Insider's Guide to Rome

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

Get the
Inside Scoop

Privacy Policy

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 82 Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
  • 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

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.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

On the day of the tour, we were thrilled to walk past the line that stretched around St Peter's Square to the front of the line where very courteous staff helped check us in and take us to the entry. Mercedes was our guide for St. Peter's. She was easy to understand, demonstrated she loved what she's doing, was entertaining and informative. She was also very willing to answer questions. We were off then to the top of the Cupola with Amil. We booked several tours and had many guides, but Amil was best by far. We loved her straight forward approach - - very entertaining and informative, easy to understand and offered personal insight and experiences. We felt as though we had met an old friend for a stroll around the Cupola. She was amazing!!! I would definitely try to arrange for Amil and Mercedes for English tours if possible. Well worth the cost and great tour!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

We loved it, the views from the top of the Cupola are amazing!
One thing that should be improved was the person whom is waiting at the meeting point was very unfriendly. He took our vouchers and stuck a sticker on us without saying a word, started walking away without giving instructions, we just to amused to follow him. Once inside the Basilica we we're handed over to our guide whom was full of knowledge and charm! We were grateful that he was not taking us around.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Educational I didn't realize that the paintings in the Basilica were all mosaics and worth doing to skip the lines. It is a long way up and down with a very narrow staircase fits only one person at a time to the top of the cupola, but it's worth it at the top to see the views. If you have issues climbing up and down stairs either bad knees or weak heart or are claustrophobic especially with narrow, spiral staircase, don't climb all the way to the top of the cupola.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Excellent tour. Our guide was great -- very informative and attentive the entire group in a very crowded space. The tour is worth the price simply to skip the line which looked to be two-three hours of a wait in the hot sun. We skipped every line and only waited less than three minutes for security and then inside for distribution of headsets and tour logistics five minutes. The trip to the top of the Cupola was worth it as well -- some find the climb long, but it's very interesting -- spiral staircases, seeing the curved walls of the inside of the dome, etc. Again, an excellent guide. Stop looking -- just book this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

This tour was excellent, the guide was passionate and knowledgable. Although not for the unfit, the view was so worth the climb.

From USD $ 51.39

View price calendar

Low Price Guarantee

Select Travel Date

Flexible Date Guarantee

Enter Total Number of Travelers

What's this, and can I change it?

Please note: After your purchase is confirmed we will email you a link to your voucher.
What's this?

Tour code: 5660CUPOLA


Viator uses cookies to improve your experience on our website. Learn more about how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings | Close message