Containing some of the world's most famous art and the largest church in Christendom, the UNESCO-listed Vatican ranks among Rome's most popular sites and draws notoriously large crowds. See below to learn how to visit without waiting in any lines.
Guided Skip-the-Line Tours
One of the perks of guided Vatican tours is the ability to bypass the usual crowded entrances. Tour groups get to use separate exclusive areas of entry, where the lines are much shorter. This is particularly helpful at the Vatican Museums, where waiting in the regular line can last hours.
Even without a guided tour, you can opt for skip-the-line tickets to expedite the entry process. You'll still go through the main entrances, but you'll bypass the long ticket lines and move to the area for those with reserved entry times.
Tours with Early Entry
Some guided tours feature early access to Vatican sights, getting you in before the doors open to the general public. You'll not only avoid the long lines but also miss the biggest crowds. Choose an early-access Vatican Museums tour that starts in the Sistine Chapel, or opt for one that includes breakfast at the Vatican before your tour.
Combo Skip-the-Line Tours
A day in Vatican City typically includes visits to St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums, plus the Sistine Chapel. But for those who want to go beyond the usual stops, book a skip-the-line tour that also includes visits to less-frequented Roman sites that can only be seen with a guide — think the Bramante Staircase, the Cabinet of Masks, or the Vatican's Mosaic Studio.