Though it is its own city-state, the Vatican is arguably one huge tourist spot. Even with its role as the seat of power of the Catholic Church, one of the world's biggest religions, the place itself draws in visitors of different faiths, backgrounds, and walks of life. As such, it's often crowded and hectic here, even when it's supposed to be a solemn site. Is it possible to visit the Vatican City in Rome
without any hassle? Yes, it is. These tips will help you have as good a time as possible in the city-state, including booking in advance, knowing what to cover up in your body, and where to see the best views!
Free Up The Entire Day
If you think that you're only gonna spend a few hours in Vatican City, think again! Remember that this is a city-state, not just another neighborhood in Rome
. Visiting one of the Churches alone will take up the entire morning, what more when you want to see the rest of the Vatican? If you want to see as much of this amazing place as possible, free up an entire day. You may even need two to three days to truly explore the Vatican. But if you simply want to see the most famous sights, one whole day is enough!
Consider a Guided Tour
Though it's tempting to visit the Vatican on your own, it's better to go on a guided tour. At least, if it's your first time in the city-state. For one thing, it'll help ensure that you'll get to as many parts of the Vatican as possible. With a strict schedule to follow, you're sure to see a lot. Additionally, you'll learn a lot too. Just seeing these famous sights is not enough to get to know the Vatican. The tour guides know a lot about the place, so much so that they even sneak in fascinating tidbits.
Follow The Dress Code
Don't forget that the Vatican is the seat of power of the Catholic church. To say that things are strict here is an understatement. They're particularly fussy about what you wear. Rome's fashion scene might be out there, but the Vatican isn't. Here, you're required to cover yourself as much as possible. Don't show your shoulders, bare legs, cleavage, and more. Though Rome is famous for its heat, especially in summer, you're gonna have to suck it up. If not, you won't even be allowed in most of the churches and museums in Vatican City.
Wear Comfy Shoes
In the Vatican, you'll walk all day long. The only time you'll get to sit is if you hear mass in St. Peter's Basilica, and that's if you bought a ticket! If not, expect to walk throughout! That's why you must wear comfy shoes. Any closed-toe shoe is okay. Flip-flops or sandals, however, are not! Don't forget that the place still has a strict dress code. Part of that is to only wear footwear that will cover your feet. And even you have to admit that wearing flip-flops in the Sistine Chapel is just wrong!
Expect (and Prepare for) No Air-Conditioning
It's easy to think that the Vatican is air-conditioned. The Pope, bishops, cardinals, and even the colorful Swiss Guards are all covered up, yet they don't look sweaty at all. In such a warm city like Rome, this is only possible if the place is air-conditioned, right? Well, no. How these fully-covered men can wear their robes and uniforms without sweating is a mystery of its own. But the Vatican itself has no air-conditioning. From the churches to the museums, plain air is all you can expect. So bring along a fan for your own sake!
Eat Outside The Vatican
Now, let's talk food. Does the Vatican only serve flatbread and wine? Of course, not! They know that tourists come here often. And while there aren't any eateries in the city-state, there's still a cafeteria in the Vatican Museums. It's likely where the staff eat on their breaks. Guests are invited to eat here also, but in truth, it's not worth your money. It's better to just eat anywhere else, especially since the Italian capital is known for its prominent culinary scene. Waiting to eat at any of Rome's Michelin-starred restaurants
is worth fighting through the hunger as you explore the Vatican.
Try to Catch The Papal Audience
Just because you're going to the Vatican, where the Pope lives, it doesn't mean that you'll meet him there. At least, not when it's not Wednesday. If you want a chance to meet the most influential figure in the Catholic Church, you'll want to visit the city-state on Wednesdays. On this day of the week, the Pope usually holds a Papal Audience in St. Peter's Square. This is a chance you won't want to miss, even if he does it relatively regularly. It's only natural for a lot of people to want to meet him, so even if you're there, there's still no guarantee that you will!
If you're going to the Vatican anytime soon, it's best to follow these helpful tips, They'll ensure that you'll have as good a time in the city-state as possible. You'll barely face any problems and avoid getting into trouble!