The exhibits within the Vatican Museums are simply amazing and so because of these it would be impossible for me to rate the place as any less than very good. It is a "must visit" place at least once. In fact it's not just the exhibits, but also the building itself which are worth seeing.
We visited on the day before the monthly "free" day (last Sunday of the month is free admission) becuase it was our last day in Rome. This may have explained the absence of the queue to get in as most tourist were probably waiting to go in free on the next day. The extent of the queue barriers did give us an idea of just how long the queues might get at times! We paid 15 euros to get in each and 7 euros each for the audio guide. You do need the audio guide as there are little if any descriptions of the items on display as you go around the museum. The audioguide was probably the best we had in Rome.
Clearly the key attraction bringing most people is the Sistine chapel and the presence of the large and noisy tour groups pushing quickly forward to reach that goal does ruin much of the rest of the museum for others. Most of these people don't even seem to be looking around them as they march onwards. That is their loss. It does mean however that some of the 'side' exhibitions which are not on the direct path from entrance to sistine chapel are much more relaxed places to visit, such as the Etruscan section.
The sistine chapel is one of those places most people want to go and see in their lives but it is suprising how small and dark it is after what you see on TV. Impressive all the same. It was a little amusing to see the signs as you go into the chapel telling people that it is a sacred place and asking for silence as the tours groups and their guides totally ignore this and so the Vatican has people who walk around the chapel saying "shhhh" all day. It doesn't work of course, which is a shame as the experience would undoubtedly be better if it were peaceful in there.
The Rafael rooms were, in my opinion, just as impressive as the Sistine Chapel and there is a very interesting display of modern art in the Bogia apartments.
What I had not been expecting was just how commercial the place is! Every few rooms you seem to be deposited into another gift shop. Some of the stuff seemed very tacky to me (Golden statues of the pope etc) but I suppose some people must like it or they wouldn't sell it.
The caffeteria is very noisy but not any more over priced than most of central Rome. The staff here did seem particularly grumpy and disinterested in their jobs though, although this did start to become a theme as we went round the museum.
During the last 2 hours of the day the tour groups start to disappear and so it becomes much easier to properly view and enjoy the exhibits so don't leave until you've made good use of this time.
Little to say about the art collection in the Vatican Museum on the way in to the Capella Sistina not already put so eloquently elsewhere, other than maybe... .... miraculous ? ...... Did any other Guns 'n' Roses fans spot this on the wall? (cf. Use Your Illusion I & II (Geffen, 1991))
It's all here in abundance, the best of the best, in the elongated complex known as the Vatican Museums, which also provides access to the famous Raphael rooms and Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. During high season, I suggest that you go in the afternoon, when the crowds are much lighter, and if possible, to avoid Saturday entirely!
Open Mon-Fri 8:45am-3:45pm (admission until 2.20pm ) April-Oct; Mon-Fri 8.45am-1.45pm (admission until 12.20pm ) Nov-Mar. Open Sat 8.45am-1.45pm (admission until 12.20pm ) year-round. Open and free on the last Sunday of the month, same hours as Sat. Closed Catholic holidays. € 12; reduced € 8 (26 or under with ISIC card).
GET HERE EARLY!!! The lines that form outside this museum are as breathtaking as the exhibits inside. That said, no matter how long the wait, it's worth it. There are 8 museums and 5 galleries, along with the Sistine Chapel inside. The roof of the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michaelangelo. If you get to the museum early, go to the Sistine Chapel right away, as it fills up quickly and tends to be the place that people linger. You can always go back to other exhibits.
i m going to be very honest , i dont know the name of this fresco and what scene it represents, because first it was too crowded the day i went and couldnt get to the explanation of it and second i dont think i could remember the names of all these scenes.
The Vatican Museums are one of the most famous and renowned cultural institutions of the Vatican State. They are known everywhere because of the masterpieces which are collected and preserved here during the ages. The Vatican Museums include the most important and artistically significant rooms of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, such as the “Cappella Niccolina” with paintings by Beato Angelico, the “Appartamento Borgia” with decorations by Pinturicchio, the “Stanze” painted by Raphael and, of course, the Sistine Chapel with frescoes by Michelangelo as well as the most important 15th century masters from Umbria and Tuscany.
Prepare yourself to wait for a long time before reaching the entrance, because normally people queue up to 1Km! The last sunday of each month the entrance is free of charge.
First thing to do is get up really early, have breakfast, and get to the entry point as early as you can. The queue's for so fast and when our group arrived 1/2 hour befor opening the queue was already like 1/2 mile long.
The vatican museum's are incredible. They are extremly well set out, and quite easy to follow the map. A guided tour is good as you get the benefit of the guides local knowledge of the exhibits. There are mile and milre of corridors and you get to see only a fraction of them. I want to gop back some day and get to see some of the ones that I didnt' see.
