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Explore St Peter’s Basilica and its famous cupola—the dome designed by Michelangelo—on a walking tour with a Vatican guide. With skip-the-line entry, go straight inside the world’s largest church, and ride the elevator up to the cupola, where you’ll climb 300 steps to the top for unbeatable views of Rome spread before you. You’ll also see the basilica’s other highlights, such Renaissance artwork and the statue of St Peter. Select a departure time when booking.

Highlights

  • 2-hour St Peter’s Basilica and cupola walking tour
  • Skip the line with fast-track entry to St Peter's Basilica
  • Enjoy unparalleled views from the dome, designed by Michelangelo
  • Explore St Peter's Basilica with a Vatican guide, and listen to commentary on an audio headset
  • See the tomb of Pope John Paul II and the altar marking the tomb of St Peter
  • Tour limited to 20 people

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

This is the only tour with a guided visit to the top of St Peter's cupola! You'll be one of an exclusive group to view all of Rome from the dome of the basilica.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Skip the Line: St Peter's Basilica Walking Tour Including Views from the Top of the Dome

Reach the Cupola of St Peter's Basilica

Meet your Vatican guide in St Peter’s Square to start your walking tour. Head across the square—designed by baroque architect and sculpture Gian Lorenzo Bernini—toward St Peter’s Basilica, pausing along the way to see highlights such as a 13th-century Egyptian obelisk.

When you arrive at the basilica, jump past the entrance queue with your skip-the-line ticket, and take the elevator with your guide up to the Michelangelo-designed cupola, the iconic dome that dominates the Rome skyline. At the base of the dome, look up at the detailed mosaics, and hear a bit about Michelangelo’s creative thinking. Then head up even further by climbing the 300 stairs to the top of the cupola, the highest viewpoint in Rome with a span of 450 feet (150 meters) from the ground to the cross at the top.  

Be wowed by this unbeatable view of the Eternal City, as well as the interior of the church, that not many visitors make the effort to see. Then return to ground level to continue your tour with a walk around the basilica. Learn from your guide about its centuries-old history, and marvel at the ornate architecture and Renaissance artworks, including Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture. See the statue of St Peter and pass dozens of papal tombs before your tour ends with a view of the Swiss Guards in St Peter’s Square.

Click on the 'View additional info' link to see a map of the meeting location.

View additional info

Customer Reviews

Francisco N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Worth the visit. If offers something to everyone, whether you are religious or simply like to learn about the history of the Basilica and the Popes. There is a lot of walking so wear comfortable shoes. Also, since this is a religious site, please be respectful of the site and those who are worshiping. Observe decorum, dress comfortably, but conservatively dress code is strictly enforced.

Kathy S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Fantastic tour, highly recommend well worth it.

Kenneth K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Enjoyed the views from the top of the dome.

Jeffrey O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Great tour. Best part is the Views from the top! Getting to the top is also Fun!

ABIGAIL W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

This was amazing. . Our guide Valeria was really enthusiastic, knowledgeable and had a great way with words, bringing the history lesson to life. Not to be missed

J Derek C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Highly recommend the Basilica tour and trip to the to of the Dome. Our guide, Amil, was very informative and kept the tour itself fun. Skipping the line was worth it to us ... Can't imagine waiting in the lines for hours.

Charmaine K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Excellent tour and excellent tour guide, well worth it!

Janinabyrne

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Mostly well-organised - some confusion about which group we were in initially. After that all excellent and well worth the money to skip the line. I have been before and I learnt new things about this amazing building although didn't find the tour as comprehensive as my previous one. The views over Rome are wonderful!

Richard B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Fantastic tour of the Basilica and the Dome.
This trip is in two parts:
1. The Basilica - this was a fantastic tour, our guide was highly knowledgeable and his English was excellent. All the highlights of the Basilica were pointed out an any questions answered.
2. The Dome- before starting I have to point out that this is not for the feint hearted and requires a certain level of fitness. The tour begins with a short trip in a lift which takes out 200 steps. The next leg of the journey upwards consists of 300 steps upwards with not many resting places. Now for the good stuff, shortly after starting the second part of the trip you access the inside of the Dome where all the highlights of the interior are pointed out, the visitors below are the size of ants. Then its onwards and upwards to the top. The views are amazing, well worth the journey to the top I would not have missed this.
Overall the Tour was fantastic, the two guides were really great and there English was perfect.
Our Group was only about 11 people so you really felt you were getting one to one attention at all times. Access to the Basilica at the start was effortless, particularly when you saw the queue's of people waiting outside.
All in all 5 out of 5 and I would have no hesitation of booking a tour with Viator again.

Felix N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

It was and excellent experience. Our tour guide was a professional in all terms. We learned a lot and enjoyed our visit to the Basilica.

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