Posts Tagged :

vatican tours

All-Stars In The House!!

Famous basketball players from the Italian League, Maarten Lennen and Marques Green, joined our Vatican Tour this week with their family and friends!

Book with City Lights Tours to “skip the lines” and get VIP treatment too!

basketball players

Funday Friday with City Lights Tours!!

It’s Funday Friday with City Lights Tours!   Guests from five different countries are joining our “Skip The Line” tour with Emanuele, our guide,  into the Vatican Museums with special passage into St. Peters Basilica.

Emanuele group

“Secrets & mysteries” of the Vatican Museums and Vatican Tours

In our long carrier as tour operators we have often noticed that, when visiting the Vatican, many tourists actually are not aware of some important facts about the place they are going to visit. Some of these “secrets” concerning the Vatican Museums visit might be very surprising in case you’re not well informed.

  • International border. First of all, Vatican is an independent state. By entering the Vatican Museums you will leave Italy and will enter another country where Vatican law is enforced. Vatican state has its own law, police and army. So you will cross an international border while entering the Vatican Museum, but, don’t worry, nobody will ask you to show your passport.
  • St Peter’s and Vatican Museums. While approaching the Vatican you might see lines everywhere, but you might not be sure which line is for the Vatican Museums and which one is for the St Peter’s Basilica. At the St Peter’s Square you will find the line for the metal detectors, after which you will be allowed to enter the St Peter’s Basilica. The Vatican Museums entrance is on the almost opposite side of the Vatican City.


  • Lines. Once you get to the Vatican Museums entrance it might be tricky to understand which “line” you should join. While approaching the main entrance you will probably pass by a long line that runs along the wall of the Vatican. That line is for those who are waiting to enter and buy tickets on their own. That line can take sometimes 2 or 3 hours and probably it’s not the best way to spend a part of your holiday. In case you already bought your tickets you should pass by the line, get to the guards that are staying at the main entrance and show your tickets.

Line for the access to the Vatican Museums

Line at the St Peter’s Square leading to the entrance of the Basilica


  • Tickets. If you have already purchased your Vatican Museums tickets (20€ adults and 12€ kids, teenagers and students under 26 yrs old) you will be able to visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. However, this ticket does not give you the chance to skip the line for the St Peter’s Basilica; and the line for the security check at the Basilica is sometimes hours long, even if the entrance is free of charge.


  • Tours. In case you join a tour you will meet a guide in an office or at a meeting point. From there the tour leader or just a guide will lead you toward the entrance where you will be obliged to go through the security check. Even if you will skip the line for the tickets, some days the security check can take up to 20-30 minutes. Probably you will be asking your self “why am I staying in the line if I paid for the skip-the-line”. Remember, you cannot skip the security line. Also, remember, you are entering another state and nor you nor a tour company can do anything about that issue. The Vatican City has its own rules and this access is not a simple access to a museum, but it is a frontier between two countries.

The positive sides of taking a tour are numerous:

  • you skip the line,
  • you don’t have to wonder around trying to figure out where and how to enter the museums.
  • Most of all, you will have a guide who will lead you through one of the BIGGEST museums in the WORLD (9 miles long). Especially the guide can make a difference, so be careful when you are about to choose the company you are booking with.
  • Another big difference can be the size of the group. Semi-private group is normally up to 13 people maximum. However, depending on companies the meaning of the “group” can vary: it can be 20 – 25 people and it can reach up to 60 people. That makes a huge difference. Considering numerous visitors and the crowd entering (20.000 to 40.000 visitors each day) it is much more enjoyable visiting the Museums within a smaller group. So, when you see “group tour” advertised just check what these guys mean by the group. In case of City Lights Tours our groups are max 24 participants.
  • Another positive thing about joining the tour is that your guide is allowed to bring the group through a privileged passage inside the Sistine Chapel that will bring you directly toward the St Peter’s Basilica. After seeing the line for the Basilica, you will realize that this is also one of the greatest points in favor of getting the tour.

If you have any additional curiosities about visiting the Vatican don’t hesitate to contact us!!


Join our Newsletter

We'll send you newsletters with news, tips & tricks. No spams here.