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Is it worth getting a guided tour of the Vatican?

If you’re going to be visiting Rome, a tour of the Vatican should be high on your vacation to-do list. The home of Catholicism, and officially the smallest country in the world, the Vatican is host to some of the world’s most famous historical artefacts, sculptures, paintings, and more.

In this quick guide, we’re going to go over some of the main reasons to book a tour of the Vatican: from avoiding the long tourist lines to experiencing some of the world’s most famous history in just one day. Let’s take a look!

What does a tour of the Vatican include?

A Vatican private tour is one of the best ways to explore this historic landmark, with VIP access and the ability to skip the long tourist lines typically included in the package. Generally, a tour of the Vatican includes the following:

  • A tour of the Vatican museum, home to over 70,000 historic paintings and sculptures, including The Pinacoteca and the Gallery of the Tapestries
  • A visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, a Renaissance-style cathedral built in 1506.
  • A visit to the Sistine Chapel, the site of Michelangelo’s most famous artwork.

Why you should get a guided tour of the Vatican

Any trip to Rome is incomplete without a trip to the historic Vatican; with so much to see and so much history to explore, it’s the perfect place to explore both Italian and world culture. Even better, it’s situated right in the centre of Rome. But the best way to experience the Vatican is with a private guided tour.

Here are just some of the reasons you should book a tour of the Vatican:

Expert tour guides

When you book a private tour of the Vatican, you’ll be treating yourself to VIP access to this historic site, with an expert tour guide assigned to your private group. Unlike larger tours, you’ll be able to discuss historical subjects related to the Vatican at length with your own personal tour guide, and ask as many questions as you like about the various paintings, sculptures, and artefacts on display. You’ll have access to expert knowledge and historical expertise that simply isn’t available if you decide to tour the Vatican alone.


Another reason to book a private Vatican tour is that you’ll be able to skip the line and enjoy direct access to all the museums and galleries, saving hours that would have been otherwise spent in a long and uncomfortable general access line! Not only does a private tour help you skip the line, it’ll also help you save time in other respects, too: for example, all visitors will need to pass through a quick security check before being granted access to the Vatican. For small, private groups, the security check won’t take more than a couple of minutes. However, if you’re in a large group, this could take much longer, and have you waiting around even more.

Additionally, the Vatican imposes a strict dress code for all visitors: if members of your large group aren’t dressed appropriately, this could mean even longer waiting times. Instead, book a private tour, and enjoy direct, swift access to the Vatican.

Personalise the experience

Did you know that there are over 9 miles of corridors to explore in the Vatican museums? If you’re planning on visiting the Vatican museum to see a specific piece of artwork, or explore a specific time period or the works of a specific artist, it could take hours for you to find what you’re looking for. With a private tour guide, you’ll be able to tailor your tour experience according to your interests, and your guide will be able to direct you to the areas of the Vatican that you want to see the most.

Not only that, but your guide will also be able to offer you expert anecdotes and historical facts about every section of the Vatican museums. So not only will you be able to see what you love the most, but you’ll also leave with an enriched historical understanding.

Is a Vatican tour worth it?

Absolutely! A Vatican tour allows you to experience this historic landmark with expert guidance and VIP access. Not only will you be able to explore the site and ask your guide as many questions as you wish, but most Vatican tours also offer early morning slots, allowing you to beat the tourist rush and explore the historic site at your own pace.

Visiting the Vatican: FAQs

What is the Vatican dress code?

The Vatican dress code obliges both men and women to cover their knees and arms, while mini skirts, low-cut tops, and sleeveless tops are not allowed. Men will also be asked to remove their hats before entering the Vatican, although this rule doesn’t apply to women.

Will my Vatican tour guide speak English?

Yes! Private Vatican tours can be conducted in almost any language.

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