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Vatican Tours

Which one is the best one to book? The audio guide or the guided tour??

Posted by
7 posts

What's the difference between Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel AND Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica? Which one is better??

Posted by
1493 posts

Hi Sara,

Adding -- here is the link to the Vatican Museum official site. https://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do?action=booking

First, keep in mind the bag security check and the enforced dress code for women and men -- no shoulders or knees showing. No large bags -- 14"-15" are usually allowed as long as they are not bulging at the seams. Guards make the final call. If you must check it, it can impede your timing to get to the check room and so forth.

Second, I believe they have a "Vatican guided tour" besides official companies. My first trip to Rome, I got a guided tour of The Vatican through one of the religious shops. While the guide tried, it was not a good experience for most of us.

The Vatican is just so overwhelming because of the crowding and pushing. If you can get a very early entrance (like 7 AM), it may be worth it to beat most of the crowding at 9AM or so.

You can do a self-tour of St. Peter's Basilica with no issues. http://stpetersbasilica.info/index.htm

St. Peter's Basilica is gorgeous. My favorite even though there are many beautiful churches - small and large.

The Vatican Museum and The Sistine Chapel are "booked as one." Meaning, you go on to The Sistine Chapel after you leave The Vatican Museums.

If you are with a guided tour, you can go through a passageway leading out to St. Peter's Basilica.

If not, then you must exit and go around to enter St. Peter's Basilica.

St. Peter's has no entry fee on its own. There is a security check -- no large bags (about 14"-15" are allowed all the times I have gone in.) Depending on the time of year, you will find St. Peter's a refreshing break from the shoulder to shoulder of The Vatican Museums.

There are many options to visit both.

If you are interested in a guided tour, here is a list of the popular companies with reviews and so forth. Compare itineraries (which are similar), pricing, timing, dates, number of peeps in group, etc.

Look for discounts on their sites or if calling, inquire about discounts.

https://theromanguy.com/
https://www.walksofitaly.com/
https://www.througheternity.com/
https://darkrome.com/ (Dark Rome and City Wonders are sister companies)
https://citywonders.com/
https://angeltours.eu/destination/rome/

Posted by
1493 posts

Yes, it is. I understand. I gave you the direct link. It seems like you already have it.

Have a nice trip. The Vatican, Sistine and St. Peter's are all a wonderful experience.

Posted by
1493 posts

I apologize for not answering to your direct inquiry -- As I wrote, I took a guided tour with a guide authorized by The Vatican. She tried, but it was just too overwhelming with the amount of people and the pace she was forced to go at. Most of us were very disappointed.

The audio of the radio was not good -- in and out and competing with others of course. It was a blur for me and my first visit. You get a (single ear) plug. So, eh...not good.

The Sistine was gorgeous and a reprieve. She could not talk in there though.

Posted by
7 posts

TIP: If you book directly with the Vatican website you'll need to call your credit card issuer and have them validate the purchase then you can book your ticket. (Basically you'll need to try to purchase then purchase after you talk to your credit card.)

Posted by
1493 posts

Thank you! Good to know. I understand that some people had trouble booking on the site.