Private Early Bird Vatican Tour

Badge of ExcellenceRoma, Italy
Private Early Bird Vatican Tour
Likely to Sell Out

From USD 287.05

Price varies by group size

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 3 hours
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Visit the Vatican without the crowds on a private early-bird tour and enter the Vatican Museums before the complex opens to the general public. Enjoy an exclusive exploration of world-renowned art by Renaissance masters, visit the Sistine Chapel, and enter St. Peter’s Basilica directly from the museums, without waiting in the main line.
  • Explore the Vatican Museum before the daytime crowds arrive
  • Visit the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica
  • It includes pickup from centrally located hotels in Rome only if Luxury option selected

What's Included

  • Private Walking Tour
  • Professional Licensed Blue Badge Tour Guide
  • Tickets to the Vatican Museums
  • VIP Early access one hour before the opening to the general public
  • Visit to the Sistine Chapel
  • Shortcut to St. Peter's Basilica
  • LUXURY OPTION - Meet and greet with the guide at your accommodation (if centrally located)
  • LUXURY OPTION - Private hotel pick-up and drop-off service (from/to centrally located locations)
  • Food and drinks
  • Early Morning BASIC OPTION - Transfers not included

Meeting And Pickup

You can head directly to the meeting point, or request pickup

Meeting point

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

    For the EARLY MORNING BASIC OPTION transfers are NOT INCLUDED. Guests will meet their guide at 8:00 AM directly on-site, at Caffè Vaticano, Viale Vaticano 100 - located on the opposite side of the Museums' entrance. Your guide will be holding a sign with your names.

Pickup points

Select a pickup point

Start time

07:45 am

End point

  • Saint Peter's Square
    Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City

    For guests who booked the LUXURY OPTION the drop-off service is included.

Pickup details

For the EARLY BIRD LUXURY OPTION pick-up, drop-off, and meet and greet with the guide at the accommodation are included in the tour cost. Guests should be at 7:45 AM down the lobby ready for the transfer. For the EARLY MORNING BASIC OPTION transfers are NOT INCLUDED. Guests will meet their guide at 8:00 AM directly on-site, at the designated meeting point. YOU WILL BE CONTACTED BY THE AGENCY FOR ANY MODIFICATION.

What To Expect

As one of the most-visited museums in the world, the Vatican Museums are understandably crowded, so avoid the masses on a private morning tour before the general public arrives. After pickup at your hotel, explore the Vatican Museums with your private guide, who tells you about the history of the artwork and can customize the tour to your interests.

If you wish, upgrade from standard early-morning admission to a “prime tour” option and be treated like a VIP. Arrive earlier to enjoy priority entry without any lines or crowds.

With either tour option, hear about the legends and mysteries behind some of the pieces on display, and learn about the Renaissance masters who created the artwork. You can decide if you want to see the iconic Sistine Chapel first or last—either way, it’s the highlight of any visit with its famous frescoes by Michelangelo. Other treasures inside the museum complex include sculptures, carvings and paintings; your guide makes sure you see the most important masterpieces and interesting rooms and galleries.

Visit the Belvedere Courtyard, Gallery of Tapestries, and Gallery of Maps, and then gain fast-track entry into St. Peter’s Basilica to see more artwork, like Bernini’s baldacchino altar. Your tour ends here or back at your accommodation.

Vatican Museums

1 hour 30 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Cortile della Pigna (Pass By)

Sistine Chapel

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

St. Peter's Basilica

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Most travellers can participate
  • 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
  • A moderate amount of walking is involved - comfortable shoes are recommended
  • All visitors must pass through the monument/attraction security check please allow at least 20 minutes to clear security
  • The exact timings and reservations can vary depending on the availability and decisions of the monument/attraction's administration offices on the booking day and may be subject to last-minute changes
  • Please inform us in the event of mobility issues or other disabilities
  • In the case of visitors using wheelchairs and mobility scooters, please note that the Museums are partially accessible, and the Basilica won't be included
  • St. Peter's Basilica is not included on Wednesday due to the Papal Audience
  • St Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel are subject to last-minute closures for religious ceremonies. When this occurs, we're happy to offer customers an extended tour of the Vatican Museums. While we endeavor to inform our guests ahead of time about any planned disruptions to the opening hours, this is not always possible. In these cases, we are unable to provide refunds or discounts
  • A current valid passport or ID document is required on the day of the tour for children under 18 years old as proof of their age
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • Please review the confirmation message that we send one day prior to the tour date, which confirms the final details of the service
  • 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

Definitely worth the early bird timing as the Vatican can get packed as the day goes on.
It makes so much sense to get to The Vatican early even if it opens at 8am because the crowd build up is unbelievable, We were first in line at 715am.
Note: the ~4 hour tour time includes travel to and from the Vatican plus waiting time for early entry (a great advantage since the crowds grow quickly when general admission opens).


