Skip the Line Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

Visit the Vatican Museums with many start times per day

4.9 / 5 See All 107 Reviews · 3.0h 18 max · Rome, Italy

While most other skip the line Vatican tours are in the morning, this tour offers multiple start times throughout the day to give you the flexibility you deserve on vacation.

Included

What you get with this tour

Skip the Line
English-speaking guide
Vatican tickets included
Itinerary

What you will see on this tour

  • Skip the Line Vatican Tickets
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Pio-Clementino Museum
  • Laocoön and His Sons
  • Nero's Bath
  • Gallery of the Candelabra
  • Gallery of the Tapestries
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Borgia Apartments
  • Sistine Chapel Tour
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Baldacchino by Bernini
  • La Pietà by Michelangelo
  • St. Peter's Square

Visit the highlights of the Vatican (and some hidden gems) with a friendly art history expert. With multiple start times, skip the regular entrance line* and take this tour as an afternoon or morning Vatican tour. Like all our Rome tours, this experience is led by a friendly, English-speaking guide.

  • A local English-speaking professional guide
  • Skip the line Vatican tickets
  • A guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica
  • Both morning and afternoon start times
  • A maximum Group Size of 18

Want to skip the line at the Vatican without having a guided tour? Click here for skip the line Vatican tickets.

COMPARE ALL VATICAN TOURS

*Short delays at the security check may occur during the busiest months, June and July. We do, however, have a team of experts at the Vatican every morning to help our groups avoid delays as much as possible. 

Important! If you wish to stay in the Vatican Museums toward the end of your tour, you must forgo the guided visit of St. Peter’s Basilica. If you choose to do this, you’ll lose the chance to use the special entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica from the Sistine Chapel and skip the lines with your guide. If you decide to leave the tour early, remember to return your headset to the tour guide. 

Nero's Bath and Octagonal Courtyard 

Visit the Pio-Clementino Museum, home to the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons and the Belvedere Torso. Learn about the myths and legends associated with these iconic statues, before visiting a 25ft red marble bathtub. Believed to have belonged to Emperor Nero, the massive tub is made from a red marble so rare and precious there’s no way to recreate it again.

Highlights of the Vatican

Explore the Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries and our personal favorite, the Gallery of the Maps. Based on painted topographical maps of Italy by Dominican Italian friar Ignazio Danti, the Gallery of Maps is both beautiful and informative. The painted frescoes reveal how Renaissance Italians saw themselves in terms of geography. Predating a unified Italy by nearly 300 years, the Gallery of Maps shows the length and breadth of the peninsula circa 1580. See if you can spot the sea monster in one of the maps.

Borgia Apartments

Downstairs from the Raphael Rooms and once occupied by Borgia Pope Alexander VI, these private chambers were frescoed by early Renaissance artist Pinturicchio. A co-pupil of Raphael’s under master Perugino, Pinturicchio had a penchant for embedding fake jewels and other three dimensional objects like metal saddle studs in his frescoes. The Borgia Apartments also contain another hidden gem - the first European depiction of Native Americans.

Raphael - The School of Athens

Raphael is the epitome of a Renaissance artist. In the period of European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages, a great period of revival in art, literature and thought occurred. Raphael encompassed the ideals of a Renaissance man and frescoed multiple rooms inside of the Vatican Museums. Among other masterpieces, see one of Raphael’s most famous works of art, The School of Athens.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

Only when you are inside, is it clear why the Sistine Chapel is one of the most celebrated works of art in Western civilization. Michelangelo painted more than 600 figures in all, and the sheer magnitude of his endeavor is mind-blowing. Since the Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, speaking inside is not allowed. Your guide cannot explain the frescoes while you are inside - we provide you with a map/handout for reference before you enter. 

Please note: In order to enter the Sistine Chapel, both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry to this portion of your Vatican tour. We understand the summers in Rome are hot - a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

Reserved Entrance St. Peter’s Basilica

The last stop on this Vatican tour is St. Peter’s Basilica. The massive church, the size of two American football fields, is filled with artwork from some of the most celebrated artists in history. Enter through a special door and skip the lines to access the most opulent church in the world. Once inside, admire masterpieces that include the Baldacchino, La Pietà, the statue of St. Peter and so much more. 

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 guided tour of the 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 stay inside St. Peter’s and explore on your own after the tour concludes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

In front of Caffé Vaticano on Viale Vaticano, 100. This is across the street from the Vatican Museum Entrance. A representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.

What to bring?

The Vatican dress code dictates you cover your knees and shoulders. If you do not meet the dress code, you may be denied entry! No need to dress like the people living there, covering your knees and shoulders is sufficient. Wear comfortable shoes.

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

A: 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. 

Q: Will the Vatican Museums be crowded during this tour?

A: The Vatican is often slow in the late afternoon, but there is a chance the museums may be crowded while we are inside.

Q: Does the Vatican ever experience unexpected closures?

A: During State visits or special religious events, parts of the Vatican may be closed unexpectedly. 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. What do you suggest?

A: If you have any doubts about your mobility, we strongly suggest you take a Vatican Private Tour.

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

A: Of course. Click here for skip the line Vatican tickets.

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107 total reviews

Leave a review
9/8/2019
Nadia W.
Vatican Tour

The Vatican tour was incredible. The tour guide was so knowledgeable and informative, it would be hard to imagine seeing this amazing place without her. The background and insight into the tour was amazing, it really brought this place to life. Understanding the history, politics and people really allows you to immerse yourself in the experience. You certainly can see the Vatican without The Roman Guy, but why would you want to?

8/26/2019
Nicole I
Thanks Alex for a great tour!

The Vatican is veryyy crowded and extremely hot (barely any AC throughout the venue) so please be prepared if you plan on visiting. Also, there is no sitting on the tour, so please be prepared! However, Alex was awesome! So nice and kind and really explains the stories of the Vatican and makes all of its puzzle pieces come together on his tour. Thanks for a great experience!

8/21/2019
J W
Outstanding Service - Above & Beyond! - Total 10 Stars!!!

Our party of 4 women scheduled a skip the line Vatican tour with the Sistine Chapel & St. Peters. Our tour guide Raffiella was friendly and knowledgeable! When one of our friends got separated from the tour because of the crowds, this company went above and beyond communicating with our tour guide and our "missing" friend in order to facilitate a meet up place within the Vatican. We cannot express enough our appreciation for the service they provided in reuniting us!!!

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