This tour provides VIP access to the Vatican Museums through a reserved door, allowing you to skip all the lines — even the priority lines.
- 4.5-hour skip-the-line Vatican art tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica
- Learn about the history of the Vatican artwork and the talented Renaissance artists employed by the popes
- Stop at rarely visited Vatican sites such as the Bramante Staircase (normally closed to the public), Pinacoteca and Chiaramonti Museum
- Admire artistic highlights such as Da Vinci’s St Jermone and Raphael’s Transfiguration
- Visit the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica to ogle three Michelangelo masterpieces including the Creation of Adam
- Enjoy privileged fast-track access to the Vatican Museums through a reserved entranceway
Recent Photos of This Tour
What You Can Expect
More than 9 miles (15km) of artwork is inside, so follow your guide to discover the artistic highlights of the vast museum complex. Hear tales and tidbits of art history as you walk, and learn little-known facts about the treasure trove of artifacts that the Vatican popes amassed over centuries.
Your first stop is the Pinacoteca, the Vatican’s painting gallery, where masterpiece upon priceless masterpiece awaits. Founded by Pope Pius XI, the gallery is home to some of the most influential pieces of Western art in the world. See treasures including Caravaggio’s Deposition from the Cross, Da Vinci’s unfinished St Jermone and Raphael’s Transfiguration, and hear stories that bring the pictures to life.
Continue to either the Pinecone courtyard or the Giardino Quadrato, and then step inside the front section of the Chiaramonti Museum to see its hundreds of statues. After walking amid the stone cherubs and intriguing Roman gods, wander through the Octagonal Courtyard to see Apollo Belvedere and the Laocoon — two intriguing ancient statues.
Prepare for one of the highlights of your tour, next: your visit to the Bramante Staircase. Once used by the popes, Vatican staff and even horses, the spiraling staircase is now rarely visited, making your stop to see it all the more tantalizing. Exit from the staircase directly into the bronze figurines, Etruscan tombs and gold bling of the Gregorian Etruscan Museum.
Wander through more exciting, art-laden halls such as Raphael’s Rooms, the Gallery of Candelabra, Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of Maps, and on to the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. No visit to the Vatican is complete without a visit to the two sites— each art galleries in their own right — to discover their delights. Gaze at Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel, and then stop in St Peter’s Basilica to admire La Pietà, a sculpture that propelled a young Michelangelo to fame.
Your tour finishes just outside St Peter’s Basilica, but you can spend longer inside the church or out in St Peter’s Square, if you wish.
This tour is long but well worth it.
Our tour guide was Allessandro and he was an encyclopedia of info on all things Vatican, and art in general which he studied in college I believe. Besides the usual stuff, he knew interesting details about the artists that most history books don't tell you. Very informative and you see an incredible amount of art. The Sistine Chapel is breathtaking. This is a pretty exhaustive half-day tour but since you get to skip the lines, every minute is well spent. Amazing place and epic guide.