We will be in Rome during the last week of September and the first few days of october. Is there a "better" week day to visit Vatican city where it's not so crowded? I have heard Tuesdays are good days, and I have also heard it is wise to make a reservation directly with the Vatican for your tour. Any thoughts/suggestions?
I have never heard of making a reservation with the vatican for a tour. Are you talking about the Vatican museum? You can pick up an english language tour usually when your standing in line to visit St. Peters. Usually there are American students who are studying in Rome that also work for a tour company and they will ask if anyone wants to go on a free tour. These tours are very good. They will tell you everything you would want to know about St. Peters basilica and then some. If you want to continue the tour to the Vatican Museum, there will be a small charge. Pay the fee and you'll get a great tour of the museum as well. As far as making a reservation directly with the Vatican, I have never heard of this and I have been to the Vatican 5 times over the past years. Have fun!!!
Ginger, I live across the street from the Vatican Museum and have taken a few tours with church officials. They have a unique insight and viewpoint.
The Vatican does n fact sponsor several tours. They have the Underground tour, known as the Scavi Tour. They also have a tour of the Vatican Museum. In addition they offer the Vatican Gardens tour and tours of the Basilica. For more info, here are their links:
The Holy See - official website Holy See
Scavi Tour Info: Excavations Tours
Other Guided Tours:
Guided Tour info to the Gardens, Museuem, or Basilica:
Mark is correct. You can also gain "skip the line access" by working through the "gatherers" working for local tour companies.
Hope that info helps! Ciao!
Thanks for the insight - in your experience, is there a "better" day to visit the Vatican area that may be a little less busy than other days?
Two years ago my husband and went on a Wednesday and saw the Pope, after he had given his welcoming in English we left and went straight to the Vatican Museum, there was not a very long delay. We only waited about 15 minutes to enter. After the Museum and Sistine Chapel we followed some tour group and ended up in the burial site and then took the elevator up and walked to the top of the Dome. We are going back in two weeks and will again do the Wednesday visit.
The general reports recently are that Tuesday and Thursday are the better days to go. You will probably want to avoid the free Sunday at the end of the month.
We went to St. Peter's early in the morning (before 8) and had no wait to go through security or go up to the cupolo. However, we did see a long, long line to get into the vatican museum. I think that since you can get into St. Peter's after seeing the Sistine Chapel that most people wait on this line and don't do it the other way. Therefore I would suggest getting a tour of the vatican museum or a skip the line pass (we did this and got in with hardly any wait) and then go see St. Peter's.
After our experience last month, I would say the best way to see the Vatican Museum is to join a tour group of some sort. They help you skip the long lines and explain some of the highlights of the museum. The museum is huge, most of the displays have no explanations.....and getting to the Sistine Chapel is a marathon effort on your own!!!Goodluck...have a great trip