What are the Biggest Mistakes You Make When Visiting Vatican City? How to Avoid These

Are you planning a tour to the Vatican. It can be tempting to just jump in with so many sights to see. Each year thousands flock to Vatican City in order to see one of the most important religious sites in the country. The summer months see numbers rise to the tens in thousands. They are particularly high on Mondays, and the last Saturday of each month. It’s important to plan ahead, as there is so much to take in.

What to do while visiting the Vatican

The Vatican is the most important site in Rome. It requires the most planning and attention. Planning a trip to Holy City can be confusing.

It’s well worth it, we promise!

We’ve put together a list of the most common mistakes made when visiting the Vatican. And how to avoid them.

For expert tips and tricks on how to navigate the vast collection of art, history and architecture, make sure you take a look at our guide to the Vatican Museums before you go.

1. Mid-day arrival

The Vatican’s ticket lines often run around the walls.

The Vatican can host up to 20,000 visitors per day. It’s best not to go too late as ticket lines can often snake around the walls. We recommend that you get there as soon as the doors open to avoid delays. The Vatican is easy to reach, so you don’t need to spend hours planning your route. You can either take Bus 49 to the Vatican Museums entrance or hop on the Metro (Line A), and get off at Ottaviano, Battistini, both approximately 10 minutes walk from the Vatican Museums.

You could also plan a visit later on in the day if the crowds are smaller and the heat is down. You could also plan a visit later in the day, when the crowds have thinned out (and – if you’re visiting during the summer – the heat has cooled down).

2. Avoid buying tickets in advance

Book your tickets to the Vatican in advance or risk hours of queueing

You should buy your tickets in advance if you plan to visit the Vatican. This is best done on the website.

When should you buy your tickets? It is best to book your tickets as soon as possible. This will make it easier to plan the rest of your trip. Sometimes you may be able to find availability the next day. Sometimes they are sold out for the whole month. Don’t risk it.

PSST! Take the Official Pristine Sistine(tm), Tour to get a more exclusive tour of the Vatican Museums.


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3. Inappropriate dress

Don’t get caught out! There is a dress code for visitors to the Vatican

It’s been a while since you were allowed inside the Vatican. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t look the part. It is a strictly enforced dress code by the Vatican, but it is easy to follow once you understand what to avoid.

According to the official website, only “appropriately dressed” visitors will be permitted entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. It is stated that hats, shorts, sleevesless, and low-cut clothing are not acceptable. This is especially true if you visit during summer when temperatures can soar in Rome. It can also be left up to the interpretation of guards at the entrance during the day.

Our advice: Cover your shoulders and knees at least. Choose lightweight fabrics and bring a scarf or wrap to cover yourself. You can take it off later in the day if it gets too warm. Be aware of offensive slogans and graphics on clothing. While you might not find them offensive, you should be cautious if they are inappropriate for a religious website.

Read more: How to Travel Italy With Kids

4. Booking a tour is not necessary

For a complete experience, opt for a guided tour

We might be biased here, but we are still trying to help. Although it may be the smallest country on the planet, the Vatican covers 110 acres and has plenty to see, especially when you only visit once. There are approximately 1,400 rooms and chapels in the palace, as well as galleries and galleries that are filled with stunning architecture, incredible sculptures, and beautiful paintings. It can be difficult to decide what priorities to set.

If you don’t plan to do extensive research beforehand, it can be difficult to view these amazing pieces without context. It can feel a bit like reading a map without a legend. It’s worth spending the time to find out what tours are available.

We ( Walks of Italy) are happy to help! There are many Vatican tours available, including the early-access Pristine Sistine Tour(tm), which includes breakfast. From a complete Complete Vatican Tour to the.

5. Try to see everything

Michelangelo’s Pietà at St. Peter’s Basilica

This is a good alternative to booking a tour. People who visit museums alone often rush through them trying to squeeze everything in. This is not a test, so don’t try and cram. This is not only a bad strategy for recognizing the true beauty of the Vatican, but it will also make your visit stressful.

You should spend some time exploring the iconic Vatican parts, such as Michelangelo’s Pieta In St. Peter’s Basilica, and of course the ceiling of Sistine Chapel.

There are hidden gems in the Vatican, however, that are well worth your time. You can determine what your interests are and then divide your time accordingly. Most people skip the Borgia Apartments, but if you are a history buff or just a fan the Showtime series, this is one you should see! ).

Continue reading: Do you like the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel’s Sistine Chapel? These are the ones you will love.

6. Avoid peak season

Opt for a guided tour to ensure you can skip the lines at the Vatican

This is sometimes necessary. If you can arrange your visit outside of peak season. You will find it easier to visit the Vatican without crowds and also make it easier to adhere the dress code as the temperature drops. For a more tranquil atmosphere, plan a winter visit to Eternal City between October and Mid December. Or February to March before summer starts.

Similar to the previous, it is worth noting that every Wednesday there is a Papal audience. This ticketed event, where the Pope addresses St. Peter’s Square, with a speech and blessings, can draw thousands of people, is a ticketed one. St. As a result, St. It’s a good idea to remember the general Vatican schedule when planning your visit. This brings us to…

7. Go on Sunday…or Monday

A visit to Castle St. Angelo makes a great addition to the Vatican

The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are closed on Sundays, except for the last Sunday of each month when they are open. This might be a good thing if you are on a limited budget. However, it can also mean that it is much busier and you may end up spending hours waiting to get in.

Many museums in Rome close on Mondays. This makes museums that are open, such as the Vatican, particularly popular. The Castel Sant’Angelo, which is located above the Tiber River, is one of the many attractions that closes on Monday. It is a striking fortress that is rich in history, but can be accessed within an hour. The location is close enough to make it a perfect pairing with a Vatican visit. Instead, you can use Monday to visit an hidden attraction in Rome and the Vatican for Tuesday-Friday.

Continue reading 12 other things to do in Rome

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