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/Exchange 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
$ 69.92
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
$ 69.92
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
$ 69.92
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
$ 103.77
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
$ 76.58

Customer Reviews


December 2015

this tour was worth every Euro and then some. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and personable. I learned so much more then the 1st time I went without a guide. It was a large group but we had headsets and had no trouble hearing our guide even when we were spread out. I highly recommend this tour!

Brian A

December 2015

We enjoyed our tour of the Vatican so much with our wonderful tour guide Francesca. She was extremely knowledgeable and provided great information and stories about each of the buildings, rooms, and art pieces on the tour. It is remarkable that she could cover such a great deal of information and present it in a manner that we still remember a week after the tour. We were especially happy with her overview of the Sistine Chapel which made our visit there exceptional. Her friendly manner and great Italian accent added to our complete satisfaction with the tour.

Denise L

December 2015

Woundeful tour. Would of missed a lot without our guide

Antonio P M

November 2015

Very enjoyable and knowledgeable tour guide Sev. We were very pleased with setting of the scenario at the very beginning of the tour instead of just throwing dates and facts. It is easier as more understable to follow a tour this way.

Arthur V

November 2015

This was great. It was interesting, informative and so wonderful! It was nice to get into the museums and Basilica before the massive crowds of the day. I would highly recommend the early tour.
It was a little bit hard to find the meeting point at the beginning, it felt weird to go across the street and dwn the stairs but that was indeed where we went. I would highly recommend grabbing a cappuccino before heading down the stairs and then find the group of tour guides who will then split you up into smaller numbers and then assign you a tour leader. We found our tour leader to be incredibly helpful and informative in what we should expect. Our guide was incredibly knowledgable and it was so fun to be able to discuss paintings and statues that I had studied in college. I would highly recommend this tour as it gave an incredible amount of value for what it cost.

John P

November 2015

Excellent tour guide!

Sam L

November 2015

If you do not have much time in Rome, I would highly recommend this tour. We had a guide that was fantastic!!! She was just as excited as we were. Thank you Viator for making this so easy to get the right tours!!

Donna J

November 2015

highly recommended

Katherine S

November 2015

I could not imagine visiting without this tour- we learned so much and the guide was very knowledgeable.

Lauren S

November 2015

Excellent tour guide. This is am exceptional tour if you want to see all 3 areas of the Vatican. It was fascinating and interesting. My tour guide had so much knowledge and kept my attention to entire time. It was nice to pass all the lines and have access to each area. Really one of the best ways to see all of this history.

Caryn C

November 2015

I thought the tour was very worthwhile. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and she gave us a lot of information. I would recommend it.

Alice L

November 2015

Other than the timing, I think the tour was pretty amazing!

Raheel R

December 2015

Amazing tour. I highly recommend going with this tour. The tour guide was very friendly and knowledgable.

Celia D

November 2015

A great introduction into the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's. It was perfect for us as we did not have a lot of time left in Rome and just had to visit Vatican City. Dorella was a wonderful guide with great enthusiasm, knowledge and sense of humor while navigating us through the tour. Would love to return one day to fully explore and take time to absorb the beauty and culture of this special place.

Rhonda S

November 2015

Manuala was a great tour guide. Very knowledgeable. There was so many wonderful things to see. I could have spent days there.

Robert B

December 2015

Loved skipping the line up. We had a super knowledgeable and friendly guide.

Jean J

December 2015

Excellent guide, very well informed and helpful.

Joycelyn J

December 2015

Our tour guide as excellent

Michael O

November 2015

Loved the tour and the detail provided by our guide

Lois M B

November 2015


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!!!