• Location: Rome, Italy
  • Duration: 3 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 111.28 View price calendar

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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 August 2018

We went in early August and the lines were huge. However the tour groups were able to skip the line. Our guide was wonderful and even with all the people we had an excellent tour.

Tamara P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2018

Francesca was our tour guide. She spoke excellent English and was able to answer every question. Although there were tons of tourists she kept us close and was able to get us to some spots that weren’t so crowded. I know the history is her job, but she made some great historical connections for us.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2018

Our group size was perfect. The guide was extremely well educated and quite knowledgeable about the material covered throughout the tour.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2018

It was a very enjoyable tour even with the huge July crowds. Our guide was very knowledgeable and viewing the iconic site in a small group was definitely the way to go.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2018

Enjoyed this tour and the early access and skipping the lines. Tour guide was very knowledgeable. Recommend!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2018

First of all, this tour is operated by City Wonders and gets you a true

Jennifer V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

It was a wonderful tour. The tour guide was excellent. I would give the tour guide a 100 on a scale or 1 to 10.

Patricia S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

Cristina was our guide. Charming and extremely knowledgable, sh provided us with the perfect tour. Worth every penny. Truly memorable.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

Georgia from city tours was fantastic. Absolutely recommend this. Also getting to the museum first thing in the am is absolutely critical. Makes such a difference.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

It certainly was well worth skipping the long lines. Our guide was well educated with St. Peter's. Prompt and friendly. Highly recommend.

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