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Time3 hours (Approx.)
TicketMobile ticket
Offered in: English


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 Travelers Choose This Tour

Entering an hour before the general public (meet at 7:55am sharp) means exploration without the din of the crowds, and headsets are provided so you can always hear your guide clearly throughout the tour. Both men and women must cover knees, shoulders, and torsos when visiting holy sites.
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.


Viator Traveler's Reviews

2,484 Reviews
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, Oct 2018

Our guide Maria Teresa did great. I can't imagine a more difficult tour to guide. It would take Michael Angelo and Pope Innocent themselves, and an empty Vatican, to do this vast area justice. Every square inch is significant. Read all you can before you go on any where , it will be much more enjoyable.

, Oct 2018

We took this early morning tour and loved it. We avoided the rush of the crowd and had as much time as we wanted to take in the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica.

, Oct 2018

The tour is sold on the fact you are in early, before the crowds are in. Well we were amongst the crowds. Thousands in at the exact same time. The guide was OK, not great. English was quite to understand and her audio, she kept fussing with making it hard to hear her. She would walked off and no one in the group could hear her.

, Oct 2018

Assumpta (spelling?) was a wealth of information. Because there is no talking in the Sistine Chapel, she educated us earlier in the tour on different noteworthy areas to look for and what they represented. That was extremely helpful. She was so informative in St. Peter’s. It was a morning well spent with a tour guide that obviously loves what she does.

, Oct 2018

Gigi was an excellent tour guide including some history of how the pope encouraged the queen of Spain to provide Christopher Columbus the ships that he used to discover America. He brought a personal touch through out the tour. The tour company City Wonders skips all the lines, even jumping ahead of other tour groups.

, Oct 2018

Our guide Stefania was so personable, knowledgeable, and professional! She guided us through the grounds, the galleries, the chapel and the basilica with a combination of fascinating facts and stories, the appropriate degree of reverence, and kept us moving right on schedule but made us feel like we had time to linger and enjoy.

, Oct 2018

Margarita was our guide and she was great, very knowledgeable endgame us a lot of information. She made the tour more intersing and gave a lot of information.

, Oct 2018

Guide was good and well prepared. Unfortunately, Rome is overcrowded with tourists so you can not avoid being herded like cattle.

, Oct 2018

Early access is the only way to enjoy a tour of the Vatican and this tour was perfect. We were a small group with an amazing guide who knew exactly how to move us through the crowds so we could see and take pictures. Worth every penny!

, Oct 2018

This was my first visit to the vatican and it was terrific. Our guide Patrick was incredible. We went early, no lines, no waiting.and it still was very crowded but enjoyable. It was a beautiful day outdoors as part of the tour is outside but the Vatican is not to be missed. Take this tour!

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Product code: 3731VATICAN_SMALL

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