Europe’s biggest tourist attractions are popular for a reason. But from Edinburgh Castle to Versailles, they can get extremely crowded.
Tourists have shared their experience of visiting the Vatican on Reddit and one said they “felt like cattle” while exploring the world-famous attraction.
‘Noxobscurus’ wrote on Reddit: “There were so many people. I wanted to stay inside the Sistine Chapel to admire the ceiling paintings but I was being pushed along and it was so noisy. It was still a fun experience but totally spoiled looking at the relics and paintings.”
A whopping six million tourists visit the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel every year, working out to around 30,000 people per day. Around 2,000 tourists can fit in at once.
‘Aevy1981’ said: “I felt like cattle in the Vatican. I don’t think I even moved my feet while I was in there. I just floated along by the sheer mass of the crowd. And the pace was too fast so I didn’t get to appreciate everything I was looking at. It was frustrating.”
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Another tourist said: “My experience was similar in 2018. It was so crowded at the Vatican museum. Art was nice but was relieved to leave.”
A tourist ‘Mary C’ wrote on Tripadvisor: “Stay away. There were too many people crammed into the space and no exit. Once you get into the chapel, it is extremely crowded.”
Completed in 1481, the Sistine Chapel is most famous for the incredible frescos created by Michelangelo. However, tourists will also see work by Botticelli and other artists.
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Michelangelo’s breathtaking ceiling frescos took the artist four years to complete and cover a whopping 12,000 square feet.
While some tourists found the crowded attraction too busy to enjoy, others thought it was a once in a lifetime experience.
‘Andres72423’ wrote on Tripadvisor: “How can you not rate the Sistine Chapel as anything less than five stars? Majestic.”
‘Leahthetourist’ said: “It’s a must see when in Rome, you can spend as long as you like there and it’s breathtaking.”
If the crowds sound off putting, there are a few ways to enjoy a slightly quieter Sistine Chapel experience. Tourists who pay to join an early access tour can get a far more exclusive trip.
Summer is usually the busiest time to visit the Vatican and tourists who go without a pre-booked ticket are likely to face a long line.
Although entrance to the museums is free on the last Sunday of every month, this is likely to be one of the most crowded times to visit.
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