Planning to visit Vatican City? As it is the smallest independent state in the world, you may think that it  is easy to navigate compared to other megacities in Europe. However, you should not make the mistake of  not preparing for your trip. After all, there’s so much to see in this country!

From the famed St. Peter’s Square to the world-class Vatican Museums, you probably want to explore all of these Vatican attractions in one day—and you can! Check out these 6 travel tips below to make the most out of your time in Vatican City.


6 Travel Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Trip in Vatican City


1. Choose Your Main Attraction

Packed with rich historical depth and iconic art, visiting the whole Vatican can be challenging—in terms of which attraction to see first.

While there’s nothing wrong with being captivated by the city’s story-rich antiquities, try not to dive too deep, especially if you’re only planning to stay in Vatican City for one day.  

To avoid spending excessive time in one destination alone, determine a particular attraction you really want to explore. Whether it’s the St. Peter’s Basilica or the Sistine Chapel, you need to allot at least an hour to get there and another hour to explore the whole place.


2. Book Your Tickets in Advance

Another important travel tip when visiting Vatican City is to book your tickets in advance.

Don’t be one of those hundreds of tourists lining outside the Vatican Museums for 3 hours! With a ticket in hand, you can skip the long lines and head straight inside the Museums.

You can usually purchase these “skip the queue” tickets on the official website of the attraction you’re planning to visit. It can be quite expensive but the time you save is worth it.

3. Dress Appropriately

Since Vatican City is a Holy Place, you need to dress appropriately in order to enter most of the tourist attractions.

This doesn’t mean you have to wear your Sunday church’s best clothing but you still need to be mindful of what clothes you bring with. Make sure to wear clothing that covers your neckline, shoulder, midriff, and thighs.

It’s also best to pack light when visiting tourist sights as backpacks and umbrellas would be checked before you enter.


4. Consider a Guided Tour

If you really want to make the most of your visit to Vatican City, you should join a guided tour. They are a great way to immerse yourself in the country and learn details about the attractions that would remain a mystery to you otherwise.

Vatican tours can range in duration and price so you can easily find tours that are suitable for you.


5. Be Mindful of the Time

When planning ahead and booking your guided tours, you should be aware of the time you want to spend visiting the Vatican.

It’s easy to get lost and spend an entire day taking all the history, culture, and art of the city. However, you should come with an itinerary prepared to avoid missing any particular attraction. Allow ample time for arriving there, standing in line (if you didn’t book advanced tickets), the length of the guided tour, and free time to go exploring by yourself.

Visiting the Vatican Museums on your own? You can check out the self-guided tour map to know where to allot more or less time as you navigate your way through the 54 rooms.


6. Visit During the Shoulder Season

If you have flexibility with the timing of your visit to the Vatican, plan your visit to the city during “off-season” months like January to March or November to December.

During these seasons, you can enjoy sights without lines and crowds. You also get to experience mild weather compared to the blazing heat on peak months. This ultimately gives you a unique perspective of Vatican City and how its 600 residents really live.

For tourists with lesser flexibility, you can try visiting from Tuesday to Friday. Avoid weekdays and Mondays to beat some of the crowds and have a more relaxed visit. 


While Vatican City is the smallest state in the world, don’t let its size fool you! This tiny country has a lot to offer from rich historical depth to iconic artworks. That’s why you need to keep these 6 travel tips in mind to get the most of your trip to Vatican City.


ALSO READ: ETIAS Travel Tips: 24 Backpacking Essentials for a Trip Through Europe


Ready to visit the smallest country in the world? Vatican City abides by EU travel and immigration regulations, including the newly introduced ETIAS Visa Waiver.

If you’re planning to visit the Vatican by 2021, you’ll be required to bear a valid ETIAS prior to your embarkation to any Schengen member states. ETIAS CA, an independent platform that shares news about the new ETIAS scheme, can help you with your ETIAS visa application. Contact us today to get started!

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