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Pre-Purchasing Vatican Tickets (not tour)

Pre-Purchasing Vatican Tickets (not tour)

Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 06:28 AM
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Pre-Purchasing Vatican Tickets (not tour)

I am FINALLY getting around to planning my March trip, and in looking over the Vatican website, I see you can now pre-purchase tickets for entry. We are not interested in doing the tour, just the museums, and St. Peter's. I've looked through posts, but can't find information on doing this anywhere. Can anyone help?

1) If you pre-purchase the tickets, do you still have to wait in line? Or are you able to skip the line and enter at your designated time? Is it just me, or does that sound too good to be true to folks who have been there before (because it does to me!)?

2) Does this work the same as museum entrance of the past - ie. can we go into St. Peter's after we are done touring the museums?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 06:33 AM
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If you pre-purchase tickets on the Vatican website, just go to one of the guards/employees at the entrance and show your print-out. They will direct you inside.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 06:45 AM
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Wow! That's the best Rome news I could have today. The thought of not having to stand in that line/figure out when to miss that line takes lots of stress out of that part of the trip. Thanks!

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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:23 AM
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Another poster, Apres Londee, has been writing about her trip over the Christmas holiday. Here's her info about the line and advance tickets.

Author: Apres_Londee
Date: 01/22/2009, 12:16 am
All that talk of 5 alarm hunks inspired me to bash on to...

Vatican Museums

I got to the Vatican a little after 1pm. There were other tourists getting off the same bus and I sort of followed them across the street and over to the Vatican City walls. And here is where I made my big mistake of the day.

As I already mentioned, I had pre-booked and pre-paid for a 1pm entry on the Vatican website. This is a new service the Vatican offers now, and I learned about it here on fodors. There is a 2 euro booking fee when you pre-book online, but itís certainly worth it to beat the line.

So, I followed the other tourists across the street and there was the line-up. I wasnít too sure about where I should go or what I was doing, so I got into the line. It didnít seem too long, and there werenít any signs about a different entrance for people with reservations. I figured since the line was moving quickly and looked fairly short, I would go with the flow and see what was what.


The line was moving quickly, and soon we were basically right in front of the entrance. Thatís when I started to get a little concerned. The line was in fact much, much longer than I had originally thought. It snaked all the way along the walls, past the entrance, and then doubled back again. Itís hard to describe, but anyone who has stood in that line probably knows what I mean.

I kept looking for a sign that would indicate what people with reservations were supposed to do, but there was none. I thought about leaving the line, walking over to one of the guards by the entrance, and asking him. But then I was worried that maybe this line was only for security or something, maybe there was another line inside that I got to skip, maybe he would tell me to get back into line and then I would have lost my place. It was a really nice afternoon and I didnít mind being outside, so I decided to go the conservative route and stay put.

That was one time where I wish I had someone with me- one of us could have gone and asked, and one of us could have kept our place in line.

I ended up standing in line for about 30 minutes (behind a horrible man who was smoking not cigarettes but cigars. Awful) As we snaked back closer to the entrance, I noticed a couple of women approaching a guard and showing him a piece of paper. He waved them through along this little walkway that was roped off, and they entered through a door that sat right beside the main entrance. Ah hah. I pulled out my printed confirmation, got out of the line, went up to the guard, and got waved through.

So the short of it is I stood in line for over half an hour for no reason other than my own stupidity.

Donít make the same mistake that I made. If you have a pre-paid confirmation, do not get into the line. Just push your way to the entrance and go from there. At least I shaved off a good 15 minutes or so of extra waiting at the end.

Inside I made it through security with no problems and headed up the stairs. Hereís the next hint for people with pre-paid confirmations- you still have to go and line up at one of the little ticket booths inside. You give the guy your print-out, and in exchange he will give you a ticket, which you then use to get through the turnstiles. Whew. I finally made it. It felt like quite an accomplishment!

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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:37 AM
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Thank you!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 08:24 AM
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"Does this work the same as museum entrance of the past - ie. can we go into St. Peter's after we are done touring the museums?"

Yes. But to avoid the boring long walk you must:

1. Not check anything at the cloakroom when you enter the museum

2. At the end of the Sistine Chapel farthest away from the altar, with your back to the altar, take the right hand staircase. Easy to recognise it, because there's a sign saying "only authorised groups may use this staircase" in English and Italian. Ignore the sign (if you think that'll trigger a security alert, ask the guards how to get straight into St Peter's. They told us to ignore the sign)

3. Go to the bottom of the staircase, then turn left. You'll find yourself in St Peter's Square, inside the secure area. You need to go round some barriers to get into the church, but it saves 15 mins walk and another security check.
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