Things to do in Rome

Best Ways To Skip The Lines at St. Peter’s Basilica

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St. Peter’s Basilica is renowned in the Christian community as the “greatest of all churches of Christendom." Located in Vatican City, it is widely believed in Catholic tradition to be the burial site of Saint Peter, who was chief among Jesus's apostles and was also the first Bishop of Rome (Pope). Needless to say, it can get quite busy here as tourists from all across the world make their way over to Rome to view the historic church. This makes it important to learn how you can skip the lines at St. Peter's Basilica, so that you can spend more time inside the church than waiting to get inside.

skip the line st. peter's basilica
Explore the wonders of the St. Peter's Basilica with skip-the-line tickets!

Wait Times - What to Expect at St. Peter's Basilica

Whether you’re visiting Rome for the first time, or it’s a frequent destination for you – visiting the St. Peter’s Basilica is a must. As the believed burial site of Saint Peter, and having been constructed by Michelangelo and Bernini, it is a church that features high on the list of any traveler worth their salt. This means that the queues at the entry are often long and winding, resulting in a wait that can often be hours long. So knowing how you can skip the lines can prove handy if you’re on a tight schedule or simply detest long waits.

5 Ways To Skip The Lines at St. Peter's Basilica

Now that you know how long the lines to get tickets are, you also know how important it is to plan in advance. Here are 5 ways you can skip the lines at St. Peter's Basilica and make your visit a memorable one:

#1 Pre-Book Your St. Peter's Basilica Tickets Online

It can be a great advantage to book your tickets online and to do so well in advance, as opposed to buying them at St. Peter’s Basilica itself. You can easily forgo the long queues and uncertainty of your prefered date, by simply booking the tickets for your visit in advance from the comfort of your home.

#2 Book dedicated skip the line tickets

If you’re hoping to secure your time even more responsibly, you can take it a step further by booking dedicated skip the line tickets online, and avoiding the wait at the venue altogether.

#3 Opt for Guided Tours

If you’d like to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, we suggest booking a Guided Tour to St. Peter’s Basilica. Not only will this option grant you an in-depth tour of the church, its architecture, and its history – but it will also give you skip the line access, since most guided tours include this feature.

#4 Beat The Crowds- Visit During Early Hours

If you’re on a budget, then the most straightforward way to avoid long lines and extended waits while visiting St. Peter's Basilica — on any given day — is by simply scheduling your visit for the time of day when the crowds are at their lowest capacity. Pro tip – the crowds are always much thinner during the early hours of the morning.

#5 Go For Small Group Tours

If you’re looking for a dedicated guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica, but want a more intimate experience, you can opt for a small group experience instead of a regular Guided Tour. This is an efficient way to skip the lines while learning the most you can about this historic site from an expert local guide.

Buying Skip the Line St. Peter's Basilica Tickets

Skip the line St. Peter's Basilica tickets not only save you time that would have been spent waiting in long lines, but also helps you save money. It's the go-to purchase for those who want to explore the historic site at their own pace.

For more promo codes, check out Headout Promo Codes, Deals and Offers.

Perfect Time To Visit St. Peter's Basilica

skip the line st. peter's basilica
Admire masterpieces including Michelangelo's Pietà, a St. Peter statue, and Bernini's Baldacchino.

While planning your visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, it can be helpful to crosscheck the right time to visit to help you skip the lines and avoid crowds. The best time to visit during the day is usually between 7 AM and 9 AM, since at these hours, the line for security is manageably populated. So get an early start on your day, and eat a heavy breakfast to keep you powered through the brief security check before entering the church. However, between 10 AM and 2 PM is when the security line grows long and crowded. So, avoid these hours. Weekday visits are always more preferable over weekend visits, as the latter usually draws massive crowds.

St. Peter's Basilica Location & Opening Hours

Opening Hours

St. Peter's Basilica is open every day of the week for sightseeing.

  • Apr-Sept: 7 AM - 7 PM
  • Oct-Mar: 7 AM - 7 PM
  • The only exception is on Wednesdays due to a papal audience where the Basilica is being used.

Getting To St. Peter's Basilica

  • By Metro: Nearest station is Ottaviano, which is 8-10 min walk from the attraction.
  • By Light Rail: Get off at the Risorgimento - San Pietro stop. The attraction is a 7-min walk from here.
  • By Bus: Get off at the Risorgimento station. The attraction is a 5-min walk from the stop.

St. Peter's Basilica Skip the Line Reviews

We were so pleased we had booked this tour of St Peter's Basilica and really enjoyed it. (It would have been really helpful if we had known in advance that we had to join the same security queue as everybody else as the inference was we were "skipping the queue". We barely made it through in time and we had allowed an extra hour just in case.)

Mrs, Headout May 2022

Great guide. Interesting information. Nicely timed and paced. Could have had more clear direction on exactly where to meet tour in advance and approxoampunt of time needed to get through security. We were an hour early and only happened upon the infoybooth by sheer luck.

Michele, Headout May 2022

Handy Tips: Skip The Lines At St. Peter's Basilica

  • Make sure to dress modestly and wear comfortable shoes to walk around the church conveniently for your visit.
  • Arrive early and pack some snacks along so you have enough energy to beat the rush and make it there before the crowds start growing thicker.
  • In case you’re opting for a guided tour, keep your booking details handy and save screenshots so you can seamlessly be admitted to the church upon arrival.
  • If you’re visiting in the early morning hours, check St. Peter’s Basilica opening hours and arrive 20 to 30 minutes ahead of opening hours.
  • Avoid visiting the church on the weekends, or during public holidays – as those days are usually the most crowded.
  • There is a secret entrance into St. Peter’s Basilica that can be accessed via a small door on the right side of the Sistine Chapel. Read more about St.Peter's Basilica entrances.

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Skip The Lines at St. Peter's Basilica: FAQs

Skip the Line: St. Peter's Basilica Guide

How do I skip the lines at St. Peter's Basilica?

There are several ways whereby you can skip the lines at St. Peter’s Basilica – you can choose to buy dedicated tickets for skip the line access or guided tours, or simply choose to visit the church at a time when it is not too crowded.

Is it worth purchasing skip the line tickets to St. Peter's Basilica?

Since St. Peter’s Basilica is a top attraction for tourists and locals alike, it tends to receive a lot of footfall annually. On any given day, the wait to enter the church can be hours long, owing to security checks and the popularity of this historic center. Hence, it is certainly worth it to consider purchasing tickets to skip the lines at St. Peter’s Basilica.

What are some ways to skip the lines at St. Peter's Basilica?

Some sure shot ways to skip the lines at St. Peter’s Basilica are through small group tours, or booking a regular guided tour, which usually include skip the line options. You can also simply book your tickets in advance and arrive during the early hours of the day to avoid standing in ticket queues and receiving a thinner crowd.

What is the typical wait time at St. Peter's Basilica?

Typically, the waiting time before entering St. Peter’s Basilica may be around an hour or more, depending on the day and the time of the day when you’re visiting.