We tell you how you can save money buying your own ticket online to skip the lines at the Vatican.
The last thing you want to do with your limited time in Rome is waste it lining up. Also if you visit in the summer, the temperature can be incredibly high. Lines to buy tickets and then enter the Vatican Museums can be hours and hours long and seriously uncomfortable in the blazing sun.
But if you buy a ticket in advance from the Vatican’s own website, you can walk straight past all the people sweltering outside the Vatican walls, and go directly into the museum.
To buy a ticket for the Vatican you need a) a valid credit or debit card, and b) to know what time and date you want to visit.
Then simply go to the official Vatican website and buy the most appropriate ticket. You can also add an audio guide, or even book a guided tour. You will then be emailed a voucher.
When you go to the Vatican at the appointed time you will need to have printed out the voucher, or at least have the voucher’s QR code visible on your phone. Walk all the way past the line to the right-hand side of the door and someone will scan your voucher code.
After that you will need to go through a security check like at an airport, and if you’re carrying a bag/coat you will need to deposit it in the cloakroom to the right of security. You don’t need to retrace your steps when you leave: the exit from the Museums is on the other side of the cloakrooms from the entrance, and the staff there are quite efficient at retrieving your stuff.
Once you’ve done that, you need to go to the line of ticket booths on your left. At the booths you can exchange your voucher for an official ticket (which is a made of cardboard and the same size as a credit card, similar to a Metro ticket, with a nice detail from The School of Athens on it, which you can keep as a souvenir). Finally make your way up the escalators and enter the museum.
Buying your Vatican ticket online a few days in advance of your visit, or even before you leave home, will give you peace of mind, will save you hours of waiting around, and will save you money.