Detailed Itinerary Vatican in a Day Tour with Sistine Chapel

Dive deep into the Pinacoteca, Cabinet of Masks, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel, and much more!

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 119 Reviews · 5.00h 14 max · Vatican, Italy

Looking for an in-depth Vatican tour that shows you more of the city’s incredible art? This 5-hour small group tour gives you a more complete experience of the Vatican and its famous art collection. With a passionate, expert guide, view hidden masterpieces by Raphael, Da Vinci, and Guido Reni that millions of visitors never see. Also learn stories from the city’s 2,000-year history before seeing the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. This comprehensive tour is a dream for art lovers!

Tour Details
  • Skip-the-line Vatican tickets
  • View of St. Peters
  • Vatican Pinacoteca
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Pio Clementino
  • Laocoön and His Sons
  • Belvedere Torso
  • Nero’s Bath
  • Gallery of Candelabra
  • Galley of Tapestries
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Creation of Man
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • La Pietá
  • Baldacchino by Bernini
  • The papal tombs in the Vatican Grotto

You'll find your expert, local guide waiting at the top of the stairs near Caffé Vaticano, across from the Vatican Museums. With small group of 14 or fewer people, you'll skip the line to enter before the general public is allowed in, so you can start exploring the museums without the long wait. This in-depth Vatican tour is ideal for art enthusiasts who want to see more of the magnificent treasures held within the Vatican Museums.

Thanks to your knowledgeable guide, you'll also learn interesting and unique stories about the art, artists, and the Vatican itself as you explore rooms and galleries that regular Vatican visitors can't access. To top things off, you'll also get to spend time in the iconic Sistine Chapel and enjoy a guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica.

Detailed Vatican Tour Description

Your 5-hour tour includes:

  • Skip-the-line early Vatican entry

  • Pio-Clementino Museum and Cabinet of Masks

  • Pinacoteca Art Gallery and Carriage Pavilion

  • Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Maps

  • Raphael Rooms and School of Athens

  • Time inside the Sistine Chapel

  • Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica

  • A passionate English-speaking guide

  • Maximum group size of 14

Pio-Clementino Museum Tour

At the start of your tour, you'll follow your guide to the Bramante Courtyard, designed by Donato Bramante. This part of the Vatican Museums is home to the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons, and the Belvedere Torso. Learn about the myths and legends associated with these iconic sculptures before visiting the oldest and largest bathtub in existence. Nero's bathtub is an incredible 25 feet long and is made from a rare red marble that isn't even available nowadays!

Cabinet of the Masks

Deep inside the Pio Clementino Museum is the almost-hidden Cabinet of Masks, locked away in a guarded room and considered one of the Vatican’s best-kept secrets. Most visitors to the Vatican miss out on the beautiful mosaics and frescoes kept here, but you'll have VIP access to this spectacular collection since access is only allowed for licensed tour guides.

Vatican Pinacoteca

On this in-depth Vatican Museum tour, your guide will take you to the famed Pinacoteca, also known as the Vatican Art Gallery. The Pinacoteca is home to some of the most impressive paintings in the Vatican, housed in a series of rooms in chronological order and divided by art school.

Art lovers will enjoy the chance to get up close and personal with 460 works of art painted by masters such as Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, and Leonardo da Vinci. The Pinacoteca is one of the more modern sections of the Vatican Museums, which is why it's often overlooked by other Vatican tours. Learn about stories behind these lesser-known artworks as your guide leads you through this stunning gallery.

Carriage Pavilion

Since your tour takes its time exploring more areas of the Vatican, you'll also have a chance to see an area that most tours don't go to. Get your cameras ready to see the incredible Carriage Pavilion, where you'll find nine of the ceremonial berlins or carriages that were used by popes and Holy Roman Princes in centuries past. You'll also see some of the early automobiles that carried the pope through the city in modern times.

Top Three Vatican Galleries

You'll 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.

At the height of the Roman Empire, pontiffs rarely left Rome. In order to understand the Italian peninsula without endangering his life, Pope Gregory XIII commissioned 40 giant meticulous maps to be created for his use. Most of these maps measure more than 15 by 16 feet, and the end result is nothing short of spectacular.

