Apostolic Palace

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Apostolic Palace: Our most recommended tours and activities

Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

1. Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

Take a stirring journey through art and religious history with skip-the-ticket-line entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Avoid the long ticket lines and then enjoy your visit at your own pace.  Wander through the Greek Cross Gallery to see elaborately-carved sarcophagi that might just contain the earthly remains of some of antiquity's famous kings and queens. Peek at the Cabinet of the Masks, or tour the Sala degli Animali to see a virtual menagerie of fantastic beasts, real and imagined. Walk the Upper Galleries, including the Gallery of Maps, to see how cartographers depicted the world through the ages. See masterpieces by Renaissance masters in the Raphael Rooms, and rest for a while in the Borgia Apartments. Then, it’s time to marvel at Michelangelo’s exquisite Sistine Chapel, the crown jewel of the Vatican, and perhaps even of all the world’s art treasures.

Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

2. Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

Skip the ticket line and gain fast access to both the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Once inside, meet your guide who will conduct your tour and reveal the intriguing story behind the seminal design. Enter the Pio Clementino Museum and get up close to the astonishing classical Roman and Greek sculptures, before walking through to the Gallery of the Candelabras which is populated with majestic marble structures throughout. Continue on to see the 40 maps frescoed on the walls of the Gallery of the Geographical Maps, the hanging renaissance artworks at Gallery of the Tapestries, and the four Raphael Rooms. Finally, marvel at Michelangelo's fresco "The Creation of Adam" in the Sistine Chapel.

Vatican City: Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Gardens Tour

3. Vatican City: Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Gardens Tour

See Vatican City's top attractions on a sightseeing tour where you don't have to wait in line. Discover the treasures of the Vatican Museums with a guide or on your own. Take in the beauty of the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's incredible artworks. Explore the Vatican Gardens with an audio guide. Meet near the Vatican Museums and enjoy fast-track access to Europe's most renowned art collection. Dive into the art world with an expert guide or explore on your own, depending on the option chosen. Take in the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, and more. Admire the impressive collection of classic sculptures at the Pio Clementino Museum. Wander the halls of the ornate and elaborate papal apartments, including the Raphael Rooms and Borgia Apartments. Finally, step into the world of Michelangelo as you uncover the secrets of the Sistine Chapel. Continue to the Gardens of Vatican City and receive your audio guide. Learn about the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Apostolic Palace, and the Governor's Palace. Admire St. Peter's Basilica from a unique perspective and immerse yourself in this peaceful hideaway.

Castel Gandolfo: Pope's Summer Residence Tour

4. Castel Gandolfo: Pope's Summer Residence Tour

Visit the summer residence of the pope at Castel Gandolfo. Wander through its stunning gardens, browse the Apostolic Palace museum exhibition, and learn about the pope, past and present. Meet your guide at the entrance of the villas and then board a bus to visit the gardens of the pope's summer residence. As you go through the gardens, learn interesting facts and see where the library is located. Hear about the library's catalogue including works by Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton. Make stops at some of the most emblematic points such as La Villa Barberini. Also see Villa Cybo, a garden full of marble statues and fountains of great artistic value. Then, visit the Apostolic Palace, also known as the Papal Palace and now serves as a museum. In the museum, see different pope-mobiles and discover the many aspects of the pope's day-to-day life. During the course of your tour hear about the popes who have passed at the residence, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's time here after his resignation, and many other stories.

Rome: Papal Summer Residence Half-Day Trip

5. Rome: Papal Summer Residence Half-Day Trip

Take a tour of the Apostolic Palace, stroll through the Barberini Gardens, and walk in the footsteps of the pope himself on this thrilling half-day trip. After meeting your host near Termini Station, a train will take you to Castel Gandolfo, where you’ll transfer to a comfortable open-roofed bus. Enjoy the Barberini Gardens for an hour while the audio guide explains the interesting details of the area. You’ll be fascinated by the sense of history and grandeur as you pass through this historical must-see. Take in the breathtaking views of the picturesque Lake Albano – and be sure to take lots of photos. From there, you’ll step into the impressive Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope. Take your time to enjoy this world of pure artistic beauty. Visit the luxurious papal apartments, see the gallery of the papal portraits, the extensive Vatican Library, and much more!  An absolute must-do for any visitor to the area.

Castel Gandolfo: Pope’s Private Palaces & Barberini Gardens

6. Castel Gandolfo: Pope’s Private Palaces & Barberini Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to the tranquil Castel Gandolfo where you can follow in the pope’s footsteps. Start off at the Apostolic Palace, pick up your complimentary audio guide, and get ready for a sneak peek into the lives of the popes at their traditional vacation retreat.  Experience the intricate work of the clergy up close as you pass by historical papal gowns and the pope’s portable throne. Explore the pope’s private apartment and enjoy sweeping panoramic views from his hill-top home. Next, visit the Barberini Gardens. Explore the luxurious gardens from the comfort of an air-conditioned minibus. Uncover the history of this unique site with a complimentary audio guide, available in a multitude of languages.

