4.5 star rating: Recommended 26 Reviews

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

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Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

This was the highlight of my visit to Rome. My guide Sylvia was so well informed and could communicate so well it just made the whole tour so memorable. The climb up was not that bad at all. We started at 8 30am thus the crowds weren't that big until towards the end of the tour. The feeling of standing on top of St Peter's overlooking the square is just amazing. If you are not scared of heights this is truly worth it .

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

We were in Rome Aug 2014. The line ups to almost any thing is long. One of the main benefits of booking a tour is the ability to skip these long (and I mean LONG) line ups which is often in the sun. St Peter's Basilica is just simply on those MUST SEE places in Rome. There is nothing as spectacular as this church. We also walked up the 300 + steps and 1 short elevator ride to the top of the dome. You get some pretty spectacular views of the Vatican Colonnade and the surrounding outside areas. Also you are able to see the mosaics in the dome up close which is worth the price of this tour. You get such a better perspective of the art, mosaics and the size of this place by going up the dome. Highly recommend this tour.

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Tour code: 5660CUPOLA


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