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Vatican crowds -- does time of day matter?

Boston
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Vatican crowds -- does time of day matter?

Hi -- we are going to be in Rome in late June. I'm hoping to prebook tickets to the Vatican for our family of 4. I have heard some people suggesting that one visit the Vatican in the afternoon, as it may be less crowded -- does this refer to the line to get in or the crowds within the museums themselves? I realize that one can spend an unlimited amount of time viewing the collections, but I think we are likely to max out after 4 hours. If so, would visiting from 2 to 6 on a Tuesday in late June be any different (with respect to crowds inside) from visiting from 9:30 to 1:30?

Thanks!

Mumbai (Bombay...
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1. Re: Vatican crowds -- does time of day matter?

I am planning a trip too and from what I have read and gathered the crowds from 9-12 are at its peak inside the museums. The crowds tend to thin out later in the day but by all means still crowded. If you pre book your entry ticket you will not have to worry about the people in the line as you would get direct entry into the museums. The crowds tend to be the least in the evening "Vatican under the Stars" slot but a few room are closed at that time. I am sure other DE will be able to give you more information or correct me if I am wrong.

pittsburgh
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2. Re: Vatican crowds -- does time of day matter?

The afternoons tend to have less of a line waiting to get inside and most of the tour groups are gone in the afternoons, but the museums are still very crowded. You'll still find wall to wall people no matter what time you get there. I prefer to go in the afternoons but that's just my personal choice. I think if you have enough things planned for the morning then going in the afternoon is a good way to plan the day.

Donna

Houston, TX
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3. Re: Vatican crowds -- does time of day matter?

We are going to be there in June as well, and I have booked tickets for the afternoon hoping to have a few less people around. Previous visits have been in the morning so it will be interesting to see if there is an appreciable difference. Remember that the Sistine Chapel closes earlier than the rest of the museum and plan accordingly.

Charlotte, North...
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4. Re: Vatican crowds -- does time of day matter?

Hello! I'm going in September - thanks for thinking of this as I would've just assumed, "earlier the better". Do you know of a good site to pre-purchase the tickets? I pre-purchased tickets for the Uffizzi Museum back in 2005 and didn't have to wait in line and that was DEFINITELY the way to go.

TxOffWeGo: Thanks for the reminder of the Sistine Chapel! I wouldn't want to miss that!!

Liguria, Italy
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5. Re: Vatican crowds -- does time of day matter?

A great many visitors to italy are simply not accustomed to the idea that things in Italy don't close at 5pm. So very often, if you are in a museum at 5pm or 6pm, you have a great deal more elbow room.

The last allowed entry to the Vatican museum is around 3pm or a bit later. That leaves you with a lot of time to tour inside.

Boston
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6. Re: Vatican crowds -- does time of day matter?

What time does the Sistine Chapel close? I had read that they start shooing people out of the Sistine Chapel by 5:30 so that people actually leave the museum by 6 -- does the Sistine Chapel close earlier than 5:30? Also, has anyone had recent success exiting the Sistine Chapel by the "St. Peter's" exit, particularly late in the day -- or is this just for tour groups now?

Thanks.

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Vatican crowds -- does time of day matter?

the Vatican Museums are how I learned 'early is better' was a myth. I waited two hours to get in years ago at the crack of dawn -- about 6 blocks back in a line that was several abreast. when we have gone around 12:30 or 1, we have often walked in with no line.

but now that you can reserve a ticket and avoid the line -- definitely do that

pittsburgh
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8. Re: Vatican crowds -- does time of day matter?

Jpizzle, you can use the official site to book tickets or a tour.

…vatican.va/musei/tickets/do…

\Donna

Charlotte, North...
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9. Re: Vatican crowds -- does time of day matter?

Awesome! Thanks so much. God how I love TripAdvisor and all its members! :)

Charles City, Iowa
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10. Re: Vatican crowds -- does time of day matter?

We went to Vatican Museum last Sept. (our second visit) about 1 pm. Cost was 15 euro ea and there was no line. Our first visit was with a tour in the morning and the line was unbelievable ! There really is no reason to pre-book. We enjoyed our second visit much more as we were able to spend more time exploring without being rushed by a tour guide.

Edited: 30 April 2012, 06:08