We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

sistine chapel

dublin, ireland
Level Contributor
24 posts
6 reviews
Save Topic
sistine chapel

i all

im going to rome in a few weeks and i want to visit the sistine chapel...i have seen companys advertising tours of it for 60 euro per person...this seems very expensive ..can anyone tell me if it is possible to go and just pay to visit it yourself ...or do you have to go on one of these tours..what are the benefits m if any in using them,

thanks in advance

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
33,187 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: sistine chapel

You don't need to go on one of these tours in order to see the chapel. You do need to go through the Vatican museums to get to it so all you need to do is buy an entry ticket to the museums. If you purchase online you can bypass the lines outside.

…vatican.va/musei/tickets/do…

the cost to buy online will be 12 euros each.

Donna

London, Canada
Level Contributor
2,343 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: sistine chapel

If you have a few days in Rome, and only want to see the chapel, then I'd wait till around 2pm and go over to the Vatican Museum Ticket office, buy your entrance ticket and follow the signs indicating the short cut through to the chapel. Do not get sucked into one of those E60 tours.

Edited: 29 January 2014, 22:57
Gore, New Zealand
Level Contributor
324 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: sistine chapel

That's a great idea travels 1940.. Am travelling to Rome for a week, and would like to see the Sistine chapel just by itself.....this sounds like a perfect plan .....as the day draws to a close, do the crowds dissipate a little? Or is it crazy busy all day long?

Amelia Island...
Level Contributor
893 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: sistine chapel

My experience is that the crowds begin to grow around 10 AM and slowly dissipate after 2 PM on most weekdays. Here is a suggestion that could make your Vatican trip even more memorable. Book the Scavi underground tour (€12) around noon - book online as early as permissible and be sure to get into a group whose guide speaks your language. The Scavi tour takes just about an hour and is limited to 12 people per group. You will walk down under St. Peter’s Basilica to the necropolis and back in time to the first century AD and view what is purported to be the bones of St. Peter. You emerge back up into the basilica. Then go over to the Vatican ticket office for your trip to the Sistine Chapel. That was something we will always remember.

Edited: 29 January 2014, 23:53
rome
Level Contributor
19 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: sistine chapel

Good advice from others to go after 14:00, or try on a Wednesday during the Papal Audience if you don't want to see that.

Taking a guide just keeps you on track. Getting the information succinctly and getting answers when you have questions is a plus when taking tours anywhere. If you are patient, know your ancient and Renaissance art, some papal and catholic history, maybe a bible story or two and can appreciate the different kinds of beauty you will be confronted with by the truckload, perhaps you may not "need" a guide? But...do ya?

Make a rough calculation on how much the expense of a guide is adding to your overall trip. If you want to make the flight and hotel cost worth it, a guided tour may be in order. If you have a family of 7 or are truly strapped for cash, that would be harder to swallow economically. LAST SUNDAY of the month is free...but really overcrowded!

N-Joy Roma!

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
33,187 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: sistine chapel

Depending on the time of year the chapel can be crowded from open til close. During January and February, the slowest months, the chapel clears out a bit before the end of the day. During the rest of the year the chapel stay packed wall to wall with people until they are forced out at closing. I don't think you'll find any time during the day when the chapel won't have hundreds of people in it.

Donna

Le Marche, Italy
Destination Expert
for Rome, Marche
Level Contributor
37,719 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: sistine chapel

If you really want a guided tour, the Vatican has its own guided tours that cost much less. You'll see them on the tickets web site, indicated by dbabe in response number 1.

I don't recommend the tour of the Vatican Necropolis (called the "Scavi" tour on travel forums) unless you have plenty of time in Rome. You can't specify the time you want to go, so you may end up with an entire day that has to be planned around that visit. There are very limited entries to the site, and there's no point in going unless you have a particular archaelogical or religious interest in seeing an ancient cemetery that probably was the burial place of St. Peter. You can visit the chapel over his grave without taking the tour, if your interest is primarily religious. The chapel is in the Papal Grotto of the Basilica, and entrance is free. Usually you have to view it over an altar rail, without actually entering. There's a place where you can kneel to pray.

Edited: 30 January 2014, 12:31
London, Canada
Level Contributor
2,343 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: sistine chapel

Regarding the S C being full all the time. This is the 'bottleneck' of the tour, as simply more and more people enter per minute than leave. For most, it's what they came to see, and they just don't move on. Even with no lineups for tickets, it's just as crowded.

Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
2,382 posts
280 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: sistine chapel

A couple of yrs ago we went to the Vatican museums on a Wednseday morning in Feb. There was no queue and the museums were close to deserted. We shared the Sistine Chapel with maybe 6 other people. It was magic, we could wander around the museums at will without fighting with crowds. A visit in Sept a few yrs earlier was insanely busy!

Edited: 30 January 2014, 21:30
Virginia
Level Contributor
14 posts
70 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: sistine chapel

Highly highly recommend CONTEXT TRAVEL. They are absolutely the best. Spent 2 weeks in Italy and used them almost every day. Our tour of St. Peters, Sistine Chapel was one of the best.