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Vatican Museums

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Our most recommended Vatican Museums Cruises & Boat Tours

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Tour

1. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Tour

Discover some of the most popular attractions in Rome on a guided walking tour of Vatican City. Visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica with your guide, and admire the ornate interiors and the famed artworks housed here. Meet your guide close to the entrance to the Vatican Museums and follow them as you set out to explore the most interesting galleries within the museum. See the Rotunda, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Gallery of Maps. Take in the ornate ceilings in each room and see the ancient statues, frescoes, and tapestries that adorn the walls. Then, enter the Sistine Chapel and marvel at the intricate fresco that covers the entire ceiling and walls. Painted by Michaelangelo between 1508 and 1512, the Sistine Chapel represents a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. 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. The artist also expressed his frustration through hidden meanings in his work, which have since been uncovered and deciphered. Listen as your guide lets you in on Michelangelo's private jokes. Finally, head to St. Peter's Basilica for the final leg of your guided walking tour. The cathedral is one of the most renowned works of Renaissance architecture and holds the title of the biggest church in the world. Explore the interior of this magnificent structure with your guide and discover the many masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque art that fill the cathedral. Admire the famous Pietà by Michelangelo and the elaborate St. Peter's Baldachin by Bernini. Your tour comes to an end outside the cathedral. From here, feel free to wander around Saint Peter's Square or visit the nearby Castel Sant'Angelo on your own. 

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

2. 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

3. 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.

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

4. 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.

Vatican City: Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Gardens Tour

5. Vatican City: Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Gardens Tour

See Vatican City's top attractions on a sightseeing tour where you don't have to wait in line. Discover the treasures of the Vatican Museums with a guide or on your own. Take in the beauty of the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's incredible artworks. Explore the Vatican Gardens with an audio guide. Meet near the Vatican Museums and enjoy fast-track access to Europe's most renowned art collection. Dive into the art world with an expert guide or explore on your own, depending on the option chosen. Take in the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, and more. Admire the impressive collection of classic sculptures at the Pio Clementino Museum. Wander the halls of the ornate and elaborate papal apartments, including the Raphael Rooms and Borgia Apartments. Finally, step into the world of Michelangelo as you uncover the secrets of the Sistine Chapel. Continue to the Gardens of Vatican City and receive your audio guide. Learn about the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Apostolic Palace, and the Governor's Palace. Admire St. Peter's Basilica from a unique perspective and immerse yourself in this peaceful hideaway. Or choose the option that includes the Vatican 360 experiences gives you 360 access to the Vatican City and Castel Gandolfo Starting off at the Vatican Museum, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Europe’s most renowned art collection. Accompanied by an expert guide, enjoy fast track entrance and dive into the history of the Art world. Admire the impressive collection of classic sculptures in the Pio Clementino Museum. Wander the halls of the ornate and elaborate papal apartments, including the Raphael Rooms and the Borgia Apartments. And finally, step into the world of Michelangelo as you uncover the secrets of the Sistine Chapel. Once you’ve had your art fix, it’s time to explore the Vatican Gardens. Stretching an impressive 57 acres. Enjoy the picture-perfect landscapes and uncover the impressive garden architecture that draws influence from both the baroque and renaissance era. After spending the morning at the Vatican City, it’s time to head out of town by train to explore the Papal Palace at Castel Gandolfo, about an hour north of Rome. Pick up your audio guide at the welcome desk and start your journey through the Apostolic Palace. First up, enjoy the museum and experience the intricate work of the clergy up close as you pass by historical papal gowns and the impressive display of the Pope’s portable throne. Then, it’s up to the Papal apartment. Step into the true home of Christianity as you admire the Pope’s clock parlour, music gallery, the Swiss Hall, and even the Holy Father’s library. The all-access Vatican experience wraps up with a tour of the Barberini gardens. There you’ll not only enjoy stunning panoramic views, but also a complimentary picnic with locally sourced porchetta and wine.

