The Vatican is one of those places that’s fascinated me since I was a child. The thought of a country inside of a country was and still is simply baffling. So when I had the chance to visit during a trip to Rome back in 2018, I jumped at the chance.
However, like the many millions who visit the Vatican each year. I was left with so many questions, particularly when’s the best time to visit the Vatican.
This section is broken down into three. The best time of year, the best day of the week and the best time of day. So whether you’re planning your entire trip around visiting the Vatican and are free to maximise your travel plans to that of the seasons, or whether it’s a passing visit on a trip through Italy.
You can be sure to enhance your visit with quiet to moderate crowds and maximum atmosphere.
The Best Time Of Year To Visit The Vatican
If you’re planning your entire trip around visiting the Vatican then you’re no doubt going to want to go at the very best time of year. From there you can narrow your trip down by the best day(s) of the week or hours of the day should you wish to do so.
In this case, we recommend the off-season which is between November to March. This is during winter time, it may be colder however you’ll also likely benefit from fewer crowds as well as discounted accommodation prices.
The Best Day Of The Week To Visit The Vatican
First off, avoid Sunday’s. The museums are closed on Sundays (except for the last Sunday of every month when they are open from 9am until 2pm) so while the Vatican itself maybe quiet, you won’t be able to experience the many things it has to offer.
Between the beginning of May and the end of October, the best day of the week to visit the Vatican is Friday’s. That’s because the museums are open as usual from 9am until 6pm but then again from 7pm until 11pm.
These opening hours are very much an insiders tip, which reduces the numbers significantly. What lowers them even further is the fact that for many these times are undesirable. However, if you’re really looking to get the most from your visit to the Vatican then this can honestly be one of the most rewarding times.
The Best Time Of Day To Visit The Vatican
If you’re unable to maximise the Friday late night openings of The Vatican then the best time of day to visit is going to be early morning. Try and get there in time for the museums opening, if not slightly earlier to give you the chance to look around the city beforehand.
The worst time or should I say the time in which The Vatican is going to be busiest is between the hours of 11am and 3pm.
As always we’d love to know what you think the best time to visit The Vatican is, let us know in the comments below.