How to do the Vatican City in One day

Short on time? Only have one day to see some of the greatest works of art Italy has to offer? Perhaps only a morning to see some iconic buildings known worldwide? Have no fear because we are here to tell you it is possible! With our careful planning, you can see the Vatican’s best attractions in just one jam-packed day! Here are our tips to optimise your time in exploring the city’s vast treasure troves.

Set out a Schedule

Sorting out what to see first and last always helps your organisation. Researching the opening and closing times of your chosen picks. Majority of the main attractions in the Vatican opening at 9 am, but St. Basilica actually opens at 7 am, letting you start your day earlier to fit more in. As well, organising going to the busier attractions in non-peak times let you avoid a lot of the foot traffic. Usually, the busiest times are 10am-12, with most folk going off for lunch midday. So, organise either going as soon as it opens or in the afternoon.

Work out how you will be getting around

There is nothing worse than wasting an hour walking around desperately lost while trying to find your next stop. Therefore, working out which stations, bus stops, tour companies, and walking routes you’ll need to take beforehand makes hopping from one site to the next all the easier. As well as checking the schedule so you aren’t waiting or missing any of the public transport can also cut your frustration.

Choose the right Day

When visiting Vatican City, most days are easy. But if you free day lands on Sunday, you might have some difficulty. The Vatican Museums are open every day excluding Sunday, with the exception of every last Sunday of the month. Some days can also be busier than others, with Saturdays always swarming with large crowds and long lines. With most tourists finding Friday, Tuesday, and Thursday being the quieter days.

Follow the rules

There is nothing worse than being stopped by security for wearing the wrong clothes. Vatican City has very strict rules with attire, with singlets, thongs, and shorts all being banned. Showing your respect and wearing the correct outfit will let you breeze through the front doors with no fuss, giving you an easier and better experience.

Work out what you want to see

Although this may sound like a very obvious advice, it is crucial when squeezing everything in at once. Working out what attractions make the defiantly must see, maybe, an no way list during your visit beforehand will help you during those crucial moments when the time is trickling away during the afternoon.

Main spots to visit in Vatican City

St. Peter’s Basilica and Square

The world’s largest chapel, along with its impressive square, is the central hub for the Catholic church. It is the second St. Peter’s Basilica, with the first built in the 4th century, whereas this one was built in 1506. Both buildings were named after the first pope, Peter, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles. The church is beautifully decorated and has a rich history and culture engraved into every aspect of it.

Vatican Museums

Even if you aren’t the biggest art nerd, seeing the wonders of Vatican Museums is an unforgettable experience. With some of the most famous and recognisable artworks within, you can spend endless hours strolling through each gallery and museum section and still not see half of the artefacts hidden inside. Noteworthy ones include Raphael’s Rooms, Leonardo da Vinci’s St Jerome in the Wilderness, and even the Entombment of Christ by Caravaggio. As the biggest collection of artworks in the entire world, we guarantee you’ll find at least one piece to awe you.

Vatican Gardens

If you are looking for a tranquil break from elbowing your way through attractions, then visiting the exclusive gardens of Vatican is a perfect choice. With incredibly gorgeous and sophisticated scenery, the gardens will have you imagining yourself the duchess of a wealthy country in no time. Perfectly manicured gardens are home to an array of sections, with stunning artwork, decorated fountains, and lush greenery covering the area. As the gardens are limited to a small number of guests per day, hence the tranquil scenery, booking in advance is vital. Booking a small tour or a private one will let you wander the endless walking paths in wonder.

Sistine Chapel

Italy’s most cherished landmark; the Sistine Chapel! Its incredible beauty comes from its massive structure, astonishing interior design, and incredible artwork hidden inside. Undoubtedly its most famous aspect is the ceiling, done by Michelangelo himself in the Renaissance period. The paintings are so detailed, you won’t believe until you see it with your own eyes. As it is the most visited attraction in Italy, booking a tour or coming to its gate early to skip the crowds will cut out any frustrating hours spent waiting in line.

Take a tour

Skip the stress and join a tour! This means no organising, no lines, no ticket paying, simply purchase the tour ticket prior the day and sit back and relax. The guide will take you to the best attractions the Vatican has to offer, sweeping you past the long lines that otherwise you’d be in for an hour. They also will have information about everything, so instead of wasting time looking up info or hiring an audio tour, simply ask your guide and they will be more than happy to tell you all they know.

Check out our Vatican City Tour today!

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