Saint Peters Basilica

Jun 14th, 2015, 12:52 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Saint Peters Basilica

Is entry to Saint Peters Basilica free? I am slightly confused. Because no where do I seem to find a website to buy tickets but there are tours offered to the Basilica. I have also found it written somewhere that you have to go through the Vatican to go to the Basilica. I have already bought tickets to the Vatican which will include Sistine Chapel. Thanks in advance.
sajoshi is offline  
Jun 14th, 2015, 01:06 PM
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Entrance to the basilica itself is free and separate from the Vatican museums.

It is a long walk around the Vatican walls from the official Vatican Museum entrance/exit to the piazza and entrance to St. Peter's Basilica and its security line.

Some suggest exiting the museums from the Sistine Chapel via the "groups" exit, which avoids this walk and security line. This works only if you have no reason to continue to tour the museums (no more you want to see in the museums, no object to pick up at the coat check, no audioguide to return).
ellenem is offline  
Jun 14th, 2015, 01:22 PM
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Always been free to enter several times I've been there - and there is a God squad at the entrance to make sure you are decently clad - no shorts - no bare arms I believe for women, etc. or you are turned away - no slipping in!
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 14th, 2015, 01:23 PM
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The tour I took of the Vatican Museums ended in the Sistine Chapel and from there you can enter St. Peter's by a walk around the corner to the front which bypasses the line of those just wanting entry to St. Peter's. I suspect that will be the case with your tour too. Museums-Sistine Chapel-enter St. Pater's with no line.
MmePerdu is online now  
Jun 14th, 2015, 05:27 PM
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St Peter's itself is free. I fyou want to view the Treasury there is a charge. Can;t remember if there is a separate charge for the Dome or not.

If you want to see the Scavi (underground crypts with bodies of Popes, etc) you need to buy tickets far in advance for specific timed tour.

If you want a tour of St Peter's there is a charge from the tour company.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 14th, 2015, 06:18 PM
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The Basilica is free but you MUST enter via a security check where your belongings are placed through a scanner and you walk through a metal detector - just like an airport. This can create very, very long lines and loads of congestion in St. Peter's square.

The door and walkway from the Sistine Chapel to the Basilica is for guided tours only. Some visitors not on guided tours try and mingle with a group so they can get in this way but beware - tour group leaders can single you out and tell you you are not with their group and to move away.
Blueeyedcod is offline  
Jun 14th, 2015, 06:46 PM
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We were there one summer's morning just before 7am. NO LINES. We had the lovely walkway up to the cathedral to ourselves. We entered, no charge, no security. A mass had just started, beautiful music. Perhaps 10 other people wandering around. When we left later, the lines were stretching far far away. Additional bonus: on our way we were almost alone on the Bridge of Angels. Saw sunrise over the Tiber, colouring the marble angels. Then great coffee and a creme croissant standing shoulder to shoulder with construction workers. All of that before 9am. Magic.
kovsie is offline  
Jun 15th, 2015, 11:16 AM
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You usually won't find a queue for the Basilica security check if you go before 9 AM or after 5 PM (maybe even after 4 PM, but I haven't tried that).

I've several times used the tour exit from the Sistine Chapel although I wasn't on a tour. I didn't try to mingle with a group, I just walked through it, and wasn't told not to. Doing so will save you at least 20 minutes of walking (back to the entrance, and around the wall to the Piazza), apart from the wait in the security queue.
bvlenci is offline  
Jun 15th, 2015, 12:41 PM
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St Peter's itself is free. I fyou want to view the Treasury there is a charge. Can;t remember if there is a separate charge for the Dome or not>>

yes, there's a charge for the Dome, but it's cheaper if you walk up rather than take the lift -which take you up to the level of the roof of the Basilica, where there are loos and a cafe. yes, really! you can wander around up there, go inside the Dome and look in detail at the mosaics which you can only see from the ground otherwise, or go up to the top of the Dome from where you get a great view into the Vatican gardens.

I too have used the "group" exit from the Sistine chapel several times and they haven't stopped me yet. It's no good if you've hired an audio-guide though - you need to go back to the desk near the entrance where you hired it and return it to get your credit card back.

A good reason not to get an audio guide, IMHO.
annhig is offline  
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