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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.


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


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

The best way to visit Vatican museums and Sistine Chapel. We loved it! The group was small and explanations very professional and personal. We have visited areas that are not opened for public at all like private rooms of pope and best part is visit of Sistine chapel after working hours, all alone! Thank you

Marie S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This amazing tour was worth every penny. Our guide was very professional and knowledgeable. We saw parts of the museums that were not open to any other tours but most importantly, the time in the Sistine Chapel WITHOUT THE CROWDS was priceless! There were 9 of us and that included the guide and the guard! The paintings were explained, the anecdotal stories were entertaining. We were allowed to take photos. What an experience! Do not hesitate, this is DEFINITELY worth the price!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Shannon was our guide and she was EXCELLENT. Very expensive, but a great tour. She gives you a lot of information and keeps it moving pretty well.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Fantastic guide, very nice

Tracey M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Myself and 2 nieces spent 2 weeks in Europe and this tour was the highlight of my trip. I loved every second of this tour. Our guide was fantastic and when I am back in Rome I want to do this again and will request her. This was well worth the price of admission.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Dorianna was absolutely fantastic!! Best tour ever! Well worth the money!!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This was the best tour of our vacation. How can you beat a half hour in the Sistine Chapel with only 14 people! We got to take pictures as well. The tour included a lot of in depth information about the other exhibits in the Vatican museum and the guide had a great knowledge and attitude toward our entire group. She even gave my wife and I a great recommendation for dinner!

Cheri J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This is a MUST-DO tour! I have several friends who have seen the Sistine Chapel and they always complain about the crowds of people and the guards rushing/moving people along. This tour allowed us to be in the Sistine Chapel with just our family for almost 45 minutes. It was a religious experience in itself! Plus you get to see things like a former pope's bedroom and a private chapel where popes pray. Absolutely incredible.

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.

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