Small Group Tour of Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica and Sistine Chapel
Waste no time waiting in any lines with this incredible guided tour of the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. With a professional guide providing you with commentary and deep insight into all the marvels of the Vatican combined with a total bypass of entry lines at the Museum and the Basilica, this is truly the perfect tour for those who are short on time but want to get their money's worth!
This exceptional tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica lets you bypass the hours long waiting lines to these attractions so that you can save time on your Roman holiday admiring the incredible art and architecture that is a hallmark of the Vatican experience. See the world famous artistic treasures housed in these buildings as well as lesser known but just as fascinating gems of the art world housed here.
You professional English guide will be providing you informative commentary as he helps you navigate your way through the key parts of Vatican City, from the Pinecone Courtyard to the Hall of Maps, past the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Gallery of Candelabra until the incredible Raphael Rooms, the public part of the papal apartments. Listen to some fascinating stories about the provenance of the artwork that is held in these places as well as the history from the era in which they were commissioned, giving you insight and knowledge that is hard to gain on your own.
Unsurprisingly, one of the major highlights of this tour is when you arrive at the Sistine Chapel and, though tours are not allowed through the chapel, your guide would have already prepared you through the use of detailed photos as to what to expect once you enter the room. Allow yourself a while to pick out the details your guide would have told you about, like the portrait of Michelangelo’s boneless frame to in express that he would rather be skinned alive than paint the Sistine Chapel again, the fresco that is synonymous with his life's work but also the most arduous labor of love that he had encountered throughout his lifetime.
Having explored the Sistine Chapel in detail, you'll be able to exit the chapel through a special doorway and go straight through to St. Peter's Basilica, having once again bypassed the snaking lines. Admire the awe inspiring altar framed by Michelangelo's Last Judgement behind it and gaze at La Pietà, the incredible sculpture which remains the only work that Michelangelo ever signed with his name, an act of vanity that the master is said to have regretted his entire life.
After having had your fill of the Basilica, your group will make it's way outside to see St. Peter’s Square, designed by the Italian master Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Groups will have a guided tours inside St. Peter’s Basilica every morning except on Wednesdays, when it’s highly likely that the Basilica will be closed to the public for the Papal audience. On afternoon tours the guide delivers a commentary about St. Peter’s Basilica from St. Peter’s Square before groups enter the basilica on their own to admire it further. Your tour concludes in the Square, where there's plenty to see on your own, like the Balcony from which the Pope addresses the crowds that gather here or Bernini's exceptional use of architecture and artwork itself to adorn the Square.
- Skip the Line access to the Vatican Museums
- Access to the Sistine Chapel
- Skip the Line access to St. Peter's Basilica
- Headsets, when appropriate
- Professional Guide
Know Before You Go
- The Vatican Museums are one of the most popular tourist destinations and sometimes delays can occur due to increased security measures or unexpectedly large crowds during holidays and festivities. As always, your guide will make sure any delays are minimized and that you get access as quickly as possible.
- On Wednesday mornings & afternoons St. Peter's Basilica may be closed to the public due to the Papal Audience taking place in Saint Peter’s Square. If you wish to visit St. Peter’s Basilica, please plan to travel on another day. The Basilica is also subject to last minute closures for religious ceremonies.
- Non-flash photography is permitted throughout the tour, except in the Sistine Chapel where talking and photography are prohibited.
- Please note that our vendor will be unable to accommodate guests with wheelchairs or any impairments requiring special assistance. They will be unable to accommodate strollers or baby carriages as well.
- Please note that in case of unexpected closures of some of the areas inside the Museums, the guide may have to modify the itinerary slightly. For example, if some of the internal connecting areas are closed for safety reasons, Raphael's Rooms may be replaced by the Pio Clementino Museum, where the Laocoon and Apollo Belvedere statues are situated.
This tour occurs at 8 AM, 8:45 AM, 9 AM, 10 AM & 2:30 PM. Please note that the timings may change every season due to which not all timings will be available every day. The duration of this tour is 3 hours.
The last entrance at the Sistine Chapel on November 30th will be at 8.30 AM.
Please be aware that due to the Basilica opening calendar, tours starting at 2:30 PM or later:
- From April until October, the tour will include a shorter guided tour of the Basilica. Your guide will take you inside and after a brief orientation tour, they will leave you free to continue your visit independently.
- From November until March, there won’t be a guided tour inside the Basilica, due to Basilica’s restrictions. Please be ensured that your guide will still be able to provide an explanation from the outside and you will be able to enter the Basilica independently.
- In both cases, the duration of your tour will not be affected, as your guide will decide how to allocate the time between the Museums and the Basilica accordingly.
- This tour involves a fair amount of walking and stairs; comfortable shoes are recommended.
- Entrance into the Vatican requires a strict dress code. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women.
Super Flexible Cancellation Policy
You may cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
You will receive your mobile voucher via email instantly. No need to print! Present your voucher on a mobile device along with a valid photo ID when meeting your tour guide at the bottom of the wide steps across the street from the entrance of the Vatican Museums.
Your tour guide will be wearing a blue City Wonders polo shirts or jackets for easy recognition. You are required to be at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to your tour.
If you face any difficulty in finding your meeting point, you can refer to this link.
The tour ends at St. Peter's Basilica.