Private Skip the Line Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and St Peter's Basilica Tour

A tailored Vatican experience for those who prefer to explore with a private guide

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 38 Reviews · 3.50h custom · Vatican, Italy

Experience the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica with a private guide with expertise in art history. Let us create a memorable experience for you as your knowledgeable guide tells you insightful anecdotes that will make you laugh and be in awe at the amazing history that this museum possesses. Ask all the questions you want. Admission Included.

Tour Details
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Vatican Museums
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Gallery of the Candelabra
  • Gallery of the Tapestries
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Borgia Apartments
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Baldacchino by Bernini
  • La Pietà by Michelangelo
  • Michelangelo's Masterpiece

Our pre-opening Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica private tour starts at 8 am so you can enter the Vatican Museums at 8:30 am (30 minutes earlier than general public access). Witness the jaw-dropping Sistine Chapel before the masses stream in. As one of our most popular Rome and Vatican City tours, this 3.5-hour Vatican tour includes:

  • A memorable experience with insightful anecdotes

  • Skip the line Vatican tickets

  • Entry before the general public

  • A Private, English-speaking guide

  • Skip the line entrance to St. Peter's Basilica (except on Wednesdays)

Pio-Clementino Museum and Nero’s Bathtub

If you take this tour on a Wednesday, St. Peter's Basilica is substituted 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, which is impossible to recreate, even today!

The Best Galleries at the Vatican

Led by our fun and knowledgeable guide, visit our 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 and based on painted topographical maps of Italy, the Gallery of the Maps is one of the coolest places in the Vatican Museums.

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. Among many of his famous works, discover the School of Athens.

The Sistine Chapel

One of the top things to do in Vatican City is visiting the Sistine Chapel. Therefore after your skip-the-line access, your first stop is a visit to 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. This is also where new popes are elected.

Since you are not allowed to speak in the chapel, your expert guide will explain the chapel to you fully outside before entering. Your guide will bring alive the amazing stories of Michelangelo and his trials in tribulations in creating this Renaissance marvel.

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 - a great alternative is to bring a shawl/sweater to wrap around you when necessary.

St. Peters Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica is the grand centerpiece of the Vatican. Walk into the biggest church you've ever seen, filled with artwork from all the famous Italian artists. Skip the lines as you access the Basilica from the inside, through a special side entrance our guides can use. Once inside, admire masterpieces that include the Baldacchino, La Pietá, the statue of St. Peter, and more. While it is free to enter, this guided tour helps you make the most of it, without suffering the long lines.

Please note that the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's are sacred places, 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.

What you get with this tour
Enter an Hour Before General Opening
Private English-Speaking Local Guide
Experience the Sistine Chapel with Few Crowds
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See what people are saying

38 total reviews

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5.0/5 (based on 38 reviews)
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 stars
Excellent Tour
22 September 2022
C
Reviewed by
Carolina Ming-lai Lam

Manuela is exceptional. Speaks perfect English and is very knowledgeable. She is attentive to our needs. Excellent experience.

17 September 2022
B
Reviewed by
Beth Stroud

Private Vatican tour
16 September 2022
A
Reviewed by
Anne MacDonald

Manuela S expertly navigated us through the throngs of tourists and showed us all the glorious works of art and history of this magnificent place. Highly recommend and big thank you to Manuela S for her kind and thorough guidance.

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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?

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 shawl or sweater. Comfortable shoes are always recommended for walking tours.

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 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.

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

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.

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

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. The doors open for us at 8:30 am, 30 minutes before the general public.

Does this tour always include St. Peter's Basilica?

St. Peter's Basilica is closed on Wednesday mornings due to the papal audience. We still run the tour bc it might be your only day in Rome! Instead, we visit some of the most iconic statues in the world and Emperor Nero's enormous marble bathtub.

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 shawl or sweater. Comfortable shoes are always recommended for walking tours.

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.

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 a Vatican tour. Private Vatican tours are more easily customized to the needs of people with reduced mobility.

$49.46 per adult
+ $257.36 base price
Total: $306.82

available days discounted days

Reserve Now $49.46 / per person
$49.46 / per person
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