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Vatican skip the line tour

5 Tried & Tested Hacks to Skip The Lines in Vatican

If you’re planning a trip to Rome, a tour of the Vatican is an absolute must. From the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican is home to some of the world’s most impressive artwork and artifacts, and a trip to Italy’s capital just isn’t complete without seeing them. Unfortunately, the Vatican can also be one of the most crowded places in the city, especially if you’re visiting during the summer or another peak period.

If you want to skip the lines and enjoy the Vatican experience without the long waiting times, here are 5 tried & tested hacks to try out during (and before!) your trip:

Book a private guided tour

Private tours might be more expensive than standard group tours, but they’re definitely worth the investment if you’re looking to skip the long lines. Aside from offering you a more intimate tour of the Vatican, private tour companies will usually also allow you to enter the site without having to wait in line, effectively skipping the queue and getting a taste of the VIP treatment. No autographs, please!

Not only will you be able to skip the waiting lines, but a private tour will also offer you an enhanced holiday experience. You’ll be able to ask your tour guide an unlimited number of questions about the Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel, get through security faster, and enjoy an overall more intimate tour of the Vatican. These tours are so popular with tourists that they’re known affectionately as “skip the lines tours Vatican.”

Buy your tickets in advance

Another way to skip the lines at the Vatican is by buying your tickets in advance online. This is especially recommended if you’re visiting during the peak tourist season; tickets will sell out quickly during the summer months, and you’ll be stuck in an even longer line under the hot Italian sun – hopefully with enough SPF to last you the day!

Most ticket websites will allow you to book tickets for specific dates and times well in advance of your trip, so make sure that you plan your schedule accordingly and reserve all your sightseeing tickets in advance. You should also keep in mind that some parts of the Vatican museum are closed on certain days, so check the official website before you purchase your tickets online.

Visit during non-peak times

If you’re visiting Rome during peak season and don’t have time to book sightseeing tickets in advance, then consider making a trip to the Vatican during non-peak hours. Most visitors arrive around 10 am, so a good strategy would be to come later in the day when the lines are shorter and you can get through security a little bit quicker. (Pro tip: make things easier for you at security by ensuring that you don’t have any prohibited items on you, and ensure that you’re wearing Vatican-appropriate clothing.)

The Vatican museum is open until 6 pm, so an early evening visit would be ideal if you want to avoid the long queues. Keep in mind that most of the tour guides will have gone home by then, but you’ll still be able to explore the museum at your own pace – even if you won’t have hours to enjoy the site.

Visit St. Peter’s Basilica

The Vatican is home to two main attractions: the Vatican museum and St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the holiest sites in Christianity. While the museum can be incredibly crowded during peak hours, the queue for St. Peter’s Basilica is usually much shorter.

If you don’t have enough time to explore the entire Vatican complex, consider visiting St. Peter’s Basilica by itself. The basilica offers its own unique experience and you’ll be able to skip the long lines at the same time!

Don’t visit on the last Sunday of the month

Every last Sunday of the month, the Vatican lifts its ticket system and allows free access to all visitors, meaning that you won’t need to purchase a ticket to get in. Unfortunately, these Sundays do end up usually being the busiest of the month, and you’ll most likely have to wait in an even longer line to get inside. Security also tends to be tighter on these days, and more extensive security = longer waiting times in the line.

While it’s a great initiative to support free access to the Vatican site, the last Sunday of the month is definitely not the best time to visit if you want to skip the lines. If you’re on a budget and like the idea of a free Vatican tour, either arrive super early in the morning or around an hour before the site closes – this will help you miss the crowds.

The bottom line

If you’re looking to skip the lines at the Vatican, you can do so by one of two ways. Either book a private tour and enjoy the VIP experience at one of the most famous historic sites in the world, or make sure to visit the site during off-peak hours. Either way, we’re sure that you’ll have a great time exploring the historic Vatican museum!

colosseum tour

How long does it take to tour the Colosseum?

If you’re planning a trip to Rome, Italy, it isn’t complete with a comprehensive tour of the Colosseum. Once a site for fierce gladiator battles during the Roman period, the tourist attraction is now one of the most popular historic monuments in Italy.

That being said, Rome isn’t just home to the Colosseum; from the Pantheon to the Vatican Museums, to the Trevi Fountain and the Sistine Chapel, there are lots of key sites to visit, and you’ll want to ensure that you have enough time to see them all.

