Private Family-Friendly Vatican and Sistine Chapel Tour

Enjoy a boredom-free Vatican private tour that's perfect for kids, with treasure hunt and fun guide

Travel Flexibly 4.9 / 5 See All 22 Reviews · 3.00h · Vatican, Italy

Want to see the Vatican but worried your kids might get a little bored? This skip-the-line private Vatican tour has got you covered! Flexible and designed specifically for families with kids ages 4–10, this is a Vatican tour with a difference. Your local guide is an expert on the Vatican, but also an expert in keeping children engaged with a fun treasure hunt and stories that’ll fuel their imaginations. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the iconic artworks, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica!

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  • A Vatican tour kids will love!
  • Vatican Museums Treasure Hunt
  • Special Prizes
  • Egyptian Collection
  • The story of Medusa
  • Stories of Emperors and Gods
  • Gallery of the Maps
  • Laocoön and His Sons
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St. Peter's Basilica

Any parent who’s tried to bring young kids to a museum knows the struggle of keeping little ones amused and engaged, so why not leave the heavy lifting to us while you're in Rome? 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 4 and 10 years old. And we can offer multiple start times throughout the day to make planning things a little easier.

Private Family-Friendly Vatican Tour Description

Your 3-hour private tour includes:

  • Skip-the-line tickets to the Vatican Museums

  • Special private Vatican tour suitable for kids ages 4-10

  • Games and a prize, including Vatican treasure hunt

  • Entrance to the Sistine Chapel

  • Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica

  • An engaging, English-speaking private guide

  • Available entry times in the morning and afternoon

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, and they can even win a prize at the end of the tour!

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 marble 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 can explore and spot various animals among the 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're 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 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.

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.

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.

Optional St. Peter’s Dome Climb

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.

What you get with this tour
Skip-the-line tickets to the Vatican Museums
Special private Vatican tour suitable for kids aged 4 - 10
Games and a prize, including Vatican treasure hunt
Entrance to the Sistine Chapel
Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica
An engaging, English-speaking private guide
Available entry times in the morning and afternoon
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See what people are saying

22 total reviews

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4.9/5 (based on 22 reviews)
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1 stars
Francesca was great.
31 May 2024
B
Reviewed by
Brandon Joseph

Overall, the tour was as advertised. The guide Francesca was knowledgeable and friendly. We booked this family tour to better engage our 10-year-old through a lengthy visit to the Vatican. Francesca was attentive to our daughter and spoke directly with her, which we appreciated. The scavenger hunt was simple but effective. The museum was packed, however, with us being slowly moved from room to room in a sea of people. There is nothing you can do about that - when in Rome!

Francesca Is Great
26 March 2024
C
Reviewed by
Charles Caldwell

Francesca did a great job providing information and background that was substantive and educational while at the same time giving attention to our 11yr old to keep it interesting for him. We would definitely book another tour with her. Super kind, knowledgeable, and attentive.

Our guide was GREAT with our kids!
21 November 2023
C
Reviewed by
CHRISTOPHER DASCH HOUDESHEL

Our guide did a really great job of making The Vatican interesting and relevant for our pre-teen kids. She was funny, knowledgeable, and a little overly honest at times, which my kids really connected with. Not everyone can keep an eleven year old’s attention in a museum (much less a church) for 3 hours - but she did!!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to bring?

In addition to wearing or bringing clothing that covers your knees and shoulders, it's recommended to wear comfortable shoes. You're also welcome to bring a water bottle as it can get hot inside the Vatican during the summer months.

Does the tour really go right inside without waiting in any lines?

As an accredited tour operator we do not have to wait in the ticket line, but we still have to wait in a security line. For this reason, we leave the meeting point as early as possible and get in a much shorter security line reserved for tour operators.

What are the chances my tour will be canceled or the Vatican will close something?

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.

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 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.

I don't see any availability in the calendar, what should I do?

If you're trying to make a booking up to 2 weeks in advance, the website will show no availability, but feel free to contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Do I have to pay for babies and toddlers?

Children under three are free of charge, but if you want them to receive the gift at the end of the tour, you'll need to pay for a "five and under" ticket.

What to bring?

In addition to wearing or bringing clothing that covers your knees and shoulders, it's recommended to wear comfortable shoes. You're also welcome to bring a water bottle as it can get hot inside the Vatican during the summer months.

Can I take photos inside the Sistine Chapel?

Photography isn't allowed inside the chapel since camera flashes can damage the artwork.

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