Semi-Private Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica Guided Tour

Badge of ExcellenceRoma, Italy

From USD 82.60

Select Date and Travellers

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


Tens of thousands of people visit the Vatican Museums each day to see St. Peter’s Basilica, masterpieces by the likes of Michelangelo and Raphael, and the Sistine Chapel. Get inside the UNESCO-listed complex before it opens to the general public on this early access tour that’s limited to a small group. Enter through a reserved doorway to skip the lines, and stay a step ahead of the large crowds on this carefully planned route that ensures you make the most of your time.
  • Be one of the first visitors of the day to enter the Vatican Museums before the crowds arrive
  • Enter through a groups-only doorway to skip the long lines
  • A small-group tour ensures you can always see and hear the guide
  • Enjoy the Vatican highlights including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica

Why Travellers Choose This Tour

Be among the first people of the day in all the Vatican on this small-group tour.

What's Included

  • Reserved Skip-the-Line Access to the Vatican Museums
  • Reserved Access to the Sistine Chapel
  • Skip-the-Line Access & Guided Visit of St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Semi-private groups of no larger than 10 people
  • English-speaking art historian guide
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Via Tunisi, 4
    Via Tunisi, 4, 00192 Roma RM, Italy

    At the bottom of the steps across the street from the Entrance of the Vatican Museums. The steps are located right next to Caffè Vaticano on the corner of Viale Vaticano and Via Tunisi. The closest Metro stop is Line A (Ottaviano – Musei Vaticani). Arriving from Ottaviano - Musei Vaticani Metro A Station: Exit the turnstiles – walk straight to the back end of the station and go to the left side exit. Once you’ve reached the left side exit – exit at V.le Giulio Cesare (to your right). Exit Station and walk down V.le G. Cesare to street light, cross the street and take left on Via Leone IV. Take right on Via Sebastiano Veniero and go 1 ½ blocks.

End point

  • St. Peter's Basilica
    Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City

What To Expect

Meet and greet your guide opposite the entrance to the Vatican Museums, a collection of galleries filled with classical and Renaissance masterpieces, including the Sistine Chapel frescoes. Walk inside through a reserved door without any waiting. This access is even faster than the priority lines.

Once inside, there are more than 2,000 rooms and nine miles of art, so follow along with your guide who points out the highlights and explains the story behind each piece. The small-group nature of your tour allows you to remain close to your guide at all times, but a headset is included to make sure you can always hear the commentary clearly.

Stroll through rooms like the Gallery of Maps, with its golden, vaulted ceiling, and the stunning Sistine Chapel, considered to be the Pope’s home chapel, with Michelangelo’s 'Creation of Adam' and
'The Last Judgement.' On your early-access tour, you find the galleries to be considerably quieter than they would be later in the day.

Finish with a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church ever built and one of the holiest and most important sites in Christendom. Get an overview of its long history from your guide, and get an up-close look at 'La Pietà,' one of Michelangelo’s earlier sculptures that depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion.

Your tour ends inside the basilica. After you’ve finished exploring with your group, you can stay as long as you want on your own. It’s the perfect time to head down into the crypts or climb up to the top of St. Peter’s dome (own expense) for uninterrupted views of Rome.

Vatican City

5 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Vatican Museums

1 hour Admission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women to enter to the venues
  • Only small bags are allowed in the venue
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travellers

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.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveller Photos

