With a population of about 1000, Vatican City is the smallest nation on the planet. Yet it boasts such extreme priceless artifacts and riches, it's impossible to imagine tackling it without an expert at your side. Which is why this exclusive half-day guided tour is the best way to get the most out of your Vatican experience. Begin by feasting in a hearty American-style breakfast and then cruise around the diminutive nation in a covered open-air bus, traveling down streets that have been hitherto off limits to the public. Later skip the line at the Vatican Museums with the guide, stopping at various masterpieces, including Rafael's famed cherubs and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, to learn the story behind the works of art.
Half-day exclusive guided tour of the Vatican
Breakfast and all entry fees included
Get skip-the-line access at the Vatican Museums
Drive down streets in the Vatican that were, until recently, off limits
Learn about the history of the ancient micro-nation
Spend some time marveling at the Sistine Chapel and other masterpieces in the Vatican Museums
45-minute Vatican City bus tour including Vatican gardens
3-hour Vatican Museums guided tour with Sistine Chapel and St. Peter Basilica
Groups of max 25
Headsets so you can always hear your guide
Early access before the main public
Entry/Admission - Vatican Museums
Entry/Admission - Vatican Gardens
Entry/Admission - Vatican City
Departure & Return
07:15am (meet strictly at 7am)
Piazza San Pietro, Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
What To Expect
Having the Vatican virtually to yourself without the masses is a rare opportunity. Which is why this half-day guided tour begins early in the morning. Start by fueling up in the Vatican cafeteria on croissants, muffins and made-to-order eggs. And then board a shaded open-air bus for a drive around the world's smallest nation. Learn about the history of the Vatican and some insider secrets about the mysterious country and cruise down some streets that had previously been verboten to go until very recently. The 45-minute journey through Vatican City may only whet your appetite for what is next. Breeze right past the long line at the Vatican Museums and enter the legendary space that holds one of the greatest collections of art in the world. Let your guide take you through the massive museum, curating a trail of the best of the best on this 3-hour segment. Learn about the history and the behind-the-scenes story of each masterpiece. Spend some time in the Sistine Chapel, staring up at Michelangelo's incredible frescos and learn how how he left a secret message for the pope! After exiting the museum, stroll into St. Peters Basilica. Marvel at another Michelangelo masterpiece, La Pietà, as well as Bernini's Baldachino over the altar, before the tour concludes.
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
Extra measures may be implemented at some venues due to heightened global security. As a result, we may experience delays in getting through mandatory security checks when entering these venues. Extra measures may also restrict the size of bags that can be brought inside. To avoid disruptions or possible denied entry, we strongly suggest that you avoid bringing large purses, bags, or backpacks on your tour. The Vatican only permits very small bags, and specifically prohibits large bags, tripods, umbrellas, and backpacks. Any such items must be checked into the free luggage storage area which may result in your having to leave the tour early to retrieve them at the entrance
Please note that children under the age of 6 years are not permitted on this tour
Please note that on some religious festivities, the bus tour itinerary might change, and the gardens might no be accessible by bus
Entrance into religious sites requires a strict dress code. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. City Wonders cannot be held responsible for refused entry due to improper dress
On Wednesday mornings and afternoons St. Peter's Basilica may be closed to the public due to the Papal Audience taking place in Saint Peter’s Square. Customers who wish to visit St. Peter’s Basilica are advised to travel on another day. The Basilica is also subject to last minute closures for religious ceremonies. When this occurs, we are happy to offer customers a longer tour of the Vatican Museums in keeping with the advertised total length of the tour. While we undertake to tell tour groups ahead of time if there are any planned disruptions to Basilica opening hours, this is not always possible and in these cases we are unable to provide refunds or discounts
We regret that we are unable to accommodate guests with wheelchairs or any impairments requiring special assistance. We are also unable to accommodate strollers or baby carriages on our group tours
Non-flash photography is permitted throughout the tour, except in the Sistine Chapel where talking and photography are prohibited
The Vatican Museums are among the most highly trafficked sites in the world. With over 6 million visitors in 2015 and numbers rising year-on-year, the museums give rise to a whole new meaning of the word “crowded.” Our tour routes are designed to minimize exposure to crowds as much as possible, but be aware that the museums are very busy by nature
Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirement
Not wheelchair accessible
Near public transportation
Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
This tour/activity will have a maximum of 25 travelers
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Viator Traveler's Reviews
, Oct 2018
Fraudulent advertisingTour espouses s.all group into Sistine chapel before open to crowdsThat is not what happens. It did the bus tour around gardens and buy the time you st back everything is packed. Bus tour should have been after Sistine chapel museums and st Peter's basilica
The guide we had painted a great picture of what we were seeing. It really put meaning behind the tour. From the garden tour, through the museums, on to the Sistine Chapel, and finishing in St Peter's Basilica! Highly recommend this tour, it was small enough to get every question answered and we did not feel like we were part of pack in the Vatican. It was a very memorable experience!
