Vatican Museum

  based on 12 reviews   write a review

Rome, Italy

Vatican Museum Rome Reviews

missandrea81 missandr…
144 reviews
Art galore and worth a visit Jan 08, 2013
My visit to the Vatican Museum in January was a great one. There weren't hordes of people pushing you by the art, or lots of noise. It was very pleasant, especially since we did not wait in line, even though it was the middle of the day.

About the museum. It was a little confusing at first as there aren't very many signs. Hubby didn't feel the audio tour, so we just walked in on our own terms. First we walked outside onto the patio and examined Vatican gardens below. Then we headed toward the beginning of the tour, as one said was labeled with a shorter time than the other. Meaning if you start at the one with the shorter time, you'll bypass a lot of worthy art.

The first part was a bit like any museum, Egyptian art (mummies!) and lots of other rare old artifacts. We ended up in a big open court yard where we were drawn to a big globe sculpture in the middle. After there were many halls with marble sculpture lining the walls on both sides.

It just kept getting better. Rooms with frescoes and art covering all other surfaces. You barely know where to look first. Even if you're only browsing this museum it will take you hours to get through it as it is built as a one way street. Nobody enforced the rule when we were there, but I've heard that when it's busy you can get yelled at for "swimming upstream."

My favorite was the room of maps. The colors were so vibrant and my back was starting to hurt from looking up at the marvelous ceiling.

The Sistine Chapel is found toward the end of your visit. You have no choice but to walk through it. NO pictures allowed. I knew there were plenty online, so I didn't risk getting my camera taken by a guard with an ear piece. I must say, the hype about this room kind of kills it. Now that I am taking an art history class after the visit, I can appreciate the art in this room more. I wish there had been some kind of voice explaining the art while I was there, as the room was the fullest and it was comfortable to stand there shoulder to shoulder with other people. I say, do your homework before you go. Of course I was able to point out the famous "Creation of Adam" on Michelangelo's ceiling, but the room's light is very dim. No doubt to preserve the extensive restoration work done nearly 10 years earlier.

We moved on and came to the part of the museum where single pieces were displayed, a vase here, a wooden shrine there, a stained glass window here.

We really enjoyed our visit to the museum, but is impossible to appreciate it all in one day, even with the clever layout.
The globe
Stairs down to the hall of sculptu…
10 / 10 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
missandrea81 says:
Thank you very much. So much to see, so little time.
Posted on: Jul 24, 2014
texadian says:
Well done review! Great photos too!
Posted on: Jul 13, 2014
missandrea81 says:
Thank you, Ilse. :)
Posted on: Apr 06, 2013
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Zagnut66 Zagnut66
110 reviews
Vatican Museum Mar 06, 2013
There is so much to see that you get overwhelmed by everything. The Sistine Chapel was closed during my visit, but after going through dozens of rooms one more opulent than the next I was already burnt out by famous Renaissance ceiling frescoes. The crowds weren't that bad at first, but as the afternoon arrived so did the throngs of tourists pushing me through the maze of rooms like sea flotsam. If you want a break from the crush of humanity, step into the Etruscan galleries for a few minutes. They were deserted save a few bored security guards.

Even with the crowds the Vatican Museum is one of those places you just have to visit. My only complaints were the unhelpful maps and lack of signs for navigation. I was surprised that English translations accompanied the wall texts for most of the artworks and artifacts, figuring they would only be in Italian. There were no trash cans in the gift shop area, leaving people to wander around with their soda cans and food wrappers from the vending machines. Maybe Pope Francis can take care of this little oversight.
Getting ready to look at some art
Check out those abs
8 / 8 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
texadian says:
Fantastic thanks you for sharing
Posted on: Jul 13, 2014
cotton_foam says:
great photos that go with the review, Bill!
Posted on: Jan 28, 2014
andrejav andrejav
651 reviews
Vanity Collection Jan 12, 2012
First I tried to get in the museum on Sunday because I was told that it is a free entrance day (free museum works like a magnet). Arriving an hour before opening did not do any good, and line was so long that could easily pass one kilometer. There was no way that I would waste my day waiting in line, so I simply decided to pay the fee they request and came next day.

