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

Travel Flexibly 4.9 / 5 See All 423 Reviews · 3.00h 20 max · Vatican, Italy

Looking for a skip-the-line Vatican tour but can't find a start time that works for you? This is one of our most popular Vatican tours, with several start times throughout the day and at a great price! It's ideal for travelers who prefer tours later in the day but still want a fun, comprehensive Vatican experience with a super-knowledgeable guide. This small group tour covers all the must-see attractions such as the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, and St. Peter's Basilica.

Tour Details
  • Skip the line Vatican tickets
  • Views of St. Peters
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Pio-Clementino
  • Laocoön and His Sons
  • Nero’s Bath
  • Gallery of Candelabra
  • Galley of Tapestries
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Borgia Apartments
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St Peter’s Basilica
  • La Pietá
  • Baldacchino By Bernini

You'll begin your tour by meeting your local guide at the top of the stairs outside of Caffé Vaticano, which is across from the Vatican Museums. With your skip-the-line access, you'll walk past the long line of tourists and enjoy faster entry through security, even if you've booked an afternoon tour. With a small group and an expert local guide to keep you informed and entertained, you'll see all the top highlights of the Vatican from the Gallery of Maps to Nero's Bath and the glorious Sistine Chapel.

Skip-the-Line Vatican Tour Description

Your 3-hour tour includes:

  • Skip-the-line tickets to the Vatican Museums

  • Pio Clementino and the best of the Vatican's galleries

  • Raphael Rooms and Borgia Apartments

  • Silent tour of the Sistine Chapel

  • Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica

  • A passionate, English-speaking guide

  • A maximum group size of 20

  • Available entry times in the morning and afternoon

Pio-Clementino Museum and Nero's Bath

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!

Popular Vatican Galleries

Your guide will lead you on through the Vatican Museums, visiting 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 and 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.

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. As 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.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

One of the top things to do in Vatican City is visiting the 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, so they'll provide you with a map/handout for reference before you enter.

To enter the Sistine Chapel, both men and women must cover their 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.

St. Peter's Basilica

After your time in the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, you'll walk through a passageway that allows you to bypass the ticket lines and enter St. Peter's Basilica more quickly. Here, you'll be awestruck as your guide leads you around 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 tickets to the Vatican Museums
Pio Clementino and the best of the Vatican's galleries
Raphael Rooms and Borgia Apartments
Silent tour of the Sistine Chapel
Guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica
A passionate, English-speaking guide
A maximum group size of 20
Available entry times in the morning and afternoon
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4.9/5 (based on 423 reviews)
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Excellent Vatican Tour with Laura
25 September 2022
L
Reviewed by
Lynette Lazenby

Thank you so much for the last minute accommodations. Our guide, Laura, made us feel like family as she guided us through the Vatican, and thoughtfully answered questions. While the Vatican was crowded, she never lost sight of her charges. Highly recommend!!

25 September 2022
V
Reviewed by
Victoria Goins

Skip the Line Vatican Tour
25 September 2022
E
Reviewed by
Emilie Smith Reid

Laura was amazing! It was so helpful to have a timed visit and a wonderful, knowledgeable and funny guide. Our group had so much fun we took photos and went out together afterwards! Do this one!

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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?

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.

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

Yes, it's possible, though the information and guidance you get with a tour is certainly worth considering. If you'd rather explore independently then 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 concerns about your mobility, we suggest taking a Vatican Private Tour so your needs can be better accommodated.

Does the Vatican ever experience unexpected 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.

Will the Vatican Museums be crowded during this tour?

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

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.

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.

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.

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: as low as $51.61

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Reserve Now $60.72 as low as $51.61
$60.72 as low as $51.61
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