If you’re planning a trip to the historic city of Rome, you can’t pass up on the opportunity to visit the Vatican. Known as the home of Catholicism – as well as the home of St Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel – the Vatican is a must-see tourist site for visitors of all ages.
While visiting the Vatican alone is free, many visitors opt to take a private tour in order to gain deeper insights into the art, architecture and history of the site. Private tours typically include an experienced guide, who will provide detailed information about the different sites and monuments while leading you through the Vatican’s grounds.
But how much does a private tour of the Vatican cost, and what do you get for your money? In this blog, we’re going to take a look at different types of private tour packages, so you can decide which one is the best option for your trip – and your budget.
How much does a private tour of the Vatican cost?
The cost of a Vatican private tour will depend on the size of your group and the type of tour you’re opting for; although generally speaking, a private tour will accommodate around 6 people, with some tours allowing groups of up to 12 people. The cost of a private Vatican tour can range anywhere between $83 and $769 for more VIP packages, while larger group tours offered by the Vatican itself begin at $46 (€43).
Different types of private Vatican Tours
So, what are the different options available if you’re looking to tour the Vatican with a private guide? Here are the most common tours available at the historic site, available either through the Vatican itself or via third-party tour guides like us:
Group tours are the most economical option and can cost anywhere between $40 to $100 euros per person. These tours typically last between 2-3 hours and provide an overview of the major sites within the Vatican walls. However, you won’t get the most intimate experience with a group tour; Q&As might be limited, and you most likely won’t get to skip the long waiting lines.
Private guided tour
veli.Private guided tours are ideal if you’d like more time at each site, or if you have a specific interest in the history and culture of the Vatican and want to ask lots of questions! Private tours generally last between 2.5-4 hours, and can cost anywhere from $82 to $769 per person, depending on what type of tour you opt for. Factors that influence the cost of a private guided tour include:
- Early access – early access tours allow you to visit the historic Vatican before the crowds arrive, so you can explore the site at your leisure.
- Skip the line tours – Skip the line tours allow you to skip the long waiting times and enjoy instant access to the Vatican site, saving potentially hours wasted under the hot Italian sun.
- Joint tours – At What a Life Tours, we offer joint and combination tours in Rome, where you’ll be able to tour Rome’s historic sites with the same tour guide. From our Rome in a Day: Full-Day Private Tour ($789 per person), to our Colosseum Arena Floor & Vatican Afternoon Tour ($199 per person) you’ll be able to plan your sight-seeing efficiently.
Vatican Under the Stars tour
If you want to experience the historic Vatican under the Italian moonlight, we offer a private Under the Stars Vatican tour for up to 12 people, at $89 per person. You’ll get to explore the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel under a totally different light – literally!
Is a guided tour of the Vatican worth the money?
We certainly think so! With a guided tour of the Vatican, you’ll be able to ask as many questions as you like, tour the site with a smaller, more intimate-sized group, and even skip those long waiting lines if you opt for a skip-the-lines package.
Can I visit the Vatican for free?
If you don’t have the budget for a private guided tour, you’ll still be able to enter the historic Vatican site for free. However, if you want to visit the Sistine Chapel or the Vatican Museums, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee, which is around $8.50-$18 (€8-17).
However, the Vatican opens its doors to everyone every last Sunday of the month, where you’ll be able to access the usually paid attractions free of charge from 9am until 2pm. Although do note that there will usually be lots of visitors on free days, so it’s not the best option if you’re hoping for a more private, intimate tour.