Luke is the only one among us who haven't been inside the Vatican Museum. It wasn't pricey but if you leave it to last minute, it will take you ages to get inside as the queues are very long. I remember, queueing up for the first time and then booking a tour as we can't be bothered with the wait. It did cost us as we didn't do our research and it was summer but it was the best decision we've done at the time.
There are Pros and Cons on doing the DIY Tour VS the Tour Guide:
Tour Groups will have a special pass that enables you to by-pass the long queue. Assuming that you have a very good tour guide, you will learn more as you can interact with your guide. The Con, you do as you are told. You may end up skipping some areas in the Vatican that your guide deems insignificant. This happened to us on this tour. It felt shorter than usual. In fact, it only took us an hour and a half. I was disappointed but what you don't know won't hurt you. :P
DIY tours on the other hand takes so much of your time queueing up unless you are the first one in the line. The Vatican Museum opens at 9AM but when we get there at 8AM, it was a block long queue already. You can stop and take photos, you can rest in between and you'll be able to enjoy everything the museum has to offer. You can have breakfast inside the Vatican if you wanted too as well. In short, DIY tours enables you to go about on your own phase without waiting for anyone. It's always the question of time when you are on holiday isn't it? Time has to be spent wisely.
We paid 41EU per person for this tour but that was after bargaining. If you are on a bigger tour, maybe try haggling. It wouldn't hurt to ask. :)
One of the few painted ceilings in the Museum.
From the Vatican Museum, you can access the St. Peter's without having to queue up. This is probably the best group photo we have inside as my husband is opposed to having too much "selfies" inside the sacred place. If you happen to go inside the St. Peter's, you can also go see the tombs of the previous Popes. No photos allowed but people always try to sneak in. BTW, St. John Paul II is open for viewing.
Had a very tiring morning. Later that day, we flew back home to England and I went back to work the next day. I wonder where and when the next trip is? With so much unexpected bills monthly - e.i boiler and car breakdown, I don't think it's wise to spend money no? Stay tuned.