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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

Classic Vatican sites:
  • Apollo Belvedere
  • Chiaramonti Museum
  • Sistine Chapel, home to artwork by Michelangelo including The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Gallery of the Candelabra
  • Gallery of the Tapestries
  • Lacoon
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Raphael's Rooms
Secret rooms (subject to change):
  • Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante)
  • Niccoline Chapel (Cappella Niccolina)
  • Room of Gold (Sala degli Ori)

Customer Reviews

Michael A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

The VIP tour guided by Shanon was wonderful. She is extremely knowledgeable and passionate. She has a great demeanor and a pleasure to spend time with. There was not a question she did not know the answer. We spent 40 minutes in the Sisteen Chapel by ourselves including taking pictures. I would highly recommend this tour and particularly with Shanon. I would specifically ask for her. To visit the Vatican any other way is foolish.

Michael NYC

MaryAnn P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Worth every cent. Very informative and we were allowed to see areas that not everyone else in the general public could. Group size was perfect and we were the only group in the chapel. Absolutely recommended.

Kelsa R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Dora was our guide, and she was excellent. Sadly we were misdirected by a few private ticket touts who sent us miles out of our way. However, on arriving at our meeting place. The group were still waiting

Angela D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This was a fabulous, once on a lifetime experience. To see the Sistine Chapel with such a small group was amazing. Shannon was an excellent and informative guide. This is a must see!!

Heather D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This tour is worth every penny. Bypassing the crowds and seeing some less traveled rooms is a welcome respite from the very busy Vatican madness. Our guide, Shannon, was very enthusiastic and focused on making sure this was a special experience for all 11 of our group. The entire tour is amazing but the the final 30 minutes alone in the Sistine Chapel make the tour unique and unforgettable. Shannon was able to describe each panel to us with no distractions. It truly is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

michelle k

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This was a splurge, but absolutely exceeded our expectations. Our tour with Sev was the highlight of our trip. He was very knowledgable and entertaining--if we could have, we would have booked a different tour with him every day. It would have been well worth it.

Mary Robin T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

The tour was amazing! Got to see the Bramante staircase and number of other things not open to the public. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining!! (Sev)
Nice to have Sistine Chapel to our small group. Would have wished for the full 30 mins here and to have at least 5 mins silence.

Eileen K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This was a very expensive tour for the time period it was to take, so my expectations for this tour were very high. I am happy to say that they were met, I think mainly because of the tour guide. Unfortunately I forget his name, but he was an American who teaches in Rome and was both knowledgeable and able to give his explanations in entertaining language. The Vatican Museums, like other world class museums, can't be fully explored in 3 hours or even 3 weeks, so I was impressed at the selection of items to be viewed. We saw a mix of items that were simply interesting, but not necessarily historically or artistically spectacular, to the most glorious works in history. The guide gave interesting explanations of everything we looked at in terms of history, art history and how and when they were acquired. One member of the tour raised a very interesting philosophical question about whether the world, or at least the Western world, would have been better off if Nero had succeeded in snuffing out the Christians or Constantine had not established Christianity as the state religion. The guide gave the best answer for this tour: change any major historical fact and the world would be different, but there is no way to know if it would be better or worse. A small, more academically oriented tour could have made this a fascinating conversation. The non-public rooms were very interesting, esp. Julian II's apts., and the opportunity to see the Sistine Chapel privately was an exceptional experience. Even the march out down corridors we hadn't seen before was wonderful. For anyone who can afford it, I would highly recommend this tour.

deedeekitts

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

If there were six stars I would give this tour six! Best tour in Italy. Skip some of the crowds, there are a lot of people, and see places most will never see. Thirty mins. in the Sistine Chapel after everyone else has gone was absolutely breathtaking. Unforgettable experience. Our guide was great. Knew the staff at the Museum. Had great stories to tell.

Peter F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Stunning and engrossing. Worth every cent. Sev was a superb guide. Thank you.

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