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Early Access Vatican Museums Semi-Private Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s

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Roma, Italy
Early Access Vatican Museums Semi-Private Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon2 hours 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Overview

Tens of thousands of people visit the Vatican Museums each day to see St. Peter’s Basilica, masterpieces by the likes of Michelangelo and Raphael, and the Sistine Chapel. Get inside the UNESCO-listed complex before it opens to the general public on this early access tour that’s limited to just 10 participants. Enter through a reserved doorway to skip the lines, and stay a step ahead of the large crowds on this carefully planned route that ensures you make the most of your time.
  • Be one of the first visitors of the day to enter the Vatican Museums before the crowds arrive
  • Enter through a groups-only doorway to skip the long lines
  • Get context to the Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, and masterpieces by the likes of Michelangelo
  • This tour is limited to 10 participants ensuring you can always see and hear the guide

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

Be among the first people of the day in all the Vatican on this small-group tour.
Saved to wishlist!
Reserved Skip-the-Line Access to the Vatican Museums
Reserved Access to the Sistine Chapel
Semi-private groups of no larger than 10 people
English-speaking art historian guide
Gratuities
Hotel pickup and drop-off
St. Peter's Basilica is not accessible due to current regulations
Via Tunisi, 4 , Via Tunisi, 4, 00192 Roma RM, Italy

At the bottom of the steps across the street from the Entrance of the Vatican Museums. The steps are located right next to Caffè Vaticano on the corner of Viale Vaticano and Via Tunisi. The closest Metro stop is Line A (Ottaviano – Musei Vaticani). Arriving from Ottaviano - Musei Vaticani Metro A Station: Exit the turnstiles – walk straight to the back end of the station and go to the left side exit. Once you’ve reached the left side exit – exit at V.le Giulio Cesare (to your right). Exit Station and walk down V.le G. Cesare to street light, cross the street and take left on Via Leone IV. Take right on Via Sebastiano Veniero and go 1 ½ blocks.

St. Peter's Basilica , Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
Meet and greet your guide opposite the entrance to the Vatican Museums, a collection of galleries filled with classical and Renaissance masterpieces, including the Sistine Chapel frescoes. Walk inside through a reserved door without any waiting. This access is even faster than the priority lines.

Once inside, there are more than 2,000 rooms and nine miles of art, so follow along with your guide who points out the highlights and explains the story behind each piece. The small-group nature of your tour allows you to remain close to your guide at all times, but a headset is included to make sure you can always hear the commentary clearly.

Stroll through rooms like the Gallery of Maps, with its golden, vaulted ceiling; the Raphael Rooms, painted by Renaissance artist Raphael; and the stunning Sistine Chapel, considered to be the Pope’s home chapel, with Michelangelo’s 'Creation of Adam' and
'The Last Judgement.' On your early-access tour, you find the galleries to be considerably quieter than they would be later in the day.

Finish with a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church ever built and one of the holiest and most important sites in Christendom. Get an overview of its long history from your guide, and get an up-close look at 'La Pietà,' one of Michelangelo’s earlier sculptures that depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion.

Your tour ends inside the basilica. After you’ve finished exploring with your group, you can stay as long as you want on your own. It’s the perfect time to head down into the crypts or climb up to the top of St. Peter’s dome (own expense) for uninterrupted views of Rome.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Vatican City
Get inside the UNESCO-listed complex of the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel before the crowds on this early-access small-group tour that’s limited to just 10 participants.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Vatican Museums
Stroll through rooms like the Gallery of Maps, with its golden, vaulted ceiling; the Raphael Rooms, painted by Renaissance artist Raphael; and the stunning Sistine Chapel, considered to be the Pope’s home chapel, with Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement. On your early-access tour, you’ll find the galleries to be considerably quieter than they would be later in the day.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Sistine Chapel
Meet and greet your guide opposite the entrance to the Vatican Museums, a collection of galleries filled with classical and Renaissance masterpieces, including the Sistine Chapel frescoes. Walk inside through a reserved door without any waiting. This access is even faster than the priority lines. Once inside, there are more than 2,000 rooms and nine miles of art, so follow along with your guide who will point out the highlights and explain the story behind each piece. The small-group nature of your tour allows you to remain close to your guide at all times, but a headset is included to make sure you can always hear the commentary clearly.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
St. Peter's Basilica
Finish with a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church ever built and one of the holiest and most important sites in Christendom. Get an overview of its long history from your guide, and get an up-close look at the Pietà, one of Michelangelo’s earlier sculptures that depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. Your tour ends inside the basilica. After you’ve finished exploring with your group, you can stay as long as you want on your own. It’s the perfect time to head down into the crypts or climb up to the top of St. Peter’s dome (own expense) for uninterrupted views of Rome. • Please be advised that St. Peter’s Basilica will not be accessible until further notice due to current restrictions
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • At the meeting point there will be social distancing taking place. Our guide will organize the group upon your arrival, but we kindly ask yourself to be conscience in taking social distance at all the time from others.
  • Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women to enter to the venues
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Only small bags are allowed in the venue
  • Please note that, due to the current Covid restrictions inside the Vatican, St Peter’s Basilica is not included until further notice
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
  • OPERATED BY City Wonders Ltd
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.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

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 Early Access Vatican Museums Semi-Private Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s?
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 Early Access Vatican Museums Semi-Private Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Early Access Vatican Museums Semi-Private Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Early Access Vatican Museums Semi-Private Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s.

