Rome
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Semi-Private Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica Guided Tour

Badge of ExcellenceRoma, Italy

From $77.17

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Secure your spot while staying flexible
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 3 hours (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English

Overview

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 before it opens to the general public on this early access tour that’s limited to a small group. 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.
  • Be one of the first visitors of the day to enter the Vatican Museums before the crowds arrive
  • Enter through a groups-only doorway to skip the long lines
  • A small-group tour ensures you can always see and hear the guide
  • Enjoy the Vatican highlights including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

Be among the first people of the day in all the Vatican on this small-group tour.

What's Included

  • Reserved Skip-the-Line Access to the Vatican Museums
  • Reserved Access to the Sistine Chapel
  • Skip-the-Line Access & Guided Visit of St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Semi-private groups of no larger than 10 people
  • English-speaking art historian guide
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Via Tunisi, 4
    Via Tunisi, 4, 00192 Roma RM, Italy

    At the bottom of the steps across the street from the Entrance of the Vatican Museums. The steps are located right next to Caffè Vaticano on the corner of Viale Vaticano and Via Tunisi. The closest Metro stop is Line A (Ottaviano – Musei Vaticani). Arriving from Ottaviano - Musei Vaticani Metro A Station: Exit the turnstiles – walk straight to the back end of the station and go to the left side exit. Once you’ve reached the left side exit – exit at V.le Giulio Cesare (to your right). Exit Station and walk down V.le G. Cesare to street light, cross the street and take left on Via Leone IV. Take right on Via Sebastiano Veniero and go 1 ½ blocks.

End point

  • St. Peter's Basilica
    Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City

What To Expect

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 points out the highlights and explains 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, 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 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 'La 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.

Vatican City

Get inside the UNESCO-listed complex of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica before the crowds on this early-access small-group tour that’s limited to just 10 participants.

5 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Vatican Museums

Stroll through rooms like the Gallery of Maps, with its golden, vaulted ceiling 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.

1 hour Admission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women to enter to the venues
  • Only small bags are allowed in the venue
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

