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Vatican Museums

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Our most recommended Vatican Museums UNESCO Sites

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.

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

3. 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: Early Access Tour of Museums with Sistine Chapel

4. 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: Vatican Highlights Skip-the-Line Group Tour

5. Rome: Vatican Highlights Skip-the-Line Group Tour

Pre-book your entry tickets to St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums and enjoy skip-the-line entry privileges. Explore the wonders of St. Peter's Basilica alone at your own pace, then join a guided tour at the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel. Your morning begins with a skip-the-line tour of St. Peter's Basilica, including a trip in the dome elevator, from where you can climb further to take in the true majesty of the site from up close. Explore the naves, apse, and chapels of the Renaissance church on your own, and marvel at staggering art and architecture by Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo. Next, you'll skip the line at the Vatican Museums, providing you with more time to explore one of the world’s greatest art collections. A guide will accompany you through the museums, telling stories that bring the statues, frescoes, and maps to life. Boasting many galleries, it can be hard to know where to start, but your guide will take you on a carefully planned route perfected over the years. Discover the bigger picture of power and politics in Vatican City and how it interacts with art. Go to the rooms of former popes in the Raphael Rooms, and wander down the extraordinary Gallery of Maps to see how ancient cartographers mapped the world through history. End in the Sistine Chapel just before closing time. Gaze in awe at Michelangelo’s miraculous frescoes, including his depiction of the “Last Judgment” on the ceiling.

Rome: Early Entry to the Vatican & The Sistine Chapel

6. Rome: Early Entry to the Vatican & The Sistine Chapel

Beat the crowds and enter the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the public. Enjoy the incredible frescoes in peace. After marveling at the beautiful Raphael Room, spend quality time with Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Chapel before your guide leads you on a tour of the Vatican Museums. Stop along the way to see all the most important works. Since you started early, stay one step ahead of the crowds in most galleries as you enjoy fantastic art like the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoon and Sons, and more. Next up is the Pinacoteca Gallery. Housing works by Caravaggio, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Raphel, the modern wing of the Vatican Museums contain a remarkable array of precious masterpieces. Led by your expert guide, visit this area without the crowds and spend time truly immersed in the atmosphere. End your Vatican tour at a special spot overlooking the dome of St Peter's Basilica. Learn about the history and architecture of this incredible church and get tips on what to look out for during an independent visit. From there the choice is yours. Grab lunch inside the Vatican Museums and continue your exploration of these incredible palaces, or follow the dome to St Peter's Basilica.

Rome: Vatican Galleries and Sistine Chapel Tour

7. Rome: Vatican Galleries and Sistine Chapel Tour

Discover the wonders of the art collection inside the Vatican Museums on a tour with an art historian guide. Walk through the galleries and admire masterpieces by Michelangelo inside the Sistine Chapel, including The Last Judgement. Start your visit by meeting your guide and listen to the explanations of your art historian guide as you visit the Gallery of the Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Candelabra. Round off the tour with the marvels of the Sistine Chapel and the frescoes by Michelangelo. Inside, you’ll get to see Michelangelo’s most famous artwork: The Last Judgement.

Rome: 3-Hour Private Early Morning Vatican Tour

8. Rome: 3-Hour Private Early Morning Vatican Tour

This tour offers the opportunity to visit the Vatican Museums at your own pace with entry before regular opening time. Skip the ticket line and first discover highlights of the Vatican Galleries, with its collection of precious artworks. Your guide will then take you to see the spectacular Sistine Chapel, where you will be able to admire Michelangelo’s work free from the crowds you find during the regular opening hours. Then, get privileged access to the Cabinet of the Masks, which is usually a restricted area of the Vatican. Enjoy a unique experience with your professional and knowledgeable guide and discover one of the Vatican's most precious treasures.

Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Early Entry Tour

9. Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Early Entry Tour

Be led behind the doors of Catholicism in the holy Vatican City on an early entry walking tour. Avoid crowds and lines and experience the Vatican with the comfort of a very small group. Go on a journey made of mesmerizing history, breath-taking masterpieces, and mysticism led by an expert in art and religion. Begin your tour with a special organized VIP breakfast at Corte dei Papi, surrounded by the enchanting Cortile della Pigna, before your early access to the Vatican Museum. Then, visit the Vatican Museum, a chest of countless masterpieces including the astonishing gallery of statues, the interesting gallery of maps, the gallery of tapestries, and the Raphaels rooms. Learn about the great artists who helped to intricately embellish one of the most fascinating sovereign states in the world. Enter the Sistine Chapel and lift your head up to one of the most admired ceilings in the world. Immerse yourself in The Last Judgment, the seemingly never-ending fresco magnificently adorned by Michelangelo’s life-like, potent figures of Adam, God, and many saints. Try to spot the artist’s self-portrait on the torso of Saint Peter. Explore the inside of St. Peter’s Basilica. Marvel at the incredible mosaics, Michelangelo’s Pietà, and Bernini’s Baldachin in all their glory.

Vatican: Highlights and Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tour

10. Vatican: Highlights and Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tour

Take advantage of skip-the-line entry tickets to both the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel on this guided tour. Walk through the Vatican galleries and explore one of the largest art collections in the world. Once inside the Vatican Museums, follow your guide to the Pio Clementino Museum. See Nero's bathtub, the Apollo of Belvedere and the Laocoon. Continue to the Raphael Rooms, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Maps, and the Belvedere Courtyard. The last stop will be the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll get to admire the frescoes of Michelangelo, such as the Creation of Adam and the Last Judgement. Learn about Michelangelo and Raphael working at the same time for Pope Julius II.

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What people are saying about Vatican Museums

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 453 reviews

Guided tour with a dynamic and very pleasant guide. The explanations are mastered and clear. The guide was attentive to our questions and to our comfort during the visit. Indeed the pace is fast and you have to sneak constantly through the world that's why I recommend taking the guided tour which, in addition to the explanations, facilitates travel. The visit lasts about 2 hours, there is a lot to see, listen to and record, so there is no time to dwell on each of the works, but you will have the essentials.

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.

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.

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

The tour was great and very informative. The guide was very nice and knowledgeable.