5 mistakes not to make, on a trip to the Vatican
Updated: Oct 3, 2018
As an avid travel lover, I would like to say that all my trips have been well planned and thought out. But that would not be true! Especially our trip to the Vatican. Let me list down some of the mistakes that we made, which will probably help you NOT to make them. Although, in my defense, I have to say that we were not completely sure about visiting the Vatican. Hence, we were totally unprepared.
1. We did not book the tickets before the trip.
This is it. This is probably the biggest mistake you can make while visiting the Vatican, or any other mega tourist destination. Tickets to the museum are booked weeks in advance, so it is best to book the tickets along with your journey tickets. We were told that there are no tickets available for the week, and had to settle with just a short visit to the Basilica. So always book tickets beforehand. ALWAYS.
However, there are guides and other agents who will take you into the Basilica, for a fee. They will take you through an easy entrance and you can skip the lines too. But bear in mind, that the entrance to St Peters square and the Basilica is free to the public. So you are just paying the price of your mistake!
2. We arrived late
You do not arrive at a mega tourist destination late. Period. Well, we learnt it the hard way. There was a long line just to enter the Basilica, which is the first point of interest when you enter St Peters Square. Besides, it was a hot day, and waiting in the queues seemed less appealing by the minute. So you really do not want to be late.
3. We underestimated the time required to finish the tour
A proper tour of the Vatican, including the museums and the Sistine Chapel will take the whole day. But due to the long lines and the crowds, a lot of time is wasted and you will end up hurrying through the museums and the chapel. And that is not the way to see those beautiful arts and artifacts. So be early, unless you have booked a tour at a specific time.
4. We did not book a guided tour
This is probably the solution for some of the mistakes that I talked about before. It is a good option to book a guided tour, which will help you avoid the queues, and get a more informed tour. It is much easier and will be worth every penny you spend. You can find many time bound guided tours online, so that you don’t miss anything and also save time.
5. We did not think about the crowds
To experience a historic place like the Vatican, you need to be in peace and quiet. However, the large crowds would certainly put you off and you would want to just rush outside. There is no way to escape the crowds, but you can certainly choose to go at times when it would be less crowded. Vatican is closed on Sundays, so there is almost always a huge rush on Mondays. Book early morning or night tours during midweek to explore the beautiful historic place.