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Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour

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Rome, Italy
Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour

From $276.21

Price varies by group size

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon3 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 4 more

Overview

Visit the Vatican without the crowds on a private early-bird tour and enter the Vatican Museums before the complex opens to the general public. Enjoy an exclusive exploration of world-renowned art by Renaissance masters, visit the Sistine Chapel, and enter St. Peter’s Basilica directly from the museums, without waiting in the main line. Upgrade for a prime version with even earlier priority access, including the Raphael Rooms.
  • See the Vatican Museums with a private guide before they open to the public
  • Gain skip-the-line access to St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Visit the Sistine Chapel and see works by Raphael, Da Vinci, and Michelangelo
  • Upgrade for even earlier fast-track entry including admission to the Raphael Rooms
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Meet and greet service at your hotel/accommodation
Professional Licensed Blue Badge Tour Guide
Hotel pickup with Sanitized Vehicle (centrally located hotels. Within Aurelian Walls)
Priority Access (before the regular Early Morning Crowd - if Prime Option 7:20AM selected)
Sistine Chapel
Hotel Drop Off Service (if Prime Option 7:20AM selected)
Food and drinks

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Centrally located hotels in Rome (within Aurelian Walls)
PRIME Version at 7:20AM (not available till 2022)
2021 Version at 7:30AM

As one of the most-visited museums in the world, the Vatican Museums are understandably crowded, so avoid the masses on a private morning tour before the general public arrives. After pickup at your hotel, explore the Vatican Museums with your private guide, who tells you about the history of the artwork and can customize the tour to your interests.

If you wish, upgrade from standard early-morning admission to a “prime tour” option and be treated like a VIP. Arrive earlier to enjoy priority entry without any lines or crowds, and gain access to the Raphael Rooms to admire Raphael's most famous frescoes.

With either tour option, hear about the legends and mysteries behind some of the pieces on display, and learn about the Renaissance masters who created the artwork. You can decide if you want to see the iconic Sistine Chapel first or last—either way, it’s the highlight of any visit with its famous frescoes by Michelangelo. Other treasures inside the museum complex include sculptures, carvings and paintings; your guide makes sure you see the most important masterpieces and interesting rooms and galleries.

Visit the Belvedere Courtyard, Gallery of Tapestries, and Gallery of Maps, and then gain fast-track entry into St. Peter’s Basilica to see more artwork, like Bernini’s baldacchino altar. Your tour ends here or back at your accommodation.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Vatican Museums
With our Prime Tour, we get you inside the Museums before the regular Early Morning crowds, bypassing those already waiting in line for the Vatican doors to open - You'll really feel like the Popes Special Guest as you stroll right past everyone who has a Standard Early Morning Vatican Tour. Watch the Vatican Museum Galleries slowly come to life before their day starts.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Cortile della Pigna
The Courtyard of the “Pigna”, created from the 16th century area of the “Belvedere”
Pass By:  
Stanze di Raffaello
The Raphael Rooms, where you will admire Raphael's most famous frescoes and learn about his rivalry with Michelangelo.
Stop At:  
St. Peter's Basilica
Enjoy the breathtaking Saint Peter's Basilica, shrine of Christianity and Art. You will marvel at the Priceless Pietà, by Michelangelo, and stop by the venerable tomb of Saint John Paul II & Pope Karol Wojtyla. The Pietà (1498–1499) is a work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.
Duration: 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
La Pieta
The Pietà is a work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. It is the first of a number of works of the same theme by the artist. The statue was commissioned for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, who was a representative in Rome. The sculpture, in Carrara marble, was made for the cardinal's funeral monument, but was moved to its current location, the first chapel on the right as one enters the basilica, in the 18th century. It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.
Stop At:  
Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere (pontiff from 1471 to 1484) who had the old Cappella Magna restored between 1477 and 1480. It is known throughout the world both for being the place where the conclave and other official ceremonies of the Pope are held (in the past also some papal coronations), and for being decorated with one of the most famous and celebrated works of art of artistic civilization the frescoes by Michelangelo.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
St. Peter's Square
This monumental elliptical space, enclosed by 284 Doric columns four rows deep (196m wide and 148m long), is the masterpiece of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who laid it out during the pontificates of Alexander VII and of Clement IX.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements
  • A moderate amount of walking is involved - comfortable shoes are recommended
  • Wheelchair partly accessible: the tour is only available if the person in the wheelchair can do 6 flights of stairs without the wheelchair.
  • Please advise if anyone in your group has mobility issues
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • OPERATED BY Eyes of Rome
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour.

