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“Do NOT MISS THIS”
Review of Vatican

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Vatican
Ranked #385 of 1,258 Hotels in Rome
Certificate of Excellence
Chester-le-St
Level 6 Contributor
247 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Do NOT MISS THIS”
Reviewed July 27, 2012

This was by far and away the best part of rome we visited on a guided tour for 3 hours with viador.I am not the religous type but this was a fantastic tour AND MUST be done with a guide as you could miss so much if you did the visit by yourselves.The company we went through did a 3 hour and a 6 hour tour, the 3 hour one was long enough as there is a lot of walking.It really is a fascinating place and very busy the queue to get in on a day admission was about a mile long i kid you knot.If you go on a guided tour then there is another entrance with no queues which is well worth the £40 ish price each we paid.DO NOT MISS THIS ATTRACTION.

Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank BazzaChester_le_St
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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197 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
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English first
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2012

This is something that is a must see and is very beautiful. It is something that you should definitely visit if you have the time. We did not go on a tour and went at our own pace. Our children were very impressed as well and it definitely left an impression on them. We purchased our tickets ahead of time on-line to avoid the long lines to get in. That was extremely helpful and time saving. You also need to make sure your shoulders are covered as well as your shorts being the appropriate length so you do not have any problems getting in.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Cannoli4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level 6 Contributor
296 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 261 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2012

Saint Peter’s Basilica - One does not need to be religious to appreciate this site. The interior is spectacular. The lines to get in can be long but the lines do go pretty fast. Putting bags through x-rays and checking people’s clothing take up most of the time. They will not allow women in with shorts or really short skirts and you must absolutely cover up your shoulders. I saw them turn away many people. Rome was having a heat wave while I was there and so everyone seems dressed for the beach. If it is hot and you are dressed skimpily then simply go prepared and bring a lightweight sarong to throw on and/or something to put over your shoulders. I was there between about 12h00 and 13h00 and the sun shining down onto the Basilica floor was beautiful. Everyone was having themselves photographed bathed by this “divine light” and which make for some really pretty photos. In fact, the lighting changes throughout the day so it is worth visiting several times during your stay in Rome to fully appreciate the interior of the Basilica and the different areas that the sunlight focuses on - a good tip for photographers! The Vatican Post Office sells stamps and postcards and it is fun to have the postcards sent from the Vatican with the official Vatican stamp. There are bathrooms next to the post office that no one seems to know about, because like the post office, they are not easily visible to people heading towards the Basilica, and so they are not crowded. Both toilets and restrooms are behind columns on right side (when facing the Basilica). I didn’t get a chance to climb up to the dome but will do that on my next trip because the views are said to be fabulous.

Vatican Museum - It is a very good idea to plan ahead and reserve online otherwise you might wait in very long lines. I thought that a guided night tour (only available on Fridays) might mean it would be less crowded. Not so. While I loved the stunning richness and beauty of the site, I felt so frustrated at not being to enjoy everything in a leisurely manner and in good conditions. The guide was lackluster, showed no enthusiasm for what she was telling us. But presumably she has given this speech a thousand times before and was suffering as much as we were from the crowds and the heat! I was in total awe every step of the way because from ceiling to floor there was something to admire. There is no air conditioning in most parts and the heat was stifling. Bring some water and/or a fan! Photos are allowed but while I was trying to take photos, the guide had already rushed off somewhere else. Several times, I felt a bit panicked at having lost my group because the crowds were atrocious and I wondered if and where I would find them again. This place is huge. Although you can take photos everywhere else in the museum, no photos are allowed in the Sistine Chapel. However, whenever the two guards had their backs turned most people were sneaking off photos, especially with their mobile phones. When they caught people, they scolded them but they only seem to be half-hearted about this rule, because if they were serious about it they wouldn’t allow in any bags, phones or cameras like was the case at the Galleria Borghese. If you are discreet about it by going into a corner of the room and don’t use flash then it doesn’t seem to be too big of an issue. They can’t expect two guards to control hundreds of people at a time in the room, it just isn’t practical. The Sistine Chapel is where the tour ends and you can spend as much time as you like here, which is appreciated. I think it would be necessary to go back to the museum several times to be able to fully take everything in. One thing that ruins the atmosphere is the souvenir stands that are set up absolutely everywhere. They certainly want to make sure you buy something. It is just overkill and makes the experience far too commercial.

Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
Helpful?
4 Thank MiaGlobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2012

The Vatican was really amazing. I loved St. Peter's and the Vatican Museum. The view was astounding. The Vatican is up there with the Smithsonia and the Louvre in terms of great museums of the world.

For the Museum, I'd advise getting the multi-day tickets and vsiting more than once. If you try to see it all in one day, you'll get "sensory overload". Also don't waste your money on the guided tours. They promise special access to several place within the Vatican....but it would take months to see everything there anyhow.

At the risk of sounding crazy, the Sistine Chapel seemed a little overrated. The art work on the ceilings and walls throughout the Vatican were better than that of the Sistine Chapel. There were less crowds and nobody minded us taking pictures.

I didn't have the issue with long lines that most people seemed to, but my companions and I came in January which is sort of Rome's off season.

Mass at St. Peter's was really cool. I'm not Catholic, but it was still an amazing experience.

Room Tip: The Pope gives audiences most Wednesday mornings. Tickets are free, but have to be arranged several...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Travisman_oo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeville, Hawaii
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2012

This truely is a spiritual place and I am not cathlic nor even christian. The art is amazing, even with all the crowds it is easy to step back and steap yourself in it. I do recomend using a tour group to get in though, or you will be there all day. We used one that got us in the doors, and then we were on our own to explore at our leasure, this was perfect for us, I don't really like tour groups.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
Helpful?
1 Thank Gogh F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lafayette, California
Level 6 Contributor
55 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2012

We were just here 2 weeks ago. If you love huge crowds of people pushing you around, standing in lines, and overly-priced souveniors stations EVERYWHERE to support the church's oppression, this place is for you. Honestly could not imagine being here in June-August ! The Sistine Chapel is really not much of anything after spending serveral hours marching like lemmings through building after building of gold and frescos on display. Actually, it was the less spectacular part of the journey (much more dramatic chapels & churches outside the vatican).

Hint: the Vatican MUSEUM tour - there WILL be a huge line that snakes around the outside. You do NOT - repeat: do NOT - stand in that stupid line, EVER, if you bought you ticket ONLINE in advance. Just walk past that line to the front and there is a "Online Ticket Purchase" special line at the front that you enter with your voucher. You will save yourself hours of standing in that other line.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Cody94530
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maui, Hawaii
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2012

Because of the crowds and overwhelming collection I would of preferred going straight to the Sistine Chapel. If I ever go again I would skip most of it and just visit St. Peter's Basilica including climbing the 400+ steps to the top of the dome and the Sistine Chapel.

Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Tiffany L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vatican

Property: Vatican
Address: Via Crescenzio 78, 193 Rome, Italy
Location: Italy > Lazio > Rome > Prati
Hotel Style:
Ranked #385 of 1,258 Hotels in Rome

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