Guided tour

St. Peter's Dome Climb, Basilica & Papal Tombs

Activity provider: When In Rome Tours

St. Peter's Dome Climb, Basilica & Papal Tombs

Activity provider: When In Rome Tours

From US$ 49 per person

Experience the majestic St. Peter's Basilica and climb the Dome with an expert guide.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details. Learn more
Duration 2 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
English, Spanish


  • Climb to the summit of Michelangelo's Dome
  • Join a comprehensive tour of St. Peter's Basilica
  • Visit the rarely accessed Papal Crypts and Papal Tombs
  • Learn from your professional art historian guide
Full description

By Roman law, no building in Rome can be higher than the top of the Dome at St Peter's Basilica. Join a guided tour of the incredible art and architecture in Rome.

See the city from the summit of Michelangelo's magnificent Dome, stretching to the blue Tyrrhenian Sea and green Castelli Romani hills. You will also see views of the entire Vatican City and gardens.  Meet your guide, who is an art historian, in St. Peter's Square and stroll across the piazza into the Vatican City. You climb begins, there are 551 steep steps in total, which is a bit more than most wish to tackle on foot.

Take the elevator part of the way up and just 171 steps remain. Climb at a leisurely pace and enjoy the journey 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. At this point, take as many photographs as you can because you are very high up and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Easy does it on the way down to terra firma. Take a brief break before entering St. Peter's Basilica, which is an absolute triumph of art and architecture that is unmatched anywhere else in the world.

This is where Bernini's sculptures and Michelangelo's art rise above holy papal tombs and the perceived necropolis of St. Peter himself. 

  • Tour guide
  • Entrance fees
  • Lift part of the way to the summit
    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

    Select participants and date



    Meeting point

    Meet your guide by the Tiare Fountain, just beneath Largo del Colonnato and in front of the pillars which run around Saint Peter's Square to begin your tour. Your guide will be holding a sign with the activity provider's logo. If you are facing St. Peter's Basilica, follow the pillars to the right until you arrive at the fountain.

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    Important information

    What to bring

    • Face mask or protective covering

    Not allowed

    • Shorts
    • Sleeveless shirts

    Know before you go

    • There is a strict dress code at the Vatican where both men and women must cover their shoulders and knees
    • On the days immediately surrounding religious holidays at the Vatican alterations to tours may be necessary due to partial closings of areas normally included in this tour. The tour of the Basilica itself will be extended if the Papal Tombs underneath St. Peter's Basilica are closed
    Customer reviews

    Overall rating

    4.8 /5

    based on 169 reviews

    Review summary

    • Guide
    • Value for money
    • Service
    • Organization

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    Star rating:

    Highly recommend this tour. Get it as early as possible because the lines could get long. Even though we started at 8:00am we still waited 20 minutes in a line to go through security. When we were done with our tour at 10:30 the wait time seemed like it would be a couple of hours. The guide was very well informed and provided a lot of useful information, but was a no nonsense type of person.

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    November 10, 2022

    It is a place that you should know yes or yes!! This is my second chance to visit it and I hadn't seen the dome. Truly impressive. It is wonderful to be able to see the mosaics, square by square. They just can't miss it. The only thing that I did not love was the guide. He was scolding us for taking photos and his explanation was like he was in a hurry. All the time he brought us information that does not highlight the eowwww of the Vatican!!

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    August 13, 2022

    Very good overall. The climb to the dome and the monuments are something exceptional. Unparalleled. There are no words. The guide was very good, except that as he had other excursions scheduled for after ours, he was going at full speed and his only concern was to finish ours as soon as possible to get on with the next one. But in general very good.

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    May 9, 2022

    Product ID: 205117