Vatican Tours

Hello, We are heading to Rome at the end of September (2013) and could use suggestions on preferred Vatican tour companies. Have Also heard of off-hour or evening tours that might be a little less crowded. Any experiences with less crowded tour or any insights in general would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
-Lou

Posted by Laurel
Rome, Italy
2208 posts

Walks of Italy does a Pristine Sistine tour that is hard to beat. Small group, early morning entrance. They also have evening tours.

Posted by juan
whittier, ca, usa
69 posts

througheternity.com great price or equal to others, there tours are 5 hrs. there goal is to not rush you thru, where other companies are for 3hrs.. Also its a Rick Steve's approval

Posted by donna
cranberry twp, PA, United States
2403 posts

If you are there on a Friday night you may just want to book the Friday nights at the Vatican museums. It's much less crowded and you can enjoy the museums and chapel without all the normal day crowds. I just did it last Friday and was amazed at how much I was able to see in a few short hours. The chapel had about 100 or so people in it and I was able to find a seat along the wall and enjoy the chapel for as long as I wished. It's a great option if you'll be in Rome on a Friday. Donna

Posted by stacey
Bedford, texas, united states
37 posts

Donna did you book on the vatican sight? And was everything open. I was looking at a night time tour with Walks of Italy, but the Basilica is closed so didn't want to make two trips.

Posted by donna
cranberry twp, PA, United States
2403 posts

Yes, we did the nights at the Vatican and found it wonderful. We visited the basiica before the museums, since the basilica closes at 7. Not all the rooms are open in the museums but the rooms we wanted to see were open so it was a good idea for us. The crowds are much smaller and you get to view the chapel without thousands of people crammed shoulder to shoulder. Donna

Posted by stacey
Bedford, texas, united states
37 posts

Actually that would have been perfect...and I just thought of that too, go early and go to the Basilica..but we arrive on FRIDAY! at 4pm and I wouldn't want to rush nor chance a delay in flights. Darn it. So I am looking at a Saturday 2:00pm tour with Walks of Italy. I know Steve says Saturdays are the busiest..so I am worried about that. But I have read that after 1:00pm it slows down ...I hope that is true. Any thoughts from anyone.

Posted by celeste
ATL, GA, USA
30 posts

We had a 7 pm appointment at the Vatican last Friday. If there is any way you can make the Friday night tour, DO IT! We got there right at 7, walked straight in, got tickets with no waiting. We did not do a tour, just self-guided. (I'm sure Rick's audio guide would be sufficient.) As Donna noted, there was hardly anyone in the Sistine Chapel - everyone who was in there could have sat in seats around the wall. Amazing. We were on a RS MyWay tour and when we told our guide about our experience he couldn't believe it. He said it's frequently like a mosh pit in there, and he has never seen it with that few people.

Posted by stacey
Bedford, texas, united states
37 posts

I agree I would love the Friday night..but I just can't see arriving at the airport at 4 and making it there in time..unless i am wrong and we could make it there.

Posted by donna
cranberry twp, PA, United States
2403 posts

I don't think you'll have any problem making the 7pm opening. You won't have time to visit the basilica but you can visit that on another day if you have the time. Donna

Posted by Lou
Kirkland, Wa, 98033
4 posts

Hi Celeste, may I ask how you made your reservations, was it directly via Vatican? Also does anyone know what time the dome closes? Hoping to take a few sunset pictures before or after the tour. Thanks.

Posted by juan
whittier, ca, usa
69 posts

Lou, forgot to mention Througheternity also has a 3hr. tour! in case your thinking a 5hr tour might be to long

Posted by juan
whittier, ca, usa
69 posts

has anybody done a midday tour at the Vatican I noticed that through eternity has a 1pm tour time,is it still very busy by then? any comments

Posted by Michelle
Phoenix
17 posts

We did a midday tour and yes it is crowded and we were there in October. If there is a less crowded time, I would highly recommend it. We enjoyed our tour but there were a lot of people. Please take time to see the catacombs, it was amazing to see the tombs of the past Popes.