St. Peter's Basilica Dome Tours

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St. Peter’s Dome, one of Italy’s most famous monuments, doesn't technically stand on Italian soil—it sits atop St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Michelangelo’s architectural masterpiece is a symbol for Catholics around the globe and, as the highest dome in the world, offers spectacular views across St. Peter’s Square and Rome.

The Basics
St. Peter’s Dome is one of the most popular sights in Rome, so booking a skip-the-line St. Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) tour is essential to avoid waiting in long lines, especially in the busy summer months. Tours of the dome and basilica are also included in most Vatican tours, which typically include access to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican gardens. The entrance to the dome is at the portico of the basilica, and views are both internal over the basilica’s main altar and external over the city of Rome.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • You must pass through a security check to access the dome—banned items include pocketknives, corkscrews, and umbrellas.
  • The dress code in the basilica and dome requires that shoulders and knees are covered.
  • The dome is partially accessible to wheelchair users. There is an elevator to the roof level (or you can climb the 320 steps), but only a spiral staircase provides access to the cupola at the highest point of the dome (another 200 steps).
  • Views are dizzying from the top of St. Peter’s Dome, so visiting the top is not recommended for anyone afraid of heights.
  • Kids especially enjoy the invigorating climb and views, so consider joining a small-group tour tailored to families if traveling with children.

How to Get There
St. Peter’s Basilica is located on St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro) in Vatican City. The closest metro station is Ottaviano.

When to Get There
The dome is open to the public daily. Early morning is the best time to visit, both to beat the crowds and to catch the optimal light for photographing the view.

St. Peter’s Dome History
Like Rome, St. Peter’s Dome wasn’t built in a day. Work began on the basilica in 1506, initially overseen by Roman architect Donato Bramante and later passed on to successors such as Raphael and Bernini. Yet it was Michelangelo who took on the task of completing the dome, proposing a design based on those of previous architects. After his death, his assistants continued the work and, in the end, it was Giacomo della Porta and Domenico Fontana, under the appointment of Pope Sixtus V, who saw the completion of the dome in 1590.
Location
Address: Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City, Italy
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Admission: Varies
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5 Tours & Activities to Experience

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No Wait Access to St Peter Basilica and its official audioguide

To dig deep into the history and art of St Peter’s Basilica, explore the church on a self-guided audio tour. Explore St Peter’s Square, walk to the basilica, and jump past the entrance queue with your No Wait Access ticket. Inside, listen to stories about the popes, pilgrims and Renaissance art masters who have left their marks on this iconic Catholic site, whose Michelangelo-designed dome dominates the Rome skyline.
  • Duration: Flexible
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$22.59 USD
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  • Duration: Flexible
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$22.59 USD

No-Wait Dedicated Access: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

To dig deep into the history and art of St Peter’s Basilica, explore the church on a walking tour with a Vatican guide. From St Peter’s Square, walk to the basilica, jumping past the entrance queue with your No Wait Access Ticket. Inside, listen to stories about the popes, pilgrims and Renaissance art masters who have left their marks on this iconic catholic site, whose Michelangelo-designed dome dominates the Rome skyline.
  • Duration: 1 day
From
$31.28 USD
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  • Duration: 1 day
From
$31.28 USD

No Wait Dedicated Access: St Peter's Basilica including Vatican Mosaic Studio

This unique Vatican experiences combines a guided walking tour of St Peter’s Basilica with a visit to the 16th-century Mosaic Studio, which is typically closed to the public. With No Wait Dedicated Access, go straight inside the Renaissance church to see its artistic highlights like the tomb of St Peter and the mosaics of the Michelangelo-designed dome. Then head to the studio (Studio del Mosaico) to meet artists who work on the restoration of the historical mosaic pieces. Select a departure time when booking.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$86.88 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$86.88 USD

Sistine Chapel Raphael Rooms Private Tour

Gain an intimate understanding of the Vatican Museums on a 3-hour small group tour. Save valuable time and skip the ticket line upon arrival. With a maximum group size of six people, you have ample opportunity to ask questions. A provided headset allows you to hear your guide clearly and simultaneously observe the chapel from all angles. Finish your tour with complimentary escort to St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$556.06 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$556.06 USD

Michelangelo's Dome & the Papal Tombs - St Peter's Basilica Small Group Tour

Discover the inside, outside, top, and bottom of St Peter’s Basilica on a 2.5-hour small-group guided visit. The tour goes behind the exterior and interior of the UNESCO World Heritage Site with additional visits of the dome and Papal tombs. Get an insider’s knowledge of the iconic and lesser-known artworks by Michelangelo, Bernini, and other influential artists. With maximum six participants per group, you're guaranteed an immersive and engaging tour experience.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
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$91.52 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
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$91.52 USD

NEW TO VIATOR

Skip-the-Line Vatican Sistine Chapel St Peter Basilica & Dome climb Private Tour

You will meet your guide outside the Vatican Museum and bypassing the lines with your skip-the-line ticket you increase quick passage to the gallery complex. You go through a few of the historical centers displays and rooms; Gallery of Maps, Gallery of Tapestries and furthermore enter the Pinecone Courtyard. You at that point work your way towards the shocking Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo's notorious frescoes; The Last Judgements and the Creation of Adam. (Talking isn't permitted inside the church so your guide will give you a full analysis before section).At that point, before the typical crowd of visitors arrives, the visit continues to the Dome. The visit cost incorporates the lift ride to the main floor where you get the chance to see the terrific mosaics and stucco embellishments very close. From ground level the mosaics look wonderful yet from a nearby assessment you can truly value the multifaceted nature and authority that went into making them.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$103.10 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$103.10 USD


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