So, how long does it take to tour the Colosseum? If you’re planning a tight schedule for your Rome sightseeing, we’re going to cover all you need to know below. Let’s take a look!

How long does it take to tour the Colosseum?

How long does it take to tour the Colosseum?If you’re visiting without a tour guide, it will usually take at least 1 hour and 30 minutes for you to complete a swift tour of the Colosseum, while still having enough time for some photos. However, this doesn’t include the time spent waiting in line for entry, which can shave hours off your schedule.

How long does it take to queue for the Colosseum?

During busy periods, such as the summer and school holidays, you can expect to wait anywhere from 1-2 hours before gaining entry to the Colosseum.

How can I avoid waiting times at the Colosseum?

One of the easiest ways to avoid long waiting lines at the Colosseum is to organise a private guided tour. A private tour package will usually come with skip-the-line privileges, allowing you to manage your sightseeing schedule while avoiding long, sweaty waiting times outside.

A private tour is also the superior choice over a group tour if you’re looking to reduce waiting times; don’t forget that you’ll need to go through security and check in your belongings before entry. If you’re in a large group, this can add more time to your wait.

What other benefits does a Colosseum tour offer?

Aside from helping you manage your time (and saving you hours spent in the line under the Italian sun!) here are just some other benefits of a private Colosseum tour:

Expert knowledge

If you’ve ever been touring a historic site and yearned for more information about a statue, symbol, or any other historic artefact, you won’t be left wondering with a private tour! Your tour guide will be on-hand to offer you expert, in-depth knowledge about the Colosseum and its rich history, so you won’t have to whip out your smartphone whenever you have a query.

Ask as many questions as you like

Unlike a group tour – where your questions may be limited – a private tour offers you the possibility to ask as many questions you like about the Colosseum and its long history. With your tour guide on-hand, your trip to the Colosseum won’t feel like a formulaic, ritual tour; it’ll feel more like touring the historic site with an incredibly knowledgeable friend.

Early morning tours

Many private Colosseum tours begin in the morning, which is a great way to avoid the crowds while also freeing up more time in the day to explore other tourist sites. A morning tour is also going to be less crowded, so you’ll have more space to explore and take photographs as you please. With What a Life Tours, you can even experience the Colosseum under the moonlight, making it the perfect choice for those on a romantic getaway. Gladiator-inspired moonlight proposal, anyone?

VIP access

With a private guided Colosseum tour, you’ll have access to areas of the Colosseum that are closed to general visitors; this includes the underground area, the top-tiers, as well as the arena floor. This will give you an exclusive peek at some of Italy’s most historic underground tunnels, and offer you the photo opportunity of a lifetime on the arena stage in the world’s most famous amphitheatre!

With a more intimate setting and VIP access to the full historic site, you’ll enjoy a comprehensive Colosseum experience that you’ll be talking about for years to come.


Is there a dress code for the Colosseum?

No – unlike the Vatican and some other tourist sites in Italy, there’s no imposed dress code at the Colosseum. That being said, we’d recommend that you wear comfy shoes and weather-appropriate clothes!

How much time do you need at the Colosseum?

If you’re going to be visiting the historic Colosseum, there’s no point in taking a quick look and heading off elsewhere! The best Colosseum experience is with a private guided tour, which will not only allow you access to in-depth historic knowledge from a trained guide, but will also help you to manage your visit time-wise. Most Colosseum tours can take anywhere between 2 and half hours and 3 and a half hours, so you can easily plan your day around your trip.

Vatican tour

How long is a Vatican tour?

A Vatican tour is a must-do if you’re planning a visit to Rome. With nearly 9 miles of museum artefacts to explore, as well as the historic St Peter’s Basilica to climb, a trip to the Vatican could easily occupy a full day during your Italian vacation.

However, if you’re planning on cramming in some other sightseeing in Rome on the same day, you might be wondering: how long is a Vatican tour? The answer to this question is simple: it depends! With so many different types of tours on offer, it’s impossible to say how long a tour takes – it all depends on what you want to see.

In this quick guide, we’re going to take a look at how long an average Vatican tour takes, and what you can expect to see if you decide to opt for a private tour of this beautiful, historic landmark. Let’s get started!

How long are Vatican tours?

In general, a Vatican tour can take anywhere from 2-3.5 hours, depending on how much you want to see, and how many people are in your group.

