Pristine Sistine Early Entrance Small Group Vatican Tour

9266 reviews

4 hours

Max 15

Why take this tour?


  • 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
  • Enjoy skip the line access into the Vatican Museums, 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
  • Raphael Rooms (Stanze di Raffaello)
  • Pinacoteca
  • 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
  • Headset

Take a walk through the empty Vatican Museums

Free Cancellation

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Latest Reviews

I highly recommend Walks of Italy and Davide. He was exceptional! The tour was amazing and everything we wanted. Davide took us to The Sistine Chapel before anyone else made it there. It was amazing and mesmerizing. There we stood, just the eleven of us all alone in The Sistine Chapel admiring this wonder. It is truly breathtaking! The tour started with breakfast in the courtyard of the museum and then inside to the wonders that awaited us. My husband and I cannot wait to go back and enjoy another tour with Walks and Davide. I would like to suggest to all those interested in this tour to be in the moment and put your phones/cameras away. I made the mistake of NOT doing just that, and I wish I had. You will have time to go through the museum after the tour and take all of the pictures you would like. This tour included the Basilica as well, but the route from the museum to St. Peter's has been closed due to Covid. We just purchased another tour of the Basilica and the Dome a few days later. I would also choose the earliest option for all tours if possible. We purchased this tour before we went to Rome and we received everything that was promised and then some. Thanks Walks! We can't wait to see you again in Rome.

The tour was wonderful, particularly our guide Ferdinando - he was very well informed, passionate and personable. One small note is that it would be helpful for the reservation confirmation email to flag that it is mandatory to wear an FFP2 mask in the Vatican Museum and St Peters. We did not know this and had to scramble to buy them outside the museum. Otherwise the experience was excellent.

Stephanie was an extremely knowledgeable and great guide. ..she really made our tour interestingly and very worth while Thanks for making our day

Stephanie was amazing. What an incredible experience, literally had the Sistine chapel all to ourselves, unbelievable.

Meeting Point

Meeting Point Map ⟶

Meeting Point
Bar l'Ottagono, Piazza del Risorgimento, 60, 00192 Roma, Italy     

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 wheelchair please contact our customer service department and we will be happy to design a private tour for you. [email protected] We can then work out a suitable alternative.
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 recieved 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.
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.
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.
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!
Can I use a wheelchair on this tour?
Yes, but we require advance notice in order to accommodate wheelchairs on this tour. After booking, please contact us so that we can organize a private tour for you. If we cannot find a guide to lead you that day we'll offer you the same tour on the next avaialbe date or give you credit for another tour anywhere else in the world.
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.