• Location: Rome, Italy
  • Duration: Flexible
From USD $ 78.31 View price calendar

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Spend a morning or an afternoon at the Vatican with this 2-hour skip-the-line tour of the Vatican Museums (including the Sistine Chapel) and St. Peter's Basilica. Get an up close and personal look at Michelangelo's masterpiece, his murals in the Sistine Chapel that changed the history of painting forever. See Raphael's cherubs. Gawk at the Gallery of Maps. Explore St. Peter's Basilica. And if you want more, upgrade to a full-day tour and visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Catacombs and more. Lunch can also be included.

Highlights

  • Vatican and Sistine Chapel tour with transport from Rome to Vatican City
  • Skip the lines at the Vatican Museums with a fast-track entrance ticket
  • See top Vatican attractions: Gallery of the Tapestries and Gallery of Maps
  • Visit the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica and admire Michelangelo masterpieces like La Pieta
  • Upgrade to a full-day tour with an optional lunch, and see the sites of Christian Rome in the afternoon
  • Visit Basilica of San Giovanni, the Roman catacombs and Baths of Caracalla (full-day tour only)

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

What You Can Expect

Skip the Line to Vatican Treasures, Sistine Chapel and Optional Upgrade with Lunch

spiral stairs in the Vatican

Morning or Afternoon Tour: After choosing between the morning and the afternoon tour, climb aboard the comfortable air-conditioned coach near Rome's Termini railway station. As the bus meanders through the streets of the Eternal City, take in the views and learn about the places you're about to see from your local guide. Pass through aesthetically pleasing Piazza del Popolo and cross the Tiber River, getting a view of the imposing Castel Sant' Angelo. 

Hop off the coach and skip the usually long line to get into the Vatican Museums, home to some of the world's most renowned and recognizable art works. Follow your guide down Guiseppe Momo's bronze spiral staircase to the art and linger in the great Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of Map. 

Learn about the Flemish tapestries that grace the walls and about how they were based on paintings by students of Raphael, the Renaissance-era painter whose wall frescos of angels and cherubs are also in the museum. Then head to the Sistine Chapel, the room that Michelangelo painted and, perhaps, boasts some of the most famous images in the history of painting. Look out particularly for The Last Judgment and The Creation of Adam

After lingering in the Sistine Chapel for a while, head over to St. Peter's Basilica, the most important Catholic church in the world. And don't miss another Michelangelo masterpiece: his amazing sculpture of La Pieta. Also don't miss Bernini's Baldachino, used from bronze stripped off of the Pantheon. Learn about the history of the church from your guide and hear little-known stories about the building and its construction. 

Full-Day Tour or Full-Day Tour with Lunch:
Upgrade to a full-day tour which combines the morning with a walking tour of Christian Rome in the afternoon. 

Meet the guide and get ready for an engaging tour of Rome, seeing the most legendary Christian landmarks in this city. Stroll around Esquiline Hill, one of the city's famed seven hills, and home to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, a massive church. Then head over to San Giovanni in Laterano, or St. John Lateran, a basilica that is the official church of the pope. Next door take a moment to see the Holy Steps, supposedly the staircase that was part of Pontius Pilate's palace in Jerusalem, which Christ would have walked on for his trial. Today pilgrims ascend the 28 steps on their knees, saying a prayer for each step. 

At the top of the steps in the Sancta Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies, a room that was once a depository for some of the holiest relics in Christendom. Objects included the heads of Sts. Peter and Paul, a chunk of wood from the table where the Last Supper was eaten, and the Holy Foreskin, the prepuce of Jesus, which was stolen in 1527 by a marauding German soldier in the Sack of Rome. (It ended up in the medieval hill town of Calcata, just north of the city.)

Later head to the Appian Way, an ancient Roman road to visit some important early Christian churches, including the Chapel of Domine Quo Vadis, which boasts a cemented imprint of the ghost of Christ. Also visit some of the catacombs, burial grounds of the early Christian community. After exploring underground, visit the old spa ruins at the Baths of Caracalla, and then finish your tour with a hotel drop-off or a drop-off in town.

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Customer Reviews

Jason G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Everything we needed and nothing we didn't!

Elizabeth P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2017

Was a wonderful experience! Would go again! Be prepared for some walking :

Larry T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2017

It was an awesome experience. A must do! Even in late October it was very crowded, so don't try and do it on your own. Plus the knowledge the guides provide is priceless.

Chase K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2017

I had requested I be picked up at my hotel and was picked up in a newer, cleaned, spacious van. From there we picked up a couple more in the tour group and went to the main office to get on our bus. It was a 20 min ride to Vatican City. My tour guide Max was very friendly, knowledgeable and fun!

natwillson5

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2017

Our guide, Francisco, was so knowledgable and gave a great tour. Highly recommend this tour for your first time.

Ankit R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2017

Excellent service.!

Yoysi G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2017

This tour was absolutely Amazing. Our tour guide was very informed. He waited for the group to be together all the time. I went with my daughter on a stroller which I don't recommend The Vatican security did not let me in the chapel because of the stroller but our tour guide tried.

Barry Z United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2017

This was truly a great tour, and we had a terrific guide! The only negative was that there must have been at least a half-dozen other tour groups in the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel at the same time, and this made for slow walking and limited elbow room.

David T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2017

We loved our tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable and interesting. This is the best way to tour the Vatican and have insight and hit the highlights because you could spend hours in there without good information about some of the history and interesting stories about what you are seeing. Well worth it!!

Ann Maree A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2017

This is a must tour. Our tour guide was entertaining and kept the group together. Skipping the line is definitely the way to go,as we saw the queues lining up outside.Glad we didn't waste time in them. Our tour guide was very knowledgable on Italian history and Art, his presentation kept us all engaged. We had plenty of time to explore and ask questions.I didn't feel we were rushed.Something important to consider when doing any tours is less is more. Don't try to cram to many things in a short space of time.
Highly recommnend

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