Detailed Itinerary Vatican in a Day Tour

For History Buffs and Art History Nerds

This five-hour detailed Vatican tour features skip the line tickets, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pinacoteca and Papal Tombs. Make the most of your time in Vatican City with our Vatican in a Day tour.


There will be plenty of walking and also going up & down the stairs as we cross between galleries on different levels.

5 h
max 13
from 41 reviews
1 Skip the Line Vatican Tickets
2 Sistine Chapel
3 Vatican Museums
4 Pinecone Courtyard
5 Vatican Pinacoteca
6 Laocoön and His Sons
7 Nero's Bath
8 Belvedere Torso
9 Gallery of the Candelabra
10 Gallery of the Tapestries
11 Gallery of Maps
12 Raphael Rooms
13 Borgia Apartments
14 St. Peter's Basilica
15 La Pietà by Michelangelo
16 Baldacchino by Bernini
17 The Underground Crypts
18 Climb St. Peter's Dome


Pre-Opening Entrance
Sistine Chapel
St. Peter's Basilica
Primary Galleries
Raphael Rooms
Borgia Apartments
Pio Clementino

Whether you’re an art history nerd or history buff, experience the Vatican Museums as in-depth as possible. With our Detailed Itinerary Vatican Tour, you’ll skip the regular entrance line* and visit the Vatican’s best highlights and hidden gems. Learn the most fascinating stories about the Vatican City State, the popes and the collections housed at the Vatican Museums. This five-hour tour features:

- Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel
- Skip the line early access Vatican Museums tickets
- A professional English-speaking guide
- Skip the line entrance to St. Peter's Basilica
Some delays at the security check may occur during the busiest months, June and July. We do, however, have a team of experts at the Vatican every morning to help our groups avoid delays as much as possible. 
If you wish to stay in the Vatican Museums toward the end of your tour, you must forgo the guided visit to St. Peter’s Basilica. If you choose to do this, you’ll lose the chance to use the special entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica from the Sistine Chapel and skip the lines with your guide. If you decide to leave the tour early, remember to return your headset to the tour guide.

Michelangelo’s Masterpiece - The Sistine Chapel

Begin this in-depth Vatican tour with a visit to the Sistine Chapel before it’s open to the general public. Experience Michelangelo’s masterpiece as it was meant to be. The home of the Papal Conclave of the Catholic Church, the election of new popes takes place in the Sistine Chapel.
The Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, therefore, speaking inside is not allowed. Since our guide cannot explain the frescoes while you are inside, we explain the chapel in advance and provide you with a map/handout for reference before you enter. Men and women must cover their knees and shoulders before entering. We understand the summers in Rome get hot, a good alternative is to bring a scarf or shawl to cover up with before you enter.

The Vatican Pinacoteca

The Pinacoteca, also known as the Vatican Art Gallery, contains a series of rooms divided by art school and in chronological order. It is home to some of the Vatican’s most impressive paintings. See a total of 460 works of art painted by the likes of Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian and Leonardo up close. Often overlooked on other Vatican Tours, the Pinacoteca (Picture Gallery) is one of the Vatican Museums’ more modern sections.

The Carriage Pavilion

The Carriage Pavilion, another hidden gem of the Vatican, is rarely visited by Vatican tours. This underground exhibit features an impressive collection of historic vehicles used by past Popes, including a Fiat Campagnola. This Fiat is known around the world as the vehicle Pope John Paul II stood on during his attempted assassination at St. Peter’s Square in 1981. The collection also features three Popemobiles and the Renault 4 donated to Pope Francis in 2013.

Pio-Clementino Museum Tour

Next, you’ll visit the Bramante Courtyard (designed by Bramante Lazzari), home to the Laocoön and His Sons, Apollo Belvedere and the Belvedere Torso. Learn about the myths and legends associated with these iconic statues. 

Top Three Vatican Galleries

Explore the Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries and our personal favorite, the Gallery of the Maps. These 40 giant meticulously-drawn maps, measuring more than 15 by 16 feet, were commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII. 

Raphael Rooms

The famous Renaissance artist Raphael frescoed a series of papal apartments called the Stanze di Raffaello (Raphael Rooms). The celebrated School of Athens - a painting that depicts the greatest mathematicians, philosophers and scientists works is on display here. Raphael included himself in the painting, creating one of the first selfies. 

Borgia Apartments

These private chambers occupied by Borgia Pope Alexander VI were frescoed by early Renaissance artist Pinturicchio. Pinturicchio was known for embedding fake jewels and metal saddle studs into his frescoes. The Borgia Apartments also contain the first European depiction of Native Americans. 

St. Peter's Basilica and the Papal Tombs

Except on Wednesdays

Skip the lines and enter St. Peter’s Basilica through a special door and see the most palatial church in the world. Marvel at the Basilica’s celebrated artwork including the Baldacchino, La Pieta, St. Peter’s Statue and more. Then go underneath the church’s floors to visit the tombs of hundreds of Popes and a Swedish Queen with a fascinating backstory. Please note: if your Vatican tour lands on a Wednesday, St. Peter's is not open for tours. This is because Papal Mass occurs on Wednesday mornings.

Remember, it isn’t possible to return to the Vatican Museums from St. Peter’s Basilica. If you want more time inside the museums, you must forgo the guided tour of the basilica. Also, if you’d like to stay in St. Peter's Basilica longer, don't leave with the guide to take photos in the piazza. Because the security line is long and re-entry on your own is not recommended, we suggest you stay inside St. Peter’s and explore on your own after the tour concludes.

Climb St. Peter's Dome

If you want to stay and explore more of the Vatican at the end of your tour, ask our guide how to access St. Peter's Dome before leaving St. Peter's Basilica. You'll see some of the best views of Rome after climbing a series of steps. Take an elevator halfway or climb the whole way like a champ. The 8 to 10 euro ticket prices are absolutely worth it for the views alone.