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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

Megan R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

This tour was amazing. You get to see high above vatican city and see where the Pope lives from above.

Agnieszka J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

This tour was amazing!

Maria K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

I really enjoy the view from up high, and believe me, this tour took us right up inside the dome... and outside. Stunning views. And of course, skip the line is a really great feature. There are so many people. Crowds everywhere. It's self-defeating to do it on your own. The guides lead you in and whisk you through the blocked gates. So nice without getting completely exhausted waiting in lines.

Benjamin D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

A great tour made excellent by our expertly knowledgeable guide. Thanks!

Angela C Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

best view ever

natandesther

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

Great tour and spectacular views. We went early and so missed all of the larger crowds.

cc

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

Worth the money and time. View is amasing, super organised inbetween soooo many people

Travis K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

The Skip the Line: St Peter's Basilica Walking Tour Including Views from the Top of the Dome was Amazing! I would highly recommend taking this tour! Not only do you get to learn about the Church's rich history from a small group tour guide, you will also get to climb the cupola and have breathtaking views of all of Rome.

Pamela

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Great views from the top, after a climb up some very narrow staircases. The guides were excellent.

Clifford G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Our guide was Mercedes who was the best guide on our tour. My only complaint was the directions on how to find the tour. They were terrible. The reservation should include a map with a red dot noting were they are located. Wasted a lot of time and energy finding them.

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