The guide did her best under the circumstance but the crowds made it next to impossible to enjoy the Vatican Museum and especially the Sistine Chapel. The tour should have been reversed Sistine,Museum,Gardens and a lite snack. We spent valuable time having a leisurely breakfast when we should have been the first through the Museum and Sistine chapel.
Wow, we love Italy. We love Rome, we attended the Vatican for Easter Mass so really wanted to see the museum, grounds and sistine chapel. I never write reviews but felt that I needed to for this tour. Firstly the price, we spent 120 each for the tour and felt that what was on offer would be the biggest tour we do this visit. Booking was easy, instructions were easily understandable, a group of 25. Breakfast was ok, buffet style directed at Americans, 40 minutes allowed and then the forced march started!! The Vatican Gardens are beautiful but travelling around them all in the covered wagon was difficult to see everything. If you were sat on the wrong side of the bus you missed things. This is not the tour guides fault, the Vatican provides the bus. Off the bus and then the forced march continued through the museum, never stopping long enough to really appreciate any of the beauty of the tour. Frequent problems with the headsets often meant were we listening to someone else tour in French or German, we frequently missing what was being said. Missing descriptions and then the thousands of thronging masses through the halls, corridors and stairs. Pushing and shoving and the relentless marching. The not stopping to look and see. I found some Salvador Dali pictures I really wanted to appreciate but the tour guide keep going and keep going, I took photos of artwork but most blurred as I didn't use action shots on my camera. Hold your ground, don't let the yellow peril push and shove was constantly shouted at us by the tour guide. We were staggered by the speed we were travelling through galleries and halls at a record pace as if to achieve some Vatican world record for completion. The guide was exceptionally knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour in telling the stories of the artists but goodness me the quality of the tour was poor. Constant feedback and corrupted channels with other tour guides made it an exceptionally poor tour. The amount of information was overwhelming and very rushed. And the Sistine Chapel was a blur. Trying to get in and then the noise in the place, and the exit was frankly concerning from a safety point of view. The fact that we were only able to spend 20 minutes in there, and whilst trying to enter and leave took a good 20 minutes. It meant a brief encounter with God!! And being told on numerous occasions that you could not talk or take large bags into the Sistine Chapel was frankly joke worthy. The other people on the tour had rucksacks and had uncovered shoulders, which the information beforehand said people would be refused access to the tour. This was not the case.There were concerns regarding the safety leaving the Sistine Chapel as the volume of people coming through into the quartered area and those trying to get out frankly could have resulted in a stampede and being trampled underfoot especially when the Indians showed up and started pushing and shoving. In fact a couple off the larger American tourists on our tour were left panting for air. This tour is not a tour for the faint hearted or the morbidly obese. when out through the Sistine Chapel into daylight, St peters basilica happened. Again a highlighted tour which suddenly and abruptly ended. It was over. We felt that for the money the tour was rushed and overpriced. It was tiring and tried to cram far too much into the 4 hours. This is definitely a case of less is more, but for the Vatican more is more! We won't recommend this tour. We would recommend people to get to the Vatican early at 6.45am as we did and queue, purchase tickets at the box office the day before and for the price of this tour go two days running doing the gardens and museum at your own pace. And then the next day do the Sistine Chapel before everyone else. Far more enjoyable and you'll have enough left over for breakfast and lunch. City Tours you need to do better.
Truly exclusive as much as this is possible in a Vatican tour. Tiffany, our guide, was EXCELLENT. Our group asked and asked. She knew all the answers, and provided them with confidence and flair. Very impressed with her. No wonder she was Vatican Tour Guide of the Year in 2014. Highly recommend this tour.
This was our third time to the Vatican and WOW Never thought of the gardens as part of visiting the Sistine Chapel, the museum and the church.The breakfast was ok and its early and who has time to eat so this works perfect.Only 8 on the tour GARDENS ARE MAGNIFICENT, The guide was great DO THIS TOUR