613 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 613 reviews
Wonderful tour with Sylvia!
Kathie_O, Oct 2023
Our tour guide Sylvia was amazing. Knowledgeable, funny, compassionate with our older family members who need a bit more time. The early morning/skip the line tour is the only was to see these beautiful sites. We walked right past the long lines and right into the Vatican museum and were on our way. I highly recommend this tour and Sylvia!
Can’t wait to go back
Robert_S, Sept 2023
Our tour guide was great! Going early is definitely the way to go. I was shocked by the amount of people waiting to go in.
Richard_A, Sept 2023
Our guide was absolutely fantastic!! Sarah!! Besides having an incredible amount of knowledge! Her personality was brilliant.
Brilliant guide.
AtliFinndal_H, Sept 2023
I do not belive there is a better way to see the Vatican. This is a must see and a wonderful place. Your guide Rosalba knew pretty much everything there is to know and the pace of the tour was great, way ahead of the crowd.
Best tour in Rome!
Jessica_W, Sept 2023
We had a wonderful tour with Marta! I cannot recommend this tour enough. She was knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. From the beginning of the tour with a private transfer to being dropped back by private transfer, everything was smooth and enjoyable.
Great way to see the Vatican
Alicia_K, Sept 2023
Left at 8am for early entrance into the Vatican museum. Manny made it look easy as we maneuvered through the crowds. He’s got out tickets quickly and off we went. He was so knowledgeable and it showed. This is a must do!
Terrible experience…a ripped-off!
Dewi_S, Sept 2023
We purchased this private tour for US$1,365.00 for 8 of us (Two of us walk slow). For this reason, we decided to purchase a private tour, so we could have an easy and smooth tour. Unfortunately, it all ended with disappointment. The tour guide was unable to handle our group. Two of us who had reduced mobility were left in the hallway sitting only to wait. Our itinerary was cut short. According to the local tour operator, the guide changed the itinerary because of safety reasons, and the visit to St. Peter’s Basilica was not allowing individuals with walkers entering the church, which we were not informed ahead of time. The tour guide arbitrary ended the tour without St. Peter’s Basilica as part of the itinerary. Our booking status on Viator website was posted canceled and refunded. We received only total $50 refund for St. Peter’s Basilica that was not provided. We are very upset and unhappy! It’s a ripped-off!
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Dear Dewi, Thank you for sharing your valuable feedback with us. We are truly sorry to hear about your recent experience with our private tour, and we sincerely apologize for any disappointment or inconvenience you encountered during your visit. Your feedback is incredibly valuable to us, as it helps us improve our services and address any issues that may arise. It appears that there was a breakdown in communication regarding your specific needs and expectations for the tour, and for that, we are truly sorry. Our aim is always to provide a seamless and enjoyable experience for our guests, especially when accommodating those with reduced mobility. Regarding the change in itinerary and the missed visit to St. Peter's Basilica, it appears that there were unforeseen circumstances that led to this decision. While the safety and accessibility of our guests are of utmost importance, we acknowledge that you should have been informed in advance of any itinerary changes. We deeply regret any frustration this may have caused. As you mentioned, the partial refund of $50 USD corresponds to the cost of the half-hour visit to the Basilica. Our intention is to provide fair compensation for the portion of the tour that was not delivered as expected. We hope this clarifies the refund amount and demonstrates our commitment to addressing your concerns to the best of our ability. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and please feel free to reach out if you have any further concerns or questions. Best regards, Eyes of Rome Team,
Personalized service with great guide
Dianne_M, Sept 2023
Easy access with a knowledgeable guide Who made our experience personalized. Considering the lines that went around the entire area, we walked right in after waiting about two minutes, and it was worth every penny to get access.
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Dear Dianne, We're delighted to hear that you had such a great experience with us! It's fantastic that our knowledgeable guide provided you with a personalized experience, and we're thrilled to have made your visit so convenient, especially with the long lines. Thank you for your positive feedback, and we hope to welcome you back for more memorable experiences in the future! Arrivederci, Eyes of Rome Team
Robert_C, Sept 2023
This tour by far has been the very best we’ve had in Italy! Marco is extremely knowledgeable and informative. Enjoyed he shared his excitement of the Vatican. We highly recommend Marco to anyone wanted to experience the Vatican
