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Discover the Vatican on a 3-hour St Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums tour. Navigate the vast complex of rooms, artwork and history with a guide, who will bring the ancient collection to life. Skip all the entrance lines to explore halls such as the Gallery of the Maps and Raphael’s Rooms; step inside the Sistine Chapel to admire ‘The Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo’; and hear little-known tales about sacred St Peter’s Basilica. Choose from several departures, or upgrade to an evening experience or small-group tour with 12 people.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a skip-the-line Vatican tour including the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica
  • See captivating sites like Raphael’s Rooms, Gallery of the Maps and Bramante’s Pinecone Courtyard
  • Visit the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam ceiling fresco
  • Explore St Peter’s Basilica on a fully guided Vatican walking tour and see the famous La Pieta sculpture
  • Choose from four different times, or upgrade to a small-group tour (maximum 12)

What You Can Expect

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, St Peter’s, Sistine Chapel, Small-Group Upgrade Option

See incredible ceiling frescoes inside the Vatican Museums!

Vatican tours with skip-the-line access are sought-after, so even the fast-track lines are long. This experience includes admission through a special entrance, so there are no lines whatsoever. Follow your guide directly inside the vast collection of private artwork that is the Vatican Museums.

Walk through the Gallery of the Maps and Gallery of Tapestries as you listen to tales of Vatican intrigue. Gaze at artifacts such as timeworn yet fascinating Italian maps, and admire the sculptures and candelabras of the Gallery of Candelabras. Stop for photos in front of the Pigna statue in the Pinecone Courtyard, designed by Dontao Bramante.

Raphael’s Rooms are a series of galleries that highlight the talent of the lauded Renaissance artist himself. Pass through the rooms, and then step inside the Sistine Chapel — the pope’s personal place of worship and a highlight of any Vatican trip. Stand beneath Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, which cloaks the ceiling, and admire The Last Judgement, his colorful mural that adorns a wall.

After your Sistine Chapel visit, continue to St Peter’s Basilica, the symbolic heart of the Catholic church. Learn about its history and see more Vatican art including Michelangelo’s La Pietà, which was sculpted when the maestro was only 24 years old. Gaze at the baldachino by Bernini, and then say goodbye to your guide in St Peter’s Square.

Keep in mind that St Peter's Basilica and St Peter's Square might be unavailable on Wednesdays due to the weekly Papal Audience. As an alternative, you'll be offered an extended itinerary within the Vatican Museums, which still includes the Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Rooms. If you want to make sure that St Peter's Basilica and Square are included in your tour, don't select Wednesday as your travel date.

If you want to enhance your Vatican experience, select one of the following experiences:

Small-Group Tour at 8:10am:
Enter the Vatican Museums as soon as it opens, before the other lines enter. Your tour is limited to 12 people for personal attention and information about the Vatican’s must-see sights.

Tour at 7:30pm:
Explore the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel after the doors close to the general public. A visit to St Peter’s Basilica is not included.

Customer Reviews

Caroline D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

Absolutely fantastic tour - highly recommended. Our tour guide Angela had so much knowledge and took the visit to the Vatican to the next level - great day!

Kyle N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

Definitely do the early morning Vatican tour with a small group. Anything else and you will not see nearly as much as we saw and experienced. We were a group of only 11 that morning and got to see nearly everything. Our guide was great, very informative and patient. There is a LOT of walking, be forewarned. My MIL has some mobility issues, so she struggled a bit at points trying to keep up with the group. Just before entering the Sistine Chapel, there is a very large staircase to ascend in order to reach the chapel. Just be mindful of this if anyone in your group has struggles walking or climbing stairs as this may be an issue.

Marie J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

This was an absolutely fabulous tour, and I would highly recommend it. Our tour guide was Christian Savona, and he could not have been more knowledgeable or personable. I would do the tour again!

Michael B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

We arrived at the Vatican on a busy Saturday evening to what can only be described as organized chaos. We were quickly approached and directed to a blue shirt City of Wonders check-in who further instructed us to our tour guide and group. We cannot say enough about our tour guide, Barbara. As a native Roman and archeologist she was knowledgeable, professional and entertaining. The tour is worth EVERY penny as you simply cannot navigate the crowds and lines on your own. You will spend hours waiting. This tour was one of the highlights of our visit to Rome.

Kirk H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

Our guide, PG was absolutely the best guide we could have had. He was funny, articulate, detailed and an endless font of insider historical and artistic information throughout our tour. The pace was perfect there was SO much to cover and we never felt rushed. It cannot have been better. If you want to be able to see the Vatican, avoid the lines and have a real personal experience with an outstanding guide, this is it!

Mona H B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

Our guide was amazing, fun, and filled our minds with intriguing and wonderful information. I learned so much from him and once we got inside the Sistine Chapel, the paintings had much more meaning than if I had seen it as well as inside the Basilica on my own. I was also grateful to have the tickets well in advance as the lines were horribly long St. Peter's square was packed with lines of people just waiting to get tickets inside the Basilica. And I've used Viator for other tours and classes and always pleased with the results. So my recommendation is to select Viator first, then select whichever item suits your fancy. They're experienced, offer wonderful varieties of options, and it's highly likely you'll be completely satisfied.

Phil

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

Great experience our tour guide was knowledgeable, friendly and never made us feel rushed. A fantastic way to see the Vatican City museums in a stress-free environment, especially for first-time visitors to Rome. Would recommend to friends and family traveling here in the future.

Jimmy P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

This tour was very interesting with a lot of great history. Amber was a great guide with tons of knowledge. She got us in the Vatican almost immediately when the line outside was up to 3 hours long. All 3 locations were fabulous. We ended the tour at the Church where we able to go back in on our own and took tons of pictures. Highly recommend if Amber is your guide.

jeremy.bottorff

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

Francesca was an awesome guide. She had so much knowledge and excitement and really made the visit special. It felt like a personalized tour for just our little group, even though she had never met us and didn't know what we were going to be interested in when we got there. Also, I was amazed at how fast we got in and started exploring the museums. The lines looked like they went on for hours!

Ray R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

Our tour, led by Mariella, was excellent. Her provision of history and background and knowledge of art really helped us appreciate the Vatican City in a way we could not have done on our own. She obviously knows and loves her job, and that made our experience richer. She also did a great job keeping us together and we appreciated the way she showed respect for other groups and guides. We booked for early in the day 0815 start the crowds were not as bad as I expected though there were crowds, nor did we wait in any lines. Highly recommend.

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