Exclusive Early Access Vatican Semi Private Tour | with Private Option

Roma, Italy
Likely to Sell Out

From USD 140.66

Price varies by group size

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Admire Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel without the crowds and enjoy skip-the-line access to the Vatican Museums on this small-group tour. Enter the Sistine Chapel before its opens to the public, and view the frescoes in a calm, crowd-free setting. Then, tour the Vatican Museums, seeing the highlights of the papal art collection, including the Raphael Rooms and Gallery of Maps, before checking out the treasures inside St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • Early entrance, skip-the-line Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums tour
  • Visit the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the public
  • Admire Michelangelo’s ceiling and wall frescos without the daytime crowds
  • Bypass the main lines to enter the Vatican Museums
  • Enjoy a guided tour of highlights, including the Raphael Rooms, Gallery of Maps, and more
  • Visit St. Peter’s Basilica and see Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà’ and other treasures
  • Small group of six participants or fewer

What's Included

  • Tour in a Safe and Semi Private Group of MAX 6 PEOPLE GUARANTEED
  • Enjoy Early Entrance to the Vatican Museums before the general public
  • Skip the long ticket lines
  • Learn from a Professional Local Expert Guide
  • Private Option of this tour is Available!
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities (optional)

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Viale Vaticano, 100
    Viale Vaticano, 100, 00192 Roma RM, Italy

    In front of Cafè Vaticano, right across the street from the Vatican Museum's Entrance. Your guide will be holding a LivTours sign

Start time

07:30 am

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Meet your guide and small group of no more than six near the Vatican Museums.

Listen to an introduction to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes from your guide. Talking inside the chapel is not allowed, so you’ll learn about these Renaissance artworks before entering. Then, head directly inside the pope’s private place of worship. Your ticket gives you early access to the chapel as one of the day’s first visitors, so you can enjoy it without the crowds. 

Gaze in awe at Michelangelo’s ceiling fresco, The Creation of Adam, as well as The Last Judgment gracing the back wall of the chapel. Soak in unobstructed views of the works, and enjoy time to inspect them in detail.

When your time in the chapel is up, reconvene with your guide and bypass the main admission lines for a tour of the Vatican Museums’ highlights.

Stroll around the Pinecone Courtyard, and see works like the Belvedere Apollo and Laocoon Priest of Troy statues. Admire the celebrated marble Belvedere Torso, and stroll through the must-see 16th-century Gallery of Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries, and Raphael Rooms.

Afterward, walk back through the Sistine Chapel — seeing how crowded it is during normal opening hours — and continue through an exclusive exit into St. Peter’s Basilica.

Here, let your guide introduce you to the best of the treasures held in the magnificent interior. Admire Michelangelo's glorious Pietà, the marble sculpture depicting Mary holding the dead Jesus, as well as Bernini's Baldacchino altar canopy and Pope Alexander VII monument among other great works.

Your tour concludes inside the church when your guide departs. You’re free to then continue exploring independently, perhaps looking further around the interior to see the papal tombs, climbing the Dome, or strolling around St. Peter’s Square as you wish.

Sistine Chapel

45 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Vatican Museums

2 hours Admission Ticket Included

St. Peter's Basilica

45 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Occasionally the basilica may be closed due to last minute private events outside of the tour operators control and often without notice. In these uncommon circumstances the tour will operate as usual and the time spent inside the basilica will be made up elsewhere on the tour.
  • 2022 NEWS: Thanks to a very special and profound partnership with the Vatican Museums for 2022, we are proud to offer clients a very unique and exclusive 8AM first entry into the Museums’ doors, guaranteed to be reserved only to a handful of other collaborating tour operators. This special entry and tour are designed to guarantee you access and viewing of the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel 30 minutes before other operators and one hour before the general public. We are proud to be able to serve such impressive and extraordinary experience and share it with our clients.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Vatican management maintains the right to delay the opening of the Sistine Chapel for religious reasons, in this case the guide will modify the itinerary and extend your visit of the museums to ensure you make the most of your time before access to the Sistine Chapel is permitted.
  • Most travellers can participate
  • Please note St Peter's Basilica is closed on most Wednesday's. If you book during a day in which the Basilica is closed, your tour of the Vatican Museums will be extended to compensate the closure
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

Cancellation Policy

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.

Traveller Photos

See more

Traveller Tips

Early morning is a great way to beat the crowds and the best way to see the Sistine chapel and the Raphael rooms!
The early morning tour is the best if you want to miss the big crowd.
Highly recommend to do an early before the crowds get there tour.


