Pristine Sistine Early Entrance Small Group Vatican Tour

10495 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

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Verified Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.8 /5
based on 10495 reviews
Rating summary by category
Guide
4.9/5
Value for money
4.7/5
Latest reviews
Excellent
Really enjoyed the pristine sistene tour with Guiliette. She has such a passion for art and history and picked out highlights that tied together to give us an overview of the Vatican, the basilica, and the museum. Although we went in low season, I would recommend taking the early tour to beat to crowds and get a close up view of the priceless art.
Zoe · Dec 07, 2022 · United Kingdom · Female · 45 to 54 years
Excellent
We had a great time on the Pristine Sistine Early Entrance Small Group Vatican tour! Our tour guide was wonderful, funny and very informative. Loved doing the early morning tour, was not crowded at all anywhere throughout the tour. We’ve never done a tour like this before but found it to be a great way to hit all the highlights of the Vatican and learn about some of the artwork that we never would’ve learned on our own.
Kimberly · Dec 07, 2022 · United States · Female · 45 to 54 years
Excellent
I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants to visit the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. We were able to avoid the crowds with the 7:15am tour. It gave us more time to appreciate the art. The tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable. I would recommend this tour without hesitation.
Pascale · Dec 06, 2022 · Canada · Female · 25 to 34 years
Excellent
Our tour guide Frank on the pristine Sistine tour was by far the best tour guide we have ever had.
Stephen · Dec 04, 2022 · United States · Male · 45 to 54 years
Great
Unfortunatly, we should have been able to tour the basilica but because it was Wednesday, we werent able to. I really wish they would have let us know or given us a discount due to this. Seems like this may be every Wednesday.
David · Dec 04, 2022 · United States · Male · 25 to 34 years

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.

FAQs

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.

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