You'll hear the stories behind these treasures from your expert guide as the Vatican secrets are slowly unveiled to you.

Raphael Rooms

Next, you'll get to know some of the most famous works by Raphael, who is one of the most famous Renaissance artists. He designed and frescoed a series of papal apartments now called the Stanze di Raffaello or Raphael Rooms. His most celebrated work is the School of Athens which is on display here. The painting represents a gathering of the greatest mathematicians, philosophers, and scientists. Raphael included himself in the painting, much like an early version selfie.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

One of the top things to do in Vatican City is visit the iconic Sistine Chapel. The Sistine Chapel is the private chapel of the pope, and it's where cardinals from around the world gather when it's time to elect a new pope. Take in the wonder of Michelangelo's masterpiece and examine the vivid depictions of biblical stories, from Genesis to Revelations. You'll see the famous Creation of Man and the Last Judgement as you enjoy the serenity of the world's most famous chapel.

Please note that 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, so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/sweater to wrap around you when necessary.

St. Peter's Basilica

After your time in the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, you'll follow your guide through a passageway that allows you to bypass the ticket lines and enter St. Peter's Basilica more quickly. Here, you'll be awestruck by the impressive architecture, statues, and artwork made by famous artists like Michelangelo and Bernini. Gaze upon the beautiful Pietà, the incredible mosaics, the Tomb of Innocent XI, and Bernini's canopy under the dome.

You tour ends here, but feel free to spend extra time enjoying the Basilica on your own afterwards.

Please note that St. Peter's Basilica is closed on Wednesdays for the Papal Audience and can occasionally experience other unexpected closures. If this happens, your guide will make up the time at other areas within the Vatican.

What you get with this tour
Skip-the-line early Vatican entry
Pio-Clementino Museum and Cabinet of Masks
Pinacoteca Art Gallery and Carriage Pavilion
Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Maps
Raphael Rooms and School of Athens
See inside the Sistine Chapel
Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica
A passionate English-speaking guide
Maximum group size of 14
Tripadvisor Logo
See what people are saying

119 total reviews

Leave a review
5.0/5 (based on 119 reviews)
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 stars
17 September 2022
S
Reviewed by
Showan Balta

Vatican Tour - a wonderful experience
03 September 2022
R
Reviewed by
Richard Peterson

The Vatican Tour we enjoyed was well facilitated and led by a terrific guide. Thank you!

03 September 2022
R
Reviewed by
Reto Isenring

show more reviews

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

Meet your guide in front of Caffé Vaticano on Viale Vaticano, 100. This is across the street from the Vatican Museum entrance. Our friendly welcome staff will be there holding The Tour Guy signs.

What to bring?

Please be sure to meet Vatican dress code requirements by covering your knees and shoulders in the most sacred religious areas like the Sistine Chapel. You'll also want to wear comfortable shoes since this is a walking tour.

Where to meet?

Meet your guide in front of Caffé Vaticano on Viale Vaticano, 100. This is across the street from the Vatican Museum entrance. Our friendly welcome staff will be there holding The Tour Guy signs.

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

We ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise the Vatican might refuse entry to religious sites and you’ll 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.

Is there a way to see the Vatican without a guided tour?

Yes, you can purchase a ticket to see the Vatican Museums on your own. Click here for skip the line Vatican tickets.

What if I have concerns about my mobility on this tour?

If you have any concerns about your mobility, we suggest taking a private Vatican tour so your needs can be better accommodated.

Does the Vatican ever experience sudden closures?

During state visits or special religious events, parts of the Vatican may be closed unexpectedly and without much notice. If an area normally visited during a tour is suddenly closed, our guide will still provide explanations of the closed areas from outside. They will even show you another gallery to compensate for the lost time in the usual location.

Do we really get access before the crowds on this tour?

The Vatican opens at 9:00 am to the general public, but this tour has access to the 8:00 am early entrance line. You can avoid the longest line for general admission, but there is still a short security line to go through before actually entering the Vatican.

Does this tour always include St. Peter's Basilica?

