The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are a hot spot for tourists visiting Italy this time of year and the lines can be super long, leaving you to wait for well over an hour under the hot sun. It’s much like waiting in the long lines at Disneyworld which can be miserable when you’re barely moving.
Thankfully, there are options to avoid waiting in long lines with skip-the-lines passes to get you in quickly without wasting time. These special passes will guarantee to let you skip the lines at the Vatican and Sistine Chapel when you buy a skip-the-lines ticket or city pass online.
Choose your ticket or pass below. I recommend going as early as possible in the day to avoid the large crowds and be able to maximize your experience and enjoyment.
The best ways to skip the lines at the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
1. Buy a Vatican City Pass
Buy a Vatican City Pass for $59.35 per person. This option includes a skip-the-lines pass, St. Peter’s Basilica guided tour with headset and free time to explore after the tour, and a city of Rome audio guide. Plus, receive a 10% off a future booking which will be sent to you by email.
2. Book a Skip-the-Line with Guided Tour
Book a group guided tour for $41.65 per adult. The guided tour includes a skip-the-line Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel entry pass, a 2-hour tour of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, and Pio Clementino Museum, granting access to all open rooms and galleries, and audio headsets.
3. Book a Dedicated Entrance VIP Experience
Book a skip-the-line Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel VIP experience for $58.31 per person. This ticket not only allows you to skip-the-line at the Vatican, you get a 3-hour group tour, a dedicated entry, audio headsets, and access to all rooms and galleries.
4. Buy a Basic Skip-the-Line Ticket without the Guided Tour
Buy a skip-the-lines Vatican ticket with optional audio guide for $27.49 per adult and children 6-17 for $17.70 as well as for students up to 25 years of age with valid student ID.
This ticket option allows you to upgrade your experience to include an audio guide both for adults and children. The advantage of this entrance ticket is perfect if you want to take your time, skip around, observe longer in some areas and simply, go at your own pace.
Image credit: Marzia Giacobbe
5. Get Vatican Last Minute Tickets
If you’ve fallen short of planning and need last minute entry passes, you can get fast-track access to the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel for $35.40 per person. This option does not include a guided tour or audio guide.
6. Get a VIP Early Entrance and Breakfast Ticket
For just $46.85 per person, you’ll get to experience the Vatican before the stampede of people arrives (7:45am). With this option, you’ll receive VIP treatment as you’re escorted to the Vatican bistro in Cortile della Pigna for breakfast.
After breakfast, you’ll get to explore the Vatican with access to the Upper Galleries (Candelabra, Tapestries, and Gallery of Maps), Raphael’s Rooms & Sistine Chapel – all at your leisurely pace before the crowds roll in. This is by far the best way to experience the Vatican. Without the crowds, it’s a lot easier to get around and maximize your viewing experience.
How it Works with Vatican Tickets
If you’ve opted to buy a ticket versus booking a guided tour, you can expect to receive your ticket in the form of a voucher that will then serve as your ticket. When you arrive, you will have to show security your voucher ticket on your smartphone to be allowed in. Once you go through the security checkpoint, you will need to swap out your electronic voucher ticket for a printed paper ticket at the Cassa Online E Gruppi box office. Be sure to have a valid ID for reduced entry tickets. Otherwise, you will need to pay for a full price ticket in order to enter while the discounted ticket will be made null and void with no refund.
You will then be able to proceed through the “skip-the-line” fast track entrance where you may still find a line but it won’t be as bad as the basic pass line where the wait is dreadful.
Do keep in mind though that during holidays such as Easter, even ticket holders may have a long line wait. But again, nothing as bad as those with basic tickets.