Book the top rated Vatican Tour and skip all lines! See the best of the Vatican Museums with a local official tour guide. Get straight inside with skip-the-line access to see a host of treasures including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, all with enlightening storytelling from a passionate guide to put you front and center at Rome’s premier collection of artistic masterpieces. Groups of 12 people of fewer!
Please note: St.Peter’s Basilica is not included in this tour (likely until end of October), due to safety regulations and social distancing for the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, visitors are in for a treat since the Museums/Sistine Chapel (both included) have never been and probably will never be this EMPTY again! Your patience will be rewarded with a unique experience.
If you want to visit St. Peter’s Basilica with a tour guide, we do offer this Complete Vatican Tour that includes it!
At a Glance Why You’ll Love It
|Skip-the-line access means you’ll have more time to explore millennia of art and history within these hallowed walls without waiting in the long general admission lines.|
|This express itinerary takes you straight to what you want to see most with the Sistine Chapel, Gallery of Maps, St. Peter’s Basilica* and Michelangelo’s Pietà.|
|In small groups of only 12 people you can immerse yourself in your guide’s expert storytelling and satisfy every curiosity without feeling lost in the crowd.|
Tour Summary Get in the Know
The Best of the Vatican In Under 3 Hours
Dive into the Vatican’s must-see attractions with the highlights you absolutely can’t leave Rome without. Luckily, they’re all on a straight shot to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, but you’ll still be in awe of the immense treasure trove you’ll find along the way. This tour has been specifically designed to get you inside as quickly as possible with skip-the-line entry and move through the collection without hitting the bottlenecks. You’ll have a passionate Vatican expert with you all the way for a true insider’s perspective, and in groups of only 12 guests or fewer both you and the priceless works of art will get the attention you deserve.
This is hands down the perfect tour for families traveling with small children or teens, people who “don’t do” museum tours, or those who have limited time and want to see the Eternal City in less than an eternity. Whatever the case may be, you’ll walk away with a deep understanding of the rich history and vibrant masterpieces housed inside the Vatican’s walls.
Shortcut to the Sistine Chapel The Direct Route
Return to a time when Michelangelo and Raphael were rivalling Renaissance geniuses, and examine timeless art and the progressive ideas that changed the face of western civilization. You’ll be led on an enlightening discovery of what happened, exactly where the events took place. As you wander the vastness of courtyards and open-air sculpture galleries, you’ll no doubt be struck by the dazzling Gallery of Maps and Pinecone Courtyard, brimming with frescoes, sculptures, tapestries and more. Your guide will create a rich experience, summoning historic personalities and leaking the backstories on the artworks.
The buildup can only lead to the Sistine Chapel, and you’re sure to sigh upon entering. Michelangelo’s ceiling frescos are one of the most incredible creative achievements ever, and to think he considered himself a sculptor. You’ll see the crown jewels of this four-walled masterpiece, The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment, summing up the biblical history of humankind in vivid, living color. Michelangelo dedicated 9 years of his life to the tasks, and when you see his hidden self-portrait you’ll know how he felt afterwards. Your guide will have provided context on this and more as you take precious time to explore.
Splendors of St. Peter’s Without the Lines
This tour winds down with a bang inside St. Peter’s Basilica, where you’ll witness the incomparable grandeur of its mosaics, golden ceilings, gigantic statues, and the spectacular dome. Optical illusions will be unveiled and history will unfold as we escort you to Bernini’s bronze Baldachin and the chair of St. Peter himself. Last but not least, we will stop by the Pietà, one of the cornerstone masterpieces of the Renaissance. Learn what led Michelangelo to defile one of his most prized sculptures and the reason he modeled the Virgin Mary to appear the same age as her son.
While some may say that you’d need a lifetime to fully explore the Vatican, we know that our guests don’t have that kind of time on their hands. With skip-the-line access to all sights visited and an insider expert leading the way, you’ll leave your Vatican adventure feeling enlightened and still have time to see the rest of the Eternal City.
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 Tapestries
- Gallery of Maps
- Sistine Chapel
- St. Peter’s Square
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- Michelangelo’s Pietà
- Bernini’s Baldachin
- Skip-the-line access to Vatican Museums
- Skip-the-line access to St. Peter’s Basilica
- Expert English-speaking tour guide
- Small group of 12 or fewer
- All tickets and reservations
- Headsets to hear the guide clearly