way.  Read my blog post for my best tips on visiting the Vatican.

Plan Ahead:  I suggest making plans to visit the Vatican 60 days before your visit.

Get a Reservation for a Self Guided Tour:  The most popular reservation is the Vatican and Sistine Chapel.   You can reserve the self-guided tour (16 euro plus 5 euro for the audio guide plus reservation fee).  No waiting in line is required for this reservation.  However, if you do wish to visit the Basilica, you will need to wait in line.

Reservation for Guided Tour with Exclusive Guide:  This is a much better option in that the guided tour is more informative, PLUS you will not need to wait in line to get into the Basilica.  Cost is an additional 15.50 euros over the self-guided tour.

Don't Get Ripped Off:  Don't buy tickets from agencies or scalpers.  Only buy tickets directly at the Vatican box office or at the official Vatican website: http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do?action=booking

If you do not have a reservation, the worst thing you can do is go early to beat the crowds.  Everyone else thinks the same way.  The lightest lines are weekdays, in the afternoons.  However, each year the Vatican announces Friday night openings in the Fall where crowds are extremely light and no reservation is needed.

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