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Traveller Tips

Getting into the grounds early is also key as it still fills up and gets crowded really fast.
Starts early but still doesn't avoid a lot of crowds.
2,902 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 2,902 reviews
Patricia_H, Mar 2023
Our first Rome tour and it was brilliant. Our guide was so informative and passionate about the tour, it absolutely made the experience even better.
Fantastic guide - well worth it
Oliver_T, Mar 2023
Fantastic tour, super insightful and the perfect amount of time. Me and my wife were in a group of around 10 but it was small enough where we could ask questions and stop for longer if we wanted to. Very easy to find and our guide was amazing!
Great tour!
Amanda_T, Mar 2023
Emma was our guide, she was extremely knowledgeable and pleasant. We learned so much in the 3 hours we had. I would definitely recommend this tour.
Great tour, worth the money
Kate_S, Mar 2023
This worked out perfectly. It hit all the important items, and gave the right amount of time for each. Enough time in the museum to satisfy the adults, but not too much for our teen-aged boys. The guide was lovely and extremely knowledgeable - a trained art historian.
Sabina as TREMENDOUS!...
Chris_H, Mar 2023
Sabina as TREMENDOUS! Great tour with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. ……..Silly survey requires unnecessary typing to reach one hindered characters.
Great experience
Martha_R, Mar 2023
What can I say!! You knowledge and the way that you explained every thing was amazing. Thank you and all the best
Excellent guide Oscar...
Amanda_H, Mar 2023
Excellent guide Oscar incredibly informative a memorable experience good to to take a semi private tour as feels more intimate
A good tour and management of the process
Kathryn_G, Mar 2023
The background on what we were looking at, or what we were going to see, was detailed and gave us insight into the history and significance. There is a lot to see and it can be overwhelming. Having some direction is good.
Small group tour fantastic with Oscar !
Jeffrey_C, Mar 2023
Oscar was our English guide and was excellent ! We did the small group tour which was awesome versus the big tours we saw in long lines following each other .
Susan_K, Mar 2023
Oh my good, so stunning and overwhelming at the same time. Our guide was so knowledgeable and interactive! Highly recommend!
Don’t Pay In Advance
fkc52cczfh, Mar 2023
Arrived in time, but was turned away. I’ve also been denied a refund. I’ve contacted them twice, yet I keep being denied.
Excellent Tour!
Gayle_B, Mar 2023
Our tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Cathedral was very informative! Our guide was an art historian, very organized and kind. She kept us together in spite of the massive crowds.
Nicola, our guide, was...
Jill_L, Mar 2023
Nicola, our guide, was helpful, friendly and informative. He looked after us really well. Thank you Nicola
Patricia_P, Mar 2023
Lorali was an amazing guide. We had such a great time. She was so knowledgeable and kind. Will do this again.
Just do this! its totally worth it.
Eriq_D, Mar 2023
What ever you do...Book a Semi-Private or Private tour. Our Guide Fabrizio made all the difference in the world. The Museum, chapel and Basilica are all amazing, but they lose a lot of their luster if you have to wait outside for hours get into the Vatican City or are part of a massive tour that gets herded like sheep and are always struggling to hear your tour guide or not lose them. If you can ask for Fabrizio, do it. He was freaking Fantastic!
Worth it!!!
Johnny_L, Mar 2023
Money well spent for my group of 6. Our guide was a local, who was born and raised in Rome. We loved all the knowledge and passion he had for everything we got to toured!
The guide was very...
Charlene_B, Mar 2023
The guide was very thorough and we covered a lot of information . She was very knowledgable and we hit all the highlights.
Great small-group tour
Joan_C, Mar 2023
We skipped the long line and had a fabulous tour with Paula providing background and context for the art. It was a great way to see the Vatican.
We’ll worth the time and money
Diane_J, Mar 2023
Emma was a wonderful guide who imparted so much knowledge yet made it interesting and relevant. The three hour tour in a group of only 10 was excellent as we skipped the long lines and saw plenty. We visited the museum first, then St Peter’s at the end. It was great to spend some time in the Sistine Chapel just looking and reflecting. I also loved the Greek and Roman sculpture, tapestries, maps and the richly decorated rooms we entered. The meeting point was easy to get to and the tour staff wore hi-vis bright jackets. There is also a cafe there if you want to grab a drink or bite beforehand. Just don’t be late. The tour starts promptly. It takes a bit of stamina to be on one’s feet and climbing quite a few stairs in 3 hours. We didn’t stop for food or drinks but there at least were a few restrooms along the way. At the end we were able to stay on at St Peter’s which I liked. There is also a great bookshop and post office where you can pick up Vatican souvenirs and send postcards.
Paula was awesome!
Jared_F, Mar 2023
Paula was our guide and a phenomenal one at that. Yes the Vatican and the church was great but it was Paula’s knowledge and enthusiasm for history that made it really come to life. Would love to have her guide us again in the future. Thank you for the wonderful experience!