Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Enjoy early access to see the Raphael Rooms, Creation of Man, St. Peter's Basilica, and more

Travel Flexibly 4.9 / 5 See All 297 Reviews · 3.50h 14 max · Vatican, Italy

Want to visit the Vatican Museums first thing in the morning without the crowds? Enter before the museum's public opening time and skip the longer general admission lines. Thanks to our close relationship with the Holy See you will be afforded an early-access experience to the Vatican to enjoy the art collection without navigating the afternoon crowds. The magic of the experience comes from your knowledgeable guide who will share insightful history, stories, and facts that will wow you.

Tour Details
  • Explore before the crowds
  • View of St. Peter's Basilica
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Gallery of Candelabra
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Gallery of Tapestries
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Creation of Man
  • Last Judgement
  • St Peter’s Basilica
  • La Pietá
  • Bernini's Baldacchino

Meet your local guide at the top of the stairs near Caffé Vaticano, across from the Vatican Museums. With your small group of 14 or fewer, you'll enter the Vatican earlier than the general public, so you can enjoy seeing the amazing collection of art without feeling overcrowded. You'll follow your knowledgeable guide to some amazing galleries and areas like the Raphael Rooms and Borgia Apartments before enjoying time at the Sistine Chapel. Your 3.5-hour Vatican tour includes:

  • Skip-the-line entry to the Vatican

  • Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica

  • Maximum group size of 14

  • A professional, English-speaking guide

Pio-Clementino Museum and Nero’s Bathtub

Your guide will take you to the Pio-Clementino Museum where you'll see three of the most iconic statues in the world. Learn about the myths and legends associated with the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons, and the Belvedere Torso. You'll also visit one of the biggest and oldest bathtubs you'll ever see that is impossible to recreate—even today!

Gallery of Masks

On this tour, you'll have a chance to see an incredible gallery that's only open to authorized guides and groups. Here you'll see an amazing collection of female Greek statues, tiled mosaics (some from Hadrian's villa), and beautiful paintings. And you'll see the reason for the name "Gallery of Masks," though there is much more to see here than just masks.

The Best Galleries at the Vatican

Led by our friendly guide, you'll then visit the popular galleries including the Borgia Apartments, Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Maps. Predating a unified Italy by nearly 300 years, the Gallery of the Maps is one of the coolest places in the Vatican Museums as it includes original topographical maps of Italy that are incredibly accurate.

Raphael Rooms

The word Renaissance means rebirth and refers to the period of European civilization that produced a great revival in art, literature, and learning. Raphael was one of Rome's most famous Renaissance artists who encompassed all the ideals of a Renaissance man. Follow your guide to one of his most famous works: School of Athens.

The Sistine Chapel

One of the top things to do in Vatican City is visit the Sistine Chapel. Since you're coming early in the morning, it will be less crowded in this beautiful chapel than in the afternoon. Speaking is not allowed in the chapel since it's a sacred space, so your guide will explain what you'll see before entering.

Their amazing stories of Michelangelo and his trials and tribulations in creating this Renaissance marvel will inspire you as you step inside. As one of Michelangelo’s most prized masterpieces, the Sistine Chapel also serves as a gathering place for cardinals of the Catholic Church.

Please note that the Sistine Chapel is a sacred place, so both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders, otherwise, you may be refused entry to a portion of your Vatican tour. We understand the summers in Rome are hot, so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/sweater to wrap around you when necessary.

St. Peter's Basilica

Your final stop on this tour is St. Peter's Basilica, so follow your guide through the special corridor reserved for groups to access the basilica quickly. Here you'll get to see the Vatican's prized church where the remains of St. Peter himself are presumed to be buried. Listen to your guide share about Michelangelo's La Pietà and Bernini’s Baldacchino as you gaze at the amazing architecture and art in the basilica.

Please note that St. Peter's Basilica is closed on Wednesdays for the Papal Audience and can occasionally experience other unexpected closures. If this happens, your guide will make up the time at other areas within the Vatican.

What you get with this tour
Early-access entry to the Vatican
Access to the Sistine Chapel
Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica
English-speaking guide
Early-access entry to the Vatican
Access to the Sistine Chapel
Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica
English-speaking guide
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297 total reviews

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4.9/5 (based on 297 reviews)
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1 stars
Great Tour You Must Complete In Rome
12 August 2022
A
Reviewed by
Andrea Dan-Jumbo

Mary our guide was very knowledgeable! She gave us great history throughout the tour. We breezed through the line with no issues. I would highly recommended this tour!

Excellent!
11 August 2022
J
Reviewed by
Jacqui Cameron

We enjoyed the early access to the Vatican with our excellent guide Mauro. He was really great! Very knowledgeable and experienced, fun and interesting. He made the tour very enjoyable and made everyone in our group feel welcome and included. Highly recommend this your, and Mauro in particular.

10 August 2022
C
Reviewed by
Catalina Ortiz

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

Meet your guide between Hotel Alimandi and Caffé Vaticano at the top of the big staircase (Viale Vaticano, 100). You'll find our friendly welcome staff there holding The Tour Guy signs.

What to bring?

We ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise the Vatican might refuse entry to religious sites and you’ll 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.

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

Yes, it's possible, though you may find the experience lacking. But you can click here for skip the line Vatican tickets.

What if I have concerns about my mobility on this tour?

If you have any doubts about your mobility, we suggest taking a private Vatican tour so your needs can be better accommodated.

Does the Vatican ever experience sudden closures?

During state visits or special religious events, parts of the Vatican may be closed unexpectedly and without much notice. If an area normally visited during a tour is suddenly closed, our guide will still provide explanations of the closed areas from outside. They will even show you another gallery to compensate for the lost time in the usual location.

Does this tour really skip the line?

Yes! Your guide will escort you past the long general admission line to the shorter line for groups. Then you'll enter the Vatican before the general public.

Does this tour always include St. Peter's Basilica?

St. Peter's Basilica is always closed on Wednesday mornings for the weekly papal audience. If you book a tour on Wednesday, your guide will make up the time in other fascinating areas of the Vatican.

What to bring?

We ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise the Vatican might refuse entry to religious sites and you’ll 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.

Where to meet?

Meet your guide between Hotel Alimandi and Caffé Vaticano at the top of the big staircase (Viale Vaticano, 100). You'll find our friendly welcome staff there holding The Tour Guy signs.

Is photography allowed in the Sistine Chapel?

No, the Vatican requests that no photos or videos be taken inside the Sistine Chapel.

Total: $94.45

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$78.70 / per person
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