While you’re in Rome, you certainly will not run out of things to see and do. And one of the things you certainly don’t want to miss out on is touring the Vatican. But due to its popularity, you can often wait in line for hours before even getting to start your tour. To prevent you from waiting in line for hours, we’ve come up with a complete guide on how to buy skip-the-line tickets for your tour of the Vatican.
As one of the most popular tourist attractions not only in Rome but in all of Italy, it’s nearly impossible to avoid waiting in line unless you buy skip-the-line tickets ahead of time. So in this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about where and when to get your tickets, how much they cost, and tips and tricks to keep in mind while you visit The Vatican.
To finish it off, we’ll suggest a few of the best attractions in the area that you can easily add to your itinerary and have the perfect day on your Roman adventure. So let’s dive in headfirst and learn everything there is to know about getting your tickets to the Vatican.
How to Buy Tickets for The Vatican
To ensure that you’re buying legitimate tickets from a reputable source, you’ll want to buy them from the actual Vatican website itself. While there are some other reputable sites out there (like Tiqets), we recommend just sticking to the Vatican’s website to be 100% sure you are not being scammed.
The only issue with the Vatican’s website is that it seems like it hasn’t been updated in years, so it can be hard to navigate. So we’ve included some pictures to make the process as easy as we could. The reason why you should buy your tickets directly from the Vatican’s official website is that you will be reserving a day and time during your purchase. This makes all tickets purchased ahead of time for the Vatican skip-the-line tickets, as you will be able to walk right up when it’s time for your tour!
When you’re browsing the Vatican’s website for skip the line tickets, just head straight to the Tickets tab and click on “Museums and Collections,” as seen here:
From there, you’ll have to choose what type of tickets you’re looking to buy, whether they’re standard museum tickets, guided tours, or for the extra special areas of the Vatican museums. Although later we will suggest considering a guided tour through the Vatican, we’ll select the standard version for the sake of purchasing tickets. So on this screen, just select the top-left option for “Vatican Museum Tickets”:
From the next page, select the date you plan to visit and insert how many guests you’re buying tickets for at the bottom. For example, in this image we have February 23, 2021, selected and have selected 2, indicating that two visitors will be going. Days that you cannot tour the Vatican for various reasons will be blocked off in red:
As you continue through your order, the next screen that comes up will list all the different types of tickets you can buy. You’ll have the choice of standard admission, guided tours, the various hidden museums, and more. For standard skip-the-line tickets for the Vatican, just select the top option for regular admission tickets and proceed. The option you’re looking for will look something like this:
You’re nearly finished at this point, just a couple more screens to get through. Next, you’ll need to put in how many tickets are full price and how many of them will be reduced price. The reduced price tickets are reserved for children between 6 and 18 years old (18 is included) or students up to 25 years old with a student ID. You will also choose your reservation time on this screen that will enable you to skip the line. Here, we’ve designated both tickets as full-price and have chosen to tour at 8:30 in the morning.
After you click “book” one more time, you’ll just need to enter your personal information and card number, and you’re finished! The Vatican’s website can sometimes be a little buggy with certain credit cards, but just hit “Buy” on the next screen once everything is entered correctly, and just wait for the site to process your order.
You will receive a confirmation email once everything has gone through, and then you’re good to go! Just arrive at the museums at least 15-20 minutes prior to the time of your tour to ensure you don’t miss your time. You’ll be able to skip right past the long ling of those needing tickets and go straight to the front of the line. Use the barcode in your confirmation email to print out your physical ticket when prompted by the workers and voila! You’ll be ready to go straight into your tour without having to wait in line for hours like everyone else. It’s super simple to do, and it’s worth the minuscule amount of time to order them in advance online.
Things to Keep in Mind While Visiting The Vatican
When it comes to visiting and touring any major attraction in a foreign country, it’s essential to know some important things to keep in mind to help it go as smoothly as possible and allow you to have the best experience possible. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind while planning for and finally visiting the Vatican.
Buy Your Tickets from a Legitimate Seller
Nothing is more frustrating when you’re buying tickets than the website failing to take your card or realizing halfway through that the site you’re on is actually fake and you’re being scammed. To avoid this, it’s vital to purchase your Vatican tickets from a legitimate and trustworthy seller.
Two sites to use that you can trust as legitimate are the Vatican’s own website and also the website Tiqets. Both of these sources will have reliable and legitimate information to make your ticket buying process as smooth as possible.
Exploring The Vatican on your own is certainly possible, but it isn’t always the best option. Even if you’re an avid solo traveler and don’t usually like paying for a guided tour, this is one that you should reconsider, especially if it’s your first visit.
With a tour guide, you will learn much more about the religious capital of the world than you ever could on your own. You’ll also get to go further into the city than you’d be allowed to on your own. And any decent guided tour of The Vatican will also include skip-the-line tickets on its own!
Be Mindful of Scams
Even when it comes to touring the most religious city on earth, there still people who will do whatever they can to try to steal your money or your information. Avoid scams online by only purchasing your skip-the-line tickets from a trustworthy seller.
And once you get to the Vatican, don’t fall for anyone promising you that they can get you to skip ahead in line, or they can give you something more for less. If something is too good to be true, it usually is. So be smart and stay vigilant of potential scams!
Other Attractions to Check Out Near The Vatican
Touring the Vatican won’t take you all day, and there are plenty of incredible attractions nearby that you should check out while you’re in Rome. No matter if you’re in Rome for just a day or for your entire trip, there are a few sights to see that you don’t want to miss. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind to add to your Vatican tour day itinerary.
Tour the Colosseum
If you were to ask random people on the street what the first thing that comes to mind when discussing Rome is, they would very possibly say the Colosseum. Constructed nearly 2,000 years ago, the Colosseum still stands tall as one of the most iconic structures ever built. It used to be the central site of Roman entertainment, including games, sports, and the gladiatorial tournaments that made it a true spectacle.
There will almost always be lines, and the Colosseum will be at least somewhat crowded at most times during the year. But as one of the most famous landmarks in the entire world, visiting and touring the Colosseum is something that you just have to do while you’re visiting Rome. And it’s near the Vatican, so it’s perfect to combine the two into a single adventurous day!
Check Out the Sistine Chapel
If you’re a fan of art, architecture, or historical places in general, then visiting the Sistine Chapel after you get done seeing The Vatican is a must-do while you’re in Rome. Arguably the most famous work ever done by the Italian master, Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel ceiling is something that will blow your mind. It’s even more impressive when you consider how Michelangelo painted it while laying on his back above the ground.
Other than the ceiling masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel itself is one of the most famous religious buildings in the entire world and is a sight to see all on its own. This building is also home to another of Michelangelo’s most famous works — Last Judgement. Between the structure itself and the masterpieces from Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel is a must-visit, and you won’t regret adding it to your itinerary.
Visit the Roman Forum
Sitting near the base of Palatine Hill — which is something else worth seeing while in Rome — the ruins of the ancient Roman Forum tower overhead. Just seeing the Forum and its massive structures will give you an innate feeling of how important these structures were back in the day, and it’s something that you do not want to miss out on while you’re visiting Rome and after you finish touring The Vatican.
Although the Roman Forum is mostly in ruins, quite a few of the impressive structures still have bits and pieces towering above and reaching up towards the sky. Located near the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Pantheon, this iconic Roman area carries so much weight and prominence of Roman history.