Early Access Vatican Gold Tour
The Earliest of All Early Access Vatican Tours
Only a select few tour providers can enter the Vatican Museums a full 90 minutes before the general public. As one of the first to enter the Sistine Chapel that day, enjoy the Vatican with almost no crowds at all.
What you get with this tour
What you will see on this tour
- Super early 7:30AM entry time
- Candelabra Gallery
- Gallery of the Tapestries
- Gallery of Maps
- Without the crowds
- One of the first to enter the Sistine Chapel
- Skip the line to the Basilica
- St. Peter's Basilica
- Papal Tombs
Do you want to witness Michelangelo's mind-blowing Sistine Chapel at its quietest? Do you want to skip the line and breeze on inside the Vatican Museums like a true VIP? If your answer is "YES!", then this is the best Vatican tour for you. The start time of this special tour guarantees the shortest security wait time of all Vatican tours. Joining the Vatican Gold tour gets you early access to the museums at 7:30 am, an hour and a half before the doors open to the public. This is the most exclusive early access Vatican tour available. The 2-hour tour includes:
- Skip the line tickets - NO LINES!
- A highlights visit to the museum's three main galleries
- Exclusive access to the Sistine Chapel
- Access to St. Peter's Basilica & Papal Tombs
- A hand-picked and professional English-speaking Guide
Highlights of the Vatican Museums
As seasoned tour guides in Rome, we know the Vatican Museums like the backs of our hands. This means that we know exactly what works of art and which galleries you absolutely must see on a visit to Vatican City. After entering at 7:30 am like a celebrity, follow your guide through the Candelabra Gallery, 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. You'll hear all about the best of these treasures from your expert guide.
Enjoy the Sistine Chapel with NO CROWDS
See the Sistine Chapel at its finest, with almost no one else around. Since we are one of the very few companies to be granted this rare andexclusive early morning entrance, you get to visit the Sistine Chapel in total peace and serenity. If you've ever seen the Sistine Chapel during normal hours, then you know what an incredible opportunity this is. As you turn your eyes skyward to take in the hundreds of biblical figures depicted in intricate detail, along with Michelangelo's Creation of Adam, take note of the absence of crowds. It's in this Chapel, surrounded the wall-to-wall and floor to ceiling frescoes, that new popes are elected.
The Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, therefore, speaking inside is not allowed. Since our guide cannot explain the frescoes while you are inside, we explain the Chapel in advance and provide you with a map/handout for reference before you enter. Men and women must cover their knees and shoulders before entering. We understand the summers in Rome get hot, a good alternative is to bring a scarf or shawl to cover up with before you enter.
St. Peter's Basilica and Bernini's Baldacchino
Did you know St. Peter's Basilica took 120 years to build? Now's your chance to skip the line and enter through a special door to continue your ultimate VIP Vatican tour. Contrary to other Vatican tours, this exclusive tour allows you to see how the chapel sounds and looks when mass is taking place. This because the Vatican Gold Tour enters at a time when mass often takes place. In order to respect those taking part in mass, it's not possible for guides to speak inside the Basilica at this time of the morning. Because of this, your guide will explain St. Peter's Basilica and the Papal Tombs before the group enters the church.
Designed by Renaissance architects including Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Michelangelo and Donato Bramante, St. Peter's is the largest church in the world. It is here that The Pietà and the Baldacchino are housed. Located right below the dome of St. Peter's and above the papal altar, the Baldacchino by Bernini stands 29 meters tall. Then, you are free to go beneath the floor and visit the final resting place of hundreds of popes (and one Swedish queen!), inside the Papal Tombs.
If your Vatican tour lands on a Wednesday, St. Peter's is not open for tours due to the weekly Papal Audience. On this occasion, your guide will take you to visit even more masterpieces and hidden gems inside the Vatican Museums.
Important: Remember, it isn’t possible to return to the Vatican Museums from St. Peter’s Basilica. If you want more time inside the museums, you must forgo the visit to St Peter's Basilica. 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. Because the security line is long and re-entry on your own is not recommended, we suggest you spend at least 30 minutes inside St. Peter’s and explore on your own after the tour concludes on the terrace outside.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where to meet?
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 our company name on it.
What to bring?
Wear comfortable shoes because you'll be on your feet for the length of the tour. Also if you're wearing summer clothes because it's hot in Rome, bring something to wrap around yourself before you enter the Sistine Chapel or St. Peter's Basilica.
Q: Does this tour always include St. Peter's Basilica?
A: St. Peter's Basilica is closed on Wednesday mornings due to the Papal Audience. We still run the tour because it might be your only day in Rome! Instead, we visit some of the most iconic statues in the world and Emperor Nero's enormous marble bathtub.
Q: Does the tour go inside at 7:30 am without waiting in any lines?
A: Yes! Enter the museums through the "center lane". Individuals enter through the left lane. Tour operators enter in the right lane. We enter through the center lane for this tour which lets us inside 90 minutes before individuals and 30 minutes before other tour operators.
Q: What are the chances my tour will be canceled or the Vatican will close something.
A: We run the tour rain or shine all year round. Although it is rare, sometimes part of the Vatican City closes for special religious events. 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. Is this tour right for me?
A: If you have any doubts about your mobility, we strongly suggest you take a private Vatican tour.
See what people are saying
29 total reviewsLeave a review
Great Tour Awesome Guide!
We are not usually tour people but this one was definitely worth it! Jad was our guide and he was perfetto ! He was very informative, witty and took his time.
Vatican Gold early morning tour
The tour started first thing in the morning, ahead of the crowd masses. We had an amazing, incredibly knowledgeable guide Raffa, who graced us with insights,history, and a wealth of information. We also had about 20 minutes of quiet viewing in the Sistine Chapel to take it all in. I highly recommend this tour.
Carolina was amazing guide for early morning Vatican tour. She was passionate and knowledgeable about all things Roman. Fluent in English, well organized. She even took a minute from her time off after tour to snap a photo of me in front of the Vatican. The best tour guide I had from all my tours in Rome. Thank you, Carolina, for a Vatican educational and fun experience!