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Vatican MuseumsGuided tours

Our most recommended Vatican Museums Guided tours

Rome: Turning the Lights on at the Vatican Museums

1. Rome: Turning the Lights on at the Vatican Museums

Almost every morning for the past decade, Gianni has led the team with the massive task of opening up the 24 interconnected galleries, museums, and chapels that make up the Vatican Museums. With a small group, join him on his morning routine to open the doors to some of the world’s most renowned artworks. Hear the sounds of the ancient locks turning as you hold the keys, and see the historic rooms go from dark to light as you flick the switch. Discover the Vatican Museums and their treasures in a way no other visitor can. As you explore, listen to Gianni’s experiences and anecdotes of his time as head clavigero, as well as the stories behind some of the 20,000 pieces on display. In the calmness of dawn, you'll have the chance to see the most impressive spaces, as well as those not open to the public. After your tour, head to the Cortile della Pigna to tuck into a delicious breakfast consisting of a croissant or pain au chocolat, pancakes with peanut butter or marmalade, an orange or apple juice, and a tea or coffee.

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica Tour

2. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica Tour

Take a tour of one of the holiest sites in Christendom on this guided walking tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. First, visit the Pine Courtyard, Belvedere Courtyard, the Gallery of the Maps, Candelabra Gallery, Pio Clementino's Rooms, the Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms (only on early morning tours), and the Sistine Chapel. Then, be led by an expert guide to some of the major attractions, as well as to some lesser-known spots that other tourists often miss. You will also get to see other galleries of the Vatican corridors. Finally, visit Michelangelo's Pietà at St. Peter's Basilica before concluding your tour at the Sistine Chapel.

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel Tour & Basilica Entry

3. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel Tour & Basilica Entry

Discover the art collection inside the Vatican Museums on a tour with an art historian guide, with an optional entry to Castle Gandolfo. Walk through the galleries and admire masterpieces by Michelangelo inside the Sistine Chapel.  Meet your guide, an art historian who will tell you all about the masterpieces you will be encountering. Hear fascinating facts and stories as you visit the Gallery of the Maps, the Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Candelabra. Round off the tour with by encountering the marvels of the Sistine Chapel, complete with frescoes by Michelangelo. Be awed by coming face-to-face with Michelangelo’s most famous artwork: The Last Judgement. You can also make the most of your experience by selecting the option of an additional entry ticket to the Castle Gandolfo and St. Peter's Basilica which you can visit at your own pace without the guide.

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Ticket-Line Tour

4. Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Ticket-Line Tour

Take a 3-hour guided tour of the holiest site in Christendom on a guided walking tour of the Vatican Museums including a comprehensive visit to the Sistine Chapel. With exclusive skip-the-ticket-line access through the Vatican Museums partners' entrance, save the long wait in the lines that usually form outside one of the world’s most popular attractions. Considered one of the most important places in the history of human civilization, start your tour at the museum to see the important collections of art that various popes have acquired throughout the centuries. Look out for renowned sculptures and masterpieces of Renaissance art. Feel the weight of history and get a sense of the sacred as you spy paintings by Raphael, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Michelangelo, including his masterwork in the Sistine Chapel.

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Ticket & Guided Tour

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

Enjoy admission tickets to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St Peter's Basilica. Admire world-famous artworks on a guided tour and embark on a journey through time and space. Access each site directly with your guide and forget about the hassle of waiting in line. 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.

Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Early Access Tour

6. Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Early Access Tour

Take advantage of privileged early access tickets on a guided tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Enter an hour earlier than the general public entry, avoiding massive crowds, and enjoy a stress-free tour with an experienced guide. Follow your guide to the Vatican Museums, and marvel at the extensive art collections from the Renaissance that have gathered great significance historically and artistically. Wander inside the museum, explore the most spectacular rooms and sophisticated galleries, and see a collection of frescoes of maps in the Gallery of Maps. Next, head to the Sistine Chapel and admire its iconic ceiling painted by Michelangelo. Learn about the story behind the frescoes and contemplate their meaning. Roam around the St. Peter’s Basilica, considered one of the Catholic Church's holiest temples and an important pilgrimage site. Check out famous mosaics including Michelangelo’s Pietà and Bernini’s Baldachin.

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

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

As the Vatican Museums are the home of roughly 70,000 arts, it is impossible to visit everything in one day. If you look just 1 minute at each piece of art, it will take you 12 years to finish everything. That is why our 2.5-hour visit is the perfect way to make the most out of everything. During the visit, get ready to be mesmerized by the works of the master painters like Raphael, Bernini, da Vinci, and of course, Michelangelo’s world-famous Sistine Chapel and Last Judgement. Then you will be captivated by the beauty of the St. Peter’s Basilica with a special entrance, from Michelangelo’s Pietà to Bernini’s enormous bronze altar.

