Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Destination: Italy, Lazio, Rome

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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Rome
  • E-Voucher
  • Lowest Price
  • Cancellable


On one of our top-selling Rome tours, skip the line and go straight to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel with this guided tour. See the Vatican Museums' best galleries and tour St. Peter's Basilica with a professional English-speaking guide. Our Privileged Entrance guided Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel tour starts at 7:30 a.m. and doors open shortly after 8 a.m. (a full hour before general admission opens).

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Vatican City Italy

Enter Before the General Public!

Skip the line and go straight to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel with this guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. See the Vatican Museum’s best galleries and tour St. Peter's Basilica with a professional English-speaking guide. Our Privileged Entrance guided Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel tour starts at 7:30 am and doors open shortly after 8 am (a full hour before general admission opens at 9 am). before entering, your guide will give you the insider's look to the Sistine Chapel so that you can awe in its glory as soon as you enter!

Short delays at the security check may occur during June and July, our busiest months. However, we have a team of experts at the Vatican every morning to best help our groups avoid delays. Your guide will meet the group at 7:30 am to begin the early access Vatican Museum tour prior to doors opening for special groups at 8 am.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Sistine Chapel, Viale Vaticano, 00165 Vatican City Italy

The Sistine Chapel

First stop is a visit to the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the general public. Upon entering, you’ll see why the Sistine Chapel is one of Michelangelo’s most prized masterpieces. The Sistine Chapel also serves as a gathering place for cardinals of the Catholic Church, where new popes are elected. As the Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, speaking inside is forbidden. Your guide will tell you about its history and provide you with a map for reference prior to entering.

Please note: The Sistine Chapel is a sacred place, so visitors are required to have their knees and shoulders covered when inside. Failure to do so will result in refused entry to a portion of the Vatican tour. During Rome’s hot summer months, consider bringing a shawl or sweater for covering yourself when necessary.

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Vatican Museums, Viale Vaticano, 00120 Vatican City Italy

The Best Galleries at the Vatican - Visit the Vatican’s most celebrated galleries including the Borgia Apartments, Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries and the Gallery of the Maps. Predating a unified Italy by nearly 300 years, the Gallery of the Maps contains painted topographical maps of Italy. This is one of our favorite places in the Vatican.

Raphael Rooms - The term Renaissance, meaning "rebirth," refers to the period of European history between the 14th and 17th centuries that produced a revival in art, literature and learning. The ideal Renaissance man, Raphael was one of Rome's most famous Renaissance artists who designed and painted multiple rooms connected to the Vatican Museums. Among the many Vatican Museum masterpieces, you’ll see one of Raphael’s most famous works, The School of Athens.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stop At: Sistine Chapel, Viale Vaticano, 00165 Vatican City Italy

Pass back through the Sistine Chapel briefly before short-cutting it over to the beautiful St. Peter's Basilica.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: St. Peter's Basilica, Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Vatican City Italy

Skipping the Line at St Peter's Basilica

Except on Wednesdays

St. Peter's Basilica is the Vatican’s grand centerpiece. Upon entering, you’ll encounter the largest church you've ever seen, filled with artwork from all of Italy’s historically-renowned artists. Skip the lines waiting outside in St Peter's Square and access the basilica through a special side entrance available to our guides. Once inside, admire masterpieces such as Bernini’s Baldacchino, La Pieta and the statue of St. Peter. While it is free to enter, this guided tour will optimize your Vatican Museum experience while skipping the long lines outside.

Important: If you wish to further explore the museums toward the end of your guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, you must forgo the guided visit of St. Peter’s Basilica. If you choose to do this, you’ll lose the opportunity to skip the lines with your guide and use the special entrance from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Basilica. If you decide to leave the tour early, please return your headset to the tour guide. You are welcome to remain in the basilica longer once the tour concludes, we ask that you do not proceed with your tour guide to take photos in the piazza. The regular security line is long and re-entry on your own is not recommended.

