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Vatican Museums
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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
3661 Reviews
GetYourGuide Original
3661

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 Museums: Tours & Tickets

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Top 5 Things to See at the Vatican Museums

When in Rome, don’t miss out on the Vatican’s world-famous Vatican Museums. Over the centuries, popes have built up a truly astounding collection of artistic masterpieces. There are countless things to see, but make sure not to miss these 5 highlights.

The Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel alone would be worth a trip to the Vatican Museums. Painted by the greatest Renaissance painters, the chapel’s famous frescoes are quite simply sublime.

Raphael Rooms

Raphael Rooms

The 4 dazzling Raphael Rooms form the public part of the Pope’s apartments. Raphael’s magnificent frescoes decorating the walls give those of the Sistine Chapel a run for their money.

The Belvedere Torso

The Belvedere Torso

This stunning sculpture of a muscly male torso was highly influential for Renaissance artists like Michelangelo (note Christ’s similar pose in the Sistine Chapel’s Last Judgement).

Leonardo Da Vinci’s St. Jerome in the Wilderness

Leonardo Da Vinci’s St. Jerome in the Wilderness

Despite being unfinished, this gorgeous painting is a glorious demonstration of Leonardo’s painterly prowess. Unbelievably, it was once cut up and used to cover a barber’s stool.

Sala Rotonda (Round Room)

Sala Rotonda (Round Room)

A masterpiece of neo-classical architecture, this majestic room is shaped like a miniature pantheon, with lavish mosaics covering the floors and ancient statues lining the walls.

Our insider tips

Best time of year to visit

Although the Vatican Museums are 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.

Save money

On the last Sunday of every month, entrance to the Vatican Museums is free during opening hours, from 9:00 AM until 12:30 PM. This is a great way of saving money, but be warned: these free days are also the most popular. If you’d rather avoid the large crowds, you’re better off going on a regular day.

Pick the right time of day

The ticket office opens at 9:00 AM. If you want to see as much as possible, then you should arrive early, as the Vatican Museums are huge (over 9 miles!) and long lines can start forming at the entrance even before opening time. However, if you’re more interested in avoiding the queues, come around 1:00 PM. Most people will be headed for lunch at that time and it’s often possible to walk straight in without wait.

Don’t leave it too late

Even if you’re intending to avoid the queues, don’t come too late. The ticket office closes at 4:00 PM and the Vatican Museums close at 6:00 PM. If you want to have time to see the Sistine Chapel, you should arrive at the Vatican Museums by 3:00 PM at the latest.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Monday-Saturday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
    Last Sunday of each month, 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
    Holiday hours may vary
  • Is it expensive?
    Free to look at from the outside. Admission tickets vary.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Not compulsory, but highly 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 Museums

Overall rating
4.2 / 5
based on 94,741 reviews

Having the right expectations is important...

Is this worth it? Yes. Is it going to blow your mind? Yes. So do I recommend it overall? Yes, for sure. However, it’s just important that you know this tour is like lightning speed version overall. You definitely save precious time with the skip the line options but know you will still have to wait at various times for various things. Also, you will have a chunk of time where you’ll stand outside and they’ll just talk at you describing certain things because you can’t talk in the Sistine chapel. There is SO much to see at the Vatican museums and you’ll probably see about 1/3 of it. Then at the end you get dropped off in St Peters Basilica and find your own way from there, which is great if you have time to wander around. The tour guide was very helpful and deepened our appreciate for the art and the experience, so I recommend a tour guide for sure. Especially if you can afford a private tour guide! So, definitely a good experience, just have the proper expectations going into it!

Good opportunity to avoid the big queues

Very helpful guide, who took us round the main collections in the Vatican museum and then into the superb Sistine Chapel. It wasn't his fault that the Pope had decided to induct new cardinals that day so we couldn't go through to St Peter's basilica and had to queue another day! Be warned - security at St Peter's was tight: we inadvertently left a picnic knife in our rucsac and had to give it up or not get in!

The tour was really good but was unable to get pictures as so busy.

The tour guide was excellent. There was lots of information. It took a while before we actually left to go to the places and then it was so busy inside that we were unable to take the time to look at the things or get pictures. There was so many people inside the chapel and the museum that it was becoming dangerous and a health and safety matter due to many people pushing and getting hurt.

This is the way to visit the Sistine Chapel

We were the first people into the Sistine Chapel on the day we visited. Within 15 minutes it was busy, but by then we'd had time to soak it up without the crowd. We were leaving St Peter's Basilica before 10am to wander round other parts of Rome, passing long queues waiting to go in. This is not an easy option and it's not cheap, but it is well worth doing.

The tour was made by the excellence of our guide, Lindy.

Thanks Lindy, the best guide we have had by far. Not only did you count numbers and check we were all there, you rotated us around so all could look at the objects and take pics. You had a sense of humour, excellent English and a good knowledge of your subject. Superb job. Thanks a million.

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