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Dear Robert, Thank you so much for your fantastic review! We are thrilled to hear that your tour of the Vatican with Marco was the very best you've had in Italy. Marco's extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for sharing the wonders of the Vatican truly shine through, and we're delighted that you enjoyed his guidance. If you ever plan to explore more of Rme or any other destinations in Italy we offer tours in, please don't hesitate to reach out! Thanks again for choosing us, and we hope to welcome you back in the future! Arrivederci, Eyes of Rome Team
Best Vatican Tour
Paula_J, Sept 2023
We had the best experience with the early private tour! We would not do it any other way! Our guide was just so full of information and best personality.
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Dear Paula, Thank you so much for your wonderful review! We're thrilled to hear that you had the best experience during your early private Vatican tour. Our team takes great pride in providing informative and personalized experiences, and it's fantastic to know that your guide was not only knowledgeable but also had a great personality. We believe that a great guide can truly enhance a tour, and we're delighted that your guide made your experience memorable. We'd love to welcome you back for another unforgettable adventure! Eyes of Rome Team
Absolutely wonderful
Dave_L, Sept 2023
Our guide Ala was incredible and a joy to be with! Her knowledge was unbelievable and she had answers for all of our questions. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Ciao Dave, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a wonderful review! We're thrilled to hear that you had an incredible experience with our guide Ala. It's fantastic to know that her knowledge exceeded your expectations and that she was able to provide you with answers to all of your questions. If you ever decide to explore more, please don't hesitate to reach out to us again. We'd be more than happy to create another memorable experience for you. A presto! Eyes of Rome Team
Everything was great,...
Margaret_G, Sept 2023
Everything was great, Rosey was a beautiful guide, gave so much information and history and was so kind and understanding. ( we misunderstood the meeting place). We would highly recommend your company to any one.Regards Margaret Groves. Australia.
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Hi Margaret, Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback with us! We are delighted to hear that you had a wonderful experience with Rosey as your guide. Rosey is indeed a gem, and her dedication to providing informative and engaging tours shines through. Misunderstandings can happen to anyone, but we're pleased to hear that Rosey handled the situation. Your recommendation means a lot to us, and we will continue to strive for excellence in delivering memorable experiences to all our guests. Should your travels bring you back to our beautiful destination, we look forward to welcoming you again for another unforgettable adventure! Eyes of Rome Team
Spectacular Vatican tour.
Ann_B, Sept 2023
Pamela was wonderful. She is so knowledgeable about history, art, religion, and architecture. Skipping the lines helped a lot but it was Pamela who make the tour really incredible. She had photos and drawings of how things looked in ancient times and told us many secrets of the Vatican. We highly recommend this tour!
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Dear Ann, Thank you for sharing your fantastic experience with Pamela and our Vatican tour! It's clear that Pamela's knowledge and passion for history, art, religion, and architecture made a significant impact on your visit. We're delighted to hear that you found skipping the lines to be convenient and that Pamela's expertise truly enhanced your visit. Your recommendation means a lot to us, and we hope that others who are interested in exploring the Vatican will also have the opportunity to enjoy such an incredible tour. If you ever decide to return, we'd be thrilled to provide them with the same exceptional experience you had with Pamela. Arrivederci, Eyes of Rome Team
The Vatican at Our Own Pace
Francis_B, Sept 2023
We had been through the Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel/St. Peter's Basilica tour previously and knew that one of our group members would not be able to keep up with a regular tour. We opted for the Private Early Bird Vatican Tour. Our guide/storyteller was Marina Muravyeva. We could not have asked for a better guide. She met us at the agreed meeting point on time and got us past the long lines outside the museum. Inside, she guided us through security and worked with the museum staff to access elevators that would take us to the different levels. Marina, took us at a pace that was good for us and showed/described things we did not know about from our previous trip. We recommend her highly.
