Pristine Sistine Early Entrance Small Group Vatican Tour

12707 reviews

4 hours

Max 15

Why take this tour?


  • Enter the Vatican Museums first thing in the morning, visiting the Sistine Chapel before the daytime crowds.
  • Visit the Raphael Rooms, thought by many to be as beautiful as the Sistine Chapel, and see where to spot Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo in the frescoes!
  • Enjoy skip the line access into the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica, saving hours of waiting.
  • Experience an all-encompassing guided tour inside St. Peter's Basilica and see Michelangelo's Pietà.
  • Get unparalleled access to your art expert guide—the small size of your group will make it easy to ask them all your burning questions.
  • 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
  • Skip the line ticket for Vatican Museums
  • Skip the line access to St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Expertly guided walking tour
  • Headset

Relish the tranquility of the Vatican Museums in the early hours of the morning.

Book Now

Total Customer Reviews: 12707

Verified Ratings
4.7 /5
based on 12707 Walks’ customer ratings
Rating summary by category
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Latest reviews
Fantastic tour of the Vatican! Angela, our tour guide, was enthusiastic and energetic, she knew everything about the Vatican and we left with a lot of facts and stories! This tour gives you access to so much! We got to tour the Pope's summer and winter houses, see some of the huge collections of priceless treasures they have and spend a decent time just marvelling at the brilliance that is the Sistine Chapel. The day ends inside St Peter's Basilica which is a wonder of mosaic and marble. Book this tour, you won't regret it!
Verified · Nadia · Apr 15, 2024 · Australia · Female · 35 to 44 years
This is a wonderful tour. Stefanie was very knowledgeable . I would recommend to anyone. Thank you . Cheri
Verified · Cheri · Apr 14, 2024 · USA · Female · 45 to 54 years
I think this was a good tour, and I wouldn't have wanted to visit the Vatican without the tour. However, calling it "Pristine Sistine" is a bit of a misnomer, as you only get 10 minutes of the entire tour in there. Despite the early entry, it is still packed shoulder to shoulder in most places. However, it would be that way no matter what. It was very informative, and we enjoyed our guide, thanks for the tour!
Verified · Patrick · Apr 11, 2024 · USA · Male · 45 to 54 years
Wow. Had our tour with This Guy. Funny, informative, just the right pace. Fabulous guide. Many thanks
Verified · Ricky · Apr 11, 2024 · United Kingdom · Female · 45 to 54 years
Our tour and our tour guide were fantastic!!
Verified · MeKell · Apr 10, 2024 · USA · Female · 45 to 54 years

Meeting Point

Meeting Point Map ⟶

Meeting Point

Please meet your guide in the plaza outside of Antico Café Candia, Via Candia, 153, 00192 Roma RM, at the bottom of the stairs. The closest Metro station is Cipro. Your guide will be in the center of the plaza holding a green Walks sign.

Please meet 15 minutes prior to the tour start time. 


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.
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 us at [email protected] so we can arrange your visit.
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.
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.

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