Pristine Sistine Early Entrance Small Group Vatican Tour

11133 reviews

4 hours

Max 15

Why take this tour?

Highlights

  • Enter the Vatican Museums before the general public, visiting the Sistine Chapel before the daytime crowds
  • Visit the Raphael Rooms, thought by many to be as beautiful as the Sistine Chapel, before the Museums open to the public
  • Experience an all-encompassing guided tour inside St. Peter's Basilica and see Michelangelo's "Pietá"
  • Enjoy skip the line access into the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica, saving hours of waiting
  • With small groups of 15 people or fewer, you'll find it easy to interact with your guide
  • Sites Visited
  • Vatican Museums
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • St. Peter's Square
  • Raphael Rooms (Stanze di Raffaello)
  • Belvedere Courtyard
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Octagonal Courtyard
  • Gallery of the Maps
  • Gallery of the Tapestries
  • Gallery of the Candelabra
  • Tour Includes
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Expertly guided walking tour
  • Skip the line ticket for Vatican Museums
  • Skip the line access to St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Headset

Take a walk through the empty Vatican Museums

BOOK NOW

Verified Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.8 /5
based on 11133 reviews
Rating summary by category
Guide
4.6/5
Value for money
4.7/5
Latest reviews
Excellent
Gloriana was fantastic, this tour was perfect if you want to beat the crowds and see the museum in the early quiet hours.
Traci · Feb 03, 2023 · United States · Female · 25 to 34 years
Excellent
Insightful, mesmerizing, entertaining, educational . Giulia is the best guide I was lucky enough to get a tour with in Rome and probably ever. Thank you deeply for a unique unforgettable experience.
Federico · Jan 26, 2023 · Italy · Male · 45 to 54 years
Excellent
Claudia was great. She was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Couldn't ask for a better guide.
May · Jan 18, 2023
Excellent
Excellent tour with a knowledgable and engaging guide. Very happy with our choice of tour.
Cara · Jan 16, 2023 · United States · Female · 45 to 54 years
Excellent
Excellent information provided by our guide Mama G. She was entertaining and informative, and clearly was passionate about the tour. Whilst we initially booked the tour to see the Sistine chapel,(and skip the line), I found the tour of the Vatican fascinating and especially the Raphael rooms as good, if not better then the Sistine chapel itself.
Mark · Jan 15, 2023 · Australia · Male · 45 to 54 years

Meeting Point

Meeting Point Map ⟶

Meeting Point
Bar l'Ottagono, Piazza del Risorgimento, 00192 Roma, Italy. Your guide will be holding a green Walks sign.      

Please meet 15 minutes prior to the tour start time.

FAQs

What happens if St. Peter's Basilica is closed on my tour?
The special access passage between the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica is closed on Wednesdays and subject to other unexpected closures during special celebrations/festivities, including the Easter ceremonies. On such days we will instead explore the magnificent Pinoteca Gallery. Your guide will still give you an introduction to the church should you wish to visit this on your own at a later occasion.
Does St. Peter's Basilica have a dress code?
Yes, although you aren't expected to dress as formally as if you were attending a mass. Unless you actually are attending a mass. The most important rule is NO SHORTS, that applies to both men and women. Shoulders must also be covered, so no tank tops. Small bags and umbrellas are permitted inside but large bags have to be checked at the entrance, next to the official audio-guides desk.
Is this tour accessible for wheelchairs, strollers or for those with mobility impairments?
Unfortunately due to the nature of this tour it is not suitable for guests with mobility impairments, or for wheelchairs or strollers. Please contact the Guest Experience team at [email protected] or call +39 068-596-0143 (Italy) or 888-683-8670 (USA) to make alternative arrangements.
I am in a wheelchair/have a mobility impairment. Can I take this tour?
The Vatican Museums are equipped with elevators for wheelchair access, but they are not located on the group tour route. If you have a mobility impairment and/or use a wheelchair please contact our customer service department at [email protected] and we will be happy to work out a suitable alternative.
I want to take a selfie in the Raphael Rooms, can I bring my selfie stick?
No. Selfie sticks are strictly forbidden inside the Vatican Museums, along with flash photography. However, visitors are allowed to take non-flash photographs anywhere besides the Sistine Chapel.
What items can I NOT take into the Vatican Museums
Knives, scissors, and other cutting tools must also be deposited in the cloakroom as a precaution against harming the artwork inside. No hammers, either, as one was once used to smash Michelangelo's Pietá. This probably goes without saying, but firearms are also strictly prohibited for visitors within the Vatican Museums and you can't check them in the cloakroom.
I've heard the Vatican has a strict dress code. What should I wear?
It does, but it isn't anything too formal. The big rule is to make sure your shoulders and knees are covered - that applies to both men and women. Also remember that shorts of any length are not allowed at all in St. Peter's Basilica so if you are visiting both the Vatican Musuems and the Basilica, wear trousers or a long skirt. Occasionally visitors get away with wearing a bit less but it’s best not to risk it. Hats are also not allowed. Walks cannot be held responsible for guests who are refused entrance due to inappropriate dress so please remember to cover up.
IMPORTANT: Can I bring a bag into the Vatican Museums?
Yes, as long as it's within a certain size. You cannot bring any bag, backpack suitcase or container larger that 40cm x 35cm x 15cm into the Vatican Museums. In fact, size limits apply to all items; because of the sheer number of people that visit the Museums, space is at a premium. You can’t enter with medium to large umbrellas, any umbrellas with spiked tips, camera tripods, signage (apart from signs used by certified guides) or walking sticks – except those required by disabled visitors. All of these items can be left in the cloakroom, which is located at the entrance to the Museums. This means that you will need to walk 15 - 20 minutes back here after you finish your tour at St Peter's Basilica. On our afternoon tours you may need to leave the tour early to collect your bag before the cloakroom closes.
I'd like to climb to the top of the Dome of St. Peter's. Anything I should know?
The St. Peter's Dome climb requires separate tickets, one allows you to take the elevator up part of the way then climb a further 320 steps, while another permits you to climb the entire 551 steps. Either way the view from the top is worth it!
Why can't I take photos inside the Sistine Chapel?
When the chapel was restored in 1990 the biggest donors to the project (donating a whopping $4.2 million) were a Japanese television network. In return, they received exclusive rights to photograph and film inside and quickly banned any professional photographers from taking pictures. Although they didn't mind if tourists took photos, the Vatican guards decided to enforce the rule on everyone because it was impractical to differentiate between a normal visitor and who was a professional photographer. The Japanese network's exclusive contract has expired now but the rule persists. If you try to take any images in the Chapel Vatican, security is authorized to make you delete them.

You Can Also Experience These Similar Tours

Walks-20190709-Rome - Pristine Sistine Breakfast-0046-BEST OF
$75
The Complete Vatican Tour With Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica
Enjoy a comprehensive tour of the Vatican Museums followed by an exploration of St Peter's Basilica.
9986 3.5 h 20 max
Walks Vatican Highlights WEB-0027
$106
Vatican Highlights Tour with St. Peter’s Dome Climb
Our highlight-of-your-trip Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica tour, with a dome climb for the best views in Rome.
2291 5 h 20 max
Walks Vatican Full Day WEB-0009
$183
Vatican Day Tour with Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, Papal Palaces, Pope’s Railway and Lunch
Explore the whole Vatican including special access to the rarely visited gardens, with a journey on the Pope's private train to the Papal Palace for lunch.
10 10 h 15 max