• Location: Rome, Italy
  • Duration: 3 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 418.61 View price calendar

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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

Why Our Insiders Chose 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

Timothy G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2018

The experience we had on this tour was simply amazing. Our tour guide, Alex, did a wonderful job. His ability to describe the art and artifacts we encountered was quite impressive. The areas we had access to which are not available to the public were very interesting. One of the rooms was where past popes had consulted with leaders of the Catholic Church when important decisions were being debated. One could almost feel the tension and anxiousness from those many years ago. Above all, the after hours access to the Sistine Chapel is practically beyond description. It was only our small group, our guide, and the security person who let us in. We had the place to ourselves. To be able to take in the wonderful frescos and hear Alex describe them without jostling among throngs of tourists made the experience unforgettable. We thoroughly enjoyed everything about this tour and recommend it emphatically.

suzi d

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

Fabulous and an absolute must. Second time we have undertaken this tour in 2 years - different host this time and she was amazing. Couldn't recommend this tour enough.Thank you.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

Just back last nite from Rome and Greek Island cruise. I was a bit hesitant to buy this due to the high cost $825 for 2 of us BUT.... so glad i did. There were only 15 people on the 2 hour tour and the guide was an amazing PhD which brought all the statues, art and history of each room visited to life. When we arrived at the Vatican meeting spot outside the Museum, there were still 1000 people in line and it was crazy and crowded. We were led straight thru all the lines and started out viewing the Vatican Museum while all the other groups were finishing up. Then we had the rest of the Museum and Sistine Chapel to ourselves for the last hour. I had heard that normally people are fighting for position as they are crammed into the Chapel , several hundred at a time. We had only 15 and got to stay around 30+ minutes... The guards treated us as VIPs and even let us take pictures. wow. we also got access to rooms the general public doesn't get to see. I highly recommend this... its that once in a lifetime event... so just do it!!

Vergena C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

Our after hours and secret rooms tour of the Vatican was amazing. The three hours flew by, and our guide, Gigi, was so friendly and knowledgeable that we could have spent three more hours with him. He knew so much about all aspects of the Vatican and the history of Rome and Catholicism. Every aspect of the tour was exceptional, but the absolute pinnacle was spending nearly 15 to 20 minutes, uninterrupted, with only two other families, inside of the Sistene Chapel, marveling at the amazing frescas of Michelangelo and others, and soaking in the history of the Catholic church. Well worth the time and the money.

Kimberly W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

I am not Catholic and wasn't sure this was going to be worth the expense, but glad we decided to go for it. It was an amazing experience, the entire tour was great, we learned so much and saw so many areas that are not generally open to the public. The tour culminated in an unforgettable experience of being alone in the Sistine Chapel, save for our small tour group and at one point a sweet cleaning person. We were all quiet and in awe for a bit, and then our knowledgable tour guide pointed out things in the mural and chapel. It wasn't rushed and was truly amazing. Our children remember it well. Everyone we know talks about being pushed together like sardines and rushed through the Sistine Chapel but we had the chance to linger and really study the mural and aura of the place. This was probably the best tour we have been on with Viator.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

Expensive and worth every single penny!! Our tour guide call me Gigi he said, I hope thats how he spells it was knowledgeable, passionate and entertaining. Cannot imagine anyone better for this tour. Late afternoon time so Vatican museum was much less crowded. But the highlight was time ALONE in the Sistine Chapel. Just 15 of us on the tour plus Gigi and a Alessandro, the Vatican guard who was just the nicest guy. A definite WOW of a tour!!!

Irene B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

Words can not describe how happy we are that we purchased this amazing Tour. Our guide GG was beyond informative, he took such good care of us, his passion for history was obvious. With his stories and facts, he took us back in time, it was magical!!!. I highly recommend this tour and would purchase it again next time we visit. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you - you made our trip so much more special.

Wendy N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

This is one of the most amazing tours I have ever done! Our guide Geo was absolutely amazing. Encyclopedic knowledge of the art in the Vatican, truly loves art and art history, and really entertaining as well. It's a full three hour tour - you see many areas of the Vatican that are not available to the general public. Of course, the highlight of the tour was that we spent 30 minutes in the Sistine Chapel - with just 15 of us in the room. We were able to spend time to really look closely at the ceiling and our guide was able to talk us through much of what was seen. We were even allowed 5 minutes to take pictures of the paintings on the ceiling. Incredible experience and incredible guide. Highly, highly recommend - very costly - but absolutely worth it.

Russell H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

This is an experience that you want to sign up to go on. The private viewing is well worth it. There were no crowds to speak of at this point. The guide was awesome. The guard that assisted us was the best. If you only have one tour to take, do this tour while you are here.

WGW United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

Worth the money - highly recommended. The secret rooms were fascinating, our guide was extremely knowledgeable, and the Sistine Chapel after hours was...well, not sure words can adequately express. Forget braving the crowds for a few seconds of viewing the Sistine Chapel and take advantage of the opportunity to just sit and look while hearing the nuanced stories of this magnificent accomplishment.

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