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 30. 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
  • Please be aware that due to Holy Easter Holidays, St. Peter's Basilica will be closed during the selected date (March 24th, 25th, 26th) for this tour. We will substitute other areas of the Vatican to ensure you have the best possible experience
Voucher Information

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

Schedule and Pricing

Departure/Exchange Point

Tour departs near the Vatican Museums entrance.


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
$ 69.72
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
$ 69.72
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
$ 69.72
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
$ 103.48
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
$ 76.36

Customer Reviews

Darren A

February 2016

Excellent tour and our tour guide, a lovely American lady, was extremely informative and enthusiastic - the best tour we had all trip in Rome.

Sean B

February 2016

Excellent tour. The most challenging part was keeping my three little one entertained and the tour guide did an excellent job in that department.

Ashwin F

February 2016

Interesting tour with 5 stars for our guide Damiano. The tour is very well organized. Not the fault of the tour agency, but I wanted a more biblical understanding of the Vatican and was surprised that there was so little in the Vatican about this and rather a lot about artists like Michelangelo and so on. The trip to the sistine chapel was the best highlight for me. May I didnt appreciate the art because I am not an artistic person. So if you are into art then this is the tour for you!

Evelyn L

February 2016

Tour guide was Lindy. She was really good. Very informative and gave us time to see everything. Was so glad we p aid for skip the line as it was well worth it when we saw the queues outside

mike s

February 2016

Very educational and informative

Nirmal S

February 2016

The guide was fantastic, demonstrated full availability , education and knowledge in the Vatican arts.
I had the best experience possible .

Alexandru M

February 2016

Everything was amazing. Our guide Shannon was very passionate about art and she gave as plenty of interesting details about the Vatican.

Norman P W

February 2016

Our tour guide Marina was excellent . We really enjoyed the tour. It was very imformative and would highly recommend

Peter H

February 2016

Superb trip with a very knowledgeable guide who made the tour more enjoyable. Highly recommend this tour.

Maria Cristina P

February 2016

Choosing Viator was one of the best choices Ive made. The tour was wonderful especially due to the great guide we had, Lindy from City Wonders, she deserves all the praises for making our day both extremely interesting and also funny.
Thank you and see you next time!


February 2016

Our guide, Doriana sorry if I got is wrong was amazing!!

David W

February 2016

This tour was amazing. Our tour guide Luciana made the tour so interesting and informative. We have been to the Vatican before but we learned so much more from her. We highly recommend this tour!


February 2016

Our guide was great. She was very knowledgeable, had great facts to share about what we were seeing, and kept the tour interesting and moving at a great pace. We couldn't have been happier with our tour.


February 2016


Malcolm H

February 2016

The tour guide was a young lady who was very knowledgable especially in the art works and had a sense of humour that certainly helped to make the excursion exceptionally good.

Beth E

February 2016

Worth every penny!

Timothy R

February 2016

A must while in Rome. You will be amazed be every single thing. Can be crowded - even in off season - so prepare for a bit of a crush. I am a modern art lover and the museum actually had very good modern art but the tour didn't spend much time on it. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable.

Peter C

February 2016

This was an absolutely brilliant tour my wife and I throughly enjoyed it and Lindsy your tour guide was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable this made the trip.
I would recommend this trip to anyone
Thank you

Anne C

January 2016

Well worth it. We were lucky in that we were there when it wasn't very crowded. Still really happy that we didn't have to wait in line. Security went quickly too. Our guide was good and knowledgeable. If one is visiting ANY of the Rome sites in high season, you've got to do skip the line tours.

Angela Tea

January 2016

Highly recommend to anyone who is new or repeat visitor to the Vatican museums. Learnt a fair bit from Martha, our excellent guide! Be prepared to walk non-stop, though time passed quickly as you admired the great works. Although it was Low season, it was still crowded and do book in advance.


January 2016

This tour is an absolute must if you want to see the Vatican which you must!! The tour guide is incredibly knowledgeable and thorough with the amount is sites we saw and information provided. Its definitely worth the money as it lasts about 5 hours and you see just about everything. Make sure to wear good walking shoes!

nada t

January 2016

Rachel was incredibly knowledgeable and funny at the same time. Great experience and learned a lot. Ended up spending an extra 3 hours at the Vatican even following the tour!

Ryan B

January 2016

Our tour guide Rachel was informative yet captivating in her story telling. She really made the experience!


January 2016

Very good tour. Interesting and definitely a must do if you visit Rome