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17 things to know before visiting Vatican Museum


Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter's Square, and Saint Peter's Basilica are next to Vatican Museum. Tourists visit them on the same day or over two days.

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The Vatican Museum ticket gets you access to Sistine Chapel as well. Saint Peter's Square and Saint Peter's Basilica don't need tickets. 


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Ticket counter lines at the Museum's entrance stretch for up to 500 meters (0.3 Mile) in the Ottaviano metro station's direction. Getting down at Ottaviano helps.


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The Museum's entrance is an arched doorway with sculptured figures on top and MUSEI VATICANI written just below.


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There are three queues - first for visitors with no tickets, second for visitors who already bought online tickets and the third for visitors who booked guided tours.


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Tourists with online tickets have the shortest waiting time. Many visitors buy Vatican Museum tickets online once they see the long lines at the ticket counter.


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Online tickets get emailed to you, and you can scan them and enter. No print outs needed. They help save up to two hours of waiting. 


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Vatican Museum tickets are timed. On the day of your visit, you get 30 minutes of grace on either side of the time mentioned on the ticket.


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If you have already bought your tickets online, the best time to visit Vatican Museums is as soon as they open at 9 am.


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Since the Vatican Museum is closed on Sundays, Saturdays get very crowded.  Avoid weekends.


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On the last Sunday of the month, Vatican Museums allow free entry. Unless you are on a budget holiday, avoid. 


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Exploring Vatican Museums involves a lot of walking. It is laid out over a walking distance of 7.5 Kms (4.7 Miles). Comfortable walking shoes are highly recommended.


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Since there is so much to see, visitors worried that they might miss some of the masterpieces at the Museum book guided tours.


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Sistine Chapel is at the end of the Vatican Museums, and you must enter the Museum to visit the Chapel.


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If you visit all four attractions in the Vatican, you will need four to five hours. 


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From Apr to Oct, every Friday, the Vatican Museums are open from 7 pm to 11 pm. Some visitors prefer the night tour.


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At the Vatican, guards enforce strict dress code. Avoid sleeveless tops, lowcut tops exposing the midriff, miniskirts, shorts above the knee, hats, etc.