Vatican on Your Own or Guided Tour

Visit the Vatican on your own or choose an excursion? We tell secrets and share tips on what to see in the smallest state in the world in one day by yourself, and what to do with a guide.

Vatican Museums: Self Guided Tour

When planning an independent trip to the Vatican or a hike on an excursion, first of all, you should know that in the Vatican State (in Italian: Stato Della Città del Vaticano) only two doors are open for tourists: the Vatican Museums (in Italian Musei Vaticani) and the Cathedral St. Peter (in Italian Basilica di San Pietro) - visiting the country inside from other entrances for ordinary tourists is prohibited, but there are secrets, which we will write about later.

The Vatican Museums are one of the largest treasuries of world values, which will not only interest but also surprise with its richest collection of art collections located in it.  

There are many interesting rooms here that will appeal to both adults and children, so you can safely plan a family trip.

How to get to the Vatican Museums free

The entrance to the Vatican Museums is paid for and tickets are not cheap enough.

But there is one day in each calendar month when you can save on entrance tickets and get to the Vatican Museums completely free. This day is the last Sunday of the month.

On a free Sunday, there will be a lot of people wishing to get to the Vatican Museums, and before entering the long-awaited museum, you will have to stand in a long queue. 

Therefore, it is up to you to save on entrance tickets or buy tickets.

Vatican Museums tickets: buy at the box office or book online 

The best way to get to the Vatican Museums quickly and comfortably is to buy tickets in advance at the online Vatican Museums ticket office, allowing you to enter the Vatican Museums without a queue, at a specific time. 

If your trip to Rome and the Vatican coincided with the high tourist season, then we advise you to use the advice above! At this time, in front of the entrance to the Vatican Museums, there are long lines for tickets at the box office and without a reserved ticket you can stand in such lines for hours. 

Saint Piter's Basilica

It is best to leave the Cathedral and St. Peter's Square in the Vatican "for a snack" and go after visiting the Vatican Museums, or go early in the morning, while there is no queue.

The entrance to St. Peter's Basilica is completely free and without tickets, so there is almost always a long queue at the entrance.

Opening hours of Saint Peter's Basilica:

from October 1 to March 31/ 7.00 am - 6.30 pm
from April 1 to September 30/ 7.00 am - 7.00  pm

Climbing Saint Peter's dome in the Vatican City

Ticket price:
551 steps on foot - € 8.00
lift and 320 steps on foot - € 10.00
Working hours:
from October 1 to March 317.30 am - 5.00 pm
from April 1 to September 307.30 am - 5.00 pm

When visiting the Vatican, you must follow the dress code: covered shoulders, as well as shorts and skirts, should not be higher than the knees.

It is not recommended to take with you: glassware, long umbrellas, tripods, large backpacks and bags, pocket knives and scissors - all these things will have to be left in the storage room.

Site: vatican.va

We figured out a little about the cost of tickets and where to buy them, now is the time to decide whether you will visit the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica yourself or go on a guided tour. Today, there are many guides to museums, more or less good, but be prepared that you will need to read a lot, a lot, as the museum is HUGE!  

Vatican Museums & St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

Going on a group tour of the Vatican Museums, you do not need to worry about anything: tickets to the Vatican Museums with skip-the-line tickets are bought by the agency, and the guide carefully thinks out the program, text and route of the tour of the most interesting galleries and halls in the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica. The pros are obvious!

The duration of a group tour of the Vatican museums is 2.5 hours - the optimal time for the perception and assimilation of new information. And all the guides are professionals who love their job. 

If you don't like tour with a group, book a private tour of the Vatican Museums. During such a tour, the guide will be able to build a tour program of the Vatican museums focusing on your personal interests and hobbies, and will also answer all questions and tell many secrets about the Vatican State.  

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