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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.


  • 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

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.

Nichola H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

This was an excellent guided tour!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Great tour! We visited St. Peter's Bascilica on our own the day before and we are so glad we decided to book this tour.
We enjoyed St. Peter's Bascilica way more with this great tour. Note there are a lot of steps and you must keep up with the group pace.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

This was our best tour while visiting Italy! Our guide Amil, was her name, I believe spoke good English and did an excellent job explaining everything. We were provided headsets, so we were always able to hear her clearly, even when we weren't right next to her. The tour included the top of the dome, which was awesome - just be sure you can climb stairs because there are a lot of them! I recommend this tour!

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!


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.

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