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Skip-the-Line: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Small-Group Tour

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Roma, Italy
Skip-the-Line: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Small-Group Tour

From $52.45

Price varies by group size

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Free cancellation
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Safety measures
icon2 hours 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 5 more

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Overview

Discover the Vatican on an intimate small-group tour of the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums with an expert guide and a group of up to 20 people. Navigate the vast complex of rooms, artwork, and history with a guide, who brings the ancient collection to life. Skip all the entrance lines to explore halls such as the Gallery of the Maps and Raphael’s Rooms; step inside the Sistine Chapel to admire ‘The Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo. Choose from several departures, or upgrade to an evening experience or small-group tour with 10 people.
  • See captivating sites such as the Raphael’s Rooms, Gallery of the Maps, and Bramante’s Pinecone Courtyard
  • Choose from several different departure times, or upgrade to a semi-private tour (with up to 10 participants)
  • Audio headsets are provided to make sure you can hear your guide clearly at all times (when group size is 20 people)
  • With a reserved Skip-the-Line entrance, head straight into the Vatican to explore the museums with your dedicated art historian guide

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

“Skip the line” with this tour means using a special entrance to bypass even the fast-track line.
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Reserved Priority Access to the Vatican Museums
Skip-the-Line Access to the Sistine Chapel
Audio headsets so you can always hear your guide
Small groups of 20 people or less
Gratuities
Hotel pickup and drop-off
St. Peter's Basilica is not included until further notice
Via Tunisi, 4 , Via Tunisi, 4, 00192 Roma RM, Italy

Meeting point: 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).

Sistine Chapel , 00120, Vatican City
Vatican tours with skip-the-line access are sought-after, so even the fast-track lines are long. This experience includes admission through a special entrance, so there are no lines whatsoever. Follow your guide directly inside the vast collection of private artwork that is the Vatican Museums.

Walk through the Gallery of the Maps and Gallery of Tapestries as you listen to tales of Vatican intrigue. Gaze at artifacts such as timeworn yet fascinating Italian maps, and admire the sculptures and candelabras of the Gallery of Candelabras. Stop for photos in front of the Pigna statue in the Pinecone Courtyard, designed by Donato Bramante.

Raphael’s Rooms are a series of galleries that highlight the talent of the lauded Renaissance artist himself. Pass through the rooms, and then step inside the Sistine Chapel—the pope’s personal place of worship and a highlight of any Vatican trip. Stand beneath Michelangelo’s 'The Creation of Adam,' which cloaks the ceiling, and admire 'The Last Judgement,' his colorful mural that adorns a wall.

After your Sistine Chapel visit, continue to St. Peter’s Basilica, the symbolic heart of the Catholic church. Learn about its history and see more Vatican art including Michelangelo’s 'La Pietà,' which was sculpted when the maestro was only 24 years old. Gaze at the baldachino by Bernini, and then say goodbye to your guide in St. Peter’s Square.

Keep in mind that St. Peter's Basilica and St. Peter's Square might be unavailable on Wednesdays due to the weekly Papal Audience. As an alternative, enjoy an extended itinerary within the Vatican Museums, which still includes the Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Rooms. If you want to make sure that St. Peter's Basilica and Square are included in your tour, don't select Wednesday as your travel date.

If you want to enhance your Vatican experience, select one of the following experiences:

Small-Group Tour in the morning: Enter the Vatican Museums as soon as it opens, before the other lines enter. Your tour is limited to 10 people for personal attention and information about the Vatican’s must-see sights.

