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Tour code: 5660CUPOLA
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

Todd D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

A beautiful view with a heck of a climb!

Kathryn T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Guide Cosmo was wonderful - gave lots of insights into the Basilica. The views from the top of the Cupola were the best we got in Rome. Definitely recommend this tour as opposed to navigating Basilica on your own.

Csongor V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

I was very happy with the tour. It was not a huge group, it was easy to follow the guide and understand her via the intercom. We got a very comprehensive history of the basilica, but I am sure we could have spend three times the time there hearing about each mosaic and statue. Even though I have vertigo I did manage to get to the top of the dome. Half way through ascend you go inside the basilica about 40-50 meters high and look down inside. That was probably the most scary part for me. The steps going up could be a bit claustrophobic. Up in the dome I was standing back against the wall and I could easily manage it. The view worth it all.

John R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

This was a very special experience, and the view from the top of the dome was something very special indeed. Availing of a tour in the morning is a good idea. The tour guide was lovely and very informative, and the time went by very quickly, one could not help be impressed so much by the beauty and ambience, it is very highly recommended that this would be on any travel to Rome, and a guided tour is a great way to have some very interesting insights, you won't be disappointed.

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.

From USD $ 52.03

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