Private Family-Friendly Vatican and Sistine Chapel Tour

Rome for Kids

With the help of a private child-friendly professional guide, enjoy a journey through time and art on a Vatican Treasure Hunt through the Vatican Museums. Designed for kids ages 5-10 (and their parents!)

Active

This is a walking tour and involves occasional walking up & down the stairs.

3 h
custom size
from 5 reviews
1 Vatican Museums Treasure Hunt
2 Child-Friendly Guide
3 Laocoön and His Sons
4 Egyptian Collection
5 The Story of Medusa
6 Stories of Emperors and Gods
7 Gallery of the Maps
8 Sistine Chapel
9 St. Peter's Basilica
10 Special Prizes

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Sistine Chapel
St. Peter's Basilica
Primary Galleries
Pinacoteca

If you’re planning a family trip to Rome with kids, we offer a family-friendly Vatican tour. Any parent who’s tried to bring young kids to a museum knows the struggle of keeping little ones amused and engaged; why not leave the heavy-lifting to us? After skipping the lines, go on a Vatican Treasure Hunt with clues that reveal hidden secrets and uncover meaning behind the treasured art in the collections. With a private child-friendly guide, this tour is best suited for families with kids between 5 and 10 years old. With multiple start times, this 3-hour tour includes:

  • - Skip the line tickets
  • - A personal, English-speaking kid-friendly guide
  • - A Vatican Treasure Hunt
  • - Entrance to the Sistine Chapel
  • - Special prizes for kids

Vatican Treasure Hunt


After meeting your personal guide, follow them into a shorter security line before going into the Vatican Museums and beginning your Vatican Treasure Hunt. This family-friendly Vatican tour puts your children in charge. Each child is given a map, which features a path through the museums, along with a list of items to discover along the way. As your kids find certain symbols, paintings, tapestries and optical illusions, the Vatican Museums spring to life. There is also plenty of time for storytelling in between stops.

The Egyptian Collection at the Vatican

Kids love learning about ancient Egypt. The Egyptian Collection at the Vatican Museums features sculptures and other important artwork that illustrates the relationship between the Roman Empire and ancient Egypt. Among other pieces acquired by former popes, find impressive statues of animal-headed gods and prized sarcophagi from the third century B.C. There’s even a mummy featured in the gallery.

Greek and Roman Mythology

Next up is a visit to the Octagonal Courtyard (designed by Bramante Lazzari), home to the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons, the Belvedere Torso, the River God Arno and Perseus Triumphant. This is where Renaissance and Baroque masters like Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini used to sit and sketch. Learn about the fascinating Greek and Roman mythology behind the iconic statues in the courtyard, then, visit one of the biggest and oldest bathtubs you’ll ever see. Emperor Nero’s giant porphyry bathtub, 25 feet across, weighs thousands of pounds and costs over two billion dollars.

The Stone Zoo

The Hall of the Animals was set up under set up under Pope Pius VI (1775-1799) and features a “stone zoo” of animal sculptures. The animals are positioned in amusing interactions with one another and also relate back to the gods and heroes of the ancient world. At this stop in the tour, the children are asked to look around and spot various animals among the numerous statues.

Optical Illusions and Sea Monsters

Explore the Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries and our personal favorite, the Gallery of the Maps. In each of these rooms, the kids look for optical illusions and assorted images in the artwork. In the Gallery of the Tapestries, designed by the school of Raphael, look out for the image of Christ whose eyes follow you. In the Gallery of the Maps, hunt for the image of a sea monster hidden among the largest collection of topographical maps ever created.

Enter the Sistine Chapel

Only when you are inside, is it clear why the Sistine Chapel is one of the most celebrated works of art in Western civilization. No speaking is allowed inside the sacred Chapel, but don’t worry, before you enter, your guide explains the magnitude of Michelangelo’s artwork. The chance to admire the Sistine Chapel’s splendor is also a well-earned reward for parents and a chance for tired kids to take a sitting break.

Please Note: Since the Sistine Chapel is a sacred place, both men and women (and kids) 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/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

Witness St. Peter’s Basilica

The tour concludes in St. Peter’s Basilica, a massive church filled with artwork from some of the most celebrated artists in history. On this family-friendly Vatican tour, skip the long lines snaking through St. Peter’s Square and head into the most palatial church in the world. Once inside, admire masterpieces including the Baldacchino, La Pieta, the statue of St. Peter and more.

Even if you aren’t an art fanatic, just the size of the basilica (two football fields) will floor you and your family. If you've worked up an appetite, ask your guide where to eat near the Vatican before you say Arrivederci.

Important: You cannot return to the Vatican Museums from St. Peter’s Basilica. If you want more time inside the museums you must forgo the basilica. Inform your guide at the beginning of the tour. Also, if you’d like to stay in St. Peter's Basilica longer, don't leave with the guide to take photos in the piazza. The security line is long and re-entry on your own is not recommended so we suggest you stay inside and explore on your own after the tour is over.

Climb to the top of St. Peter’s Dome

If you and your family want to take in some incredible views, climbing St. Peter’s Dome is one of the best things to do in Rome. Before leaving St. Peter’s Basilica, ask your guide how to access it. You can skip over 200 steps, which is a great option for the kids, by catching an elevator part of the way, then it’s another 320 steps after the elevator ride to the top. Tickets to the dome cost about 8-10 euros, but trust us, the view is worth it.

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