Tour in the evening: Explore the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel after the doors close to the general public. A visit to St. Peter’s Basilica is not included.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Vatican Museums
Vatican tours with skip-the-line access are sought-after, so even the fast-track lines are long. This experience includes admission through a special entrance, so there are no lines whatsoever. Follow your guide directly inside the vast collection of private artwork that is the Vatican Museums. Walkthrough the Gallery of the Maps and Gallery of Tapestries as you listen to tales of Vatican intrigue. Gaze at artifacts such as timeworn yet fascinating Italian maps, and admire the sculptures and candelabras of the Gallery of Candelabras. Stop for photos in front of the Pigna statue in the Pinecone Courtyard, designed by Dontao Bramante.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Stanze di Raffaello
Raphael’s Rooms are a series of galleries that highlight the talent of the lauded Renaissance artist himself.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Sistine Chapel
Pass through the rooms, and then step inside the Sistine Chapel — the pope’s personal place of worship and a highlight of any Vatican trip. Stand beneath Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, which cloaks the ceiling, and admire The Last Judgement, his colorful mural that adorns a wall.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
St. Peter's Basilica
Please note: Due to current restrictions, St Peter's Basilica is not included until further notice. After your Sistine Chapel visit, continue to St Peter’s Basilica, the symbolic heart of the Catholic church. Learn about its history and see more Vatican art including Michelangelo’s La Pietà, which was sculpted when the maestro was only 24 years old. Gaze at the baldachino by Bernini, and then say goodbye to your guide in St Peter’s Square. Keep in mind that St Peter's Basilica and St Peter's Square might be unavailable on Wednesdays due to the weekly Papal Audience. As an alternative, you'll be offered an extended itinerary within the Vatican Museums, which still includes the Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Rooms.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
St. Peter's Square
Passing by
Stop At:  
Vatican City
In just three hours, we’ll introduce you to the artistic treasures of the Vatican City and its main attraction Vatican Museums in an enjoyable and hassle-free manner. From the enormous basilica built over the tomb of St. Peter to Michelangelo's ground-breaking frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, you will see how the Popes used art and culture to spread their message. You’ll leave not just appreciating the Vatican but having understood it too.
Duration: 3 hours 
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Please bring your own mask on the tour. The wearing of mask is compulsory in order to comply with health & Safety regulations. Our guide will be wearing mask during the tour as well.
  • At the meeting point there will be social distancing taking place. Our guide will organize the group upon your arrival, but we kindly ask yourself to be conscience in taking social distance at all the time from others.
  • Following the new regulations regarding Coronavirus, at the entrance your body temperature will be checked. If a body temperature above 37.5 ° C is registered, you will not be able to enter the site.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • We regret that we are unable to accommodate guests with wheelchairs or any impairments requiring special assistance. We are also unable to accommodate strollers or baby carriages on our group tours.
  • Avoid bringing large purses, bags, or backpacks on your tour
  • We may experience delays in getting through mandatory security checks when entering these venues
  • Please be aware that St. Peter's Basilica is not included until further notice
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • OPERATED BY City Wonders Ltd
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.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Skip-the-Line: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Small-Group Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Skip-the-Line: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Small-Group Tour.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Skip-the-Line: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Small-Group Tour?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Skip-the-Line: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Small-Group Tour.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


