By Elliot Williams
VATICAN CITY — If you plan on visiting the Vatican Museums, one of the most visited attractions in all of Rome, and one of the most visited art museums in the world, it is important to have some valuable information beforehand.
A school group enters the Vatican Museums. (CNS/Paul Haring)
With 4.4 miles of exhibit halls that display some of the world’s most famous masterpieces, this is an admittedly exhausting, but must-see location on your trip to Vatican City. You will want to eat a big breakfast — perhaps three cornetti (Italy’s version of the croissant) — beforehand to make it through the museums, which spread throughout two Vatican palaces.
Here are the basics:
— First and foremost, the museums are open Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm, but the ticket office closes at 4 pm. The museums are typically closed on Sundays.
However, on the last Sunday of each month — except when a holiday falls on a Sunday — the public can enter for free from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. On the free Sundays, the museums close at 2 p.m. It must be noted that the queue on these free Sundays extends almost to the Colosseum (I’m exaggerating, but you will be waiting quite a while) so plan accordingly.
In addition, the Vatican Museums have announced their seasonal night openings. On Friday evenings from April 24 until Oct. 30 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. (except during the month of August) you can visit the Vatican treasures and, perhaps, be lucky enough to catch some live music. To visit the museums at night, it is obligatory to purchase the tickets online in advance.
— For a calendar of the Vatican Museums’ opening hours for 2015, holidays and special events, you can click here.
— Of course, the wise pilgrim wants to know how this visit will fit into the budget. The basic prices are:
General admission: € 16,00
Children (up to 18 years of age): € 8,00
— You can — and really should — purchase tickets online in advance so you can skip the line. You cannot purchase these tickets more than 60 days in advance of your visit.
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