Guided tour

Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums Highlights Tour

4.3 / 5

3 reviews

Activity provider: The Tour Guy

Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums Highlights Tour

Activity provider: The Tour Guy

From US$ 93.81 per person

Enjoy pre-opening access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in Rome for a 3.5-hour tour before the arrival of the crowds. See masterpieces by Michelangelo, Raphael, and more in peace and quiet, and get an expert art narrative from a personal guide.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
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Duration 3.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Skip the ticket line
Live tour guide


  • Enjoy early morning access to the Sistine Chapel away from the crowds
  • Skip the long lines to St. Peter's Basilica
  • Discover the world's most impressive art collections in the Vatican Museums
  • See masterpieces by Michelangelo, Raphael, and more
  • Admire the longest corridor of the Vatican in the Gallery of Maps
Full description
Your expert guide will provide information about the chapel before entering, as it is prohibited to speak in this holy place. You'll have around 20 minutes to admire Michelangelo's masterpieces and really get a feel for where you are. After visiting the Sistine Chapel your local guide will take you back through the Vatican Museums to explore the Candelabra Gallery, Gallery of the Tapestries, Gallery of the Maps, the Raphael Rooms and Borgia Apartments before taking a second pass through the Sistine Chapel on your way to the Basilica of St. Peter. Admire beautiful works of art and hear all of the behind-the-scene stories about them. You'll see one of Raphael's most famous works of art, The School of Athens, while passing through the Raphael Rooms. This tour couldn't get any better with a perfect ending in St. Peter's Basilica. With this tour you can walk freely through a special door of the Sistine Chapel to get to St. Peter's Basilica, bypassing all the security lines along the way. Walk through the massive front entrance into what is considered the most opulent church in the world. Here, you will see some highlights with your guide such as the Baldicchino, La Pieta, the Statue of St. Peter, and other masterpieces. From St. Peter's Basilica you will be unable to return to the Vatican Museums. If you would like to spend more time inside the museums you will need to forgo the Basilica portion of the tour. Inform your guide at the beginning of the tour of your plans and remember to not go past the Sistine Chapel (connected to the museums) or else you wont be able to return to the museums. Instead, if you would like to explore St. Peter's Basilica longer after the tour is over, do not leave the enclosed area with the guide for photos in the piazza. The security line is long and re-entry on your own is not recommended.  On Wednesdays Only: If you take the Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour on a Wednesday, St. Peter's Basilica is substituted with a visit to the Pio-Clementino Museum and three of the most iconic statues in existence: the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons, and the Belvedere Torso. You'll also visit one of the biggest and oldest bathtubs you'll ever see - impossible to recreate, even today.
  • Admission to the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
  • Privileged before hours access
  • Accredited expert guide
  • Hotel pick-up & drop off
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All required protective equipment is provided
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • All participants are required to bring and wear FFP2 masks. Blue surgical masks will not be accepted

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Next to Caffé Vaticano (Viale Vaticano, 100), at the top of the big staircase.

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Important information

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Shorts
  • Luggage or large bags
  • Short skirts
  • Sleeveless shirts

Know before you go

  • It is advised to be at the meeting point 15 minutes before tour start time – if you are late, we cannot guarantee that we'll be able to reschedule you on another tour, or provide a refund
  • Along with other accredited tour operators of the Vatican, we have access to a special line to enter the museums. You will go with your expert guide in this security line between 7:30 and 7:45 AM (depending on the season). You will enter the museums shortly after the doors open for us at 8:00 AM
  • Knees and shoulders must be covered for certain parts of this tour
  • On Wednesdays, visits to the St. Peter's Basilica are not permitted due to the Papal Audience, as a result the tour will end inside the Vatican museums
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.3 /5

based on 3 reviews

Review summary

  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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Worth an early morning start

It was a little tricky finding the meetup place, the guide was standing at the corner of the steps kind of hidden from where the main line formed up. Additionally because the meetup time was early in the morning I made a trial subway run the day before. This helped. Once meetup occurred the tour went well, I really enjoyed it and appreciated being able to see the Chapel when it was not as crowded as later on. Enjoyed seeing the chapel after its been redone. I last took the museum tour in 1983 I think, when it was closed. Guide was very knowledgable and I enjoyed talking with her. Guide did not mention that access to the line to the top of the dome doesn't start to 1:30pm, but this worked out well too once I waited and got up there.

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May 9, 2019

Our guide was excellent!

Very knowledgeable guide - very worthwhile tour!

October 1, 2017

June 4, 2019

Product ID: 41447