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Early Entry Vatican Museums: The Best of the Sistine Chapel

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Roma, Italy

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon3 hours 45 minutes  (Approx.)
iconOffered in: English

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Face masks provided for travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

See the Sistine Chapel without the crowds on this small-group tour of the Vatican Museum’s highlights and St. Peter’s Basilica (except Wednesdays, when the Basilica is closed due to papal audiences.) Tour the Sistine Chapel, get skip-the-line access to St. Peter’s Basilica, and learn about the Vatican’s fascinating art, history, and architecture, with a personal headset so you can hear every word of the guide's stories.
  • Early admission to the Vatican Museums
  • Get skip-the-Line access to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica
  • Guided tour with personal headsets
  • All entrance fees included
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Small group tour
Skip the line access to St Peter’s Basilica
Headsets
Expert English-speaking guide
Small group of 15 or less
Skip the line tickets for Vatican Museums
Gratuities
Hotel Pick-Up/Drop-Off

Departure Point

Bar L'Ottagona, Piazza del Risorgimento, 52, 00193 Roma RM, Italy

Return Details

St. Peter's Basilica, Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
Make your way to the Vatican Museums for an early morning start time, then walk straight into the Vatican Museums with your guide and small group, skipping the site’s long admission lines. The first stop of the day is the Sistine Chapel, where you have plenty of space and time to enjoy unobstructed views of Michelangelo’s frescoes.

After visiting the Sistine Chapel, continue through the Vatican Museums’ remaining galleries, staying one step ahead of the crowds throughout the morning. See the masterpiece artwork in the Raphael Rooms, the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and Sons, and other museum highlights.

Follow your guide back through the Sistine Chapel, then get skip-the-line admission to St. Peter’s Basilica, walking a special corridor into the remarkable building. See Michelangelo’s moving 'Pietá' sculpture and Bernini’s grandiose altar on a guided tour of the basilica. This tour concludes after the tour of St. Peter's Basilica, but you’re free to keep exploring St. Peter’s Basilica for as long as you want on your own.

Please note: On Wednesdays, the basilica is used for the Papal Audience, so tours feature an extended time in the museum spaces.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel wasn’t meant to be seen standing shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of other people. Beat the crowds by entering 45 minutes before the Chapel opens to the public and enjoy the incredible frescoes in relative peace.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Vatican Museums
After spending quality time with Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Chapel, your guide will lead you on a full tour of the Vatican Museums, stopping to see all the most important works. Since you have started early, you’ll stay one step ahead of the crowds in most galleries as you enjoy fantastic art like the Raphael Rooms, the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoon and Sons, and more.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
St. Peter's Square
Traveling in a small group with an expert local guide and with headsets for every guest, you’ll never have to worry about losing your group or missing some interesting piece of information - and there is a lot of interesting information. The Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica have never been more accessible.
Stop At:  
La Pieta
you’ll enjoy an hour-long tour of the immense Basilica, including stops at Michelangelo’s heart-wrenching Pietá and Bernini’s enormous Baldachin altar. Afterwards you’re free to explore the St. Peter’s for as long as you want.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
St. Peter's Basilica
You’ll enjoy an hour-long tour of the immense Basilica, including stops at Michelangelo’s heart-wrenching Pietá and Bernini’s enormous Baldachin altar. Afterwards you’re free to explore the St. Peter’s for as long as you want.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Walks of Italy
Walks of Italy
Stop At:  
Stanze di Raffaello
After spending quality time with Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Chapel, your guide will lead you on a full tour of the Vatican Museums, stopping to see all the most important works. Since you have started early, you’ll stay one step ahead of the crowds in most galleries as you enjoy fantastic art like the Raphael Rooms, the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoon and Sons, and more.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Due to Covid19, until the end of 2020, this tour will be amended to ensure your safety
  • Please note that the opening time of the Vatican Museums may vary, we will vary the tour start time accordingly.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Please note that St.Peter's may not be accessible. If this occurs during your tour we will spend more time inside the Museums & Chapel and your guide will give you a tour of the church from the outside.
  • While the Vatican Museums are equipped with elevators for wheelchair and stroller access, they are not conveniently located on the group tour route and only give access to specific sections of the Museums. We advise clients to contact Walks Customer Service Team to make further arrangements.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Please remember that the Sistine Chapel is a holy place, and attire must be appropriate for the visit. Both men and women are asked to wear clothing that covers at least the shoulders and knees.
  • Please ensure that all members of your party have a valid ID on them on the day of the visit. This is particularly important for guests who have qualified for child reduction.
  • Please note that guests may only carry small handbags inside the Vatican Museums. Larger backpacks and big pointy umbrellas etc must be left at the cloakroom. It is the responsibility of the guest to return to the Vatican Museums entrance to collect these after the tour.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Early Entry Vatican Museums: The Best of the Sistine Chapel?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
See all safety measures taken by Early Entry Vatican Museums: The Best of the Sistine Chapel.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Early Entry Vatican Museums: The Best of the Sistine Chapel?
A:
The policy on sanitization is:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
See all safety measures taken by Early Entry Vatican Museums: The Best of the Sistine Chapel.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Early Entry Vatican Museums: The Best of the Sistine Chapel?
A:
The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Early Entry Vatican Museums: The Best of the Sistine Chapel.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Early Entry Vatican Museums: The Best of the Sistine Chapel?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Early Entry Vatican Museums: The Best of the Sistine Chapel.

