The Original Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

Badge of ExcellenceRM, Italy

From $110.00

Select Date and Travelers

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


Begin your Vatican experience a little differently with a climb up the dome of St. Peter's Basilica with a guide. After getting sweeping views of Vatican City and Rome beyond, proceed inside for a guided tour of the church itself, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel. This half-day tour takes place in the morning, before much of the crowds arrive at the Vatican.
  • Save time with skip-the-line Vatican tickets
  • Sweeping views of Rome from St. Peter's Basilica dome
  • Comprehensive tour of the basilica, Vatican Museums, and Sistine Chapel
  • Art historian guide provides in-depth commentary

What's Included

  • St. Peter's Dome Climb to the top of Michelangelo's Cupola for truly amazing views of Rome!
  • Get into the Vatican Museums fast with our no lines priority access ticket and a local expert guide
  • Catch all the classic and ancient sculptures inside world famous chambers, halls and galleries
  • Immersive Sistine Chapel inside experience and a panel-by-panel tour of Michelangelo's ceiling
  • Full tour of entire St. Peter's Basilica covering all the major works of art and sculpture therein
  • Tour of little-known Papal Sarcophagi beneath St. Peter's Basilica which we call "Vatacombs"
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Gratuities

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Largo del Colonnato, 1
    Largo del Colonnato, 1, 00193 Roma RM, Italy

    Meet at 745am for 8am departure by the Tiare fountain (Fontana delle Tiare), just beneath Largo del Colonnato and in front of the pillars which run around Saint Peter's Square. · Your guide will be holding a When in Rome Tours signboard. Google maps link:

Start time

08:00 AM

End point

  • Piazza Papa Pio XII
    Piazza Papa Pio XII, 00193 Roma RM, Italy

    The tour concludes on St. Peter's Square beside St. Peter's Basilica.

What To Expect

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • 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
  • On days immediately surrounding religious holidays at the Vatican, alterations to tours may become necessary due to partial closings of areas normally included in this tour. In the event that the Papal tombs beneath St. Peter's Basilica are closed, the tour of the Basilica itself will be extended and no refunds made
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Maximum 20 travelers on this tour, hand sanitizer made available (we will provide), mandatory mask-wearing on the tour (bring your own)
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers

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 a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

