Skip the Line: Vatican Museums Walking Tour including Sistine Chapel, Raphael's Rooms and St Peter's

Visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica on this must-do Vatican walking tour, in a group of no more than 20 people! With some 12,000 rooms spanning nearly 4,000 years of history, the Vatican’s magnificent museum complex can be overwhelming, so let an expert guide introduce you to its defining highlights on this 3-hour tour. Visit Raphael’s Rooms, Gallery of the Maps and more, and then step inside the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s fresco ‘The Creation of Adam.’ Finish with a St Peter’s Basilica tour and hear the secrets of the holiest place in Christendom. Choose from four different start times or upgrade to a small-group tour (12 people maximum). Skip the long lines for St. Peter’s Basilica with special access directly from the Sistine Chapel.

Due to a new Vatican partnership, this tour provides VIP access through a reserved door, allowing you to skip all the lines – even the priority lines.

What You Can Expect

See incredible ceiling frescoes inside the Vatican Museums!
See incredible ceiling frescoes inside the Vatican Museums!

Skip-the-line Vatican tours are so popular, even the priority lines are long! But this tour includes exclusive access through a reserved entranceway, ensuring that you will not wait in any long lines. Head straight inside with your guide and enter the world’s most extensive private collections of art.

Hear the stories and secrets of the intriguing Vatican while following your guide through incredible rooms like the Gallery of Tapestries and the Gallery of Maps, a seemingly never-ending corridor adorned with intricately detailed Italian maps. Pass through the Gallery of Candelabras, seeing ancient sculptures and opulent candelabras from Imperial villas, and wander through Bramante’s Pinecone Courtyard to pose for pictures in front of the bronze Pigna statue.

Amble through Raphael’s Rooms, marveling at the interconnecting galleries that showcase the artistic genius of Raphael, and then enter the awe-inspiring Sistine Chapel – the crowning glory of any visit to the Vatican. Gaze up at Michelangelo’s famous The Creation of Adam ceiling fresco, see The Last Judgement on the chapel’s back wall and absorb the sacred ambiance of the pope’s private chapel.

Your tour finishes with a fully guided visit to St Peter’s Basilica, the home of the Catholic Church, where more artistic masterpieces await. See La Pieta, a stunning Michelangelo sculpture created by the artist when he was just 24, and admire Bernini’s Baldachino – the ornate bronze canopy that sits above St Peter’s high altar. Bid your guide farewell and take a stroll through St Peter’s Square if you wish.

8:10am Small-Group Tour:
Upgrade to the 8:10am tour, and not only will you skip the long lines to enter the Vatican Museums, but you’ll gain access as soon as the doors open -- before the general public step foot inside. Groups never exceed 12 people, ensuring you’ll see the Vatican highlights up-close with personalized attention from your guide.

7:30pm Tour:
Book the evening tour and explore the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel after the main closing times – an opportunity available for a strictly limited season. Access is only possible for people pre-booking an evening tour, so book now to secure your spot! The season runs every Friday from May 6 until July 26, and then from September 6 until October 25. Numbers are limited to 20 people. Tour does not include a visit to St Peter's Basilica.

Days of Service




  • Entrance fee
  • Professional guide
  • Skip-the-line entry
  • Headsets to hear the guide clearly


  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 1 day of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 24 hours, subject to availability.
  • Pre-booking this ticket enables you to skip the long lines (which can take up to two hours!) to enter the Vatican Museums. Please note, all visitors must pass through metal detectors at the security check point. Please expect to wait 20-30 minutes to clear security.
  • Tours departing Wednesday: There is a possibility that St Peter's Basilica and St Peter's Square will be unavailable due to the weekly Papal Audience during which access to St Peter's Basilica is closed. As an alternative you will be offered an extended itinerary within the Vatican Museums, which still includes the Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Rooms. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. If you would prefer that St Peter's Basilica and Square are included, please DO NOT select Wednesday as your travel date.
  • We are unable to accommodate other entrance times. Entrance is strictly limited so you must arrive early. Anyone who arrives late cannot be accommodated
  • This tour involves a fair amount of walking, comfortable shoes are recommended
  • Duration of the walking tour is 3-hours
  • On rare occasions, St Peter’s Basilica closes without notice. If this happens, you'll spend a full 3 hours touring the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. We will list any affected dates as they become available. The tour guides aim to notify guests if St Peter’s Basilica is unexpectedly closed upon commencement of the tour. It is beyond our control, so no refunds or discounts will be issued.
  • Do you cater to wheelchair users? Do you or the Vatican provide wheelchairs? This tour is NOT wheelchair accessible. For your information, Vatican Museums provide wheelchairs free of charge in the main lobby. You can easily pick one up after entrance, before starting your own independent visit. If you are looking for a guided tour with wheelchair access, we recommend booking our private tours so a guide can lead you through the alternate routes.
  • When our tour is over will we be able to visit St. Peter's Basilica or the grottos or dome? Absolutely. Our tours end at the front of St Peter's Basilica, which is a very convenient location to leave for lunch, visit the Vatican bookstore, visit the Vatican post office, enter St Peter's Basilica, continue to the grottos below St Peter's, or climb to the dome. Your guide will happily point you in the right direction!
  • Backpacks, tripods and big umbrellas must be left inside a cloakroom on entering the Vatican Museums. To reduce any disruption for your group, we recommend that these items are not taken on this tour
Voucher Information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Schedule and Pricing

Departure Point

Latium and Rome


3 hours

Return Details

Concludes at St. Peter's Basilica.


