5 5


Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat


7:20 am


Max 12


3.5 hrs

Ranked #1 on TripAdvisor since 2011, this is our best-selling Vatican tour! See the Sistine Chapel before the crowds arrive, and explore timeless masterpieces with a top-rated official tour guide. In groups of 12 guests or fewer, you’re guaranteed to have personal attention that is hard to come by. That's why TripAdvisor reviewers vote this the Best Vatican Tour!

At a Glance Why You'll Love It

  • Meet at our comfortable offices less than a block from the museum entrance where you'll be pampered with hotel-like service, a continental breakfast with cappuccino, and heart-warming hospitality.

  • A full 1-hour head start before the Vatican Museums open to the general public means you'll be able to enjoy masterpieces like the Raphael Rooms and Sistine Chapel without budging or being budged.

  • Enjoy the Vatican Museums in a small group of 12 people or fewer for personal attention from your expert story-teller guide without getting herded around.

Tour Summary Get in the Know

The Only Way to See the Vatican Early Access

Want to ensure your Vatican experience is a memorable one? We've done all the legwork for you on our Vatican Early Access Tour! First, you'll enter to see the museum's breathtaking masterpieces one hour before the big bronze doors open to the general public, meaning that the premises will be filled with only a small fraction of the visitors pushing their way through the corridors later in the day. What's more, you won't be struggling to get noticed by your guide, or keep up with them.

On this tour, you'll be one of just 12 other guests, so you'll have more than the mic and earphones in common with your guide, getting real personalized attention and really connecting with the charms of one of the most visited art collections on Earth. Add this to the continental breakfast and helpful staff at our offices before your tour begins, and its easy to see why we've been ranked #1 on TripAdvisor since 2011.

The Sistine Chapel & More Free of Crowds

Once inside the Vatican Museums, it's straight to the main event – the Sistine Chapel. Gaze upon Michelangelo’s stupefying ceiling, Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment in awe, sharing the space with your group and a few others. Take your time – and savor each moment – because this is an experience you’ll never want to forget, as you nearly reach out and touch one of humankind's most astounding creative achievements.

Some 25,000 people visit this world-famous chapel every day, meaning that during peak season opening hours there are thousands crammed into this opulent yet tiny space. Michelangelo’s enigmatic frescoes are brimming with genius and symbolism, but they can go completely unnoticed if you're worried about losing your group, or where to put your feet. Give yourself the chance to see it the way Michelangelo intended, with a tour company that has our TripAdvisor pedigree.  

More to the Vatican from Raphael to St. Peter's

After the Sistine Chapel, follow your guide back through the museums, savoring the finer details of the multitude of artworks. Some of the most famous and timeless master works can be found in the Vatican’s gigantic collection, founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century. Get a thorough look at the Lacoöon, Belvedere Apollo, dazzling Raphael Rooms and more with a captivating historic photograph at each stop from your expert guide

The finale of this tour culminates in St. Peter's Basilica. Majestic and inspired, it is the perfect place to come full circle on the morning's itinerary. Every inch of this 240,000 square foot church is breathtaking, but our tour goes beyond the gold and splendor, revealing the true stories of fervor, innovation, faith and power. Feast your eyes on Michelangelo's Pietà and admire the stunning interior of the dome he designed, as well as Bernini's massive bronze baldachin sitting over the Pope's private alter directly above St. Peter's tomb.

What You'll See Along the Way

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Vatican Early Access Tour

What Our Customers Say...

Overall rating
5 5
the best value

The Vatican Early Access Tour is the best value when it comes to Vatican Tours. You see the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica in 3.5 hours. Our guide Carlotta took us to see the Sistine Chapel when the Vatican Museum is still closed to the public. I really appreciated the small number of people inside. Carlotta is very knowledgeable and armed with an archaeological degree. I will definitely use What A Life Tours and Carlotta again!!

5 5
Thought Provoking

Beatrice was amazing! She lives her work. She was very informative and was able to give meaning to many aspects of the Vatican that we had never known. My husband and I got "lost in the moment" with many of her descriptions. Would definitely recommend What A Life Tours and Beatrice.

5 5
Just the best!

We were totally satisfied with both of our tours. In each case MARIO was our tour guide and what a difference he made! Mario is articulate, intelligent, informative and entertaining. His bank of knowledge is so impressive and his delivery is so eloquent, we found ourselves wanting more and more. We have travelled extensively and toured with many groups and many guides, but none compare to Mario and this tour we took through What A Life Tours. Book today .... and ask for Mario .... you will NOT be disappointed!


PS After the 3.5 hour tour, Mario took the time to speak with us individually and to make recommendations for dinner at a couple of his favorite restaurants in Rome. Above and beyond for sure ,,,,,, AND his recommendations turned out to be outstanding as well! Definitely money well spent! 👏👏👏

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.

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

Due to venue restrictions at the Vatican Museums we are only able to accept persons requiring wheelchairs on our private Vatican tours.

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