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 crowds in October

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
159 posts
17 reviews
Save Topic
Vatican crowds in October

My husband and I are traveling to Rome in October and hope to visit the Vatican on the 11th. I have read in several forum posts that the crowds at the Vatican can be overwhelming. We are considering booking an "early access" tour which will allow us entry into the Sistine Chapel before opening. In your opinion, is this necessary in October or are the huge crowds mentioned purely a summer phenomenon? Obviously, as a major tourist attraction, we expect some crowds, but would like to avoid as many elbows in the ribs as possible! Thanks

PS if you feel an early access tour would be beneficial, can you recommend any particular companies?

TopBike Rental & Tours
Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Equipment Hire, City Tours, Bike Tours
City Wonders
Day Trips, Sightseeing Tours, Cultural Tours, Night Tours, City Tours
Stefano's RomeCabs
Historical & Heritage Tours, Taxis & Shuttles, Private Tours, Day Trips, Sightseeing Tours
Italy Segway Tours
Sightseeing Tours, Night Tours, Segway Tours, Private Tours
pittsburgh
Level Contributor
193 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Vatican crowds in October

I visited in late October 2013 (1PM) and the Vatican Musuem was packed. The Sistine Chapel was wall to wall with people.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
42,767 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Vatican crowds in October

October is still very much high season and very very crowded - don't expect lesser crowds - at all.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
159 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Vatican crowds in October

Thanks- sounds like the "early access" tour is a must do

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,540 posts
309 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Vatican crowds in October

Without hesitation, I would book one of these tours if I were going to the Vatican in October. I chose Walks of Italy Pristine Sistine for our family and their guide was fantastic. The group of 12 consisted of us and two other families: six adults and six children. Rather than sticking to a rote presentation, the guide did a fantastic job answering our questions and lingering over objects or artworks we showed an interest in. She was especially gifted at engaging the young people.

Our group met at a nearby cafe at the appointed time, then walked together over to the museum entrance. We walked inside as soon as the early access doors opened at 8 am. We had to proceed through airport-style security while our guide secured our entrance tickets. We toured the museum for about half an hour, with just a few other tour groups, and had lots of room to move around. We reached the Sistine Chapel at about 8:30 and spent half an hour inside. After that, we continued touring the Vatican Museums which is where we were when the main doors opened at 9 am. We were deep inside the Museum so the flood of humanity didn't hit us until about 10 am. We made our way back through the Sistine Chapel at 11 am to reach the side door into St. Peter's. The tour ended inside the Basilica at about 11:30 am.

Because the tour didn't cover every exhibit inside the Vatican Museums, we had the option of breaking off from the tour before we crossed over to St. Peter's. Technically, only tour groups are supposed to use the Sistine Chapel door but we could have fallen in with the next group. We chose not to do that because the crowds were so dense by that point. If there's something in the Museums you really want to see, mention it to the guide and she might be able to fit it in during the earlier time.

Also, don't worry about the crowds at St. Peter's. The basilica was built to accommodate huge numbers of people. The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel weren't.

I hope our experience helps you make the most of your visit!

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
35,483 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Vatican crowds in October

I don't know that an expensive before hours tour is an absolute. Yes, the chapel is crowded but you can still see the ceiling and stay as long as you wish. You also have the option of visiting on a Friday night and enjoying the chapel then without the huge crowds. I would weigh all of your options and then make a decision.

Donna

6. Re: Vatican crowds in October

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 02 September 2015, 06:16