It’s All About queueing in St. Peter’s Basilica

October 1, 2017Niry Fidelis

A Day Trip to the Vatican City

Some days ago, I went to St. Peter’s Basilica with my father. Since we come from a very strict Catholic family, this obligation is duly renewed once in a while as it is the holiest site of Christianity. Something different went on this time: we reached the Basilica at 1 pm and there were plenty of people queueing everywhere. There were more than 6 long lines long down the Street.

Vatican City Queue

There was a main queue and 5 of its branches. We unconsciously took the main one but later I understood that it has been a bad idea because it went on absorbing the sidelines as well. Since there was nobody to guide the public, the queues were springing up everywhere. This is the reason why the main one went on slowly and the people who came after us found their selves ahead of us. Let’s leave out the ones who plugged into the line like everything was ok. 

Vatican City Queue

It took more than 2 hours for us to reach the front side of the Basilica but since we had no other plans, it hasn’t been a big deal for us. The whole queuing experience lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes and honestly, for me it was not that bad. I spent most of our time taking photos as we (my father) moved along the queue. 

Vatican City Queue

My father and I were talking about how the situation has changed since his first time to St. Peter’s Basilica. Almost 30 years ago just some few people were visiting the Basilica and now due to some changes regarding travellers and travellings, plenty and plenty of tourists are coming to the Vatican City. In fact, it is a lifetime experience. Such a change of mentality will for sure take more and more travellers to this place. He also said that once you could feel the holiness which seemed to have disappeared now. For a man of faith like him, it was really very disappointing. 


While the queue was moving slowly some private guides came saying that queue free entrance was available for guided tours. So I understood that it became a matter of business now. You are not paying the entrance ticket to the basilica because it is a Church but if you pay the guide you skip the line. This is a great way to earn money because most of the tourist have a lack of time and this sounds really cool to their ears, in fact, some of us left but we decided to stay because we have almost arrived close to the entrance. Another reason why the queue went on slowly was because of the metal detectors. You need to go through them one by one before getting into the Basilica. There were eight or nine metal detectors but not all of them were operated.

Fila Vaticano

When we were at that point we saw the special entrance for guided tours, many people got into that way without a guide and the security didn’t seem to care. Because of this, some bypassed the queue. So this shortcut which was supposed to be for the ones with guides became for the “clever” ones. Finally, when we got inside we were really happy. I was so excited to see my father has done it once again. If not for St. Peter’s Church, I know that he would never have accepted to wait such a long time under the hot sun. Anyways in case you don’t have enough money don’t be intimated by the queue, just do it. Words cannot express or describe what is waiting for you there inside. Even if you are not religious at all, you will still appreciate it.  

Vatican City tour

When planning your visit, try to avoid Wednesday mornings because it’s the day of the Papal audience, then it’s closed for visitors until 12:00 or even further. Therefore it is more crowded in the evening. Be also aware that the Pope can decide at any time to have the Basilica for himself and it’s is not uncommon. In this case, it will be closed for tourists. Therefore don’t plan your visit for the last day of your stay.  Watch out your dress, keep your shoulders and thighs covered because if not when finally you reach the check-in point they can send you back. Believe me, if it happens you are almost to kill the one next to you! When possible avoid important religious days because they attract tourists so it is to be overcrowded. Good luck, may God be with you!

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Comments (13)

  • Preet@thevelvetlife

    November 4, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    This is such an amazing experience. I have been to St Peters Basilica, Vatican City 5 years back and still remember how peaceful and beautiful experience it is.

  • Preet@thevelvetlife

    November 4, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    And great tips, I do remember the time and hassle waiting in the queue, and now when I visit it again next year with kids, these tips are going to be very handy.

  • Rémy Nguyen Binh

    November 4, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Amazing. I always wanted to go to Rome. Thanks for the tips. It's very helpful.

  • Anonymous

    November 4, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I love your gorgeous and beautiful photographs!!! My son was blessed to study here for a semester and it was an amazing experience for him. Shell

  • Aditi

    November 4, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Great pictures! Good to know about the wait times for when we make a trip to the beautiful city!

  • Shub B

    November 5, 2017 at 3:08 am

    Wow St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City is so amazing and beautiful place. This place is one of the tourist spot in the world. Great tips and photos.

  • Jack Bransson

    November 5, 2017 at 5:19 am

    This is amazing place and the queue is so long, i really wish to visit this place one day and experience it.

  • Elizabeth O

    November 5, 2017 at 8:38 am

    I have been their before, and that is one of my greatest and memorable experience I have ever been. That place is so beautiful and breathtaking architecture.

  • AnnMarie John

    November 6, 2017 at 12:54 am

    It's truly breathtaking, even from the outside. I can imagine why people would line up for hours just to go see what's waiting for them inside. I'd love to see it one day!

  • Amy Dong

    November 6, 2017 at 2:24 am

    Thanks for all the great tidbits and advice. It's so helpful to know which days to go/not to go, what to wear, what to expect… those are all things to be prepared for.

  • Cheichei Va

    November 6, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Sounds amazing. I would like to see and visit Rome. Uhmm thanks for sharing these wonderful pics.

  • Nicole Flint

    November 6, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    It would be a great experience to visit one day! I can definetly understand why people would line up for hours! The Vatican is beautiful!

  • laara

    November 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Beautiful images and place looks great and long queue shows it's importance.

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