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.

German Activities Terms & Conditions

The 20% Off German Activities offer is valid with bookings of any German Rail Pass with coupon code OKTOBERFEST20. The maximum coupon code discount is $35 per booking. Offer is valid for the first 280 coupon codes redeemed or until the promo’s end date of 5:00 pm ET on September 29, 2015, whichever comes first. Offer is subject to change or extension without notice. No adjustments can be made on prior purchases. One coupon code per booking may be applied.

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
$ 73.06
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
$ 73.06
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
$ 73.06
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
$ 108.43
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
$ 80.02

Customer Reviews

Steven B

September 2015

very informative appreciate the tour just hitting the highlights

Mahendra R

September 2015

Tour guide was knowledgeable and friendly.


September 2015

Excellent tour with convenient ticket access to the Vatican museums. You can't miss the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica. They are stunning to view in person, and the tour guide provided great information about all of the sites. Her archaeological and historical background clearly came through in her commentary, which we appreciated a lot.

Kimberly M

September 2015

My guide was lovely I just can't remember her name, but she was pregnant! Her knowledge of the Vatican, rooms and St Peters was thorough and in depth. Her narration was light, easy to understand and entertaining. The tour was an easy walk and I got to see everything I wanted to, and more. My highlight was St Peters and the crypts of many of the previous Popes. I was disappointed with the lack of respect some tourists showed, especially when asked for quiet in the Sistine Chapel, so we could all enjoy the majestic priceless treasures to be seen. Security staff needed to be in more control in that area.

Linda B

September 2015

Excellent tour. Very informative and good length time wise. Our guiide, David, was excellent - 10/10

Pamela W

September 2015

our tour guide was very helpful and the tour was so interesting and thorough. I would definitely recommend this tour!

Michelle S

August 2015


Jeremy P

August 2015

Amazing tour guide!
Fun and informative, and answered all our questions!
Her passion leaked out and infected the entire group in the best way possible!
Thanks again!

Philip O

August 2015

Wonderful experience with a superb guide, Angela, who gave us just the right amount of information unlike some who go on and do. I would thoroughly recommend mend this tour.


August 2015

We loved the tour! Well worth doing learned so much strenuous and in the sun but glad we did it! Thank you!

Kirsten R

August 2015

This was one of the best tours i have ever done. We had Maurizia as our tour guide and she was absolutely excellent. Knew really her subject really well and was very helpful and provided great commentary This tour is an absolute must!! Great to skip the lines as well

linda e

August 2015

Lovely tour guide who spoke English well. Best to tell people that they need to keep close to her if they want to catch all that she says, as the radios get interference from a distance. Very knowledgeable guide who was obviously interested in her subject. A lovely way to spend several hours, and I would recommend this tour.

Mark B

August 2015

Sev was completely awesome! Best tour guide I have ever had - and I have had many over the years. I would like to book with him again on my trip back to Rome this Sunday if possible.

Eric G

September 2015

Given how busy the Vatican was, it sure was nice to skip through the lines. Our guide was very knowledgeable and managed to keep the group together even with the large crowds. I learned a lot and saw a lot. A great tour!

M Teresa L

September 2015

This was the best thing we did so much to see and do. I want to go back and do the tour on my own. A lot of info to cover in 3 hours. The guide was brilliant


September 2015

The tour delivered exactly what it promised. It was pretty crowded bring a Saturday but our guide Laura managed the group very well. Great job Viator and City Wonders!!

Heather D

August 2015

Dorianna was our tour guide and she was fabulous. A wealth of knowledge and an archeologist with a passion for her job. Would recommend this tour and booking with Viator as we skipped the lines on a very hot August day


September 2015

This tour was amazing!


August 2015

excellent tour,Tour guide very knowledgeable highly recommend it

olga l

September 2015

This was the best purchase ever! Everything was as described. Our guide, Patricia, was fantastic! We walked by the enormous lines and got in to see the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, etc. all in three hours. The guide even gave us time to use the restrooms and get something to drink. I highly recommend you purchasing this if you are visiting Rome.

Denise M

August 2015

The lines were long and the tour was necessary to avoid a long wait in the hot sun. The guide was very knowledgable and enthusiastic

Lynne T

September 2015

Amazing tour absolutely amazing. Our tour guide was fabulous. He spoke perfect English very clearly. He was a mine filed of information. Was fascinated listening to him, he answered all questions to the full and also gave out extra information regarding Rome itself. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend this tour to anyone. This was an amazing tour that covered all areas that we wanted to see, was fascinating.

Anne Marie D

August 2015

Oh my goodness to be in the vatican and no queue it was a very smooth tour with an excellent guide Maurice especially the breathtaking cistine chapel and basilica but a lot of the amazing art and sculpture were explained and to see pope John Paul II tomb was very touching
I would just like to say be aware the instructions on were to meet were very clear and it states bottom of steps opposite the museum which are at the back of the vatican so follow the wall around the back not the front steps, just in case that may not be clear i would highly recommend this tour


August 2015

Our tour guide, Davide, was very knowledgeable but shared his passion for art history with enthusiasm which was never boring or overloaded. It is a long tour 3 hours and could be overwhelming as there is so much to see but the guide helped to let you see the highlights. At the end of the tour you are free to revisit the basilica in your own time. You wear an ear piece from a transmitter so hearing the guide is really easy.