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
1662 Reviews
GetYourGuide Original
1662

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 104,898 reviews

Lovely, family atmosphere and quiet, nice guidance, thank you!

Beautiful, you are not in the river crowd that you can taste right after the end of the 1st entry mission. It is interesting to try both, but normal entry is crazy, it´s impossible to escape... I regretted the little children and lilipines because you do not see from the waist up, just the ceiling... The Sistine Chapel is beautiful and also the Athens School by Rafael. We were surprised that there is a possibility of refreshment inside the museums, which is even cheaper than the restaurant behind the Vatican walls. Toilets and everything you need to visit is provided. The Vatican post office inside the museum is also amazing. It was very nice to get up very early and see the entrance to the Vatican Museums without a crowd of tourists. Thanks!

Outstanding tour with very knowledgable guide.

Had been to St. Peter's before but not to the necropolis. This is a must-see tour. The guide was very knowledgeable. One tip for the tour. It would have been useful to walk the route of the necropolis tour on the present Basilica level, especially since a portion of the Gaius Trophy is visible in the niche in the Confessio. It would also have been useful to point out the location of the Clementine Chapel from the upper level. These sites got explained while we were touring the necropolis and crypt levels, but it would help first time visitors to point them out from the upper level before going below. Our group toured the basilica first so a spatial orientation to what we would be seeing just a few feet below would have been an easy fit.

Necropolis and St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour Reviewed by

The tour is excellent, quick and easy tour to Rome

The tour itself is excellent, the guide is very enthusiastic. Easy to find the meeting point and convenient drop off. The only draw back is they could manage the timing of the bus better. The bus send us back to the port 25 mins later than expected, leaving us only 5 mins before the all aboard time. So a group of us have to run to the port shuttle to catch the last shuttle back to ship. A bit scared that we would miss the ship but luckily we are all fine and we are not alone.

Panoramic Bus Tour of Rome from Civitavecchia Port Reviewed by

Paola did an excellent job for child and adults.

We booked this tour because we were travelling with our nine year old grandson. We felt eliminating waiting in line and having someone other than parents or grandparents talking would be optimal. It was. Paola certainly focused on our grandson but the tour was informative and humorous for the adults as well. Our grandson and all of us had a great experience and a large part of that was Paola"s engaging style.

Great tour but terrible information about meeting the guide

We were not told that the guide would have a different company board. It took a long time and a lot of stress before we met her Once the tour started our guide was fantastic and it was an excellent tour Such a shame when a simple text or email could have given us the company name we needed to look for

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

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