Guided tour

Vatican City: St. Peter’s Basilica, Dome Climb & Crypts Tour

Activity provider: City Wonders Ltd.

Vatican City: St. Peter’s Basilica, Dome Climb & Crypts Tour

Activity provider: City Wonders Ltd.
Likely to sell out

From US$ 39.69 per person

Likely to sell out

Discover St. Peter’s Basilica from a new perspective as you climb to the top of the dome. Then follow your guide to explore the stunning interior and the Vatican crypts.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Duration 2.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide


  • Climb to the highest point in the Vatican City and enjoy spectacular views
  • Experience the splendor of the dome from the first level balcony and hear about the Renaissance era from an expert English-speaking guide
  • Enjoy fast access inside the basilica when you descend, so there’s no need to join the growing lines below
  • Make the most of your visit with a guided tour of the Basilica & Vatican Crypts
Full description

Experience St. Peter's Basilica from the top of the dome and admire views of the Vatican and Rome. Follow your guide to see the dome's interior and the Vatican crypts.

Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square, then head up to the first level of the dome to the viewing balcony. Admire the array of incredible mosaics depicting the saints, the magnificent Latin scripts which circle the dome, and the top of Bernini’s 3-story canopy below.

Listen to your guide share facts and stories about the history of the dome, and everything you need to know about the Dome’s artists and Renaissance splendor. From the first level, take the spiral staircase to the top of the dome and enjoy some free time to explore at your own pace. Then head above the double structure of the dome and pass by windows that give a tantalizing glimpse of the Vatican rooftops below.

After 320 steps find yourself on the viewing platform 448 feet above the basilica floor. From the highest point within the Vatican, admire breathtaking and panoramic views of the city, including the Vatican Gardens below.

Looking into the distance, you can also marvel at the monuments of ancient Rome, including the Colosseum and the Pantheon. The only point above you is the cross containing the timbers from the True Cross. When you leave the dome there is no need to line up again to get inside the basilica, the stairs bring you directly down to the basilica floor so you can avoid the long lines which you’ll have seen growing across St. Peter’s Square from the top.

With your guide, navigate through the basilica, admiring the array of statues, chapels, and pilgrim sites located here, before descending to the underground crypts. Here, you can see where hundreds of popes and members of royalty have been buried since the 11th century.

  • Entrance into St. Peter’s Dome
  • Entrance into St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Entrance into Crypts with Pope’s tombs
  • Expert, English-speaking tour guide
  • Headsets where appropriate, so you can always hear your guide
  • Small groups of 25 people or less
  • Tips (optional)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and beverages
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask
  • All participants are required to bring and wear FFP2 masks. Blue surgical masks will not be accepted

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Piazza della Città Leonina, near the arches, where the square meets via di Porta Angelica. Facing the arches, our meeting point is located at the corner of the square, on the left-hand side, next to the kiosk.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes

Not allowed

  • Shorts
  • Weapons or sharp objects
  • Luggage or large bags
  • Short skirts
  • Sleeveless shirts
  • Unaccompanied minors

Know before you go

  • All visitors must pass through airport-style security, during high season the wait at security may be up to 30 minutes
  • The dome’s elevator takes you to the first terrace, to climb to the top of the dome you will have to use the stairs (320 steps)
  • Please allow yourself approximately 20 extra minutes if you wish to climb up to the dome
  • This tour is not suitable for those who suffer from claustrophobia and/or vertigo, heart or other serious medical conditions
  • Government-imposed COVID restrictions for entering countries and venues (e.g. booster shot, negative COVID test, vaccine certificate with a QR code…) may change with little notice. It is the responsibility of all visitors to ensure they check the official travel advice on the government websites and comply with each country’s requirements
  • City Wonders will not be held responsible for refused access to museums and tourist attractions and no refund will be due
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.4 /5

based on 522 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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A nice tour for the heat of the day due to us having to gather at 8am. Because of this we were not only ahead of the heat but also the long queues. From the tower you have a great view over Rome and you can already see other sights. It is a pity that the security in the crypt thought that we had to go through as a group and therefore did not get the chance to look around extensively. Fortunately, the guide had already explained a few things before entering the crypt, so that we knew what we were seeing and what to look out for.

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July 23, 2022

Chiara was an amazing, knowledgeable, and brilliant guide. She walked us through the history of St. Peter’s Basilica and the crypts below, provided well-known and little known facts, and most importantly, she provided thought provoking conversation all while staying on schedule. There wasn’t a feeling of being rushed either which is a feat on tours like these. It’s not an easy job making ppl feel like they’ve learned something, seen everything while being charming and dealing with obnoxious wanna-be tour guides all while keeping the group together. Oh! I didn’t mention she’s amazing with kids. There wasn’t a question she didn’t have an answer to. I never had a guide that inspired me enough to take notes on my phone to research later and find out more about a subject I did not have much interest in before. CHIARA IS THE BEST GUIDE I’ve had on my month-long vacation. Give her a raise or a promotion. She deserves it.

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July 17, 2022

The tour was fabulous. The tour was on time. Eddy the Guide was amazing. He explained exactly what he was going to do and followed it so everyone knew what to expect. St. Peter's Basillica is obviously awe inspiring and a bit overwhelming. But Eddy broke it down into manageable chunks of information. I would highly recommend this tour.

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July 16, 2022

Product ID: 278782