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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.


  • 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.


Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Arriving in Rome early on the day of this tour makes for a strenuous day. However, it was everything that was promised and well worth the effort.

Donald S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

I was amazed at the amount of knowledge our tour guide had .. not to mention just how special the areas we were able to view made us feel.

Dave L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Hands Down, the BEST tour I have ever gone on in 30 years of International Travel!

Our guide, Mama Bear, is THE tour guide for the ages, she was truly conveyed her love and joy of showing us the Secret Rooms of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. Through her detailed guiding of our small group, you actually felt like you were hearing a First Hand Account of the creation of The Last Judgment and the Sistine Chapel. Having grown up seeing this images in my Grandparents living room, to be there as it came to life was so meaningful.

Her keen wit, in-depth knowledge and access to rooms that are not a part of the Public Tours is what set this Tour apart. Having Mama Bear explain the Creation of Adam panel and the ensuing Creation of the Sun and the Moon and seeing the representation of the Moon in person was extraordinary and very amusing. In addition, to hear who Michelangelo featured as Demons in The Last Judgment brought the whole process to live.

Though there is some sticker shock when you first see the prices, believe me it is worth every last Euro and more. THE BEST TOUR on the planet!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

We booked this tour having read the glowing reports previously posted. It might be considered a bit expensive but wow it was worth every cent and actually exceeded our expectations. The previous week we had been on a circa 90 minute tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel with our guide making general observations of the exhibits as we were whisked along with the sea of other visitors.

This time we were in a small group of just 13 led by Shannon Carter, one of the best tour guides we have ever had. Her Art knowledge and historical anecdotes made our tour so very interesting. Entering the Vaticans secret rooms, not viewed by the general public, was enthralling and being in the private Chapel used solely by Popes during the last 500 years gave one goose bumps.

The tour lasted 3 hours with Shannon pointing out interesting little details of the statues and people within the pictures. The highlight was the 30 minutes in the Sistine Chapel with just the 13 of us and Shannon being allowed to explain the paintings. On the standard tours the guides have to remain silent in the Chapel. However the icing on the cake was us being allowed to take photos within the Chapel itself.

On your list of Things to do before you die make sure you add VIP Sistine Chapel Private Viewing and Small Group Tour of the Vaticans Secret Rooms. It is well worth it especially if you have a guide as good as ours

Arthur and Valerie

Bob and Michele United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

We both loved this tour. To be able to be in the Sistine Chapel as a small group was fantastic. The tour director was an art major and had wonderful insight. She answered everyone's questions. Do not leave Rome without doing this tour. It is well worth the money.

Karen M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

The tour was informative, easy walking and having private time in the Sistine Chapel was truly the most amazing experience. Although this tour is a bit pricey, it was well worth it. If you want to avoid the crowds, this is your tour!

Mark F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

The crowds are unbelievable, so getting the VIP treatment from the guide and guards was so refreshing. Viewing the Sistine Chapel, and having the story of it told with only 15 other in Chapel for 30min was an outstanding end to a great tour. Well worth the extra price for the experience.

Marion M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

This was one of the first of many tours we took on our trip to Italy and it turned out to be about the very best. Our guide, Shannon, was especially perfect for this tour and set a very high mark for all the following guides. An art historian with a love for Vatican history, the information just flowed from her. She moved us along without hurrying us and easily answered every question. Being in this small group was a big advantage as well as she being a native English speaker an American we easily understood everything she said without any of the difficulty we had on some other tours. Going behind the scenes with only a few others enabled us to really get a feel of the workings of the Vatican and its vast treasures. A very memorable tour.

Penny G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Really enjoyed this trip. We where kicked out of the Sistine Chape too soon, but I guess the Pope was performing a mass for some dignitaries, and he didn't want us hanging around. Unfortunately, we had very little time in there. Guide was wonderful, and the secret rooms were amazing, definitely not places you would see or experience just from waiting in line. Well worth while.

David G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Our third trip to Vatican City -- this tour was a life event. Worth the price, for sure.

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