Best Traveling Tips on Visiting the Vatican
The Vatican happens to be the world’s smallest independent state, and it is the seat of the pope. Since the election of this pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio, there has been a tremendous increase of visitors to this wonderful city. People now want to go to see the Vatican for themselves and have the chance perhaps to meet or see the pope up close. Forbes travel guide editors had a chat with Markus Dobritzhofer, who is the chef concierge at Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, on the inside tips of what to know when visiting this small city and best ways to have all the fun it has to provide.
Avoiding the crowd is a major challenge to always overcome when you visit Rome as it is always having many visitors on a daily basis, so some tips on going about the city will certainly do any visitor well.
What do you think is the best way to see the Vatican?
The best type of visit depends on the visitor. To visit the Vatican’s incredible artwork, it’s not necessary to take a tour; you will be just as impressed if you go by yourself. Take advantage of the efficient reservation system on the Vatican Museums’ website—especially during high season, when the lines can be very long. Make a reservation for simple entrance tickets ahead of time to enter directly.
If you want to get the best out of the city it is best you go on a tour and a group tour seems to be the best way to enjoy and learn more about the cities history and also visiting interesting places. Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica happen to be some of the places highly visited. So if you come with a group tour it seems more convenient as they can be booked even at the last minute and usually follow a specific schedule and time plan. However, if you are on an individual tour, then you can get all the attention of the tour guide and you can get to all corners of the museums that are usually not included in the itineraries like Vatican art gallery. Another advantage is that you can choose anytime during the day. Also for both private and group tours, the guides have the authority to take visitors directly from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Basilica but if you are visiting as an individual you can’t do this.
There are just no words to explain the kind of feelings visitors have experienced while on a visit to chapel surrounded by great paintings and the great silence and emptiness. To actually get the best of your trip it is always advised to make out time to plan these types of trips ahead of time before embarking on them. One of the many reasons to do this is that very few people are authorized by the Vatican museums; need to know that in most cases even a month ahead is not enough time, best you plan really ahead of time.
The Vatican Museums
What are the must-see attractions at the Vatican for a first-time visitor? The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel combine they have very different areas which would require a guide, to get to the Pio-Clementino, Gregorian Etruscan and Egyptian museums, Raphael Rooms, Gallery of Maps, Gallery of Tapestries, Gallery of the Candelabra and St. Peter’s Basilica