Guided tour

Rome: St. Peter’s Basilica, Dome Climb, and Underground Tour

Activity provider: City Wonders Ltd.
Guided tour

Rome: St. Peter’s Basilica, Dome Climb, and Underground Tour

Activity provider: City Wonders Ltd.
Likely to sell out

From US$ 35.38 per person

Likely to sell out

Discover St. Peter’s Basilica from a new perspective as you climb to the top of the dome. Then follow your guide to explore the stunning interior and the Vatican crypts.

About this activity

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Duration 3 hours
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Live tour guide


  • Climb to the highest point in the Vatican City and enjoy spectacular views
  • Experience the famous splendor of the dome from the first level balcony
  • Enjoy fast access to the basilica when you descend and avoid the lines
  • Make the most of your visit with a guided tour of the basilica and vatican crypts
  • Learn about the Renaissance era from an expert English-speaking guide
Full description

Experience St. Peter's Basilica from the top of the dome and admire views of the Vatican and Rome. Follow your guide to see the dome's interior and the Vatican 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.

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.

  • Guided tour
  • Entrance to St. Peter’s Dome, St. Peter’s Basilica, underground crypts and pope’s tombs
  • Headsets where appropriate, so you can always hear your guide
  • Tips (optional)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Piazza della Città Leonina, near the arches, where the square meets via di Porta Angelica. Facing the arches, our meeting point is located at the corner of the square, on the left-hand side, next to the kiosk.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes

Not allowed

  • Shorts
  • Weapons or sharp objects
  • Luggage or large bags
  • Short skirts
  • Sleeveless shirts
  • Unaccompanied minors

Know before you go

  • All visitors must pass through airport-style security, during high season the wait at security may be up to 30 minutes
  • The dome’s elevator takes you to the first terrace, to climb to the top of the dome you will have to use the stairs (320 steps)
  • Please allow yourself approximately 20 extra minutes if you wish to climb up to the dome
  • This tour is not suitable for those who suffer from claustrophobia and/or vertigo, heart or other serious medical conditions
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.5 /5

based on 835 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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Meeting point is easy to locate and the guide was really friendly and informative. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and pointed out points of interest that may have gone unnoticed. The tour I feel is long enough with a climb to the top of the dome first, offering panoramic views of the city. Followed by a tour around the building itself and the cypts where the past popes now lay at rest. Overall I believe this tour was well worth the money and the tour guide was amazing.

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March 9, 2023

It was a good exploration of the Vatican, our guide was very knowledgeable and passionate about the subject. It is worth mentioning that the dome climb not suitable for those who struggle with claustrophobia as it is up very narrow steep enclosed steps with no way to turn around - once you start there’s no turning back. If we’d been made aware of this before starting we would not have done this part of the tour.

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March 3, 2023

Veronica was a very nice guide. She knew everything about the basilica. She wanted to answer all questions and took great care of the group. I would definitely recommend the tour. If you have the possibility, I would also go in the morning (we had the 08:10 tour). When we walked out of the basilica (around 10:30) there was a line all over the square, while we only had a few people in front of us when we entered.

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March 2, 2023

Product ID: 278782