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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
4169 Reviews
GetYourGuide Original
4169

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

Knowledgeable tour guide with excellent spoken English

Once actually on the tour, the guide was very good at getting the group through the formalities. She was very pleasant, very knowledgeable with excellent spoken English. The online booking process was straightforward, however on arrival at the meeting point, our booking had not been logged on the time slot sheet, (we were not the only ones) although we were still permitted on the tour. In view of the numbers on the tour, the area for waiting was very small and crowded and staff dealt with several different tour participants at the same time, which led to confusion and long delays. Our arrival at the Vatican was therefore delayed by over one hour, with no apologies. We felt the group size was too big to be manageable and the number was over that stated for the tour. The museums were packed with movement through very slow, which meant that our group were strung out along the rooms. Audio then kept breaking up as we were often out of range of the tour guide.

big group, but tons of facts and overall a great tour

tour started off a little out of order mostly at the check in process due to number of people in all the tours. Seemed like they started four tours at the same time so it was a little confusing. But once we got into the vatican our tour guide (who is a former archaeologist) provided TONS of interesting details about everything were looking at. Very informative and interesting. overall would take the tour again, hopefully they work out the check in details

Very knowledgeable guide and excellent tour.

Our guide Marie-Terese took us through the skip the line entrance on a very busy day . Once hooked up with our radio she pointed out all the most relevant things to see in the short time ( 3 hours) we had with her . You could spend a week there and still not see everything! She managed to keep us all together during our tour and at the end of the tour gave us some usefull pointers to see other things . We went up into the dome which was amazing .

Great Service from Angelica as she refunded us $$ as the tour changed.

Our tour consisted of only the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel as St. Peter's Basilica was closed. The problem was the provider of the tour never told us this and left us at the entrance to the Sistine Chapel. I contacted Ger Your Guide and, Angelica did some fact-checking and refunded us some money. That said, I guide was good and the tour was good, just disappointed that we could not see St. Peter's Basilica. Great job Get your Guide.

This tour was the highlight of our visit to Rome!

Lorena was an excellent guide, very good with children, engaging them with great enthusiasm. Apart from that also as a parent I learnt a lot from Lorena's vast knowledge. She knows her way around, in the Vatican museums extremely well, pointing out the head of the statute of Augustus visible from a certain window covered by a curtain: impressive!

Rome: 2-Hour Vatican Museums Highlights for Families Reviewed by

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