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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. 

Highlights

  • 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 Dome

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

Dick United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

We had very good guides for both the inside of St. Peter's and the Dome. I would note that the walk the dome is somewhat challenging and people who do not do well in closed in spaces should avoid it.

Zoe P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Both guides were excellent. Knowledgeable, considerate and pleasant.

Todd T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Views were unmatched from anywhere else in Rome. Great guide. The climb is somewhat laborious, but worth every step!

Steven E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

A very interesting tour of the Basilica without overwhelming participants with information. The skip the line entry ticket is well worth paying for, especially on hot days when queues can be draining.

Sarah D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

It was so great. Knowledgeable and friendly guides- Catalina is amazing.

Erwin K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Great tour through the Basilica! View of the Cupola is amazing. Good guide which definitely adds to the experience.

Lee R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

This was a great way to see St Peter's Basilica and the top of the Cupola with certainty of timings. Our tour guide Claudia was excellent and we were provided with earpieces that allowed us to catch all of the commentary.

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.

From USD $ 53.61

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Please note: After your purchase is confirmed we will email you a link to your voucher.
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Tour code: 5660CUPOLA

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