  • "Arrive early since it is a bit difficult to locate the tour guide to check in." See review
  • "Bring water with you as you won’t find any inside." See review
  • "Don’t go on a Wednesday because the Pope will be doing mass and it supposedly gets really crowded." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
25,862 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 25,862 reviews
star-5
great experience
Neil_S
, Jun 2022
great experience easy to find the guide before the event. amazing information wanted to visit the Vatican for years, happy I chose this tour operator. excellent tour
star-5
Vatican guide was excellent!
Kara_M
, Jun 2022
Polina was a great guide! She was friendly and provided us with interesting historical information throughout the Vatican and answered any questions we had.
star-5
PG was an amazing tour...
Holly_D
, Jun 2022
PG was an amazing tour guide, He was very helpful in explaining the history associated with the art.
star-1
Not good - waiting for refund
Sara_H
, Jun 2022
This was a terrible experience. There were several groups that also were beyond confused and frustrated. We did not get to have the tour. The guide told us that we would get a refund for not having the tour. We got in the museum alone and went by ourselves. We are expecting a refund, as promised.
star-3
The guide was very rude
Rene_F
, Jun 2022
The guide arrived late and was very very rude along the time. She was very sarcastic And complain about the group. Wasn’t a a good tour with her. And the coliseum was amazing
star-5
Great tour!
Kailey_S
, Jun 2022
We really enjoyed our tour of the Vatican museums and Sistine chapel. We learned so much! Even though St. Peter’s Basilica isn’t included in the tour our awesome guide helped us skip the line to get in to the basilica after our tour was over. We really appreciated that!
star-5
The tour was great. Our...
Chris_D
, Jun 2022
The tour was great. Our tour guide guide, Paulina was outstanding.... very organized. Just the right amount if detail on the tour
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-1
Not worth the extra money
Todd_D
, Jun 2022
Too crowded No special access. Recommend do self guided tour. More than 20 people in our group. Headphones didn’t work but could get guides attention because so crowded
star-1
Poor lack of knowledge rude to guests
Mario_B
, Jun 2022
Tour was poor and guide was not knowledgeable. She was visibly annoyed and exasperated with guests for asking questions she did not know. She did not know how to work the headset and no one could hear her. She would get angry when people tried to correct her. She gave no instructions on when inappropriate to take photo and thus Vatican police attacked one of the tour group members. Poor knowledge base about the tour. She refused to let my son use a restroom until last minute and never made stops despite multiple requests. She would role eyes and refused even in an urgent situation. Tour was very crowded and expensive for this guide with limited knowledge and rude behavior toward guests. There was no line to skip we waited in lines and crowds, misleading advertising.
star-4
Mixed reviews
Lisa_G
, Jun 2022
This tour was very informative. The tour guide was very knowledgeable. They said it was a small group no more than 20 but we had more than 20 which was kind of annoying because if you weren’t close enough to the tour guide you could not hear through the earpiece and I could have paid for a cheaper tour if I wanted more than 20 people. In addition, Viator books out to another company. It would have been cheaper if I had just booked with Citywonders tour company.
star-5
Fun
Shannon_F
, Jun 2022
Loved guide he knew a lot and was able to make the hot long walk fun. He was fabulous and we had a great time
star-4
This tour was very...
Gizelle_W
, Jun 2022
This tour was very informative and so worth it, except for the people peddling scarves to uninformed tourists like me that the Sistine chapel requires a covering for your bare shoulders and knees. So I was left with no choice, I had to abide by the rules. Anyway, the tour guide Georgia was very knowledgeable and clear. She answered most of our questions. Overall, i would do this again to skip the very long line.
star-5
Great Guide= great experience!
Nicole_V
, Jun 2022
Doriana our guide was great and made our whole Vatican experience wonderful. They shuffle you through pretty quickly in general. So much to see! If they didn't, you'd be there all day...so guess its good to be shuffled. Well worth the price!
star-3
Disappointing!
Karen_N
, Jun 2022
The tour was very disappointing; we paid extra for a small group no more than 10 people and there were 12 people. It was difficult to hear the tour guide even with the ear pieces. She left us outside the Sistine chapel; it was a challenge exiting the Vatican.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-3
Combined groups.
Lesley_N
, Jun 2022
A guide called in sick do they had to do all the 8:30 groups together. It was definitely not as personal of a tour as we expected. With almost 25 people. We enjoyed our small group tour the previous day but this one was a disappointment. Might need to do a private tour in the future.
star-5
Amazing tour guide, very...
Razvan_D
, Jun 2022
Amazing tour guide, very passionate about the history and provided unique insights. Fantastic with kids. Highly recommend.
star-3
Okay, not great
Janet_O
, Jun 2022
The Vatican Museums have an overwhelming array of interesting and important art. I thought the guide spoke extremely quickly trying to impart as much knowledge as possible in a short time so there was no time to actually step back and appreciate it. I didn’t like how she engaged with some children on the tour - she may have been trying to interest them but instead seemed to be pestering them. Finally the tour description was misleading - it said the tour was 2.5 hrs, at best it was 1.75 hrs.
star-5
Great tour
Jeffrey_L
, Jun 2022
Great tour! Our guide was very informative. It was very crowded when we went but with the headsets we were able to hear everything our guide was telling us. Seeing the Sistine chapel was amazing.
star-4
Good but rushed
Ashlee_P
, Jun 2022
The tour was good, but we definitely felt rushed through the museum. We understood that it was crowded, but it was unfortunate that we did not have enough time to really look around the museum. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable.
star-4
Very Informative and Interesting
Linda_S
, Jun 2022
The explanations the guide gave of each room we were in were extremely informative. I learned a lot I didn't know. Be warned, though, there is a lot of walking involved. We were able to go into the Sistine Chapel,which was gorgeous beyond belief.

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