Please sign in to post.

Vatican museum reservations

I see that I can purchase tickets for the Vatican Museum online directly from the Vatican website. They cost 14E plus a 4E reservation fee. Does this allow me to skip the lines? The Rick Steves' Italy 2009 guidebook makes it sound like the only way to skip the lines is to purchase a tour from one of the tour companies. Any insight would be helpful.

Posted by
15 posts

I am looking for a similar answer. I have scheduled a tour through the "Through Eternity" tour company, but they said EVERYONE has to wait in line. They said the line is to get through security, not to buy tickets. If that is the case, does it make any sense to buy tickets ahead of time?? Is there a line for security and a line for tickets?? If anyone has been through this give us a step by step process for how it works.


Posted by
1317 posts

1) I believe Rick's book was published or at least finalized before the online ticketing system came out. Even guidebooks updated annually get obsolete quickly.

2) The security check for the Vatican Museum is right inside the door. This is what generally causes the lines outside as the entry itself (in front of the x-ray) is pretty small. The ticket purchase is up on the third floor. Once you get past the security check, you go up two flights of stairs to the ticketing area.

3) We purchased reservations online for our recent visit last November. When booking the tickets, you will be asked to select a time for the reservation. It turned out to be unnecessary to purchase the tickets in advance, as there were no lines and we were actually waved in half an hour before our reservation time. However, the reservation ticket states:

"On the day of the visit, before entering the
Vatican Museums, you’ll be asked to exhibit an
identity document and the voucher to the
customer care staff who is responsible at the
queue reserved for the visitors who have booked
(right hand side of the Main Entrance).

After having gone through the security checks
(metal detector), please go to the Cash ticket
window to present the voucher (or purchase

The right hand queue is reserved for tour groups and is generally shorter than the main line which winds around the block. So yes, this ought to let you skip the lines as much as possible, and certainly as much as a tour would.