Anyone visiting Rome, with or without littles, is certain to want to combine the trip with a visit to The Vatican and get another thing ticked off your Rome bucket list! Officially its own country (depending on what list you are looking at), and is only 15 minutes from the centre of historic Rome, the Vatican is without doubt one of the most spectacular places you can visit in Italy. But can you visit the Vatican with kids? The crowds can be immense and the grounds of the Vatican extensive so is it really child friendly? The Vatican with kids is definitely doable but it needs a bit of planning! Here is our ultimate guide to visiting the Vatican with kids to make your visit stress free!
Top Tips for Visiting the Vatican with kids
Should I use Carrier or Stroller in the Vatican?
If you are travelling with a little to Rome and the Vatican one of the first things you will want to know is whether you should bring your stroller or a carrier!
The grounds of the Vatican are extensive and given the volume of crowds a carrier might be advisable! There are also lots of steps in and around the Vatican which can make manoevring a stroller difficult! So although not impossible to navigate the Vatican Museums with a stroller you will probably find it more stress free with a carrier!
We took a stroller with us as last time we visited but we didn’t go into the museums, however we had to leave the stroller in free designated stroller parking before we could enter the St Peters basilica itself!
If you are visiting the Vatican with a carrier then I would recommend buying one designed for hot weather! You can check out our guide to the best hot weather baby carriers here! For more information on visiting Rome with toddlers or indeed the rest of Italy with toddlers be sure to check out these posts.
For more tips on what to take with you and what to wear in the Vatican click HERE!
Visiting St Peters Basilica with Kids
Strollers must be left outside and only small bags can be taken inside! So remember to pack a small kit for diaper changes for when inside the complex!
There can be queues for visiting St Peters so it is best to get there early to try and reduce queuing time with littles!
Best Time to Visit the Vatican with Kids
Best Time of Year to Visit the Vatican
The Summer is definitely the busiest time of year to visit Rome and the Vatican and the weather can get unbearably hot in the peak summer season (June-September)! If you are traveling with littles you might want to try and avoid the crowds and the worst of the heat! The shoulder seasons offer good weather and will have significantly less crowds!
I also love visiting Rome in Winter as I love the Christmas atmosphere in the Piazzas around Rome however Rome and the Vatican can get cold in the Winter!
Avoid free Sundays
It may be tempting to visit the Vatican Museums on one of the free Sundays but if traveling with little and you can afford to then I would recommend avoiding these days! The crowds at the Vatican are huge at any time but on free Sundays they are so busy that it isn’t an easy place to navigate with kids!
Should I use a guide at the Vatican when visiting with children?
I think this is perhaps the biggest tip I can give anyone visiting the Vatican with kids – 100% get a guide! The Vatican has some of the most amazing collections on earth but they can be impenetrable even for adults and the truth is that the museums are not the most accessible for kids! A knowledgeable guide can really bring the history and collections alive for kids and will keep them engaged throughout your tour! To be honest, I found that a guide really helped me when visiting as an adult and the same is true for taking children round the Vatican collections. Tour guides will often get early morning access which will reduce the crowds which is another great help when visiting the Vatican with kids!
Alternatively there is this scavenger hunt tour which smaller children will enjoy!
What are your biggest tips for visiting Vatican with kids?