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Traveler Tips


  • "Definitely worth the early bird timing as the Vatican can get packed as the day goes on." See review
  • "It makes so much sense to get to The Vatican early even if it opens at 8am because the crowd build up is unbelievable, We were first in line at 715am." See review
  • "Note: the ~4 hour tour time includes travel to and from the Vatican plus waiting time for early entry (a great advantage since the crowds grow quickly when general admission opens)." See review

Reviews

5.0
star-5
350 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 350 reviews
star-5
Best tour guide - Gianluca!
Sara_A
, Nov 2021
Our tour guide, Gianluca, made this experience so memorable! He was knowledgable and engaging and we can't say enough wonderful things about the tour. We will definitely be looking to book another tour with him on our next visit!
star-5
A tour to remember
Damion_H
, Nov 2021
Alessia is a wonderful tour guide. It felt like we had met a friend who was walking us through her favorite landmarks. She has a way of delivering the history of the buildings that is so engaging. This tour is not to be missed. I would give this tour 10 stars if I could…
star-5
Amazing!
Monique_F
, Oct 2021
Wonderful experience and wonderful tour! Going for the early morning means you really get privacy within the basilica. I wish the Vatican museums would have been first stop so there would have been less people, but even still there were very slim crowds
star-5
Katie was a spectacular guide. Great story teller, knowledgeable, patient, professional. 100% would do it again.
Thomas_D
, Oct 2021
Best for us was St Peters. Early morning gave us the time to enjoy and the driver was early, Katie (tour guide) was on time, and we enjoyed out time greatly.
star-5
Magnifico
Vicki_W
, Oct 2021
Our experience was incredible…. My sister and I wanted to go back to St.Peter’s but decided not to as we wanted the memory to be of a quiet visit with very very few others in the basilica. Well worth getting up early!!!
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Excellent kickoff to our visit to Rome
Blake_B
, Oct 2021
This was our very first tour when we arrived in Rome and it was spectacular! Our guide, Serena was the best and truly passionate about her city, history, and of course everything we would see at the Vatican. Highly recommended and definitely do the early morning tour to limit the crowds. This was perhaps one of the only silver linings of travelling during Covid but we had St. Peter's basically to ourselves. Highly recommended!
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Outstanding!
Judith_S
, Oct 2021
Fabiana was an outstanding tour guide, solicitous of our needs and knowledgeable in all answers to our questions. The tour was about three hours, but time went quickly because of the fascinating history and sights. I have already recommended this tour and our guide to friends.
star-5
Early Bird Vatican is the best way to go...
Charles_W
, Sep 2021
Best way to see the Vatican, highlighted by St Peter's!! Breathtaking and surreal. Getting in before the crowds is the only way to take this tour... Mostly nobody at St Peter's, crowds started to build at Vatican Museum, and things were a bit more crowded by the time we got to the Chapel....although it really continued to build more while we were there. Our guide was knowledgeable and ensured we saw the highlights and allowed us to linger as necessary. I would recommend this tour!
star-5
Well worth it
Tracie_M
, Sep 2021
Our tour guide Maria Linda was spectacular. She was incredibly knowledgeable and gracious with our time, allowing us to move at our own pace. It was a pleasure to be picked up by private car so early in the morning. The tour was by far my favorite! The stroll back to our apartment was a great opportunity to see more of this beautiful city
star-5
Great and knowledgeable tour guide!
Cameron_R
, Aug 2021
Everything was amazing from the on-time pickup at our hotel to the drop off to our tour guide Dennis. Very professional, knowledgeable and fun! He also took great pictures of us. Highly recommend the early bird option because you’ll basically have everything to yourselves!
1 traveler found this review helpful

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