Complete Vatican Combo Tour with Sistine Chapel & Dome Climb

Climb St. Peter's Dome before the crowds and then join a guided Vatican tour

5 / 5 See All 2 Reviews · 5.5h 16 max · ,

This tour combines our Ultimate St. Peter's Basilica Dome Climb with our Skip the Line Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica in one discounted package.

Included

What you get with this tour

English-speaking guide
St. Peter's Dome & Vatican Tickets included
Skip the Line
Itinerary

What you will see on this tour

  • Climb St. Peter's Dome
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Walk to Vatican Museums meeting point
  • Skip the Line at the Vatican
  • Main Galleries
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Pio Clementino
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Borgia Apartments
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Access to St. Peter's Basilica

Vatican City is home to many bucket list attractions, and the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica are definitely top of the list. However, it can be difficult to climb St. Peter’s Dome. Many visitors climb the dome after their tour of the museums, so wait times can be long. This tour allows you to enter St. Peter’s Basilica right when it opens so that you avoid the long lines. After you finish touring the Basilica, see all the highlights of the Vatican Museums, as well as some hidden gems, along with your English-speaking expert guide. This tour includes:

  • A professional English-speaking guide
  • Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica
  • Tickets to climb St. Peter's Dome
  • Skip the line* Vatican tickets for 10:30 a.m.

*Short delays at the security check may occur during the busiest months, June and July. We do, however, have a team of experts at the Vatican every morning to help our groups avoid delays as much as possible. 

Important! After you visit the Vatican Museums, the tour will continue on to St. Peter’s Basilica as some of the group will not have been on the dome climb beforehand. If you wish, you may stay in the Vatican Museums and forgo a second visit to St. Peter’s. If you choose to leave the tour early, remember to return your headset to your tour guide.

Climb St. Peter’s Dome

Once you enter, you can choose to either climb 231 steps to reach the dome’s first level or take an elevator. From the first level, you’ll be able to see an amazing view of the Vatican City and also appreciate the detailed mosaics that cover the circumference of the dome. After this, you are welcome to stay where you are, go down to the Basilica, or keep climbing. Your only option to reach the very top is 320 steps. Though it can be a bit claustrophobic, the stunning views from the top make it all worth it.

Guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica

Once you descend from the dome, your guided tour of the world’s largest church begins. Your guide will show you some of the most famous works inside the Basilica, including Bernini’s Baldacchino and Michelangelo’s Pietà. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the jaw-dropping interior before you continue on to the Vatican Museums.

Highlights of the Vatican

There’s plenty to explore within the Vatican during your skip the line tour. See some of the best galleries in the museum: the Gallery of the Tapestries, the Gallery of the Candelabra, and the Gallery of the Maps. In these galleries, discover some of the most iconic artwork made by Italy's most renowned Renaissance artists.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is one of the most famous works of art in the world and once you enter, it’s easy to understand why. Michelangelo’s massive masterpiece includes over 600 figures and words cannot do it justice. As the Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, speaking inside is forbidden. We will provide you a map/handout to reference before you enter as your guide will not be allowed to explain the frescoes once inside. 

Please note: As the Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, everyone who enters must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry to this portion of your tour. A great option is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

Pio-Clementino Museum

This museum houses a number of iconic statues, including Laocoön and His Sons and the Belvedere Torso. Your guide will tell you all about the history and legends surrounding the art, as well as Emperor Nero’s bathtub, a 25 foot work made of red marble. 

Borgia Apartments

The Borgia Apartments were once the private chambers of Pope Alexander VI, the Borgia pope. The frescoes inside were the work of Pinturicchio, who studied alongside Raphael. Pinturicchio often placed fake jewels in his frescoes, giving “hidden gem” a literal meaning. Another surprise found within the Borgia Apartments? The first depiction of Native Americans in European art.

The Raphael Rooms

After the Middle Ages, Europe saw a new age of amazing art, literature and thought. Raphael is one of the most famous Renaissance artists and some of his most well-known works of art reside in the Vatican Museums. Your guide will show you the rooms he frescoed and one of his most famous works of art, The School of Athens.

Access St. Peter's Basilica Through Sistine Chapel

Finally, your tour will return to the Sistine Chapel.  From there, you will have the option to reenter St. Peter’s Basilica with your tour guide through a special door in the Sistine Chapel, or stay in the Vatican Museums to continue exploring on your own. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

In front of St. Peter's Basilica by Bernini's North fountain. A representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.

What to bring?

The Vatican dress code dictates you cover your knees and shoulders. If you do not meet the dress code, you may be denied entry! No need to dress like the people living there, covering your knees and shoulders is sufficient. Wear comfortable shoes.

Q: Is there a dress code to enter the religious sites on this tour?

A: We ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise you may be refused entry to religious sites and 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. 

Q: Why does this tour visit St. Peter's Basilica twice?

A: This tour combines our Ultimate St. Peter's Basilica Dome Climb with our Skip the Line Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica so you can climb St. Peter's Dome and get a guided tour of the Vatican Museums. This means that many of the guests on your guided tour of the Vatican Museums will not have been part of your original dome climb tour. If you do not wish to enter the Basilica again, you can forgo the visit and stay inside of the Vatican Museums, just remember to return your headset.

Q: Will the Vatican Museums be crowded during this tour?

A: The Vatican is often slow in the late afternoon, but there is a chance the museums may be crowded while we are inside.

Q: Does the Vatican ever experience unexpected closures?

A: During State visits or special religious events, parts of the Vatican may be closed unexpectedly. If an area normally covered on a tour is closed, our guide will still provide explanations of the closed areas from outside. Plus, we will show you an extra site or gallery to compensate.

Q: I have some doubts about my mobility. What do you suggest?

A: If you have any doubts about your mobility, we strongly suggest you take a Vatican Private Tour.

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See what people are saying

2 total reviews

Leave a review
8/12/2019
Kelly H
Awesome Time!

Great tour! We loved our guide Raffaella. Dome climb was a great way to start the morning. 5 stars!!!!

8/8/2019
Thomas G
vatican from Top to Bottom!

I took this tour with my wife and two sons. Views from the top of the Church were great. Vatican was very impressive and the tour was still fun for the kids. Loved all of our tours with the Roman Guy!

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