We deliberated about visiting the Vatican since we’re not religious, and had heard the usual horror stories about the queues, but since we were in Rome we thought we would check it out. It was a bit confusing trying to figure out what you needed tickets for, how much it cost, and what we needed to do. You don’t need tickets for St Peters Square or St Peter’s Basilica (the big church) but if you get there late the queue is pretty big, and inside pretty crowded.
You do need tickets for the Museums and Sistine Chapel (with the famous Michelangelo ceiling) and boyfriend was keen to see them but in the end we decided it was too expensive. We instead paid about 14 euros each for the fast track entry to the Basilica and an audio tour.
We booked through Viator but the company was Vox Mundi. It was very unclear on their email as to where we were supposed to go, but after asking three different people on arriving at the Vatican we were ushered into St Peter’s Square. We were given headphones and a wifi password to access the audio tour on our phones. Then we went sent to the front of the queue (probably irking the people already queuing quite a lot!). You do still have to go through airport style security before entering the Basilica.
We decided that the money had been worth the fast track entry, and the audio tour was informative although by the end we did skip a few of the ‘sights’ as there are only so many statues of popes you can take. You can see the impressive architecture and art in the photos, but also the growing numbers of people. We got there are 9:45am and it just kept getting busier, and you do have to watch out for irritating tour groups that loiter around the hot spots.