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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
3596 Reviews
GetYourGuide Original
3596

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

Great experience despite how busy it is - worth getting skip the line

The skip the line ticket was a great recommendation from friends. We saved so much time and hassle by using this option. Even though it costs a little extra, I highly recommend it. If you don't like crowds then I highly suggest you don't go round these museums or go to the Sistine chapel. We did not go during peak season, but even so it was so busy that we were basically just pushed along the whole time. We somehow managed to get a few of the seats around the edge of the Sistine chapel and were glad of it so we could actually appreciate what we were seeing. You are otherwise made to stand in silence in the centre of the room, or ushered straight out. There was of course an overwhelming amount to see and it was a great (if claustrophobic) experience.

Beautiful and amazing but overwhelming. I would definitely recommend.

There is so much to see and so many people it does become overwhelming. The guide was great and informative. I noticed the sound system did not work as well the farther I was from him so I made sure I was close to him so I could hear everything. I heard a little tip that it's better to go on this tour later in the day (2pm etc) because there are not as many people and you still get the full tour. I would recommend doing that because we went earlier in the day and we felt like a herd of cattle plowing through the massive amounts of people.

Tiffany was awesome but the venues were way too congested

Tiffany our tour guide did a fabulous job navigating us through the chaos and was great with narrating the tour. She was calm and patient when dealing with shoulder to shoulder tourists . She even managed to keep us together . The sites were fabulous( what we could see) . I would say do the tour but be prepared for massive amounts of people and being bumped and pushed .

Guiliano, a great guide, really knew his subject

The skip the line tour starts in a square near the Vatican. Allow plenty of time to find it. Be sure to cover your shoulders and knees. The Sistine Chapel is amazing, please respect it as a holy place, not just another place to visit.

Exceptional, Knowledgeable and entertaining guide!

Our guide was very adept at guiding us through a very crowded tour, keeping us entertained and she was very knowledgeable on subjects! Strongly encourage anyone going to book this tour , well worth the investment!!!

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