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Enter the Vatican Museums before the general public for an intimate, 3-hour tour with a small group limited to 12. Cover all the highlights of the nine miles' worth of museums, and hear the stories from your guide that bring the art to life. Visit the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s famous 'Creation of Adam' painting; Raphael's Rooms, with frescoes painted by Renaissance artist Raphael; and the impressive St Peter's Basilica. Stay a step ahead of the large crowds on this carefully planned route that ensures you make the most of your time.


  • 3-hour guided Vatican tour, including the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica
  • This tour includes exclusive access through a reserved entranceway and we guarantee you will not wait in any long lines
  • See the best of the Vatican in the morning to beat the crowds!
  • See esteemed Renaissance artwork, such as Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam
  • Explore Raphael's Rooms and see masterpieces by Raphael
  • Small-group Vatican tour, with a maximum of 12, provides a unique experience with your expert guide

Recent Photos of 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 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 a special 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 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.

Visit Raphael’s Rooms, four interconnected rooms with frescoes painted by Renaissance artist Raphael. Then see the stunning Sistine Chapel, considered to be the Pope’s home chapel, with Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement.

Finally, the last part of the tour visits St Peter’s Basilica, the beautiful domed church that houses the Pietà, one of Michelangelo’s earlier sculptures depicting the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. It is said that this is where St Peter the Apostle was crucified and buried. Learn why this is one of the holiest places in all of Christendom.

The tour ends at St Peter’s Square.

Customer Reviews

Tammana B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Amazing tour with Elena Rubino! We covered all of the sites from the Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica efficiently with plenty of time to absorb the history and beauty. Worth the early morning visit - this was the highlight of our trip and Elena's knowledge was fantastic.

Susan G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This was the second time I toured the Vatican and I highly recommend the early morning tour to beat the crowds!!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Excellent tour and our guide Virginia was brilliant . We skipped the line and where inside immediately. Well worth the money and I would highly recommend it.

Rhonda P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

When I visited the Vatican 15 years ago, I went with a tour in the afternoon. It was so crowded, it was impossible to enjoy. We couldn't even squeeze into Raphael's rooms. This trip was so much better. Getting to see the Vatican Museum before it opens to the public was priceless!! We were virtually the only ones in the whole museum for the first hour. I finally got to see Raphael's rooms! Our tour guide was amazing! Very informative, but also a lot of fun. Gave us the gossip in addition to the serious stuff. Loved every minute of it!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

I cannot say enough about City Wonders, and specifically, our guide, Federica. We liked her so much on our Skip the Line Colosseum Tour, that when we found out she was going to be one of the guides on the day of our Vatican tour, we requested her immediately upon arrival. We went in Augustheight of tourist season and heat, and could not have been more thrilled. The directions to meet with your tour group are perfect and everyone was on time. I highly suggest bringing your own earphones because the ones provided on both of the tours are uncomfortable. Our guide, Federica was knowledgeable and passionate about her city and everything it had to offer. We loved listening to her descriptions of the artwork and basilica because she did it in a way that took you on a journey, rather than being given a bunch of facts. Her English was superb, her demeanor delightful and the sheer amount of knowledge was astounding. She answered every question asked, and was concerned for her tour members in a very crowded and warm Vatican. Skipping the line in August is worth EVERY PENNY! City Wonders has a personal relationship with The vatican, so we skipped other skip the line tours. The sights are, without a doubt, superb. The Basilica and Sistine Chapel are unbelievable even when you are staring right at them. Thank you for making Rome so enjoyable!

Susan B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Really fascinating and the Guide was so interesting with lots of facts given in an easy to follow manner. Would highly rate this !!!

David Y

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

The tour guide was very knowledgable and presented the historical facts in an interesting and entertaining manner.

Sheri B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This was a fantastic tour. Definitely worth doing. Our tour guide Marti was excellent!

Jenny S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Excellent trip really great Guide- called Irene. Small group of about 12.

Patricia A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

The tour was well organized. We were in a group of 12 people which was wonderful. The guide was very knowledgable and we each had own own earphones to clearly hear.

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