Early Entry Sistine Chapel & St Peter's Basilica Express Service
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The best way to experience the Vatican’s two busiest attractions without the crowds.
Skip the line, early access tickets allow you to see these incredible sites before the majority of the crowds show up. With an expert, English-speaking guide to brief you on the history, art, and architecture of both sites, you’re sure to have an informed experience, unspoiled by the hoards of people that often crowd out The Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica.
Our guide to Early Entry Sistine Chapel & St Peter's Basilica Express Service
This is an express tour for those who have limited time but don’t want to sacrifice the quality of their experience. By taking you through the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica early in the morning, you will beat the crowds and experience these incredible sites in relative peace, as they were meant to be seen. It’s the perfect tour for whistle-stop travelers or families traveling with children. Skip the line access at both sites mean you make the most of every minute.
Your tour begins early, entering the Vatican Museums a full half hour before the common public. Before entering the Vatican Museums your guide will hand out visual aids to each guest with a legend for each of the key works of the Sistine Chapel. Using this as a reference point, your guide will brief you on some of the finer points of Michelangelo’s frescoes, and give you some tips on what to look out for. Then it’s into the Sistine Chapel to see for yourself.
After 30 minutes admiring the world-famous works of Michelangelo, your group will reconvene at the bottom of the room, where you’ll use a special door to gain direct entry to St. Peter’s Basilica. Only open to tour groups, this skip the line access could save you hours of waiting in the long security lines that form outside the main entrance to the Basilica.
Your guide will give you another introduction to the masterpieces you’re about to see – from Bernini’s Baldachin to Michelangelo’s ‘Pieta’ – before leaving you to explore St. Peter’s Basilica on your own.
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. If you want to see the highlights of the Vatican but don’t have 3 - 4 hours to spare, this is the easiest and most stress-free way to do it.
Varies, please see calendar.
Around 2 hours
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for Early Entry Sistine Chapel & St Peter's Basilica Express Service
- All Italy sites we visit will require clients and guides alike to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test completed within 48 hours prior to entry. They will also require a legal form of ID matching the vaccination or test results. This does not apply to children under 12.
- 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.
- Infants up to 1 year are free of charge.
- 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.