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Early Access Vatican Museums Semi-Private Tour with Sistine Chapel

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Roma, Italy
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Early Access Vatican Museums Semi-Private Tour with Sistine Chapel

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1 Adult2 Adults3 Adults4 Adults5 Adults6 Adults7 Adults8 Adults9 Adults10 Adults11 Adults12 Adults0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 Children6 Children7 Children8 Children9 Children10 Children11 Children12 Children0 Infants1 Infant2 Infants3 Infants4 Infants5 Infants6 Infants7 Infants8 Infants9 Infants10 Infants11 Infants12 Infants
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon2 hours 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

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 just 10 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.
  • 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
  • Get context to the Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, and masterpieces by the likes of Michelangelo
  • This tour is limited to 10 participants ensuring you can always see and hear the guide

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

Be among the first people of the day in all the Vatican on this small-group tour.
Why you are seeing these recommendations
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Reserved Skip-the-Line Access to the Vatican Museums
Reserved Access to the Sistine Chapel
Semi-private groups of no larger than 10 people
English-speaking art historian guide
Gratuities
Hotel pickup and drop-off
St. Peter's Basilica is not accessible due to current regulations
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.

St. Peter's Basilica , Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
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; 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 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.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Vatican City
Get inside the UNESCO-listed complex of the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel before the crowds on this early-access small-group tour that’s limited to just 10 participants.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Vatican Museums
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.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Sistine Chapel
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.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
St. Peter's Basilica
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. • Please be advised that St. Peter’s Basilica will not be accessible until further notice due to current restrictions
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • At the meeting point there will be social distancing taking place. Our guide will organize the group upon your arrival, but we kindly ask yourself to be conscience in taking social distance at all the time from others.
  • Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women to enter to the venues
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Only small bags are allowed in the venue
  • Please note that, due to the current Covid restrictions inside the Vatican, St Peter’s Basilica is not included until further notice
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
  • OPERATED BY City Wonders Ltd
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.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Early Access Vatican Museums Semi-Private Tour with Sistine Chapel?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Early Access Vatican Museums Semi-Private Tour with Sistine Chapel.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Early Access Vatican Museums Semi-Private Tour with Sistine Chapel?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Early Access Vatican Museums Semi-Private Tour with Sistine Chapel.

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." See review
  • "Starts early but still doesn't avoid a lot of crowds." See review

