Complete Vatican Combo Tour with Sistine Chapel & Dome Climb

Enjoy the views from St. Peter's Dome and then explore the Vatican Museums on a guided tour

5 / 5 See All 4 Reviews · 5.5h 16 max · Vatican, Italy

Join us on our Ultimate St. Peter's Basilica Dome Climb combined with our Skip the Line Vatican Tour to see all the best that the Vatican has to offer at one discounted price.

Itinerary

What you will see on this tour

  • Climb St. Peter's Dome
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Walk to Vatican Museums meeting point
  • Skip the Line at the Vatican
  • Main Galleries
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Pio Clementino
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Borgia Apartments
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Access to St. Peter's Basilica

If you’re visiting the Vatican, there are a number of must-see attractions to explore, but long lines can eat up valuable time. This tour allows you to enter St. Peter’s Basilica first and climb the dome as soon as it opens. Then, after you’ve seen the splendors of the basilica, visit the Vatican Museums with a professional English-speaking guide to see all the most famous works of art, as well as some hidden gems. This tour includes: 

  • A professional English-speaking guide
  • Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica
  • Tickets to climb St. Peter's Dome
  • Skip the line* Vatican tickets for 10:30 a.m.

*Short 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. 

Important! After you visit the Vatican Museums, the tour will continue on to St. Peter’s Basilica as some of the group will not have been on Dome tour in the morning. If you wish, you may stay in the Vatican Museums and forgo a second tour of St. Peter’s. If you choose to leave the tour early, remember to return your headset to your tour guide.

Want to skip the line at the Vatican without having a guided tour? Click here for skip the line Vatican tickets.

Climb St. Peter’s Dome

Be prepared for a steep climb if you want to go all the way to the top of St. Peter’s Dome. It will all be worth it, though, once you see the amazing views of the Vatican City. You can either take an elevator or climb 231 steps to reach the first level of the dome, where you’ll be able to see in detail the mosaics that cover the dome. From there, you can stay put, descend back into the basilica, or continue on to the top level. It’s another 320 steps to reach the top and narrow passages make it difficult for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia, but the views are unparalleled. 

Guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica

After you climb the dome, it’s time to discover more about the largest church in the world. Not only is the interior itself stunning, but it is also home to works of art by some of the most celebrated artists in history. Your guide will show you La Pietà by Michelangelo, Baldacchino by Bernini and more. 

Highlights of the Vatican

After St. Peter’s Basilica, you’ll skip the line at the Vatican Museums and see some of the best galleries in the museum. Your expert guide will take you through the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of the Candelabra, and our favorite, the Gallery of Maps. You’ll see frescoes of maps by Dominican Italian friar Ignazio Danti that show the perception of the peninsula long before a unified Italy. 

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is one of the most celebrated works of art in the Western world and it’s impossible to not appreciate how difficult it must have been for Michelangelo to create this massive masterpiece. As the Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, speaking inside is not allowed. We will provide you a map/handout to reference before you enter as your guide will not be allowed to explain the frescoes once inside. 

Please note: As the Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, everyone who enters must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry to this portion of your tour. A great option is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

Pio-Clementino Museum

In this museum you can see some of the world’s most iconic statues: Laocoon and His Sons, the Apollo Belvedere, and the Belvedere Torso. Your guide will explain all of these famous works, as well as Emperor Nero’s bathtub, a giant red marble basin that is probably the largest tub you’ve ever seen. 

Borgia Apartments

Once the private apartments of the Borgia pope, Alexander VI, these rooms are covered in elaborate frescoes by Pinturicchio, a contemporary of Raphael. Your guide will show you how these frescoes have literal “hidden gems” and point out another surprise—the first depiction of Native Americans in European art. 

The Raphael Rooms

The Raphael Rooms are a number of papal apartments that were frescoed by Raphael, one of the most famous Renaissance artists. You’ll see one of his most famous works of art, “The School of Athens” which depicts a gathering of some of history’s best minds. 

Finally, your tour will return to the Sistine Chapel. From there you will have the option to return to St. Peter’s Basilica with your guide through a special door in the Sistine Chapel, or stay in the Vatican Museums to explore the rest of its treasures on your own.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

In front of St. Peter's Basilica by Bernini's North fountain. A representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.

What to bring?

The Vatican dress code dictates you cover your knees and shoulders. If you do not meet the dress code, you may be denied entry! No need to dress like the people living there, covering your knees and shoulders is sufficient. Wear comfortable shoes.

Q: Is there a dress code to enter the religious sites on this tour?

A: We ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise you may be refused entry to religious sites and miss out on a portion of your tour.  We understand the summers in Rome can be hot, so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary. 

Q: Why does this tour visit St. Peter's Basilica twice?

A: This tour combines our Ultimate St. Peter's Basilica Dome Climb with our Skip the Line Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica so you can climb St. Peter's Dome and get a guided tour of the Vatican Museums. This means that many of the guests on your guided tour of the Vatican Museums will not have been part of your original dome climb tour. If you do not wish to enter the Basilica again, you can forgo the visit and stay inside of the Vatican Museums, just remember to return your headset.

Q: Will the Vatican Museums be crowded during this tour?

A: The Vatican is often slow in the late afternoon, but there is a chance the museums may be crowded while we are inside.

Q: Does the Vatican ever experience unexpected closures?

A: During State visits or special religious events, parts of the Vatican may be closed unexpectedly. If an area normally covered on a tour is closed, our guide will still provide explanations of the closed areas from outside. Plus, we will show you an extra site or gallery to compensate.

Q: I have some doubts about my mobility. What do you suggest?

A: If you have any doubts about your mobility, we strongly suggest you take a Vatican Private Tour.

Q: Is there a way to see the Vatican without a guided tour?

A: Of course. Click here for skip the line Vatican tickets.

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4 total reviews

Leave a review
8/20/2019
Laura N
Whole Vatican tour

Saw Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, Galleries, the Basilica. Great Vatican experience. Organized and nice guide. My girlfriend and I enjoyed!

8/19/2019
Larry N
Morning at the Vatican

We climbed the dome, then saw St. Peter's Basilica, then full tour of Vatican. Just as beautiful as I remembered. Skipped the lines and had a wonderful guide.

8/12/2019
Kelly H
Awesome Time!

Great tour! We loved our guide Raffaella. Dome climb was a great way to start the morning. 5 stars!!!!

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