Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Enter the Vatican Museums 60 to 90 minutes before the crowds

Travel Flexibly 4.9 / 5 See All 276 Reviews · 3.00h 14 max · Vatican, Italy

Want to visit the Vatican Museums without all the frustrating lines and crowds? Enter 60 to 90 minutes before the museum's public opening and skip the long lines and crowds! Thanks to our close relationship with the Holy See you will be afforded an early-access experience to the Vatican that includes areas that are off-limits to the general public. The magic of the experience comes from your knowledgeable guide who will share insightful history, stories, and crazy facts that will wow you.

Tour Details
  • See before the crowds
  • View of St. Peters Basilica
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Gallery of Candelabra
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Galley of Tapestries
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Sistine chapel-
  • Creation of Man
  • Last Judgement-
  • St Peter’s Basilica on Your Own
  • La Pietá
  • Baldacchino By Bernini

Our Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour starts at 8a.m. and we enter the Vatican Museums just after 8.30 a.m (30 minutes earlier than the general public access). Witness the jaw-dropping Sistine Chapel before the masses stream in. As one of our most popular Rome & Vatican City tours, this 3.5-hour Vatican tour includes:

  • A memorable experience with insightful anecdotes

  • Skip the line Vatican tickets

  • Maximum group size of 14

  • 8 a.m. start for entry shortly after 8.30 a.m.

  • A professional and fun English-speaking guide

* As of June 23rd, 2021, the Vatican has closed the "licensed guide entrance" to St Peter’s Basilica for all tour companies and tour guides. Therefore a guided visit to the Basilica won’t be possible due to the distance between sites. Not to worry! Your awesome guide give you a detailed introduction of the church and will explain how to visit on your own at the conclusion of the tour.. Hopefully, this changes very soon!

The Sistine Chapel

One of the top things to do in Vatican City is visiting the Sistine Chapel. Therefore after your skip-the-line access, your first stop is a visit to the Sistine Chapel before it’s open to the general public. As one of Michelangelo’s most prized masterpieces, the Sistine Chapel also serves as a gathering place for cardinals of the Catholic Church. This is also where new popes are elected.

Since you are not allowed to speak in the chapel, your expert guide will explain the chapel to you fully outside before entering. Your guide will bring alive the amazing stories of Michelangelo and his trials in tribulations in creating this Renaissance marvel.

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 - a great alternative is to bring a shawl/sweater to wrap around you when necessary.

The Best Galleries at the Vatican

Led by our fun and knowledgable guide, visit our favorite 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 and based on painted topographical maps of Italy, the Gallery of the Maps is one of the coolest places in the Vatican Museums.

Raphael Rooms

The term Renaissance literally 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. Among many of his famous works, discover the School of Athens.

Pio-Clementino Museum and Nero’s Bathtub

St. Peter's Basilica is substituted with a visit 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, which is impossible to recreate, even today!

We are recommended by Rick Steves for our Vatican tours!

What you get with this tour
Skip the Line
Vatican tickets included
English-Speaking Guide
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276 total reviews

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4.9/5 (based on 276 reviews)
5 stars
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3 stars
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1 stars
Great tour, still very crowded
30 April 2022
D
Reviewed by
Dana Schack

We had an excellent guide, it was worth skipping lines but the museum was still very crowded,

Great tour
16 March 2022
S
Reviewed by
Stephen Ale

Our tour was great. Raffe was so knowledgeable and packed the tour with information. The tour was even better than I had hoped for.

Amazing tour with lots of stories
09 February 2022
R
Reviewed by
Rosalie De Beil

We took this tour today with Lucina. She explained everything to us very clearly and showed us the highlights. We were worried the tour might have been cancelled because me and my boyfriend were the only two who booked it today but Lucina took us through the vatican museums anyway for an amazing private tour which we appreciate so much!! Definitely recommend it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

Between Hotel Alimandi and Caffé Vaticano, at the top of the big staircase (Viale Vaticano, 100). A representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.

What to bring?

Cover your knees and shoulders. There's no need to dress like the people who live in Vatican City, just avoid short pants, dresses and tank tops. If you're a woman and you are wearing something that bares your shoulders, bring a shall or sweater. Comfortable shoes are always recommended for walking tours. No tripods or large backpacks can be brought into the museums, we kindly ask you to leave them at your accommodation.

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

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

I have some doubts about my mobility. Is this tour right for me?

If you have any doubts about your mobility, we strongly suggest you take a private Vatican tour.

What are the chances my tour will be cancelled or the Vatican will close something?

We run the tour rain or shine all year round. Although it is rare, sometimes part of the Vatican City closes for special religious events. 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.

Does the tour go inside at 7:30 am without waiting in any lines?

As an accredited tour operator, we do not have to wait in the ticket line, but we still have to wait in a security line. For this reason, we leave the meeting point as early as possible and get in the security line reserved for tour operators. The doors open for us at 8:00 am, an hour before the general public.

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

St. Peter's Basilica is closed on Wednesday mornings due to the Papal Audience. We still run the tour because it might be your only day in Rome! Instead, we visit some of the most iconic statues in the world and Emperor Nero's enormous marble bathtub.

What to bring?

Cover your knees and shoulders. There's no need to dress like the people who live in Vatican City, just avoid short pants, dresses and tank tops. If you're a woman and you are wearing something that bares your shoulders, bring a shall or sweater. Comfortable shoes are always recommended for walking tours. No tripods or large backpacks can be brought into the museums, we kindly ask you to leave them at your accommodation.

Where to meet?

Between Hotel Alimandi and Caffé Vaticano, at the top of the big staircase (Viale Vaticano, 100). A representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.

Total: $98.05

available days discounted days

24-hr cancellation on group tours! Learn more about our cancellation policy

Reserve Now $81.70 / per person
$81.70 / per person
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