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4.5 star rating: Recommended 95 Reviews

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  • Location:Rome, Italy
  • Duration:2 hours (approx.)

Skip the Line: St Peter's Basilica Walking Tour Including views from the Top of the Cupola

Explore St Peter’s Basilica and its famous cupola—the dome designed by Michelangelo—on a walking tour with a Vatican guide. With skip-the-line entry, go straight inside the world’s largest church, and ride the elevator up to the cupola, where you’ll climb 300 steps to the top for unbeatable views of Rome spread before you. You’ll also see the basilica’s other highlights, such Renaissance artwork and the statue of St Peter. Select a departure time when booking. 


  • 2-hour St Peter’s Basilica and cupola walking tour
  • Skip the line with fast-track entry to St Peter's Basilica
  • Enjoy unparalleled views from the dome, designed by Michelangelo
  • Explore St Peter's Basilica with a Vatican guide, and listen to commentary on an audio headset
  • See the tomb of Pope John Paul II and the altar marking the tomb of St Peter
  • Tour limited to 20 people

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

This is the only tour with a guided visit to the top of St Peter's cupola! You'll be one of an exclusive group to view all of Rome from the dome of the basilica.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Skip the Line: St Peter's Basilica Walking Tour Including views from the Top of the Cupola

Reach the Cupola of St Peter's Basilica

Meet your Vatican guide in St Peter’s Square to start your walking tour. Head across the square—designed by baroque architect and sculpture Gian Lorenzo Bernini—toward St Peter’s Basilica, pausing along the way to see highlights such as a 13th-century Egyptian obelisk.

When you arrive at the basilica, jump past the entrance queue with your skip-the-line ticket, and take the elevator with your guide up to the Michelangelo-designed cupola, the iconic dome that dominates the Rome skyline. At the base of the dome, look up at the detailed mosaics, and hear a bit about Michelangelo’s creative thinking. Then head up even further by climbing the 300 stairs to the top of the cupola, the highest viewpoint in Rome with a span of 450 feet (150 meters) from the ground to the cross at the top.  

Be wowed by this unbeatable view of the Eternal City, as well as the interior of the church, that not many visitors make the effort to see. Then return to ground level to continue your tour with a walk around the basilica. Learn from your guide about its centuries-old history, and marvel at the ornate architecture and Renaissance artworks, including Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture. See the statue of St Peter and pass dozens of papal tombs before your tour ends with a view of the Swiss Guards in St Peter’s Square.

Click on the 'View additional info' link to see a map of the meeting location.

View additional info

Customer Reviews

Clifford L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Informative, tour guide was excellent

Gregory C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Fantastic tour of St. Peter's Basilica, including the top of the cupola. Tour guides were very knowledgeable, articulate, and friendly. It was a highlight of my time in Rome. Highly recommended.

Barbara J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

We only decided to take this tour after we heard stories about the waiting line. So glad we did! Our guide for the basilica shared with us that she likes to highlight specialties of the Basilica that cannot be commonly found in all the guide books. Smart.

Our dome guide, Amil, was both knowledgeable and energetic. Be sure the dome part of your tour! The view of the Basilica from inside the drum is exciting -- you are surrounded by walls of mosaics and can view the inside of the dome. Once on top of the dome, you view St. Peter's square, surrounding buildings, gardens and all of Rome! from high up..Stunning views.

The only complaint is that it took a long time for the tour guides to get our groups organized. We had to state and re-state our names and type of tour multiple times to several different guides before we were able to start the tour.

Sollena S Canada

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

the tour guide is very knowledgeable!!

Ellen T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

We had a wonderful guide for our tour. She was knowledgeable, energetic and very friendly. Couldn't have had a better tour! We thought she was a life long citizen of Rome with all the intimate knowledge that she had. But she told us she only moved there ten years ago from Romania. Congratulations to her for all she's learned, and now taught us, about the Vatican and St Peter's Basilica!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

The best part of this tour is getting to the top of the cupola. And we had an awesome guide Camile, i think who is very energetic and happy to share with us everything about the basilica.

Susy C Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

So many times have been here but with no explanation. We thoroughly enjoyed our guides tour explaining about St Peter's Basilica. And then enjoyed the 320 steps climbing to the Top with the views of the gardens and Rome.

Thomas Österreich

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

The tour guide informed me the day before, that the tour ist not possible due to a mass for the pope. That was not realy good, because I had already planned the days.

But we could find an other day.

Skip the line was perfect, we have been in 10 Minutes in St. Peters Basilica. The tour guide was very good - in fact really worth to do it!

Marek P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015



5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

This tour was excellent and one of the best we took during our tour of Italy. Our group was small and our guide Hercules was fantastic in knowledge and presentation. The instructions to find the guide were clear and easily achieved. Skip the line is the only way to go and climbing the dome will remain a significant highlight of our holiday.

From USD $ 52.95

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Tour code: 5660CUPOLA


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