For example, if you’re in a small group, a guided tour of the Vatican museums (as well as the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica) takes around 3.5 hours.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to tour the Vatican museums alone but have a guided tour of the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, this would only take around 2 hours for a small group.

Do you need a whole day at the Vatican?

While there’s certainly no need to spend a whole day at the Vatican, you’d certainly be able to spend a whole day exploring the sights and wandering through the Vatican museum’s many corridors. That being said, private Vatican tours will only ever take up to 3.5 hours, provided that you’re in a small group. (Small group = less than 12 people.)

If you’re only in Rome for a short time and want to visit other historic sites in the capital, you would definitely be better off booking a private tour of Rome’s most popular landmarks. This is because entry waiting times to sites such as the Vatican and the Colosseum can be anywhere from 1-3 hours, especially during high seasons. This can make it difficult for you to tour the whole of Rome in just one day without feeling rushed. With a VIP tour, you’ll be able to skip the lines and enjoy these tourist spots at your own pace.

Is it worth getting a guided tour of the Vatican?

If you’re looking to save time while also enjoying an enriching trip to the home of Catholicism, a guided tour of the Vatican is absolutely worth the money. Not only will you be able to skip the long waiting times, but you’ll also enjoy your own private tour guide, who will be able to offer expert insight on all the paintings and artefacts you’ll explore as you tour the historic site.

Here are just some of the reasons why a guided tour of the Vatican is worth the expense:

  • Enjoy access to expert historical knowledge. With an expert tour guide at your side, you’ll have access to historical expertise and anecdotes, enriching the Vatican experience for all members of your group.
  • Unlimited questions. Got a question about a famous painting? You’ll be able to ask your tour guide as many questions as you want, without fear of holding up a large group.
  • Save time on security and line waiting. Not only will you save time by skipping the line, but you’ll also save time when it comes to security checks and dress code checks.
  • See the most important sites in under 4 hours. If you’ve got other places to be, a guided tour of the Vatican allows you to see all the most important historical sites within the Vatican in just under 4 hours.

The bottom line

Overall, a private tour of the Vatican will usually take around 3.5 hours, and this will include a visit to the Vatican museums, St Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel. If you’re looking for a way to explore this historic site without spending hours either waiting in the line or lost in the many miles of museum corridors, a private guided tour is ideal.

Vatican tour

Is it worth getting a guided tour of the Vatican?

If you’re going to be visiting Rome, a tour of the Vatican should be high on your vacation to-do list. The home of Catholicism, and officially the smallest country in the world, the Vatican is host to some of the world’s most famous historical artefacts, sculptures, paintings, and more.

In this quick guide, we’re going to go over some of the main reasons to book a tour of the Vatican: from avoiding the long tourist lines to experiencing some of the world’s most famous history in just one day. Let’s take a look!

What does a tour of the Vatican include?

A Vatican private tour is one of the best ways to explore this historic landmark, with VIP access and the ability to skip the long tourist lines typically included in the package. Generally, a tour of the Vatican includes the following:

  • A tour of the Vatican museum, home to over 70,000 historic paintings and sculptures, including The Pinacoteca and the Gallery of the Tapestries
  • A visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, a Renaissance-style cathedral built in 1506.
  • A visit to the Sistine Chapel, the site of Michelangelo’s most famous artwork.

Why you should get a guided tour of the Vatican

Any trip to Rome is incomplete without a trip to the historic Vatican; with so much to see and so much history to explore, it’s the perfect place to explore both Italian and world culture. Even better, it’s situated right in the centre of Rome. But the best way to experience the Vatican is with a private guided tour.

Here are just some of the reasons you should book a tour of the Vatican:

Expert tour guides

When you book a private tour of the Vatican, you’ll be treating yourself to VIP access to this historic site, with an expert tour guide assigned to your private group. Unlike larger tours, you’ll be able to discuss historical subjects related to the Vatican at length with your own personal tour guide, and ask as many questions as you like about the various paintings, sculptures, and artefacts on display. You’ll have access to expert knowledge and historical expertise that simply isn’t available if you decide to tour the Vatican alone.


Another reason to book a private Vatican tour is that you’ll be able to skip the line and enjoy direct access to all the museums and galleries, saving hours that would have been otherwise spent in a long and uncomfortable general access line! Not only does a private tour help you skip the line, it’ll also help you save time in other respects, too: for example, all visitors will need to pass through a quick security check before being granted access to the Vatican. For small, private groups, the security check won’t take more than a couple of minutes. However, if you’re in a large group, this could take much longer, and have you waiting around even more.

