How to Buy Skip the Line Tickets, Save Money and See an Amazing Vatican

By SuitcaseTravelBlog | Sep 12, 2021
Europe > Italy > Lazio > Rome > Vatican

Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

I can't wait when we are going to be able to live our “normal” life again and start to travel. I am sure you have the same desperate wish as I do. Hopefully, one day we can pick our desirable destination and… hooray!!! We are going to the place of our dream.

We are all different and have different interests, but when you come to certain places there will be “must-see” things.

If your destination is Rome, Italy, then this is a post for you.

Rome is a great tourist destination and the Coliseum and the Vatican Museum are “must-see” places, but how to buy inexpensive tickets and get to the museum without waiting in line? I have some tips for you.

Today, let's talk about the Vatican City and the Vatican Museum.

Vatican City

St. Peter’s Square

Vatican City is an independent city state and is located within Rome, Italy.

It is the smallest state in the world by area and population: 49 hectares and about 825 inhabitants.

Primary landmarks in Vatican City include the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica.

Vatican City is home to some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures. Visitors will admire remarkable Raphael and Caravaggio's paintings, graceful frescos, which include works by Perugino and Botticelli, the magnificent ceiling decorated by Michelangelo in Sistine Chapel, and many other masterpieces.

Also, you will appreciate a spectacular view of St. Peter's Square from the Dome and explore Vatican Gardens.

St. Peter's Basilica

Entrance is free.
Dome of St Peter Basilica, 7-10€.

St Peter's Basilica

St Peter's Basilica

Saint Peter's Basilica is the biggest church in the world built in the Renaissance style.

The interior of Saint Peter's Basilica is lavishly adorned with marble, reliefs, sculptures and gilding.

Several generations of grand masters worked on this creation: Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Bernini.

The central and most significant feature is a baldachin, or bronze canopy, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini located under the magnificent dome and above Saint Peter's tomb.
In addition, the Basilica contains gorgeous Bernini's work like a sculpture of St. Longinus, bronze Altar Cross, Chair of Saint Peter, and many more beautiful works made by incredible artists.

St Peter's Square is a grand plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica. The square is framed by semicircular colonnades designed by Bernini, which, in outstanding combination with the magnificent cathedral, naturally forms the symbolic shape of the “Key of St. Peter.”

All these masterpieces convey a tremendous impression.

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel

Vatican Museum.

Vatican Museum.

The Vatican Museum is an impressive museum located in the Vatican City. Pope Julius II founded it in the early 16th century, and it contains the most important masterpieces in the world, including works from the Renaissance.

The Vatican Museum is the largest and the third most visited museum in the world. The museum includes roughly 70,000 works, 20,000 of them are on display, 54 galleries and 6,882,931 people explored the museum in 2019.

The art just incredible and breathtaking. There is so much to see, including the famous and magnificent ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by the young sculptor Michelangelo, who was only 33 years old artist and had never done a wall painting before.

Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Sistine Chapel ceiling.

To be able to reach the ceiling and getting to work, Michelangelo created a scaffold. It was a flat wooden platform with brackets, built out from holes in the wall. He didn't lay down on this scaffolding, instead he painted frescos from a standing position.

On the highest section of the ceiling, Michelangelo painted nine stories from the Book of Genesis.

On the east side of the Sistine Chapel, from the altar, you will see the magnificent scene of The Last Judgment.

It took 4 years to complete these great works. In 1512, the painting on the ceiling of the chapel was completed.

In 1984, the Vatican was added by UNESCO to the List of World Heritage Sites.

Tips for travelers:

Vatican Museum.

Vatican Museum.

Tickets to Vatican museum and Sistine Chapel: During your trip preparation, you will get to the point: Where to buy inexpensive “skip the line” tickets for the Vatican Museum.

Here what you should do:

I recommend to go on the official Vatican museum website and purchase your tickets online. Needless to say that your tickets will include “skip the line” option and will cost only €17.00

You will have a printed or a digital copy on your phone, then when you will come to the museum, you will go to separate entrance, skipping the ticket office line and go directly to security. Security line goes fast and in 15 min you will be in the museum.

Audio guides: Audio guides available for rent at the an information desk for €7, but I would recommend you to use Rick Steves' Italy Audio Tours.
You have to download an app on your phone, then download St. Peter's Basilica Tour and Sistine Chapel tour at home over Wi-Fi and listen it at the Basilica and Vatican Museums. The tours are an amazing. It will not use your data. Just have a power bank to recharge your phone battery and don't forget to take ear buds.

Check Rick Steves' Italy Audio Tours.

Rick Steves has lots of free audio tours. You can download anything what is interesting for you and have self-guided tour. The benefits are: you are not attached to the group and you save money.

Entrance to the Dome, St Peter Basilica: Entrance is free. Visit the Dome: 7-10€.

I highly recommend you to go on the Dome of St Peter Basilica to see the beauty of Vatican City. The entrance located inside the Basilica and you need to buy tickets right there. Click here to find out more information.

Vatican Dress code: Please be respectful and wear appropriate clothes when visit the Vatican City or any other churches in Italy. Women and men need to cover their knees and shoulders and arms. No shorts, short skirts or open shoulder tops.

I brought to Rome light shawl that was always in my purse and wore it when I went inside the church.

So, you have all tips, which will allow you to explore and discover the rich culture, art and heritage of the world's smallest country.

Now just wear your headphones, turn on Rick Steve's tour and… enjoy.

And please don't skip the Dome. The view just mesmerizing.

Europe Italy Lazio Rome Vatican

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Written by Suitcase Travel blog
Hi! I'm Angela from Suitcase Travel blog. Travelling is one of my passions. Exploring new places, meeting new people, and learning more about cultures and traditions brings me incredible joy. I would like to share my travelling experiences: how to travel inexpensively yet comfortably, and see as much as possible on a short vacation. I sincerely hope some articles will be informative for the traveler, or even just entertainment for the curious. Thank you!

Thoughts? Questions?

See also


Tours and activities

Vatican Private Tour (skip the line)

This tour is a private tour for the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Basilica with skip the line access.

by sentia

Sistine Chapel Raphael Rooms Private Tour with St.Peter's

Enjoy a private 3 hour tour (max 6 people) of the Vatican Museums including the Raphael Rooms and The Sistine Chapel ending with a privileged entrance to St.Peter's Basilica. Highlights include the Belvedere courtyard, Pine courtyard, Gallery of Maps ,Gallery of Tapestries, Pio Clemente museum and the Raphael Rooms.