Vatican City
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Vatican City: Tours & Tickets

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Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's

Duration: 3 hours
16758 Reviews
Likely to sell out
16758
Likely to sell out

Discover one of the most beautiful sites in the world on this fantastic 3-hour tour of the Vatican with skip-the-line access. Explore the Vatican…

Certified

Skip the Line: Vatican, Sistine & St Peter’s Small Group

Duration: 3 hours
6065 Reviews
Likely to sell out
6065
Likely to sell out

Skip the long lines at the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with exclusive no-wait access. On your small group tour, experience the best of the…

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What is Vatican City?

Vatican City – everyone’s heard about it, but what is it exactly? Is it a part of Rome, is it independent, are only priests allowed in? There are a lot of mysteries and misconceptions surrounding Vatican City, so here are 5 fascinating facts.

The smallest country in the world

With a tiny population of 842 and an area of 110 acres (roughly an eighth of New York’s Central Park), Vatican City is the world's smallest independent nation-state.

An economy without trade or taxes

As a completely non-commercial economy, all of Vatican City’s money comes from donations, museum admission fees, and the sale of postage stamps, books and tourist souvenirs.

A veritable culture treasure trove

Featuring the world-famous Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City is a highly popular tourist destination, attracting over 4 million visitors yearly.

Photo: Raja Patnaik @wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The pope has a secret escape tunnel

In 1277, a secret passageway was built between Vatican City and the nearby fortified castle Castel Sant’Angelo, providing an escape route for the pope if the city was attacked.

Those are not Harlequins

The colorfully dressed men standing in front of the city’s entrances are the famous Swiss Guards. Former mercenaries, they are now the permanent de facto army of Vatican City.

Vatican City: Our Tips

Best time of year to visit

Although Vatican City is extremely popular with tourists all year around, if you’re looking for a quieter visit, your best bet is during the low season between November and February.

Give yourself enough time

There is so much to see in Vatican City, make sure you’re not pressed for time. Importantly, if you want to see the Sistine Chapel, it’s essential that you enter the Vatican Museums before 3p.m. so you can reach the chapel before it closes.

Book a tour?

Although there is more than enough to take in as an individual visitor, those who want to learn about Vatican City’s rich history would benefit from one of the many excellent tours offered. There are public as well as private tours. Note that latter need to be booked well in advance.

See the pope

You’re unlikely to run into the pope on your visit to Vatican City. However, every Wednesday the pope holds a public audience on St. Peter’s Square in the summer and in the Audience Hall during winter. The audience starts at 10:30am, but most visitors arrive earlier to secure a good seat. Security opens between 8am and 8:30am.

Good to Know

  • When to visit
    365 days a year!
  • What is the price?
    Free to look at from the outside. Admission tickets vary.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Not compulsory, but recommended.
  • How to get there
    Taxi, bus, Metro, tram or by foot from Rome. Look here for more detailed directions.
  • Additional tips
    • Large bags are not allowed in the museums, so pack light!
    • There is often no air conditioning in the museums so make sure to dress accordingly and bring a bottle of water.

What People Are Saying About Vatican City

A great, engaging overview of the Vatican museums

Vincenzo was a fantastic tour guide. Engaging and lively, he told engrossing stories that kept our group eager to explore and not really bothered by the crowds. Our 11 year old loved the tour and Vincenzo's colorful storytelling. It was still a bit long for our 7 year old. Parents (and future tour guides) might benefit by asking younger children to find ("I spy") something in each room as they go along. The Sistine Chapel and St Peter's are on your own after the tour of the museum. We enjoyed a break at the coffee shop before hand, which the kids appreciated. It definitely pays to "skip the line" and take this tour!

Skip the Line: Vatican Highlights Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 11/14/2017

Alan, our driver and guide, made a wonderful job.

Alan´s perfect English and knowledge about Rome made a great impession to my family, incl. out grandchildren.

Very informational, personalized, & breathtaking!

Our guide was fantastic! She made us feel like we were just hanging out with a friend who was showing us around. She offered tons of interesting information & made sure to answer everyone's questions, which was very helpful! She gave us insight from a local perspective & valuable tips. She was so friendly & welcomed us to Rome in the best way!

My advise is to book the earliest time you can.

My visit was booked to go to the Vatican at 8:25 ..... go much earlier !!! Yes, the queue jump was brilliant but inside was already packed with so many people. If I was to go again I would book the very earliest you could.

A very relaxing tour hosted by a helpful & knowledgeable guide

Tour was an interesting easy to follow introduction to the Vatican museums. Significant artefacts as well as tapestry's were highlighted along the way, skip the line is what it means. Going in through security was quick and easy and tour guide was helpful to point out where to go for other tickets like top of the basilica dome. This was just as we were coming to the end of the Vatican tour, the line for the dome wasn't very long so after it had been highlighted a few of us took the opportunity to get tickets. 2 in 1 ticket was good value for money and voucher was easy to use. I would recommend and will look for get your guide now when going somewhere new and will definitely use it when i return to Rome.

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