5 star rating: Highly Recommended 254 Reviews

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  • Location: Rome, Italy
  • Duration:  3 hours (approx.)
See the Vatican as VIPs do – with this once-in-a-lifetime private Sistine Chapel viewing and tour of the Vatican Museum's secret rooms. This exclusive gives you unprecedented VIP access to the magnificent rooms that are usually off-limits to the public, allowing you to see a side of the Vatican that most never will. Be awed by secret rooms like the Niccoline Chapel and the Room of Gold, and see sights like Raphael’s Rooms.

Due to a new Vatican partnership, this tour provides VIP access through a reserved door, allowing you to skip all the lines – even the priority lines. End your tour with an after-hours private viewing of the Sistine Chapel, empty except for your group (average 15 people) and guide. Michelangelo's fresco in the Sistine Chapel – including The Creation of Adam – is considered the most influential fresco in the history of Western art. See it with no crowds, linger over every detail, and earn one-of-a-kind bragging rights for the rest of your life!


  • 3-hour small-group VIP tour of the Vatican Museums including skip-the-line entry
  • This tour includes exclusive access through a reserved entranceway and we guarantee you will not wait in any long lines
  • Enjoy a rare, private tour of the Sistine Chapel after its doors are closed to the public
  • Hear commentary from your guide inside the Sistine Chapel -- normally forbidden!
  • Visit hidden corridors and secret Vatican rooms that are usually closed to the public, such as the Niccoline Chapel or the Bramante Staircase
  • See top Vatican attractions like the Apollo Belvedere statue, Raphael’s Rooms, Gallery of the Candelabra and Gallery of the Tapestries
  • Experience the Vatican as a VIP insider with this Viator exclusive

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Viator VIP: Sistine Chapel Private Viewing and Small-Group Tour of the Vatican's Secret Rooms

Admire the Art of the Vatican on your exclusive VIP tour!

Skip-the-line Vatican tours are so popular, even the priority lines are long! But this tour includes exclusive access through a reserved entranceway, ensuring that you will not wait in any long lines. Spend three hours here on a small-group tour, accompanied by a Vatican guard to unlock doors to secret rooms. You’ll discover the Vatican as only VIPs like presidents and royal families usually do.

Due to the nature of this special-access tour, the itinerary changes each time. Access to the secret rooms varies and is based on availability, but most tours include the impressive Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante), which is actually a ramp on the corner of the Pope's Palace. You’ll also most likely visit the Room of Gold (Sala degli Ori), an opulent, rarely seen room that holds a dazzling collection of papal gold jewelry and precious Etruscan jewels.

The Niccoline Chapel (Cappella Niccolina) is another secret room most likely seen during your tour. Every bit as beautiful as the Sistine Chapel, this secret room is adorned with gold brought back from Christopher Columbus' travels, and frescoes by Fra Angelico, a Renaissance painter whose mesmerizing artwork pre-dates Michelangelo's.

In addition to the closed rooms, see many of the Vatican Museums’ classic attractions. As your expert guide entertains you with tales of Vatican art, power and treachery, admire Apollo Belvedere and other renowned monuments. Visit Raphael’s Rooms, the public part of the papal apartments in the Palace of the Vatican, and stroll through the Pinecone Courtyard.

Your tour ends on a high note with private access to the Sistine Chapel for your small group. After the doors close to the public, you'll have 30 minutes inside this incredible (and empty!) chapel. Speaking is typically forbidden, but during this private experience, your guide will explain Michelangelo's stunning ceiling fresco, which depicts scenes from Genesis, and his wall fresco, The Last Judgment.


Classic Vatican Museums sites:
· Sistine Chapel, home to artwork by Michelangelo including The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment
· Apollo Belvedere statue
· Lacoon statue
· Raphael's Rooms
· Pinecone Courtyard
· Gallery of Maps
· Gallery of the Candelabra
· Gallery of the Tapestries
· Chiaramonti Museum

Secret Rooms of the Vatican Museums (subject to change):
· Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante)
· Room of Gold (Sala degli Ori)
· Niccoline Chapel (Cappella Niccolina)

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Fabulous tour and guide. The tour allowed us to skip lines, see a number of parts of the Vatican Museum closed to the public, and be in other parts when it was relatively quiet as opposed to the throngs of people doing the public tours. Our guide was a PhD who had worked in the Vatican and knew it inside out. Great job and well worth doing this way. Mamma Mia!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Awesome Tour Guide!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

This tour is expensive -- no doubt -- but it is worth the money. Excellent guide and incredible access. The first part of the tour is amazing -- seeing things that others don't, which means no crowds around you while doing so. Our guide kept things very well-paced and was a wealth of knowledge. In addition to special access, we saw many rooms as the museum was closing which meant that guards were ushering other visitors out just as we were arriving -- giving us private access to them as well. We were let into the Sistine Chapel just as it was closing -- we entered from the front of the Chapel and were held to the corner behind a rope while guards ushered last visitors out the back entrance. When they were gone, we were left alone in the Chapel with our guide. Surreal. Because he could talk not possible during normal hours he could explain things in incredible detail that brought the Chapel to life. It was an incredible experience.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

It's the best way to see the Vatican museums. Having time to see the Sistine Chapel in a totally private environment, and having each part explained, was in and of itself worth the tour. Highly recommended that you take this tour, but be sure to wear the most comfortable shoes you can, and be well rested, its a long tour, and by the end, the whole group was exhausted. It's nice at the end to be able to sit and stare up at Michelangelo's greatest creations.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Fantastic tour! Worth every penny!

Lisa W
United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

OUTSTANDING TOUR!! This small group private rooms and after hours Sistine Chapel is so with it! Our guide, Shannon was outstanding, kept the pace well and knew how to tell the information to kept your interest and not feel over whelmed. The private tour of the Sistine Chapel was great. 15 people only in the room without the huge crowds really let's you see it and enjoy. Very worth it! Trytoget Shannon as your guide.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

It was awesome to be in the Sistine Chapel with only our guide and the other guests. This alone was worth the price of the tour! Also enjoyed the Pope's private chapel. Our guide was fantastic and so knowledgable about art that it made it a pleasure - even for my 11 and 12 year olds!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

This was an AMAZING TIME! She was the BEST, a bit rushed, but OMG, there was just toooooo much to see and her connections into private areas was AWESOME!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Our Guide was just fabulous! Articulate, knowledgeable, kind and thoughtful!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Unbelievable. Tour guide knew so much about this and was very willing to share. A

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Tour code: 3731VATICANVIP


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