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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
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

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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

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.

Traveler Photos

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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
2,692 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 2,692 reviews
star-2
Not worth it, disappointed
Christy_B
, May 2022
Friendly guide but….Was not an excellent experience, the tour guide read from descriptions and I could have done it myself
star-5
Brilliant and Informative Tour - A+
staceylee_b
, May 2022
What a fantastic and informative tour. Our guide was wonderful and knew everything about the Sistine Chapel and Vatican City. She was very knowledgable and we would not hesitate to recommend this tour. We would certainly book this tour again.
star-5
The full experience.
Edgar_R
, May 2022
Great detailed explanation of everything we saw in each of the museums. My tour guide was excellent.
star-5
Giuseppe is the man (lol)
Kara_O
, May 2022
We had an awesome time! Giuseppe was a great tour guide, he was calm but excited to tell us about everything and he made sure the group was all together and having a good time.
star-1
Disappointed
Ciara_S
, May 2022
Over priced and description of tour is false advertising. I would not advise anyone to purchase this tour, buy tickets from The Vatican and not a third party tour company.
star-5
Thank you!
Rachael_D
, May 2022
Our guide Michelle (Micky) was amazing! He was so knowledgeable and really brought the history and the art to life. He made such an effort to learn all of our names and a little bit about us which was such a nice touch. He made the tour fun and we really enjoyed our time. After the tour we asked for a recommendation for a restaurant to try and where he sent us ended up being our favorite from the trip. Thank you!
star-2
Issues are an issue with Viatour
Maureen_M
, May 2022
I have very mixed feelings about Viatour. On the positive side, the app is easy to use and convenient for travel. We used viatour in 4 cities in Italy recently. However, when there is an issue, it is close to impossible to have it resolved. We had laid for a semi private tour; tour guide left because their car died and we became a LARGE tour. We were supposed to be refunded the difference in your price, never happened. Viatour kept insisting I made a change, so beware when you book.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-1
Don’t do it! CityWonders lies in their advertisement of tours!
Christine_F
, May 2022
We have been very disappointed and frustrated with Viator for the past couple of tours and we have several more coming up in the next two weeks. I am almost at the point of canceling all of them. I understand the tours are not run by Viator, but by different, independent tour agencies. However, as the tours are sold under the Viator name, you represent the quality of the tours we take, and we expect them to be the as promised in the tour descriptions. Does ANYONE bother checking to see if the tours you are selling are what they say they are? We went on a “Skip the Line, small group of 10 or less, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica” with CityWonders. From the first moment, everything either went wrong accidentally or deliberately, to do a “Bait &Switch”. The two very disorganized girls checking people in were just all over the place. Then, our “no greater than 10” turned into 25 people! The excuse was that one of the tour guide’s wife was sick. So, why do we have to suffer? We paid for a specific tour and should get that tour. Their staff issues are not our problem. Why didn’t one of the two girls take the tour? All this screwed up the schedule. We were there at 8:15 as instructed for our 8:30 tour, but didn’t even walk in the door until 8:54. We got our annoying earphones that kept falling off because of the masks (they’re the ones that wrap around the ear, as opposed to the much better ear bud). Once we actually started, we went straight out into a bright and sunny, getting warmer by the minute day, while the guide droned on about some significance of certain paintings. If we weren’t listening (or fallen into a sweaty coma), he told it all over again inside. He just talked on and on, oh and “the Sistine Chapel Is only 10 minutes away”. After continuing to just drone on about Rafael, people started turning in their ear pieces and leaving the tour. We did, too. Probably about 10 of us. Wow! A “small group of no more than 10”! And there were still way too many rooms between listening to him talking and the chapel. I have to say by the time we got to the Sistine Chapel, we weren’t as impressed as we thought we would be, and just wanted to get out. If we thought we could stand it any longer, it would have been worth it for the “skip the line” for the Basilica. But, if you look at the tour details on Viator, no one could go into the Basilica due to COVID. Basically, they would take the group to the Basilica and end the tour. How can they advertise that as a specific part of the title on the Viator tour, ESPECIALLY a “small group” or “skip the line”, or the huge “Basilica” we’re not really going to see? BTW, the Basilica was open and if there was any line that needed skipping, it was that one. Especially because it was Wednesday and the Pope gives his papal address every week. It opens at 1pm. We didn’t get to see it.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Excellent tour of the...
Christopher_A
, May 2022
Excellent tour of the Vatican Museums! Got to see everything in 3 hours and our tour guide was very nice and knowledgeable. Highly recommend!
star-5
Great tour, fantastic guide
Shannon_F
, May 2022
Great Tour! Amil was superb! Finding our tour group was smooth. The areas we explored on the tour were interesting and purposefully curated. The best part of the tour though was our guide, Amil. She was funny, insightful, and captivating.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Thank you Maria Laura
Vance_V
, May 2022
Maria Laura was our guide. She was excellent! Very knowledgeable, sweet and so organized. She did a great job leading the group and respectful of the other groups. Which was awesome as most of the leaders of the other groups were aggressive snd not very respectful. We definitely were blessed with a great leader!
star-5
Guide ( sorry forgot her...
Michael_T
, May 2022
Guide ( sorry forgot her name ) was very friendly and knowledgeable. Doing the early morning trip was worth it, as the crowds just kept getting bigger during the day. Learned a lot on the tour.
star-1
Rude & Robbed
Marcus_H
, May 2022
Please note that you need to arrive at least 20mins prior. There was no communication with the tour guide or company. There are also other companies nearby that can accommodate and provide a tour. Very disappointed and did not receive a refund.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-4
overall good tour, value and representation 6/10
Debra_W
, May 2022
good tour but seemed a bit rushed through the contemporary art collection just before the Sistene Chapel, I would have liked some commentary and a few minutes to look through otherwise a good tour although you advertise St Peter's and the guide did not take us there and the line was over an hour long so I'm not sure that you should advertise that it includes the Basilica if there is in actual effect no tour there.
star-5
Our tour was great. Early...
Gurn_S
, May 2022
Our tour was great. Early entrance was great, no waiting lines. The guide, Alberto was wonderful, he really knows how to make the experience off visiting the Vatican perfect👌
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-3
Good guide, too many in tour
Susanna_M
, May 2022
Guide was good, but NOT acceptable 12 persons in tour when sold as no more than 10 would be in group. A lot to see in 3 hours
star-5
An eye opening experience
Feron_E
, May 2022
This is the 3rd time I've taken this tour and Paulina has been the best guide I've had. She was kind, polite, and very knowledgeable about the history behind many of the art pieces. On previous tours, I've felt rushed as if the guide was trying to get us in and out. Paulina took her time giving us relevant facts about many of the most stunning and iconic art pieces and took us on a journey that was truly enlightening and inspirational. It was a fantastic day and I hope she is rewarded for her hard work. Thank you so much!
star-1
Poor organization and customer service.
David_L
, May 2022
Very difficult to locate tour guide. When we arrived just two minutes late, we were told the tour had left and we could not join them. We were told on site that a refund would be available, but when I applied for the refund online, the refund was declined.
star-5
Started just on time. Our...
Arnaldo_R
, May 2022
Started just on time. Our guide was great, very knowledgeable, made sure all of our questions were answered.
star-4
We really enjoyed the...
Richard_T
, May 2022
We really enjoyed the tour but actually found the Sistine chapel a bit of a let down after the glorious corridors we had already been down! The tour guide was good but her fast commentary with a strong Italian accent was hard to follow. However to be fair the mask wearing at the moment makes it hard for both the guides and the listener.

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