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

337 reviews

2.5 hours

Max 20

Why take this tour?

Highlights

  • 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

$43.43
Free Cancellation
BOOK NOW
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Verified guest reviews

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Latest Reviews

Christina was our tour guide. She was a very knowledgeable historian who was obviously very passionate about our tour. And she had a wonderful personal way of sharing that knowledge. She was very engaging and made it an excellent experience I would recommend this tour highly to anyone!

The Vatican tour was well rounded. Although guests were asked if they were claustrophobic, the significance of the narrow and confined space was not well described to make a decision. For those wishing to take on the challenge of climbing the dome, the passage ways are confined, narrow and sloping. The spiral stairs are very narrow and small. The number of stairs is one challenge, the confined space is another. Add to this a very hot day and no spacing between people.

Federica was absolutely wonderful. She was knowledgeable, and we learned a lot from her tour. She was also funny, and very personable which made this a very unique experience. I highly recommend any tour she does!!

Great value from the top of St Peters to the main level and down to the crypt. Excellent guide made our visit a happy memory.

I booked this tour for a friend who is traveling with us and had never visited St. Peter’s. He is older and found the climb up to the very top of the Dome to be more strenuous than he realized and chose to leave the tour after coming back down. This was partly my fault as I thought the top of the tour was only to the roof, not the cupola. He was disappointed to leave before the rest of the tour and would have like to have had the climb at the end rather than the beginning. However, he said that guide was helpful, kind, and considerate and he learned a lot before he left.

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.

FAQs

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.
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.
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.
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.