• Location: Rome, Italy
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

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Book by October 14th, 2018 and Travel between November 1st and December 15th, 2018 to save 30% off our previously offered price!

Not many people can say they've spent time in the Sistine Chapel alone—until now. This first-ever experience, only available through Viator and TripAdvisor, grants you entry into the Vatican Museums with the clavigero (key keeper), a staff member with the privilege of opening the doors to the Vatican Museums and its galleries, at least an hour before standard early access tours. You and your small group get to see the Gallery of Maps and Raphael’s Rooms as the lights are switched on—something never before witnessed by the public—and enjoy a rare guided visit inside the Sistine Chapel. Breakfast in the Pinecone Courtyard is an added bonus.


  • VIP early access to the Vatican Museums with the official key keeper
  • Be the first of the day to visit the Raphael’s Rooms and Gallery of the Maps with no crowds
  • Enter the Sistine Chapel with your guide (usually not allowed) before it's open to the public
  • Indulge with a banquet-style breakfast in the beautiful Pinecone Courtyard
  • Explore in a small group for unparalleled access to a world-famous landmark

What You Can Expect

Waking Up the Vatican: VIP Small-Group Tour Before Museums Open

Inside the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Museum
© TripAdvisor

Customer Reviews

Francine A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2018

The chance to tour the Vatican museum and Sistine Chapel away from crowds was life changing. You are with a group of about 15 people and arrive 2 hours before the Vatican opens for other tours. There are several Early Bird Tours but there are still numerous groups all touring at same time. This is just your small group, tour guide (Tiffany was amazing) and the keeper of the keys. I half expected Pope Francis would walk in. The incredible art in the museum was beyond my expectations and then to be in the Sistine Chapel on our own with Michelangelo's masterpiece above without the jostle of hundreds in their with you made this tour the best of my life.

Desiree C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2018

This is a very special tour you'll never forget. Our tour guide, Tiffany, was very knowledgeable, energized and entertaining throughout the entire tour. Highly recommended!

Douglas P P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2018

Expensive but worth it. Highlight of two trips to Italy. Watching the lights go on is the most approved thing I ever posted on Facebook

Constantinos V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2018

A unique experience, don't miss the chance to do it! A memory of a lifetime. After the tour we stayed on to see some of the other parts of the Vatican, by that time the doors were open to the public. At that moment we realized how truly lucky we have been to experience the Vatican in a small group.

Shannon G United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

MUST DO!!!! I would give this experience 100 stars! Incredible and intimate experience with the Key Keepers and to have the Vatican Museums to yourself in a small group is amazing. The breakfast served after in the courtyard was great and gives you time to take it all in.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

This was the best tour EVER! I have been to the Vatican before on a private tour and hated it.. No matter what it's just crowded and awful. The was quiet, personal, cool clean air!
I will never forget it. You get what you pay for..

Ty L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

Lindy was the best tour guide! this tour was worth every penny and I would recommend it to anyone. It was amazing being able to be in the Vatican before it was open. My 9 year old was able to turn on the lights and use the keys to open the doors.

Holly S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

This tour is fairly new, I think the guide said 3 or 4 months old. I had been on a front of the line tour 4 years ago and I wish they had THIS tour back then. What an amazing experience!! There were only 25 of us in the WHOLE Vatican/Sisitine Chapel. When we left the tour there were 4000 people in line!! Plus you get a buffet breakfast at the end.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

It is almost impossible to describe how amazing this tour was. Meeting at 6:00 am in front of the Vatican museum--We were 20 people walking with the keyholders of the vatican. Our guide was fun and informative as we entered dark rooms, turned on lights and even were allowed to unlock doors.

Perhaps the most fabulous part of the tour was sitting in the sistine Chapel holding the key to the door.

This tour was definitely the highlight of our Rome visit and I would recommend it as a must do for future visitors.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

Waking up to the Vatican is an unforgettable experience. You are the 1st ones into the Vatican when it is still pitch black inside. You go with the key holders and open the 1st doors and turn on the lights.
It is a magical experience and best of all there are no people. Just you and 15 others in the whole place.You can really soak it all in! You are able to go in rooms others can't. Great tour guide! The only thing I would say is that the tour company shouldn't allow small children under 6 as the crying can be distracting.

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