Skip the Line Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

NOW OPEN: Be one of the first to enter the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

4.9 / 5 See All 240 Reviews · 3.0h 10 max · Vatican, Italy

PLEASE NOTE: From June 6th until at least through July 2020, this tour will begin at 10:00 am and last 3 hours. Per Vatican Safety Regulations, Masks must be worn at all times. Body temperature will be taken upon entrance, and temperature must be below 37.5°C (99.5 F). Distance between individuals inside the museums must be at least 1 meter. St. Peter's Basilica currently cannot be accessed, therefore the itinerary will include an extended Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour.

Tour Details
  • Skip the Line Vatican Tickets
  • Pio-Clementino Museum
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Laocoön and His Sons
  • Nero's Bath
  • Gallery of the Candelabra
  • Gallery of the Tapestries
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Borgia Apartments
  • Sistine Chapel Tour
  • Baldacchino by Bernini
  • La Pietà by Michelangelo
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • St. Peter's Square

Visit the highlights of the Vatican (and some hidden gems) with a friendly art history expert. With multiple start times, skip the regular entrance line* and take this tour as an afternoon or morning Vatican tour. Like all our Rome tours, this experience is led by a friendly, English-speaking guide.

  • A local English-speaking professional guide
  • Skip the line Vatican tickets
  • Exclusive access to the Cabinet of the Marks (Gabinetto delle Maschere) 
  • A guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica
  • Both morning and afternoon start times
  • A maximum Group Size of 18

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

COMPARE ALL VATICAN TOURS

*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! If you wish to stay in the Vatican Museums toward the end of your tour, you must forgo the guided visit of 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. 

Nero's Bath and Octagonal Courtyard 

Visit the Pio-Clementino Museum, home to the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons and the Belvedere Torso. Learn about the myths and legends associated with these iconic statues, before visiting a 25ft red marble bathtub. Believed to have belonged to Emperor Nero, the massive tub is made from a red marble so rare and precious there’s no way to recreate it again.

Cabinet of the Masks 

During your visit to the Pio-Clementino Museum, we will make a right into a room guarded by Vatican security. They will let us through with our exclusive access to see the incredible Cabinet of the Marks. Part of the square tower, it was restructured into a beautiful museum frescoed amazingly by Cristoforo Unterperger and Domenico De Angelis. The star of the Cabinet of the Masks and its namesake is the reconstructed mosaic floor from the Roman Emporer Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. A room that less than 1% of visitors to the Vatican see, it's a gallery you will not want to miss. 

Highlights of the Vatican

Explore the Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries and our personal favorite, the Gallery of the Maps. Based on painted topographical maps of Italy by Dominican Italian friar Ignazio Danti, the Gallery of Maps is both beautiful and informative. The painted frescoes reveal how Renaissance Italians saw themselves in terms of geography. Predating a unified Italy by nearly 300 years, the Gallery of Maps shows the length and breadth of the peninsula circa 1580. See if you can spot the sea monster in one of the maps.

Borgia Apartments

Downstairs from the Raphael Rooms and once occupied by Borgia Pope Alexander VI, these private chambers were frescoed by early Renaissance artist Pinturicchio. A co-pupil of Raphael’s under master Perugino, Pinturicchio had a penchant for embedding fake jewels and other three dimensional objects like metal saddle studs in his frescoes. The Borgia Apartments also contain another hidden gem - the first European depiction of Native Americans.

Raphael - The School of Athens

Raphael is the epitome of a Renaissance artist. In the period of European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages, a great period of revival in art, literature and thought occurred. Raphael encompassed the ideals of a Renaissance man and frescoed multiple rooms inside of the Vatican Museums. Among other masterpieces, see one of Raphael’s most famous works of art, The School of Athens.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

Only when you are inside, is it clear why the Sistine Chapel is one of the most celebrated works of art in Western civilization. Michelangelo painted more than 600 figures in all, and the sheer magnitude of his endeavor is mind-blowing. Since the Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, speaking inside is not allowed. Your guide cannot explain the frescoes while you are inside - we provide you with a map/handout for reference before you enter. 

Please note: In order to enter the Sistine Chapel, both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry to this portion of your Vatican tour. We understand the summers in Rome are hot - a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

Reserved Entrance St. Peter’s Basilica

The last stop on this Vatican tour is St. Peter’s Basilica. The massive church, the size of two American football fields, is filled with artwork from some of the most celebrated artists in history. Enter through a special door and skip the lines to access the most opulent church in the world. Once inside, admire masterpieces that include the Baldacchino, La Pietà, the statue of St. Peter and so much more. 

Important: 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.

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

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Average customer rating
4.93 / 5 based on 240 total reviews
5 star 226
4 star 10
3 star 4
2 star 0
1 star 0
9/18/2020
Excellent guide and tour

Faby was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, full of information about almost everything we saw, and sometimes, things we just heard about. She was a delight to spend some hours with.

J
Reviewed by
Julian Revington
9/16/2020
Ideal Tour

This was the ideal tour to experience the Vatican Museums and Sister Chapel. Our tour guide Loretta was very knowledgeable and provided plenty of information and context as we were walking round, offering us time to also take pictures and ask questions. Due to the current circumstances it ended up just being us on the tour and we felt incredibly lucky to have had such an intimate tour with a friendly and knowledgeable guide. We were fortunate to be able to visit during such a quiet time and it was very comfortable navigating through the various rooms, but the link between the Vatican museums and St. Peter's Basilica was closed, so we were provided information when leaving the museums on access and key information.

J
Reviewed by
James Clarke
8/4/2020
Best tour I’ve had ever

Our guide Cristiana is an archeologist and was extremely knowledgeable. It felt more like a long conversation between us as we strolled through the Vatican museum admiring the history, the beauty and the atmosphere. We are well travelled and Cristiana stood out as the best tour guide we have had. Her passion for history is shown in her enthusiasm to share her knowledge.

K
Reviewed by
Kevin Zahner

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

In front of Caffé Vaticano on Viale Vaticano, 100. This is across the street from the Vatican Museum Entrance. 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.

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. What do you suggest?

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

Does the Vatican ever experience unexpected closures?

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.

Will the Vatican Museums be crowded during this tour?

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

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

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.

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.

Where to meet?

In front of Caffé Vaticano on Viale Vaticano, 100. This is across the street from the Vatican Museum Entrance. A representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.

Total: $72.49 as low as $57.26

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Reserve Now $72.49 as low as $57.26
$72.49 as low as $57.26
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