We will be in Rome and definitely want to see the Vatican but want to avoid long lines. I heard this is an especially bad year. A friend of mine said we could show up there and look for people giving the guided tours. They take us right in. However, I see some people book online wiht tour companies months beforehand. Do you think just going there I could find a tour operator?
Do you want a tour or do you just want to avoid the lines? Based on some recommendations, I'm going to use a company called Rome Museum (I think that's what it is) and get an early admission to the Vatican... 8:15 AM before the mass of people is let in. However, this isn't a guided tour. THey do have those as well though. I've read pretty good reviews and I figure it is worth a few extra euros for this privilege.
Joyce: can you find that tour group you're talking about and post a link? There's no 'rome-museum.com' as was cited in the earlier post, and 'rome-museum' turns up too many hits when you try a search. i am curious about the early admission option.
Okay, i actually did manage to find it, but nowhere is there an option to book JUST early admission for the final sunday of a month (just tour fee, no admission cost). what's up with that?
Tamara, this company offers a booking time slot and "guided tours." If it's not a "Guided Tour" to the Vatican, then it's just entry (museum ticket included) which is around 23 euros versus 33 euros per/person for the guided tour.
We took the guided tour in May and felt like it was at least worth skipping the long line, even if the guided tour was so-so. I heard Romaround, strickly a tour company, does a nice job of the Vatican. Good Luck, go early, and have fun!
One other tour operator I can recommend is Angel tours Rome. You still have to queue but what they do is the guide stands in line and you go off for a coffee or gelati and rejoin the line when he/she is almost at the top of the queue. It's a very good tour and quite inexpensive compared to many others. The last Sunday is 'free admission' day so that is why you pay tour fee and no admission. As you can imagine it gets very crowded.
Tamara- It is my understanding that the last Sunday of every month is free admission day.