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Dear Francis, Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! It sounds like Marina provided you with an exceptional private tour of the Vatican Museum! It's wonderful to hear that she accommodated your group's needs so well, including bypassing the long lines and arranging elevator access for your convenience. Marina's expertise and ability to share new insights about these iconic attractions clearly made your tour memorable and enriching. Your high recommendation speaks volumes about the quality of her guidance, and we're thrilled to hear that you had such a positive experience. If you ever decide to explore more attractions or destinations in the future, we hope you'll consider using Marina's services again! Arrivederci, Eyes of Rome Team
Book it with Marina!
sharon_s, Sept 2023
Absolutely worth the price for a private your skip the lines tickets/ ask for Marina she was knowledgeable and super sweet!
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Dear Sharon, Thank you for sharing your feedback! It's great to hear that you found our private tour with skip-the-line tickets to be worth the price. Marina's knowledge and pleasant demeanor clearly made your experience enjoyable and valuable. We appreciate your recommendation, and if you ever decide to explore more attractions or destinations in the future, we hope you'll consider seeking out Marina's services again for another memorable experience. Safe travels! Arrivederci, Eyes of Rome Team
Jeff_J, Sept 2023
Our guide Marina was excellent! Very good communicator. I’ve seen the Vatican 3- times and this was my favorite.
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Dear Jeff, Thank you so much for your glowing review! We're thrilled to hear that Marina provided you with an excellent experience during your visit to the Vatican. It's always a pleasure to know that even expert visitors like yourself can find a new favorite experience with us. We hope to welcome you back for another unforgettable tour in the future. Safe travels! Arrivederci, Eyes of Rome Team
Ok tour
Jennifer_W, Sept 2023
The nice part of this tour was having a driver pick up and drop off after at the hotel and then having tickets in advance to enter and a tour guide group only entry into the basilica. Our guide was okay, gave a brief, general overview, but did not get into the history that much. Felt a little rushed.
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Ciao Jennifer, Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us! We're delighted to hear that you appreciated the convenience of our pick-up and drop-off services, advance tickets, and fast entry into the basilica. But we're sorry to hear that the tour experience itself didn't fully meet your expectations. We appreciate your comments about your guide and we'll certainly take your feedback into consideration to make improvements for future tours because our goal is always to provide a rich and informative experience. We hope you'll consider giving us another opportunity in the future, and we'll strive to make your next experience a 5-star one. Hoping to welcome you again in Roma! Eyes of Rome Team
Do it!
Brian_Z, Sept 2023
Our guide was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, personable and made optional use of our limited time at the Vatican. I definitely recommend doing this tour as early in the day as possible as it gets very crowded. A small tour is best.
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Dear Brian, Thank you for taking the time to share your review of our Vatican tour! We are thrilled to hear about your positive experience with our guide You've made a great point about the timing of the tour. Visiting early in the day is indeed a fantastic strategy to beat the crowds and make the most of your limited time. We hope you left the Vatican with a deeper appreciation of its rich history and art, and we look forward to welcoming you back for another memorable tour in the future. Thank you for choosing us for your Vatican experience! Best regards, Eyes of Rome Team
Fantastic well informed tour.
Warren_T, Sept 2023
Silvia was an excellent, well spoken, and highly informative guide. I would recommend her to anyone. Very unique and wonderful experience
The Vatican is an amazing place.
Andrea_W, Sept 2023
Such a huge place to see. Too much for one day honestly. So much history. So much beauty. Lots and lots of people to contend with.
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Dear Andrea, Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your visit. We completely understand that large and historically rich places like the Vatican can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with crowds. It's true that there's an immense amount to see and absorb. While it can be challenging to cover everything in one day, we hope you were still able to appreciate the history and beauty of the place despite the crowds. If you ever decide to return or explore more destinations in the future, consider contacting us directly for a more manageable and customized visit to fully savor the experience without feeling rushed. Hoping to welcome you in the future for a 5-star experience! Arrivederci, Eyes of Rome Team

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