St. Peter's Basilica Cupola

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St. Peter's Basilica Cupola: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rome: St. Peter's Basilica, Square and Grottoes Guided Tour

1. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica, Square and Grottoes Guided Tour

Embark on a guided tour of Rome to discover the history and the secrets of St. Peter's Basilica, the largest Basilica in the world. Admire the stunning architecture, famous artworks, and visit the Papal Grottoes. After meeting your guide, explore the wonders that fill the Basilica. Follow your guide as you discover the past of St. Peter’s Basilica and marvel at its grand interior, covered in gold and breathtaking colors. See the artworks that were created by Michelangelo, Bernini, and Bramante, a focal point for religion and a representative of the beauty of the Renaissance and Baroque eras. After visiting the Basilica, head to the Papal Grottoes, where the previous pontiffs were buried. Get indications to visit the St. Peter’s Dome on request at the end of the tour.

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St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

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

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. After heading back down to ground level, take a brief break before entering St. Peter's Basilica. This famous monument is a triumph of art and architecture, unmatched anywhere else in the world. This is where Bernini's sculptures and Michelangelo's art rise above holy papal tombs and the necropolis of St. Peter himself. 

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Vatican: Papal Audience Ticket and St. Peter's Basilica Tour

3. Vatican: Papal Audience Ticket and St. Peter's Basilica Tour

See the Pope himself on a special early-access visit to the Papal Audience ceremony and guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica. Receive your ticket for the Papal Audience from the staff at Piazza del Sant'Uffizio, just in front of St Peter's Square. Then watch the Pope make his way to the stage and join the weekly gathering which includes prayers, blessings, and a homily. After the audience, enjoy a guided tour of the iconic Basilica of St. Peter. As you tour the Renaissance-style church, with its famous dome and unrivaled architecture, see masterpieces like Michelangelo's Pietà and Bernini's Baldacchino. Choose an audio-guided tour of the Vatican Gardens and enjoy insightful commentary on an open bus.

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St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb and Papal Tombs

4. St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb and Papal Tombs

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, the magnificent Latin scripts, 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 learn all 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 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 over 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. When you leave the dome there is no need to line up again to get inside the basilica, as the stairs will bring you directly down to the basilica floor. With your guide, navigate through the basilica, admiring the array of statues, chapels, and pilgrim sites located here, before descending to the Papal Tombs. Here, you can see where hundreds of popes and members of royalty have been buried since the 11th century.

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Rome: Best of Rome All-Access Pass

5. Rome: Best of Rome All-Access Pass

Discover the Eternal City at your own pace with an all-access pass to the main monuments of Rome. Redeem your voucher at the office at your selected booking time and the staff will help you reserve all of your attractions. Visit St Peter’s Basilica at your own pace. Stroll through the striking aisles of the largest church in the world, admire Michelangelo's "Pieta", and the beautifully carved Bernini Pulpit. Take the stress out of your visit with accompanied entrance to each attraction. Encounter masterpieces of art in the corridors, courtyards, and galleries of the Vatican Museums. See Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and pay your respects to former popes at the site of their tombs. Journey back to the days of the Roman Empire with a ticket to the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Follow in the footsteps of Roman citizens at the Via Sacra and discover where the city was founded on Palatine Hill. Use your 72 hours unlimited public transport card to explore the city. Enrich your base option with the Vatican Gardens by minibus and discover the architectural wonders of the Vatican Gardens with a multi-lingual audioguide.

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Rome: Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

6. Rome: Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

Meet your expert Vatican guide by St. Peter's Square - a quick ascension by elevator later will carry you up to the top of the dome from where you can see all of Rome and far beyond Rome too. The views are absolutely spectacular. Back on terra firma you will tour the entirety of St. Peter's Basilica - this in itself is rare as most other Rome tour operators do not include it in their Vatican tours. Take a break before making the short walk to the comfortable customer center ahead of your second tour to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Genuine skip-the-line access means that you will be fast tracked to the artistic and archaeological masterpieces which make the Vatican Museums absolutely must-sees when in Rome.