Reviews by Viator travelers.  We perform checks on reviews

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
2,765 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 2,765 reviews
star-4
Amazing, but too hot and crowded
Peter_A
, Aug 2022
This is a good tour, our guide was very informative and knowledgeable. However the museum is wildly busy and it was very hot, with many rooms without A/C made it a bit uncomfortable. That said, all the sights are breathtaking and it's well worth it to go. Just be ready for huge crowds.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Amazing!
Simon_B
, Aug 2022
You could literally spend an entire day (or more) in the museums, but our guide, Tatiana, shared the highlights with just the right amount of commentary and information for the 3 hours we had there. We could now go back, unguided, and take our time with some understanding of what we’re seeing.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Energetic and Knowledgeable Guide Made for a Great Experience.
Kevi_D
, Aug 2022
Great tour. Maria was fantastic. Knowledgeable and well organized. Did a great job of sharing her tremendous knowledge. Would recommend to any friends visiting Rome.
HelpfulHelpful
star-2
Ridiculously overcrowded not semi private
Margie_T
, Aug 2022
I have pictures that will not upload to prove my point of how crowded and uncomfortable our tour was- not semi private at all. City wonders said you are misleading customers by selling a 10 or less semi private tour with any private time in the Vatican. We had a group of 12+ people, no semi private times, a girl fainted in the museum because of lack of oxygen and heat exhaustion. I purchased this tour as a honeymoon gift for my husband and I would like a refund. Our tour guide was wonderful given the circumstances but he cut the tour short too. He couldn’t function in the madness of overcrowding we all endured. Can you send me a phone number, contact name as well as address of the department I need to get ahold of to get reimbursement? Thank you, Marguerite Torrez
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star-4
Must do
Kimberly_R
, Aug 2022
Very knowledgeable guide. Sistine chapel was amazing as well as St Peter bascilca. Went at a good pace
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star-5
Trip of our life time and celebrating our 45th anniversary.
Amada_B
, Jul 2022
Seeing the Vatican. It was amazing. Also Sistine Chapel was amazing. I always wanted to see Michelangelo painted ceiling and it was amazing, gorgeous and all l expected. Our tour guide Emil was great with details. One thing that l did not like is that we were to rushed and crowded that we hardly had time to take pictures until the very end outside. And l am a picture that like to enjoy my pictures after vacation.
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star-5
Love this tour
Linda_R
, Jul 2022
The guide, Valerija, was personable and extremely knowledgeable. Loved her enthusiasm throughout the tour. The art and history is definitely a must see while in Rome. Even my teenage children truly enjoyed this tour.
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star-3
Good tour and good guide.
Gabriella_B
, Jul 2022
The tour was nice and the guide was very knowledgeable. There was a lot of walking and step climbing but it’s worth it.
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star-5
Great tour!!
ritchie_T
, Jul 2022
Honestly, I was not looking forward to this tour, thought it would be boring….. I thought it was fantastic and very interesting!!! Our tour guide was great… I found it very informative and my teenage kids did as well.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Great tour
Ramona_M
, Jul 2022
Our tour guide, Lorelei, was amazing. She was knowledgeable about the art, and was very god about answering questions. Our whole family enjoyed the tour and commentary.
HelpfulHelpful
star-1
Viator would NOT Refund our Money!
Kristi_J
, Jul 2022
I am very disappointed with Viator!! We booked several tours through Viator for our Rome trip. Most were very good. However, when it came to customer service through Viator, we got NO HELP! There was an unannounced taxi strike the day of our tour! We had allowed plenty of time to get to our tour early via taxi. When we couldn't get a taxi due to the strike, we had to scramble and use the Metro. We had never used the Metro (let alone in a foreign city). We had to walk to the Metro station, then needed exact change which we didn't know, so had to walk back to our hotel because none of the surrounding places would give us change. Then walked back to the Metro and after purchasing our Metro ticket we had to figure out which one to take and another to transfer to (again had never used it). Upon arriving to the Metro stop for the Vatican area, we still had to walk several blocks to the tour meeting spot. We were 20 minutes late and the tour had already left. The tours guides at the meeting spot (several tours meet there) said most people were late or didn't even show up for ALL of the morning tours! They said we should be able to get a refund because the strike was out of our control. When I contacted Viator for a refund, they said NO! I even appealed it and got a NO again! They said the terms of the tour did not allow for refunds for no shows and cancellation had to be 24 hours prior. VERY disappointed!!
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star-5
Gorgeous
Arthur_G
, Jul 2022
Absolutely stunning! Assunta was an incredible guide. So friendly and knowledgeable. She even did us a favor and got us into a secret passage to go to St-peter’s Basilica. Would definitely do again.
HelpfulHelpful
star-4
No semi private tour, great guide
BETSABE_A
, Jul 2022
The only complain is they It was a more than 15 persons so not such a thing like a semi private. Maria Laura was great, we learn a lot and she is very nice.
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star-5
The perfect tour
Alejandro_S
, Jul 2022
The guide was amazing, majored in Art, very friendly and knowledgeable. It was exactly what I wanted.
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star-5
Efficient Way to See the Highlights
Leandre_F
, Jul 2022
My family and I did this tour on July 16, 2022. There is so much to see in the Vatican museums that no 2.5 hour tour can really do full justice to what is there and the amount to seey is pretty overwhelming. This is a pretty good way to efficiently see the highlights along with the Sistine Chapel. Our guide took us to St. Peter's after the tour finished which isn't always possible and we got to take a quickl look. St. Peter's has so much to offer that it really merits its own tour, so go that route if you can.
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star-5
Amazing place.
Garry_H
, Jul 2022
Booking was easy and on the day finding the organisers was simple as per the directions. Our Guide, Donnatella was very knowledgeable and good fun. As with all tours you are kept moving and don't really have time to take it all in. That being said we started in the museum and could probably move only 10 metres every hour ! If you looked at everything. You could spend a week in the Vatican and not see it all. Donna gave us a great tour with lots to take in. The place as a whole is just breath taking... but that is Rome.
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star-5
Great Way to learn about the Vatican Coty.
Donna_A
, Jul 2022
Lora was an excellent tour guide. Using the hearing device was much appreciated. She did a great job pointing out the details of every piece that I would’ve otherwise missed. She also managed our group expertly.
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star-5
Vatican Tour
Lynn_P
, Jul 2022
Marna was an exceptional guide!! I’ve been to Rome before and waited a long time to gain access to the Vatican Museum. The early access tour is the way to go!!
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Great tour
Nancy_S
, Jul 2022
Great tour. Guide was friendly and knowledgeable. Thoroughly enjoyed tour with Emil! She kept group organized, offered lots of interesting commentary and provided excellent preparation to see Sistine chapel. We
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star-1
Regular tour/ no early access and no privacy of any level
Marina_N
, Jul 2022
There is no early access or semi-private arrangement, as per advertisement. You would get in with the general crowd and as apart of a regular tour group. Complete deception. Paid top dollar for the arrangement promised and am completely disappointed. No tour of St. Peter Basilica either
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful

Product code: 3731VATICAN_SMALL

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