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Vatican Museums

Walking tours

Our most recommended Vatican Museums Walking tours

Vatican & Sistine Chapel Group Tour with Basilica Entrance

1. Vatican & Sistine Chapel Group Tour with Basilica Entrance

Experience the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums with skip-the-line entrance on a guided tour. Learn about the secrets behind the artwork and buildings from your professional tour guide. Explore St. Peter's Basilica without waiting to enter.  Discover the Vatican Museums, the second most visited in Europe after the Louvre in Paris. Take in the 4 miles and whopping 20,000 works of art that the Vatican Museums offer for an immersive experience.   Next, head to the Sistine Chapel and see works by master painters such as Perugino, Pinturicchio, Ghirlandaio, Rosselli, Botticelli, Signorelli, and, of course, Michelangelo. After your guided tour has concluded, skip the line to enter St.Peter's Basilica and experience its grandeur on your own.

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

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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

6. 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.

Vatican Museums: Exclusive Opening the Sistine Chapel Tour

7. Vatican Museums: Exclusive Opening the Sistine Chapel Tour

Tour Vatican City's Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel before dawn with the Vatican’s Museum Key Master. Enjoy two hours of exploration time in the Museums without anyone else but your small group around, an experience usually reserved for the Key Master and the Pope. Follow behind as the Key Master unlocks the doors and lights up the long, empty galleries for you to explore. The highlight of your tour will be opening the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll enter completely alone and watch Michelangelo’s frescoes flicker to life. Accompanied by an official Vatican tour guide, get up close with some of the finest artworks in the world appreciating every detail. See the Raphael Rooms, home to a collection of frescoes revered by art historians. Enjoy the ample space free of crowds as you walk along historic galleries like the Gallery of the Maps and the Gallery of the Tapestries. At the end of the tour, choose to stay inside the museums to explore more on your own or head out, passing the crowds who are only now getting inside the doors.

Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Evening Tour

8. Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Evening Tour

Avoid the daytime crowds and explore the Vatican Museum's stunning art collection and the Sistine Chapel on an after-hours evening tour. This tour, which takes place only on Friday's during the summer, allows you to access the Vatican's immense collection of art throughout exclusive evening access. The work of history's most celebrated artists, Leornardo da Vinci, Raphael, Caravaggio and Michelangelo, decorate the museum walls, which stretch over 7 kilometers and fill 2,000 rooms. With so many important things to see, the Vatican Museum can be an overwhelming place to visit alone. You can simply allow your licensed guide to navigate you through the 2nd-largest museum in the world on a 2-hour guided tour that concludes in Michelangelo's masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. The evening atmosphere is very tranquil and intimate in contrast to the daytime crowds, leaving you with a unique experience that most visitors to Rome never knew existed.

Rome: Vatican Galleries and Sistine Chapel Tour

9. 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.

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.

Frequently asked questions about Vatican Museums Walking tours

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Other Sightseeing Options in Vatican Museums

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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.

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.

Easy process and great tour! Christina, our tour guide was fantastic - very knowledgeable! Would love to do a tour with her again.

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

We found Christina from Maya tours very well informed and funny. She was the perfect tour guide!