Oh yes you must buy a tour and skip the line. The queue went on for miles and took anything between 3 - 4 hours to reach the start! Lovely guide very knowledgeable. Tour lasted over 4 hours but that was due to the high volume, on the day we went 45,000 people went through Vatican City just on the one same day. Amazing sculpture, artwork and atmosphere. A must see in Rome.
The tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms and St Peter's Basilica was truly amazing. Thoroughly enjoyed by both myself and my partner and an eye-opener of the history of the church. Our tour guide was brilliant, with an extensive knowledge and was very friendly too. A definite recommendation for anybody visiting Rome. We will certainly be going back in the not too distant future.
We had the best guide. I have forgotten her name but she is american with an art degree. She married a man from Rome. Her detail time on the Sistine chapel was amazing. I got so much more out of this Vatican tour then a prior visit. Gp with zViator. Excellent tour.
Thoroughly enjoyable tour, the guide was informative and entertaining and enhanced the experience significantly.
Also thanks to Viator for delaying the start of the tour, realising we would be late arriving at the Vatican as a result of the travel chaos in Rome that morning.
This exceeded our expectations by miles -- yes we had to gather about two hours before the event was scheduled to start but...we got into section 1...the tour guide kept us entertained with a history of Rome and the Vatican... we ended up only feet away from the Pope in his Pope-mobile...we could see both live and the video displays perfectly...we could hear everything clearly...the exit was very quick and orderly -- just perfect. Thank you VIATOR!!!
Doing what: Papal Audience Tickets and Presentation
Daniella our guide was excellent ,our early start at 8:15 meant we were ahead of the crowds .we had a fascinating tour of the Vatican museum ,the Raphael rooms ,a very good preparatory talk before entering the Sistine chapel and 20 minutes inside ,it was busy but not too crowded.Finishing with St Peter's Basillica . Daniella was very knowledgable and amusing ,a delightful guide.We thouroughly enjoyed our tour and would recommend Viator to visitors to Rome. When we booked our tour ,I did this on the phone ,the Viator staff were very helpful and knew about what they were selling.
The morning Vatican Museums tour excellent. Our guide Sara was knowledgable, interesting, informative and so enthusiastic. We learnt so much from her. After a break for lunch, we met our guide Anna, again excellent, for the tour of The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Basilica of St. Paul outside the walls and Basilica of Saint John Lateran and the Shrine of the Holy Stairs. We were taken to each of the three Basilicas by coach through the streets and traffic of Rome, which provided an opportunity to see and learn about some other points of interest. Just be warned that the afternoon trip ends at Santa Maggiore Basiilica not at the entrance to the Vatican Museums, where it begins . Not a problem though as Anna provided guidance on how to use the Metro,to get back to the Vatican, which provided us with yet another experience. We have used Viator before and the company always sources excellent tours, provides great value, excellent guides and never disappoints. This tour was particularly well organised.
Doing what: Skip the Line: Vatican in One Day
This was our first time visiting Rome and the Vatican museums. There were lots of people but apparently it's much less crowded in the evening than during the day. Our tour guide made the tour very interesting with lots of stories behind the art. There's way more in the museums than you can see in 3 hours, but this tour hits many of the highlights and gives you time to enjoy the Sistine Chapel at the end. Worth staying up late for.
First of all, you have to skip the line! We were amazed at how many people were in Rome and the Vatican on the 13th of October! Our guide was excellent, very knowledgeable and answered any and all questions. She was patient with the crowded situation and gave very interesting information about the buildings, history, art, tapestries, etc. The buildings (Vatican, St. Peter's, Sistine Chapel, etc.) were amazing and our guide helped us navigate and informed us how to get down to the tombs, etc. An excellent tour with an excellent guide. Obviously a must see when in Rome. Well worth it.
