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St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro)
St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro)

St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro)

Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City, Italy

The Basics

St. Peter’s Dome is one of the most popular sights in Rome, so booking a skip-the-line St. Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) tour is essential to avoid waiting in long lines, especially in the busy summer months. Tours of the dome and basilica are also included in most Vatican tours, which typically include access to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican gardens. The entrance to the dome is at the portico of the basilica, and views are both internal over the basilica’s main altar and external over the city of Rome.

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St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
$31.12 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Exhilarating
Quiet informative if there could be a brochure that one would use later for reference. The guide was very knowledgeable, kudos to him.
John_O, Dec 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Rome

star-4
Good tour of St Peter, but could be organized better
Renate_P, Dec 2021
St Peter's Basilica Tour, with Grottoes & Dome Climb in a Group of Max.8 People
Informative guide, beautiful cathedral, great view at and from the cupola, but not well organized at meeting point and walk up to cupola.
star-5
Breathtaking experience with an excellent guide!
Flemming_B, Dec 2021
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
Catalina was an excellent guide with good sense of humour, thorough knowledge and enthusiasm. She made the tour very exciting and enjoyable. The final walk up the stairs to the dome was breathtaking in more than one way!
star-5
AMAZING !
Liliana_D, Dec 2021
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Very nice guide with great knowledge of the basilica and history as well. Learn a lot and highly recommend it
star-5
It is absolutely...
Elena_V, Nov 2021
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
It is absolutely necessary to visit the basilica with a guide, we spent an unforgettable hour with our excellent guide Carmella and the small group of 10 people. I’ll certainly will recommend this visit, good value for money.
star-5
Fabulous, helpful guide!
Angela_A, Oct 2021
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
Sarah was knowledgeable, anxious to answer all questions, so pleasant and thoughtful! I have been in St. Peter's Basilica before- with a great guide it was so much more enjoyable. The dome ascent was doable (I'm 70) and the view worth it. The afternoon ran a little later so stayed for Mass at 17:00. So gratifying and special!
star-5
Tom was a great tour...
Deirdre_O, Sep 2021
Skip-the-Line Vatican Sistine Chapel St Peter Basilica & Dome climb Private Tour
Tom was a great tour guide. Perhaps mention in directions that your guide will be holding up your surname at the meeting point. That would be helpful.
star-5
Vatican St petter Basilia
Gioconda_G, Oct 2021
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Amazing experience and espectacular place to visit. I will highly recommend this tour!! Beautiful country
star-5
A tour well worth taking
Jane_Y, Oct 2021
St Peter's Basilica Tour, with Grottoes & Dome Climb in a Group of Max.8 People
Grateful the tour happened with just 2 of us, with an excellent tour guide who was excellent... knowledgeable and patient with our constant photo taking. It is a tour well worth taking, to get a grasp of key historical and cultural facts. Our only comment is the tour description says skip the line. Surprisingly, that was not an issue to enter as lines were short. But at the end to climb the dome, we had to wait in a queue for about 20-25 minutes. This is not meant to be a big deal, but feel the description should indicate the dome climb queue is wait-in-line, so we could be prepared to wait. Otherwise, this is an excellent tour with an excellent guide, with good communication between the customer and local operator.
star-5
St. Peters Basillica
Julie_P, Oct 2021
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Amazing tour! The history behind all the art, the structures, the altar. Viator is has the best service and tours!
star-5
Vatican, Sistine Chapel and dome climb
Global530005, Jul 2019
Skip-the-Line Vatican Sistine Chapel St Peter Basilica & Dome climb Private Tour
This was a fantastic private tour. Francesco was a brilliant guide. He was engaging, interesting and entertaining. Keeping 3 teenagers captivated was a great skill!! We will not forget talking football on the dome climb which meant we hardly noticed the 300 or so steps to the top. He helped make it a truly unforgettable experience and can’t recommend it highly enough. Thank you Francesco.
star-5
Franco and tour are amazing
Sarah_M, Sep 2020
Ultimate St. Peter's Basilica Dome Climb and Tour with Papal Crypts
I booked this tour for myself and my other half. The tour says for up to 16 guests but I think due to the end of the pandemic it ended up being just the two of us and our guide Franco. We can not rate Franco high enough, he was friendly, knowledgable and very charismatic. You could tell he knows his stuff and was constantly giving great English references to help us understand the history of the Basillica. We both agree that he made the tour super fun and interesting too. The dome climb is SO worth the amount of steps, the views are great and Franco explained to us clearly what was to be expected from every different set of stairs along the way. We would 100% recommend this tour and want to give special thanks to Franco for being so amazing and making our trip to Rome unforgettable! Don’t hesitate to book this for friends and loved ones.
star-5
Unforgetable view from high above
Yvonne_R, Aug 2021
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
St. Peters Basilika, the view from high above, interesting explanation from our guide; very kind guide Fabio

Things to Know Before You Go

  • You must pass through a security check to access the dome—banned items include pocketknives, corkscrews, and umbrellas.

  • The dress code in the basilica and dome requires that shoulders and knees are covered.

  • The dome is partially accessible to wheelchair users. There is an elevator to the roof level (or you can climb the 320 steps), but only a spiral staircase provides access to the cupola at the highest point of the dome (another 200 steps).

  • Views are dizzying from the top of St. Peter’s Dome, so visiting the top is not recommended for anyone afraid of heights.

  • Kids especially enjoy the invigorating climb and views, so consider joining a small-group tour tailored to families if traveling with children.

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How to Get There

St. Peter’s Basilica is located on St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro) in Vatican City. The closest metro station is Ottaviano.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

The dome is open to the public daily. Early morning is the best time to visit, both to beat the crowds and to catch the optimal light for photographing the view.

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St. Peter’s Dome History

Like Rome, St. Peter’s Dome wasn’t built in a day. Work began on the basilica in 1506, initially overseen by Roman architect Donato Bramante and later passed on to successors such as Raphael and Bernini. Yet it was Michelangelo who took on the task of completing the dome, proposing a design based on those of previous architects. After his death, his assistants continued the work and, in the end, it was Giacomo della Porta and Domenico Fontana, under the appointment of Pope Sixtus V, who saw the completion of the dome in 1590.

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