Visiting the Vatican, with its awe-inspiring art, rich history, and spiritual significance, is a dream for many travelers. However, the long lines that often form at the entrance can quickly turn that dream into a frustrating experience. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can employ to bypass the queues and make the most of your time inside the Vatican. In this article, we'll explore some effective ways to skip the line and ensure a smooth entry into this remarkable destination.
1. Book Skip-the-Line Tickets Online:
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to avoid standing in long queues is to purchase skip-the-line tickets online in advance. The Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica offer official websites where you can book timed-entry tickets. These tickets allow you to choose a specific date and time for your visit, granting you priority access to the attractions. By doing this, you'll be able to bypass the regular lines and head straight to the entrance, saving you precious time.
2. Opt for a Guided Tour:
Consider joining a guided tour that offers skip-the-line access to the Vatican. Many tour operators have established partnerships with the Vatican, allowing them to bypass the lines. With a knowledgeable guide leading the way, you'll not only skip the queues but also gain valuable insights and information about the Vatican's history, art, and culture. Guided tours often provide special access to areas not open to regular ticket holders, enhancing your overall experience.
3. Visit Early or Late in the Day:
If you prefer a more flexible approach and want to explore the Vatican independently, timing your visit strategically can help you avoid the crowds. Arriving early in the morning or later in the afternoon can significantly reduce the waiting time. Mornings tend to be less crowded, especially if you visit on a weekday. Alternatively, visiting during the last few hours of opening when the majority of visitors have left for the day can also result in shorter lines.
4. Take Advantage of Special Entry Options:
Certain visitor categories have access to separate entrances, allowing them to bypass the main lines. For instance, if you're a Vatican Museum member, a clergy member, or have a disability, you may have access to dedicated entrances or priority lanes. Make sure to check the official websites or contact the Vatican directly to find out if you qualify for any of these special entry options.
5. Explore Less Popular Sections:
While the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica are the major highlights of the Vatican, they also tend to attract the largest crowds. To maximize your chances of avoiding long queues, consider exploring some of the less popular sections first. The Vatican Museums encompass numerous rooms and galleries filled with extraordinary art and artifacts. Begin your visit with these areas and then make your way to the renowned attractions later, when the lines may have diminished.
With proper planning and the right approach, you can bypass the long lines and enjoy a hassle-free visit to the Vatican. Whether you choose to book skip-the-line tickets online, join a guided tour, visit during less crowded hours, or explore alternative sections, these strategies will help you optimize your time and make the most of this remarkable destination. Remember, the Vatican is a place of immense beauty and significance, so take your time, immerse yourself in the experience, and cherish every moment of your visit.
Looking for a relaxing and spacious lounge to spend some time before your next flight at London Heathrow Airport's Terminal 3? Look no further than American Express' newest Centurion Lounge. With seating areas split across several rooms, including a dedicated dining space, lounge area, and work area, you'll have plenty of room to stretch out and relax. Plus, with power outlets at just about every seat, you can keep your devices charged and ready to go.
The lounge's buffet offers rotating seasonal options curated by Michelin-starred chef Assaf Granit of London's Coal Office restaurant, showcasing signature dishes from his top restaurants across the globe. While the lounge may not offer sweeping views of the tarmac, the welcoming and bright space is the perfect spot to unwind before your flight. The lounge is open from 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily for eligible card members and their guests. Use this interactive map to find the lounge post-security on Level 2, Terminal 3.
“The Ice Palace has been a fixture at Jungfraujoch since 1931, when it was first built as a tourist attraction. Over the years, the palace has undergone several renovations and expansions, and it now covers an area of over 53,800 square feet. It includes an ice bar, an ice chapel, and a number of other sculptures and exhibits.” (from Matador Network)
The Guardian’s pick of “10 lovely literary retreats for bookworms” in the United Kingdom:
1. Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden (Wales)
2. The Hypatia Apartment in Cornwall (England)
3. Book Club Holidays with HF Holidays (England)
4. University Arms in Cambridge (England)
5. Barns Library at Neidpath Castle in Peebles (Scotland)
6. The Penguin Bar at Whitton Hall in Shropshire (England)
7. The Boatmans Reading Rooms in Deal (England)
8. Bed With a View in Edinburgh (Scotland)
9. Author’s Escape in Devon (England)
10. Tigharry Schoolhouse in the Outer Hebrides (Scotland)
Matador Network explains how to take the high-speed train from Paris to Barcelona with “an electrical outlet for every seat, unlimited WiFi on board, a café-bar car selling a larger variety of food and beverages, etc” in this detailed post.
Traveling in Europe and missing good old American-style burgers and fries? Check out Matador’s list of five of the best restaurants abroad where you can satisfy your cravings, including:
Jones – K’s Original American Diner in Munich
Indiana Café in Paris
Beverly Hills Diner in Moscow
The Big Kahuna Burger in Thessaloniki (Athens location is now closed)
For other restaurant recommendations, check out our “Places to Eat and Drink” pages for each country under “Destinations.”
Just because many of us aren't able to travel at the moment doesn't mean we can't make plans for the future. Matador Network and the German National Tourist Board have partnered up to help you plan the perfect itinerary. With six routes covering everything from castles to the Cold War, you're sure to find one that will intrigue and inspire you!
Need insurance for your trip? Compare and buy travel insurance plans from top-rated companies at TravelInsurance.com!
From how long it would take to see every piece in the museum to how you can get a degree in art history from the École du Louvre, Betsy Blumenthal shares thirteen things most people don't know about the Louvre Museum in Paris in this post for Condé Nast Traveler.
Find out why Fodor's Travel calls these ten castles and fortified cities the best in Portugal.
1. Castelo dos Mouros
2. Castelo de Óbidos
3. Castelo de Almourol
4. Castelo de Penedono
5. Castelo de Marvão
6. Castelo de Guimarães
8. Fortaleza de Valença do Minho
9. Templo Romano
10. Forte de Santa Luzia
If you're dreaming of traveling to France, watch this video from Travel the World for inspiration! While you're at it, check out their Instagram page for photos and video of their travels.