Vatican Skip the Line Private Tour including St Peter’s Basilica and Dome

Rome, Italy

Tour Rating
icon3 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more

Avoid the long waits and massive crowds of a visit to Vatican City with a private highlights tour. Skip the notoriously long lines to enter the Vatican Museums, and explore the most important galleries filled with art by Renaissance masters plus the quiet serenity of the Sistine Chapel. Then head over to St. Peter's Basilica before it fills with tourists, where you’ll catch an elevator ride to the first floor of the dome before climbing the rest of the way to the top for spectacular views.
  • Skip the line at the Vatican Museums, which can stretch for hours
  • See highlights of the enormous papal art collection with a private guide
  • Get an early start to avoid the massive crowds inside the Sistine Chapel
  • Includes access to the St. Peter's Basilica dome for the best views of mosaics and Vatican City

Local guide
Private tour
Professional art historian guide
Guaranteed to skip the long lines
Food and drinks
Hotel pickup and drop-off

Departure Point

Viale Vaticano, Roma RM, Italy

Departure Time

8:30 AM

Return Details

Saint Peter's Square, Forum Sancti Petri, Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
Stop At:  
Vatican Museums
You will have a skip-the-line ticket; so, when you meet your private guide outside the Vatican Museum you gain immediate entry. You then proceed along the numerous ornate galleries and rooms; the Gallery of Maps; the Gallery of Tapestries and into the Pinecone Courtyard. Great masters like Raphael and Michelangelo created much of the stunning artwork for the popes during the Renaissance period; your guide will recount stories of the rivalry between the artists.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Sistine Chapel
As you leave the galleries you enter the magnificent Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s iconic ceiling frescoes The Last Judgement and The Creation of Adam on one of the chapel’s walls. (There is no speaking inside the chapel so your guide will explain everything before entry).
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Cupola di San Pietro
Next, the trip to the dome! Not long to wait as you will be there before the usual daily hoards arrive. Included in the tour is the elevator ride to the first level where you get an up close view of the inside of the dome with its stunning mosaics and embellishments. From ground level they are impressive; from up close you can really appreciate the mastery that went into creating such elaborate work. Then prepare yourself for the climb up the 281 steps that will take you to the top of the dome. The guide will tell you what to look for once you reach the top: spectacular views of St. Peter’s Square; the wonderful view along the long, straight avenue that Mussolini bulldozed and that leads to St. Peter’s and the long distance views across the Tiber to the very centre of ancient Rome. Definitely the best viewing point in the whole of Rome!
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
St. Peter's Basilica
It is then back again to ground level for a tour of St. Peter’s Basilica where you will explore the numerous side chapels with their hidden crypts. You will see Michelangelo’s Pietà and your guide will explain why this is the only work that he signed. You will gain an appreciation of the mastery that went into the creation of Bernini’s altarpiece and learn how Michelangelo triumphed over his contemporaries for the honour to paint St. Peter’s magnificent dome. There is still more to see though below ground level. You guide will lead you below ground to the papal crypt where, over the centuries, many of the Popes have been interred. This special place is a site of pilgrimage for many Catholics. Although talking is allowed, before you enter the crypt you guide will tell you where the most important popes are laid to rest.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • 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
  • Food and drinks are not allowed in the museums except for bottled water
  • Near public transportation
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Due to the increasing popularity of the current Pope Francis and his intense activity in organising mass events in the Vatican some areas might get closed last minute without previous notice, especially the Basilica of St Peter and/or the Sistine Chapel. In case of such events we do NOT refund NOR reschedule the tour, our tour guide will provide you with a valuable alternative focusing the tour inside the Vatican museums.
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

Cancellation policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

From 242.01 USD

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