Sistine Chapel Early Access plus St Peter’s Skip the Line and Crypts

Rome, Italy

Experience Rating
icon2 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

As one of Europe’s most popular attractions, the Sistine Chapel receives more than 5 million visitors every year, meaning tourists often spend more time waiting outside, in lines often in excess of three hours, rather than exploring inside. On this early-access tour of the Sistine Chapel, you’ll enter the UNESCO-listed landmark 20 minutes before other tour groups, and 1.5 hours before the general public, guaranteeing crowd-free photographs and silent serenity. This small-group tour, limited to 15 people, also includes skip-the-line entry to St. Peter’s Basilica and its crypts.  
  • Enter the chapel 20 minutes before other tours and 1.5 hours before the general public
  • Avoid long lines often in excess of three hours and enjoy skip-the-line entry to St. Peter's Basilica
  • Capture crowd-free photographs and admire the chapel's magnificent ceiling in the absence of crowds
  • Enjoy skip-the-line access to St. Peter's Basilica and descend to its mysterious crypts

Access to the Vatican Museums 15 minutes before other tour operators and 1 hour and 15 minutes before the general public
Expert, English-speaking tour guide
Skip the line to St Peter Basilica
Visit to the Crypts beneath the Basilica
Hotel pick-up/drop-off

Departure Point

Viale Vaticano, Roma RM, Italy

Departure Time

7:20 AM

Return Details

Saint Peter's Square, Forum Sancti Petri, Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
At 7:15am, arrive punctually at your designated meeting point, located between Caffè Vaticano and Hotel Alimandi Vaticano opposite the Vatican Museum. Here, you’ll greet your guide and make your way to the Vatican Museum, home to the Sistine Chapel.

Early-access ticket in hand, bypass lines already forming and enter the landmark 20 minutes before other tour groups with your priority entrance ticket. Relish the privilege of being the first group to enter the Sistine Chapel, and appreciate the silence and serene atmosphere created by relative solidarity — an environment integral to fully appreciating the masterwork of Michelangelo.

Capture photographs free of crowds, gaze at the glorious homages to the Renaissance period, and admire frescoes painted by masters such as Botticelli, Perugino, and Roselli. After receiving a basic overview of the church from your guide, you’ll be free to absorb the chapel’s beauty independently.

As the first of the morning’s visitors begin to trickle in, move on to St. Peter’s Basilica by taking a side entrance reserved only for those with skip-the-line entrance tickets. Be amazed by the beauty of the basilica’s interior: home to Michelangelo’s 96-foot (29-meter) altar, twisting columns, and a cat created using bronze from the Pantheon, the church is sure to amaze.

Next, descend to the Crypts of the Popes and admire the elaborate tombs of significant popes. Your tour concludes at St. Peter’s Square, where you’ll be able to spend as much time as you wish.
Stop At:  
Sistine Chapel
Be one of the first to enter the Vatican Museums in the early morning, skipping the line that forms before the doors are even open and going directly to the crown jewel of the Vatican. With an expert guide leading the way, you’ll navigate the Museums to a nearly empty Sistine Chapel, taking in the incredible artwork without the notorious crowds that fill the space during regular opening hours.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
St. Peter's Basilica
After you’ve had time to admire this breathtaking site, you’ll head through a special door – not open to the general public – directly into St. Peter’s Basilica, avoiding another long line outside. The sheer size of St. Peter’s, the largest ancient basilica in the world, will take your breath away. Here you can visit Michelangelo’s sculpture ‘La Pietà’ and Bernini’s altar, a monumental structure of twisted wood and bronze, recycled from the Pantheon.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Vatican Necropolis
The last leg of the tour takes you below the beautiful Basilica to the Vatican Crypt – not covered on regular Vatican tours. The most important Popes in Church history are buried here. Finally, your guide will lead you back outside to St. Peter’s Square, where you can appreciate the mastery of Bernini, one of Rome’s greatest architects and artists. With an expert, English-speaking guide leading you all the way, you’ll beat the crowds and see the very best of the Vatican in one unforgettable morning.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • This service ends at St. Peter's Square at around 9:30 AM.
  • Extra measures may be implemented at some venues due to heightened global security. As a result, we may experience delays in getting through mandatory security checks when entering these venues. Extra measures may also restrict the size of bags that can be brought inside. To avoid disruptions or possible denied entry, we strongly suggest that you avoid bringing large purses, bags, or backpacks on your tour. The Vatican only permits very small bags, and specifically prohibits large bags, tripods, umbrellas, and backpacks. Any such items must be checked into the free luggage storage area. The group will not be able to wait for those who need to check their baggage.
  • This tour goes straight to the Sistine Chapel with no bathroom or water break to give you as much time as possible in the chapel. Please plan accordingly.
  • This tour involves a fair amount of walking and stairs; comfortable shoes are recommended.
  • We regret that we are unable to accommodate guests with wheelchairs or any impairments requiring special assistance. We are also unable to accommodate strollers or baby carriages on our group tours.
  • Entrance into the Vatican requires a strict dress code. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women.
  • Non-flash photography is permitted throughout the tour, except in the Sistine Chapel where talking and photography are prohibited.
  • Guided visits inside Saint Peter’s Basilica are not permitted in the early morning due to mass being held. Instead your guide will deliver a full commentary from the Basilica porch. From there, you will be free to enjoy the artworks within the Basilica at your own pace, meeting your guide after the visit.
  • Saint Peter’s Basilica is subject to last-minute closures for religious ceremonies. When this occurs, we're happy to offer customers an extended tour of the Vatican Museums.
  • The Basilica Crypts are subject to last minute closures for religious ceremonies. In this case, the guide will endeavor to inform the tour group of when the crypts will be accessible and clients who wish to spend more time in the Basilica to wait for the crypt to reopen are welcome to do so. In this case, the tour will conclude on the Basilica porch overlooking St. Peter’s square.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers

Cancellation policy

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

  • Reserve Now & Pay Later

    Secure your spot while staying flexible


Customers have also been looking at these Rome Experiences
More Experiences in Rome that we Recommend