The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!
[ Destinations ][ Europe ][ Italy ][ Rome ]

Is the Vatican Early Entrance worth It?

“To change the world we must be good to those who cannot repay us.” 
~Pope Francis

When planning our trip to Rome, a visit to the Vatican was high on our “must see” list.  The question we had to answer was, is the Vatican Early Entrance tour worth it?  In a simple answer, YES!

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

We booked the small group tour with LivItaly.  We knew we would be guaranteed a maximum of 6 people.  When there is a sight that we are highly interested in, we often will splurge on the semi-private or private tours in order to get more personalized experience.

*Tip* The Vatican was extremely crowded! I am not sure we would have been able to hear our tour guide had it not been for the 6 person group that allowed us to be close together as we made our way through the buildings.  It was nice to not have to follow a lifted stick/flag/umbrella as we explored the Vatican within a massive group.

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

Due to the incredible amount of people, we felt the early entrance was valuable.  While it was still way more people than we envisioned, we really appreciated the less crowded time we had before the general admission entrance time.  The small luxury of a semi-private tour and early entrance was worth it.

Our guide recommended that we quickly walk through the Vatican Museums en-route to the Sistine Chapel.  She promised us that we would spend more time admiring the contents following our Sistine Chapel visit.

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

It was sensory overload as we made our way through the halls of the museums.  From floor to ceiling, there were intricate details to admire from colors to carvings.

*Tip*  Please note that you are required to cover your shoulders/knees when entering the Sistine Chapel and the Basilica.  However, because the Vatican museums are not air-conditioned, you are free to remove sweaters to be a bit more comfortable.

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

LivItaly’s recommendation to head to the Sistine Chapel was spot on.  You are not allowed to take photos inside however trust us, it was breathtaking!  The colors and images are so striking it makes the Vatican museum walls and ceiling seem dull!  We could have spent hours in the Sistine Chapel admiring all the details, history, painting style and even people watching!

Following the visit, we circled through again only this time getting a personalized tour of the museums.  Our personal favorite room, the map corridor!  It was amazing to see the maps showcasing different areas and imagine how these were hand painted based on someone exploring and jotting down the details as they sailed the coasts rather than taking photos to document the journey as we are accustomed to today.

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

Each turn we took left us in awe at the grandeur of the contents.  And the ceilings?  We’ve never seen anything like it!  We could have spent the day laying on our backs looking up at the magnificent ceilings throughout the museum rooms!

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

We then made our way outside to the gardens.  We had seen this sphere with a sphere sculpture on Trinity College’s campus in Dublin, Ireland a few years ago.  It was fun to see another one here in the Vatican Gardens!

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

Finally it was time to make our way into St. Peter’s Basilica.  If we’re being honest, the crowds definitely took away from the sacred and holy experience for us.  But none-the-less we couldn’t stop looking in the 360-degree direction to admire the gold details and intricate carvings.

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

The most interesting part of the tour was learning that the main altar is set right above St. Peter’s tomb.  It is quite symbolic that St. Peter is credited with being the first pope of the church and still today mass is celebrated over him.

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

Overall there were parts of the Vatican that both exceeded our expectations and left us a bit disappointed.  However, one thing is for sure choosing the Vatican Early Entrance Tour with LivItaly was the perfect way to experience it!

The Vatican is one of the most popular places in Rome, Italy. They offer a limited number of early entrance admissions, is it worth the extra money? | www.eatworktravel.com The luxury, adventure couple!

Have you visited the Vatican?  What were your thoughts?

EatWorkTravel

In constant pursuit of luxury, adventure and romance outside the office. We work hard at the office to support our luxury eating and traveling adventures inspiring others to make the most of their time off.

10 Comments

  1. Have you visited the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC? It is a treasure that should not be missed. I attended Mass there with Laura & Bob Kahler. We sat in the first row in the 2nd section of the Church along the middle aisle. I don’t know if it was seats we chose, but we were ask my the Greeters to take up the gifts. What an honor at such a beautiful Church. We did a self guided tour afterwards and could have spent much more time than we had. It is on my visit again list.

    1. No, we have not been there. We haven’t been to DC since we were in school. The Basilica sounds amazing and we will certainly add it to our must see list. The ability to experience mass in some of these magnificent churches is the best way to see them. What a bonus that you were able to participate by taking up the gifts! Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. I think visiting any place in a smaller group makes sense, especially if that place is the Vatican. 27 years ago when I first visited the Vatican, it wasn’t crowded at all, but a few years ago when I went again I could barely get in after standing in line for 2 hours. Great pictures!

    1. We were in shock at how crowded it was, we knew it was popular but didn’t expect it to be uncomfortably crowded. Glad you share our love for small group tours!

  3. Given the option, I would have booked an early entry tour too. It is kind of surprising to read that the place was crowded before the opening hours. I think that fact alone makes the tour worth. During my recent visit to Spain, I found out that is was necessary to visit certain popular attractions at opening time. It was the only way to get the tickets you wanted and have a few minutes of peace before the crowds started to enter.

  4. Beautiful pictures! I never been in Rome, I feel that I need to go there, but exactly because of crowded places I’m not sure when is the best time go there:)

    1. Thank you. After going in July and seeing the crowds, we would not recommend the summer months for you.

  5. I didn’t even know about an early pass but it definitely seems worth it as we will be visiting the Vatican during our travels.

    1. Yes, it’s worth it to get a small start versus the rest of the tourists. I think the place is always crowded so it’s nice to lessen it a bit by going in early.

  6. Looks beautiful! So good you could get slightly ahead of the crowds by going earlier, even if it was still very busy!

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