Things to do in Vatican City

Our most recommended things to do in Vatican City

Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

1. Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

Take a stirring journey through art and religious history with skip-the-ticket-line entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Avoid the long ticket lines and then enjoy your visit at your own pace.  Wander through the Greek Cross Gallery to see elaborately-carved sarcophagi that might just contain the earthly remains of some of antiquity's famous kings and queens. Peek at the Cabinet of the Masks, or tour the Sala degli Animali to see a virtual menagerie of fantastic beasts, real and imagined. Walk the Upper Galleries, including the Gallery of Maps, to see how cartographers depicted the world through the ages. See masterpieces by Renaissance masters in the Raphael Rooms, and rest for a while in the Borgia Apartments. Then, it’s time to marvel at Michelangelo’s exquisite Sistine Chapel, the crown jewel of the Vatican, and perhaps even of all the world’s art treasures.

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Tour

2. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Tour

Discover some of the most popular attractions in Rome on a guided walking tour of Vatican City. Visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica with your guide, and admire the ornate interiors and the famed artworks housed here. Meet your guide close to the entrance to the Vatican Museums and follow them as you set out to explore the most interesting galleries within the museum. See the Rotunda, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Gallery of Maps. Take in the ornate ceilings in each room and see the ancient statues, frescoes, and tapestries that adorn the walls. Then, enter the Sistine Chapel and marvel at the intricate fresco that covers the entire ceiling and walls. Painted by Michaelangelo between 1508 and 1512, the Sistine Chapel represents a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. From the Creation of Adam to the Last Judgement, Michelangelo dedicated some of his greatest years to the Sistine Chapel, working day and night – even sleeping in the chapel – to satisfy the popes of Rome. The artist also expressed his frustration through hidden meanings in his work, which have since been uncovered and deciphered. Listen as your guide lets you in on Michelangelo's private jokes. Finally, head to St. Peter's Basilica for the final leg of your guided walking tour. The cathedral is one of the most renowned works of Renaissance architecture and holds the title of the biggest church in the world. Explore the interior of this magnificent structure with your guide and discover the many masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque art that fill the cathedral. Admire the famous Pietà by Michelangelo and the elaborate St. Peter's Baldachin by Bernini. Your tour comes to an end outside the cathedral. From here, feel free to wander around Saint Peter's Square or visit the nearby Castel Sant'Angelo on your own. 

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour with St. Peter's

3. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour with St. Peter's

Discover the art collection inside the Vatican Museums on a tour with an art historian guide, with an optional entry to Castle Gandolfo and skip-the-line access to St Peter's Basilica for visits before lunchtime. Walk through the galleries and admire masterpieces by Michelangelo inside the Sistine Chapel.  Meet your guide, an art historian who will tell you all about the masterpieces you will be encountering. Hear fascinating facts and stories as you visit the Gallery of the Maps, the Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Candelabra. Round off the tour with by encountering the marvels of the Sistine Chapel, complete with frescoes by Michelangelo. Be awed by coming face-to-face with Michelangelo’s most famous artwork: The Last Judgement. On tours before 2:30 PM, take advantage of skip-the-line access to St. Peter's Basilica. You can also make the most of your experience by taking advantage of additional entry to Castle Gandolfo (if option selected).

Vatican City: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Guided Tour

4. Vatican City: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Guided Tour

Discover one of the greatest art collections in the world on a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Learn the fascinating history and facts about these sites from your licensed guide, marvel at the frescoes, and leave the tour with a wealth of information. First, your local guide will show you around the Rotunda, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Gallery of Maps. Marvel at the ornate ceilings, ancient statues, and intricate tapestries found throughout the Vatican Museums including an entire ceiling and wall completely frescoed by Michelangelo. Visit the world-famous Sistine Chapel, and see the Creation of Adam in real life. Listen as your guide tells you about Michelangelo’s private jokes and secret messages that were hidden amongst the painted frescoes on the ceiling of the chapel

Rome: Vatican and Sistine Chapel Tour with Basilica Entry

5. Rome: Vatican and Sistine Chapel Tour with Basilica Entry

Experience the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums with skip-the-line entrance on a guided tour. Learn about the secrets behind the artwork and buildings from your professional tour guide. Explore St. Peter's Basilica without waiting to enter.  Discover the Vatican Museums, the second most visited in Europe after the Louvre in Paris. Take in the 4 miles and whopping 20,000 works of art that the Vatican Museums offer for an immersive experience.   Immerse yourself in one of the world's great museum complexes, with over 20,000 works of art on display. Stroll through the 24 galleries to experience the famous sculptures and masterworks on display. Next, head to the Sistine Chapel and see works by master painters such as Perugino, Pinturicchio, Ghirlandaio, Rosselli, Botticelli, Signorelli, and, of course, Michelangelo. After your guided tour has concluded, skip the line to enter St.Peter's Basilica and experience its grandeur on your own.

