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.

Vatican City- I want to skip the Vatican Museums

Washington...
10 posts
Save Topic
Vatican City- I want to skip the Vatican Museums

I have a question that perhaps you don't get asked very often. We will be visiting Italy in June. We will be in Rome for only 2 full days and are trying to maximize our sightseeing without going crazy. We want to visit St. Peters Basilica & Square and The Sistine Chapel. However, we want to SKIP the Vatican Museum. Is this possible? Somewhere, I read that you have to go through the museums to get to St. Peters and The Sistine Chapel. Please tell me this isn't so.....We wanted to spend the morning at St. Peters/Sistine, leave and have lunch and spend the afternoon at Castle St. Angelo.

Mentioned in this post
Italy
Italy
Europe
Rome
Rome
Lazio, Italy
St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
33,306 Reviews
Vatican City, Italy
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
16,172 Reviews
Vatican City, Italy
Vatican
Vatican
240 Reviews
Rome, Italy
Italy
Level Contributor
6,187 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Vatican City- I want to skip the Vatican Museums

St. Peter is a church and you get in free, the only line you'll find is a security line. Sistine chapel is inside Varican Museum.

Mentioned in this post
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
16,172 Reviews
Vatican City, Italy
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
35,987 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Vatican City- I want to skip the Vatican Museums

The Sistine Chapel is in the Vatican Museum, so indeed you can't access it other than through the museum. However, you can of course enter the Basilica separately (for free), otherwise people couldn't worship there without paying to enter the museum! See www.rome.info/vatican/st-peters-basilica/ and www.saintpetersbasilica.org/touristinfo.htm

Mentioned in this post
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
16,172 Reviews
Vatican City, Italy
Vatican
Vatican
240 Reviews
Rome, Italy
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
27,287 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Vatican City- I want to skip the Vatican Museums

The Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums and it takes about half an hour of walking through the Museum to get there. There is no access to the public outside of the museums. You also can't get there quickly because there is usually a pretty solid line of people making their way to the Chapel and you can't bypass this line. During busy periods -- which is usually -- the crowd is shoulder to shoulder making its way to the Chapel.

St. Peters is entirely separate and not particularly close to the Museums. Although tour groups are let out of a door of the Sistine Chapel that gets them close to St. Peters, everyone else has to go back out the way they came in and it is a good walk from the Museums to St. Peters. St. Peters can be entered for free after clearing security.

janettravels44

janettravels.wordpress.com

Edited: 29 March 2014, 15:31
Mentioned in this post
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
16,172 Reviews
Vatican City, Italy
Vatican Museums
Vatican Museums
31,193 Reviews
Vatican City, Italy
New York City, New...
Level Contributor
43,598 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Vatican City- I want to skip the Vatican Museums

Buy your Vatican museums tickets online to skip the line - and, yes, long walk to the chapel amongst thousands of people but, you will eventually reach the chapel:

http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/MV_Home.html

In fact, this question gets asked a lot by people who don't want to visit the museums but just want to go to the chapel - for some reason I guess the info in guidebooks is not to believed on this fact.

Mentioned in this post
Vatican
Vatican
240 Reviews
Rome, Italy
Washington...
10 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Vatican City- I want to skip the Vatican Museums

Thank you so much for your feedback. It isn't what I wanted to hear but now I can finalize my itinerary with more intelligence. How much time from start to finish should we realistically allow to walk through the Vatican Museum to get to Sistine Chapel and then on to St. Peters and St. Peters Square? Keep in mind we will be there in late June (which I know is very busy). I will be pre-purchasing our tickets online. Thanks again!!

Mentioned in this post
Vatican
Vatican
240 Reviews
Rome, Italy
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
16,172 Reviews
Vatican City, Italy
pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
37,634 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Vatican City- I want to skip the Vatican Museums

If you don't stop to see anything along the way it takes a half hour of brisk walking to get to the chapel. The problem is that the galleries leading up to the chapel are often packed with people wanting to see it also. I would give yourself a few hours to visit both the chapel and the basilica.

Donna

Washington...
10 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Vatican City- I want to skip the Vatican Museums

Thank you, that helps a lot!!

Scranton...
Level Contributor
615 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Vatican City- I want to skip the Vatican Museums

A possible alternative, that we did in 2011. We got our tickets for the Vatican Museum online, and chose the earliest possible entry time. By making a bee-line straight to the Sistine Chapel, we were able to see it before the crowds began to build up, since most of the that first group of people stopped to view other exhibits and galleries along the way.

By the time we passed that way again after we had toured the Museum, it was indeed a shoulder-to-shoulder shuffle.

Zuke

http://zukini.travellerspoint.com/toc/

Edited: 29 March 2014, 18:14
Mentioned in this post
Vatican
Vatican
240 Reviews
Rome, Italy
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
16,172 Reviews
Vatican City, Italy
pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
37,634 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Vatican City- I want to skip the Vatican Museums

You'd be amazed at how many people do this. It's no longer the "little secret" that is was a few years ago. Most people who buy the first entry of the day are heading straight to the chapel.

Donna

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
95,750 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Vatican City- I want to skip the Vatican Museums

In my opinion, there is very little point in visiting the Sistine Chapel. It is so packed that it is difficult to move and impossible to get any appreciation for the art.

Mentioned in this post
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
16,172 Reviews
Vatican City, Italy