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Because you can't spend all day every day journeying around IgoUgo, editors round up the highlights: members' notable trips, newest reviews, favorite destinations, contests, and more. Have a question or idea? Let us know!

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When in Rome: Tips for Visiting Vatican City

When in Rome: Tips for Visiting Vatican City Photo

Photo by UK Flower Girl

Posted on March 24, 2010 in Travel Tips

IgoUgo travelers rank Vatican City near the top of their favorite Rome attractions, but planning a visit to the world’s smallest country is no tiny task. Luckily, a number of IgoUgo members have been posting new tips for avoiding crowds, hiring guides, and even getting dressed.

Here's some of our favorite advice:

  • “Anyone who has waited in long lines at the Vatican at opening will tell you that this is not the time of day to begin your tour; the best hours to enter are between noon and 2pm. Another good time is on Wednesday during the Papal Mass: while everyone gathers outdoors, the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel will be pleasantly open and free of the usual crowding.” --AnythngArt from Tips for Visiting the Vatican
  • “We have found that a personally guided tour helps to tailor the visit to our interests and also provides an opportunity to interact with a knowledgeable local. This time, we booked with the Institute of Design and Culture and were given a tour by one of IDC’s founders. If you want something in-depth, this is a wonderful tour--more like a crash university art history course.” --artslover from So Much Art We Needed a Guide
  • “It is immense, so take some water (they have almost no water fountains!) and snacks and be prepared to walk a lot. They only have air-conditioning in a few rooms and when we went in September it was VERY hot.” --MonaOve from Make Sure to Take Some Water!
  • “For anyone who might want to attend the Pope's general audience, held most Wednesday mornings, free tickets can be requested online. I suggest putting in your request as soon as you have made your other travel arrangements. After I arrived in Rome, I went to Santa Susanna, not far from Termini Station, and my free tickets were waiting for me.” --nunes1941 from St. Peter’s - Public Papal Events - General Audience
  • “It was a hot day and I must admit that whoever designed St. Peter's Square didn't think about the heat: the ground is dark, which in turn becomes very hot. Don't wear flimsy shoes; you will feel the heat on your soles. And you must wear knee-length shorts--you can queue but they will not let you in! Make sure you have shoulders covered, too--take a pashmina!” --Absy_Baby from The Vatican City - House of the Pope

For more tips on making the most of your time at the Vatican, and for opinions of the top sights to see there if your time is short, check out the full reviews from our recent visitors. Been there yourself? Write a review!

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