Duration: 40 minutes

Stop At: Vatican Museums, Viale Vaticano, 00120 Vatican City Italy

Pio-Clementino Museum and Nero's Bathtub - On Wednesdays Only!

The itinerary for any guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel will change on Wednesdays due to the weekly Papal Audience. If you take the Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour on a Wednesday, the visit to St. Peter's Basilica is substituted with a visit to the Pio-Clementino Museum, home to three of the most iconic historical statues. Learn the oral history associated with the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons and the Belvedere Torso. You'll also visit one of the biggest and oldest bathtubs in existence, which to this day, is impossible to recreate.

Duration: 20 minutes

  • Early access to the Vatican Museums
  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • Headsets for groups of 6 or more
  • Maximum group size of 14
  • Entry/Admission - Sistine Chapel
  • Entry/Admission - Vatican Museums

  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesdays
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • A specific dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements.
  • A fair amount of walking is involved, and there will be stairs between different levels. If you have any doubts about your mobility, we strongly recommend considering a private tour.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Please contact The Tour Guy to book a wheelchair accessible tour
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 14 travelers
Departure Point

Viale Vaticano, 100, 00192 Roma RM, Italy

Return Details

Saint Peter's Square, Forum Sancti Petri, Città del Vaticano, Vatican City

Voucher info

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


3 hours 30 minutes

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

User's Reviews

Stephen S

09 Jan, 2020

Fabi was knowledgeable, funny, an excellent teacher, and knew exactly the most interesting parts and how to explain their significance. Fabi is fabulous!


30 Dec, 2019

I was particularly impressed by Maria's knowledge about the arts and her depth of research into the Vatican and the history, culture and theology of the Christian faith as it pertains to the Pope, Vatican and Rome. We had a great time with Maria and would highly recommend her as a tour guide!

Christine W

16 Dec, 2019

Amazing Earle morning tour of the Vatican , the Sistine Chapel, the museums and St. Peter’s. It pays to go early to avoid the crowds.


18 Nov, 2019

Really enjoyed the experience of being able to visit this amazing place, it was a good idea to book an early tour to make sure you beat the huge crowds.

Jonathan P

04 Nov, 2019

The tour was very good. We enjoyed it but we expected to not be so rushed through our tour. We got to the Vatican and met outside in a grp of 20 or so. Were given our headsets and moved across to the entrance and waited outside till the Vatican opened. Then we shuffled inside and the guide got our tickets and started the walk through the museums. The walk was brisk as she headed toward the Sistine chapel. we got time there then went all the way back to the beginning and started over with the museums. Then we made our way through to St Peters and spent time in there and was quite rushed. All in all the tour was very good, the guide was knowledgeable and friendly but it was very rushed, even though we could go back and spend more time on our own.

User's Picture Gallery






Our awesome tour guide Elaine and my daughter


Our guide pointing out interesting facts about what we were seeing.




Raffa has expansive knowledge of architecture and art throughout the tour.


Raffa stops at an unlikely place to explain the origin of the stone.


In the map corridor, Raffa explains the history of the maps.


Raffa uses an iPad to explain aspects of the history and architecture.


Tour guide Raffa greets guests at the start of our tour.


Outside the Vatican

Looking over St Peters Square towards the St Peters Basilica


Michelangelos Dome

Michelangelo's dome, St. Peter's Basilica, finished by Giacomo della Porta in 1590. 120m, St. Peter's Basilica


Inside St Peters Basilica

Bernini's Baldaquin 1633 over the Papal Altar


Painting by Raphael - The School of Athens

The School of Athens. 1510/11 w

The artist's most famous painting seems to contain various Greek philosophers, notably Plato and Aristotle located in the centre of the picture. Plato points towards the sky and Aristotle is shown with the palm of his hand turned down.


Entrance to the Vatican Museums

Entrance to the Vatican Museums. This is where the 'before-hours' tour started


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