1,725 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 1,725 reviews
Sistene Chapel - early start
Paul_E, May 2023
We only did the Sistine Chapel early tour then mad eour way through the door atlfter lunch. The early start is amazing. Getting to St. Peter's after thought the Chapel was a lot. It's packed in the afternoon.
Not great this time.
LISA_Y, May 2023
We could not hear or understand our guide. She was incredibly monotone and had a heavy accent. We ended up trying to hear other guides, whose English was better for us. The entire Vatican tour was crazy busy. The guide did a good job of getting us through on time. I am sure this time of year is very rough, considering the crowds. I think if I was ever going to do the tour again (which I believe is a very important tour), I would make sure that the guide was without such a heavy accent??
Very nice tour and excellent guide.
Janet_H, May 2023
As you can see from our pictures, there were very few people there as we had early access. Emmanuel was a very knowledable tour guide who did a great job of helping us understand what we were going to see before entering the Sistine Chapel. The details were wonderful and he allowed for our slower pace as my husband has Parkinson’s and gets overwhelmed easily. He gave us all kinds of great info! I would highly recommend this tour. The 4 stars was only because although well meaning, we had to wait 3 hours to see St. Peter’s after our tour because the Pope had spoken and Manny suggested we recall the same tour route to go in through the Sistine chapel entrance. Unfortunately by then the halls were absolutely packed and we were stuck in zombie world shuffling along with tons of hot sweaty people. (Us included!) Then when we go to the point of entry, they had it roped off. I don’t know if we could have made it if a kind guard hadn’t listened and let us through which cut a little of the zombie walk out. There ended up being no short cut into St Peter’s as they directed everyone outside anyway. My recommendation would be if this happens to just walk outside to St. Peter’s as it took an hour to walk through the way we did. It also cost us valuable viewing time so we had to run through. Try hard not to book your private tour on a pope day (Sun and Wed) and you should be fine. Thank you Manny, we really enjoyed all we saw and learned.
Fun, amazing, cool!
Alex_A, May 2023
Sarah was the best. She is so knowledgeable and great at explaining everything! I would highly recommend this !
Terrible Tour
Michelle_R, May 2023
Awful experience being rushed through the Vatican, rude tour guide that was difficult to hear and understand.
Amazing Vatican Tour
Jeffrey_W, May 2023
The guide was knowledgeable and brought us to everything that we wanted to see. He explained every detail that we were looking at. I would highly recommend this tour. There is no better way to see the Vatican.
Worth the time.
Matthew_N, May 2023
Ive done this tour many times in my life. The guide we had was one of the best I have had. Knowledgeable, friendly and engaging. As insane as it is at the museum, spend the money on a guide and early admission. It is still crowded but not as insane as Ive experienced with regular admission.
Such a wonderful day!
Cheryell_W, May 2023
Laura was a wonderful tour guide! She was so friendly and a pleasure to spend the day with and her knowledge and delivery of information was deeply appreciated! Thank you for such a great experience!!
Worth Every Cent !!!!
Steven_C, May 2023
We were looking forward to this tour as the last item on our vacation.....and we would highly recommend this tour, at any cost. It was high priced, but oh so worth it in so many ways. Our guide was most knowledgeable and personable. We learned so much, in so little time, All we can say is ....spend the extra money for the best intimate private tour,
Excellent Guided Tour of the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica!
Rodney_S, May 2023
This Skip the Line Tour is absolutely the best way to visit the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. We met Elisabetta across the street from the Vatican Museum entrance at 7:15 AM as scheduled, there were 6 in our group. Went across the street to the early entrance line which would open at 8 AM, those with purchased tickets and those in line to buy tickets already faced long lines and could not enter until 9 AM. She is a fantastic guide with extensive knowledge of the Museum and Basilica and kept us altogether as the crowds grew in intensity. She led us through the door of the Sistine Chapel into the Basilica without going outside and standing in that long line to enter. Absolutely a fantastic excursion, great guide and lots of walking. Tour was about 3 hours but worth every penny. Could not recommend this excursion any higher!
Highly Recommend -- Giovanni was the best!
Doreen_M, May 2023
We would highly recommend this tour. The tour was amazing, and a lot of that had to do with the guide, Giovanni. He was so knowledgeable and was really fun as well. By going early we were able to avoid the massive crowds and really take in the beauty of the Vatican. Definitely a must see!
Thank the heavens for Serafine
Cynthia_J, May 2023
We were pleased with the size of our tour and the individual time the tour guide spent answering all of our questions. We would probably still be wondering if we had seen everything we should have seen without Serafines help. Our tour guide was also helpful in suggesting routes and other places to visit on our stay in Rome
Fantastic. Linda, our guide, was fantastic!
Myra_V, May 2023
What an experience! If you are able to go early and beat the crazy crowds, it is well worth it. We went with our daughters and their fiancés so we filled up the limit of 6. Our guide, Linda, was absolutely amazing and answered ALL our questions. She was incredibly knowledgeable and fun! Linda made our tour so much more memorable and enjoyable.
Beautiful and memorable
G_R, May 2023
A great tour hosted by a well informed guide. We thor8e joyed the tour. It will be remembered for years to come
Not in depth enough for us, but maybe for you
Julie_P, May 2023
If you want to keep it simple, hit the highlights and go on with you day this is for you. Our guide gave basic information to give a basic understanding of the "main" works on the Vatican. If you like to take your time to enjoy all that the Vatican has to offer this is not for you. Since the others in the group wanted to keep moving we skipped quite a bit. We ended up having to purchase new tickets because you are not allow to go backwards. Thank god one of the security staff took pity on us and let us skip the really long lines so that we could spend quite a bit of time enjoying the rest of the art and architecture.
Our guide was Dario. He...
Gary_V, May 2023
Our guide was Dario. He was utterly terrific. Very knowledgeable, gave us a great tour. We were not disappointed.
Amazing visit to the Vatican Museum
Thomas_R, May 2023
Our guide provided great information and a well organized and pleasant experience. We had early access which made the crowds more manageable.
Good tour but unbelievably crowded.
Cindy_C, May 2023
Sam was a great guide- very knowledgeable about the art and religious history. Just wish we could have actually had early access before the crowds were allowed inside.
David was fantastic!
Michael_T, May 2023
Our tour guide, David was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable, personable and interesting. We highly recommend this tour.
Great experience!
Cindy_W, May 2023
Great experience to tour the Vatican. Our guide did a good job maneuvering us through the crowd to prime viewing spots.

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