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

Small Group Vatican Museums Tour with a Fun & Knowledgeable Guide

Travel Flexibly 4.9 / 5 See All 262 Reviews · 3.00h 15 max · Vatican, Italy

This is one of our most popular Vatican tours since we have multiple start times throughout the day. Therefore you can easily find a time that suits your needs. Skip the line as your knowledgeable tour guide wows you and makes you laugh at the same time with hidden stories of the Vatican. You will visit the most popular galleries ( and some lesser-known) that the museum has to offer to create a memorable experience. Admission Included.

Tour Details
  • Skip the line Vatican tickets
  • View of St. Peters
  • Pinecone Courtyard-
  • Pio-Clementino:
  • Laocoön and His Sons:
  • Nero’s Bath
  • Gallery of Candelabra
  • Galley of Tapestries
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Borgia Apartments
  • Sistine chapel-
  • St Peter’s Basilica-
  • La Pietá-
  • Baldacchino By Bernini-

*The Vatican has temporarily suspended early access entrance for All Tour Companies. That said, we have adjusted our prices and times to reflect this change so you can book this tour with confidence. Customers have been overwhelmingly satisfied with the lack of crowds!

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. This 3-hour tour will include:

  • A Memorable Experience

  • A local & Fun English-speaking Professional Guide

  • Skip the line Vatican tickets

  • A Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica

  • Both morning and afternoon start times

  • A maximum Group Size of 10

* 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. Don't worry, we still visit the amazing Basilica! However, until this message is removed, we cannot enter St. Peter's Basilica without lines for security. Hopefully, this changes very soon!

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 on one of the maps.

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.

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.

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.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Tour

One of the top things to do in Vatican City is visiting the 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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262 total reviews

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Average customer rating
4.93 / 5 based on 262 total reviews
5 star 248
4 star 10
3 star 4
2 star 0
1 star 0
10/17/2021
Amazing!

Excellent tour!!! Very informative. Definitely recommend having a guided tour just to navigate through the museum and then onto St. Peter’s. It covers a lot of territory so maybe not the best for slower walkers or people with limited mobility. Find a slower paced tour for these individuals. But, for walkers and covering an incredible amount of highlights this is a great tour.

T
Reviewed by
Tanya Sperber
10/14/2021
Great tour

Carolina was the perfect tour guide. She provided guidance and information that afforded us a very pleasant experience. The tour itself was a good length time wise and walking for seniors (older adults).

C
Reviewed by
Carla Lewis
10/9/2021

D
Reviewed by
Denise Kratzer Mcduffey

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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: $73.73 as low as $70.04

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$73.73 as low as $70.04
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