Vatican Highlights Tour with Sistine Chapel

Enjoy skip-the-line early access on an abridged tour of the Vatican Museums' top artwork

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 112 Reviews · 2.50h 16 max · Vatican, Italy

Looking for a quick Vatican City tour that won’t take up your whole day in Rome? This shorter tour lets you skip-the-line for early entry to the Vatican Museums before the big crowds arrive. With an expert local guide, enjoy the best of the holy city’s famous art collections, and experience the wonders of the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica in just 2.5 hours, leaving you plenty of time to explore Rome in the afternoon. It’s the ideal way to see the Vatican if you’re short on time!

Tour Details
  • Skip the line Vatican tickets
  • View of St. Peters
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Gallery of Candelabra
  • Galley of Tapestries
  • Gallery of Maps
  • The Sistine Chapel
  • Michelangelo's Creation of Man
  • Last Judgement
  • St Peter’s Basilica
  • La Pietá
  • Baldacchino By Bernini

Meet your expert Vatican guide at the top of the stairs near Caffé Vaticano, across from the Vatican Museums. Then jump in the early-access line to see the amazing art collections and the Sistine Chapel before most of the other tourists arrive. Exploring the Vatican at this time in the morning means you'll see more of the museum's highlights in less time, as your guide shows you the Pio Clementino Museum and the best of the Vatican galleries and rooms, before seeing the magnificent Sistine Chapel and being led through St. Peter's Basilica.

You'll learn about the incredible history of the Vatican, its astounding art collection, and the most important artifacts housed here, before enjoying the rest of your day in Rome.

Vatican Highlights Tour Description

Your 2.5-hour tour includes:

  • Skip-the-line early entry to the Vatican

  • Condensed guided tour of the Vatican Museums, rooms, and galleries

  • Entry to the Sistine Chapel

  • Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica

  • A super knowledgeable, English-speaking guide

  • A maximum group size of 16

Pio Clementino Museum and Nero’s Bathtub

After skipping the line for early entry to the Vatican Museums, you'll begin your tour in a collection of the most important Roman and Greek artwork at the Pio Clementino Museum. Visit three of the world’s most iconic statues: the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons, and the Belvedere Torso. Learn the stories behind the statues, before visiting Nero’s huge, one-of-a-kind red marble bathtub and St. Helen's sarcophagus.

Highlights of the Vatican Galleries

Next, you'll follow your guide through the Gallery of the Candelabra, 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.

Based on painted maps by Dominican Italian friar Ignazio Danti, the Gallery of Maps is both beautiful and informative. Predating a unified Italy by nearly 300 years, the Gallery of Maps shows the length and breadth of the peninsula in the late 1500s.

You'll hear the stories behind these treasures from your expert guide as the Vatican secrets are slowly unveiled to you.

Sobieski Room and Room of the Segnatura

You'll continue your guided tour to the Sobieski Room and the Room of the Segnatura. The Sobieski Room is known for its stunning canvas by Polish artist Jean Marejko, depicting the Polish victory over the Turks in 1683, but also holds many more beautiful pieces. In the Room of the Segnatura, your guide will share the story behind Raphael's stunning frescoes that portray a heavenly vision of God.

The Sistine Chapel

While you stand beneath the frescoes of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, it’s impossible not to appreciate how difficult it must have been for Michelangelo to toil away year after year at this masterpiece. Visiting the Vatican is simply not complete without a Sistine Chapel tour. You'll see the famous Creation of Man and the Last Judgement, and enjoy the silent serenity of the world's most famous chapel.

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 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.

St. Peter's Basilica

Your last stop will be at St. Peter's Basilica, where your guide will lead you inside and detail the incredible and controversial history of its construction, and the amazing art inside. This massive icon of a church is where St. Peter's remains are believed to be buried, but it's the architecture and artwork that also set this church apart. Stand in awe under St. Peter's dome and the magnificent canopy (Bernini's Baldacchino) and explore the Basilica's collection of art, relics, mosaics, and sculptures.

St. Peter's Basilica is closed on Wednesdays for the Papal Audience and can occasionally experience other unexpected closures. If this happens, your guide will make up the time at other areas within the Vatican.

What you get with this tour
Skip-the-line early entry to the Vatican
Condensed guided tour of the Vatican Museums, rooms, and galleries
Entry to the Sistine Chapel
Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica
A super-knowledgeable, English-speaking guide
A maximum group size of 16
Tripadvisor Logo
See what people are saying

112 total reviews

Leave a review
5.0/5 (based on 112 reviews)
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 stars
Monica was amazing and the tour was fantastic
11 September 2022
L
Reviewed by
Leonard Lum

Skipped the line, which if I had to estimate, saved us at least a couple hours in line. Our tour guide was Monica and she was so enthusiastic about the tour. She was so knowledgeable and her interest and passion for history really showed through when she spoke. I highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to visit the Sistine chapel/St. Peter’s for the first time.

Great tour
11 September 2022
I
Reviewed by
Ian McDonald

Dario, our guide for the Vatican was informative, helpful and threw in some humour along the way. The tour was well organised in small groups and we all felt the tour was worth it. Thanks for the experience .

