Though the Vatican Museums are a must when visiting Rome, sometimes a guided tour isn’t in the cards. Not to worry, there is still a way to skip the line at the Vatican without a guided tour. Check out how to make the most of your solo Vatican experience below.
How to get skip the line Vatican tickets
The Vatican is a bucket list item for anyone traveling to Rome, but to have the best experience possible, it’s important to plan ahead. Ticket lines can be very long, so without a ticket, you could be waiting for a while, possibly several hours during the busiest seasons, like summer.
Sometimes a guided Vatican tour to navigate the crowds just won’t fit in the budget. Fortunately, you can purchase an affordable Vatican skip the line ticket to avoid the crowds and fast track you into the museums. With our skip the line Vatican Museums ticket, you’ll receive a voucher when you purchase a ticket.
Once you get to the Vatican, you’ll find our representatives at the meeting place and receive your tickets and guidance on how to get inside the museums. Please note that this ticket does not include skip the line access to St. Peter’s Basilica.
Recommended Solo Visit Itinerary:
While your tickets grants your full access to the Vatican Museums, here are the stops you can’t miss on your solo Vatican visit:
The Sistine Chapel
If you’re visiting the Vatican Museums in the morning, you’ll want to make sure you visit the Sistine Chapel first to see it at its least crowded. If you’re visiting in the afternoon, it’s not necessary to visit it first, but you can’t miss seeing Michelangelo’s masterpiece.
The Sistine Chapel is one of the most celebrated pieces of art in the world, covered in breathtaking frescoes by Renaissance master Michelangelo. It is also a place of worship, so speaking inside is forbidden, but it’s easy to appreciate the magnificent artwork in silence.
Pio Clementino Museum
Your next stop is the Pio Clementino Museum, which holds some of the Vatican’s most famous Greek and Roman statues. Here you’ll find Nero’s Bathtub which, at 25 feet across, is probably the largest tub you’ll ever see. In the Belvedere Courtyard, you’ll find Laocoön and His Sons, as well as the Apollo Belvedere and the Belvedere Torso.
The Pinecone Courtyard
Here you can enjoy a beautiful green space designed by Donato Bramante. Named after the massive bronze pinecone, this courtyard offers a great view of St. Peter’s Dome and a chance to spin the giant sphere sculpture in the center.
The Main Vatican Galleries
The Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the maps are the Vatican Museums’ main galleries and definitely at the top of the list of things to see in the museums. Our favorite is the Gallery of Maps. Here you can find a number of frescoes showing how Renaissance Italians viewed the peninsula over 300 years before a unified Italy.
Room of the Immaculate Conception
This room was created in the 19th century to celebrate the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Pope Pius IX commissioned a number of frescoes from artist Francis Podesti in a room next to the Raphael Rooms. The paintings include images depicting the virtues of the Virgin Mary as well as a depiction of the discussion of the dogma.
Raphael was an artist who embodied the perfect Renaissance man. He created amazing works of art and was constantly competing with his contemporary, Michelangelo. These rooms are full of some of his best works, including the famous School of Athens, which depicts some of history’s greatest minds gathering and sharing knowledge. Raphael even painted himself into the picture.
Your final stop is the Borgia Apartments. Once the personal apartments of Alexander VI, the Borgia pope, these elaborate rooms were decorated by Pinturicchio. There are several rooms decorated with elaborate frescoes and in many of them, you can find depictions of bulls, which was the Borgia crest.
Entry to St. Peter’s Basilica is not included with your Vatican Museums ticket, but the largest church in the world is a magnificent sight to see while you’re in the Vatican Only accredited tour guides can access it through the Sistine Chapel, so if you’d like to visit the Basilica on your own, you’ll have to wait in line in St. Peter’s Square.