Exclusive After Hours Sistine Chapel Tour with Aperitivo

Sip drinks in the Pinecone Courtyard after your quieter experience exploring an almost-empty Vatican

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 123 Reviews · 3.50h · Vatican, Italy

Wondering if there are more exclusive ways to enjoy the Vatican and Sistine Chapel? There are, and this is definitely one of them. Thanks to our relationship with the Vatican, you can enjoy a super limited experience that lets you into the Sistine Chapel after it’s technically closed and after your Vatican tour. Then rest your feet as you enjoy an aperitivo on us in the Pinecone Courtyard without the public wandering by. It’s quiet, exclusive, limited, and unmissable. What are you waiting for?

  • Skip the line Vatican entry
  • Pio Clementino Museum
  • Nero's Bathtub
  • Main Galleries
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Sistine Chapel after hours
  • Last Judgment
  • Aperitivo in Pinecone Courtyard

Upon arrival at the meeting point, you’ll meet our friendly welcome staff at Caffé Vaticano. Together with a max group size of 10 or fewer, you’ll skip the line at the Vatican Museums and taken to meet your guide at the special group meeting point. At this point you start exploring the museums after most of the crowds have left. What that means for you is that you’ll enjoy a peaceful Vatican tour that includes exclusive time in the Sistine Chapel with hardly anyone else! Your amazing night will finish off with an aperitivo (your favorite evening beverage together with finger foods, cured meats and cheeses) in the Pinecone Courtyard for the perfect Vatican experience.

Sistine Chapel with Aperitivo Tour Description

Your 3.5-hour tour includes:

  • Skip-the-line entrance to the Vatican

  • Guided tour of the Vatican Museums main galleries

  • An uncrowded visit in the Sistine Chapel

  • Aperitivo in the Pinecone Courtyard

  • Fun, English-speaking guide

  • Maximum group size of 10

Pio Clementino Museum and Nero’s Bathtub

After a view from the terrace to see St. Peter's Basilica, you'll head to the courtyard designed by Donato Bramante where your guide explains why the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons, and the Belvedere Torso are so beloved. Learn about the myths and legends associated with these iconic sculptures before visiting the oldest and largest bathtub in existence. The 25-foot bathtub was created for Emperor Nero from the rarest red marble at the time. So rare, that none exists today!

Popular Vatican Galleries

Next follow your guide through the Vatican Museums, 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 so he could accurately understand his country better.

Most of these maps measure more than 15 by 16 feet, and the detail will fascinate you as you wander through this hall beneath a glittering gold ceiling. You'll hear the stories behind these treasures from your expert guide as the Vatican secrets are slowly unveiled to you.

Raphael Rooms and 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 became one of the most recognized artists of this era, though his life was short lived.

Pope Julius II commissioned Raphael to fresco multiple rooms inside of the Vatican Museums and you’ll see that art for yourself. Among other masterpieces, you'll stand beneath one of Raphael’s most famous works of art: The School of Athens. As large as this fresco is, it might grow larger than life as your guide shares the fascinating stories behind it's creation and who was represented in it.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is the Vatican’s crowning jewel, and on this tour, you’ll step inside with no more than 100 other people, compared to the average of 2,000 people! It’s an after-hours Sistine Chapel experience that can’t be missed. This famous ceiling is housed in a truly non-descript building from the outside that belies the stunning works of art found inside.

Only when standing beneath it after hearing funny and fascinating stories of its creation, 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 (in addition to what other artists created), and the sheer magnitude of his endeavor is mind-blowing, especially after your guide's detailed explanations behind it all.

To enter the Sistine Chapel, both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders, otherwise, the Vatican might refuse entry to religious sites and you’ll miss out on a portion of your tour. An option is to bring a shawl or sweater.

Pinecone Courtyard Aperitivo

The perfect end to your Vatican and Sistine Chapel tour is with a refreshing spritz or glass of wine, of course! So head to the Pinecone Courtyard where your guide will make sure you’re all set to enjoy your aperitivo while soaking in the ambiance of an evening at the Vatican. As your guide for recommendations of delicious places to enjoy an authentic Roman dinner too!

What you get with this tour
Skip-the-line entrance to the Vatican
Guided tour of the Vatican Museums main galleries
An uncrowded visit in the Sistine Chapel
Aperitivo in the Pinecone Courtyard
Fun, English-speaking guide
Maximum group size of 10
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123 total reviews

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5.0/5 (based on 123 reviews)
5 stars
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1 stars
24 May 2023
N
Reviewed by
Nancy Keese

A great half-day tour!
03 January 2023
D
Reviewed by
David D'Attile

This tour covered a ton of Vatican highlights while leaving us with a fair amount of the day remaining to further explore the Vatican or elsewhere in Rome. Our tour guide, Sara, was a local who was clearly passionate about informing visitors about the city and was a joy to be around. A great experience all around!

Vatican Highlights Tour with Sistine Chapel
30 December 2022
K
Reviewed by
Kristin Lumelleau

Outstanding! Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable. And he did a great job of giving us so much interesting information, while not overwhelming us. We highly recommend this tour

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to bring?

Please be sure to meet Vatican dress code requirements by covering your knees and shoulders in the most sacred religious areas like the Sistine Chapel. You'll also want to wear comfortable shoes since this is a walking tour.

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.

What to bring?

Please be sure to meet Vatican dress code requirements by covering your knees and shoulders in the most sacred religious areas like the Sistine Chapel. You'll also want to wear comfortable shoes since this is a walking tour.

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.

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

If you have any doubts about your mobility, please reach out to us upon booking.

Does this tour include St. Peter's Basilica?

No, St. Peter's Basilica closes before this tour ends.

Is photography allowed in the Sistine Chapel?

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

What if I don't drink alcohol but I still want to come?

We'd love to have you! You can also order a soft drink or water instead of alcohol.

Will there really be no crowds at the Sistine Chapel?

The Sistine Chapel closes to the public at 5:30, and you'll enter soon after that. Only 100 people total could be in the room with you, and it won't feel crowded since the chapel is fairly large.

Start From: $176.44

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$176.44 / per person
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