The Vatican Museums are free to visit on the last Sunday of every month from 09:00 to 14:00. However, the queues can be gargantuan, with wait times running into the hours:

Queue at the Vatican Museum

We will be in Rome on the last Sunday of October. At that time of the year, how early should we show up at the Vatican Museums to avoid having to wait in line for the free admission?

Photo credit: DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0.

  • 5
    I don't know what the normal entrance fee is, but is it really worth the time waiting that long? If it is is 12 Euro, and you wait two hours, you are essentially working during vacation, voluntarily, for 6 Euro per hour.
    – Aganju
    Sep 7, 2017 at 10:46
  • 2
    Of course not, but this is the whole point of my question. If the answer is "show up at 08:45", then great. If the answer is "show up at 06:00", then we'll buy an online ticket for another day.
    – Psychonaut
    Sep 7, 2017 at 10:55

1 Answer 1


Having done this on several occasions, and once was in an October, optimal times seem to be 8:30 in the morning (after all, it's Sunday and Rome) or 3:30 in the afternoon (the October visit). I've also purchased advance tickets online, and selected the 3:30 time slot, and breezed in, right past long lines, waving the ticket voucher.

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