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

8. Rome: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's 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. Enjoy an optimized itinerary designed to allow you to get the best out of your visit to the Vatican Museums in a limited time frame, taking in the remarkable Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, and St. Peter’s basilica among other highlights in the company of one of our expert guides. Visit the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll get the chance to gaze up at Michelangelo’s ceiling as your guide explains the secrets behind Michelangelo’s masterful paintings. Close to the Sistine Chapel is the suite of private papal apartments known as the Raphael Rooms. These exquisitely decorated rooms contain some of the finest examples of Raphael’s work, including the “School of Athens," a group portrait of antiquity's most famous philosophers, many of them in the guises of Raphael’s contemporaries. Often overlooked by visitors who are in a hurry to get to the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms deserve more than a brief pitstop — your guide will ensure that you have plenty of time to admire Raphael’s works at your leisure. Your visit to the Vatican Museums is a great opportunity to discover its remarkable collections of ancient sculptures, including the legendary Laocoon and Apollo Belvedere. These classical artworks had a profound impact on the artists of the Renaissance, and their muscular anatomies and psychological intensity strongly influenced the work of Michelangelo and Raphael. Accompanied by an expert art historian, you’ll learn all about these ancient masterpieces and gain a greater appreciation of Greek and Roman art. Walk through the famous Gallery of Maps, admire the Pinecone Courtyard and visit the Belvedere Courtyard. Although it’s impossible to see the entire extent of the Vatican’s enormous collection in a few hours, on this tour, you'll see a series of unmissable highlights. After exiting the Sistine Chapel, enter St Peter’s Basilica directly, without having to wait in line. The basilica has been enriched over the centuries by the hands of countless artists and architects. During your St Peter’s Basilica tour, your guide will tell you the fascinating history of the basilica and put it in the context of Christian history, from its origins as a burial ground to its current state of splendor and international importance.

Vatican: Guided Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour

9. Vatican: Guided Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour

Embark on an unforgettable journey through history, art, and culture on a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel with entry tickets included. Be captivated by one of the world's most renowned art collections as you traverse through the heart of Vatican City. Your adventure begins at the entrance to the Vatican Museums, an awe-inspiring complex of galleries, courtyards, and corridors. Bypass the long lines and start a specially curated route of exploration designed to reveal the hidden gems and iconic masterpieces housed within these hallowed walls. As you step inside, the sheer scale and diversity of the collections are breathtaking. Each room holds a treasure trove of ancient sculptures, exquisite tapestries, and an array of precious artifacts from various civilizations and historical periods. Get a glimpse into Renaissance art and its profound impact on European culture while admiring the frescoes of the Raphael Rooms. Enjoy a visual journey through Italy's cities and regions at the Gallery of Maps, showcasing detailed maps from the 16th century. Later, the crown jewel of the Vatican Museums awaits you – the awe-inspiring Sistine Chapel. Stepping into this sacred sanctuary, you'll find yourself under Michelangelo's masterpiece: the stunning ceiling adorned with intricate frescoes depicting scenes from Genesis, including the iconic "Creation of Adam." In addition to the ceiling, Michelangelo's final masterpiece, "The Last Judgment," adorns the altar wall. This monumental depiction of the Last Judgment, with its vivid portrayal of heaven, hell, and redemption, is a testament to the artist's unparalleled talent and vision. The Sistine Chapel also holds historical significance as the location for the election of the Pope through the Papal Conclave, adding an extra layer of reverence to its already remarkable presence. As you stand amidst these priceless works of art, the stories behind each stroke of the brush will be brought to life by your guide. They will share anecdotes and historical context, enriching your understanding of the art's cultural significance and the artists' brilliance.

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

10. 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. 

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What people are saying about Vatican Museums

Marzi was exceptional. She was very detailed in her description of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, and St. Peter's. Her discussion on "The Ceiling", "The Last Judgement", and "The Sistine Chapel" was excellent. We really enjoyed the detailed discussion she provided. Good work!

Amazing experience with amazing guide! Vatican is a beautiful place full of history, but definitely needs a good guide, otherwise you will miss all the cheeries on the cake.

Deborah was fantastic. The best tour guide we had all weekend in Rome. Knowledgable, in control, took us to all the best parts. Couldn’t have asked for better. Perfect!

Our Guide, Lindsy(?) from Netherlands was amazing and very passionate about the tour and content and stories etc.

Great tour, great guide. Place itself was very growded, so it was convenient to visit with the guide.