Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Private Tour
Private Skip the Line Vatican Tour
This is the best Vatican tour for a couples, family groups, friends or solo travelers who want the luxury of having a professional Vatican guide all to themselves. Skip the Line tickets Included!
What you get with this tour
What you will see on this tour
- Vatican Museums
- Laocoön and His Sons
- Gallery of the Maps
- Gallery of Tapestries
- Gallery of the Candelabra
- Raphael Rooms
- Sistine Chapel
- St. Peter's Basilica
- La Pietà
Our private Vatican tour lets you skip the lines and tour the best collections with your own personal guide. Experience the highlights of the Vatican Museums including the Candelabra Gallery, Gallery of the Tapestries, Gallery of the Maps, Raphael Rooms and Borgia Apartments. Visit Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and finish up with a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica. With multiple start times, choose between a private morning or afternoon Vatican tour. This 3-hour tour includes:
- - Skip the line Vatican tickets
- - A private English-speaking guide with expertise in art history
- - A guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica
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. Please note that 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 do leave the tour, remember to return your headset to the tour guide.
The Main Galleries of the Vatican Museums
After meeting your private guide, your Vatican Museums tour begins. 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. Usually, this queue is short, but sometimes during high season, there may be delays. While you wait, your guide starts the Vatican tour with an explanation of some key facts about the museum’s treasures. Once inside, visit the Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries and our personal favorite, the Gallery of the Maps.
Inside the Gallery of the Maps, the frescoes upon the walls provide valuable insight into how Renaissance Italians viewed their surroundings. Predating unified Italy by almost 300 years, the frescoes show the geography of the Italian peninsula circa 1580. Based on drawings by famous geographer Ignazio Danti, the maps were painted between 1580 and 1585. One of the most opulent and impressive corridors in the Vatican Museums, this collection extends for 120 meters.
Raphael Rooms - The School of Athens
In constant competition with Michelangelo, Renaissance painter Raphael designed and frescoed multiple rooms connected to the Vatican Museums. On this private Vatican tour, Among other masterpieces, visit The School of Athens. The celebrated painting represents all the greatest mathematicians, philosophers and scientists gathered together and sharing ideas. In an early version of a selfie, Raphael included himself in the painting!
The Borgia Apartments are comprised of a suite of rooms in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. They were created for personal use by Pope Alexander VI (Rodrígo de Borgia, 1492-1503) and frescoed by early Renaissance artist Bernardino di Betto, nicknamed “Pinturicchio".This apartment suite was closed off by Julius II, who refused to live in rooms once occupied by his despised predecessor. Until the room’s reopening at the end of the 19th century, the dynamic frescoes were covered in black crepe.
Witness the Sistine Chapel in Person
Since the chapel is inside the Vatican Museums, entrance is included in your Vatican tour. Now that Michelangelo’s masterpiece is restored, every detail and color in the treasured work of art is visible and splendid to behold. Since the Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, speaking inside is not allowed. Since our guide cannot explain the frescoes while you are inside, we provide you with a map/handout for reference before you enter.
Please Note: the Sistine Chapel is a sacred place, 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 - a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.
Private St. Peter’s Basilica Tour
St. Peter's Basilica is a massive church filled with artwork from some of the most celebrated artists in history. On this private Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica tour, skip the long lines snaking their way through St. Peter’s Square and enter through a special door by way of the Sistine Chapel into the most palatial church in the world. Once inside, admire masterpieces that include 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 will floor you.
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 will have to forgo 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?
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?
Cover your knees and shoulders, there's no need to dress like the people who live in Vatican City, just avoid short pants, dresses and tank tops. If you're a woman and you are wearing something that bares your shoulders, bring a long a shall or sweater. Comfortable shoes are always recommended for walking tours.
Q: Does this tour always include St. Peter's Basilica?
A: Yes, St. Peter's is always included on this private Vatican Museums tour.
Q: Does the tour go directly inside without waiting in any line?
A: 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 the security line reserved for tour operators.
Q: What are the chances my tour will be canceled or the Vatican will close something.
A: 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.
Q: I have some doubts about my mobility. Is this tour right for me?
A: If you have any doubts about your mobility, this is your best bet for a Vatican tour. Private Vatican tours are more easily customized to the needs of people with reduced mobility.
Q: What is the dress code at the Vatican?
A: Cover your knees and shoulders, there's no need to dress like the people who live in Vatican City, just avoid short pants, dresses and tank tops. If you're a woman and you are wearing something that bares your shoulders, bring along a shall or sweater.
See what people are saying
18 total reviewsLeave a review
Amazing private tour
I took my mother on this tour and we had an amazing time! Our guide was clearly an expert and kept us interested and made sure to take routes that were easy on my mom's knees. Thank you so much for a great time!
Expert Knowledge for a World-Famous Attraction
Our family of 4 had an extraordinary trip. Three hours went by very quickly as we learned not only about the history of the Vatican and its treasures, but also the influences of those who built the art, sculpture, and architecture of these incredible places. Our tour guide, Alessandro, was superb. This was well worth the money.
Thank you Maura for this great experience.
First day in Rome .. we had a great private tour of the Vatican City with a great tour guide .. Maura. An intelligent, upbeat and pleasant tour guide who gave us a concise and interesting set of info for the Vatican City. Thank you once more and keep up I doing such a great Job. The group of nine. Cheers Maura