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Vatican City Tours

Our most recommended Vatican City Tours

Rome: Turning the Lights on at the Vatican Museums

1. Rome: Turning the Lights on at the Vatican Museums

Almost every morning for the past decade, Gianni has led the team with the massive task of opening up the 24 interconnected galleries, museums, and chapels that make up the Vatican Museums. With a small group, join him on his morning routine to open the doors to some of the world’s most renowned artworks. Hear the sounds of the ancient locks turning as you hold the keys, and see the historic rooms go from dark to light as you flick the switch. Discover the Vatican Museums and their treasures in a way no other visitor can. As you explore, listen to Gianni’s experiences and anecdotes of his time as head clavigero, as well as the stories behind some of the 20,000 pieces on display. In the calmness of dawn, you'll have the chance to see the most impressive spaces, as well as those not open to the public. After your tour, head to the Cortile della Pigna to tuck into a delicious breakfast consisting of a croissant or pain au chocolat, pancakes with peanut butter or marmalade, an orange or apple juice, and a tea or coffee.

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour with St. Peter's

2. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour with St. Peter's

Discover the art collection inside the Vatican Museums on a tour with an art historian guide, with an optional entry to Castle Gandolfo and skip-the-line access to St Peter's Basilica for visits before lunchtime. Walk through the galleries and admire masterpieces by Michelangelo inside the Sistine Chapel.  Meet your guide, an art historian who will tell you all about the masterpieces you will be encountering. Hear fascinating facts and stories as you visit the Gallery of the Maps, the Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Candelabra. Round off the tour with by encountering the marvels of the Sistine Chapel, complete with frescoes by Michelangelo. Be awed by coming face-to-face with Michelangelo’s most famous artwork: The Last Judgement. On tours before 2:30 PM, take advantage of skip-the-line access to St. Peter's Basilica. You can also make the most of your experience by taking advantage of additional entry to Castle Gandolfo (if option selected).

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica Tour

3. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica Tour

Take a tour of one of the holiest sites in Christendom on this guided walking tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. First, visit the Pine Courtyard, Belvedere Courtyard, the Gallery of the Maps, Candelabra Gallery, Pio Clementino's Rooms, the Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms (only on early morning tours), and the Sistine Chapel. Then, be led by an expert guide to some of the major attractions, as well as to some lesser-known spots that other tourists often miss. You will also get to see other galleries of the Vatican corridors. Finally, visit Michelangelo's Pietà at St. Peter's Basilica before concludig your tour at the Sistine Chapel.

Vatican City: Sistine Chapel Tour with Basilica Access

4. Vatican City: Sistine Chapel Tour with Basilica Access

Enter the Vatican Museums without the wait on this skip-the-line tour of the Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Raphael Rooms. Admire masterpieces by Michelangelo and Raphael and learn from an official tour guide. Skip the lines for faster entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel and become an expert in the history of the art and culture on display as you listen to your tour guide and your audio headsets. See the marvelous artwork of Raphael and Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, Giotto, Leonardo, and Caravaggio in the Pinacoteca, and van Gogh, Matisse, and Moore in the area dedicated to contemporary art.  Encounter the greatest masterpieces of classical antiquity, visit the Etruscan and Egyptian Museums with collections that span centuries, and see the non-European collections in the Ethnological Museum.

Rome: Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter Tour

5. Rome: Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter Tour

Be led behind the doors of Catholicism in the holy Vatican City on an early entry walking tour. Avoid crowds and lines and experience the Vatican with the comfort of a very small group. Go on a journey made of mesmerizing history, breathtaking masterpieces, and mysticism led by an expert in art and religion. Enjoy your skip-the-line entrance and follow a tour guide on a visit to the Vatican Museum, a chest of countless masterpieces including the astonishing gallery of statues, the interesting gallery of maps, the gallery of tapestries, and the Raphaels rooms. Learn about the great artists who helped to intricately embellish one of the most fascinating sovereign states in the world. Enter the Sistine Chapel and lift your head up to one of the most admired ceilings in the world. Immerse yourself in The Last Judgment, the seemingly never-ending fresco magnificently adorned by Michelangelo’s life-like, potent figures of Adam, God, and many saints. Try to spot the artist’s self-portrait on the torso of Saint Peter. Explore the inside of St. Peter’s Basilica. Marvel at the incredible mosaics, Michelangelo’s Pietà, and Bernini’s Baldachin in all their glory.

Rome: Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb

6. Rome: Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb

Join a private or shared guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica and experience this iconic attraction. Start your tour by climbing the stairs to the top of the dome. Contemplate the interior mosaics of the dome up close while your guide shares stories about the history of this Renaissance-style church. Continue your climb to the very top of the dome and reach the viewing deck. Marvel at the striking views of St. Peter's Square and the Vatican Gardens from above. Admire Rome from a height of 136 meters, and spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Castel Sant'Angelo, and other historic sites. From here, descend directly into the Basilica, skipping the long lines outside. Marvel at the magnificent interior and learn why the church took 150 years to rebuild. Discover the colorful marbles, golden ceilings, and the impressive Michelangelo's Pietà.

