Quick Tips for the Vatican and taking a tour
Date: 2014-05-07 14:31:51
Author: Samuel Heenan
Vatican City Guided Tours
Planning a visit to the Vatican Museums? Well before you set off you might consider a guided tour. When visiting the museums of the Vatican it is not compulsory by any means to take a guided tour of the Vatican, however with the vast array of artifacts on offer a guided tour would be recommended should it fit your budget.
Be sure to do your research on the tour companies as there is nothing worse than booking with an unorganized company offering guides of lesser quality and at a meeting point that is hard to find and could lead to you losing your tour and money.
Also a note to be weary when visiting the Vatican Museums as there are a large amount of promoters who hang around the Vatican City and the metro stations selling tours to the museums and although sometimes the price may be convenient you could end up waiting sometimes upto an hour to enter the museums as they try to form a group or even be lumped in a huge group of upto 40 people.
Here are some things to consider when making your visit to the Vatican Museums.
Check when booking for the group sizes as most tour companies have different options depending your preference. Some operators are offering large group tours upto 40-50 people and a little impersonal, others with max 20 pax and also now even Semi private tours with no more than 10 to a group. Finally a private personalized Vatican Museums tour in which you will pay a premium.
What the Visit includes
Make sure the itinerary suites your needs as most of the tours do not make the same route with some cheaper shorter tours skipping much of the museums and heading for the Sistine Chapel, others including the museums and Sistine chapel.
Be aware that not all the companies offer the Vatican Museums, Sistine chapel and include St Peter’s Basilica. So make sure that its included in the tour if that’s on your list. Also to note that should your tour include the museums and the Sistine Chapel but you wish to pass to St Peter’s on your own you will have to leave the museums and then make the line to visit inside the Basilica as only tours with a guide are allowed to pass directly from the Sistine Chapel to St Peter’s directly.
Read the Reviews
Be sure to read the reviews of the tours you are interested as your fellow travelers will help guide you in your choice. Also should you come across an especially good tour review that mentioned the name of the guide don’t hesitate to contact the tour company requesting that particular guide due to the recommendation. Or if there are any specific periods to avoid as the vatican museums and sometimes can get extremely crowded and maybe better to wait a day or two later before making your visit.
Entrance fees included?
Read all the information about the tour as some are offered with tickets included and some in which you will have to wait in the lines to enter. Most reputable companies offer the tours with the skip the line access in which you can enter through a VIP access point. All things aside the skip the line entrance really is worth it in the summertime as the lines can sometimes arrive towards St Peter’s square from the museum entrance which is over half a kilometer. In the winter time however there is not usually a line so the skip the line tickets are not so useful.
Visiting with children and students
The museums do offer deductions for students and children, so be sure to book your tour with a discounted price if you are a student or with children. The official prices are as follows:
Full price ticket: Euro 16,00. Reduced ticket: Euro 8,00. (Children from 6 - 18 years old and students under 26 years old on presentation of a valid International Student Card or a studety docnt identiument on the day of the visit). Child 0-5 Years Old: FREE. Remember that the tour company will have to pre-book your tickets so add an extra 4 euros per person to these fees but ensure you dont book with a company that only offers one set price for the tour.
The museums have a strict dress code so remember to have your shoulders and knees covered to enter. You can wear shorts or a skirt but just make sure they are not too short. If you do wish to come to the museums with your shoulders uncovered remember to bring a scarf and you will be allowed to enter otherwise if you forget you can buy a scarf outside the museums from one of the street vendors for approx 5 euros.
Regarding footwear obviously comfy shoes will be needed as you will be required to make a lot of walking but there is no specific footwear concerns so sandels are ok too!
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