Additionally, the Vatican imposes a strict dress code for all visitors: if members of your large group aren’t dressed appropriately, this could mean even longer waiting times. Instead, book a private tour, and enjoy direct, swift access to the Vatican.

Personalise the experience

Did you know that there are over 9 miles of corridors to explore in the Vatican museums? If you’re planning on visiting the Vatican museum to see a specific piece of artwork, or explore a specific time period or the works of a specific artist, it could take hours for you to find what you’re looking for. With a private tour guide, you’ll be able to tailor your tour experience according to your interests, and your guide will be able to direct you to the areas of the Vatican that you want to see the most.

Not only that, but your guide will also be able to offer you expert anecdotes and historical facts about every section of the Vatican museums. So not only will you be able to see what you love the most, but you’ll also leave with an enriched historical understanding.

Is a Vatican tour worth it?

Absolutely! A Vatican tour allows you to experience this historic landmark with expert guidance and VIP access. Not only will you be able to explore the site and ask your guide as many questions as you wish, but most Vatican tours also offer early morning slots, allowing you to beat the tourist rush and explore the historic site at your own pace.

Visiting the Vatican: FAQs

What is the Vatican dress code?

The Vatican dress code obliges both men and women to cover their knees and arms, while mini skirts, low-cut tops, and sleeveless tops are not allowed. Men will also be asked to remove their hats before entering the Vatican, although this rule doesn’t apply to women.

Will my Vatican tour guide speak English?

Yes! Private Vatican tours can be conducted in almost any language.

skip the line tour Vatican

Are skip-the-line tours of the Vatican legitimate?

If there’s anything worse than waiting in a long line, it’s waiting in long lines when you’re on vacation. Your vacation time is limited, so why spend hours waiting in line and wasting precious time that could be spent exploring other attractions?

If you plan on visiting Rome, you may already be aware of the long lines to expect when visiting popular sites such as the Vatican and the Colosseum, especially if your vacation is planned during the summer holiday season.

Don’t feel like waiting in line? Many companies offer private guided tours that allow you to skip the lines at these popular historic tourist sites, but are skip-the-line tours of the Vatican legitimate? In this quick guide, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about a skip-the-line tour: what it is, what it includes, and if it’s really a legitimate option for your vacation sightseeing. Let’s take a look!

Are skip-the-line tours of the Vatican legitimate?

Yes! Many companies now offer paid skip the line tours, which allow you direct access to the Vatican after a quick security check. Alongside sparing you a long wait, a private Vatican tour also provides you with an enhanced tour experience, as you’ll be assigned your own personal tour guide who will guide you through the Vatican and answer any of your pressing questions.

Benefits of a skip the line tour

While you are free to explore the Vatican alone, here are just some of the benefits of opting for a skip the line tour instead:

Questions, questions, questions

If you love exploring historic sites but hate asking questions when you’re in a large group, a skip the tour line is ideal for you. As you’ll have your own tour guide, you won’t need to worry about holding up the group by asking endless questions or discussing your own historical knowledge with the guide. All skip the line tour guides are experts in Vatican history past and present, and will be able to provide interesting facts, anecdotes and stories as you pass through the historical site together.

Explore at your own pace

There’s nothing worse than feeling rushed through a historic site as part of a large group. Big tours tend to move quickly through the Vatican, as large groups of people take up too much space, and can result in a crowded experience for both group members and other tourists. This isn’t great if you want to explore the site at your own pace, and spend as much time as you want poring over artefacts or reading historical inscriptions. With a skip the line tour, the guide will be happy to spend more time exploring the areas of the Vatican that interest you the most, rather than giving you a brief overview of everything.

Don’t forget that the Vatican museum has nearly 9 full miles of corridors to explore, and finding what interests you the most can be a time-consuming process – especially if you’ve already spent hours on your feet waiting to gain entry. With a tour guide, you’ll be able to go directly to the area of the Vatican that interests you the most, whether it be the Renaissance period or Raphael’s rooms.

You really do get to skip the line

You really do get to skip the line‘Skip the line’ tours are aptly named: it’s not just a marketing tool, you really do get to skip the line when you book one! If you’ve never visited a historic site in Rome, you may not be aware of just how busy they can get, especially during peak tourist seasons. On any given day, you could expect to wait at least 1 hour to gain entry to the Vatican, while a visit during the busy summer months could mean a waiting time of even 2-3 hours.

