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I want to buy a guided tour of the Vatican Museums from their official website. Their options only include the museums, not the Basilica. I don't want to spend endless hours waiting in the queue for the Basilica, so does this tour entitle me to use the door that connects the museum to the basilica?

I don't want to buy a tour from a private company, because even the cheapest one is literally double the price. But short of a tour that includes the Basilica- i can't find an option to skip that queue. And there has been no consensus on travel forums on whether someone who has taken the official tour can use that door.

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    If you travel in July or August you can expect long queues everywhere in Europe. That is because many Europeans travel as well.
    – Willeke
    Jul 28, 2023 at 8:19
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    @Willeke Yes fully prepared for that! Just trying to focus on planning, so I can skip the queues wherever possible
    – V Prah
    Jul 28, 2023 at 10:06

3 Answers 3

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Yes, you can. When you are in the Sistine chapel, there are two exits, the signs aren't particularly prominent, but one will lead you to a corridor the endpoint of which is past the security checks for the basilica, i.e. you are still outside the basilica, but past the queues. You might have to ask a guard in the chapel if you can't see it and the guides in the Vatican museums also know this - that's how I learned where to go. (Did this at the beginning of June.)

From @GoodDeeds comment who remembers more details than I did: "when you exit the Sistine Chapel, take the exit on the far right corner, instead of the one on the near left corner. The exit you need to take will also have signs saying that re-entry to the museum will no longer be possible"

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    Thanks a lot! Have just been looking to confirm this. Out of curiosity- what kind of tour did you take, and was it through the official site? I'm hearing a lot of contrary things- some people say morning is best, others say late afternoon; Some recommend official tours, others private ones
    – V Prah
    Jul 28, 2023 at 13:31
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    @VPrah Specifically, when you exit the Sistine Chapel, take the exit on the far right corner, instead of the one on the near left corner. The exit you need to take will also have signs saying that re-entry to the museum will no longer be possible.
    – GoodDeeds
    Jul 28, 2023 at 14:43
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    @VPrah Yes, through the official site. The English language ones were all booked, but other languages were still available. Aug 1, 2023 at 10:31
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No, you cannot. After the museum tour you'll need to join the basilica queue. Good news: it moves relatively fast.


This is from my personal experience last year. If things have changed since - great.

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    2 people who just got back and took official tours (minus the basilica) have mentioned on tripadvisor that they were allowed to use the bypass for direct entry. I also called the number on the official website to confirm this, and they did (except I'm not sure if there was a language barrier, so he fully understood)
    – V Prah
    Jul 28, 2023 at 10:04
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    @littleadv This contradicts my experience from the beginning of June this year - they very much didn't want you to go and have to clear security again. Jul 28, 2023 at 12:09
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You don't want to try to use the back door from the museums to the basilica. It's not a good idea for many reasons. First of all, you could be breaking the rules and get in trouble with the security.

They might kick you out or ban you from coming back. Second, you could be trespassing on a private area that is not meant for visitors. That could get you into legal trouble or even arrested. You would also be cutting in line and being rude to other people who are waiting patiently for their turn. That's not very nice or respectful. Remember that the Vatican is not just a tourist attraction, but a sacred place of worship and history.

You should follow the proper procedures and show some reverence. Taking shortcuts is not the way to do that. You could end up ruining your whole trip if you get caught and have to deal with the consequences. It's not worth the risk for a few minutes of time. So please, don't try to sneak into St. Peter's Basilica from the Vatican Museums. It's better to go through the main entrance and enjoy the experience as it is meant to be.

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    Was this generated by ChatGPT?
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 29, 2023 at 13:07
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    I rewrote the answer if it sounded like GPT like. Jul 29, 2023 at 13:22
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    Last time I visited there was a clearly marked exit leading to the Basilica that was intended to be used by visitors, not a back door that was private.
    – GoodDeeds
    Jul 29, 2023 at 13:44
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    It’s not an employee door. It’s used regularly by tours- which is why I was asking if official Vatican guides lead you to it- and from everyone’s experience in the recent months- they themselves guide you to it. It’s not disrespectful because you’ve already done your share of lines through security before the museum. I don’t believe in breaking rules at all- in fact later I called up Vatican and they confirmed the use of this door for tourists with official tours
    – V Prah
    Jul 29, 2023 at 14:30
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    OP is not looking to break rules but asking whether this is an acceptable route, which from at least one of the answers seems to be the case. I suggest self deleting this post, which is not really answering the question.
    – Willeke
    Jul 29, 2023 at 16:08

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