Best time to go to Vatican?

Old Apr 8th, 2017, 01:30 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Best time to go to Vatican?

I've read through lots of posts and slightly confused about when to get tickets for Vatican. I waited too late for Scavi tickets, so plan is to go on Thursday, May 25 to Vatican museum and St. Peter's and the dome. I want to get tickets online and we will go on our own. We did Scavi tour and St Peters 5 years ago, but have never been to Sistine chapel and feel like I need to go at least once. I know it's going to be crazy no matter when we go. Should I get first tickets of the day or wait until the afternoon? I've read that there are lots of cruise ship people in the am and it's actually quieter in mid afternoon. Someone on another site recommended the Vatican Gardens. Has anyone done that tour? Looks like it comes with entrance to museum/Sistine chapel also.

There are 6 of us and 2 of the party (daughter-in-laws) have never been to Rome. I'll be sending them off to Forum and Coliseum the next day and we'll go to Pantheon (on our way to dinner at Armando's). Also hoping to check out Chiostro Del Bramante, modern art museum with a cafe.
macdogmom is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2017, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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In May, you have the option to visit the Vatican Museums on Friday evenings, which is a good time for avoiding the crowds.

If this is not possible, another option is to buy the "Early Entrance to the Museums and Breafast" tickets, which cost a lot more but get you inside before the Museums open for regular ticket holders.

Other than that, I would avoid Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are the best times to go, even though when you get there you won't be able to imagine that it could ever be worse. (It's better in late January through the end of February.)
bvlenci is online now  
Old Apr 9th, 2017, 07:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I've gone mid-afternoon the last few times. You can wander off the beaten path and find quite empty rooms to visit. It depends on what you want to see in the museums.
kybourbon is online now  
Old Apr 10th, 2017, 11:02 AM
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I did the early entrance in October and was glad of it, as it was a total nightmare by about 11.
OReilly is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2017, 11:05 AM
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Afternoons avoid the cruise ship crowds, as you mentioned...
travelhorizons is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2017, 08:00 PM
Join Date: Apr 2017
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Hi , if you are not been in Vatican and not planning to be there again soon , do yourself a favor - get early tour with company like "Walk Italy " or similar .
Sistine Chapel impossible enjoy with crowd around . There soooo many people later , literally shoulder to shoulder .
With early tour it willl be may be two more groups in the Chapel .
I did not get any tour with breakfast or so on , I think it's not necessarily in that case . Vatican garden takes time if you want to walk ( only with groups) .
tata1957 is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2017, 04:04 PM
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We had a great private tour with,

Definelty worth the money.
outthedoor is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2017, 05:23 PM
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Thanks for all the responses. I didn't hear from anyone right away and ended getting tickets for first entrance on Thursday morning. Oh well, it is what it is...
macdogmom is offline  
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