Alone at the Vatican: Private After Hours Tour

Experience the quiet of the Sistine Chapel without the crowds after your tailored tour

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 9 Reviews · 2.00h · Vatican, Italy

Looking for the ultimate VIP private Vatican experience? This exclusive Vatican after-hours tour was made for you! After the crowds have left and as the night draws in, join a passionate Vatican guide for a journey through the incredible Vatican Museums and an intimate private viewing of the iconic Sistine Chapel. This highly sought-after, behind-the-scenes private Vatican tour can get booked up over six months in advance, so don’t wait to secure this unique experience for your Rome vacation!

  • Skip the Line
  • Intimate after-hours Vatican experience
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Belvedere Torso
  • Round Hall
  • Laocoön and His Sons
  • Gallery of Candelabras
  • Gallery of the Tapestries
  • Gallery of the Maps
  • Raphael Rooms
  • School of Athens
  • Bramante Staircase
  • Sistine Chapel
  • The Last Judgement

Don’t miss out on this rare and exclusive private Vatican tour. When we say skip the crowds, we mean it! Join your own dedicated private guide as a Vatican VIP and enjoy the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel all to yourself after the museums close.

You'll be picked up from your Rome accommodation by a private driver in the early evening, and after passing through a short security line at the Vatican Museums, you'll set off on a tailored private guided tour that lets you experience the famous galleries and incredible Vatican artwork with no crowds. To top things off, you'll enjoy an intimate private viewing of Michelangelo's spectacular Sistine Chapel that'll stay in your memory forever.

At the end of your tour, your driver will be waiting to take you back to your accommodation or to a location of your choice in central Rome.

Private After-Hours Vatican Tour Description

Your 2-hour VIP private Vatican tour includes:

  • Private luxury return transfer from your Rome accommodation

  • Exclusive after-hours access to the Vatican City

  • Tailored private tour of the Vatican Museums and Galleries with no crowds

  • Raphael Rooms, Borgia Apartments, and much more

  • An intimate private viewing of the Sistine Chapel

  • A private English-speaking guide with expertise in art history

This ultra-exclusive Vatican tour books up months in advance, so please contact us to inquire so we can contact the Vatican and confirm availability.

Private Luxury Round-Trip Transportation

To make this private Vatican evening/night tour even better, we arrange private transportation to and from the meeting point in a luxury climate-controlled vehicle. After the tour, when you’re finished marveling at the priceless artwork inside the Vatican, your private driver will drop you off at your hotel or at a nice restaurant.

Please reach out to our Travel Experts to confirm your pick-up details so we can be sure travel arrangements are ready.

The Pinecone Courtyard

Named for the giant pinecone that adorns this large and beautiful outdoor space, the Pinecone Courtyard was designed by Donato Bramante. Catch an amazing view of St. Peter’s Dome and take note of the giant fractured sphere sculpture by Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro. One interpretation of the sculpture is that the spheres represent the complexity of our world and how easily it is torn apart. Originally part of the Cortile del Belvedere, the Pinecone Courtyard once connected the palace of Pope Innocent VIII with the Sistine Chapel.

Pio-Clementino Museum and Nero’s Bathtub

Your Vatican Museums private tour begins with a visit 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!

The Vatican’s Best Collections

With no crowds to navigate your way through, you'll follow your guide on a peaceful journey through 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. 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 was one of Rome’s most famous Renaissance artists. In constant competition with Michelangelo, he designed and frescoed many rooms associated with the Vatican Museums. Among other masterpieces, visit one of Raphael’s most famous works of art, The School of Athens. A depiction of philosophy, the painting represents all the greatest mathematicians, philosophers and scientists sharing ideas with one another. In an early version of a selfie, Raphael included himself into the painting! Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, engaged in dialogue, take center stage in the masterpiece.