Traveler Tips


  • "Well worth getting up to get into the Sistine Chapel early before the crowds!" See review
  • "Please note that even though you skip the line, you still have to make line at Security." See review

Reviews

5.0
star-5
260 Reviews
5 stars
232
4 stars
17
3 stars
4
2 stars
4
1 star
3
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 260 reviews
star-5
25 people in church
steve
, Feb 2020
This trip we took in February was amazing. Not knowing our way around, we did wonder at having to get up at 5am to get across Rome to guarantee getting to the meeting point in time, but was soooo worth it. There were only 25 people with us in the Sistine Chapel, a precious thing for both us and Juliette, our amazing tour guide. (it's normally packed)
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Hi Steve, It is wonderful to learn that you enjoyed our Best of the Sistine Chapel tour with Juliette. Waking up early while on holidays is never ideal but so worth it to beat the crowds. Work so hard to ensure the success of our tours, and we are so glad it shows! We look forward to sharing another walk with you soon! The Walks Team
star-5
Excellent, highly recommend
lulusartshack
, Jan 2020
Highly recommend this tour. The early entry allowed us to visit the Sistine chapel and parts of the Vatican museum with lesser crowds. Our guide was awesome, funny, informative, did an amazing job of bringing historical figures and events to life.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Hi lulusartshack, Thank you so much for your kind review and recommendation! We think that our tours are a great way to explore the history and art of the Vatican, and all of our guides are fantastic company. We are very happy to hear that you had such a fun time with us, as that's what we always aim for! Thanks again for joining us during your stay, and we hope to walk with you again soon. The Walks Team
star-3
Mixed...
Tauchi1
, Oct 2019
The Vatican was marvelous. We liked our guide, but were most disappointed that he went so quickly he left half of his party behind the majority of the time. We could NOT HEAR what he was saying more than half of the time and could NOT SEE where he was. He said he had lost his flag and used a small size umbrella! Most of the time he held this at HEAD height. It was IMPOSSIBLE to find him.He asked us to stick together, but because of the pressing crowds on an unusual busy day, we COULD NOT keep up with him. Most disappointing was the fact he rarely checked on us. Just expected that we were nearby. So very disappointed to miss a great deal of what he had to say. For these reasons I rated it a disappointed three. The guide was the reason.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Hello Tauchi1, Thank you for taking the time to share your tour experience with us. We are terribly sorry to learn that you didn’t feel that your guide lived up to your expectations on this tour. We always advise our guides to set a comfortable during our tours, and we are sorry that this was not the case on this occasion. We have certainly taken your feedback on board, and we will ensure this does not happen again. We hope that you will consider touring with us again and we are certain you will not be disappointed! All the best, The Walks Team
star-5
Incredible experience
EuropeOE
, Oct 2019
My friend and I absolutely loved this tour! Our tour guide called herself Big Mumma. She was amazing, fun, easy to listen to and had heaps of information. If you don't have much time in Rome I would 100% recommend this early morning, skip the line tour to visit the Vatican. Even if you don't like art you will still love visiting here. Visiting early meant we were finished by lunch time and then we still had a half day to do other things. This city is beautiful and amazing. Make sure you wear good walking shoes and be prepared for lots of walking! Awesome tour!
star-5
Great Tour
cbbixby
, Sep 2019
I am not a group tour person, but this was definitely worth the time and fee. We got early entry into the Vatican museums, our tour was engaging and informed and it was a great experience. Highly recommended.
icon Response from Host , Sep 2019
Thank you for your kind recommendation! We're glad that you were able to enjoy your tour and appreciate the beauty and history of the Vatican with the help of your lovely, expert guide.
star-5
This tour gets my highest...
Ezequiel N
, Oct 2017
This tour gets my highest recommendation. I didn't know what to expect, but I was not disappointed at all, thanks in part to our tour guide...I wish I had gotten his name! Please note that even though you skip the line, you still have to make line at Security. However, our tour guide started the tour during this time and it went by so quickly. He gave us some background on the Sistine Chapel, so we didn't waste any time. Once we got into the Vatican, we went to the Sistine Chapel first, to avoid the crowds, and it worked out great! This worked even better in our favor because we got to go through it again on our way to the basilica! He explained everything so well and we went at a great pace. I can't say enough good things about this tour. The knowledge our tour guide had was impressive. Fantastic tour!
star-5
A fantastic experience. camilla was...
Shari D
, Sep 2017
A fantastic experience. camilla was an amazing knowledgable guide. Well worth getting up to get into the Sistine Chapel early before the crowds!
star-4
YOU WILL NOT ENTER THE SISTINE...
Ken A
, Aug 2017
YOU WILL NOT ENTER THE SISTINE CHAPEL BEFORE OPENING TIME!!! This tour company runs a number of tours that do go early, but the Viator tour starts far to late to get in on time. That said, we still got in early and got to skip the lines. Also, the tour guide was very good. Just don't expect to go in before opening time.
star-5
Everything about this tour was...
Mary K
, Jul 2017
Everything about this tour was excellent. Lougi was prompt, efficient and absolutely knowledgeable about the history. He got us right in to the most important areas so we could enjoy them without the crowds. The group size was small 8 which was perfect. The timing was also good - rushed when needed with plenty of time to discuss and explore when the timing was right. Would absolutely recommend - the early morning start is a plus - not hot and not yet full of people.
star-5
This tour was phenomenal! This tour...
Sabrina D
, Jul 2017
This tour was phenomenal! This tour is a great way to get into the Vatican a little earlier than the regular crowd, and trust me when I say you'll want to do that since lines are horrendous especially during peak season. Our tour guide Maria Teresa was so passionate and engaging. I highly recommend this tour!

Product code: 15693P43

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