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Vatican Museums

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Our most recommended Vatican Museums Rail Tours

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo Day Tour

1. 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.

Vatican City: Vatican Museums and Castel Gandolfo w/ Lunch

2. Vatican City: Vatican Museums and Castel Gandolfo w/ Lunch

Start your day trip with an amazing early entrance visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with a professional Guide. Take your time to enjoy Micheal Angelo's masterpieces before the crowds. Enjoy the privileged skip the line entrance and take most of it to visit all the parts of the Museums in peace. Wander the Vatican City Gardens which will make your way to a modern train that will take you to Pope's Summer Residence at Castel Gandolfo. Have a biological lunch at the Barberini Gardens. Let your guide lead you through the amazing Barberini Gardens and Pope's Summer residence recently opened to external visitors. Enjoy this day trip and take the train back to the St. Perter's train station in Rome.

Rome: Vatican & Lunch at Pope's Summer Residence Day Tour

3. Rome: Vatican & Lunch at Pope's Summer Residence Day Tour

Start your 9-hour program with a bus ride to Castel Gandolfo, a secluded and charming town that’s home to the pope’s summer residence. Explore the pope’s private Barberini Gardens by mini-bus and with the assistance of an audio guide. The Papal Palace was recently opened to the public by Pope Francis. You’ll see the treasures of this extravagant yet intimate interior, including works by Bernini. Enjoy a break for lunch and some free time to explore the town before heading back to Rome. In the afternoon, begin a 3-hour tour of Vatican City at the Vatican Museums. With your priority access you’ll skip the lines, allowing more time to discover the great works of art. Continue to the Sistine Chapel, where your guide will point out amazing art including Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement – the largest fresco ever painted by a single person. The last stop on this walking tour of Vatican City is St. Peter’s Basilica, which is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture.

From Rome: Guided Tour of Vatican City & Pope's Residence

4. From Rome: Guided Tour of Vatican City & Pope's Residence

This is a unique chance to visit everything about the Vatican in 1 day and by avoiding the crowds. You will access the Vatican Museums before the public, at 7.45 am and you will have an exclusive tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Your guide will walk you then through the amazing Vatican Gardens and you'll discover the beauty of this unique place. Together with the guide, you'll reach the iconic Vatican City train station from where you will start your journey to Castel Gandolfo (approx. 45mins). At the station, you will have transportation waiting for you. In 10 minutes you'll reach the Pope's Gardens where lunch will be served. After lunch, you'll have a designated guide who will walk you, at a slow pace, through the Pope's Gardens. Afterward, you'll reach the Pope's Summer residence where you'll have the chance to discover so much about the history and aspects of Popes' lives that you didn't know before. At the end of the visit, you'll have a transfer to the train station where you will take the train that will bring you back to Rome. This tour includes a host, a guide and transportation in a way that you cannot miss anything and also you'll have assistance all day long.

Rome: Vatican Day Tour With Skip-the-Line Tickets and Lunch

5. Rome: Vatican Day Tour With Skip-the-Line Tickets and Lunch

Whether it's your first or fifth visit to the Vatican, take the time to discover all there is to see on this full-day comprehensive tour of its museums, gardens, and grounds. You’ll begin early by meeting your guide outside the entrance to the Vatican Museums where you’ll skip the usually long lines outside to go straight in. This collection houses 26 distinct museums and 70,000 pieces of art. But we’ve taken the stress out of your day by ensuring you’ll be accompanied by an official Vatican guide who knows these museums inside-out and will be able to take you to the best of the best. Enjoy the exquisitely crafted sculptures in the Octagonal Courtyard, the magnificent Raphael Rooms, and the ornate Gallery of Tapestries. You'll also arrive at Michelangelo's masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel, fully prepared with tips from your guide on what to look out for. Next, you'll journey into the stately Vatican Gardens. Entry to this collection of landscaped gardens, forests, and medieval monuments is strictly for those on tours (like this one), so you’ll be sure of a slice of tranquility within the bustling city-state. After you’ve soaked in the fresh air, you’ll make your way to the Vatican Rail Station with your guide for a journey to make your Vatican experience complete. Opened as recently as 2015, you’ll step aboard the Pope’s train and set your sights on one of the most beautiful hill towns in all of Italy coming into view. Steeped in history, Castel Gandolfo is not only the summer residence of the Popes but close by is the birthplace of the legendary Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome. The gorgeous gardens of the Villa Barberini are where you’ll be treated to an inviting buffet lunch, made of traditional Italian dishes and fresh seasonal ingredients. Use your free time after lunch to explore the charming town further. We’d recommend visiting the Papal Palace for an audio tour (included) where you can roam inside the Pope’s apartments, which are vastly more extensive than even those of the Vatican! Afterward, be sure to wander towards the beautiful Lake Albano and take in the scenic hill views.

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What people are saying about Vatican Museums

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 5 reviews

Very nice tour, perfectly organized with trained guides only the Vatican guide prepared but not very kind where we also had a bickering about being late due to queues and more because you started the tour in the explanations went more than necessary and noticed the delay of losing the train to Castel'Gandolfo blamed us Italians even with the firmness of the companion who replies that they were the first to arrive I'm sorry not to do so one has to take responsibility, explain the tour is impossible only to seeing a unique beauty advised everyone to try it to believe I end up with a word Spectacular.

Just beautiful

Everything went great. Our driver to Castel Gandolfo was just great. Very personable and explained and told me a lot along the way because I also speak Italian. I then translated it into English for my relatives from Australia. Lunch in the garden was great, great atmosphere and Castel Gandolfo is a super cute little town. The view of the lake is amazing. in dream! On the way back, the driver was so nice and let us out in Termini so that we could drive comfortably and quickly to the next meeting point. Thank you again for that! It was a great experience!

Excellent tour. Could not have asked for more. I was admittedly apprehensive about this tour (and the associated cost), but found that this was one of my most memorable experiences that I have ever had within Rome. Highly recommend this!

Excellent tours,so beautiful residents garden for the pope!! My driver was very good.. in the afternoon did a tour of Vatican museum pier was a great tour guide very knowledgeable I learn alot from him

It was a very nice experience. Our guide was the Best. She loves history. We learned a lot of interesting informations. I liked it very much.