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
$ 70.65
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
$ 70.65
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
$ 70.65
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
$ 104.85
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
$ 77.38

Customer Reviews


October 2015

Excellent guide - most interesting and informative, very well organised

Marilyn S

October 2015

We had a wonderful guide, Tatiana, who was easy-going and answered all questions. She had a vast knowledge of the museums and the Vatican, and was extremely helpful. Excellent tour. And no wait!!

Gary T

October 2015

Claudia was really enthusiastic and knowledgeable - we wouldn't have got half as much out of our visit to these amazing places if it wasn't for the tour. It was on time, well organised and professional.

Gerda Cerff C

October 2015

Everything went smooth, from the booking to the tour .. great tour guide as well.


October 2015


Vincent v

October 2015

good organisation and knowledgeable guide

Mike G

October 2015

Great tour, very interesting. Don't wait for ages lining up- go straight in with a friendly helpful tour guide


October 2015

This place exceeded my expectations, the frescos, architecture, tapistries and paintings are stunning. Wow it really was Michaelangelo's calling to paint the Bible. Our tour guide Sev was very passionate about it all and we enjoyed him and what he shared on everything very much.

Nina Oleg

October 2015

Breathtaking experience! Absolutely worth every dollar spent. Guides made it even more interesting for everyone including kids. And in this particular case skip the line is a must - the lines are ridiculously long there. Definitely recommend.


October 2015

Excellent guide. Good organization. Would use Viator again.

Rosemary W

October 2015

The tour guide was excellent, she was knowledgeable and spoke good English. I learnt a lot from the tour. The earphones worked for a while, but when they stopped working she quickly replaced mine with a new set. She tried hard to keep us all together in very busy conditions and we did all stay together to the end without losing anyone!

Gary A

October 2015


James G

October 2015

The tour guide was exceptional.

Mark L

October 2015

Very interesting and well organised tour

John P

October 2015

Great tour! Very knowledgable guide.

bill b

October 2015

The leader of the group was outstanding in his knowledge and presentation. Superb overall.

William F

October 2015

The tour was unbelievable. Guide was so knowledgeable and very detailed, just great!!

Rodney L

October 2015

our tour was fantastic the guide was brilliant and very knowledgeable worth the money

Alison L

October 2015

Our guide Christine was excellent! She was so knowledgable, very friendly and I know we would have missed so many of the finer details had we not taken this tour. A truely awesome experience made even better by a fabulous guide.

Derek H

October 2015

Excellent tour with excellent guide Lindy. Very busy.

Marianne E

October 2015

Really amazing place ...that you will not forget

Carole M

October 2015

We did the early morning tour with 12 people,it was well organised the guide was very knowledgeable, we would recommend this early tour, as the line outside when we had finished was extremely long.

Arthur S

October 2015

Excellent experience!!

Shannon D

October 2015

This was our favourite tour in Rome. Our tour guide had a masters in Art History which made for a very educational tour. Skipping the line was great but inside the museums can get quite busy. If you have the opportunity to do an early morning tour that promises to avoid the crowds, I would certainly recommend that.