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Home Italy Travel Blog Best Sistine Chapel Tours in Vatican City. Special access and more!

Best Sistine Chapel Tours in Vatican City. Special access and more!

written by Sean Finelli February 19, 2020

Vatican City is one of the most well-visited places in the world. It’s a place absolutely stuffed with art, history, and spirituality. Without a doubt, the centerpiece of this magnificence is the Sistine Chapel and the gorgeous paintings that adorn its ceiling. Here we’ve put together a list of some of the best tours of the Sistine Chapel. 

Whether you just want to see Michelangelo’s stunning ceiling or want to catch more of what the Vatican has to offer, these tours are some of the best ways to see the Sistine Chapel ceiling. 

Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

This is one of our best-selling tours and for good reason. With privileged entrance, you’ll be able to enter the Sistine Chapel before the crowds show up. This is a sacred space, so you’ll have to stay quiet and dress appropriately, but it’s certainly worth it. The gorgeously adorned paintings above are a sight to behold.

And once you’ve had your fill of the Sistine ceiling, you’ll be led through the Vatican’s excellent galleries, including a stop in the Borgia Apartments, Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Raphael Rooms, painted by the Renaissance master Raphael. On top of that, you’ll have skip the line access to St. Peter’s Basilica through a special entrance!

Highlights:

  • 3.5 hour tour
  • Enter the Vatican one hour before the public
  • Skip the line access to St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Exclusive access to the Gallery of the Masks

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

Maybe you don’t want to get up early. That doesn’t mean you have to miss out on what the Vatican has to offer. On this tour, you’ll have flexible times throughout the day to explore the Sistine Chapel. While they won’t be able to speak once they’re inside, your guide will reveal the fascinating story behind this masterwork. 

You’ll be led through the Vatican’s finest collections, including a stop to Nero’s Bath, a 25-foot bathtub made from extremely rare red marble. One of the rarest sites, the Cabinet of Masks is almost entirely closed to the public. With us, however, you’ll receive VIP access to this special room. It’s full of statues and a Papal throne. It’s a rare opportunity few get to experience. 

Highlights:

  • 3 hour tour
  • Multiple start times throughout the day
  • Exclusive access to the Gallery of the Masks
  • Special entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica

First Entry Vatican Gold Tour with Sistine Chapel

Seeing the Sistine Chapel without the crowds is certainly the way to do it. On this Gold tour, you will gain First Entry access to the Vatican, a whole hour and a half before the public. You’ll have the time to take in every inch of the ceiling without having to rush away from the huge crowds. The Sistine Chapel is a wonder to behold, and you deserve the time to see it as it was meant to be seen.

After the Sistine Chapel, you’ll catch some of the top highlights of the Vatican. You’ll enter through a special VIP entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica, and receive a guided tour of the great works of art inside. What’s really cool is that on this tour you will be able to see the Basilica while mass is going on. It’s one of the most unique experiences you can find in the Vatican. Then it’s on to Bernini’s Baldacchino and the Papal Tombs!

Highlights:

  • 2 hour tour
  • See the Sistine Chapel 1.5 hours before the public
  • Explore St. Peter’s Basilica with skip the line access

Skip the Line Vatican Tour with Local Trastevere Food Tour Combo

From foodies to history nuts, everyone loves this tour. It has everything you’re looking for in a Vatican experience. You’ll get skip the line access to the Vatican, so you won’t have to wait before entering the Sistine Chapel. 

Included on this tour are plenty of Vatican highlights, such as skip the line access to St. Peter’s Basilica. Here you’ll see another of Michelangelo’s masterpieces: La Pieta. For many, this sculpture is just as impressive as the Sistine Chapel frescoes. Carved from a single block of marble, the sculpture has some of the most life-like features ever set in stone. 

 After you’ve seen it all in the Vatican, your tour has only just started. With a local guide, you’ll tour take a tasting tour through the hip neighborhood of Trastevere. This includes a visit to an authentic Roman bakery for pizza, and a stop at a vendor’s cart for some filetto di baccala, a popular street food in Rome. 

After you’ve gotten your appetite ready, it’s time to sit down for a delicious authentic Roman dinner, washed down with local wine and limoncello. Once you’ve had your dessert of organic gelato, it’s time to say ciao to your guide before enjoying the Roman nightlife yourself. 

 Highlights:

  • 8 hour tour
  • Skip the line access to the Vatican
  • Tour of Vatican highlights
  • Food tour through local neighborhood with wine tasting

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Pope’s Summer Home Day Trip

This might be our most thorough tour, but it’s perfect for anyone looking for a full day experience of the Vatican. With skip the line access, you’ll enter the Vatican well before the public. Your guide will describe the four years of Michelangelo’s intense work that made this masterpiece a reality. Then you’ll have plenty of time to examine the awe-inspiring frescoes for yourself. 

That’s just the beginning, however. On this tour, you get exclusive access to the Vatican Gardens. These tickets are in extreme demand, but we’ve worked hard to secure your visit to this special place. Including about 100 fountains, these gardens are absolutely breathtaking. 

At the Vatican, there’s no bigger VIP than the pope, and on this tour you’ll be able to walk in his footsteps. After checking out the Vatican city highlights, you’ll board a train with your guide to the Pope’s summer home: Castel Gandolfo. Few take the opportunity to see this gorgeous castle and its gardens. After you’ve gotten the chance to see it all, you’ll be treated to a delicious buffet lunch of local cheeses and meats. It’s one of our most special tours and our customers love it. 

Highlights:

  • 11 hour tour, transportation included
  • See the Sistine Chapel before the public
  • Exclusive access to Vatican Gardens
  • Train to Castel Gandolfo
  • Authentic Italian lunch included

I Want More Italy!

  • If you want us to arrange the entertainment in Rome (and beyond!), contact our Trip Planning Team to coordinate an unforgettable Italian experience.
  • Check out our YouTube video and step-by-step guide about how to do Rome in a Day. If you’d rather let us guide you, check out our Rome tours.
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