The Vatican Museums – How to beat the queues

When in Rome, everyone eventually heads for the Vatican City and this is where you will find St Peter’s Square and The Vatican Museums.

Vatican Museum
Vatican Museum exit

Pope Julius II founded the Vatican Museums in the early 16th century and the museums contain many works of art that the popes have collected over the years. Most people visit to see the Sistine Chapel with its ceiling painted by Michelangelo and it is magnificent, however, it’s a very busy place and you can’t hope to spend any time looking at the exhibits because you will find yourself swept along with the vast crowds, as you catch a fleeting glance of the passing masterpieces.

How to beat the Vatican Museums Queues

So, you have decided to visit The Vatican Museums, which is great, but the queue is likely to be very long. On my recent visit to The Vatican Museums in August 2016 the queue was about 200 metres long. I walked straight past this huge queue and walked straight in! Why waste time queuing in 35C summer heat when it’s easy to beat the queue?

We paid 33 Euros each for the Vatican Museums and audio guide ticket, however, we didn’t use the audio guide and you can save 7 Euros if you don’t get the guide. You can buy official Vatican Museum tickets online or pay at the museum and the cost is 16 Euros plus a 4 Euro booking fee. Beat the queue tickets are twice as much as tickets bought at the museum but take my word for it, they are well worth it to avoid the very long queue.

Where to buy ‘beat the queue’ Vatican Museums tickets?

Always buy your beat the queue Vatican Museums tickets from an official vendor. As you walk around the Vatican City you will be approached by many people wanting to sell you tickets. Stay clear of these sellers. Although many appear to wear official lanyards and badges you can’t be sure that you are buying from an honest retailer. Instead, buy online before you arrive in Rome.

We bought our tickets online for The Vatican Museums before we travelled and the website we bought the ticket from can be found here. This company are an official Vatican ticket supplier but there are several more official retailers.

Other information about The Vatican Museums

No shorts, bare shoulders or miniskirts. This applies to both males and females. Even if you get through security, you will be turned away by the attendants at the door. Although this is the official rule I saw many people wearing shorts and they were allowed in. It might have been because the weather was over 35C.

Pushchair’s are permitted in the Museums.

It is forbidden to use flash photography inside the Museums and no photography at all in the Sistine Chapel.

It is forbidden to touch works of art.

Just a few of my photos of The Vatican Museums.

Spiral staircase at the Vatican Museum
Spiral staircase at the Vatican Museum
Vatican Museum
Vatican Museum
Vatican Museums Gardens
Vatican Museums Gardens, Vatican City

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