Pope Alexander VI and the Borgia Apartments

A suite of rooms in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, the Borgia Apartments were adapted for personal use by Pope Alexander VI (Rodrígo de Borgia, 1492-1503). Frescoed by Bernardino di Betto, known as "il Pinturicchio", it was closed off by Julius II who refused to live in rooms sullied by his hated predecessor. Until the rooms’ reopening at the end of the 19th century, the incredible frescoes were hidden behind black crepe. You'll love your chance to see these amazing apartments.

The Sistine Chapel After Hours

If you’ve ever visited the Sistine Chapel during normal opening hours, you know how crowded it gets. Going on this exclusive Vatican after-hours tour is the perfect solution. Your private tour concludes in the Sistine Chapel, and you can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime viewing of Michelangelo’s frescoes with the chapel all to yourself!

Only when you enter the Sistine Chapel is it clear how high the ceiling is and how many frescoes there are. At this point, it is impossible not to appreciate how difficult is must have been for Michelangelo to lay on his back and toil at the masterpiece, year after year.

The Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, so visitors are not allowed to speak inside the chapel. Your guide will explain what you'll see in advance and provide you with a map or handout for reference before you enter. Men and women must cover their knees and shoulders before entering, so it's recommended to bring a shawl, scarf, or sweater you can quickly put on.

What you get with this tour
Private luxury return transfer from your Rome accommodation
Exclusive after-hours access to the Vatican City
Tailored private tour of the Vatican Museums and Galleries with no crowds
Raphael Rooms, Borgia Apartments, and much more
An intimate private viewing of the Sistine Chapel
A private English-speaking guide with expertise in art history
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9 total reviews

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5.0/5 (based on 9 reviews)
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Exceeded all expectations!!!
04 April 2023
Reviewed by
Christopher Scalese

Our Vatican tour today exceeded all expectations!!! Not only were we escorted by our guide, but also by 2 Vatican guards. These “keepers of the keys” allowed us to unlock all the doors of the Vatican museums. This process continued until it concluded with me unlocking the entrance to the Sistine Chapel!! I’m still getting emotional as I write this, Wow!! Even our guide was excited about this tour as she said she never had hosted an early tour before. She was happy to also be able to narrate to us inside the Sistine Chapel as speaking is always forbidden. I was initially hesitant about spending so much money for this tour, but now I almost feel like we got a bargain for what we paid. Thank you so much for arranging this!

Super Exclusive
29 September 2019
Reviewed by
Unverified Review

Although this tour has a hefty price tag, we truly had VIP treatment with exclusive access to the Museums and Sistine Chapel. It was just us in there and it was absolutely breathtaking! What I learned on the tour I'll have with me forever and the personalized attention really made my experience there above and beyond.

16 August 2019
Reviewed by
Unverified Review

We were planning a trip for our anniversary and we're so glad we planned well ahead, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to do this tour. It was amazing. Definitely the most VIP experience we had while in Rome and easily the best tour we've ever been on.

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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, even in the evening

Does this tour include St. Peter's Basilica?

St. Peter's is not included on this private Vatican Museums tour because it's closed at night. Sorry, it's not up to us! You'll still have a wonderful close-up view of the exterior from the terrace.

Does the tour go directly inside without waiting in any line?

As an accredited tour operator we do not have to wait in the general ticket line, but we still have to pass through a short security line.

What is the dress code at the Vatican?

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 up when necessary.

I have some doubts about my mobility. Is this tour right for me?

If you have any doubts about your mobility, this is your best bet for an after-hours Vatican tour. Private Vatican tours are are more easily customized to the needs of people with reduced-mobility.

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

Although it is rare, sometimes part of the Vatican closes with little notice. If an area normally covered on a tour is closed, your guide will be sure to make up the time in other areas.

How much advance notice do you need in order to book?

We are granted special access to the Vatican Museums. However, after-hours access often needs to be arranged months in advance. Please contact us if you're interested in booking and we will contact the Vatican for availability.

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, even in the evening

Is photography allowed in the Sistine Chapel?

No, the Vatican requests that no photos or videos be taken inside the Sistine Chapel.

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