Vatican City – the How-to guide
Since the Vatican City is such a different destination, we thought we could provide some additional assistance to ensure you have the most fun possible during your visit here. As spectacular and impressive as it is, there are a few areas that may cause you some issues and detract from your visit – but don’t fear, we’ve highlighted these for you below.
Whilst the Vatican City is incredibly small, sizing approximately half a square kilometre, there is an awful lot to see & do here. We wouldn’t expect to spend any less than an entire day exploring the best parts!
Please see our blog post here: xxxx for the activities we most recommend. If you do spend a day here then there is time to see & do all of them at a casual pace.
Secondly, timing is everything. Heading to the Vatican as early as possible puts you in pole position over the busloads of tourists who show up from 9am. Getting there before them means less queues & more personal space!
The best bet is to enter the Vatican City and explore St Peter’s Basilica first up. Hopefully the morning sun is still coming through the windows – it creates some spectacular photo opportunities.
Buying your ticket to the Vatican museums (which includes the Sistine Chapel) in advance is also a great time saver. Skipping the queue with your ticket can save you up to an hour standing in line!
And that leads to our first point. Know what you want to see & do in the Vatican City in advance. Some of our recommendations require moderate fitness levels & if you want to see and do a lot then be prepared to spend plenty of time on your feet. Things like the Scavi tour, which we missed out on, require you to book in advance.
As some churches prohibit photography & film, we can assure you that cameras are welcome in almost the entirety of the Vatican City. The Sistine Chapel was the one place we found where photography was prohibited, so snap away!
Running shoes & respectable clothing (covering shoulders) are essential. Despite the small size of the Vatican City there is a lot to do. If you wish to make the most of your trip here then we don’t think you will be in and out in less than 5 hours. And there aren’t a great deal of spots to sit and take a rest once you’re inside.
Finally, and this is the most important point, eat a decent breakfast before heading in. And make sure to pack some water & snacks. There are very limited (we will go as far as to say ‘non-existent’) opportunities to get food once you are inside the city and you don’t particularly want to leave and return just for lunch. And if you’re on your feet for 5 hours then you’ll need something to keep you going.
If you aren’t confident doing the Vatican City yourself, there are reputable tour guides who can take you around for the day. The going rate is around 120 – 150 euros. They will ensure you get the most out of your day and ensure you don’t miss any details that regular visitors may overlook.
Alternatively, group tours can be booked inside the Vatican City if you are more budget conscious.
We hope this helps you get the most out of your experience in the Vatican City. Let us know if you have any additional information you think we might have missed!