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Rome, known as the Eternal City, has attracted visitors for over 2,000 years. It is one of the most magnificent and romantic cities in the world, boasting an attractive mix of grandiose sights and bustling city life. Life is sweet—the cake is there for the eating. Italian designer shopping, smooth ice cream, frothy cappuccino and exquisite wines to name but a few things.

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Lonely Planet Rome (Travel Guide)

The Vatican: All The Paintings, The Complete Collection

Vatican Museums: Tours & Tickets

Insider tips

Best time of year to visit

Although the Vatican Museums are extremely popular with tourists all year around, if you’re looking for a quieter visit, your best bet is during the low season between November and February.

Save money

On the last Sunday of every month, entrance to the Vatican Museums is free during opening hours, from 9:00 AM until 12:30 PM. This is a great way of saving money, but be warned: these free days are also the most popular. If you’d rather avoid the large crowds, you’re better off going on a regular day.

Pick the right time of day

The ticket office opens at 9:00 AM. If you want to see as much as possible, then you should arrive early, as the Vatican Museums are huge (over 9 miles!) and long lines can start forming at the entrance even before opening time. However, if you’re more interested in avoiding the queues, come around 1:00 PM. Most people will be headed for lunch at that time and it’s often possible to walk straight in without wait.

Don’t leave it too late

Even if you’re intending to avoid the queues, don’t come too late. The ticket office closes at 4:00 PM and the Vatican Museums close at 6:00 PM. If you want to have time to see the Sistine Chapel, you should arrive at the Vatican Museums by 3:00 PM at the latest.

Good to know

When should I visit?

365 days a year!

How to get there

Taxi, bus, metro, tram or by foot from Rome. Look here for more detailed directions.

Is it expensive?

Free to look at from the outside. Admission tickets vary.

Will I need a guide?

Not compulsory, but highly recommended.

What people are saying about Vatican Museums

★★★★★ Our guide was extremely knowledgeable answered all our questions was a

Was sad to end our tour Rebeca was more then we could have imagined. Her knowledge of all things Rome was very impressive. Would do it again when we return to Rome 110% Happy

★★★★★ A great value trip, covers the Vatican very well for about 3 hours.

The guide, Vasco, was really good. Took us through the entire trip with a combination of information and humor, and ensured the entire group kept pace with him. We went through the museums, the Sistine Chapel and the St Peter's Basilica and managed to see a lot of the important artifacts, paintings and statues and hear the history behind them. A guided tour is certainly recommended for the first timers to the Vatican.

★★★★★ We got he most despite one of the busiest day of the year

Thank you to Sabina who perfectly knows the Vatican and could avoid us most annoying queuing lines. We were happy to have her as our guide (since she has been performing this tour for over 22 years now!). A visitors digest!

★★★★★ Excellent tour with a exceptional guide.

We booked this tour based on our son's recommendation. The tour was wonderful. Our guide, Faviania was knowledgable, delightful, and very caring.

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