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 Adamceiling 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

Tour departs near the Vatican Museums entrance.


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
$ 70.82
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
$ 70.82
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
$ 70.82
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
$ 105.10
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
$ 77.56

Customer Reviews

Rikke K

November 2015

We were impressed ... The guide did it so good and we had a wonderful guidet tour.


November 2015

Fantastic! Francesco was a wonderful guide! He was so knowledgeable and It's incredible the amount of information he has on all the pieces. I would highly recommend this tour to really get the most out of this visit. I would have been so overwhelmed and lost had I not joined a tour.

John M

November 2015

the guide was very knowledgeable. the pace of the tour was perfect.

Colleen S

November 2015

Our guide Sev was fantastic!!! his knowledge and passion about the Vatican City was evident. Highly recommended, and well done Sev!!!

Holly D

November 2015

We had a wonderful experience on this tour with our guide, Stella. Highly recommended!

Cheryl Z

November 2015

Great tour. We went in November and this was a small group tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable and made sure we had time to view all the areas. We would have missed some many important elements without a tour guide. The tour was well organized and efficient. I highly recommend this tour.

Kevin H

November 2015

Excellent guide. Tour was well worth doing.

Khristian P

November 2015

This will save you the headache of waiting in the very long line.

Charles S

November 2015

Excellent guide and most interesting tour.

Ernestine H

November 2015

This was beautiful! Our tour guide was very educated on everything in the Vatican and Italian history. We enjoyed our tour and would definitely do it again when we go back with our kids.

Deanna S

November 2015

Very informative, Francesco was very knowledgeable. Made the experience fun.

Steve H

November 2015

Excellent tour! The guide was very informative about the Vatican and the history as well as the art inside. I highly recommend the afternoon much better and less crowded!


November 2015

These were the only agents who could get a seating inside the cathedral. Our guide had a good balance of history and story telling. We kind of liked it more than St Peters in Rome. Learnt the tradition of democracy and checks and balances.

Sinead L

November 2015

This tour was fantastic, all thanks to our fabulous tour guide - highly recommend

.Michael G L

November 2015

The Gide was fantastic!

Adrian B

November 2015

Great tour with an excellent guide called Laura, highly recommended

Ronaldo S

November 2015

First time in vatican city and one thing i like most is beating the long line from tourists all over the world .

Ann G

November 2015

Laura was a GREAT tour guide. Super knowledgeable about the Vatican - and adorable.

Elizabeth D

November 2015

The cost included the entry fee into the Vatican museum and a 3 hour guided tour from Patricia who was a historian and archaeologist. The tour was in-depth and fascinating and at a pace that enabled everyone to have the time to look properly not only at the treasures Patricia pointed out and explained, but also the rest of the artwork. Without a guide, I would have missed so much. I particularly appreciated that she explained and asked for respect to be paid to sacred ground, a fact that some other guides unfortunately could not get through to their groups and in one case was totally rudely and disrespectfully ignored not by this company. I highly recommend this tour.

Roger M

November 2015

Tour was very well organized. Guide was excellent. The use of the radios on the tour made it easier to hear the guide admist the crowd.

Michele S

November 2015

Skip the Line tour is the only way to go in the very crowded Vatican. Still overwhelming due to amount of items to see and the large crowds of people in the museums and Vatican even in a small group tour.

John B

November 2015

The time allowed, of course, could never be enough. The guide masterfully directed our attention in a manner that allowed appreciation of all that unfolded before us in a respectful way so that we could enjoy both the art and a personally spiritual experience. I would only suggest a moment of discussion, while gathering before the tour, as to an outline of the overall tour. Understandably with the crowds of interested museum goers the movements of our tour are not entirely predictable. The knowledge of our
tour leader enabled us to feel comfortable no matter the pace of our movement throughout the tour. The tour leader's name deserves mention but I have no record of it. Youthful female with several years of residence in Italy, particularly Rome.

Ami J

November 2015

Our guide was very knowledgable and she made it very seamless to pass through the crowds. I am glad we chose this because the line to get in was about a mile long. We walked right into the Vatican and I would recommend doing this to anyone planning to go here. The Sistine Chapel was absolutely amazing!


November 2015

The Vatican is overwhelming Tour guide was terific!