St. Peter’s Basilica from Top to Bottom with Dome Climb & Crypt

408 reviews

2.5 hours

Max 20

Why take this tour?


  • Discover St. Peter's Basilica in its full glory with our most comprehensive tour
  • Avoid waiting for hours in line with early entry
  • Climb (or walk!) to the top of the dome and see one of the best views of Rome
  • Experience the magnificence without the crowds with an early start time
  • Sites Visited
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • St. Peter's Square
  • Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Crypt of St. Peter's Basilica
  • Tour Includes
  • Expert English-speaking guide
  • Skip the line access to St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Pre-reserved ticket to St. Peter’s Basilica dome (with elevator access)
  • Headset

Take the time to explore the most magnificent Basilica in Rome


Verified Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.8 /5
based on 408 reviews
Rating summary by category
Value for money
Latest reviews
This was a fantastic tour. The climb up to the top of St Peter’s dome is not to be missed. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, her English was excellent, and she had a great sense of humor. Highly recommend!!
Philip · Dec 07, 2022 · United States · Female · 65 to 74 years
Our tour started very early (7:45) and that turned out to be a great advantage since the process of getting through security and up to the Dome was less crowded at that time. The view from there is very worthwhile, and if you take the elevator for the first part of the ascent, there are "only" just over 300 steps to the top! The Basilica and Crypts tour was very good as well, with some of the artwork, sculpture and structural elements of the building well explained. Our guide, Stephanie spoke clearly, was very knowledgeable, and paced the walking and information well.
Alison A · Nov 07, 2022 · Canada · Female · 65 to 74 years
Visiting St Peter's is kind-of a thing you have to do in Rome... but this tour made it fun and really interesting. Our tour guide was Stephanie and she had a relaxed and upbeat demeanor, and included lots of little interesting tid-bits in addition to the basic information about the Basilica. For example, have you ever wondered why the Baby Jesus depicted in various versions of "The Pieta" look so old? Or why you can't see the dome from the entrance facade of the Church? These little extras will be different with each guide, but you are bound to learn a lot about St. Pete's when you go on this tour.
Alison A · Nov 04, 2022 · Canada · Female · 65 to 74 years
We had an amazing tour of Saint Peters basilica including a climb to the top of the dome. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and lovely. We would definitely book again!
Douglas · Oct 26, 2022 · United States · Female · 35 to 44 years
My husband and I took the St Peter’s Top to Bottom tour. Our tour guide, Julia, was absolutely fantastic. We learned so much, but her presentation was so interesting and fun that we never felt like we were listening to a lecture. We saw many things that I would not have even noticed without the tour. The climb to the top of the dome was totally worth it. You walk up about 320 stairs, but it really didn’t feel like that many. It seemed like we were suddenly at the top. We did this tour on a different day than the Vatican Museums, and thought it was nice to spread it out over a couple days. The crowds are huge, so getting there early with a minimal line is certainly great. We were there in late October during a summery period, and the climb was okay. I would not want to do it in very hot weather. After the tour, Julia recommended a restaurant in Trastevere, and it was one of our best meals ever!
Melissa · Oct 26, 2022 · United States · Female · 55 to 64 years

Meeting Point

Meeting Point Map ⟶

Meeting Point

This tour meets in front of 'Bar Leonina', in Piazza Citta' Leonina, just outside St. Peter's Square. Take the Red Line metro and get off at the "Ottaviano/San Pietro" stop. Exit to the street level and walk down Via Ottaviano, cross straight through Piazza Risorgimento, and proceed on Via di Porta Angelica. At the end of Via di Porta Angelica you will see two arches ("Il Passetto"), which would lead you into St. Peter's Square. Your tour meeting point is located to your left, just before these two arches, in front of 'Bar Leoninae' (in Piazza Citta' Leonina).

Please meet 15 minutes prior to the tour start time.


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.
Is there elevator access to the dome of St. Peter's Basilica
The elevator up St. Peter's dome only goes as far as the first level, to the mosaics. After that, the only way to get to the top is to walk up the 281 steps.
Does this tour visit the Vatican "Scavi" including the tomb of St. Peter?
No. The Papal Crypt and the "Scavi" are different sites. In order to visit the latter you have to make special arrangements with the Vatican.
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!
Is there a long line to enter St. Peter's Basilica?
On our exclusive tours of St. Peter's we avoid standing in the notoriously long line by showing up early. It’s amazing how few people are able to get out of bed in time to be there when the doors open. Even in the height of summer, you can miss the worst of the line by simply sucking it up and getting an early start. Aside from getting there early there is no way to skip the line. In high season (May – September) it can stretch over 2 hours and even in the low season it might reach an hour. The only other alternative is to take a certified Vatican Museums tour with a certified tour group – there is a passageway that runs from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s that is specially reserved for tour groups. Currently, it is the only way to circumvent the line at the entrance to the Basilica.

You Can Also Experience These Similar Tours

7 - Rome Pristine Sistine 16x9-0007
Pristine Sistine Early Entrance Small Group Vatican Tour
Step inside the Sistine Chapel an hour before it opens to the public on this special access Vatican tour.
10495 4 h 15 max
Walks-20190709-Rome - Pristine Sistine Breakfast-0046-BEST OF
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.
4924 3.5 h 20 max