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4.5 star rating: Recommended 1006 Reviews

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  • Location:Rome, Italy
  • Duration:Varies

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour

Enjoy a morning or afternoon of Vatican splendor on a 2-hours skip-the-line tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. Explore the Gallery of Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries and Giuseppe Momo’s spiral staircase, and admire iconic Michelangelo frescoes inside the Sistine Chapel. Want to see the Christian sights of Rome, too? Upgrade to a full-day tour to visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Roman catacombs and more. A traditional lunch can also be included.


  • Vatican and Sistine Chapel tour with transport from Rome to Vatican City
  • Skip the lines at the Vatican Museums with a fast-track entrance ticket
  • See top Vatican attractions: Giuseppe Momo’s spiral staircase, Gallery of the Tapestries and Gallery of Maps
  • Visit the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica and admire Michelangelo masterpieces like La Pieta
  • Upgrade to a full-day tour with an optional lunch, and see the sites of Christian Rome in the afternoon
  • Visit Basilica of San Giovanni, the Roman catacombs and Baths of Caracalla (full-day tour only)

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

It's a Vatican tour that can fit a variety of budgets and schedules. Whatever option you choose, you'll avoid long lines at the Vatican Museums and see some top sights in Rome, too!

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What You Can Expect

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour

See the spiral stairs in the Vatican Museums

Morning or Afternoon Tour:
Choose from a morning or afternoon tour, and then board your air-conditioned coach near Rome Termini Station or at your centrally located hotel. Travel the short journey to Vatican City in comfort, passing alongside sites like Piazza del Popolo and the ancient Aurelian Walls.

Hop off your coach and skip past the long entrance lines with your priority-access ticket to enter the Vatican Museums. The complex is home to one of the world’s largest collections of art, featuring an extensive array of treasures amassed by the Vatican popes. Follow your guide down Giuseppe Momo’s bronze spiral staircase – an iconic Vatican attraction – and then visit two of the museum’s star attractions: Gallery of the Tapestries and Gallery of Maps.

Admire the Flemish tapestries that adorn the walls of the first room, and learn how they were based on paintings by students of the Renaissance supremo Raphael. Gaze in wonder at the detailed topographical maps inside the Galley of Maps, and then leave the museum area to walk into the Sistine Chapel. Talking is not permitted inside the sacred site, so walk around at leisure and marvel at its two Michelangelo frescoes – The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement.

Finish your tour with a walk around St Peter’s Basilica, the home of the Catholic Church. Admire more artistic treasures like Michelangelo’s La Pieta sculpture and Bernini’s Baldachino, and hear little-known stories about the church’s history. Head back to your coach and make use of a drop-off at your hotel or one of several central locations in town.

Full-Day Tour or Full-Day Tour with Lunch:
Upgrade to the Full-Day Tour to combine the Morning Tour with a Christian Rome walking tour in the afternoon. If you opt to include lunch, your guide will drop you off at a traditional restaurant in the center for a delicious 2-course meal with a drink.

Meet your guide at the pre-arranged time, and set off to see the Christian landmarks of Rome. Walk around Esquiline Hill, the largest of the ancient Seven Hills of Rome, and head inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore – a lovely 5th-century church on the summit. After exploring inside, stroll to the Holy Stairs (Scala Santa) and stop for photos by Lateran Palace, an old papal residence.

Visit the Basilica of San Giovanni with your guide, and then continue walking along the Ancient Appian Way, a historical road that dates back to around 300 BC. The lane is home to several pretty churches and catacombs (underground cemeteries), and your guide will point out several of the best. See the Chapel of Domine Quo Vadis, and then visit one of the three famous catacombs: San Callisto, Domitilla or San Sebastiano. After exploring underground, visit the old spa ruins at the Baths of Caracalla, and then finish your tour with a hotel drop-off or a drop-off in town.

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Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

I loved our tour guide. He was very funny and the equipment used so that we could all hear him was fantastic.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

This was amazing. Our Guide was very good with just enough information and not overload! It was great that we were just able to enter the Vatican Museums without queuing for a few hours - well worth it.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

highly recommend skipping the line

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

The tour was informative, fun, and educational

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Excellent way to view the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Would have loved to spend more time in St Peter's Basilica. Overall amazing tour and experience. Can't remember the tour guide's name would love to get his name and thank him he was just brilliant.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Rome in August is simply hell in terms of tourist attractions and the lines that lead into them. My father and I were extremely happy to have booked this skip the line tour particularly after seeing the Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel line and the massive St. Peter's line that stretched around the whole square.

In terms of the tour itself, I myself am a tour guide who has been known to by quite judge-y of other guides in the past, but our guide Max was great. His knowledge was exceptional and the way he expressed it was entertaining. He also possessed that typical tour guide humour, so expect a couple of cheesy jokes!

My father and I had a great time on the tour and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to skip the ridiculous lines and/or who would like to know more about what they are looking at.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Max was our guide. Very informative and good sense of humour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Hotel pick up was on time. Skipping the line was such a bonus. Our guide was very knowledgeable and explained the areas we toured very well. Great overview of the Vatican.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

While instructions were spelled out clearly, I didn't realize the bus had come by our hotel to pick us up until the tour was over! We had never confirmed that we needed pick up, but certainly appreciated that option. But out guide was wonderful, and it is truly satisfying to be able to walk past the long lines and have special exits in certain places along the way specifically in the Sistine Chapel since we were with a tour group. Our guide was entertaining and very experienced and knowledgeable.

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Tour code: 2390GRET3


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