Some of the ones that come to mind are the Map Gallery, The Tapestry Gallery and so it goes on and on and on.
The Sistine Chapel is the highlite of the tour and is kind of mind blowing. There is supposed to be silence there (very very hard to control) and no photography (which they try to control)
Its well worth seeing
You can easily spend your entire vacation in the Vatican Museum due to their expansive collection.
Try to get a ticket reservation and go early in the morning to avoid long lines. Believe me, the extra money you spend on the reservation is worth avoiding 3 hours standing in line.
Mondays are not the days to go to the Vatican Museum. All other museums are closed and it gives everyone the same brilliant idea of going to the Vatican museum.
If you only see 2 things in the Vatican Museum it should be the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms. You will be blown away by the enormity of the chapel and will have an appreciation for the labor and passion Michelangelo put into his art. The Last Judgment panel is also very stunning. Look for Michelangelo's self-portrait in the skin of St. Bartholomew.
The Sistine Chapel is the private papel chapel built in 1473 for Pope Sixtus IV.
Michalangelo's wonderfull frescoes of the creation on the barrel-vaulted ceiling and "Last Judgement" on the end of the wall have both be restored to their original brilliance. It took Michelangelo four years, at the height of the Renaissance, to paint the ceiling ; 24 years later he painted the the last Judgement...
Famous is the creation of Adam painted in the ceiling....
So don't forget it when you are in the Vatican city... because its beautifull and a must see.
The complex of different museums in the Vatican is worth a visit or maybe two or three for it is reeeeealy huge.
The wealth and number of statues, sculptures and paintings is so overwhelming that a human's capacity of grasping all of it (even if you had the time in one day) is just being surpassed.
I for myself was facinated by the Sistine Chapel even though somebody could classify it as a Tourist Trap. Too many tourists, too much noise and far too many uniformed men shouting "Non si puo fotografare qui dentro."
We got to the museum entrance around 9:30. The line was reasonable--around 20 minutes. However, we had by mistake, got into the group tour line, and the security at the door tried to stop us. Fortunately, we had a Japanese tour group in front of us, and since we are Chinese, we just said we were with them and was able to get in. Once we got past that door, we could buy individual tickets without a problem. However, some unlucky people were turned away and had to get in line all over again.
At the end of the line when we first got there, we cannot tell that we were in a group line. The best thing to do is just ask the people around you.
This will save you a lot of time.
As you go through the Vatican Museum one of the last things you will do is the Sistine Chapel
There is an exit in the back of the room labeled 'exit for tours only'
Wait until you have enough people or join a tour, but that IS the exit to take. What I did was lift my umbrella and many others were waiting for someone to do something like this. Then walk out like you know what you're doing :)
It will dump you right to the entrance of St Peters Basilica saving you walking and time.
I won't start telling you fact about the Vatican Museum. I will just state that I believe this is one of the most touching museums in the world. It is not big as the Louvre, not as filled with paintings as maybe other big museum of art, but this is a piece of art by itself. Rooms, with splendid painted round roofs, statues by Michelangelo, sunny courtyards, finishing with the great Sistine Chapel, makes this a very special museum.
I visited the Vatican 8 years before and ended up waiting in line for 2 hours to get in. It was pretty horrible - we arrived at around noon, and since we were afraid of losing our spot, we did not dare to go get lunch. We ended up going hungry until dinner time, since you'll need at least 2 hours to just to do a quick loop around the museum.
This time, we took some advice from friends and decided to visit after lunch. We arrived at around 1:45pm on Tuesday and followed the pretty manageable lines into the ticket area. We were able to get in and buy our tickets around 2:10pm and most of that is from walking along the walls from St. Peter's. In fact, it seems like we were the only ones arriving at that time that's not part of a tour group.
The Vatican Museum is a must-see. We were especially impressed with the Sistine Chapel, though there is a bit of everything for everyone. Just a reminder: There is no photography inside the Sistine Chapel, so please refrain from doing so when you visit. There were lots of people breaking the rules and the guards have to continually remind people to be silent and not take photos or videos.
P.S. You can mail postcards from the Vatican post office located near the big gift shop. They must have some of the most efficient mail service in the area.
As you enter the Vatican Museum, you can't help but notice its magnificent ceilings with frescoes and relief sculptures all over. So as you walk further will probably think that all the ceilings have relief works on them. Well look again - and hard. Some ceilings are cleverly and masterfully painted that you will actually think it's a relief sculpture (or bas-relief) until somebody told you it's NOT. Yes it's not. The whole stretch of ceiling is just painted to fool the eye. And once you confirm that, you will appreciate it even more.