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Tens of thousands of people visit the Vatican Museums each day to see St. Peter’s Basilica, masterpieces by the likes of Michelangelo and Raphael, and the Sistine Chapel. Get inside the UNESCO-listed complex almost an hour before it opens to the general public on this 3-hour, early-access tour that’s limited to just 12 participants. Enter through a reserved doorway to skip the lines, and stay a step ahead of the large crowds on this carefully planned route that ensures you make the most of your time.


  • 3-hour, small-group tour of the Vatican Museums including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica
  • Get inside almost an hour before the crowds arrive at 9am
  • Enter through a groups-only doorway to skip the long lines
  • Cover nine miles of museums in the morning when it’s quieter
  • Get context to the Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, and masterpieces by the likes of Michelangelo
  • This small-group Vatican tour is limited to 12 participants ensuring you can always see and hear the guide
  • Stay and admire St. Peter’s Basilica for as long as you want after the tour concludes

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

What You Can Expect

Early Access Vatican Museums Small-Group Tour with St. Peter’s and Sistine Chapel

Statues inside the Vatican Museums

Meet and greet your guide opposite the entrance to the Vatican Museums, a collection of galleries filled with classical and Renaissance masterpieces, including the Sistine Chapel frescoes. Walk inside through a reserved door without any waiting. This access is even faster than the priority lines.

Once inside, there are more than 2,000 rooms and nine miles of art, so follow along with your guide who will point out the highlights and explain the story behind each piece. The small-group nature of your tour allows you to remain close to your guide at all times, but a headset is included to make sure you can always hear the commentary clearly.

Stroll through rooms like the Gallery of Maps, with its golden, vaulted ceiling; the Raphael Rooms, painted by Renaissance artist Raphael; and the stunning Sistine Chapel, considered to be the Pope’s home chapel, with Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement. On your early-access tour, you’ll find the galleries to be considerably quieter than they would be later in the day.

Finish with a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church ever built and one of the holiest and most important sites in Christendom. Get an overview of its long history from your guide, and get an up-close look at the Pietà, one of Michelangelo’s earlier sculptures that depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion.

Your tour ends inside the basilica. After you’ve finished exploring with your group, you can stay as long as you want on your own. It’s the perfect time to head down into the crypts or climb up to the top of St. Peter’s dome (own expense) for uninterrupted views of Rome.

Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

Perfect small group tour with a very knowledgeable guide.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

Just don't book on a Wednesday if you want to see St. Peter's before exhausting yourself. Go with breakfast and fully hydrated! Worth the money overall, and Alberto was a fantastic guide!!!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

Very nice tour, with a great guide.

Arturo B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

Wow, just wow! It was great to see the museum and the grounds without the crowds. This place is definitely magnificent and beautiful.

Sudip M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

V good guide. Nice trip

Vivian G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

AMAZING! This tour is definitely worth the time and the money, our tour guide Dora cant remember her full name since it was Italian was incredible, she has a PHD i mean it doesn't get better than that, the knowledge was out of this world, you could ask her anything and she will know the answer to it. The skip the line was definitely a plus and so was getting to the different rooms when there were only a few people before you.

Andrew S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

Great tour, worth the money, hits all the highlights without spending the whole day in the museum. The guide was really knowledgeable and friendly. When you see the lines entering, you will be glad you picked this!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

This was well worth it as just a small group and our host had extensive knowledge! Friendly and easy instructions. The whole visit was overwhelming in a very positive way! Thank you - highly recommend.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

We had an amazing experience. Our guide's name was Guiseppe, and he was an amazing source of information about the Vatican and Rome in general. We did an early access tour and it was fairly crowded. However, by the end of the tour, the lines to get in were incredibly long with hundreds of people waiting for hours. It was an expensive tour, but worth it to be able to skip all the lines. After the tour ended, we climbed to the top of St. Peter's Dome an extra charge. So many stairs! But the views were worth the work!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

Our tour guide was great! You could tell he enjoyed sharing his knowledge with our group. We were among many who had early access but this was the highlight of our trip!

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