St. Peter's Basilica Cupola
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Our most recommended St. Peter's Basilica Cupola Activities

St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

1. St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

Meet your art historian guide in St. Peter's Square and stroll across the piazza into Vatican City. In the Basilica, take the elevator part of the way up and then climb the remaining 171 steps. You can climb at a leisurely pace and enjoy the journey up with frequent stops. At the summit, witness the breathtaking 360-degree views of the Vatican City as it extends out into Rome and its seven hills. Take as many photographs as you can because you are very high and will be able to see for a long distance. After heading back down to ground level, take a brief break before entering St. Peter's Basilica. This famous monument is a triumph of art and architecture, unmatched anywhere else in the world. This is where Bernini's sculptures and Michelangelo's art rise above holy papal tombs and the necropolis of St. Peter himself. 

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St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb and Papal Tombs

2. St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb and Papal Tombs

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, the magnificent Latin scripts, 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 learn all 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 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 over 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. When you leave the dome there is no need to line up again to get inside the basilica, as the stairs will bring you directly down to the basilica floor. With your guide, navigate through the basilica, admiring the array of statues, chapels, and pilgrim sites located here, before descending to the Papal Tombs. Here, you can see where hundreds of popes and members of royalty have been buried since the 11th century.

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Rome: Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

3. Rome: Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

Meet your expert Vatican guide by St. Peter's Square - a quick ascension by elevator later will carry you up to the top of the dome from where you can see all of Rome and far beyond Rome too. The views are absolutely spectacular. Back on terra firma you will tour the entirety of St. Peter's Basilica - this in itself is rare as most other Rome tour operators do not include it in their Vatican tours. Take a break before making the short walk to the comfortable customer center ahead of your second tour to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Genuine skip-the-line access means that you will be fast tracked to the artistic and archaeological masterpieces which make the Vatican Museums absolutely must-sees when in Rome.

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Rome: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2 to 7 Attractions

4. Rome: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2 to 7 Attractions

Explore Rome at your own pace with the Go City Rome Explorer Pass. Choose from 2 to 7 attractions and tours from a list of over 35 activities including the Colosseum, a hop-on hop-off bus tour, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and more. Visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, join a mouth-watering tasting tour, enjoy an evening at the Opera, go bike riding among ancient Roman ruins, or eat like a local with an authentic Italian set menu lunch ─ the choice is yours. Save up to 35% off compared to buying individual tickets and enjoy a complimentary digital audio guide packed with attraction information and instructions on booking your visits. Enjoy the ease of a fully digital pass with maximum flexibility. You have 2 years from your purchase date to use your pass and then 60 days after you redeem your first attraction or tour. Choose activities as you go: there’s no need to pre-select attractions (some of the most popular activities may require reservations). To redeem, simply display your pass on your mobile device or print it at home. 

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Vatican City: VIP Vatican Experience

5. Vatican City: VIP Vatican Experience

Enrich your Vatican experience by joining this personal, semi-private tour where you can delve into the fabulous art and history that surrounds the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica. You will begin at the Vatican Museum, a labyrinthine complex featuring over 1000 rooms that cover four millennia. Those visiting unguided often find themselves dazzled by the work on display here – which can make it somewhat difficult to navigate. But this curated route through the museum packs in all the best bits. The next stop is the world-famous Sistine Chapel, best-known for its sprawling ceiling art painted by Michelangelo. The rules dictate silence upon entry to the chapel, which isn’t usually a problem – its sheer beauty leaves most speechless.

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Vatican City: Basilica, Dome Climb & Optional Crypts Tour

6. Vatican City: Basilica, Dome Climb & Optional Crypts Tour

Experience St. Peter's Basilica from the top of the dome and admire views of the Vatican and Rome. See the dome's interior on your own or select a guided tour of the basilica and 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. Enjoy some free time to explore the most important church in the Christian world and its many treasures, or if you opted for the extended tour, follow your guide to the Vatican Crypts that lie beneath. 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.

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Rome: St. Peters' Basilica and the German Cemetery

7. Rome: St. Peters' Basilica and the German Cemetery

Visit a lesser-known spot in Rome: the German cemetery at the Vatican. Enter the Vatican through a back door and encounter a small oasis of calm. Learn more about the oldest German national foundation in Rome. Afterward, see priceless works of art and hear interesting stories as you visit St. Peter's Basilica. Admire the grandiose dome at one of the world's largest churches. See the bronze baldachin under the dome, which is as big as a ten-story house.

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Other Sightseeing Options in St. Peter's Basilica Cupola

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What people are saying about St. Peter's Basilica Cupola

Very insightful tour, tour guide had a very compelling voice and a positive vibe that made the tour much more interesting than your standard experience. Would highly recommend Carpe Diem to others who have yet to experience the Vatican.

We have a very lovely passionate guide Her name was Barbra She made the whole tour a pleasure as well as great information as well as fun The hours fly by , Definitely would use her again Lovely person

A wonderful experience and a sensational guide (Maria Grazia). Exceeded all expectations and was an easy pace with much to learn. Overall, highly recommended.

Super experience, very knowledgeable and friendly guide. Also have great tips and insights to other attractions once the tour had finished!

I recommend this tour! The only thing I would change is to take the longer one