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Tour

7. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Tour

Discover some of the most popular attractions in Rome on a guided walking tour of Vatican City. Visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica with your guide, and admire the ornate interiors and the famed artworks housed here. Meet your guide close to the entrance to the Vatican Museums and follow them as you set out to explore the most interesting galleries within the museum. See the Rotunda, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Gallery of Maps. Take in the ornate ceilings in each room and see the ancient statues, frescoes, and tapestries that adorn the walls. Then, enter the Sistine Chapel and marvel at the intricate fresco that covers the entire ceiling and walls. Painted by Michaelangelo between 1508 and 1512, the Sistine Chapel represents a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. From the Creation of Adam to the Last Judgement, Michelangelo dedicated some of his greatest years to the Sistine Chapel, working day and night – even sleeping in the chapel – to satisfy the popes of Rome. The artist also expressed his frustration through hidden meanings in his work, which have since been uncovered and deciphered. Listen as your guide lets you in on Michelangelo's private jokes. Finally, head to St. Peter's Basilica for the final leg of your guided walking tour. The cathedral is one of the most renowned works of Renaissance architecture and holds the title of the biggest church in the world. Explore the interior of this magnificent structure with your guide and discover the many masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque art that fill the cathedral. Admire the famous Pietà by Michelangelo and the elaborate St. Peter's Baldachin by Bernini. Your tour comes to an end outside the cathedral. From here, feel free to wander around Saint Peter's Square or visit the nearby Castel Sant'Angelo on your own. 

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Ticket-Line Tour

8. Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Ticket-Line Tour

Take a 3-hour guided tour of the holiest site in Christendom on a guided walking tour of the Vatican Museums including a comprehensive visit to the Sistine Chapel. With exclusive skip-the-ticket-line access through the Vatican Museums partners' entrance, save the long wait in the lines that usually form outside one of the world’s most popular attractions. Considered one of the most important places in the history of human civilization, start your tour at the museum to see the important collections of art that various popes have acquired throughout the centuries. Look out for renowned sculptures and masterpieces of Renaissance art. Feel the weight of history and get a sense of the sacred as you spy paintings by Raphael, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Michelangelo, including his masterwork in the Sistine Chapel.

Rome: St. Peter’s Basilica, Dome Climb, and Underground Tour

9. Rome: St. Peter’s Basilica, Dome Climb, and Underground Tour

Experience St. Peter's Basilica from the top of the dome and admire views of the Vatican and Rome. Follow your guide to see the dome's interior and the Vatican crypts. Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square, then head up to the first level of the dome to the viewing balcony. Admire the array of incredible mosaics depicting the saints, the magnificent Latin scripts which circle the dome, and the top of Bernini’s 3-story canopy below. Listen to your guide share facts and stories about the history of the dome, and everything you need to know about the Dome’s artists and Renaissance splendor. From the first level, take the spiral staircase to the top of the dome and enjoy some free time to explore at your own pace. Then head above the double structure of the dome and pass by windows that give a tantalizing glimpse of the Vatican rooftops below. After 320 steps find yourself on the viewing platform 448 feet above the basilica floor. From the highest point within the Vatican, admire breathtaking and panoramic views of the city, including the Vatican Gardens below. Looking into the distance, you can also marvel at the monuments of ancient Rome, including the Colosseum and the Pantheon. The only point above you is the cross containing the timbers from the True Cross. When you leave the dome there is no need to line up again to get inside the basilica, the stairs bring you directly down to the basilica floor so you can avoid the long lines which you’ll have seen growing across St. Peter’s Square from the top. With your guide, navigate through the basilica, admiring the array of statues, chapels, and pilgrim sites located here, before descending to the underground crypts. Here, you can see where hundreds of popes and members of royalty have been buried since the 11th century.

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica Tour

10. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica Tour

Discover the Vatican Museums on this guided tour with skip-the-line guaranteed. Visit St. Peter's Basilica and marvel at the works of Michelangelo and Bernini. Begin your guided walking tour at the Vatican Museums, with their immense collection built by the Popes throughout the centuries, and discover one of the world's most remarkable art collections. See the Pio Clementino Hall, the Laocoon and Apollo Belvedere. Marvel at works by ancient cartographers in the Gallery of Maps and wander the Candelabra Gallery and the Gallery of Tapestries to see Flemish works by pupils of Raphael. Go inside the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo's legendary frescoes. From the Museum, exit directly into St. Peter's Basilica, the most important Christian church in the world, where you will admire, among others, Michelangelo's masterpiece the Pietà and the impressive Baldachin Altar by Bernini. The tour ends in St. Peter's Square, dominated by Michelangelo's imposing Cupola and surrounded by the famous Bernini's double Colonnade.   

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What people are saying about Vatican City

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 69,637 reviews

Marzi was exceptional. She was very detailed in her description of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, and St. Peter's. Her discussion on "The Ceiling", "The Last Judgement", and "The Sistine Chapel" was excellent. We really enjoyed the detailed discussion she provided. Good work!

Amazing experience with amazing guide! Vatican is a beautiful place full of history, but definitely needs a good guide, otherwise you will miss all the cheeries on the cake.

Deborah was fantastic. The best tour guide we had all weekend in Rome. Knowledgable, in control, took us to all the best parts. Couldn’t have asked for better. Perfect!

It was an amazing experience. Our guide was Marianne and she was fantastic. She had a ton of great information and was a very fun guide.

Our Guide, Lindsy(?) from Netherlands was amazing and very passionate about the tour and content and stories etc.