Detailed Itinerary Vatican in a Day Tour with Sistine Chapel

Dive deep into the Pinacoteca, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel, and Papal Tombs

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 112 Reviews · 5.00h 14 max · Vatican, Italy

Looking for a tour that doesn't rush through the Vatican? This 5-hour Vatican tour allows your passionate guide to spend the time necessary to honor this incredible collection of art. There are hidden masterpieces by Raphael, Da Vinci, and Guido Reni that millions of visitors never see. You'll dive into these works of art and more while learning stories that span 2,000 years of history and mysteries on this comprehensive and exclusive tour. Perfect 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

Find your guide waiting at the top of the stairs near Caffé Vaticano, across from the Vatican Museums. You and your small group of 14 or fewer people will learn what you can expect to see in the Vatican that most tourists miss completely. This in-depth Vatican tour is ideal for art history lovers who crave seeing more of the incredible art that's found within the massive Vatican Museum. Thanks to your knowledgeable guide, you'll learn interesting and unique stories about the art, artists, and the Vatican as you explore more rooms and galleries than regular Vatican tours. Your 5-hour tour includes:

  • Skip-the-line entry to Vatican Museums

  • Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel

  • Pinacoteca Art Gallery

  • Pio-Clementino Museum

  • Raphael Rooms and more

  • Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica

  • A passionate English-speaking guide

The Vatican Pinacoteca

On this detailed Vatican Museum tour, you'll have a chance to visit 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.

Pio-Clementino Museum Tour

Next, 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 measures 25 feet long and is made from a rare red marble that is unavailable now.

Cabinet of the Masks

Deep inside the Pio Clementino Museum is the almost-hidden Cabinet of Masks. It is 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 feature.

Top Three Vatican Galleries

Explore the Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Maps. 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 for his use. Most of these maps measure more than 15 by 16 feet, and the end result is nothing short of spectacular.

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.

Borgia Apartments

Your tour continues from the Raphael Rooms and to the Borgia Apartments. These were these private chambers of Borgia Pope Alexander VI that were frescoed by early Renaissance artist Pinturicchio. He had a penchant for embedding fake jewels and other three-dimensional objects like metal saddle studs in his frescoes, so keep an eye out for those. The Borgia Apartments also contain another hidden gem: the first European depiction of Native Americans.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

One of the top things to do in Vatican City is visit the Sistine Chapel, which is one of the most famous chapels in the world. The Sistine Chapel is the private chapel of the pope and where cardinals from around the world gather to elect a new pope.

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, follow your guide through the passageway that allows you to bypass the ticket lines and enter St. Peter's Basilica more quickly. Here you'll be inspired as you gaze upon 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 the canopy under the dome. Feel free to spend extra time here as you like after your tour ends.

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
Vatican tickets included
Skip the Line
English-Speaking Guide
Tripadvisor Logo
See what people are saying

112 total reviews

Leave a review
5.0/5 (based on 112 reviews)
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 stars
10 August 2022
L
Reviewed by
Lara Smith

Adele was wonderful. Would highly recommend

Wonderful tour and tour guide!
30 June 2022
A
Reviewed by
Anantika Khindaria

Though the tour is 5 hours, it did not feel that way! Our tour guide Federica was so personable and engaging through the entire duration of the tour; also her English was very clear, which I just thought was impressive because I would never be able to learn Italian that well. The most crowded areas were probably the security check-in, Nero's Bath (which Federica pointed out was not actually a "bathtub," as we know it in the modern sense!) and the Gallery of Maps. Because of the crowd in these areas, the audio from our radios became a little patchy but those were really the only times. The quietest areas were the first sights we saw which were the Pinacoteca (Art Gallery) and Gallery of Tapestries, hardly anyone was in there! At least that was when we visited at the beginning of June 2022. Federica provided papal history (you can be sure I know who the Warrior Pope is now haha) along with art appreciation and was open to answering any of our questions or stopping for necessary bathroom/water breaks. She explained specific figures in notable paintings and stories of the famous artists who made them, Raphael and Michelangelo. I know this is part of her profession, but overall it just seemed like she was very generous with her knowledge and time. She made sure we felt like we could stay in the Sistine Chapel as long as we'd like, since it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity. During our time in Rome this ended up being one of our favorite tours, and I definitely recommend it because the Vatican is so huge, but this way you get to see quite an impressive amount! Just keep in mind you are standing/walking for ~5hrs and you need to have your shoulders and knees covered. Also for anyone concerned about the weather, you're indoors for a majority of the tour; the only times we were in the sun was for entrance into the Vatican complex (10-15 minutes), directly after the section on papal tansport/vehicles (5-10 minutes), and the Pinecone Courtyard (3-4 minutes). Big thanks to Federica! Meeting information: The meeting point is the Viale Vaticano staircase, where many tour groups meet up, so look for a person holding a "The Roman Guy" sign in the air. The day we went, this person was standing at the very top of the staircase. After you give them your reservation information, they will tell you where to wait along the wall under pieces of paper with your tour designation. Then your actual tour guide will come get you.

