Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica Half-Day Walking Tour
- Informative, friendly and professional guide
- Choice of morning or afternoon departure
- Soak up the atmosphere on a walking tour
- Skip the line
- Likely to Sell Out
At a time when Italian art blazed a trail around the world, the Vatican employed only the best Renaissance and Baroque architects to furnish their surroundings. No surprise then that the popes amassed one of the world’s finest collections of sculptures, carvings, frescoes and paintings – a visual feast for art connoisseurs and amateurs alike.
Walk through breathtaking galleries like Raphael’s Rooms, a series of interconnecting papal chambers that showcase the artistic genius of Renaissance master Raphael and his pupils. Stop to look at mesmerizing paintings like the School of Athens, which features images of Michelangelo and Raphael himself, and hear about the rivalries that resulted in some of the most influential works of Western art ever created.
Stroll through more captivating rooms including the Gallery of the Maps and Gallery of Masks, and then head inside the Sistine Chapel – the popes’ private place of worship. Besides its sacredness, the main draw of the Sistine Chapel is the incredible frescoes, created solely by Michelangelo. Gaze skyward at The Creation of Adam ceiling fresco, and look to the back wall to see The Last Judgement.
Finish with a walk inside St Peter’s Basilica – Italy’s largest and infinitely most spectacular church that’s built on the site of St Peter’s supposed burial place. Marvel at La Pieta, one of Michelangelo’s early sculptures, and stop to rub the foot of St Peter himself for good luck and a blessing. Your tour then finishes outside the church.
Want to skip the line and the crowds too? Upgrade to the 8am small-group tour and after skipping the long entrance lines, gain access to the museums before the general public set foot inside! See all the classic Vatican sights in a small-group of no more than 12 people, with personalized attention from your guide.
Book the 7:30pm tour and explore the Vatican Museums after the main closing times – an opportunity available for a strictly limited season. Access is only possible for people pre-booking an evening tour, so book now to secure your spot! The season runs every Friday from May 6 until July 26, and then from September 6 until October 25. Numbers are limited to 20 people.
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9am Standard Tour
Standard tour with a maximum of 25 people. Departs at 9am with an English-speaking guide.
11am Standard Tour
Standard tour with a maximum of 25 people. Departs at 11am with an English-speaking guide.
1pm Standard Tour
Standard tour with a maximum of 25 people. Departs at 1pm with an English-speaking guide
3pm Standard Tour
Standard tour with a maximum of 25 people. Departs at 3pm with an English-speaking guide
8am Small-Group Tour
Small-group tour with a maximum of 12 people. Departs at 8am with an English-speaking guide
7:30pm Evening Tour
Evening tour with a maximum of 25 people. Departs at 7:30pm with an English-speaking guide
Visit the Vatican in Rome!
- Professional guide
- Gratuities (optional)
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Vatican Museums entrance fee and headphones will be approx. 23 euros per adult and 16 euros per child, cash only
- Food and drinks
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Pre-booking this ticket enables you to skip the long lines (which can take up to two hours!) to enter the Vatican Museums. Please note, all visitors must pass through metal detectors at the security check point. Please expect to wait 20-30 minutes to clear security
- Evening tours do not include a visit to St. Peter's Basilica
- Tours departing Wednesday: There is a possibility that St Peter's Basilica and St Peter's Square will be unavailable due to the weekly Papal Audience during which access to St Peter's Basilica is closed. As an alternative you will be offered an extended itinerary within the Vatican Museums, which still includes the Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Rooms. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. If you prefer that St Peter's Basilica and Square are included, please DO NOT select Wednesday as your travel date
- On rare occasions, St Peter’s Basilica closes without notice. If this happens, you'll spend a full 3 hours touring the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. We will list any affected dates as they become available. The tour guides aim to notify guests if St Peter’s Basilica is unexpectedly closed upon commencement of the tour. It is beyond our control, so no refunds or discounts will be issued
- Note that entrance fees to the Vatican Museums are not included. A supplement of approx. 23 euros (adult) is payable in cash directly. Entrance will be free of charge on World Tourism Day (September 27). You’ll pay 6 euros (payable directly) for the advance booking fee to skip the line and use the headsets on September 27
- Do you cater to wheelchair users? Do you or the Vatican provide wheelchairs? This tour is NOT wheelchair accessible. For your information, Vatican Museums provide wheelchairs free of charge in the main lobby. You can easily pick one up after you enter, before starting your own independent visit. If you are looking for a guided tour with wheelchair access, we recommend booking our private tours so a guide can lead you through the alternate routes
- When our tour is over will we be able visit St Peter's Basilica or the grottos or dome? Absolutely. Our tours end at the front of St Peter's Basilica, which is a very convenient location to leave for lunch, visit the Vatican bookstore, visit the Vatican post office, enter St Peter's Basilica, continue to the grottos below St Peter's, or climb to the dome. Your tour guide will be happy to point you in the right direction!
- We cannot predict when individual museums will be crowded. In general long lines are common at major attractions in summer, on most weekends, and during peak travel periods throughout the year (Christmas, Easter, local holidays). Our skip-the-line tickets enable you to skip the line if indeed there is one. Unfortunately there is no way to foresee which days and times will produce lines, and which will not
Reviewed by: Steven K, August 2014
caught a cab from hotel. met by dario. real pro. the beat the line tour is he only way to fly. crowds caught up within 90 minutes. go for it!
Reviewed by: Deborah M, August 2014
Excellent tour. It was worth every penny to avoid the long lines and to keep the group size small. Our guide was very professional and knowledgeable.