The Vatican is one of the most visited sites in Rome. It is not only the smallest state in the world but also the home of the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope. The state also has some of the most priced classical sculptures within its museums. Renaissance art lovers will have a great time here witnessing the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo’s. Let us discuss the best ways to enter and enjoy the Vatican.
When to go?
The Vatican is almost a full house around the year. Your best bet for a quieter atmosphere is on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Weekends are heavily crowded and Wednesday is mostly jammed by the Papal Audience. The St. Peter’s Basilica is also closed until the papal audience is over. The winter low season is the best time to visit the Vatican as they are less crowded. Also, it is more packed in the mornings as the majority of tour groups try to beat the line by visiting the Vatican early. Travelers from Italy and other parts of Europe mostly visit the museums on Saturdays. You should avoid a visit in summers as the Vatican is as crowded as it is at Christmas.
What to see?
Saint Peter’s Basilica is the most visited place in the Vatican. The Vatican Museums also gain a lot of attention due to the beautiful pieta, a sculpture by Michelangelo, and the Sistine Chapel. You can easily visit both locations in a single day. Keep the itinerary tight as you be will be exhausted after visiting these Museums.
Book tickets online
The Vatican Museums usually witness a 3-hour long line for tickets. It’s better to book Vatican Museum tickets online through the official Vatican Website. You will get your tickets at the ticket office outside the Museums. The attendants will only allow entrance inside the Museums after scanning a barcode on a printed ticket. Even though you have to pay 4 more Euros to book tickets online yet the time you save is priceless.
The Vatican has pretty strict clothing standards that should be followed by every person entering its gates. It has several clothing guidelines which cannot be compromised even for the Pope. You are not allowed to wear shorts or tank tops. Men are advised to wear shorts that cover their knees with t-shirts. Women are expected to wear longer dresses or pants and should cover their shoulders at all times.
There are plenty of shops outside the Vatican which sell scarves and longer shorts.
Ditch the restaurants
The cafes and restaurants inside the Vatican are underwhelming and overpriced. They serve sub-standard food to tourists who pay hefty amounts for a quick snack. We advise you to eat outside the Museums before you start your exploration.
The Vatican is well connected to roads and you won’t have any difficulty in reaching there. Keep your ears and eyes open and do not perform any prohibited activity. Do not be sluggish or you will miss out on many hidden gems located inside the Vatican.