Rome: Private Vatican Tour

7. Rome: Private Vatican Tour

This private Vatican Tour is a unique experience during your stay in Rome which is will prove useful in improving your knowledge of the Eternal City in a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. Among the many treasures that you will discover are the Gallery of Tapestries and the Gallery of Maps. The first gallery is a collection of Flemish tapestries which were formed in Brussels on Raphael’s drawings, whereas the second is an extraordinary maps representation of the Italian regions. Following these rooms, your tour continues with you walking through the Raphael’s Rooms, the four Papal rooms famous for the frescoes of Raphael, the most important artist of the Renaissance. You will also visit the Borgia Apartments, a suite of rooms located in the Apostolic Palace designated for the personal use of Pope Alexander VI which are characterized by wonderful paintings and frescoes. Finally, your amazing tour of the Vatican Museums ends inside the magnificent Sistine Chapel, where it is possible to admire the famous frescoes by Michelangelo, before you reach the Vatican Library which is full of ancient and precious original manuscripts.

Pope’s Summer Residence Tour with Lunch

8. Pope’s Summer Residence Tour with Lunch

Enjoy a unique half-day tour from Rome that will take you to the lovely town of Castel Gandolfo where you will visit the Papal Palace and its stunning landscaped gardens. Castel Gandolfo, built on the site of the legendary ancient settlement of Alba Longa, is one of Italy’s most picturesque towns and has been home to the Papal summer retreat since 1596. Situated in the Regional Park of the Castelli Romani, it enjoys splendid views over the beautiful Lake Albano, which you will be able to admire from the grounds of the Apostolic Palace. On this tour, you will be able to explore the up-to-now hidden gems of this glorious private residence with an audio-guide in the language of your choice. Following this, you will have the opportunity to see the gorgeously manicured Barberini Gardens and the impressive ruins of Emperor Domitian’s villa, before enjoying a lunch prepared with fresh produce from the palace farm! If you have not already done so, you will have the chance to add a tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica with your fantastic guide onto your experience, in which case, upon your return to Rome, you will be dropped off right outside the Vatican.

From Rome: Pope's Residence and Vatican Museum Guided Tour

9. From Rome: Pope's Residence and Vatican Museum Guided Tour

Discover the wonders of the Vatican Museums and the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo with skip-the-line entry privileges. Enjoy private guided tours of the pope's residence and the Barberini Gardens before visiting the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Start your journey in the center of Rome where you will board a private air-conditioned coach heading to Castel Gandolfo in the verdant Alban Hills. Your guide will fill you in on the history of this long-hidden region. On arrival, enter the Papal Residence for a private tour that includes the pope’s own bedroom, study, and chapel. Hear insights into the lives and traditions of popes of the past and present as well as the residence’s role as a sanctuary for refugees during World War II. Look out to the sea from the Papal Terrace as the popes have since the 17th century. Then, continue for a stroll around the Barberini Gardens, whose balance of Imperial Roman and classical influences surrounds the whole Renaissance complex in tranquil beauty. After some free time for lunch, the next stop is the Vatican. Bypassing the hours-long lines with skip-the-line access, you'll enter the Vatican Museums with your guide. As you move through the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Candelabra, and the Raphael Rooms, your guide will share the stories behind this incredible collection of art and artifacts, including stories about the items most visitors miss. Later, head to the Sistine Chapel and find yourself in awe as you step into this hushed and sacred space. With the aid of photographs and your guide’s knowledge, you’ll know exactly what to look out for when you experience the incredible detail of the chapel for yourself.

Vatican City: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Private 3-Hour Tour

10. Vatican City: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Private 3-Hour Tour

Skip the ticket line on a private 3-hour Vatican tour for up to 2 persons. Your private guide will lead you through the vast collections of the Vatican Museums, highlighting the most important masterpieces. Experience centuries of art, as your knowledgeable guide recounts the intriguing stories behind the masterpieces you see, and tells how they ended up at the Vatican. You’ll marvel at the astonishing Sistine Chapel, and you’re sure to be in awe as you stand and take in the magnificence of Michelangelo's frescoes that surround you! The tour continues with a visit to St. Peter’s, the largest and most important basilica in the Roman Catholic world. You’ll be amazed by the architecture and the works of art inside the church – including Michelangelo's Pietà. When you exit the basilica, you’ll find yourself in spectacular St. Peter’s Square, a masterpiece designed by Bernini.

Other Sightseeing Options in Apostolic Palace

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What people are saying about Apostolic Palace

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 36,592 reviews

The info the guide was giving us all along the way was really helpful. Her pace was slow enough so that everybody could follow. She answered questions . She was friendly.

Well marked at front entrance and absolutely no line (when the regular line wrapped around for over a block)!

If you go with your partner, hire a single audio guide. It doesn't make sense to pay for two.

The guide was brilliant, and gave us so much information , amazing day , great value for money

Very easy process to get in! I definitely recommend it