Private Early Entrance Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Get privileged access to the Vatican on a VIP early morning private tour with St. Peter’s Basilica

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 13 Reviews · 2.50h custom · Italy

Looking for the ultimate private Vatican experience? This early morning tour lets you into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel a full hour before the general public! With your own personal guide to lead you through the iconic sites and artwork, Vatican tours don’t come more exclusive than this. Be one of the first of the day to step inside the magnificent Sistine Chapel, get a closer viewing of the masterpieces inside the Vatican galleries, then skip the line to explore St. Peter’s Basilica!

  • Super-early first entrance to the Vatican
  • Beat the crowds for a more private experience
  • Candelabra Gallery
  • Gallery of the Tapestries
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Be one of the first inside the Sistine Chapel
  • Skip the line to the Basilica
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Papal Tombs

Most early entrance Vatican tours will let you start exploring at 8:30 am, half an hour before the general public. But with our special access early morning private tour, you'll be one of the privileged few to enter even earlier, and you'll have a full hour to explore the Vatican before it opens its gates to the masses! You'll meet your expert guide early in the morning by the Vatican Museums entrance, then it's time to begin your private Vatican tour.

Although your guide will have a carefully planned itinerary to show you the best of the Vatican, there's room for flexibility depending on your group size, the things you want to see, and the pace you're comfortable with. Enjoy a tailored experience viewing the iconic works of the Vatican Museums and marvel at the Sistine Chapel without the crowds, before skipping the line to explore St. Peter's Basilica with your guide.

Early Morning Private Vatican Tour Description

Your 2.5-hour private Vatican tour includes:

  • Early entry, skip-the-line Vatican tickets

  • Tailored highlights tour of the main Vatican galleries

  • Exclusive Sistine Chapel tour before the crowds arrive

  • Skip-the-line tour of St. Peter's Basilica

  • An expert English-speaking private tour guide

The Best Galleries at the Vatican

Your private guide will lead you on through the Vatican Museums before the crowds arrive, visiting the Candelabra Gallery, Gallery of the Tapestries, and Gallery of Maps. Admire the ancient Roman and Greek statues, the Flemish tapestries created by Raphael's students, and the gorgeous topographical depictions of Italy.

At the height of the Roman Empire, pontiffs rarely left Rome. In order to understand the Italian peninsula without endangering his life, Pope Gregory XIII commissioned 40 giant meticulous maps to be created for his use. Most of these maps measure more than 15 by 16 feet, and the end result is nothing short of spectacular.

You'll hear the stories behind these treasures from your expert guide as you see the most popular highlights of the Vatican Museums.

Sistine Chapel Without the Crowds

One of the top things to do in the Vatican City is, of course, to visit the Sistine Chapel. The chapel opens its doors at 8:00 am, well before the main crowds arrive, meaning you can literally be one of the first few people of the day to step inside and admire this beautiful, iconic chapel where popes have been elected for centuries. Speaking is not allowed in the chapel since it's a sacred space, so your guide will explain what you'll see before entering and give you a handy guide for reference.

Only when you are inside, it's 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. As one of Michelangelo’s most prized masterpieces, the Sistine Chapel also serves as a gathering place for cardinals of the Catholic Church.

Majestic St. Peter’s Basilica

After your time in the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, you'll walk through a passageway that allows you to bypass the ticket lines and enter St. Peter's Basilica more quickly. Here, you'll be awestruck as your guide leads you around by the impressive architecture, statues, and artwork made by famous artists like Michelangelo and Bernini. Gaze upon the beautiful Pietà, the incredible mosaics, the Tomb of Innocent XI, and Bernini's canopy under the dome.

You tour ends here, but feel free to spend extra time enjoying the Basilica on your own afterwards.

 If your tour falls on a Wednesday, St. Peter’s Basilica is closed due to the Papal Audience. In this case, your guide will use this time to show you more masterpieces that the Vatican Museums has to offer.

 

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5.0/5 (based on 13 reviews)
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28 October 2022
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5-star
02 October 2022
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Reviewed by
Howard Botts

Excellent guide

AMAZING!!!!
30 July 2022
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Reviewed by
Jeremy McCassy

The ROMAN Guy made my daughters and I'd vacation and tours extremely simple, easy and full of knowledge. Its the best way to go!

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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 friendly representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.

What to bring?

In addition to wearing or bringing clothing that covers your knees and shoulders, it's recommended to wear comfortable shoes. You're also welcome to bring a water bottle as it can get hot inside the Vatican during the summer months.

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

If you have any doubts about your mobility then this is a great tour for you to take. Your private guide will ensure you are comfortable the entire way and can tailor the tour to your needs.

What are the chances my tour will be canceled or the Vatican will close something.

Although it is rare, sometimes part of the Vatican closes with little notice. If an area normally covered on a tour is closed, your guide will be sure to make up the time in other areas.

Does this tour really enter before other groups?

Yes! The public has access at 9:00 am, while other early-access tours enter at 8:30 am. This tour is admitted at 8:00 am, which is a full hour before the crowds.

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

St. Peter's is always included on this private Vatican Museums tour, except on Wednesdays when it is closed in the morning for the Papal Audience.

What to bring?

In addition to wearing or bringing clothing that covers your knees and shoulders, it's recommended to wear comfortable shoes. You're also welcome to bring a water bottle as it can get hot inside the Vatican during the summer months.

Where to meet?

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

Is photography allowed in the Sistine Chapel?

No, photography is not allowed inside the Sistine Chapel.

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 and show you another gallery to compensate for the lost time in the usual location.

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 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.

$102.55 per adult
+ $437.71 base price
Total: $540.26

available days discounted days

Reserve Now $84.31 / per person
$84.31 / per person
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Admire the stunning Suicidal Gaul, Athlete at Rest, and more then see the ruins of Domitian' Stadium

Private Tour

Private Tour

Private Palazzo Barberini Museum Tour with Art Historian Guide

See Judith Beheading Holofrenes, La Fornarina, and more inside this opulent 17th-century palace

New Tour

New Tour

Island Adventure Boat Tour to Mazzorbo, Burano, and Murano

Hop around the Venetian islands to discover glassblowing, colorful houses, and a serene lagoon