Skip the long lines and enjoy no-wait access to the Vatican Museums on this 4.5-hour tour. Visit the Vatican Paintings gallery, St Peter's Basilica, and the spiral Bramante Staircase. Also, see Raphael’s Rooms, with frescoes painted by renowned Renaissance artist Raphael and the Gallery of Tapestries. Visit the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s famous “Creation of Adam” painting, plus the rarely visited Etruscan Museum.
Enjoy privileged access to the Vatican Museums via a dedicated Vatican Partner entrance
Marvel at the only Da Vinci piece left in Rome at the serene Vatican Paintings Gallery
Explore the Bramante Staircase, an architectural masterpiece usually off-limits to the public
Discover the best of the Holy See including the Sistine Chapel and Raphael Rooms
Enter St. Peter's Basilica through an exclusive entrance, avoiding long lines
An audio headset is included, so you can hear your guide clearly the whole time
Why Travelers Choose This Tour
Get special Vatican access via a dedicated entrance and visit the Bramante Staircase—a rare combo.
Piazza San Pietro, Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
What To Expect
Meet and greet the tour guide outside the Vatican Museums, a collection of galleries of classical and Renaissance art masterpieces, including the Sistine Chapel frescoes. Walk inside through the official Vatican Partner entrance, which provides even faster access than the priority lines. Once inside, there are more than nine miles of art, so follow along with the guide who will point out the highlights and explain the story behind each work of art. A headset is included to hear the guide clearly. Stop at the Vatican Paintings Gallery, featuring some of the most influential paintings in the world like Caravaggio’s Deposition from the Cross, Da Vinci’s unfinished St. Jermone and Raphael’s Transfiguration. Next, A Vatican Guard escorts you to one of the biggest thrills of the tour, a visit to the Bramante Staircase. Once used by the popes and Vatican staff, but it is now rarely visited. Take the opportunity to get a photo of this beautiful spiral staircase. Then exit directly into the Gregorian Etruscan Museum to see the many bronze figurines and Etruscan tombs. Then, visit Raphael’s Rooms, four interconnected rooms with frescoes painted by Renaissance artist Raphael; the six-sectioned Gallery of Candelabra, with Roman copies of Hellenistic originals and some great second century candelabra, from Otricoli; the Gallery of Tapestries, featuring the drawings from many of Raphael’s pupils; and Gallery of Maps, on the west side of the Belvedere Courtyard featuring a series of painted topographical maps of Italy. Go to the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and the Last Judgement and St. Peter’s Basilica to see Pietà, one of Michelangelo’s earlier sculptures depicting the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. The tour ends just outside St. Peter’s Basilica.
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
Tours departing Wednesday: There is a possibility that St Peter's Basilica and St Peter's Square will be unavailable due to the weekly Papal Audience during which access to St Peter's Basilica is closed. As an alternative, you will be offered an extended itinerary within the Vatican Museums, that still includes the Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Rooms. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. If you would prefer that St Peter's Basilica and Square are included, please DO NOT select Wednesday as your travel date
On rare occasions, St Peter’s Basilica closes without notice. If this happens, you'll spend a full 4.5 hours touring the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. We will list any affected dates as they become available. The tour guides aim to notify guests if St Peter’s Basilica is unexpectedly closed upon commencement of the tour. It is beyond our control, so no refunds or discounts will be issued
This tour is NOT wheelchair accessible. For your information, Vatican Museums provide wheelchairs free of charge in the main lobby. You can easily pick one up after entrance, before starting your own independent visit. If you are looking for a guided tour with wheelchair access, we recommend booking our private tours so a guide can lead you through the alternate routes
We are unable to accommodate pushchairs or strollers on our tours
When our tour is over will we be able to visit St. Peter's Basilica or the grottos or dome? Absolutely. Our tours end at the front of St Peter's Basilica, which is a very convenient location to leave for lunch, visit the Vatican bookstore, visit the Vatican post office, enter St Peter's Basilica, continue to the grottos below St Peter's, or climb to the dome. Your guide will happily point you in the right direction!
Backpacks, tripods and big umbrellas must be left inside a cloakroom on entering the Vatican Museums. To reduce any disruption for your group, we recommend that these items are not taken on this tour
A special dress code is required to enter the Vatican. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. This dress code is strictly enforced and you will be refused entry if you fail to comply with dress code requirements
Not wheelchair accessible
Near public transportation
Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
This was our consolation tour when City Walks (the tour company) totally messed up our "confirmed reservation" to do their "Wake up the Vatican tour!" We found out that our "confirmed trip" was cancelled when we showed up at 5:00 am on the morning of our tour...very unprofessional and completely irritating ! Nonetheless, this tour was good. The best thing was that it started an hour before the Vatican opens at 9:00 am. We still got into the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel before the big crowds hit. And, the bonus of seeing the Bramante Staircase and St. Peter's Basilica that we wouldn't have seen on the tour they cancelled on us...made up (a little) for City Walks incompetence. They should have compted us for the trip but they did not! Our guide for this tour was good and comprehensive...he covered the important pieces in the Vatican museum which was good because it would take most of your life to get a synopsis of all of them. By the time we got to the Basilica it was a little crowded but not what it would be like if it were later in the day. The tour moved at a good pace and was always interesting.
I would say you must visit Vatican with Guide tour there are so many information and much more fun. This tour we add Bramante staircase which even better. Pay lil bit more to cover Vatican as much as you can. It’s not a place we go often so just invest for it. I’m enjoy and admire all place we visited. Take the earliest tour you can, it’s so crowded.
Very special tour of the Vatican. Small group of only 10-15 people and we started on time and was easy to find the check-in spot. Our guide was incredible with all the knowledge she had of the church and history and art - she took her time, explained things and was so friendly. The tour has a reasonable amount of walking and be sure to have water if it is a hot day. Really loved the the museum and the Bramante Staircase, where just a limited amount of people go. Incredible views of one of the most sacred place on earth.
The tour took us to all the parts of the Vatican as advertised, all of which was fascinating although my favourites were the Sistine Chapel and Bramante Staircase. Our guide, Renata, was very knowledgeable and friendly, and made the entire tour interesting. The meeting point was easy to find and the tour went like clockwork. I'd happily recommend this tour.
This skip the line tour is worth it. Maria, a art history major, our guide was humorous and very informative. She gave you the history the behind the scenes and antics of the art masters and popes, cardinals and church hierarchy. Thanks again Maria