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4.5 star rating: Recommended 93 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

Skip the line to St Peter's Basilica with a guided walking tour and a visit to the cupola. Ride an elevator to the cupola and admire the mosaic designs of Michelangelo. Then walk 300 steps to enjoy unrivaled views at the top, the highest point in Rome where few people go. Your comprehensive 2-hour tour includes all the highlights of St Peter's Basilica. Enjoy personal attention from your expert Vatican guide on this small-group tour, limited to 20 people.


  • 2-hour St Peter’s Basilica and cupola walking tour
  • Gain fast-track entry to St Peter's Basilica and skip the lines
  • Enjoy unparalleled views from the dome, designed by Michelangelo
  • Explore St Peter's Basilica with a Vatican guide and listen to commentary on your audio headset
  • See the tomb of Pope John Paul II and the altar marking the tomb of St Peter
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 20 people ensures an intimate experience

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

Your small-group tour starts in St Peter’s Square, where you’ll meet your professional guide. Skip the lines with exclusive access through the Vatican, Rome's famous papal enclave. Along the way, your guide will point out a few significant sites in the square, designed by Baroque architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Pass the northern fountain and the impressive obelisk, which dates back to 13th-century BC Egypt.

Head to the elevator for a ride to the cupola of St Peter's Basilica, created by Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo. When you reach the base of the dome, gaze up at the exquisite mosaics and learn about the artistry of Michelangelo’s design, completed by his successors in 1590.

Then, follow your guide up approximately 300 steps to the top of the cupola, the highest point in Rome, which reaches 450 feet (150 meters) from the floor to the cross at the top – large enough for the Statue of Liberty to fit inside! The dome’s summit affords spectacular views of the basilica’s interior as well as over much of the city – a unique experience that you shouldn't miss!

After you descend, begin your small-group walking tour through St Peter’s Basilica, whose cornerstone was laid in 1506. Your guide will explain the highlights of the basilica, which is believed to stand on the ground where St Peter the Apostle was crucified and buried. Hear about its significance as the holiest place in Christendom, and admire the incredible feats of architecture and art. You’ll see Michelangelo’s Pietà, rub the statue of St Peter for a blessing and pass some of the 91 papal tombs before ending your tour of the world’s largest church with a view of the Swiss Guards in St Peter’s Square.

Click on 'View additional info' to see the meeting point.

Customer Reviews

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.

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.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

the tour guide is very knowledgeable!!

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

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.


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!

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.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Great host, great trip. Heartily recommend it to anyone.

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Tour code: 5660CUPOLA


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