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Vatican museums on last Sunday...

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Vatican museums on last Sunday...

..Yes, yes, I know that every article or blog I have read begs people to NOT visit the Vatican on the last Sunday of the month even though admission is free then, because of the press of tourists and locals on that day.

However, I sudenly realized we will be in Rome on Sunday May 27th which is our last day in Rome and also the last Sunday in May and I started thinking of all the things we could do with 60 euros ;-).

What do you all think? We could go early ( before the 9 a.m entrance time).

We do fly out next morning ( albeit not too early) back home but we should be done with the Vatican tour by the afternoon so I don't think time will be a problem.

Rome, Italy
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1. Re: Vatican museums on last Sunday...

Well, if you want to go - despite all you've read - then you should GO!

Unfortunately, if you're seeking affirmation, you won't get it from many folks here... Yes, you will save €60 but you really won't "enjoy" the Museums. You'll also probably wait in line 1.5 hours.

The entrance time is 08:30 on "free Sundays" and there will be a line early. Often times I'd walk by this line around 11:00 and tell folks they might as well leave because they would never make the entry doors from their spot in line by 12:30 (when the "entry" doors close on Free Sundays).

If you're goal is to save money and just say you've been, than yes - this option is for you. But if you have an interest in art and want to "enjoy" the Vatican Museums experience, than no - you want to be far, far away from the Museums on this day. For first-timers to the Vatican Museums, this would not be the way to see them. The Sistine Chapel will be a zoo.

I've been once on a free Sunday - as I lived next door - and I never did it again. I've probably been in those Museums 100+ times and that day undoubtedly remains etched as one of my more unpleasant visits. But again, if you're not into art, and you just want to move with the crowds, then you'll save €60.

Montreal
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2. Re: Vatican museums on last Sunday...

Don't - for all the reasons Romeishome has given!

Your saving is not 60 Euro: for two people, it''s 38 Euro (if you reserve a timed entry) or 30 Euro (if you don't).

If you're in Rome for several days, you can follow the tips for the best time to go without reservations that you'll find here:

roninrome.com/sites-and-attractions/vatican-…

Singapore
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3. Re: Vatican museums on last Sunday...

We had been there and done that! We went for the free Sunday just because our schedule said so. We reached there at around 8am and we managed to enter the museum at around 9am. Not bad!

So my advice will be to stick to your plan and go enjoy the free Sunday!

Le Marche, Italy
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4. Re: Vatican museums on last Sunday...

I agree with Romeishome, but I'd go even further. If you're not really into art, why on earth even go there? Because it's famous? That's not a good reason to subject yourself to being jammed in like sardines, shuffling along shoulder to shoulder with 10,000 other people who just can't bear to go home and admit they didn't see the Sistine Chapel.

If you are very much into art, visiting the Sistine Chapel on the free Sunday could very well put you off it for life.

pittsburgh
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5. Re: Vatican museums on last Sunday...

If you really want to go then you should but you couldn't pay me to do it. The amount of people that are there make it unbearable. I have slight claustrophobia but it only kicks in in really tight, confined places such as very tight tunnels or tubes you need to squeeze through, but I can honestly say that this was the one place that I actually experienced claustrophobia even though the ceilings were high and the rooms were big. There were so many people pressing against each other that you were pushed from room to room. It was like a wave of people and you couldn't get out of it.

If that type of thing won't bother you and your only goal is to see the chapel for a few minutes then you should go and save yourself the 30 euros. Other than that I would reconsider going on another day or on another trip.

Donna

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6. Re: Vatican museums on last Sunday...

Thank you, everyone :-). Majority rules!

Zerlina - Huge thanks to you for pointing out that I won't be spending 60 euros for the two of us - I don't know how on earth I got that figure despite looking at the Vatican website before posting earlier - anyway, I checked again and yep, it's 30 euros for two - your pointing this out has in large part contributed to our decision to pay and go, as we were really on a tight budget and 60 euros went over the limit. Grazie!

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7. Re: Vatican museums on last Sunday...

I know now ... I thought of 60 euros because I had posted on another thread about the Roma Pass - which costs 30 euros per person.

Mystery solved - my eyesight's intact, phew!

Radauti, Romania
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8. Re: Vatican museums on last Sunday...

We visited Rome at the end of September 2012. We were on a budget and so, decided on taking a risk and going to see the Vatican Museums on the last Sunday of the month. We arrived there at about 7:45 (the Museums open at 9:00), and were inside at 9:10. And, giving the fact that the queue was not moving until 9, we could sit on the pavement so we wouldn't be exhausted even before going inside..

Indeed, it did get very crowded inside, especially in the Sistine Chapel, but I understand that it's also pretty crowded on days with normal admission fees, so I don't know how big a difference it is.

My advice would be, if you're on a budget, and not specifically into art so much that all the people inside would ruin the experience for you, go for it. Try to visit the parts of the Museums you want to see more at the beginning, because it will be less crowded. And try to arrive there at around 7:30-7:45, because after we arrived, in the next 10 minutes I could no longer figure out where the queue ended, so it could have taken a bit more to get inside. I would do this again.

Edited: 14 November 2012, 06:27
Roma
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9. Re: Vatican museums on last Sunday...

My own advice would be: if you are on a budget and/or not specifically into art, don't go to the Vatican Museums. In Rome there are so many other things to see, for free and without crowds. Of course, if each one wants to do what everyone does, one can't expect but crowds.

Le Marche, Italy
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10. Re: Vatican museums on last Sunday...

I agree 100% with Aristofane. Why someone who isn't into art feels a need to see the Sistine Chapel is totally beyond me. If you're interested in the religious aspect, just go to St. Peter's Basilica, which is totally free every day. If you're interested in art, but on a strict budget, go to the Barberini Gallery, or Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, or the Villa Farnesina, or the Corsini Gallery. The most expensive of these costs 7 euros, and they all have world-class art.