Admire Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel without the crowds and enjoy skip-the-line access to the Vatican Museums on this 3.5-hour small-group tour. Enter the Sistine Chapel before its opens to the public, and view the frescoes in a calm, crowd-free setting. Then, tour the Vatican Museums, seeing the highlights of the papal art collection, including the Raphael Rooms and Gallery of Maps, before checking out the treasures inside St. Peter’s Basilica.
3.5-hour early entrance, skip-the-line Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums tour
Visit the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the public
Admire Michelangelo’s ceiling and wall frescos without the daytime crowds
Bypass the main lines to enter the Vatican Museums
Enjoy a guided tour of highlights, including the Raphael Rooms, Gallery of Maps, and more
Visit St. Peter’s Basilica and see Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà’ and other treasures
Meet your guide and small group of no more than six near the Vatican Museums at 7:30am. Listen to an introduction to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes from your guide. Talking inside the chapel is not allowed, so you’ll learn about these Renaissance artworks before entering. Then, head directly inside the pope’s private place of worship. Your ticket gives you early access to the chapel as one of the day’s first visitors, so you can enjoy it without the crowds. Gaze in awe at Michelangelo’s ceiling fresco, The Creation of Adam, as well as The Last Judgment gracing the back wall of the chapel. Soak in unobstructed views of the works, and enjoy time to inspect them in detail. When your time in the chapel is up, reconvene with your guide and bypass the main admission lines for a tour of the Vatican Museums’ highlights. Stroll around the Pinecone Courtyard, and see works like the Belvedere Apollo and Laocoon Priest of Troy statues. Admire the celebrated marble Belvedere Torso, and stroll through the must-see 16th-century Gallery of Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries, and Raphael Rooms. Afterward, walk back through the Sistine Chapel — seeing how crowded it is during normal opening hours — and continue through an exclusive exit into St. Peter’s Basilica. Here, let your guide introduce you to the best of the treasures held in the magnificent interior. Admire Michelangelo's glorious Pietà, the marble sculpture depicting Mary holding the dead Jesus, as well as Bernini's Baldacchino altar canopy and Pope Alexander VII monument among other great works. Your tour concludes inside the church when your guide departs. You’re free to then continue exploring independently, perhaps looking further around the interior to see the papal tombs, climbing the Dome, or strolling around St. Peter’s Square as you wish.
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements
Occasionally the basilica may be closed due to last minute private events outside of the tour operators control and often without notice. In these uncommon circumstances the tour will operate as usual and the time spent inside the basilica will be made up elsewhere on the tour.
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
I highly recommend this tour for a multitude of reasons. You get there before the crowds in the morning and experience the Sistine chapel without all the anarchy when it opens to the public.
What made it even better was the kind, genuine and intellectual tour guide Francesca. Her knowledge and passion about history, primarily Roman was incredible and made the experience unforgettable. If you are lucky enough to get her than this tour is 5+ stars!!!
Hi the early morning tour with Rossella was top-notch and was very well organised from the beginning with a well thought out and interesting introduction using a tablet with photos to explain very well how the tour was planned out and an itinerary of our tour. Rossella was extremely knowledgeable and easy on the ear, adding very interesting anecdotal explanations along the way. Rossella was keen to encourage us not only to ask questions but to answer questions as well. This enabled us and the other couple to feel engaged in the tour. There was no rush in the tour and My wife Jo and I and I am sure the other couple were thoroughly entertained throughout the tour. Rossella you were a star and If I could I would give you a six star rating and I would thank you very much and I would have no hesitation in recommending this tour with Rossella especially to other people.
This tour was kind of an obligatory "we're in Rome so let's go see the Vatican' sort of experience. The guide was knowledgeable and friendly and the group was fairly well organized. In the morning when we arrived at the meeting place it was pretty chaotic so give yourself enough time to find the right group. The tour was interesting and the pacing was good- if you want to go see the Vatican I would recommend it.
Tour group of 6 led by Tania Bonifazi. Tania, a PhD in archeology who worked at the Vatican Museum and the Etruscan Museum, used the right balance of historical information and careful selection to focus our attention throughout the walking tour. Prior to entering the Vatican museum, she gave us a brief history of why and how the Sistine Chapel was painted. We entered the Chapel first and the gallery of maps, before later crowds made it impossible to stop and study the panels. She provided cultural context for each area of the Vatican Museum and Papal quarters we visited. By 10:15 AM the size of the crowds become exhausting, so highly recommend the early morning tour. Worth every penny! Tania was delightful!
Early is better!!! There was still lots of people early in the morning but not nearly as many as later in the day. Our guide Giulia Pagliari was excellent. She was very knowledgeable, organized and friendly. Our group was small (6 people) and she was always able to get us close to what ever we were looking at. She had great knowledge of the objects we were viewing and enjoyable commentary. A guided tour is the way to go if you’re not knowledgeable able what you’re viewing.
We have been to the Vatican before with a private tour. But this tour was excellent, We were the only 5,person group going into hallways and seeing the items ourselves. She gave us a tour, which we never had of the Basilica. I would highly recommend this small group tour.
This was so amazing, we walked very quickly to the Sistine chapel and we were maybe 20-30 people maximum in the room, it was such a privilege. I have visited the chapel a few years ago and there were soooo many people and it was so busy you could not really move around in the room. This time, I could see the paintings from all different angle, it was just amazing, worth every penny!
This was an excellent way to see the Vatican. We had an education on the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo before going in and once in we were able to take our time looking at the awesome room and ceiling. I am happy that we did the early am tour because once the museum opened to the public, the Chapel was packed, we got to take our time. Our tour guide, Andrea, was very knowledgeable, and he enjoyed sharing that with our group. We had a small group which made it much easier to navigate. I would totally recommend this tour when in Rome.