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo Day Tour

6. Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo Day Tour

Start your day bright and early as you meet your tour guide at the Vatican Museums. Skip the line and enter 45 minutes before the general public with your special access ticket. After going through a brief security check, proceed inside to begin your tour starting with the best galleries. Follow your art historian guide along the tour route which includes the Gallery of the Tapestries, the Gallery of the Candelabra, and the Gallery of the Maps.  Then, learn about the history and process Michelangelo used to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel before entering to see it yourself. Continue to the Vatican Gardens, where only special tour groups are allowed to visit. With your exclusive Vatican Gardens tickets, breathe in the tranquil air of this mini paradise. After your Vatican Gardens tour, enter Vatican City’s only train station to board the train to Castel Gandolfo. Once the site of Emperor Domitian’s Villa, the Barberini Gardens boast beautifully-designed hedges situated amidst flowers, fountains and Ancient Roman ruins. Your guide will tell you stories about the history of the gardens and the many points of interest located within. Once you’ve explored the lush scenery of the Barberini Gardens, the tour will break for lunch (included with the tour). Sit down to a sumptuous spread of locally-sourced, organic Italian meats, cheeses, olive oil, tomatoes, and pasta. Then, have the opportunity to take a self-guided tour of the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence. Now a museum open to the public, enjoy exploring the Palace’s many rooms, art galleries, and collection of cars driven by former popes. Use your round-trip train ticket to return to Vatican City and conclude your memorable experience.

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Ticket & Guided Tour

7. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Ticket & Guided Tour

Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and direct access to St Peter's Basilica. With this guided tour, you will be able to admire some of the most famous works of art renown all over the world: it is a journey into time and space, into history and culture, but, most of all, a fast-starting journey, where no exhausting waits in queue are involved. The groups are made up by a maximum of 30 people and are all accompanied by certified Vatican tour guides, who will take the guests through the priceless artistic treasures enshrined in the seven different museums that make up the very heart of the Vatican Museum complex. In a relaxed and informal atmosphere, the guide will tell stories and curiosities that will help to understand the historical, artistic and cultural context that has molded the masterpieces hosted in the Hall of the Muses, in the Pio-Clementine Museum, in the Gallery of Maps, in the Gallery of Tapestries, in the Raphael Rooms and in the magnificent Courtyard of the Pinecone that opens in the heart of Vatican City. The tour of the Vatican Museums will culminate with the visit to the Sistine Chapel; since it is forbidden to speak aloud inside, the guide will deliver explanations and directions outside, using the special panels provided by the Museums. Once inside, you can admire the paintings that truly represent the highest peak of Italian Renaissance art, from the precious frescoes by Botticelli, Perugino, Pinturicchio, Ghirlandaio, Luca Signorelli and Piero di Cosimo, to the extraordinary vault cycle and the Last Judgement by Michelangelo. At the end of this incredible experience, the guide will briefly tell about the history of the Vatican and the majestic St Peter’s Basilica.

From Civitavecchia: Private Rome Highlights Tour w/ Tickets

8. From Civitavecchia: Private Rome Highlights Tour w/ Tickets

You will be picked up from Civitavecchia harbor in an air-conditioned van, before being taken to the Vatican Museums. Don't worry about the crowds, as this tour includes exclusive skip-the-line access into the museums. The Vatican Museums are one of the world’s most visited museum complexes and are overflowing with masterpieces by many of the world’s most important Renaissance and Baroque artists. Your guide will lead you through all of the most important galleries providing a fascinating overview of the history and cultural significance. The tour includes visits to the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica and other key museum highlights. After this, you will stop for a light lunch and enjoy some authentic Roman cuisine. You will then head to the Colosseum and once again, will skip the long queues outside. Here, your guide will make the world’s most famous amphitheater come to life, explaining its awe-inspiring structure, and recreating the days when it was filled with the sounds of roaring animals and crowds and the clashing swords of gladiators. After that, you will visit the Roman Forum which was once the ancient city’s social, governmental, economic and religious center. At the end of the day, you will be taken back to Civitavecchia port.