This was an excellent and our favorite tour while in Rome for a week. It was well worth the early morning and taxi ride to the meetup area. Our tour started at the bottom of the steps from where the taxi dropped us off. There were 2 groups at this time but it never seemed crowded or rushed during the breakfast portion. You have to go through security at the Vatican so be aware and keep metal items in your bags to speed things along. The breakfast was lite but ample and filling. The espresso was excellent and spending sunrise in the garden, watching the sun illuminate the gardens was spectacular.
The tour itself was excellent but a bit rushed. By the time we got to the tapestries other tour groups were rushing past ours. We got to see many fine art works from sculptures, tapestries, and paintings to the famous frescoes and freezes of the Vatican Museum. For most of the tour cameras are fine, just no flash, but remember NO CAMERAS in the Sistine Chapel! We witnessed a kid trying to be sly and sneak a picture and the guards quickly rush him and make him show them the pictures and delete them off the camera. They never touched him or took his property but they were forceful and diligent in enforcing the policy so please head it. There are plenty of postcards and books with professional photos of the frescoes available.
Our tour ended in St Peter's Basilica which was amazing. Our guide explained the major parts of the Chapels inside the basilica and highlighted recommended places to visit after the tour. Unfortunately it was very crowded at this time and my wife got separated near the middle of the basilica part of the tour. The tour guide did what she could short of stopping the tour and searching for her (another couple got lost as well and were with her). We found them at the entrance/exit area and their headphones all were broken so they could not hear our guide calling for them. The end of the tour is really crowded so please pay attention.
I have been to the Vatican Museum several time in the past; however, the evening tour was everything promised and more. To see the Courtyard of the Pine cone and the dome of the Cathedral lit up at night was breathtaking. The rooms were not as crowded, especially the Sistine Chapel. Our guide was very knowledgeable and steered us to areas that were not crowded, yet were filled with incredible art and sculpture. During the two hour tour and "free time" I had more than enough time to see some of the rooms I have been unable to visit in the past. I would recommend this tour to any visitor to Rome.
Ok I just wrote the review of the Vatican in the space for the Borghese gallery tour. BUT we took both tours and loved them equally. Well-organized, with excellent tour guides. Stefanie led us through the amazing art of the Borghese Gallery, and Maria through the Vatican - both were outstanding and well worth the money and time. Try NOT to do both in the same day, as some folks did. Do one one day and the other the next - perfect way to see and appreciate both and have the rest of your days to see Rome.
If you travel to the Vatican city by either Green or Red bus tour which is by far the best way as you get a tour of Rome first and the hop on/off could be ideal if you have time, but beware and factor in Rome traffic but from Termini station about 3/4hr covers it, and there is a long walk around the Vatican wall to the entry point from the drop off point so take that into consideration when going for the start time, especially if you are a slow walker. Book on line either for a self guide, or a guided tour (which I would not recommend as there is so much to see, understand, and take in) it is also it is easy to get lost within. If you just turn up the queues can be a long and arduous wait so take a sun umbrella if hot and sunny. We found the pm tours better as there were less casual visitors around, so less queuing, do your homework before you go to make the most of your time, and be aware of the beggars, they are in your face and persistent, I strongly recommend you DON'T give as they will swarm you and follow you everywhere until you enter a place where thy cannot follow, and that doesn't include a toilet if they can get in they will. Have a great time and enjoy the experience as we did. Thank you Viator. H. Powell
Our "Vatican Day" in Rome started with the Pope's audience in the morning and the incredible experience continued in the afternoon with the tour of the Vatican Museums. Doriana was informative and friendly, showing a true passion for the subject matter. Additionally she was pretty adept at shooing away the various venders hawking various trinkets while we were staging for our trip.
This was my second trip to Rome. The first time I did not get to see the Sistine Chapel due to the long lines. This time we took the tour, did not have to wait on lines, our guide Felix was great, very accommodating and knowledgeable. The tour started on time and was better than advertised. This is the way to see the vatican!. Would highly recommend it. Props to Felix!!!
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