With skip the line tours Vatican, you’ll be able to jump the line with your group and obtain priority access to the site, saving you from a long, uncomfortable wait in the line outside. Knowing that you have your slot booked means that you’ll be able to efficiently plan the rest of your Rome sightseeing schedule, and optimise your vacation time accordingly. And of course, half of your day won’t be wasted waiting in a crowded tourist line. Win-win!

Book a skip the line tour of the Vatican

So, how do you book a skip the line tour of the Vatican and ensure that you’re able to get a time slot that works for you? It’s simple – book in advance. Skip the line tours are incredibly popular, and many visitors will book their tours months in advance to ensure availability. If you want to explore the Vatican at your own pace and avoid the lengthy waiting times, it’s a good idea to book your tour at the same time you book your hotel.


Is it worth getting a guided tour of the Colosseum?

If you’re planning on visiting Rome, there’s no doubt that a tour of the colosseum is on your to-do list. Once used to host everything from gladiator tournaments to entertainment, over 6 million tourists visit the Colosseum every year, with over 2000 years of Roman history to explore at this historic site.

But is it worth getting a private guided tour of the Colosseum? In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some of the reasons why a guided tour makes for a better vacation experience, allowing you to learn more about ancient Rome, while also letting you skip those long queues. Let’s dive in!\

Why get a guided tour of the Colosseum?

While you’re free to explore the Colosseum yourself, you’re sure to enhance the experience when you opt for a guided tour. Here are just some reasons why a guided tour is your best option if you want to make the most of your Colosseum experience:

Skip the long tourist queues

As we mentioned in the introduction, over 6 million people visit the Colosseum every year. If we break it down per day, that’s almost 17,000 daily visitors! In fact, there are so many visitors to the Colosseum that you might even get turned away at the end of the day due to high demand – especially if you’re visiting Rome during the popular summer months. And even if you’re not turned away, you could still end up waiting in the queue for hours – hours lost that you could have spent exploring other historic sites elsewhere.

When you visit with a pre-booked colosseum tour, your slot will be reserved in advance, and you’ll be able to skip to the front of the line with your own personal tour guide. Not only does this save you waiting for hours to see the historic site, you’ll also be able to plan your sightseeing more efficiently.

Enrich your knowledge

One of the best things about visiting a historic site is getting clued up on all the fun facts, history, and ancient anecdotes relating to the site in question. If you decide to visit the Colosseum without a guide, you’ll be missing out on the countless tales, facts, and stories that your guide would be able to recount to you about how the Colosseum was used during the Roman period. Private tour guides aren’t just there to show you around and escort you out – they enrich the experience by offering tales and anecdotes that simply aren’t accessible for those who decide to tour alone.

More intimate experience

When it comes to guided tours, size matters. The larger your group size, the more difficulty you’ll have in enjoying a personalised Colosseum experience. Not only will you feel rushed from site to site, but you also won’t have the opportunity to really go into depth about any of the subjects most interesting to you. If you’re a self-confessed enthusiast for all things Roman history, a private tour is a must-have.

With a private tour, you’ll be able to discuss historic matters at length with your tour guide, and get real expertise and knowledge from experts in Roman history. You’ll also be able to ask your guide as many questions as you like, which simply isn’t always possible when touring as part of a larger group.

Personalise your tour

Another reason to opt for a guided tour of the Colosseum is that you’ll be able to personalise the experience to suit your interests. You’ll be able to spend more time at certain locations within the Colosseum if you wish, while having the time to stop and take some group photos. Your tour guide will also be happy to take any photos of your group for you, so you won’t need to have any of your group missing from the vacation photo album.

No waiting around

Aside from saving time by being able to skip the queues, a private tour of the Colosseum also means shorter waiting times in general. Don’t forget that you’ll be required to pass through a quick security check before being allowed entry to the Colosseum, so if you’re visiting with a large group, you could end up waiting ages for all group members to pass through security. With a private tour guide, you’ll be able to pass through security swiftly in your small group, and spend your precious vacation time touring the historic site.

The bottom line

Overall, a private guided tour of the Colosseum is essential if you want to save time and enjoy a more personalised tourist experience while in Rome. With a tour tailored to your interests, and the ability to ask as many questions as you like, you’ll enjoy an enriching, rewarding experience that simply isn’t possible when you visit alone.

Sistine Chapel Ceiling Vatican e1598455673365

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