Exclusive Early Access Vatican Semi Private Tour | with Private Option

Roma, Italy
Likely to Sell Out

From $142.07

Price varies by group size

Select Date and Travelers

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

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 travelers 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.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler 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.
1,482 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 1,482 reviews
See the Vatican Museum
Liz_H, Mar 2023
From the start, Uta told us the history and importance to the world of this tiny but powerful place. The art treasures are legendary all with their own stories. But seeing the Sistine Chapel with no crowds and hearing its creation brought to life was one of the best experiences ever. One must see these places with experienced, knowledgeable guides.
Amazing tour
Shannon_B, Mar 2023
We loved this tour and our guide Deborah was amazing! She was so organized with the timing to avoid crowded rooms but still made the whole thing feel relaxed and informative. We learned so much and really enjoyed the early morning, less crowded opportunity to see the Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Highly recommend!
Interesting and Informative Tour of Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peters Basilica
Scott_K, Mar 2023
This tour is a must do if you visit Rome. Our guide Gio was so knowledgeable and passionate. You will learn so much about the history of the art, the artists and Catholic Church.
Excellent tour
Samantha_H, Mar 2023
Assunta was an extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic tour guide who made the early entry Vatican tour a very enjoyable experience.
A Day To Remember
David_C, Mar 2023
Carlotta was anti mated and an excellent tour guide. She was very helpful as I was on a cane. She was very explicit explaining all of the highlights and even walked us over to the gift shop which was a good ways aw At. I highly recommend her.
Luisa our tour guide was...
Ronan_O, Mar 2023
Luisa our tour guide was very friendly, engaging and knowledgeable. Excellent morning spent in the Vatican.
Sylvia is friendly and insightful
Michelle_H, Mar 2023
Sylvia Palermo was enthusiastic, friendly, and very knowledgeable. Her insights and energy made for an educational and thoroughly enjoyable experience for us and our children. We highly recommend Sylvia as a tour guide to help bring history to life!
Maximo and beating the crowds is the way to go
Georgiana_B, Mar 2023
Our guide, Maximo was truly knowledgeable and entertaining. He even shared a wonderful restaurant recommendation for us!
Fantastic experience with a wonderful guide!
Melinda_H, Mar 2023
It was a beautiful experience with a FANTASTIC guide! Definitely recommend going early before the crowds!
A great guide with a wealth of knowledge
Erin_H, Mar 2023
We had a great experience, the tour guide was very knowledgable and had a ton of charisma that made the experience interesting and entertaining. We had a fantastic time and would easily recommend.
Carlotta was an awesome...
Nuala_O, Mar 2023
Carlotta was an awesome guide- so knowledgeable and enthusiastic- we learned so much from her and the Sistine chapel was breathtaking - would recommend the tour 100%
Great Vatican Tour
Khang_T, Mar 2023
We had a great tour with Paola. She was very knowledgeable, kind, and friendly. I would highly recommend Paola and LivTours.
lisa_m, Mar 2023
Our tour guide, Sara Napolitani, was excellent and really made a difference in our experience…her knowledge of the history and detailed explanation made the grandeur of the Vatican really come to life. She was friendly, energetic…we enjoyed our visit and would recommend this tour to anyone planning a visit.
Too Rushed
Gregory_W, Mar 2023
Too rushed. The tour guide was excellent, but the tour tries to cover too much too quickly. I would rather see less but have more time with select items.
The guide was unreal and...
Steve_D, Mar 2023
The guide was unreal and the presentation she gave was second to none. Donata was so good we tried to request her for our next tour.
Response from Host, Mar 2023
Donata will be so pleased to read your review of the Vatican tour you took with her. We thank you on both Donata's and our own behalf! Angelo and Kristin
Amazing experience
Jeanette_W, Mar 2023
Our outstanding guide was far above expectations in knowledge, communication skills, and personality. This was an amazing and moving experience.
Overcrowded Tour - Read the Fine Print
Rachel_S, Mar 2023
Sara is really nice and extremely informative but the tour organization is the problem with overcapacity because the group was seven individuals (a family of four) and mine (a family of three), it felt very claustrophobic. For the cost of a private tour, it felt like a small group. I would’ve rather paid a fraction of the cost to be in a semi-private tour of 10, or a public tour of twenty people. I don’t feel we received the attention we needed although Sara did her best to accommodate. Although I understand they said at times there may be an additional of 1-2 people because they do not wish to separate families under the additional notes, I wouldn’t advertise max 6 people then. It’s a false advertisement.
A great way to see the Vatican without the crowds
Sarah_C, Mar 2023
Such a great way to see the Vatican without the crowds. It really starts early in the morning, but having some of the galleries to ourselves was worth it. Our guide Alex was incredibly informative and entertaining, and took the time to speak with us individually on pieces he thought would interest us. Highly recommend this tour!
Awesome discoveries
Carol_C, Mar 2023
She was a wealth of knowledge about what we saw and more Her info about items and history were great
Azurra was excellent,...
Angelica_V, Mar 2023
Azurra was excellent, entertaining and very knowledgeable, she made a wonderful tour, memorable. That’s all I have to say.