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Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Early Morning Tour

7. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Early Morning Tour

Explore one of Rome's most visited sites away from the crowd and find out why it took almost 120 years to get it done. St.Peter's Basilica is the most prominent building in the Vatican City with a surface area enough to accommodate up to 60,000 visitors, its dome is a dominant feature of the skyline of Rome. The largest church in Christendom, and one of the holiest sites of Christianity and Catholic Tradition, it is traditionally the burial site of its titular, St. Peter, the first Bishop of Rome,the first Pope. As you enter Basilica your guide will walk you towards famous Bernini's Baldachin underneet which the tomb of St. Peter is located. For this reason, many Popes have, from the early years of the Church, been buried near Pope St. Peter in the necropolis beneath the Basilica which occasionlly can be visited as well. You will then continue towards another Masterpiece, famous Pieta di Michelangelo. An art historian tour guide will reveal you some of the most important facts about this unique sculture carved from a single slab of marble and commissioned by a french cardinal Jean de Billheres. Not to mention the door on the right side, famous Porta Santa, the holy door which is only opened once every twenty-five years. Save the best for the last, exclusive visit, to famous Vatican Grottoes positioned just below the Renaissance basilica and above Constantine’s 4th century basilica, the grottos contain chapels dedicated to various saints and tombs of kings, queens and popes, dating from the 10th century. This unique guided tour will end on St. Peter's Square a grandiose elliptical esplanade created in the mid seventeenth century by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The square is bordered by massive colonnades that symbolize outstretched arms. Bernini and his assistants sculpted the 140 statues of saints that grace the balustrades on the colonnades. The square is decorated with fountains and an Egyptian obelisk that was transported to Rome in 37 AD.

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Rome: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2 to 7 Attractions

8. Rome: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2 to 7 Attractions

Explore Rome at your own pace with the Go City Rome Explorer Pass. Choose from 2 to 7 attractions and tours from a list of over 35 activities including the Colosseum, a hop-on hop-off bus tour, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and more. Visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, join a mouth-watering tasting tour, enjoy an evening at the Opera, go bike riding among ancient Roman ruins, or eat like a local with an authentic Italian set menu lunch ─ the choice is yours. Save up to 35% off compared to buying individual tickets and enjoy a complimentary digital audio guide packed with attraction information and instructions on booking your visits. Enjoy the ease of a fully digital pass with maximum flexibility. You have 2 years from your purchase date to use your pass and then 60 days after you redeem your first attraction or tour. Choose activities as you go: there’s no need to pre-select attractions (some of the most popular activities may require reservations). To redeem, simply display your pass on your mobile device or print it at home. 

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Vatican: St.Peter's Basilica and Vatican Museums Guided Tour

9. Vatican: St.Peter's Basilica and Vatican Museums Guided Tour

Experience the highlights of Vatican City with this walking tour. Discover the treasures at the Vatican Museums with the help of a knowledgeable guide. Gaze up as the masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. View the tombs and relics in St. Peter’s Basilica. Meet your guide and make your way to to St. Peter’s Basilica which is thought to be located above the burial spot of St. Peter. Appreciate the architectural and artistic merit of this iconic church with the help of your informative guide. Continue to the Vatican Museum to see a massive collection of art spread throughout 54 galleries. Let your guide help you navigate through 7 kilometers of artistic treasures, including the Gallery of Maps and the Gallery of Tapestries. Finish with the Sistine Chapel which is home to Michelangelo’s incredible frescoes. See first-hand the artwork that earned Michelangelo his global legacy. Find out more about Michelangelo's life and work from your guide.

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Vatican City: VIP Vatican Experience

10. Vatican City: VIP Vatican Experience

Enrich your Vatican experience by joining this personal, semi-private tour where you can delve into the fabulous art and history that surrounds the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica. You will begin at the Vatican Museum, a labyrinthine complex featuring over 1000 rooms that cover four millennia. Those visiting unguided often find themselves dazzled by the work on display here – which can make it somewhat difficult to navigate. But this curated route through the museum packs in all the best bits. The next stop is the world-famous Sistine Chapel, best-known for its sprawling ceiling art painted by Michelangelo. The rules dictate silence upon entry to the chapel, which isn’t usually a problem – its sheer beauty leaves most speechless.

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Other Sightseeing Options in St. Peter's Basilica Cupola

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What people are saying about St. Peter's Basilica Cupola

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 913 reviews

Let me tell you about Rich….he was a fantastic guide had tons of information to share, knew the location well and to top it off he even shared some of skittles with me. The location itself was beyond beautiful. I wish I would’ve read up a little more just so I could’ve prepared myself for the right stairwell but nonetheless totally worth it!!

We just got our tickets for the papal audience at the entrance to the Vatican but no one showed us to a great seat, luckily we got there early we were able to be well seated and see the Pope up close. ! The following guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica was very nice! I recommend this activity to you!

Our guide was very personable, patient with the group, and she made sure that we were all comfortable to ask questions. After many tours with different guides, I can say she is one of the best.

our guide Carolina was very knowledgeable and very enthusiastic, amd also a great communicator. she encouraged questions and gave enough time to assimilate info, take photos, etc

Our guide was great he was knowledgeable and entertaining. Thank you city tours