The Complete Vatican Tour With Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica
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A fantastic small group tour of only 20 people or fewer!
This Complete Vatican Tour is designed to give you a unique understanding of the history and world-class art collection of the Vatican. It shows you all the classics and throws in a few surprises to take you on a deep, artistic adventure in just over 3 hours.
Our guide to The Complete Vatican Tour With Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica
You will start by skipping the (always long) lines to get into the museum and diving right into the galleries holding some of the most famous works of art in the world. This specially-designed route encompasses all the can’t-miss pieces while also including some of the lesser known works that will really dazzle you.
Your expert, English-speaking guide will give you eye-opening insight and context (along with some great stories) as you explore the Raphael Rooms, the Belvedere courtyard with ‘Apollo Belvedere’ & the Laocoön group, the Pinecone Courtyard, the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of the Maps, and the Gallery of the Tapestries.
The piéce-de-resistance is, of course, the Sistine Chapel. Your guide will prep you for your time here by telling you the stories behind the creation of the iconic frescoes as well as what they mean. When you enter, you will then be able to appreciate the full majesty of the room, spotting little details like Michelangelo’s self-portrait and the rather painful revenge he plotted for the Pope’s aide (he wasn’t his biggest fan…)
Finally, trade the artistic masterpieces of the Vatican Museums for the architectural masterpiece that is St. Peter’s Basilica. Traveling with a licensed guide has its perks, as you’ll learn when you use the special guides-only door leading from the Sistine Chapel directly to the Basilica (and past long general access lines).
Built over St. Peter’s tomb, it took the best minds of the Renaissance more than 120 years to complete St. Peter’s Basilica. It was worth every second though, as you’ll discover during a 1-hour tour with your guide. They’ll lead you to Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà’ (the only work he ever felt the need to sign: Your guide will tell you why) Bernini’s soaring baldacchino altar, and the well-worn feet of St. Peter, which pilgrims rub for good luck.
While many tour operators fit 25 or more people into their Vatican tours, you will never be with a group of more than 20. This gives you a more intimate experience led by the most engaging, and knowledgeable guides in the Vatican.
Varies, please see calendar.
Around 3 hours 15 minutes.
Average 5 out of 5 (1 customer reviews)
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for The Complete Vatican Tour With Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica
- You will receive a voucher for this experience. Please read it thoroughly.
- Itinerary subject to change without notice.
- Gratuities to guides are appreciated but never obligatory.
- Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
- Please note that the tour meeting time is 15 minutes prior to the start time. No refunds or re-bookings can be provided for late arrivals or no shows after tour commencement or departure.
- Hotel pick-up/drop-off is NOT included. Please meet your guide at the green bar (called l'Ottagono) in Piazza del Risorgimento
- This tour ends in St.Peter's Basilica.
- Please remember that the Sistine Chapel is a holy place, and attire must be appropriate for the visit. Both men and women are asked to wear clothing that covers at least the shoulders and knees.
- We advise our clients that St.Peter's Basilica may be closed during special celebrations/festivities, including the Easter ceremonies. If this occurs during your visit, we will spend more time inside the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. We are unable to provide refunds in this case.
- While the Vatican Museums are equipped with elevators for wheelchair and stroller access, they are not conveniently located on the group tour route and only give access to specific sections of the Museums. Please contact us to make further arrangements.
- Please note that guests may only carry small handbags inside the Vatican Museums. Larger backpacks and big pointy umbrellas etc must be left at the cloakroom. It is the responsibility of the guest to return to the Vatican Museums entrance to collect these after the tour.
- Please ensure that all members of your party have a valid ID on them on the day of the visit. This is particularly important for guests who have qualified for child reduction.
- Cancellation policy: Cancellations received greater than 72 hours prior to tour commencement are fully refundable. Cancellations received within 72 hours of tour commencement are non-refundable. Amendment requests are subject to availability and price changes.
- Tours depart precisely at the scheduled tour start time. If you show up late or cannot find the meeting point, for any reason, refund requests are not honoured per policy. For most tours, it is not logistically possible to join the group after it has started.
Frequently Asked Questions for The Complete Vatican Tour With Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica
How long does it take to visit the Vatican?
The tour of the Vatican Gardens is around 2 hours whilst visiting the Museums is at your own leisure. Here you can spend as much time as you wish, though on average we encourage to factor in a further 2 hours for the Museums alone.
How long is a Vatican tour?
There are different tours available for the Vatican which last between 2 to 3 hours.
How long is it to tour the Vatican Museums?
You can visit the Vatican Museums at your own leisure taking as much or little time as you wish. On average we recommend setting aside a couple of hours.
Which is the best tour for the Vatican?
There are a variety of options to suit all all needs and schedules. But if you want to maximise your time in Rome we highly recommend the Skip the Line Imperial Rome & Vatican Museums Combo tour which includes the Vatican Museums, St Peter's Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Coliseum and Forum all skip-the-line plus a delicious Italian lunch
How best to tour Vatican City?
We highly recommend to pre-book and skip the ticket line as this can be very busy on certain times of the day and year. Another top tip would be to visit on a Wednesday morning or book a Night Tour which are quieter. For more information on tours please visit our Vatican Ticket options
Can I visit the Vatican Gardens without a tour?
The Vatican Gardens can only be visited on a tour.
Can I visit the Vatican without a tour?
The Vatican Museums and Basilica can be visited at your own leisure. The Vatican Gardens can only be visited on a tour.
How do I book a Vatican tour?
We have a variety of tour options for the Vatican which you can book directly with us. Visit our Vatican Tickets page for more information.
Is the Vatican open for tours on a Sunday?
Usually the Museums are open from Monday to Saturday. They will also open on the last Sunday of the month. Opening times may vary depending on the season and certain national or religious holidays.
Are the Vatican tours at a fast pace?
The Vatican Museums galleries are about 8km long, the tour guides will adjust the pace depending on the overall group's need as much as possible. Generally they maintain a medium pace throughout the visit.
Can I rent a wheelchair or mobility scooter at the Vatican?
Manual wheelchairs are available free of charge. If you wish to bring your own powerchair or electric wheelchair you may do so by arranging this in advance directly with the Vatican.
Can I bring food in the Vatican?
You may bring small snacks and soft drinks on your visit.
What do I wear to tour the Vatican?
When it comes to visiting the Vatican it is important to note that a dress code applies or you will be refused entry even with a valid ticket. Skirts can be worn provided the length is below the knee and shoulders should be covered at all times. Small handbags are allowed.
Where can I leave my bags at the Vatican?
The Vatican provides free storage for bags and other big items however they do not offer a cloakroom service.
Can I take photos at the Vatican?
Yes, you can take as many photos as you wish without flash with exception of the Sistine Chapel where no photos are allowed.
Are there any tours for the vision and hearing impaired at the Vatican?
Vision and hearing impaired visits are available upon request through the Vatican Museums
How long can I stay in the Vatican Museums?
You can visit the Vatican Museums for as long as you wish within the opening times.
When does the Vatican close?
Closing times may vary depending on season. Exit from the galleries starts 30 minutes before the closing time.
What are the opening times for the Vatican?
Generally the opening times are between 9am to 6pm with the last entrance at 4pm. Opening times can vary especially during some national and religious holidays.
How many people are there on a Vatican tour?
Tours are usually between 20 and 35 people though some tour operators can accommodate up to 50.