See more

Traveler Tips

It was very hot but it was 90 out side skip the li e is a must as the wait was at least 2 hours or more in the hot sun .
The Climb to the top with "When in Rome Tours" is highly recommended, even by grandma!
Give yourself time to walk to the meeting point for Vatican museum and Sistine chapel tour.
799 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 799 reviews
Loved it!
Erin_B, Mar 2023
The tour was great! Our tour guide Marianne was very knowledgeable (and she was funny). We loved getting to go to the top of the basilica. Be warned though, this tour is long, so wear your walking shoes!
Good tour
Sheila_B, Mar 2023
Massimo was our guide, he did a great job of explaining everything. The climb was difficult but very much worth it. Varican museum and Sistine chapel were too full, body to body people.
Not what we were looking for
William_A, Mar 2023
When I arrived, the greeting person was confused as to which group I was in. I was moved to one group incorrectly and then back to the other. The tour guide, Massimo, was knowledgeable and entertaining. The tour, however was cursory at best which may be due to the time wasted on the roof (see below). This is not the tour to take if you need any reflective time in a place created for reflection. The stairs to the top was disorganized and unpleasant due to lack of direction for ascending and descending. Groups were coming up the stairs and there was no apparent way down. Finally, after about an hour of wasted time, we were provided a way back down. The signage was not consistent with the exit path. We were too tired after this to attend the Vatican part of the tour. The tour was disappointing.
robbed! and rude customer service!
claudiahb2, Mar 2023
i canceled this trip and was told the cancelation did not go through!!! i did not book two trips and demand my money back! contact me at
Response from Host, Mar 2023
Dear Claudia, While we appreciate your honest review, I must say I am taken aback by what you call rude customer service. I have looked into your booking, and what I see in terms of correspondence is simply the following from our office: Hello Claudia, Thank you for reaching out. From our side the booking is showing as confirmed. Please contact the Viator customer care if you have any additional questions regarding your booking. Do let us know if we can be of any further assistance. Best regards, Klaudia Do let us know if there is something we are missing in terms of the communications process with our team. Thank you in advance.
Exceptional tour guide, Chiara
Jessica_M, Mar 2023
Our tour guide, Chiara, is exceptional and made our experience very enjoyable. She is not only knowledgeable in the background of the Vatican but also the stories/history behind the artworks. We especially love her bright energy and sense of humor which make the tour more fun and interesting. Overall, we enjoy it so much and would highly recommend her to be your next tour guide! Thank you Chiara! Jessica & SK (Friends from Hong Kong)
Amazing full Vatican experience!
Helen_H, Mar 2023
Amazingly led exploration of Vatican City by the lovely Chiara Antonelli from When In Rome Tours. Meeting details were concise with seamless check in. Chiara was very warm, knowledgeable and entertaining providing many interesting facts and highlighting many of the must see areas of the Basilica, Papal Sarcophagi, St Peter's Square, Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Much appreciated by your Australian friends Helen and Andrew.
Wonderful tour made even better by guide Sabrina
RobertD_D, Mar 2023
The whole tour was very well arranged and our tour guide Sabrina was so amazing. She was so engaging and knowledgeable. She referred to her self as Mama Sabrina and definitely took care of us children. Don’t miss this tour and only take it with Sabrina
Excellent tour
Debbie_R, Mar 2023
Maximo, was just the best. He was very informative and interesting shared a lot of facts. He also had a wicked sense of humour. He made sure we kept together and for a very crowded area we hardly queued or had any waiting.
Amazing Tour!
Ahmed_S, Mar 2023
Fantastic tour! Our tour guide Sandra. She is soo lovely. Very cheerful and professional. Lots of information she gave us. Although the time in the Vatican Museums was soo challenging because of the huge crowds but she managed to direct our group smoothly. Bravo Sandra!!
Worth it
nqureshi46, Mar 2023
This was informative and well organised and I really enjoyed it. Good pace - not rushed and the guide went out of the way to ensure the group stayed together (lost a family). Would definitely recommend the trip to both skip the lines and have a more enjoyable experience. Going up onto the dome was definitely worth it and so is the 8am start. The clam before the storm.
Good Tour
Matthew_G, Mar 2023
Overall I think I liked the tour except for the fact that in the Vatican museums I had a hard time hearing our guide so the guided tour in that space was not very useful. I would recommend to any travellers to bring your own headset instead of using the one provided to you and to devote more than just the tour time allotment to the Vatican museum. That's really a place where self guided you could spend all day in.
Outstanding! Highly recommend!
Jennifer_R, Mar 2023