St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

6. St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

Admire the majesty of St. Peter's Basilica in the company of an art historian tour guide. Go up to the summit to take in spectacular panoramic views, and learn about the artistic and architectural significance of the basilica. Meet your art historian guide in St. Peter's Square and stroll across the piazza into Vatican City. In the basilica, take the elevator part of the way up and then climb the remaining 171 steps. You can climb at a leisurely pace and enjoy the journey up with frequent stops. At the summit, witness the breathtaking 360-degree views of the Vatican City as it extends out into Rome and its seven hills. Take as many photographs as you can because you are very high and will be able to see for a long distance. Return to ground level, and take a break before entering St. Peter's Basilica. Marvel at this triumph of architecture, where Bernini's sculptures and Michelangelo's art rise above holy papal tombs and the necropolis of St. Peter. 

Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

7. Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

Skip the ticket line and gain fast access to both the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Once inside, meet your guide who will conduct your tour and reveal the intriguing story behind the seminal design. Enter the Pio Clementino Museum and get up close to the astonishing classical Roman and Greek sculptures, before walking through to the Gallery of the Candelabras which is populated with majestic marble structures throughout. Continue on to see the 40 maps frescoed on the walls of the Gallery of the Geographical Maps, the hanging renaissance artworks at Gallery of the Tapestries, and the four Raphael Rooms. Finally, marvel at Michelangelo's fresco "The Creation of Adam" in the Sistine Chapel.

Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

8. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

Explore iconic sights in Rome on this guided walking tour. Stroll through St. Peter's square and take in the views of the city from the top of St. Peter's Basilica. Admire artwork like Michelangelo's emotive 'Pietà' statue and go below the Basilica to uncover St. Peter's final resting place. Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square then start the tour by climbing your way to the top of the Basilica’s dome. Enjoy an exclusive look at the Dome’s impressive mosaics then head further up to the top balcony. From here, marvel at panoramic views across the city, spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and other iconic landmarks. Descend into the Basilica and admire its impressive interior and discover why it took 150 years to build. Gaze at the colorful marble, golden ceilings, and intricate mosaics that surround you. Learn about the renowned works of Renaissance and Neoclassic artists that are housed here.  Next, head underground to the Basilica’s historic grottoes and visit St. Peter’s Tomb. Touch the ancient walls of the original 4th-century Basilica and admire its beautiful frescoes. Finish the tour in St. Peter’s Square and soak up its majestic architecture. 

Rome: Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb

9. Rome: Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb

Join a private or shared guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica and experience this iconic attraction. Start your tour by climbing the stairs to the top of the dome. Contemplate the interior mosaics of the dome up close while your guide shares stories about the history of this Renaissance-style church. Continue your climb to the very top of the dome and reach the viewing deck. Marvel at the striking views of St. Peter's Square and the Vatican Gardens from above. Admire Rome from a height of 136 meters, and spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Castel Sant'Angelo, and other historic sites. From here, descend directly into the Basilica, skipping the long lines outside. Marvel at the magnificent interior and learn why the church took 150 years to rebuild. Discover the colorful marbles, golden ceilings, and the impressive Michelangelo's Pietà.

Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

10. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

Explore St. Peter's Basilica, the Renaissance-style church with its dome that dominates the skyline of Rome. Discover why the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson described it as "an ornament of the earth...the sublime of the beautiful". Marvel at the interior, lavishly decorated with marble, reliefs, architectural sculpture, and gilding. Discover the underground Chapel of the Confession and marvel at its curving marble staircases. After the tour, you can use the online Rome City Guide, a self-guided audio tour with stories from local experts, which is included in the experience. Learn about the city's points of interest, hidden gems, public transport, Wi-Fi access points, and best photo stops.

Frequently asked questions about Vatican City

Other Sightseeing Options in Vatican City

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What people are saying about Vatican City

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 171,985 reviews

Vatican is a fascinating place of history, religion and art. Firstly, we thoroughly enjoyed an informative and relaxing bus tour through beautiful Vatican gardens. The Vatican Museum was big and busy. I wish we had a guided Museum tour rather than audio guides which we had to additionally hire in order to get some guidance. Audio guides were not very helpful, because we had to decide what to focus on and the information provided was not always engaging. Therefore, we stopped using audio guides and enjoyed the experience. For such a large museum I would prefer to have a guide who could select stops and give more relevant information. The Sistine Chapel was breathtaking. Vatican City is not to be missed.

Waking up early was definitely worth it. Meeting point easy to locate. Quick access & guided tour to Dom. Afterwards free time to explore the basilica and visit burial sites. Nice that they give head peaces to everyone therefore it was easy to orientate and stay with the group. Little lack of information regarding current Vatican traditions including Konklave or details about popes everyday life. A lot of historic facts which may not be interesting to everyone.

A must do while in Rome, but having a guide made it all even better. Both of our guides make the visit much more interesting and rich. Very knowledgeable and great story tellers

A magnificent place. So much to see having a guide is essential. Regardless of skip the queue access to the Basillica itself, you will queue to go up the Dome. Worth it though.

Very good experience. I booked the tickets the same day of the flight and i didnt found any problem