May 16th, 2017
If you are in Rome, you must visit the Vatican City. It's simply a place that one must see for yourself, especially if it's your first time visiting Rome. Vatican City is just north of the city centre of Rome and you can easily get there by taking the subway. The Vatican is its own country, and it's super tiny- in fact, it's the smallest in the world.
The two main attractions in the Vatican City are the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica. These two attraction have separate entrances and to enter each you must exit the city and reenter from their official entrance. The Vatican Museum is an enormous building composed of many collections. This is where you will also find the famous Sistine Chapel. I advise that you plan your Vatican Museums trip. You could set up a tour with a guide or do a self-guided tour. For my visit, I decided to do a self-guided tour and listened to Rick Steve's audio guide for the Vatican Museums. If you can, purchase your ticket online and do this well in advance so you don't need to wait in the queue. I tried to purchase mine online the night before and it was sold out so I had to wait in the queue the next day. I arrived at the line at 12 pm and waited for about an hour and a half just to enter. Another thing to keep in mind is that people on the streets will try to convince you to go with a tour guide. I was approached by a tour guide even a block away from the entrance. It's your choice on if you would like to but I find that self-guided tours are much better as you can go at your own pace and learn more. Another thing to remember is that you must dress appropriately to enter the Vatican City. This means no bare shoulders, and your knees must be covered.
My experience in the Vatican Museums was very unique compared to any other museum experience. The artwork I saw in the complex was jaw dropping and simply magical. However, I have never felt so claustrophobic and rushed in my life. There were so many people in the exhibits it was very chaotic. Nonetheless, it's very worth it to go and learn more about the history and art. I spent about 3 hours in the museums. You can definitely do the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica in one day.
St. Peter's Basilica is definitely the biggest church I have ever seen. It was very beautiful in person to see the Basilica from St Peter's Square. You can enter the Basilica for free, however, I didn't as the line was way too long.
Keep scrolling to see my Vatican City photo diary!
Sistine Chapel - it's crazy to imagine that Michaelangelo painted this whole chapel...
Thanks for reading,