Guided tour

Vatican City: Basilica, Dome, & Papal Tombs Early Bird Tour

4.5 / 5

26 reviews

Activity provider: Loving Rome

Vatican City: Basilica, Dome, & Papal Tombs Early Bird Tour

Activity provider: Loving Rome
Likely to sell out

From US$ 40.17 per person

Likely to sell out

Discover the rich history of the Vatican City on this guided walking tour. Explore St. Peter’s Square, climb the Basilica's iconic dome, view its innermost section and the Papal Tombs, and more.

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 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Skip the ticket line
Live tour guide
Audio guide included


  • Admire the stunning frescoes, statues and mosaics of the Basilica and its square
  • Set foot on the summit of the famous Michelangelo’s Dome
  • Explore the history behind the Vatican Grottoes and Papal Tombs
  • Get a fast entry to the St. Peter's Basilica with our local guide
Full description

Uncover the history, art, and architecture of the Vatican City on this guided walking tour. Visit sites like St. Peter’s Square and Basilica in the morning light before the crowds arrive for the day. 

Meet your guide in Piazza della Città Leonina and dive into the ancient history of the Vatican City. Admire the statuesque columns and majestic pilasters in St. Peter’s Square. Walk through the walk close to the 1st balcony, decorated with amazing frescoes.

Enter the Basilica with skip-the-line access and reach the summit of the Dome after 320 steps, where you are rewarded for the climb with views of the city center. Have some free time to enjoy views of monuments like the Roman Colosseum and Pantheon.

Be captivated by the Basilica's interiors which are filled with masterpieces from masters like Bernini and Michelangelo. See pieces from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Follow your guide towards the Vatican’s historic Grottoes to get a closer look of the rooms, chapels, and the papal tombs, where many Popes, royals, and other dignitaries are laid to rest.

  • Fast entry to the St. Peter’s Basilica and Square
  • Access to the St. Peter’s Dome 1st level and summit
  • Navigate around the Papal Tombs
  • Expert English speaking guide
  • Headsets when needed
  • Small groups of 15 person
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks
  • Tips
Not suitable for
  • People with claustrophobia
  • People with heart problems
  • Wheelchair users
  • People with vertigo
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Please arrive at the meeting point 15 minutes before the activity starts. The meeting point is at Piazza della Città Leonina, near the arches, where the square meets via di Porta Angelica. Our meeting point is located at the corner of the square, on the left-hand side, next to the kiosk. Our guide will be meeting you there holding a LOVING ROME SIGN.

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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

Know before you go

  • All visitors must pass through airport-style security check before entering the Basilica, during high season the waiting time may be up to 30 minutes
  • The elevator's Dome only takes you to the first balcony, to climb up to the main Dome you will have to use the stairs (320 steps) which require 20 extra minutes
  • The Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Vatican Necropoli are not part of this tour
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.5 /5

based on 26 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money

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Good info from the guide. Early bird saves you a few hours standing in line. Stairs to the top are really narrow and in some parts more difficult to access and you have to be in good shape. Unfortunately the graves don't open until 10 o'clock so you can wait but without a guide

June 9, 2022

July 24, 2022

The organization and communication were great! I'm very satisfied, that's why I've booked here for the second time. Highly recommended.

July 19, 2022

Product ID: 415708