A Vatican tour is a must-do if you’re planning a visit to Rome. With nearly 9 miles of museum artefacts to explore, as well as the historic St Peter’s Basilica to climb, a trip to the Vatican could easily occupy a full day during your Italian vacation.
However, if you’re planning on cramming in some other sightseeing in Rome on the same day, you might be wondering: how long is a Vatican tour? The answer to this question is simple: it depends! With so many different types of tours on offer, it’s impossible to say how long a tour takes – it all depends on what you want to see.
In this quick guide, we’re going to take a look at how long an average Vatican tour takes, and what you can expect to see if you decide to opt for a private tour of this beautiful, historic landmark. Let’s get started!
How long are Vatican tours?
In general, a Vatican tour can take anywhere from 2-3.5 hours, depending on how much you want to see, and how many people are in your group.
For example, if you’re in a small group, a guided tour of the Vatican museums (as well as the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica) takes around 3.5 hours.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to tour the Vatican museums alone but have a guided tour of the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, this would only take around 2 hours for a small group.
Do you need a whole day at the Vatican?
While there’s certainly no need to spend a whole day at the Vatican, you’d certainly be able to spend a whole day exploring the sights and wandering through the Vatican museum’s many corridors. That being said, private Vatican tours will only ever take up to 3.5 hours, provided that you’re in a small group. (Small group = less than 12 people.)
If you’re only in Rome for a short time and want to visit other historic sites in the capital, you would definitely be better off booking a private tour of Rome’s most popular landmarks. This is because entry waiting times to sites such as the Vatican and the Colosseum can be anywhere from 1-3 hours, especially during high seasons. This can make it difficult for you to tour the whole of Rome in just one day without feeling rushed. With a VIP tour, you’ll be able to skip the lines and enjoy these tourist spots at your own pace.
Is it worth getting a guided tour of the Vatican?
If you’re looking to save time while also enjoying an enriching trip to the home of Catholicism, a guided tour of the Vatican is absolutely worth the money. Not only will you be able to skip the long waiting times, but you’ll also enjoy your own private tour guide, who will be able to offer expert insight on all the paintings and artefacts you’ll explore as you tour the historic site.
Here are just some of the reasons why a guided tour of the Vatican is worth the expense:
- Enjoy access to expert historical knowledge. With an expert tour guide at your side, you’ll have access to historical expertise and anecdotes, enriching the Vatican experience for all members of your group.
- Unlimited questions. Got a question about a famous painting? You’ll be able to ask your tour guide as many questions as you want, without fear of holding up a large group.
- Save time on security and line waiting. Not only will you save time by skipping the line, but you’ll also save time when it comes to security checks and dress code checks.
- See the most important sites in under 4 hours. If you’ve got other places to be, a guided tour of the Vatican allows you to see all the most important historical sites within the Vatican in just under 4 hours.
The bottom line
Overall, a private tour of the Vatican will usually take around 3.5 hours, and this will include a visit to the Vatican museums, St Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel. If you’re looking for a way to explore this historic site without spending hours either waiting in the line or lost in the many miles of museum corridors, a private guided tour is ideal.