Rome: Historic Center and Vatican Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

9. Rome: Historic Center and Vatican Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

If you are planning to visit Rome but only have one day you need to make sure you make the most of every single second. Our Rome in One Day Small Group Tour is perfect for just that. From the huge Colosseum to the beautiful Vatican City. With Real Rome Tours, you can see all of Rome in just one day! Hit the ground running and skip the mind-numbing queues for the Roman Colosseum, the ancient world’s greatest sports arena! Your guide will enthrall you with tales of gladiators and martyrs that made the Colosseum famous while exploring the remnants of their history together. Next you’ll head over to the Roman Forum to learn how the heart of Rome’s all-encompassing empire functioned and thrived. Forget battling through the crowds inside the Forum, your guide will lead you directly to a stunning lookout point. From there, you can take in the entire Forum complex, including the Senate House and the Temple of the Vestal Virgins. Your guide will make it easy to imagine how the Forum must have appeared 2,000 years ago, with stories of war, politics, economics and religion that shaped the ancient city. Your Rome in one day small group tour, through the Historic Centre, continues with a stop at the stunning Trevi Fountain, which is the largest baroque fountain in Rome. Legend has it that if you toss a coin over your left shoulder into the Fountain you’ll return to Rome. The next stop in your full day tour of Rome is the Spanish Steps for a spot of people watching and plenty of photo opportunities. From here your guide will take you on the metro to the Vatican, where you will have a break for lunch before entering the Vatican City. After lunch, your guide will take you straight into the Vatican Museums, where you’ll skip the long lines of people and head straight in. With your Vatican expert to guide you, you’ll delve into one of the world’s greatest art collections. This specially-curated Vatican tour highlights the best works in the vast collections here, giving you a better appreciation of what you’re seeing. You’ll explore the best of the galleries before heading to the Sistine Chapel. No Rome in One Day tour would be complete without visiting the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world - St Peter's Basilica.  Michelangelo’s great dome is something that you have to see in real life. Pictures cannot do it justice or portray the sheer magnitude of it. Your local, expert tour guide will explain to you the fascinating history of its conception, location on the Vatican Hill, design, architecture and symbolism.  So anyone who tells you that you can’t see all of Rome in one day hasn’t experienced the professional and friendly service of Rome Group Tours. With us, not only can you see the Colosseum and Vatican in one day, but you can also get a glimpse into the history and how they lived 2000 years ago. Don’t waste your precious holiday getting lost or waiting in line – book your place today!

Rome: Full-Day Vatican City, Colosseum, and Roman Forum Tour

10. Rome: Full-Day Vatican City, Colosseum, and Roman Forum Tour

Head off on a Roman adventure filled with history and beautiful locations. Meet up with your guide to check out the iconic Vatican Museums with skip-the-line entry. Marvel at the rooms of the Sistine Chapel, break for lunch, and then visit the Colosseum. End with a stop at the Trevi Fountain. Meet your guide just steps away from the Vatican and enjoy priority entrance as you skip the lines and head straight inside the Vatican Museums. See the major works of art ranging from Ancient Greek and Roman sculptures to Renaissance masterpieces. Much of the tour will be dedicated to the rooms of Raphael and the extraordinary ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. After a break for lunch, regroup at the Colosseum and enjoy fast track entry into the vast arena, the Icon of Rome built in 72 A.D. Once inside, your guide will paint a picture of the Gladiator games that took place in the Roman Empire’s most impressive arena. With the Colosseum behind you, travel even further back in time as you enter the Roman Forum. Learn of the legendary founding of Rome on the Palatine Hill and how a she-wolf rescued and nursed the young twins Romulus and Remus. Change gears and fast forward many centuries as you arrive at the Trevi Fountain, without which no visit to Rome is complete.

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What people are saying about Vatican Museums

The tour of all 3 places was spectacular. Our guide, Suzana, was very informative and knowledgeable. She told the story with a lot of historical facts, and it showed she was very dedicated.

It was great! Good organization from the beginning, staff were very friendly and our tour guide was very knowledgeable, tour was fun and the 3 hours passed very quickly. Highly recommended!

We enjoyed our tour with our guide Antonella.she was very energetic,informative.the tour was very well organized despite how incredibly crowded and busy the Vatican can be.

Our guide Susana was incredible and she really made the tour meaningful. She is very knowledgeable and it made me appreciate the history behind the art

The guide was super-informative, attentive to everyone and patiently explained everything in great detail. 10/10