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Vatican Museum Advance Reservation

We are arriving in Rome early on a Saturday morning. We only have Saturday and Sunday in Rome for sightseeing. We plan to go store our luggage and go straight to the Vatican Museum-then on to St Peters. I wanted to pre book the tickets to skip the line and see they require you to set a time. I didn't read anywhere what happens if you miss your time and arrive later. My concern would be what if our flights late etc and we don't make it by the reservation time. Any advice about this?

Thanks

Posted by
11178 posts

I believe that if you miss your time, you wait in line with the unticketed crowd. What time does your flight arrive? You can make reservations for entry as late as 3:00 PM, but it is a gamble. Are you arriving in Europe this day? I know I cannot visit a museum jetlagged and get anything out of it.

Posted by
4 posts

We arrive at 8:30am. It will be our only day to see the Vatican as they are closed Sunday. We plan to go to St Peters after. I guess if that is true we could make the reservation and worse case scenario we get in line which is what we'd be doing if we didn't make a reservation. I know its not optimal but is what our vacation time allowed for. My 4th time to Rome my husbands 1st. I'm thinking by the time we taxi to our hotel to store luggage and walk over maybe a 11am reservation may work if the flights on time. I'm trying to also figure out if there is a way to go from the museum to St Peters without the line. I've heard there is a walkway right as you leave the Sistine Chapel but not sure who is allowed to use it.

Posted by
15547 posts

I've heard there is a walkway right as you leave the Sistine Chapel
but not sure who is allowed to use it.

Jani, that passage is reserved for tours and not individual tourists. Some of them have gotten lucky and managed to slip through but others have not: all depends on the decision of the guards at that door on any given day. I definitely wouldn't count on it and to plan your day around having to enter the basilica through its exterior entrance.

From a recent post on this subject:
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/vatican-visit-shortcut-to-st-peter-s-basilica-through-sistine-chapel

Posted by
154 posts

If you miss your reserved time you will have to wait with the travelers who did not make a reservation. I recommend making the booking late enough that you can have a delayed flight, extra time to get your bags dropped off and get to the Vatican. It is always better to have time to kill than to rush to make an appointment time.