St. Peter's Basilica is always closed on Wednesday mornings for the weekly papal audience. If you book a tour on Wednesday, your guide will make up the time in other fascinating areas of the Vatican Museums.

What to bring?

Please be sure to meet Vatican dress code requirements by covering your knees and shoulders in the most sacred religious areas like the Sistine Chapel. You'll also want to wear comfortable shoes since this is a walking tour.

Where does this tour end?

This Vatican tour will end in or just outside of St. Peter's Basilica (except on Wednesdays when it will end at the Vatican exit near St. Peter's Square). You're free to stay in the church and explore some more if you like.

Total: $98.96

available days discounted days

24-hr cancellation on group tours! Learn more about our cancellation policy

Reserve Now $84.11 / per person
$84.11 / per person
You may also like
Skip the Line
Up to 18 % off

Skip the Line

Rome in a Day Tour With Colosseum and Vatican Museums

Explore the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, and more with a passionate guide

Skip the Line
Up to 15 % off

Skip the Line

Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Enjoy early access to see the Raphael Rooms, Creation of Man, St. Peter's Basilica, and more

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Skip the Line Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

See the bucket-list Vatican attractions and St. Peter's Basilica with start times throughout the day

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Complete Vatican Combo Tour with Sistine Chapel & Dome Climb

Climb St. Peter's Basilica, explore the Papal Crypts, and skip the line at the Vatican Museums

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Vatican Highlights Tour with Sistine Chapel

Enjoy skip-the-line early access on an abridged tour of the Vatican Museums' top artwork

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Private Tour

Skip the line to enter the Vatican City with a licensed guide

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Private Rome in a Day Tour with Colosseum & Vatican Museums

Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, and more with a private, licensed guide

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Private Skip the Line Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and St Peter's Basilica Tour

A tailored Vatican experience for those who prefer to explore with a private guide

New Tour

New Tour

First Entry Vatican Prime Tour with Breakfast Included

Enjoy VIP early entrance to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel before the big crowds

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Vatican Night Tour with Sistine Chapel

Enjoy a unique opportunity to visit the Vatican after hours without the crowds

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Private Full Day Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

An Immersive and In-Depth Vatican Experience with a Licensed Guide

Transportation Included

Transportation Included

Rome Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia

Transportation, Vatican & Colosseum admissions, and great guide included!

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Private Early Entrance Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Red carpet access to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica with a licensed guide

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Ultimate St. Peter's Basilica Dome Climb and Tour with Papal Crypts

See St. Peter’s Basilica up close and climb the dome for the best views of Rome and the Vatican

Entry Ticket

Entry Ticket

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tickets

Skip the line and gain quicker access to the Vatican so you can explore at your leisure

Private Tour

Private Tour

Private Vatican, Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Dome Climb Complete Tour

Climb St. Peter's Dome before the crowds then see the Vatican & Sistine Chapel with a private guide

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

History of Christianity Tour with Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and Catacombs

Step back into Catholic history at the Roman crypts and skip the line to see the Vatican treasures

Private Tour

Private Tour

Vatican Under the Stars Private Evening Tour with Sistine Chapel

An Evening Tour of the Vatican with Fewer Crowds

New Tour

New Tour

Vatican at Closing Time Tour with Sistine Chapel

Explore the Vatican with fewer crowds in the late afternoon

Skip the Line
Up to 35 % off

Skip the Line

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo Day Trip

Travel to the Pope’s summer residence by train after an in-depth Vatican Gardens and museums tour

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Private Family-Friendly Vatican and Sistine Chapel Tour

Guided Treasure Hunt of the Vatican Museums with History and Stories for Children 4 - 10 years Old

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

VIP Vatican Museums After-Hours Private Tour with Sistine Chapel

Exclusive After-Hours Vatican Tour

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Private Vatican Highlights Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

Create a More Memorable Experience with a Knowledgeable Guide

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Vatican Highlights with Rome Walking Tour

Explore the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica, then see Castel Sant'Angelo, the Pantheon, and more

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Skip the Line Vatican Tour with Local Trastevere Food Tour Combo

Save Money by Purchasing a Vatican Tour with our Trastevere Food Tour