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Vatican City
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skiptheline vatican sistine chapel st. peter’s tour

Skip-the-Line Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Tour

Duration: 2.5 hours
2810 Reviews
GetYourGuide Original
2810

Immerse yourself in the Vatican's awe-inspiring art with no-wait access to the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, and more.

Vatican City: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in Vatican City

Top sights in Rome

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What is the Vatican City?

Vatican City – everyone’s heard about it, but what is it exactly? Is it a part of Rome, is it independent, are only priests allowed in? There are a lot of mysteries and misconceptions surrounding Vatican City, so here are 5 fascinating facts.

The Smallest Country in the World

The Smallest Country in the World

With a tiny population of 842 and an area of 110 acres (roughly an eighth of New York’s Central Park), Vatican City is the world's smallest independent nation-state.

An Economy without Trade or Taxes

An Economy without Trade or Taxes

As a completely non-commercial economy, all of Vatican City’s money comes from donations, museum admission fees and the sale of postage stamps, books and tourist souvenirs.

A Veritable Culture Treasure Trove

A Veritable Culture Treasure Trove

Featuring the world-famous Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City is a highly popular tourist destination, attracting over 4 million visitors yearly.

The Pope Has a Secret Escape Tunnel
Photo: Raja Patnaik @wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Pope Has a Secret Escape Tunnel

In 1277, a secret passageway was built between the Vatican City and the nearby fortified castle Castel Sant’Angelo, providing an escape route for the pope if the city was attacked.

Those are Not Harlequins

Those are Not Harlequins

The colorfully dressed men standing in front of the city’s entrances are the famous Swiss Guards. Former mercenaries, they are now the permanent de facto army of Vatican City.

Our insider tips

Best Time of Year to Visit

Although Vatican City is extremely popular with tourists all year around, if you’re looking for a quieter visit, your best bet is during the low season between November and February.

Give Yourself Enough Time

There is so much to see in Vatican City, make sure you’re not pressed for time. Importantly, if you want to see the Sistine Chapel, it’s essential that you enter the Vatican Museums before 3:00 PM so you can reach the chapel before it closes.

Book a Tour?

Although there is more than enough to take in as an individual visitor, those who want to learn about Vatican City’s rich history would benefit from one of the many excellent tours offered. There are public as well as private tours. Note that latter need to be booked well in advance.

See the Pope

You’re unlikely to run into the pope on your visit to Vatican City. However, every Wednesday the pope holds a public audience on St. Peter’s Square in the summer and in the Audience Hall during winter. The audience starts at 10:30 AM, but most visitors arrive earlier to secure a good seat. Security opens between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    365 days a year!
  • Is it expensive?
    Free to look at from the outside. Admission tickets vary.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Not compulsory, but recommended.
  • How to get there
    Taxi, bus, metro, tram or by foot from Rome. Look here for more detailed directions.
  • Additional information

    • Large bags are not allowed in the museums, so pack light!

    • There is often no air conditioning in the museums so make sure to dress accordingly and bring a bottle of water.

What people are saying about Vatican City

Overall rating
4.2 / 5
based on 112,818 reviews

Very informative tour. Great guide. Well organised.

The guide Michaela was very informative and answered all questions. She also brought emotion to the tour which was great. She was also great with the children in our group and looked after ‘Rocky’ really well! Would definitely recommend the early tour (8.15am) as the square and church was empty - one good thing would be to get your outside photos done when quiet like that. When we left it was rammed! The tour went without a hitch with some great info along the way! I’ve been before to the Vatican but didn’t have the stories to go with it - definitely made a difference! Overall great tour and would recommend!

Well worth a visit, very crowded but well organised

The timed entrance ticket worked well. Security check and obtaining ticket from my online voucher straightforward. It was very busy as I'd expected, but there were far too many tour groups. It was hard to get past them as a solo traveller, and when I did pass I got dirty looks and comments from people on the tours thinking I was jumping ahead of them. This happened alot and I didn't like it. Also it was extremely hot and humid inside. Of course the ceilings and tapestries were stunning, and the Sistine Chapel amazing, but I was very glad to get out into the fresh air, even though it was hot outside

Fast track ticket worked well to beat the queues in 35 degree heat.

Glad we booked the fast track for the Vatican museum. It’s well worth a visit, but be warned, you are on a one way treadmill with hoards if people. It’s a bit like going through ikea..., The Basilica was not included in this ticket, but it is free, and the queue we joined seemed long, but went down really quickly, so I wouldn’t pay to jump the queue for the church. I’ve been to the museum twice now, so most likely will not go again. The basilica is amazing though, and well worth repeat visits.

Perfect way to see the best of the Vatican

Doing this tour gave me a deep understanding of the history of Catholicism and the Vatican City. We skipped all the lines and everything was well timed. The tour guide Mike was really knowledgeable and helpful with regards to questions. Some people wanted more time in the Sistine Chapel, but I didn’t see a problem with the allocated 20 mins.

Skip The Line: Vatican Wonders 3-Hour Tour Reviewed by

Vatican Museums, Sistine & St Peter: Skip-the-Line Tour

We were happy to do this. One gets overwhelmed by large touristy places. best to take a tour, helps with knowing how to enter, layout of the place, guide highlights the key facts and if you want to know more, can always do it yourself once you are familiar with the place.

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