Vatican Highlights Tour: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

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Gape Michelangelo’s famous frescoes in the Sistine Chapel just before closing time!

This Vatican highlights tour is designed to show you be very best of the Vatican Museums and give you a deep appreciation for the art, power, and politics of the Vatican City — in just 2.5 hours. Avoid the worst of the crowds, visiting the Sistine Chapel in particular, after most of the crowds have gone home.

Our guide to Vatican Highlights Tour: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Start your tour by skipping the (always long) lines to get into the museums, diving right into the galleries holding some of the most famous works of art in the world.

Your expert, English-speaking guide will offer eye-opening insight and context (along with some great stories) as you explore the Raphael Rooms, the Belvedere Courtyard with ‘Apollo Belvedere’ and ‘Laocoön and Sons’, the Pinecone Courtyard, the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of the Maps, and the Gallery of the Tapestries.

Then head to the Sistine Chapel just before closing time. Before entering, your guide will explain the stories behind the creation of these 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 the little details and quirks that most visitors miss. 

Spend about 20 minutes admiring the chapel independently, after which time your guide will lead you through a special door out of the chapel and directly into St. Peter’s Basilica for an independent visit.

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. 

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions for Vatican Highlights Tour: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

  • 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.
  • As with all museums, particular galleries of the Vatican museums can sometimes be closed without prior notice and pieces removed for restoration or loan. In the case of a gallery being closed, your guide will take you to another section of the museums instead.
  • 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. Walks of Italy cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress. Please note that, since the chapel is at the end of the Vatican visit, it is sufficient to bring extra coverings with you and put them on before our entrance to the holy areas.
  • On rare occasions, when St. Peter's Basilica is being prepared for high masses or a special private event, including the Easter ceremonies, the tour group exit and/or the basilica itself can be closed without prior notification. Your guide will still give you an introduction to the church should you wish to visit this on your own at a later occasion. We are unable to provide refunds or discounts. 
  • 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.

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