Refunds, when possible, must be requested at least 4 business days prior to the travel date. Refunds are subject to a 7% administration fee. The Rail Protection Plan™ does not apply.

Note: Tours may be delayed or run late. Please plan accordingly.

9:00 AMTour
Skip-the-line Vatican tour in a group of no more than 20 people. Arrive at 8:45am to start at 9am From
10:00 AMTour
Skip-the-line Vatican tour in a group of no more than 20 people. Arrive at 9:45am to start at 10am From
2:30 PMTour
Skip-the-line Vatican tour in a group of no more than 20 people. Arrive at 2:15pm to start at 2:30pm From
8:10 AMTour
Small-group upgrade: Skip-the-line Vatican tour in a group of no more than 12 people. Arrive at 7:50am to start at 8:10am From
7:30 PMTour
Skip-the-line Vatican evening tour in a group of no more than 20 people. Arrive at 7:15pm to start at 7:30pm. Does not include St Peter's Basilica. Available for a limited summer season! From

Customer Reviews

Alyssa H

July 2015

Great tour. Well worth the money. There's no way to see it all or figure out what to see with the crowds, unless you have a good tour. All the guides with this tour group seem to be good: ours, Rozella sp? was outstanding. Her English was excellent, and she seemed to really understand and know what she was talking about- she wasn't just repeating a script. She exhibited tremendous patience and tact with a large family group where the kids couldn't/wouldn't keep up the other family of four and my teenaged daughters and I still got a great experience because of her skills in managing people and her knowledge of the Vatican.

Andre M

July 2015

The tour was great. Highly recommended and great skipping the ques.

Rony M

July 2015

Excellent guide and well organized tour.

Natalie S

July 2015

Brilliant - although should have allowed the whole day and not half a day


July 2015

Our guide was very knowledgable, friendly, engaging and helpful in surfing the huge crowds at the Vatican. We would have regretted going on our own. The Vatician tour interesting and the Cistine a chapel beautiful beyond description.

Chris B

July 2015

Sabrina was amazing. The tour of the Vatican was worth every penny.

Kristborg Anna A

July 2015

This tour was fantastic! Everything i wanted and more. Maria, our guide, was amazing and very educational.

Nancy D

July 2015

The tour was very informative and the guide was excellent. We enjoyed the tour. Be prepared to walk alot! It was a very, very hot day so it was a bit uncomfortable but we can't control the weather!

Janemarie S

July 2015

Organized trip without having to stand in lines for hours. Would recommend if you want to visit the Vatican.

Andrew G L

July 2015

Excellent tour very well presented by Sabbrena


July 2015

This was a great tour, I highly recommend it. My teenage son and daughter really enjoyed it, plus they learned much information.


July 2015

The tour was so good that I got lost in all of the excitement! and I was impressed how knowledgeable Francesca was.

Darlene B

July 2015

The skip the line walking tour was well worth the price. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and made the tour very interesting, sharing so much history and myths. The fact we walked right in with her and did not have to wait in lines around the building was amazing. The system that they use is extremely effective, with everyone being given headphones, so even though the guide might be walking in front, you can clearly hear everything that you are seeing.

I have already recommended this is the way to go when you want to see Rome as they really know how to make it a very great experience.
Thank you

Jananne A

July 2015

This tour was terrific! Our Guide was very knowledgeable and gave us great information on the history of the Vatican. The length of the tour was perfect.

Andrea D

July 2015

David was our tour guide and was so knowledgeable and fascinating to listen to. He provided us with a wealth of information about the Vatican including a recommendation for a book at the book shop per our request. We were impressed and highly recommend him!

Kerry M

July 2015

What a brilliant tour. Our guide Davide was just amazing. I have been to the Vatican before and enjoyed the experience so much so that I decided to go again this trip. What made this one better? Our guide for a start. Davide's knowledge gave us great insight into the history of the building, the Art, the restoration and so much more. And this man has a wicked sense of humour - we laughed often. Great tour, great guide, great day.


July 2015

Georgia whom was our tour guide was amazing. I am so pleased we pre booked these tours with a tour guide as not only did you beat standing in a huge queue in the unbearable heat, the guided tour was amazing and when possible explained everything in the shade. The guides make sure you re fill your water bottles at the water fountains when available and there is a toilet break. Would not hesitate to book through Viator again.


July 2015

In one word - breathtaking! If you are visiting Rome, do not miss this tour. Skipping the line is the only way to go. Our guide offered insight in to the artwork and architecture we would not have had if we had done this on our own. Truly amazing!

Pramesh Naik

July 2015

Our tour guide Francesca was excellent. Highly recommend this tour to skip the long lines.

R Brett C

July 2015

This was a fantastic tour and I would recommend it to anyone! Our tour guide, Shannon, was fun and educated on every aspect of the tour. Since the tour was inside for the bulk of the time it was never unbearably hot.

Heather M

July 2015

The tour was great! My two teens and I enjoyed every minute. Our tour guide, Francesca, was a delight. She was informative and engaging. I highly recommend it!
Also, walking by the huge lines and walking directly into the museum was great, too!

Karmela M

July 2015

Fantastic way to get through the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Raphael's Rooms and the Basilica. The guide was full of interesting knowledge. So many people about, can't imagine doing this visit without a guide.

Vince B

July 2015

We booked this tour mainly for the skip the line feature which was well worth it on its own! However we were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed the actual tour led by Marie. The depth of knowledge displayed and her general good nature made our 3rd visit a unique and memorable one!

Dimitrios K

July 2015

Very good tour. Must see in rome