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Traveler Tips


  • "Getting into the grounds early is also key as it still fills up and gets crowded really fast." See review
  • "Starts early but still doesn't avoid a lot of crowds." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
2,736 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 2,736 reviews
star-5
Michelangelo’s Masterpiece!
StevenJ_B
, Jul 2022
Michelangelo’s art work in the Sistine Chapel, along with the other artists, changed civilization forever! Something you will always remember!
star-5
Great tour with Christian highly recommend
Ardith_F
, Jul 2022
Christians passion for the Vatican and Sistine Chapel was contagious. We all thoroughly enjoyed out experience with him.
star-5
Professional and dependable tour company
Lea_P
, Jul 2022
Our guide, Ricardo, was so happy and engaging. He really cares about his tourists and the art around us. If he has given this tour 1000 times, I would not know because his delivery was fresh and sincere. Our 4 teenagers enjoyed the experience and learned a lot.
star-4
Pricey but good for early entry
Kaitlyn_M
, Jul 2022
It was a good tour. It was extremely crowded and at times difficult to hear the operator because of interference from other radios .
star-4
Guide was very nice and...
Donna_M
, Jun 2022
Guide was very nice and extremely knowledgeable. She took her time describing everything. Headsets were spotty but otherwise very good.
star-5
Wonderful Vatican Tour
Linda_C
, Jun 2022
Tour guide was exceptional. She made sure everyone was included and engaged. The Sistine Chapel was amazing.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Awesome Tour
Dave_D
, Jun 2022
The tour was fabulous. The early access was essential to avoid the crowds. The tour was filled with an abundance of information providing information on the artwork in each room. Our family learned many details on paintings and statues throughout the building. The tour guide was awesome and took time to explain the entire scene painted in the Sistine Chapel. Our family loved the tour!
star-5
Best way to start your day in Rome
Anonymous
, Jun 2022
The grandness and the vastness of the Vatican museums was amazing. Paulina, our tour guide, was exceptional. Her knowledge, pace and management of our group was outstanding. I will definitely be recommending this tour to family and friends.
star-5
Anna was a very kind...
MariaPaula_M
, Jun 2022
Anna was a very kind guide and gave us very interesting information on the history and characteristics of what we were visiting. Thank you!
star-5
Great experience
Nicholas_J
, Jun 2022
It was a wonderful experience. The knowledge of our guide was very impressive and made our experience great. I would absolutely recommend.
star-2
There must be a better tour
veronicabacon1
, Jun 2022
It felt very very rushed. We couldn’t really follow what the guide was talking about because we were walking so fast through the crowds and not actually physically stopping at any art or tapestries. We were literally on the move the entire time.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-4
Great tour, but better for older kids.
yhershko
, Jun 2022
Our guide had a lot of information to share. At times this went on a bit too long for the kids. The tour is huge, we thought we would see the sistine chapel 30 minutes after the start, it took almost an hour and a half to get there. I would recommend if you have a group with younger kids decreasing the amount of time spent in the courtyard and do more of the talking while walking through the galleries. She did answer everyone's questions and had a lot of interesting details to teach us as we were going through though. We would definitely do this again when the kids are older.
star-5
Great tour and guide
Sammie_S
, Jun 2022
Christian was fabulous! Extremely knowledge. I feel like he pointed out things and offered history above and beyond the many other guides we heard throughout the day.
star-5
Awesome tour , Great guide and the Sistine Chapel was magical
Vonette_N
, Jun 2022
The tour was easy to find and our tour guide Christian was very well informed, funny and a joy to spend time with all over the Vatican. He explained things well, talk to each of us during the tour and made the discussions interactive. His passion for the knowledge came the each spot, we felt as if we were on tour with a friend or family member. I would not wanted to do this without a guide. Highly recommended this tour !11
star-2
Not As Advertised!
Richard_Z
, Jun 2022
False advertising. No tour of St. Peter’s. It’s not even included even though it clearly says it in the title. Certainly not worth the price we had to pay. Look for another tour or book it yourself.
star-3
Could have been better
Angela_P
, Jun 2022
The tour was not as informative as we would have hoped. Guide’s microphone crackled the whole time. Wanted more detail on the art we were seeing and wished to see more of the sculptures and less tapestries. Glad I checked this tour off my list.
star-5
Fantastic tour
Kristen_P
, Jun 2022
Beatrice was fantastic!! Very knowledgeable, engaging and funny! We enjoyed the tour tremendously!! Everyone needs to do this at least once if you are ever in Rome. The tour company was super organized and made it very easy to find.
star-4
Just ok, too detailed for group that were not history nor art majors
David_D
, Jun 2022
The tour package was larger than advertised (12+ not the 10 we signed up for. In addition the coordinator was on the verge of being rude when asked about this.) We are traveling with 2 young children.. our tour guide was/is obviously well educated and initially tried to communicate with entire group but soon was lost in the depth of detail while we waited in the sun. We left tour to visit within the chapel before children totally lost control
star-1
Stay away from this your operator!
Kevin_D
, Jun 2022
This was by far the worst tour operator we have have ever used via Viator. My wife and daughter got sick overnight before our tour. I sent a text via Viator app and called with no response from operator. My son and I arrived early and let the tour operator know they would not be attending, The tour agent said it should be fine. We then walked into the Vatican to PURCHASE the tickets, they don't actually purchase tickets before, and no ticket was ever purchased for my wife and daughter. I figured this was a good thing and I would get a refund with further issue. Unfortunately the operator has been difficult and refused to offer a refund of any sort. I would stay away and choose another tour operator as they clearly don't value customer service and feel its ok to charge for tickets that they never incurred any cost for, not a fair business practice.
star-2
Disappointed in small group description
Frank_M
, Jun 2022
We paid for small group but we’re very disappointed in the mass chaos and large crowds. Only once in 2 hours did we ever break away from crowds.
1 traveler found this review helpful

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