What to Know BEFORE Visiting The Vatican in Rome

When in Rome (pun intended), you should absolutely plan to see The Vatican, it is a must do! It can be overwhelming trying to plan your visit, there is a lot of information out there and it’s a huge museum. So I have tried to condense all the info in this post for you… here’s what to know before visiting The Vatican:

What You Should Know Before Visiting The Vatican

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The #1 Thing to Know Before Visiting The Vatican: Get a Skip the Line Guided Tour

If you only take away one piece of info from this post, let it be this: DO A SKIP THE LINE GUIDED TOUR. Seriously. I could not believe the line to get into the Vatican, it wrapped around for blocks. 

The “skip the line” tour allows you to use the tour group line which is way shorter.

How To Get to The Vatican

The Vatican is fairly easy to get to. You can take a Taxi and have them drop you in the square in front of the Vatican Museums.

You can also get there by public transportation, the info is available online, but I will copy it here too:

Metro: Line A direction Battistini, Ottaviano or Cipro stations

Bus: 49, stop in the square in front of the Vatican Museums. 32, 81, 982, stop at Piazza del Risorgimento. 492, 990, stop in Via Leone IV / Via degli Scipioni

Tram: 19, stop at Piazza del Risorgimento

Expect Long Lines When Visiting the Vatican

I included this one again because the lines were insane! You can’t tell form the photo, but that line wraps all away around the block and goes on for a longgggg while. 

What to Expect When visiting The Vatican - Long Lines

I’ll say it again, the #1 thing to know before visiting The Vatican is get a guided “skip the line” tour!

Be Prepared for the Crowds

The Vatican is going to be very crowded. We visited in August, so granted it was the busiest time, but I have heard it’s still busy throughout any time of the year.

Plan Ahead before Visiting The Vatican: Wear Appropriate Clothing

If you are going to visit the Vatican, you must dress appropriately. For men and women, that means knees and shoulders should be covered. No hats, miniskirts, shorts, or sleeveless clothing are allowed. T-shirts are fine as long as they cover your shoulders.

There are several parts of the Vatican that they will literally not let you in if you are not dressed properly. 

You can bring or buy a shawl to cover your knees during that part as well. My dress was a little longer and came right above my knees. I thought it would be okay but bought a shawl just in case. There are guys trolling (and I do mean trolling) all around the entrance, so you will be able to buy one there.

Don’t Bring a Large Bag

If you bring a large bag to the Vatican, you will be forced to check it in at the cloakroom before entering. The lines for that can be very long, so save yourself some time and leave the big bags at home.

You Can Take Photos in Most Areas in the Vatican Museum

Photos and videos are allowed in the majority of the Vatican, just be sure that the flash is turned off. They do not allow video cameras in, selfie sticks, tripods, and and professional equipment.

You are NOT permitted to take photos inside the Sistine Chapel, so be sure to put your camera away before going into that area.

Forbidden Items in The Vatican

For reasons of safety and preserving the incredible historic artifacts and art, these items are forbidden in The Vatican:

  • umbrellas
  • large bags
  • sticks (apart from walking sticks)
  • camera equipment mentioned earlier
  • knives, scissors, metal tools
  • weapons and/or hazardous materials
  • alcoholic beverages
  • consuming food and drink inside exhibition halls
  • animals (with the exception of service animals)
  • mobile phones on loud
  • laser pointers
  • amplified microphones
  • cigarettes or smoking of any kind

For more info, visit their website

The Vatican Does NOT Have Air-Conditioning

There is NO air-conditioning in the Vatican, making it VERY HOT during the summertime. If you are visiting during the hotter months, do yourself a favor and bring a fan (highly recommend a battery-powered one like this). 

We had one woman in our group feel faint and had to seek medical attention. The heat is no joke, so be prepared and drink plenty water!

Don’t Skip St. Peter’s Basilica

This was my favorite part of the tour, St. Peter’s Basilica is incredibly beautiful! Do not miss this when visiting the Vatican.  

These photos and video doesn’t even come close to doing it justice… 

What to Know Before Visiting The Vatican: Prepared to be Amazed!

Even if you are not religious, the Vatican is an incredible part of history and the architecture and paintings are gorgeous and so intricate.

We had an amazing time touring The Vatican and highly recommend it to anyone visiting Rome!

Have any more questions about what to know before visiting The Vatican or Rome? Feel free to comment below or send me a DM on Instagram

xx Chels

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What to Know BEFORE Visiting The Vatican
What to Know BEFORE Visiting The Vatican
What to Know BEFORE Visiting The Vatican
What to Know BEFORE Visiting The Vatican

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