Last updated on July 30th, 2020; Published on May 3rd, 2019

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The Vatican Museums are the museums of the Vatican City located within the city’s boundaries. They contain masterpieces of artworks collected by the popes throughout the centuries. A trip to see the Vatican Museums is one of the highlights of a visit to Rome. Depending on where you are in Rome, it should take about 40 minutes to get there and it only makes sense to visit after travelling all that way.

I had the intention of seeing the St. Peter’s Basilica and the museums on the same day. Unfortunately, I didn’t get anywhere close to the Pope. Some scouts beat me to it! By some, I mean many!

Scouts Vatican City

After getting over the disappointment of missing out on St. Peter’s Basilica, I made my way to the Vatican Museum without a reservation. Luckily I was there really early and was able to beat the queue.

The Vatican Museums…

The Vatican Museums are one of the largest and most visited in the world, receiving up to 6 million visitors per year. It’s very common to hear of or see people waiting in line for 2-3 hours just to get in and as such, a reservation makes a lot of sense.

Once you’re inside, the museums tend to be very crowded, they were when I visited but this didn’t ruin the experience for me. I was too fascinated by the sheer amount of artworks on display. It was quite overwhelming.

Laocoön and His Sons
Vatican Museums
Vatican city Museum Gallery
Vatican Museum Ceiling

As part of the Vatican Museum tour, visitors would make their way to the Sistine Chapel. There is no extra charge for admission since this forms part of the museums.

The chapel contains a stunning display of paintings, decorated by Michelangelo and the Stanze di Raffaello decorated by Raphael. The paintings on the ceilings are remarkable. I was particularly excited to see the ‘Creation of Adam’ and the spiral stairs when exiting the chapel…

Sistine chapel stairs

I recommend a visit to Vatican City (and museums) if you find yourself in Rome. Perhaps you should also know that it is recognized as a separate country, so you’ll be killing two ‘birds’ with one visa stone! If you decide to opt for a tour, you can check out the guides below to find one suitable for you.

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