No matter the price, Vatican Museum is spectacular, and definite must-see place. Long painted hallways take you to different wings, niches and buildings/chapels. You can easily spend all day roaming around, but be careful not to go out of the museum, because than you can’t come back.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Bojasem Bojasem
205 reviews
top attraction in Rome May 26, 2012
i travel with group my giude Juliano was very good and give us a lot of information about the

Vatican and the pop.

in My opinion the Vatican most beautiful building in the world ,Outstanding,amazing , you will

say wow great art , espically Michelangelo & raffaello work .

the museum rowded and some area narrow but it deserve .

the art in the vitican unique and you will enjoy every second in the Vatican Museum if you like

art or arch.

i do not like The Guards they close some rooms when we are visitinting and force us to go

in long way.
ccruz517 ccruz517
2 reviews
Not just the sistine chapel... Jan 12, 2012
A must do in Rome! lines can be extremely long if you don't go with a tour group. If you decide to do it on your own, skip the line by entering by the tour entrance..I was able to do so, and didn't get stopped. You can book a tour with a tour company or get a cheaper tour at the museum. I booked a tour and spent 3 hours with a great guide,then came back and paid 7E for an audio guide and did the places our tour couldn't do.
Vipin Vipin
691 reviews
Stunning, essential viewing Feb 22, 2010
The Vatican Museum must be one of the most renowned museums in the world, as it holds a very impressive collection of art from the ancient and classical worlds and the Renaissance period as well.

There are so many sculptures of famous rulers and noteworthy people from ancient Rome, and there are lashings of marble and porphyry everywhere. The paintings contain the gamut of Renaissance grandeur; the museum features the work of masters such as da Vinci, Raphael, Titian and Michelangelo. The most impressive paintings must be in the Sistine Chapel, where the vivid nature and details of each figure will take your breath away.

The queues are long as always, and I recommend you go early in the morning and treat it as a half day trip.

If you visit one museum while you are in Rome/ the Vatican City, make it this one.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Dr_Seuss Dr_Seuss
216 reviews
A Must See Jun 27, 2009
This was my second visit to the Vatican Museum, and strangely it left me less impressed, but more appreciative. From my first visit I had a hard time reconciling the vast wealth held within the walls to the churches aims of aiding the poor around the world, but this time I found it a lot less 'in your face'. Maybe an age thing or the fact that I've seen so much more in the 20 years since I had last been, or maybe it has been toned down a bit.

We went around 10-30am and there was a big queue to get into the Basilica,might have been something on, and walked round to the museum and walked straight in 8).

Plenty of art work and trinkets to look at, and a fair sized Egyptian collection, which is all vey nice, though I'm not sure it belongs there as there are plent of other museums that could house stuff like that and maybe it should focus more on the religious stuff.

We spent our time following the direction signs round the place, but it did all start to get a bit the same and we skipped on. Thing I did like was the 'Sphere Within A Sphere' in the courtyard, that moves occasionally. Like some of the other stuff, not sure why it's there or how appropriate it is, but I liked it.

Doing the speed walk version of the tour, we soon got to the bit I really wanted to see again, the Sistine Chapel. Here again I found it a lot different from last time. Previously you had to wait and were escorted in groups of about 20 by 3 or 4 '' officials'', with a very strict emphasis on the no photography policy. This time it was just a free for all and the place was very crowded and everyone was ignoring the signs about cameras and had there cameras and mobiles out. Have to say I much preferred the experience first time round as it was far more atmospheric, and perhaps even humbling. Still the frescos on the ceiling are one of the most stunning visual sights you will ever see, and you can spend ages looking deciphering all the pictures and giving yourself a sore neck in the process.

Luckily (?) this is near the end of the museum and by that time my son had had enough and I'd seen what I wanted so we just made for the exit. So a slight warning note to parents that just because you are impressed by it all don't take it that your kids will be ;)
Sphere Within A Sphere
Vatican Museum Courtyard
texadian says:
I can't wait to see it!
Posted on: Jul 13, 2014
missandrea81 says:
My back was the sore after we were done. :)
Posted on: Apr 02, 2013
Ann_Hells Ann_Hells
33 reviews
Vatican Museum Mar 01, 2008
I agree to go in the afternoon; there was hardly a line when I went. This museum is well worth its entrance fee. There is so much to see.

I would recommend spending some time in the exhibits before the Sistine chapel. I saw many people walking through the exhibits without looking at the pieces just following the signs to the chapel, but all of the pieces are beautiful. Once you are in the Sistine chapel you probably wont get a chance to go back to some of the other exhibits because there is a general flow in the opposite direction, and the museum is somewhat maze-like.

