- Do not purchase tour tickets from scalpers in front of Saint Peters Square. These tickets have an inflated price and are much cheaper if purchased online or in advance. I was offered 60 euros for one adult ticket; this ticket included a tour guide and fast track entrance into the Basilica St Peters and the Vatican Museums. There is no need to purchase these tickets as 1- you do not pay to enter the Basilica, and fast track is not needed as although the length of the queue looks long, it will quickly pass. 2- You can purchase fast track tickets and tour guides online for the Vatican Museums at half the price, 32euros.
- Make sure to cover up when visiting the Basilica Saint Peters. Although this piece of advice may seem obvious, you will be surprised how many people are turned away after many minutes queueing. Whilst visiting the Basilica I witnessed one family’s annoyance of being turned away because of their outfit choice, the church is not the place to wear shorts and crop tops.
- The best time to visit the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel is in the afternoon. If you decide to visit the museum without purchasing tickets in advance, I recommend going after During the day the queues are long and are often spent standing in the sun, not ideal in the height of the summer.
- Ask yourself whether you really want to see the Museums and the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican museum is massive, visitors are crammed in small corridors and tight rooms throughout the complex, many collections have limited or no information. Unless you are passionate about art or invest in a guided tour, I would suggest avoiding the museum as without background knowledge of the main attractions you will be unable to fully appreciate the many exhibitions.
- If you find yourself close to the Vatican or have an evening spare I suggest visiting the square after dark. There is something eerie about standing in Saint Peters looking up at the Basilica alit with spotlights.
- Wear comfy shoes. Sightseeing in Rome usually involves a lot of walking and you will be surprised how quickly your feet become sore.