Max 12




2.5 hrs


3:00 pm

Get front row seats on over 500 years of history as you explore the Vatican Museums, Raphael Rooms and the breathtaking Sistine Chapel with one of our passionate tour guides in a small group of just 12 guests or fewer. This is the definitive afternoon skip-the-line Vatican tour for your trip to Rome, with free time to explore St. Peter's Basilica at your own pace.

At a Glance Why You'll Love It

  • Join us for the true VIP experience you deserve as you breeze past the general public lines to all the sights you want to see most on this exclusive guided tour of the Vatican Museums.

  • Being able to interact with your guide is key, which is why we always operate small, semi-private tours, limiting group sizes to only 12 people or fewer. Our focus is on you.

  • Our Vatican tours include sights like the Pinecone Courtyard, Gallery of Maps and of course the Sistine Chapel, with skip-the-line access to St. Peter's Basilica on a complete 2.5 hour tour.

Tour Summary Get in the Know

An In-Depth Look at the Vatican Beyond the Facts

Though small in size, Vatican City is impressively big on sights, boasting both the world’s largest Christian church, as well as one of the finest art collections on the planet. And with a past as compelling as it is long – it’s a dream land for the history buff and culture vulture alike. On this Vatican VIP tour we’ll piece together the complex puzzle which makes up the Vatican’s millennia long existence and get you acquainted with some of the larger-than-life popes, artists and martyrs that made this fascinating holy country what it is today.

We are able to grant fast-track entry to the Vatican Museums, which gives us more time to enjoy what's inside. So while other groups blaze through the Vatican galleries and head straight for the Sistine Chapel, we’ll take the scenic route and savor the world-class art on display. Among the multitude of masterpieces adorning the Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica, we’ll lead you on a carefully planned route to only the most curious and jaw-dropping attractions. From cornerstone classics to tucked away gems most visitors never notice – this afternoon stroll is an in-depth exploration of the best the Vatican has to offer.

Feast Your Eyes on Works of Art & Ears on the Guide

We have a dynamic team of only the most passionate, fun and engaging guides in the business, and though we may be biased, thousands of 5-star reviews from our customers certainly are not. From power-hungry popes to bad-humored artists (and all the enthralling drama between them), our animated raconteurs will spell-bind you with stories that make the museums and its treasures come to life right before your eyes. With a group size limited to 12 guests or fewer, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to pick your guide’s brain with your piqued curiosity.

As you explore all the nooks and crannies of the Papal Palaces, new surprises will be revealed at every turn. See the vivid frescoes in the Raphael Rooms, trace the amazingly accurate 16th century renderings of Italy in the Gallery of Maps, and be astonished by optical illusions in the Gallery of Tapestries. Of course, the main attraction remains the Sistine Chapel, with its iconic 'Creation of Adam' centerpiece and 'Last Judgment'. Get the inside scoop on the years of literally backbreaking work it took Michelangelo to transform this once blandly-decorated vault into the magnificent showpiece it is today.

Explore St. Peter’s Basilica Independently & Line-Free

Breezing into St. Peter’s Basilica through a special ‘groups only’ backdoor, you won’t even see the queue snaking around the square outside. Due to Vatican regulations, touring is not allowed inside the Basilica itself after 4:30 pm but your guide will provide you with a thorough orientation of its highlights before parting ways so that you can explore this enchanting superstructure on your own. Adorned from top to bottom with intricate mosaics, massive marble sculptures, and hundreds of gilded ornaments – you’re sure to realize that we have saved the best for last.

Unsurprisingly, it took some 120 years to create the incredible basilica and a number of the most esteemed Renaissance artists have left their own illustrious marks on the church along the way. Bramante made the first draft of its layout, Bernini chipped in with his gargantuan bronze Baldachin over the main altar and Michelangelo wrapped everything up – crowning the sanctuary with his massive, 138-feet wide dome. Most impressive of all, however, is yet another of Michelangelo's masterpieces – the Pietà. With all of these astounding works in one place, you’re sure to leave with a newfound appreciation for all that the Vatican has to offer.

What You'll See Along the Way

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Vatican Afternoon Tour Reviews

What our customers say...

Overall rating
Amazing experience at Vatican City

What a memorable experience! Elaine our guide was amazing and unique. Thanks to Elaine our vision and perception was so much clearer and the story understandable.... Thanks Elaine and thanks What a life Tours for this opportunity!

The Vatican

Had a great day, only 4 of us with our guide Jad, he was very good and knowledgeable. He knew details of the history and the artefacts etc, very impressive. Can recommend this, by booking this you get a priority entrance so the queuing is minimal. As well as the Sistine Chapel, St Peters Basilica is stunning take your time and enjoy.

Best tour we did in Italy

Our guide was fantastic. He was passionate about the art, knowledgeable, and funny. I have a Master’s in Art History with a concentration in Italian Renaissance and I still learned a lot!

Please Note*

Increased security measures at the Vatican Museums may cause some lines to form for tours with skip the line entry. Customers will still enter with priority over general admission ticket holders.

A dress code is enforced at some sites on this tour, namely the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. Please make sure that both your shoulders and knees are covered.

Due to venue restrictions at the Vatican Museums we are only able to accept persons requiring wheelchairs on our private Vatican tours.

The Bramante Staircase is not included on this tour.

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