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Vatican Under the Stars Tour

with the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Vatican Under the Stars Small Group Tour ★★★★★ 5 based on 5 reviews.
5 1
Group size: Max 12 Language: English Duration: 2.5 hrs Start Time: 5:30 PM / 7:00 PM

2020 travellers' choiceIndulge in the truly unique atmosphere of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel as night falls on our VIP Vatican after-hours tour. This intimate journey features all of the must-sees you would expect in the company an expert insider guide and a small group of only 12 guests or fewer when the doors have been closed to the general public.

*** The 2023 evening schedule has changed: starting from May, on Fridays, the tour starts at 7:00 pm, and on Saturdays at 5:30 pm due to the new opening hours of the Vatican Museums. ***

At a Glance Why You’ll Love It

vatican night tour
See the rare magic of the Vatican Museums in the evening when the doors are open to the Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, and more after the crowds have gone home.
Enjoy a perfect Vatican itinerary with near-empty halls, plenty of room to view the masterpieces, and captivating storytelling from a passionate expert guide.
You’ll get personalized attention from your guide in small groups of only 12 guests or fewer to satisfy your every curiosity and never feel like a number.

Tour Summary Get in the Know

Vatican Museums at Night Behind the Scenes

When sightseeing in the Eternal City, it’s not unusual to find yourself wishing the day wouldn’t end, and luckily – it doesn’t have to! Seize this unique chance to see the Vatican’s world-famous art and architecture in the special ambiance that few visitors ever get to experience. Our Vatican After Hours Tour gives you the opportunity to take advantage of exclusive evening opening hours, so you’ll avoid the massive day-time crowds, making this starlit adventure inside its enchanting halls one of the most appealing ways to experience the masterpieces.

The Vatican will have already closed its general admission entrance a full three hours by the time you meet for your tour, and any stragglers are shown out more than an hour before. All this ensures that seeing globally acclaimed artwork like Raphael’s School of Athens, as well as the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s iconic Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment will be undisturbed. So, go beyond checking the Vatican off your ‘travel to’ list, and see the colorful mosaics shimmer, sculptures in realistic shadow, and romantic moonlit courtyards glow, while your guide provides a detailed narrative of these historic walls. From the Gallery of Maps to the Gallery of Tapestries, the Laocoön to the Belvedere Apollo we’ll ensure your night tour of the Vatican is nothing less than spectacular.

Unveil “Shiver-Down-the-Spine” Inducing Sights

The brightest star on this evening tour is, without doubt, the Sistine Chapel, and entering it at a time that was once reserved for popes or the papal conclave is as inspiring as it gets. You will also see the brilliantly frescoed walls and ceiling under perfect viewing conditions with lighting that is designed to highlight every vibrant detail. Learn about all of Michelangelo’s trials and tribulations in creating one of humanity’s greatest creative achievements, as you gaze into the biblical and revelationary scenes. You will also be delighted to know that under the layers of paint lies the original star-studded ceiling, proof that the Pontiff’s private chapel was often used at night.

Our guides will offer you a fascinating glimpse into the rivalry and drama that unfolded between the creators of the Vatican’s most esteemed jewels. But aside from learning about the artists’ lives, you’ll also get insightful explanations on the processes behind the works themselves. We’ll witness and examine some of the most forward-thinking art techniques of the times, such as the speed at which frescos had to be painted, the innovative use of shadows in “chiaroscuro”, and the hidden messages and personalities that abound where you least expect it.

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
Raphael Rooms
Sistine Chapel
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Tour Highlights

  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Belvedere Apollo
  • Laocoön and His Sons
  • Belvedere Torso
  • Round Room
  • Greek Cross Hall
  • Gallery of Candelabra
  • Gallery of Tapestries
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Sistine Chapel


  • Skip-the-line access to Vatican Museums
  • Expert English-speaking guide
  • Small groups of 12 or fewer
  • All tickets and reservations
  • Headsets to hear the guide clearly

Please Note*

A dress code is enforced at some sites on this tour, namely the Sistine Chapel. Please make sure that both your shoulders and knees are covered.

Vatican under the Stars Tour

What Our Customers Say…

Vatican Under the Stars Small Group Tour ★★★★★ 5 based on 5 reviews.
5 1

Amazing Tour!!!

What an interesting tour! So glad we decided to book a tour instead of doing it ourselves. Our guide was very knowledgeable, passionate about the tour and managed to keep us all together. Would definitely recommend this tour company as well as Mateo our tour guide.
- Sallyann H.

The Sistine Chapel Brought to Life!

Phenomenal tour! We had been pushed like cattle through the Sistine Chapel with another tour the day before, but this special night was the complete opposite experience. Our guide Mateo was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate - he truly brought the Vatican and the Chapel to life for us in a much more personal and relaxed way!
- Trish


Matteo was awesome! He was very passionate, very knowledgeable he made sure our visit to the museum and the Sistine Chapel was incredible. You’re lucky to have such a valuable employee, he represents your company very well!
- Mark K.

Great quality tour!

I had a fantastic time visiting the Vatican museums for the first time. Our tour guide Mateo was incredibly passionate about the history of the museums and everything inside. I would highly recommend this tour, it’s clear they love their job!
- A. Grandison

Favourite Tour

The timing is perfect! The experience perfect! The smaller group makes a big diff, Everything perfect! We had Giuliano and he was very knowledgeable and kind. Loved this tour.
- Nicki L.

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