This was a truly outstanding tour experience! We booked the tour and dome climb late in our trip to make sure we had adjusted to the time change and would be fully awake and engaged for the early start time. The dome climb is at the beginning of the tour so if you are jet lagged that does provide a bit of invigorating activity to wake you up. There is also a planned break that is definitely long enough for coffee or snacks. Most importantly : THE TOUR GUIDE WAS AMAZING! Her knowledge of art history really took the experience to another level. Rich in details and depth, she still managed to keep the tone conversational and approachable. Not only was our 11 year old completely interested for the entire 5+ hours, we also learned a great deal ourselves and wished we could do it all over again the next day to deepen the learning further. The cultural touch points between ancient and modern Rome, the commonalities that managed to span both pagan and eventual Christian practices, the distinctions between classical and Hellenistic sculptures...the guide's ability to weave a tapestry across the hours was extraordinary. I cannot say enough positives about the experience with the guide. Side note: We have one person afraid of heights in our family and they were able to do the dome climb without a problem. The stairs do not have you looking out over open space at all. You don't have any elevated view until reaching the top and the sight lines at that point have you looking out; not down. There are no looming ledges either. For comparison purposes: it's nothing like the dome climb in Florence (which was unattainable for the fear of heights person) and it's less exposed to the looking down fear activation element than the Milan rooftop experience (which was attainable and worth it to the fear of heights person but it was a tad uncomfortable in a few spots).
Ok for part of it.
Onja_R, Mar 2023
The climb to the to dome was nice and I think the Vatican portion of the tour was good however for the Sistine Chapel and the museum there was far too many people there (in the building not the tour) that it made it basically impossible to enjoy the experience. I think skipping the line for the Vatican Museum is 1000000% worth it but the tour itself not so much. I dont think this is the tour guides fault just the amount of people at the Vatican Museum.
Best way to see the Vatican!
Angela_M, Mar 2023
Massimo was very engaging and knowledgeable. He was constantly checking in with each member of the group and was very informative throughout the entire tour!
Must-do tour, amazing experience
David_L, Mar 2023
This tour is an absolute "must do" activity when you go to Rome. Such an amazing experience. Chiara was an amazing tour guide and so passionate about history. Great voice and good eye contact to everyone in the tour group. Worth every penny to skip lines, get the full tour experience, and have such personalized experience with a tour guide. OMG the St, Peter's Basilica and Vatican Museums were amazing. We left Rome after one week BUT Rome never left us! Your future self will thank you! RECOMMEND this tour.
Amazing life experience
clg155096, Mar 2023
Our guide Maryann was fantastic and her knowledge was so impressive. She was very friendly and made efforts to engage with the small children in our group. Having the opportunity to climb the dome is an experience I won't soon forget as the views are unrivaled in Rome. There was more than enough space for 2 groups to move about and still take photos.
Stunning, beautiful, incredible…
Lisa_K, Mar 2023
I will start by saying, this is a 5+ hour tour, a friend told me to do the longer tour, instead of the shorter tour bc you do not see as much with the shorter tour. I was so glad I did as this tour was amazing. My husband, who went with his work group on the shorter 2 1/2 hour tour, did not see nearly as much as I did (no catacombs or dome climb). He stated his tour was amazing, but after he heard what I had done, he had wished he had been able to take the longer tour. Our tour guide Sandra, was very passionate, knowledgeable and fun. She did an excellent job explaining what we were seeing and telling the story/stories. We did the dome climb, which is not required, but it is something that should not be missed. It was well worth climbing up over 300 steps, as the view from the top was stunningly beautiful and breathtaking. After the dome climb, we went into St. Peter’s, and it just takes your breath away. Sandra was wonderful at explaining the various statues and art pieces, the story behind them and the period of art represented - I was amazed at her knowledge. I love how she pointed out “hidden” things, I might have otherwise missed. We then went to the Vatican museum which was also amazing and even though it was extremely crowded and in places, you could barely move, Sandra pushed us through so that we were able to see more. We ended with entering into the Sistine Chapel - there are no words to describe its beauty. I was grateful that prior to going into the Sistine Chapel, Sandra went over the various features. There are pictures/posters of it posted in the museum courtyard. Sandra went explained it to us and pointed out what to look for. Sine your guide doesn’t go into the chapel wit h you, it was nice to know what to look for. Security is very serious and there is very little talking, and no photos are allowed. If you are able to find an empty sit, I would suggest sitting there and just taking it all in, it left me speechless. I highly recommend this tour and Sandra our tour guide - it was amazing!
A Great Experience
James_W, Mar 2023
Massimo was an extremely knowledgeable guide whose sense of humour and consideration shone through during the entire dome climb and museum tour.
Leeann_W, Mar 2023
We really enjoyed visiting the dome the views are amazing and well worth the climb. I was travelling with a teenager who was mesmerised by the size, scale and beauty of these surroundings. Our tour guide Paolo was very informative and had a lovely presentation style. Great day out
Tour brought to life
Nigel_C, Mar 2023
The tour guide, Helen was outstanding in her ability to personally engage all members of the group and thus keeping every one interested. Her knowledge was second to none. I would recommend making sure you have Helen as your guide