Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Enter the Vatican Museums 60 to 90 minutes before the crowds

Travel Flexibly 4.9 / 5 See All 277 Reviews · 3.00h 14 max · Vatican, Italy

Want to visit the Vatican Museums without all the long lines and crowds? Enter 60 to 90 minutes before the museum's public opening and skip the long lines and crowds! Thanks to our close relationship with the Holy See you will be afforded an early-access experience to the Vatican that includes areas that are off-limits to the general public. The magic of the experience comes from your knowledgeable guide who will share insightful history, stories, and crazy facts that will wow you.

Tour Details
  • See before the crowds
  • View of St. Peter's Basilica
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Gallery of Candelabra
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Galley of Tapestries
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Sistine chapel-
  • Creation of Man
  • Last Judgement-
  • St Peter’s Basilica on Your Own
  • La Pietá
  • Baldacchino By Bernini

Meet your local guide at the top of the stairs near Caffé Vaticano, across from the Vatican Museums. With your small group of 14 or fewer, you'll enter the Vatican earlier than the general public, so you can enjoy walking in the Sistine Chapel without large crowds. From there, your knowledgeable guide will show you the other amazing galleries and rooms from Raphael Rooms to the Pio-Clementino Museums. Your 3.5-hour Vatican tour includes:

  • Skip-the-line entry to the Vatican

  • Maximum group size of 14

  • 8 am start for early entry at 8:30 am

  • A professional, English-speaking guide

* As of June 23rd, 2021, the Vatican has closed the "licensed guide entrance" to St Peter’s Basilica for all tour companies and tour guides. Therefore a guided visit to the Basilica won’t be possible due to the distance between sites. Not to worry! Your awesome guide give you a detailed introduction of the church and will explain how you can visit on your own at the conclusion of the tour.. Hopefully, this changes very soon!

The Sistine Chapel

One of the top things to do in Vatican City is visiting the Sistine Chapel. That's why you'll love your skip-the-line access, as your first stop is the Sistine Chapel before it’s open to the general public. As one of Michelangelo’s most prized masterpieces, the Sistine Chapel also serves as a gathering place for cardinals of the Catholic Church.

Speaking is not allowed in the chapel since it's a sacred space, so your expert guide will explain what you'll see before entering. Their amazing stories of Michelangelo and his trials and tribulations in creating this Renaissance marvel will inspire you as you step inside.

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.

The Best Galleries at the Vatican

Led by our friendly guide, visit our other favorite galleries including the Borgia Apartments, Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Maps. Predating a unified Italy by nearly 300 years, the Gallery of the Maps is one of the coolest places in the Vatican Museums as it includes original painted topographical maps of Italy that are incredibly accurate.

Raphael Rooms

The term Renaissance literally means "rebirth" and refers to the period of European civilization that produced a great revival in art, literature, and learning. Raphael was one of Rome's most famous Renaissance artists who encompassed all the ideals of a Renaissance man. Follow your guide to one of his most famous works: School of Athens.

Pio-Clementino Museum and Nero’s Bathtub

Since the Vatican has temporarily suspended licensed tours of St. Peter's Basilica, your guide will take you to the Pio-Clementino Museum where you'll see three of the most iconic statues in the world. Learn about the myths and legends associated with the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons, and the Belvedere Torso. You'll also visit one of the biggest and oldest bathtubs you'll ever see, which is impossible to recreate—even today!

What you get with this tour
Skip the Line
Vatican tickets included
English-Speaking Guide
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277 total reviews

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4.9/5 (based on 277 reviews)
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1 stars
First Visit to Vatican
25 May 2022
Reviewed by

Sarah made out visit to the Vatican and Sistine Chapel memorable. She is very knowledgeable and approachable. Will definitely recommend this tour.

Great tour, still very crowded
30 April 2022
D
Reviewed by
Dana Schack

We had an excellent guide, it was worth skipping lines but the museum was still very crowded,

Great tour
16 March 2022
S
Reviewed by
Stephen Ale

Our tour was great. Raffe was so knowledgeable and packed the tour with information. The tour was even better than I had hoped for.

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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?

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, it's possible, though you may find the experience lacking. But you can click here for skip the line Vatican tickets.

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

If you have any doubts 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.

Does the tour go inside at 8:00 am without waiting in any lines?

Our customers do not have to wait in the general ticket line, but every person in line must go through security first. For this reason, we leave the meeting point as early as possible and get in the faster security line reserved for tour operators. The doors open for us at 8:00 am, an hour before the general public.

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. As of June 23rd, 2021, the Vatican has closed the "licensed guide entrance" to St. Peter’s Basilica for all tour companies and tour guides. However, you can visit the basilica on your own after the guided tour.

What to bring?

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.

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.

Total: $97.15

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