about cancellations.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


Getting into the grounds early is also key as it still fills up and gets crowded really fast.
Starts early but still doesn't avoid a lot of crowds.
Reviews
4.5
2,834 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 2,834 reviews
Must do trip in Rome
Yvonne_M, Dec 2022
This was the highlight of our trip, much better than expected Beautiful, stunning, so much history, We loved it Our guide Stephanie was marvelous
Great tour guide
Amanda_M, Dec 2022
Great tour with very knowledgeable tour guide. She was very patient with people who didn’t want to wear headset and gave us time to ask questions and explore and take pictures. Great tour!
Oscar was a wonderful...
Dotan_E, Dec 2022
Oscar was a wonderful guide. The tour was very interesting and insightful thanks to him. Visiting the Vatican museum and st. Peter basilica are a must.
The tour was very...
Krasimira_C, Nov 2022
The tour was very interesting and our guide Georgia was amazing. For 3 hours we saw different significant pieces and she explained us in details for everything. I do recommend :)
Response from Host, Dec 2022
Hello! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us an amazing review. Everyone at City Wonders is delighted to hear that you loved your tour with us. It was our pleasure having you for this memorable experience. We hope to see you again on some of our other unique tours in the future. On behalf of our entire team, thank you for choosing City Wonders. Feel free to follow us on our social media pages such as Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to keep up with our exclusive content. Instagram: citywonderstours Twitter: @City_Wonders Facebook: City Wonders Kind regards, Edgar J. City Wonders
Crammed !
Paul_M, Nov 2022
It poured the day we went but we were me by friendly representatives. Of course the museum was crowded!! Really crowded but linked by ear to our wonderful guide ( Ilaria 5 stars!!!) we were able to from time to time forget the crush and enjoy her knowledge and stories. I couldn’t recommended her highly enough …. Does she do private tours of Rome too. The Vatican is not an advertisement for Catholicism and the officials are officious and very aggressive in manner. However if you long to see treasures like never, go and if you go alone slip away from the throng and visit the other galleries … you may be the only one there. For service and knowledge I was impressed.
Response from Host, Dec 2022
Hey there! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us an amazing review. Everyone at City Wonders is delighted to hear that you loved your tour with us. It was our pleasure having you for this memorable experience. We hope to see you again on some of our other unique tours in the future. On behalf of our entire team, thank you for choosing City Wonders. Feel free to follow us on our social media pages such as Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to keep up with our exclusive content. Instagram: citywonderstours Twitter: @City_Wonders Facebook: City Wonders Kind regards, Edgar J. City Wonders
Wonderful experience!!!
rp8q6zsc79, Nov 2022
Georgia was great!!! Had a little problem with ear pieces, but she extended the tour 30 minutes, so we were happy. Very knowledgeable and informative. Learned things we were not told before on past trips. Would definitely go again.
Take this tour to see all the must sees at Vatican and St Peter
Charlene_S, Nov 2022
Amazing information from the guide and very well organized. We saw Vatican museum, Sistine Chapel, and short tour of key pieces at St Peter church. Audio ear piece was perfect for hearing our guide even with all the crowds around us and she spoke easy to understand English. Highly recommend.
Worth it!
Mark_F, Nov 2022
Our guide Kristian was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He learnt our names and made sure we were all able to hear him and see clearly. Very friendly as well as educational. Would recommend.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Great Tour’
Debra_S, Nov 2022
Marina was excellent, extremely knowledgeable. Shared interesting insights regarding many of the works of art.
The guide was a bit odd....
Ralph_W, Nov 2022
The guide was a bit odd. Spent a half hour + giving an overly dramatic remedial interpretation of Genesis. Saw nothing during that time. Spent a lot of time after that talking about herself and her likes. Then ditched us in some obscure museum.
Response from Host, Nov 2022
Hey Ralph_W, Every team member at City Wonders would like to thank you for leaving us an honest review on Viator. It saddens us that you did not enjoy the company of your guide while on your tour of the Vatican with us. We apologize for what you deemed to be rather weird behavior, and even more so for having been left behind at the end of your tour. This is unacceptable. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We hope to have the opportunity to provide you with a more perfect experience on one of our many other uniquely crafted tours -- with a guide whose company you will love. Kind regards, Edgar J. City Wonders
The guide is very precise...
Cynthia_H, Nov 2022
The guide is very precise in telling us its history abt it. but Feel that more time is given in the museums will be better as there are lots of things to be seen.
Guided tour is necessary to learn the facts of this very interesting part of history.
Lynn_M, Nov 2022
Guide was very knowledgeable. She helped our group maneuver through the very crowded areas pointing out important items and telling us the stories of each.
Christian was a great tour guide
Daryl_S, Nov 2022
Our tour guides name was Christian and his passion for art history was so clear. We really enjoyed our tour
Wonderful Early Tour of the Vatican
David_M, Oct 2022
Irene was an amazing tour guide! So informative and compelling to listen to, and she gave us a great primer before getting into the Sistine Chapel, so when we actually got inside, we could just enjoy the experience. Would definitely use this company again!
Unforgettable!
Glynn_S, Oct 2022
It was all fantastic! We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of art and detail in the designs and the guide was very knowledgeable and brought the story to life.
The tour guide was...
Kathleen_S, Oct 2022
The tour guide was excellent. Took the time to explain everything I was not feeling well and she was very concerned and helpful
Fabulous Tour Led by Christian Savona!
Coletta_A, Oct 2022
First time to Italy, tour was all we could have hoped for. Christian went above and beyond to make it special for us. His knowledge and sense of humor are remarkable. The tour by itself was excellent, and Christian Savona as our guide made it superb!
Very knowledgeable guide....
Denis_F, Oct 2022
Very knowledgeable guide. They should limit the number of visitors as it was very crowded and not very covid secure.
Amazing
Kristen_F, Oct 2022
Allasandro Was a great guide, she did an excellent job negotiating our group through the process and any crowded areas. I can’t imagine how busy this place is when you aren’t on the early tour.
Brilliant tour, everything we wanted.
Tracey_M, Oct 2022
The guide Georgia was fantastic. So friendly and enthusiastic, and full of knowledge. She was really interesting and went at a really nice pace. The place was busy even for an early tour, but she knew exact what to do and where to go. She also kept a close eye on us.
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Product code: 3731VATICAN_SMALL