Private Early Bird Vatican Tour

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

From $291.95

Price varies by group size

Select Date and Travelers

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. Upgrade for a prime version with even earlier priority access, including the Raphael Rooms.
  • Explore the Vatican Museum before the daytime crowds arrive
  • Visit the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms, and St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Upgrade for even earlier priority access into the Vatican Museums
  • Includes pickup from centrally located hotels in Rome

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, and gain access to the Raphael Rooms to admire Raphael's most famous frescoes.

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 travelers 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.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler 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).


602 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 602 reviews
Best Vatican Tour
Paula_J, Sep 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.
Absolutely wonderful
Dave_L, Sep 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, Sep 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, Sep 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, Sep 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, Sep 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!
The Vatican at Our Own Pace
Francis_B, Sep 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.
Book it with Marina!
sharon_s, Sep 2023
Absolutely worth the price for a private your skip the lines tickets/ ask for Marina she was knowledgeable and super sweet!
Jeff_J, Sep 2023
Our guide Marina was excellent! Very good communicator. I’ve seen the Vatican 3- times and this was my favorite.
Ok tour
Jennifer_W, Sep 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, Sep 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, Sep 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, Sep 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, Sep 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, Sep 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.
Wow- what a great tour!
Donald_M, Sep 2023
Excellent private tour. We bypassed all the lines and was immediately in the Vatican Museum! Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and got us in great locations to see all of the highlights of the museum and the Sistine Chapel. This tour was a highlight our our time in Italy
Response from Host, Sep 2023
Ciao Donald, Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic experience with us! We're absolutely delighted to hear that you had a great time with your guide and we're honored to have been a highlight of your time in Italy, your kind words are truly appreciated! Should you ever find yourself back in this beautiful country, we would be delighted to welcome you on another unforgettable adventure. Warm regards, Eyes of Rome Team
Once in a lifetime trip
Robert_W, Aug 2023
We had an amazing time seeing all the art and statues in all the art collection rooms. The high light was seeing the Sistine Chapel and the Basilica they were a sight to see and much lager than we anticipated. Tour of a life time Tanya was an awesome guide, friendly very knowledgeable and you can tell she loves her job.
Don’t purchase this tour - not as advertised
Sandy_H, Aug 2023
I do not recommend this tour. First of all we paid $761 for basically a 1.5 hour tour. It was supposed to be an early bird entry to the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and St Peters Basilica. We did not get in early as the venues were packed by the time we got through the crowds. Then after 30 minutes of the guide showing us pictures of what we were going to see we finally entered one of the Museums which took another 30 minutes. I plan to get Viator to refund my money as the tour was not what was promised when i bought it.
Response from Host, Sep 2023
Dear Sandy, We apologize for your disappointing experience with our tour and appreciate you sharing your concerns with us. Please let us clarify some points regarding the inconveniences you have encountered. Kindly note that delays in entry can sometimes occur due to factors beyond our control, such as crowd management by the venues themselves. This happens especially at the Vatican Museums, where safety checks are very strict. Regarding the images shown during the tour, you are probably referring to the visit to the Sistine Chapel. Please be aware that our guides often use visual aids to provide context and background information before entering the Sistine Chapel, as it is a sacred space where explanations are not allowed. This is a common practice to enhance the overall understanding and appreciation of the artwork within the site. However, we are sorry for the disappointment you faced during your visit and we hope to welcome you back in the future and make you live a 5-star experience. Sincerely, Eyes of Rome Team
Worth Every Penny!!
Taylor_C, Aug 2023
Dennis was our guide and this is worth every penny! He was super knowledgeable and met us at our hotel. We easily got to the front of the lines and it was not that crowded. Also the guide was excellent at explaining what we were looking at and the history behind it. He was really kind and answered all our questions. This was a real highlight of our trip!!!
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Ciao Taylor, Grazie mille for sharing your wonderful experience with us! We're delighted that Dennis left such a positive impression on you with his extensive knowledge and dedication to providing a top-notch tour. It's great to hear that the convenience of being picked up at your hotel and the priority access to attractions enhanced your overall experience. We're thrilled to have been a highlight of your trip and hope to have the pleasure of hosting you again for more unforgettable moments in the future!
Brilliant tour
Rebecca_D, Aug 2023
Our Tour Guide was lovely and so knowledgeable. An amazing experience. Our car picked us up from hotel and dropped us off. Lovely clean car good A.C. So thankfully we went for early morning as we beat the heat and crowds. Definitely worth the money.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Ciao Rebecca! We're thrilled to hear that you had such a fantastic experience with our tour guide! We're also pleased that the convenience of our pick-up and drop-off service met your expectations. Choosing the early morning slot was indeed a smart move to make the most of the experience while avoiding the heat and crowds. Thank you for your 5-star review! We look forward to welcoming you back for another memorable adventure in the future!
The Only Way to Visit Vatican City!
Stacey_L, Aug 2023
The only way to visit St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums! Our driver picked us up at our hotel and drove us to meet our guide, Ala. Ala had our tickets already and we were able to get right in which is huge as the lines are LONG. This was a private tour so we were able to move through the Church and the Museums much easier than the large groups. Ala was very knowledgeable and gave us a great lesson on the history of Vatican City.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Dear Stacey, Thank you for sharing your fantastic experience with us! We're thrilled to hear that your visit to St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums with us was such a positive and memorable one. Having Ala as your guide sounds like it truly enhanced your visit. We're glad that the private tour allowed you to navigate through the sites with ease and avoid the long lines. Thank you for choosing us for this special tour, and we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the future for more enriching experiences!
Excellent Tour
Patrick_P, Aug 2023
Our guide was excellent, provided great details during the tour. Having a private guide was well worth the money as we got in early with no wait and hit the highlights on our own pace. Being picked up and dropped off at our hotel was also a great benefit. Definitely would recommend this tour.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Dear Patrick, We're glad to hear that your guide was excellent and that having a private tour was a valuable investment, allowing you to enjoy early access without waiting and explore the highlights at your own pace. The convenience of being picked up and dropped off at your hotel always adds to the overall experience and we are happy you confirm that!
Conney_R, Aug 2023
Great tour with Pamela, driver was on time and professional. Very educational and insightful touring with Pamela. Definitely worthwhile taking this early bird tour . Still very busy despite the earlier morning admission.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Thanks for your feedback! We're glad you had a great tour with Pamela and a professional driver. It's wonderful that Pamela's guidance was educational and insightful. We appreciate your recommendation of the early bird tour for a worthwhile experience, even in the midst of the morning crowds.
A beautiful Spiritual morning
Pamela_J, Aug 2023
Alicia was so in tune to the family needs and kept the children engaged while fulfilling the adults interests. She was able to stay with us beyond our time to ensure the driver returned us to our hotel.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Ciao Pamela, It's wonderful to hear that your guide tailored the tour to meet the needs of your family, engaging both children and adults. Her dedication to ensuring a fulfilling experience is appreciated. We're glad that her commitment even extended beyond the tour time to ensure your return to the hotel was seamless. If you ever decide to explore more with us, we'll be here to assist you with the same passion!

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