The Best Time to Visit Vatican City: Avoiding the Crowds

Find out the best times you can avoid the crowds in the smallest city in the world.

There are many factors to consider when you are trying to avoid the busy crowds in Vatican City. However, it is worth avoiding the crowds if you can. Not having (much of) a crowd allows you to see the fantastic city and its attractions without hundreds of other people around.

What is the best month to visit?

Avoiding large crowds usually means you need to travel during winter. The best month to visit Vatican City to avoid crowds is between September to February. A bonus with this is the prices for accommodation and travel to Rome are lower compared to peak times in summer.

What is the best day to visit?

The best days to avoid are the weekends and Mondays. But Tuesday to Friday are your best days to go to avoid the crowds. Aside from the weekend crowds on Monday, most Rome museums aren’t open, meaning a lot of other travellers will come to Vatican City on Mondays.

What is the best time during the day to visit?

When you are looking to avoid crowds, the best time to visit Vatican City is early in the morning or late in the evening. If you are looking to visit the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica, the best time to go is early in the morning before opening or after 4 PM. People start lining up as early as 7:30 AM for Vatican Museums even though it opens at 9 AM!

Keep in mind, there’s a dress code!

When visiting some buildings inside Vatican City, there is a dress code you’ll need to follow. Places like the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica require a dress code of covering your shoulders and knees.

If you are visiting during summer, bring a scarf so you can cover your shoulders while still wearing a singlet. Then for footwear inside Vatican City, if you are not wearing flip flops, all other footwear will be fine.

Remember the best time to avoid the crowd in Vatican City is around midday and over the weekend and Mondays. It’s recommended to also book any tickets for Vatican Museums in advance. There are skip-the-line tickets, or you can book a tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel.

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