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Vatican Museums

See where the Vatican exhibits some of its most priceless paintings, including works by Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci.

Vatican Museums: Our most recommended tours and activities

Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

1. Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

Take a stirring journey through art and religious history with skip-the-ticket-line entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Avoid the long ticket lines and then enjoy your visit at your own pace.  Wander through the Greek Cross Gallery to see elaborately-carved sarcophagi that might just contain the earthly remains of some of antiquity's famous kings and queens. Peek at the Cabinet of the Masks, or tour the Sala degli Animali to see a virtual menagerie of fantastic beasts, real and imagined. Walk the Upper Galleries, including the Gallery of Maps, to see how cartographers depicted the world through the ages. See masterpieces by Renaissance masters in the Raphael Rooms, and rest for a while in the Borgia Apartments. Then, it’s time to marvel at Michelangelo’s exquisite Sistine Chapel, the crown jewel of the Vatican, and perhaps even of all the world’s art treasures.

Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

2. Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

Skip the ticket line and gain fast access to both the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Once inside, meet your guide who will conduct your tour and reveal the intriguing story behind the seminal design. Enter the Pio Clementino Museum and get up close to the astonishing classical Roman and Greek sculptures, before walking through to the Gallery of the Candelabras which is populated with majestic marble structures throughout. Continue on to see the 40 maps frescoed on the walls of the Gallery of the Geographical Maps, the hanging renaissance artworks at Gallery of the Tapestries, and the four Raphael Rooms. Finally, marvel at Michelangelo's fresco "The Creation of Adam" in the Sistine Chapel.

Rome: Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's 3-Hour Tour Guide

3. Rome: Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's 3-Hour Tour Guide

Skip the ticket lines to the main monuments of the Vatican City on this guided tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. Your local guide will take you to the most interesting galleries within the museums – the Rotunda, Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of Maps. Each of these rooms contains ornate ceilings with the walls decorated with ancient statues, frescoes, and tapestries. Of course, the greatest gem of the Vatican collection is not a painting on any wall, but an entire ceiling and wall completely frescoed by the greatest genius of the Renaissance period – Michelangelo Buonarotti. From the Creation of Adam to the Last Judgement, Michelangelo dedicated some of his greatest years to the Sistine Chapel, working day and night – even sleeping in the chapel – to satisfy the popes of Rome. He also expressed his frustration with his employers with hidden meanings in his work. Today these have been uncovered and understood. Listen as your guide lets you in on Michelangelo’s private jokes. Finish your tour at the Basilica of St. Peter, the world's most impressive work of Renaissance architecture and the largest cathedral in the world. Admire the famous Pietà by Michelangelo and the elaborate St. Peter's Baldachin by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St Peters Basilica Tour

4. Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St Peters Basilica Tour

Discover the best of the Vatican in a single visit. Skip the ticket line to the key attractions and see outstanding examples of art and architecture in the company of your expert guide. Discover the frescoes of the Raphael Rooms. Explore the amazing collections of the Vatican Museums, including the Map Rooms and the sculpture of Hermes. Enjoy the beauty of the Sistine Chapel, and marvel at masterpieces by Michelangelo and Raphael. Then, take a tour of St Peter’s Basilica. Admire the world's center of Christianity and discover more about its fascinating history with your guide.

Rome: City Highlights, Vatican Pass and Free Transport

5. Rome: City Highlights, Vatican Pass and Free Transport

Make your stay in Rome an unforgettable and unique experience with the 3-day OMNIA Vatican Card and Roma Pass. It’s actually 2 passes rolled into one. Roma Pass grants you free entry to 2 out of 5 top attractions plus discounts at a further 30 top sights and a travel card. The OMNIA Vatican Card allows entry to all top sights in Vatican City plus a 3-day hop-on hop-off bus tour. You will also receive a free guidebook and map to help you plan your itinerary as well as dedicated itineraries that allow you to explore the city at your own pace. The OMNIA Card includes: • Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel - advanced reservation needed (instructions on the confirmation voucher) • Entrance to the Basilica of St. John in the Lateran and cloister with multimedia audio-guide • Entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica including multilingual audio-guide app - advanced reservation needed (instructions on the confirmation voucher) • Carcer Tullianum / Mamertine Prison (St Peter's Prison) - advanced reservations required (instructions on the confirmation voucher) • Vox City Guide app • Open Bus Vatican and Rome / Roma Cristiana The Roma Pass includes free admission to 2 of the following attractions (adult tickets only): • Capitoline Museums • Castel Sant'Angelo • The Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill - advanced reservation needed (instructions on the confirmation voucher) • Borghese Gallery - advanced reservation needed (instructions on the confirmation voucher) It also includes price reductions to many museums and attractions, including the following: Museums: • Castel Sant'Angelo National Museum • National Roman Museum – Palazzo Massimo alle Terme • National Roman Museum – Palazzo Altemps • National Roman Museum – Crypta Balbi • National Roman Museum – Baths of Diocletian • National Gallery in Palazzo Barberini • Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia • Musei Capitolini • Centrale Montemartini • National Museum of Oriental Art • MACRO - Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Roma • MAXXI - National Museum of XXI Century Arts • Planetarium and astronomical museum Attractions: • Trajan's Market • Palazzo Valentini – Archaeological Area of the Domus Romane • Ara Pacis Roma Cristiana Open Bus Tour. This panoramic hop-on hop-off bus tour stops at: 1. Saint Peter's Basilica 2. Piazza Navona 3. Santa Maria ad Martyres Pantheon 4. Santa Maria in Aracoeli 5. Termini Central Station 6. Santa Maria Maggiore 7. San Giovanni - Holy Stairs 8. Colosseum - Roman Forum 9. Circus Maximus 10. Tiber Island 11. Palazzo Farnese

Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica: Early Morning Tour

6. Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica: Early Morning Tour

Join the more than five million annual visitors of the global heart of the Catholic Faith. Experience the Vatican City, the entirety of which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, fully with privileged access to the main attractions before the general public arrives. From its stunning beauty to its ancient history and artistic and religious significance, the Vatican is a one-stop-shop for any traveler. Whether the paintings, sculptures, religious art, architecture, or even the Pontifical Swiss Guards that have protected the Pope since 1506, little else compares to the utter majesty of the Holy See. Start discovering the beauty of the Vatican at 7:30 AM in the absence of crowds. Wander the Vatican Museums, the famous Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica surrounded by very few. Explore the museums at your own pace and leave the rest of the day free to enjoy Italy. Follow your expert guide into the Museums to discover the world’s most extensive collection of art, including the greatest sculptures and artwork of the Renaissance period. Continue through the Candelabra Gallery, divided into six splendid rooms containing artworks found throughout the country, bringing relics of the Roman Empire into the modern-day. Then explore the astonishing Gallery of the Tapestries, host to an extensive collection of Raffaello Sanzio’s tapestries depicting different Catholic stories and myths. From there, walk through the Gallery of Maps with your guide, the perfect place for travelers with a taste for the sciences. Check out the global maps created by Roman topographers — a glimpse into what the world was thought to look like centuries ago.

Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

7. Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

Start your day at the Vatican early and skip the notoriously long ticket lines by following a special route through the museums that gets you to the Sistine Chapel just as it opens for the day. Enter before most of the crowd and spend a peaceful half-hour soaking up Michelangelo’s masterpiece along with stunning frescoes by other important Renaissance artists. Continue on to the Pinecone Courtyard for large buffet breakfast including hot and cold dishes, fruit juice, tea, and coffee. Once you’ve eaten your fill, head back into the museums for a tour of the most famous artifacts, including the Belvedere Torso, the Apollo Belvedere, the Laocoön Group, and the Raphael Rooms, widely considered to be among the most beautifully-frescoed interiors in the world. Visit the Gallery of the Candelabra with ancient Greek and Roman artworks. Learn about Raphael Sanzio at the Gallery of Tapestries, one of the most spectacular rooms of the museums.

Vatican: Early Access Tour of Museums with Sistine Chapel

8. Vatican: Early Access Tour of Museums with Sistine Chapel

Enjoy a guided tour of Vatican City’s main tourist attractions with early access tickets to the Vatican Museums. Explore sights like the Raphael Rooms and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica before the crowds arrive for the day.  Meet your guide and save time with skip-the-line access into the Vatican Museums. See the Cabinet of Masks and the Gallery of Tapestries, one of the most spectacular rooms in the Museums.  Continue to the Raphael Rooms which are world-renowned for the frescoes painted by Raphael. Enter the Sistine Chapel to marvel at the ceiling created by Michelangelo.  View the famous “The Creation of Adam” fresco in the chapel. Once finished in the Sistine Chapel, visit the Renaissance-style St.Peter's Basilica with your special access, skip-the-line ticket.

Vatican City: Night Tour at the Sistine Chapel

9. Vatican City: Night Tour at the Sistine Chapel

The Night at the Museum Tour will show you true collectibles. See a real gem of a tour available thanks to the prestige of your guide and The Vatican. Enjoy the Vatican Museums in the cool air of a Roman evening. You will begin your Vatican City Evening tour entering from the north side near Cipro Metro Station. Pass through the famous Pinecone Courtyard in the shade of St Peter’s Basilica. Next, cross the threshold into the museums among thinner crowds and a relaxing ambiance. Once inside the museums, the Vatican Tour takes you to the Raphael Rooms, the Sistine Chapel, the Galleries of the Candelabra, Maps, and Tapestries, the Round Room, the Chariot Room, and the Hall of the Muses.

Vatican City: VIP Vatican Early-Access Tour

10. Vatican City: VIP Vatican Early-Access Tour

Beat the rush and get exclusive VIP access through the museum doors before they open to the public with this early-access Vatican VIP Tour. A privilege extended by the Vatican Museums to only the most prestigious, longstanding, and reputable tour companies in the city, your group will be granted access before the other 35,000 daily guests to this, the largest and most mysterious museum in the world! You will have time to visit certain parts of the museum that you otherwise wouldn’t have had, including the Pope’s collection of vehicles in the Carriage Pavilion, the Greek Cross Hall, and the idyllic Pine Cone Courtyard garden.

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What people are saying about Vatican Museums

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 136,118 reviews

The Vatican and Sistine Chapel are just things everyone should see in their lifetime. There is so much incredible art there. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with the ticket exchange but that ended up being very easy. Keep in mind there are just a lot of people and it takes quite a bit of time to get to the Sistine chapel, so make sure you block enough of your day to get through it all!

This was a definite must on our itinerary. It was all stunning and we had plenty of time to enjoy each section. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and by her own admittance said she was known to talk too much but it is evident she loves her job and thrives on sharing the history. Any questions she would easily be able to answer.

Very interesting tour, the guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable! The earset could be better since the highest volume was sometimes not loud enough and it was falling off the ear, but that was provided by the Vatican Museum anyway

Great experience! We appreciated the expertise, detail provided and passion of the guide.

Thomas our guide was very knowledgeable and interesting and entertaining