The Vatican City in Rome, Italy is worth making the visit to if your in Rome. Not only does it hold several interesting sites but it’s also it’s own country. At the Vatican City you can visit the museum, St. Peter’s Church, and wander around the square. I’ve included some helpful tips to help you make the most of your time.
To get to the Vatican from the main Rome area you can either take the metro, taxi, bus, or walk. We took the metro there and then walked back. Before we headed out walking we stopped at the USO to get a lunch recommendation and they sent up to an amazing Italian restaurant just up the street! On the walk back we to seen the outside of Castel St. Angelo, sat on the bridge area for a break, and stopped at a grocery store to get some snacks on the way.
If you plan on visiting the Vatican museum purchase your tickets online ahead of time. The prices were €16 per adult, per child €8 PLUS €4 pre booking fee online per person. The online booking fee is worth it to avoid the LONG lines at the museums. It was €76 for our family of 5 (3 adults & 2 kids). I had printed out the reservation and once was arrived we were able to walk to the front of the line and enter through the doors with no wait. They even let us in 15 mins before our scheduled time.
We just went to the window and showed our voucher and they gave us tickets. Super easy and fast!
You can chose to get an audio guide (for a fee), wander yourself, or use a book like we did. We used Rick Steve’s Rome book and did his self guided tour. We took his recommendation of NOT getting an audio guide so that we could take the ‘shortcut’ over to St. Peter’s church instead of having to leave the museum and get in a long line to get back into the church area through security. If you get his book it has all the information in it, it was the best time saver for us!
The museum itself was good if you like museums, we did a quick tour through hitting the highlights. Your allowed to take photos in the museum without flash.
The main thing to see is the Sistine Chapel and the painted ceilings. Note they are serious about the NO photography in the Sistine Chapel and we seen them asking people to leave who were caught. Also know that the Sistine Chapel area is a good hike from the museum area, I had no idea it was that long of a walk. The above photo is from the long walk to the Sistine Chapel, so while your not able to take photos in there, there are other painted ceiling areas that you can take photos of. Note the walkway area to the Sistine Chapel is often a bit crowded with people.
There are restrooms throughout the museum and even an cafeteria area as well.
If you use Rick Steve’s tip you’ll avoid going through the crowds back into the museum. Instead you’ll continue onto a passage way to St. Peter’s church where you won’t have to go through security again.
You’ll pass by the tower of St. Peter’s Church where you can pay €5 to walk to the top if desired. We already had lots of walking planned for the day so we skipped the climb to the top of the tower.
Entrance to the church is free and it’s quite a sight to see.
You can also go below and visit the crypts as well.
Overall there is quite a bit to see in the Vatican City area, and sitting in the square people watching is a great way to take a breather after all the walking.
Know Before You Go
What: Vatican City – Rome, Italy.
How To Get There: We took the Metro from the Termini and then walked to get there, on the way back we just walked the 25 mins back to our hotel area stopping at grocery stores and shops on the way.
Cost: Vatican Museum is €16 per adult and €8 per child. St. Peter’s Church is free to visit, it’s €5/per person to climb the tower if desired.
How long: Plan on at least 3-4 hours to visit the museum & St. Peter’s Church, more if you plan on grabbing lunch in the area.