Some of the greatest works of art ever created are on display at the Vatican Museums, including a stunning collection of classical sculptures and a suite of rooms frescoed by Raphael. The Vatican Museum also includes the Sistine Chapel, with its iconic ceiling painted by Michelangelo.
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You cannot just see the Sistine Chapel. With its famous ceiling decorated by Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel is at the end of the visitor route through the Vatican Museums. It is included in Vatican Museums tours, but it is impossible to get to it without going through the museums. If you are interested in seeing only the Sistine Chapel, the best option is an "Express Tour," which skips the lines and then makes its way quickly through the Vatican Museums to the Sistine Chapel.
When is the Best Time Time to Visit the Vatican Museums?
It is best to visit the Vatican very early in the morning, before many of the tourists arrive, or in the late afternoon when the museums are less crowded. It's best to avoid Saturdays, which are usually very busy, and you may also want to prevent Wednesdays, when the Pope holds an audience at Saint Peter's Basilica, drawing crowds of thousands.