The Egyptian collection was great as well as the courtyard, which houses Laocoon and his sons (as Eric mentioned.)

The audio guide was also a great help. It’s only 4 Euro per person and it highlights some of the more important pieces to explain.

The halls and rooms that hold the pieces are great. Most have decorated ceilings or frescoed walls. The museum does a great job of matching the designs with the items. While other exhibitions I saw in the Castel Sant Angelo clashed between the Roman fourth style wall paintings and modern art, the Vatican combined them so that you don’t lose focus. The Hall of miscellaneous sculpture did this particularly well.

If you go with a tour group make sure the tour in the museums is more than an hour! We decided against the tour group when we learned this, there is too much and it is well worth it to spend double or triple the time.
cat mummy in Egyptian exhibit
jasonvy7 jasonvy7
9 reviews
Very interesting Feb 25, 2008
One of the most famous chapel is in this museum... The room of the old maps is wonderful!
zoecricks zoecricks
4 reviews
Jun 29, 2007
The Vatican Museum was outstanding, and not only for the sistine chapel! It was abit of a nightmare to find because you have to walk from st peter's church and its right round the corner along a very long windey brick wall but it was well worth the hunt! I spent 4 hours in the whole museum the exhibitions especilally the ethnological one and egyptian one were really interesting! The ceiling fresco are all in perfect condition so make sure the camera's charged. All i would say is avoid doing it as a tour group i did it alone and you get to listern in on tours as you go round but you can go at your own pace, i went peak season and the tour groups everywhere became a tad iritating! They say no camera's also in the sistine chapel but to get round this turn off your flash and hold it still at waist height and do it on the sly because trust me you will want to get some memories of it!
tartanhop tartanhop
8 reviews
Jun 20, 2007
I agree with Eric, the Museum is incredible. I just have two tips from my visit there:

1. Go in the afternoon if at all possible. The lines will be long no matter what, but in the afternoon they are FAR shorter than first thing in the morning with all the toursists who want to check it off thier lists.

2. The sheer number of people can be overwhleming in the Sistine chapel, and Eric's right about the 'silencio' guy (or the British woman who tells English-speakers to kindly be quiet and not take photos). I'm a painter so I knew I had to really spend some time with the ceiling. I just found a piece of bench, tried to block out everything around me and looked up for a good 20 minutes. Chances are this might be the only time you'll see it in real life, and unlike some other famous works of art, it really does live up to its hype, so it's worth spending time with.
What not to wear in the Vatican Mu…
Eric Eric
408 reviews
Jan 29, 2006
In short, this is one of the most amazing collections of art in the world. Even with all of the other amazing attractions in Rome, this should be at the top of your list for things to see. Instead of trying to hopelessly summarize the entire museum, I'm just going to focus on my favorite part: the inner courtyard.This small courtyard contains many ancient statues of staggering quality. Each work is situated in a small, outdoor alcove and there is a real sense of discovery and wonder as you walk around the courtyard, wondering what great work the next niche holds. My favorite statue here is Laocoon and his Sons. During the Trojan war, Laocoon was a priest of Troy who warned its inhabitants about accepting the now infamous Trojan Horse. After his warning, two giant snakes sent by the gods (probably Athena) emerge from the sea and basically strangle Laocoon and his sons. The story is grisly, but the statue is spectacular!The discovery of these ancient statues also played an important role the flowering of the Renaissance. Laocoon, carved by three brothers in Greece over two-thousand years ago, was hailed by the Greeks as the most beautiful statue of its time. When it was unearthed 1500 years later in Italy, the artists of the Renaissance were motivated to create even more beautiful works of art, and in a sense were competing with antiquity. Also, since ancient Greek sculptures were all the rage during the time, many artists (including the great Michelangelo) tried to create works and pass them off as ancient Greek originals.This is just one small, small part of the museum and I haven't even mentioned the Raphael rooms, Michelangelo's Last Judgement, or the Sistine Chapel. It's all worth it (although the guy shouting "silencio" every 3 seconds in the Sistine Chapel can get kind of annoying...). Bottom line: go here.
Laocoon, sons, and serpents.
Apollo Belvedere.
The courtyard.
Eric says:
Ohh, I've never been to the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice...Never heard of it, actually! I'll have to check it out next time I am in Italy.
Posted on: Jun 20, 2007

Check Rome Hotel Deals

Vatican Museum Map
1 review
12 reviews
2 reviews - $76
2 reviews - $271
photo by: vulindlela