Home > Vatican Tours > Vatican Small Group Afternoon Tour

Afternoon Vatican VIP Tour

with Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's

Vatican Small Group Afternoon Tour ★★★★★ 5 based on 4 reviews.
5 1
Group size: max 12 Language: English Duration: 3 hrs Start Time: 2:00 pm

2020 travellers' choiceGet 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, topped by a personal guided exploration of St. Peter’s Basilica.

At a Glance Why You’ll Love It

vatican afternoon tour
Join us for the true VIP experience you deserve as you breeze past the general admission 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 3-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 dreamland 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 path 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 moody artists (and all the enthralling drama between them), our animated raconteurs will spell-bind you with stories that make the museums and their treasures come to life right before your eyes. With a group size limited to 12 guests or fewer, you’ll have plenty of opportunities 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 the breathtaking 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 In-Depth & 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. Your guide will provide you with a thorough orientation inside the greatest church of all time, from its inception to final embellishment. 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 important Renaissance artists 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 is, was, and will be!

What you’ll See Along the Way

Pinecone Courtyard
Belvedere Apollo
Laocoön and His Sons
Belvedere Torso
Round Room
Greek Cross Hall
Gallery of Candelabra
Gallery of Maps
Gallery of Tapestries
Raphael Rooms
Sistine Chapel
St. Peter’s Square
St. Peter’s Basilica
previous arrow
next arrow

Tour Highlights

  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Belvedere Apollo
  • Laocoön and His Sons
  • Belvedere Torso
  • Round Room
  • Greek Cross Hall
  • Gallery of Candelabra
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Gallery of Tapestries
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St. Peter’s Square
  • St. Peter’s Basilica


  • Skip-the-line access to Vatican Museums
  • Skip-the-line access to St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Expert English-speaking tour guide
  • A small group of 12 or fewer
  • All tickets and reservations
  • Headsets to hear the guide clearly

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.

Vatican Museums Afternoon Semi-Private Tour Reviews

What Our Customers Say…

Vatican Small Group Afternoon Tour ★★★★★ 5 based on 4 reviews.
5 1

Interesting and Entertaining!

We greatly enjoyed our tour through the Vatican with Mario and What a Life Tours. Mario is incredibly knowledgeable and very polished with his delivery. He is part historian, part story teller and part entertainer all wrapped into one. With perfect English he helped us understand what we were witnessing while efficiently navigating what could be an overwhelming place otherwise. Mario even talked with my wife and I for quite a while after the tour about all sorts of things, which proved to be so interesting and entertaining. Without reservation I would recommend this tour and Mario to others wanting to truly enjoy and appreciate the Vatican! Thanks again!
- James W.

Very informative

My mom and I joined a tour with Elaine. She was very knowledgeable and energetic. She also showed us extra things that she found in her spare time too! We totally recommend her!
- Henric


Ana was beyond amazing, she gave us so much insight and history. It was a fantastic 3 hrs - the Vatican is beyond description. I doubt that there is anyone that had more knowledge than Ana about the Vatican. The tour was much more than we could have expected. My wife and I learned so much from Ana. She is an amazing guide and a fun person to be with. The tour was like walking with a friend.
- Kenneth R

Exceptional Vatican Tour

All the staff at 'What a Life Tours' were pleasant and helpful. Mario our guide was exceptional,his knowledge,enthusiasm and humour enhanced an excellent tour. Highly recommended!
- Linda W.

More of Our Amazing Vatican Tours…

  • col vat combo master

    Enter the Colosseum from the Arena Floor and explore the Forum, then uncover Vatican highlights like the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s.

  • pompeii tours sorrento tours amalfi coast tours from rome

    Explore the ruins of ancient Pompeii and bask in the Amalfi Coast’s amazing scenery with a visit to dazzling Positano.