Duration: 3.5 hours
Type of Service: Privileged Entrance Vatican Walking Tour with Sistine Chapel – small group tour
Our Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour starts at 7:30a.m. and we enter the Vatican Museums just after 8:00a.m. (an hour earlier than general public access). As a result, witness the jaw-dropping Sistine Chapel before the masses of people stream in. After visiting the Sistine Chapel, our professional English-speaking guide will take you back through the highlights of the Vatican Museums. Then pass back through the Sistine Chapel and head to St. Peter’s Basilica. One of our most popular Rome tours, this 3.5-hour Vatican tour includes:
- - Skip the line Vatican tickets
- - Small group size of 14 people
- - Tour starts at 7:30am /entry to museums shortly after 8:00am
- - A professional English-speaking guide
- - Skip the line entrance to St. Peter's Basilica
First stop is a visit to the Sistine Chapel before it’s open to the general public. Since the Sistine Chapel is inside the Vatican Museums, it’s included in your Vatican Museums ticket. When you enter the Sistine Chapel, you’ll realize our descriptions cannot do this incredible work justice. As well as being one of Michelangelo’s most prized masterpieces, the Sistine Chapel also serves as a gathering place for cardinals of the Catholic Church. This is also where new popes are elected - including Pope Francis! The Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, so speaking inside is forbidden. Don’t worry though, your guide will provide you with a map/handout for reference before you enter. *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 a portion of your Vatican tour. We understand the summers in Rome are hot - a great alternative is to bring a shawl/sweater to wrap around you when necessary.
The Best Galleries at the Vatican - Led by our guide, visit our favorite galleries including the Borgia Apartments, Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries and the Gallery of the Maps. Predating a unified Italy by nearly 300 years and based on painted topographical maps of Italy, the Gallery of the Maps is one of the coolest places in the Vatican Museums. One of the frescoes contains the image of a sea monster - see if you can spot it!
Raphael Rooms - The term Renaissance literally means "rebirth" and refers to the period of European civilization that produced a great revival in art, literature and learning. Raphael was one of Rome's most famous Renaissance artists who encompassed all the ideals of a Renaissance man. He designed and frescoed multiple rooms connected to the Vatican Museums. Among other masterpieces, you’ll see one of Raphael’s most famous works of art, The School of Athens.
Skip the Line St. Peter’s Basilica - St. Peter's Basilica is the grand centerpiece of the Vatican. Imagine walking into the biggest church you've ever seen, filled with artwork from all the famous Italian artists you learned about in school. Skip the lines that wait outside in St Peter's Square as you access the basilica from the inside, through a special side entrance our guides can use. Once inside, admire masterpieces that include the Baldacchino, La Pieta, the statue of St. Peter and more. While it is free to enter, this guided tour helps you make the most of it, without suffering the long lines.
Things to Know
- Tour is offered March – December
- Tour is offered on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday – no tours on Wednesday and Sunday
- Tour is offered at 7:30am /Tour check in at 7:15am
- Meeting point location: Between Hotel Alimandi and Caffé Vaticano, at the top of the big staircase (Viale Vaticano,100). A representative will be there holding a sign with the tour name on it – more details are provided upon booking
- Tour will be closed on these holidays and special events – March 19, April 9 and 22, June 29, August 15, November 1 and December 26
- Cover your knees and shoulders - avoid shorts, and skirts/dresses and tank tops that do not cover your knees and shoulders. If you're a woman and you are wearing something that bares your shoulders, bring a shawl or sweater.
- Comfortable walking shoes or tennis shoes are highly recommended
- No tripods, large purses or large backpacks can be brought into the museums