Our guide was phenomenal!
10 September 2022
D
Reviewed by
Darcy Wright

Our tour began with an introduction of our fabulous guide and the tour that followed was just as fabulous. So much to see. We will book this tour again to see even more of the splendor of the Vatican!

show more reviews

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

Meet your guide in front of Caffé Vaticano on Viale Vaticano, 100. This is across the street from the Vatican Museum entrance. Our friendly welcome staff will be there holding The Tour Guy signs.

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.

Do we really get access before the crowds on this tour?

The Vatican opens at 9:00 am to the general public, but this tour has access to the 8:00 am early entrance line for a quieter Vatican experience. You can avoid the longest line for general admission, but there is still a short security line to go through before actually entering the Vatican.

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

St. Peter's Basilica is always closed on Wednesday mornings for the weekly papal audience. If you book a tour on Wednesday, your guide will make up the time in other fascinating areas.

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.

Where to meet?

Meet your guide in front of Caffé Vaticano on Viale Vaticano, 100. This is across the street from the Vatican Museum entrance. Our friendly welcome staff will be there holding The Tour Guy signs.

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, we suggest taking a Private Vatican Tour so your needs can be better accommodated for the pace and navigating a few stairs.

Where does this tour end?

This Vatican tour will end in or just outside of St. Peter's Basilica. You're free to stay in the church and explore independently after the tour has finished.

Total: as low as $64.21

available days discounted days

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

Reserve Now $71.35 as low as $64.21
$71.35 as low as $64.21
You may also like
Skip the Line
Up to 15 % off

Skip the Line

Rome in a Day Tour with Colosseum and Vatican Museums

Explore the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and more!

Skip the Line
Up to 15 % off

Skip the Line

Skip the Line Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

See the bucket-list Vatican attractions and St. Peter's Basilica with start times throughout the day

Skip the Line
Up to 15 % off

Skip the Line

Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Enjoy early access to see the Raphael Rooms, Creation of Man, St. Peter's Basilica, and more

Skip the Line
Up to 15 % off

Skip the Line

Complete Vatican Combo Tour with Sistine Chapel & Dome Climb

Climb St. Peter's Basilica, explore the Papal Crypts, and skip the line at the Vatican Museums

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

VIP Vatican Museums After-Hours Private Tour with Sistine Chapel

Exclusive After-Hours Vatican Tour

Skip the Line
Up to 10 % off

Skip the Line

Detailed Itinerary Vatican in a Day Tour with Sistine Chapel

Dive deep into the Pinacoteca, Cabinet of Masks, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel, and much more!

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Private Tour

See the wonders of the Vatican on a tailored private tour, with expert guide and skip-the-line entry

Transportation Included

Transportation Included

Rome Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia

Transportation, Vatican & Colosseum admissions, and great guide included!

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Private Skip the Line Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and St Peter's Basilica Tour

Enjoy a tailored VIP Vatican experience with early entrance and a dedicated private guide

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Private Rome in a Day Tour with Colosseum & Vatican Museums

See the best of Rome your way with a private guide, with Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain, and more!

Private Tour

Private Tour

Private Vatican, Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Dome Climb Complete Tour

Climb St. Peter's Dome before the crowds then see the Vatican & Sistine Chapel with a private guide

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Private Early Entrance Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Red carpet access to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica with a licensed guide

Entry Ticket
Up to 15 % off

Entry Ticket

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tickets

Skip the line and gain quicker access to the Vatican so you can explore at your leisure

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Private Vatican Highlights Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

Create a More Memorable Experience with a Knowledgeable Guide

Skip the Line
Up to 15 % off

Skip the Line

Vatican Night Tour with Sistine Chapel

Enjoy a unique opportunity to visit the Vatican after hours without the crowds

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Private Full Day Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

An Immersive and In-Depth Vatican Experience with a Licensed Guide

Skip the Line
Up to 10 % off

Skip the Line

Ultimate St. Peter's Basilica Dome Climb and Tour with Papal Crypts

See St. Peter’s Basilica up close and climb the dome for the best views of Rome and the Vatican

New Tour
Up to 15 % off

New Tour

Vatican at Closing Time Tour with Sistine Chapel

Explore the Vatican with fewer crowds in the late afternoon

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

History of Christianity Tour with Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and Catacombs

Step back into Catholic history at the Roman crypts and skip the line to see the Vatican treasures

New Tour
Up to 10 % off

New Tour

First Entry Vatican Prime Tour with Breakfast Included

Enjoy VIP early entrance to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel before the big crowds

Skip the Line
Up to 15 % off

Skip the Line

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo Day Trip

Travel to the Pope’s summer residence by train after an in-depth Vatican Gardens and museums tour

Private Tour

Private Tour

Vatican Under the Stars Private Evening Tour with Sistine Chapel

An Evening Tour of the Vatican with Fewer Crowds

Skip the Line
Up to 5 % off

Skip the Line

Vatican Highlights with Rome Walking Tour

Explore the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica, then see Castel Sant'Angelo, the Pantheon, and more

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Private Family-Friendly Vatican and Sistine Chapel Tour

Guided Treasure Hunt of the Vatican Museums with History and Stories for Children 4 - 10 years Old

Skip the Line
Up to 5 % off

Skip the Line

Skip the Line Vatican Tour with Local Trastevere Food Tour Combo

Save Money by Purchasing a Vatican Tour with our Trastevere Food Tour