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I will be traveling to Rome with a friend for Easter 2016 (25th March – 30th March). We would like to be able to visit the Vatican to see the art and St. Peters Basilica (not for religious purposes, but as a tourist attraction).

What day would give us the best chance of getting in and being able to visit the basilica and maybe also the Sistine Chapel? I suppose we should wait until after Sunday, but is it open to visitors on the Monday or Tuesday after Easter? Are there times that the area is less crowded?

I realize Easter is not the best time to visit the Vatican as a non-religious tourist, but we booked our flights without realising that was Easter weekend. I should also mention that since we are from Argentina we probably won't get another chance to visit soon.

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    "I realize Easter is not the best time to visit the Vatican as a non-religious tourist" -- understatement of the year! :) – Flimzy Oct 23 '15 at 20:28
  • @choster Thank you for pointing that out! I will edit it in the question :) – AkkaVoskuil Oct 27 '15 at 18:32
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While it will be extremely crowded, indeed, it's a good idea to buy your tickets in advance. The Vatican Museums online ticketing can be only be done sixty days in advance at http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do

Before you do, check to make sure that it is open on the date you wish http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/z-Info/MV_Info_Calendario2016.html

Alternatively, you could book via a tour company. You want to make sure the they are licensed by the city of Rome, such as www.myrometours.com

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    Yes. This. Book in advance. Jump the queueing crowd. Prepare to queue inside the museums. And don't get bullied around by tourist guides, who tend to push their groups to the best spots for viewing artworks. – JoErNanO Oct 26 '15 at 17:54
  • Thank you for the useful links, we will definitely book online beforehand. This is a useful answer but I will wait a bit before marking it as the accepted answer as it doesnt answer which of the days we have available would be the best moment to go. – AkkaVoskuil Oct 27 '15 at 18:29
  • You'll be there during some the liturgical calendar's most important events, there is no 'best' time: the Vatican Museums are closed two of the of the days, Sunday the 27th and Monday the 28th, and there are Papal Masses, audiences and celebrations throughout the week massive crowds for Holy Thursday Mass, Good Friday Mass and Saturday’s Easter Vigil. So, you might want go after Easter, and make an 8 am reservation. – Giorgio Oct 27 '15 at 18:54
  • Thank you! That was the information I was after :) I did not know which days there would be special Vigil/Mass. Thank you! – AkkaVoskuil Oct 28 '15 at 17:17

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