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This isn’t just any private tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel—on this Viator VIP tour, you’ll have permission to visit rooms of the Vatican Museums that are typically closed to the public, plus you’ll go inside the Sistine Chapel after hours, when it’s only open for your small group limited to 15 people. This unprecedented opportunity to gaze at Michelangelo’s famous ceiling fresco without the usual crowds is the ultimate way to experience this iconic site. In addition to secret sites like the Room of Gold, you’ll also visit public galleries like Raphael’s Rooms.

Highlights

  • 3-hour small-group VIP tour of the Vatican Museums including skip-the-line entry
  • Enjoy exclusive access through a reserved entranceway to skip all the lines
  • Visit hidden corridors and secret Vatican rooms such as the Niccoline Chapel or the Bramante Staircase
  • See top Vatican attractions like the Apollo Belvedere statue, Raphael’s Rooms and Gallery of the Candelabra
  • Take a rare, private tour of the Sistine Chapel after its doors are closed to the public
  • Hear commentary from your guide inside the Sistine Chapel, which is normally forbidden
  • Experience the Vatican as a VIP insider with this Viator exclusive tour

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Viator VIP: Sistine Chapel Private Viewing and Small-Group Tour of the Vatican's Secret Rooms

Admire the Art of the Vatican on your exclusive VIP tour!

Vatican skip-the-line tours are in such demand that even the priority-access lines are long. To ensure you won’t spend time waiting in queues, your Viator VIP tour provides admission through a reserved entrance, plus gives you access to secret rooms unlocked by the Vatican guard who accompanies you. It’s a rare chance to see the hallowed halls of the Vatican the way that only dignitaries and royalty typically do.

The nature of this exclusive tour means that the itinerary changes each time based on the availability of the secret rooms, but most tours include the Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante) on the corner of the Pope’s Palace. You’ll likely also see the lavish Room of Gold (Sala degli Ori), home to an impressive collection of papal jewelry and precious Etruscan jewels, and the Niccoline Chapel (Cappella Niccolina), a room that compares to the Sistine Chapel with its gold brought back from the travels of Christopher Columbus and its frescoes by Fra Angelico, a Renaissance painter who pre-dates Michelangelo.

Additionally, your tour includes artwork like the Apollo Belvedere statue and rooms seen on regular Vatican Museums tours such as Raphael’s Rooms, the Pinecone Courtyard and the public area of the pope’s apartments. As you explore, listen to stories from your guide about the Vatican’s renowned art collection and scandalous history of power and treachery.

Finally, arrive at the Sistine Chapel, where you have private access after the chapel closes to the general public. Talking in the chapel is typically prohibited, but during your 30 minutes inside your guide is allowed to tell you about Michelangelo’s two famous works as you look at them—his wall fresco The Last Judgment and his legendary ceiling fresco, The Creation of Adam, which depicts scenes from the Book of Genesis.

See the Itinerary for a full list of the Vatican rooms and sights you can expect to see.

Itinerary

Customer Reviews

Steeljester

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Sev was an amazing tour guide. Truly bilingual, great knowledge and a great story teller. Tour was definitely worth the price. I would easily recommend this tour.

Michael A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

What a wonderful place to visit. Shannon was our guide and she did a great job. Her insights into all the history in each and every space she brought us was fabulous. Don't miss this tour!

krothk

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Fantastic. So worth it. Shannon was a terrific guide. To see the Sistine Chapel with no other group inside it was tremendously helpful: she could talk us through the key elements, which is not permitted when there are large groups. We would have been happy to reduce the amount of time spent on sculpture, but would recommend it, and have, to everyone we meet on their way to Rome.

Doreen B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Worth every penny. This was a very small group and there is no better way to enjoy the artwork of the Sistine Chapel. We had the luck of having Shannon as a tour guide for this tour and the Catacomb tour. Not only was she very knowledgeable, but she was extremely pleasant and very interesting. She had everyone interested in history.

Dava S United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

UNBELIEVABLE!!! Can you possibly imagine an empty Sistine Chapel? Where you can listen to your guide talk about all the fresco's? And take photos? Worth the trip to Rome. Would absolutely do it again if I ever return to Rome. Will recommend it to any one that will listen! I would have paid double.

Natalie R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Guide was amazing, Vatican is gargantuan and amazing!! It is a must even if your not historically or Catholically inclined! It is a long tour but the time goes quickly....

The guide Sev was sooo knowledgeable!

Víctor P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

The tour was excellent and provided great value for my wife and I. The guide was excellent with great knowledge, excellent relationship with the Vatican ppeople, excellent approach to manage the group and to maximize the time and the points of interest. Congratulations!!!! and thank you very much for this great experience

Barry United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

If you can afford the time and money, DO THIS!!!

I had been to the Vatican and Chapel in the past, but never like this. We weren't pushed around by the crowds, and didn't have to work to hear our guide. We spent a full half hour in the Sistine Chapel, just by ourselves and a security guard. We were told about many of the fascinating and funny stories inherent in the ceiling and wall frescoes. So much can be learned about the genius and personality of Michelangelo that you won't get on a regular tour. We also spent time in the private chapel of past Popes. Again, the stories depicted buy the frescoes on the ceiling and walls tell an interesting story you are not likely to hear anywhere else. All very well preserved. Even some minor smoke damage one of the frescoes from a fire many years ago is preserved. The guide described the setting when a Pope was in the room, and how the attendants would serve his need through a side pass-through opening. We also were able to have slow-paced and peaceful time in all the magnificent rooms full of paintings, sculptures, and wall hangings. We learned so much, that connected many pieces of knowledge we had learned in the past.

If you're a theologian, history buff, politician, art lover, geologist, architect, or probably most anybody else, DO THIS if you're able. It's very special!

Jonathan F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This was an amazing experience! To be able to visit the Sistine Chapel with just a handful of people was wonderful. Visiting areas of the Vatican that most people can't was very special. This tour is well worth the extra money! I highly recommend this tour.

phil

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Absolutely amazing. Our guide was an absolute story teller and made the whole experience so memorable. She was fantastic - we just cannot remember her name sigghhh. We had 8 people, access to all the private, secret Vatican Museum rooms, and the Sistine Chapel all to ourselves at the end of the day/tour. Incredible. Spend the extra money and do the private experience - and in the latter part of the days. This makes such a difference to the experience and the temperatures.

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