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

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.

Dimitrios K

July 2015

Very good tour. Must see in rome

JoAnne M

July 2015

I knew the sites would be spectacular, but it was fantastic to just be able to walk around hundreds of people.

Veena R

July 2015

Excellent tour! Very busy, lots of visitors and hot! When we began at 9am, there were already thousands of visitors at the gate. It helps when we cut through the line to get into the church. Other wise it would be a long wait to get tickets approx. 2-3 hrs or more. Ladies - wear appropriate clothing, you are not going dancing! All, watch out for pick pocketers - some work in groups! Be prepared - it's hot inside, no a/c.

Alan H

July 2015

Well organised. Tour guide very knowledgeable. Extremely good experience, value for money.

David G

July 2015

So nice to not have to wait in line for two hours to get in.

mike c

July 2015

This is a really good tour, however it does get extremely busy and if visiting in the summer months as we didbeginning of July it can get quite uncomfortable with the heat. Our tour guide,Alberto,was brilliant. His knowledge was outstanding. Try to do this tour as early as possible as the crowds can be a little overwhelming. A must see when in Rome. Give yourself plenty of time to tour the basilica at the end of the tour as there is so much to see there and make sure you take a bottle of water as the café in the Vatican gets very busy.

Mary Ellen D

July 2015

Barbara was a very informative guide who was able to keep us all together with the very large crowd that was there. She took the time to explain things and answered any questions that came up as she seemed to have a wealth of knowledge about everything. I would definitely recommend this tour and it is well worth the price of skipping the line, and seeing the sites with a guide - well done!

Rochelle L

July 2015

This was definitely worth doing.

Caroline F

July 2015

Amazing tour. Great tour guide. Would recommend to anyone planning on visiting the Vatican. Queue jump was the best.

pamela j

July 2015

Was really impressed with the knowledge of our tour guide davide. He expertly navigated yes threw the crowds and gave us a lot of historic information and an extremely good overview of the Sistine chapel, prior to walking through it. This was an excellent tour and again our guide was an expert!

Jacqueline M

July 2015

This was my fourth visit to these venues and my sister's first. It was extremely informative and well organized.

Kelly Y

July 2015

Our tour guide Dario was wonderful and memorable. It was really challenging to give a tour considering how hot and crowded it was in the Vatican Museum that day but he did a great job! This was my second time touring the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Basilica. It was definately enhanced by Dario. He has a gift for making things seem even more awe inspiring than you originally thought.

Damian L

July 2015

Loved our Vatican tour. I cannot remember the lady that gave us the tour but she was pregnant at that time. Thank you so much for the detailed tour, you were awesome!!!

Sandra P

July 2015

Also perfect length, great guide and very informative

Lindsay G

July 2015

Just fantastic tour!!!

Our tour guide was just fantastic!!! So much knowledge.

She was a pleasure to be with!!!!
Would definitately recommend this tour!!!

Melinda P

July 2015

SO BLESSED! To have experienced the Vatican Museums, Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica with Seve as our tour guide!! THOROUGHLY enjoyed his expert insights and entertaining delivery!! This was probably our 5th tour on this trip and by far the best!! Grazie mille! Memphis


July 2015

We arrived that morning to meet with our Viator guide. We were actually shocked to see the length of the ques to get tickets for the Vatican. We were hoping we wouldn't have to join as it was literally a mile long. We met with the city wonders tour guide at the pre arranged meeting point. Alice / Alex was her name. We were given a communication device and headset so we could hear her as we went with her on the tour. The reason I'm writing this review is because I really wanted people to know how good it was. Alice was absolutely excellent, her knowledge and communication skills were second to none. Very pleasant with us all. The tour itself lasted roughly 3 hours and I must say it was the best tour I had ever been on. I cant recommend the Viator tours highly enough. The next day we went on the Colosseum tour and it was as we expected. Excellent !!!
Sue and Ray Murphy

Susan R

July 2015

Thank you Viator! We missed our original booking due to train delays from Civitevecchia to Rome but we got on the next tour one hour later without any dramas!! Skipped the queues as promised. Had a very entertaining and friendly guide by the name of Marina. She was very knowledgeable and funny too!


July 2015

It was packed even we are on a small group. There is just so many people but our tour guide did her very best so we will not miss anything. She is really nice and knowledgeable on what she is doing.


July 2015

Without doubt the best way to see the best of Vatican City. We visited during the first week of July, were temperatures were in the mid 90's. I felt happy not to stand in line with such heat and humidity. It was really hot, however, our guide Marta was first class, had amazing knowledge of everything we were seeing and made it interesting. This is the way to see the Vatican.

Ian T

July 2015

A must do tour if visiting Rome. Our guide was very knowledgeable and informative.


July 2015

Maria was awesome. Tour was amazing.