Wonderful tour and tour guide!
30 June 2022
A
Reviewed by
Anantika Khindaria

Though the tour is 5 hours, it did not feel that way! Our tour guide Federica was so personable and engaging through the entire duration of the tour; also her English was very clear, which I just thought was impressive because I would never be able to learn Italian that well. The most crowded areas were probably the security check-in, Nero's Bath (which Federica pointed out was not actually a "bathtub," as we know it in the modern sense!) and the Gallery of Maps. Because of the crowd in these areas, the audio from our radios became a little patchy but those were really the only times. The quietest areas were the first sights we saw which were the Pinacoteca (Art Gallery) and Gallery of Tapestries, hardly anyone was in there! At least that was when we visited at the beginning of June 2022. Federica provided papal history (you can be sure I know who the Warrior Pope is now haha) along with art appreciation and was open to answering any of our questions or stopping for necessary bathroom/water breaks. She explained specific figures in notable paintings and stories of the famous artists who made them, Raphael and Michelangelo. I know this is part of her profession, but overall it just seemed like she was very generous with her knowledge and time. She made sure we felt like we could stay in the Sistine Chapel as long as we'd like, since it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity. During our time in Rome this ended up being one of our favorite tours, and I definitely recommend it because the Vatican is so huge, but this way you get to see quite an impressive amount! Just keep in mind you are standing/walking for ~5hrs and you need to have your shoulders and knees covered. Also for anyone concerned about the weather, you're indoors for a majority of the tour; the only times we were in the sun was for entrance into the Vatican complex (10-15 minutes), directly after the section on papal tansport/vehicles (5-10 minutes), and the Pinecone Courtyard (3-4 minutes). Big thanks to Federica! Meeting information: The meeting point is the Viale Vaticano staircase, where many tour groups meet up, so look for a person holding a "The Roman Guy" sign in the air. The day we went, this person was standing at the very top of the staircase. After you give them your reservation information, they will tell you where to wait along the wall under pieces of paper with your tour designation. Then your actual tour guide will come get you.

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. You're free to stay in the church and explore some more if you like.

Total: $103.95

available days discounted days

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

Reserve Now $88.35 / per person
$88.35 / per person
You may also like
Skip the Line

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

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 with start times throughout the day

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Complete Vatican Combo Tour with Sistine Chapel & Dome Climb

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

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 Rome in a Day Tour with Colosseum & Vatican Museums

Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and more with a private, licensed guide

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

8:30am Vatican, Sistine Chapel, & St. Peter's Basilica Tour

A bespoke Vatican experience for those who can appreciate a private guide and less crowds

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Vatican Highlights Tour with Sistine Chapel

Enjoy skip-the-line early access on an abridged tour of the top Vatican attractions

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

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

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

Skip lines at Vatican Museums and Catacombs

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
Up to 35 % off

Skip the Line

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo Day Trip

Travel from the Pope's Train Station to the Pope's Summer Home After Visiting the Vatican Museum

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

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

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

8am Entrance Platinum Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Red Carpet Access to the Vatican Museums Licensed Guide with St. Peter's Basilica Drop Off

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

Private Tour

Private Tour

Vatican Under the Stars Private Evening Tour with Sistine Chapel

An Evening Tour of the Vatican with Fewer Crowds

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

Transportation Included

Transportation Included

Rome Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia

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

Skip the Line

Skip the Line

Vatican Highlights with Rome Walking Tour

See the Vatican, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, 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

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

New Tour

New Tour

First Entry Vatican Prime Tour with Breakfast Included

Enjoy VIP access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel before the public

New Tour

New Tour

Vatican at Closing Time Tour with Sistine Chapel

Explore the Vatican with fewer crowds in the late afternoon