Vatican City
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skiptheline vatican sistine chapel st. peter’s tour

Skip-the-Line Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Tour

Duration: 2.5 hours
421 Reviews
GetYourGuide Original
421

Get more time to immerse yourself in the Vatican's awe-inspiring art with no-wait access to the museums and basilicas. Your expert guide will bring…

Vatican City: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in Vatican City

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What is the Vatican City?

Vatican City – everyone’s heard about it, but what is it exactly? Is it a part of Rome, is it independent, are only priests allowed in? There are a lot of mysteries and misconceptions surrounding Vatican City, so here are 5 fascinating facts.

The Smallest Country in the World

The Smallest Country in the World

With a tiny population of 842 and an area of 110 acres (roughly an eighth of New York’s Central Park), Vatican City is the world's smallest independent nation-state.

An Economy without Trade or Taxes

An Economy without Trade or Taxes

As a completely non-commercial economy, all of Vatican City’s money comes from donations, museum admission fees and the sale of postage stamps, books and tourist souvenirs.

A Veritable Culture Treasure Trove

A Veritable Culture Treasure Trove

Featuring the world-famous Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City is a highly popular tourist destination, attracting over 4 million visitors yearly.

The Pope Has a Secret Escape Tunnel
Photo: Raja Patnaik @wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Pope Has a Secret Escape Tunnel

In 1277, a secret passageway was built between the Vatican City and the nearby fortified castle Castel Sant’Angelo, providing an escape route for the pope if the city was attacked.

Those are Not Harlequins

Those are Not Harlequins

The colorfully dressed men standing in front of the city’s entrances are the famous Swiss Guards. Former mercenaries, they are now the permanent de facto army of Vatican City.

Our insider tips

Best Time of Year to Visit

Although Vatican City is extremely popular with tourists all year around, if you’re looking for a quieter visit, your best bet is during the low season between November and February.

Give Yourself Enough Time

There is so much to see in Vatican City, make sure you’re not pressed for time. Importantly, if you want to see the Sistine Chapel, it’s essential that you enter the Vatican Museums before 3:00 PM so you can reach the chapel before it closes.

Book a Tour?

Although there is more than enough to take in as an individual visitor, those who want to learn about Vatican City’s rich history would benefit from one of the many excellent tours offered. There are public as well as private tours. Note that latter need to be booked well in advance.

See the Pope

You’re unlikely to run into the pope on your visit to Vatican City. However, every Wednesday the pope holds a public audience on St. Peter’s Square in the summer and in the Audience Hall during winter. The audience starts at 10:30 AM, but most visitors arrive earlier to secure a good seat. Security opens between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    365 days a year!
  • Is it expensive?
    Free to look at from the outside. Admission tickets vary.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Not compulsory, but recommended.
  • How to get there
    Taxi, bus, metro, tram or by foot from Rome. Look here for more detailed directions.
  • Additional information

    • Large bags are not allowed in the museums, so pack light!

    • There is often no air conditioning in the museums so make sure to dress accordingly and bring a bottle of water.

What people are saying about Vatican City

A very interesting tour, good value for money.

Sticky start as our tour was reorganised to a different time. However once we joined with the next available, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Out guide was very knowledgeable and personable.

Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel & Saint Peter's Guided Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 16/02/2019

What a treat when the guide loves the things she was talking about

Georgia, our guide, was fascinating. She clearly loved Rome, Italy, the Vatican and all things she talked about. She explained the significance of the things she talked about, gave us the the background and the placement in time. Clearly, she had a background of an art historian. Mille Grazie, Georgia.

It was a very unique experience, with music, acting, dance, and lights

I would recommend going to this if you haven't been to one of these experiences before! I loved that we learned about Michelangelo, and the history of how his most famous works came to be. It was a little pricey, but I can't compare this to any other show I've gone here in Rome, since it's the only one I've been to. I used an audio translator for the show so I could hear what they were saying in English, and it worked well. I returned it to the desk after the show since they hold an ID so that you will return.

The Last Judgement: A Musical and Visual Spectacle Reviewed by jessica, 10/02/2019

Amazing experience, don’t miss this opportunity

Our guide was fantastic, so informative. We walked at a pace where I didn’t feel rushed nor did we dawdle and felt bored.

Vatican City: Skip-the-Line Early Access Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 10/02/2019

Great tour of Vatican Museum and St Peter's Basilica.

Maximus was very knowledgeable about the Vatican Museum and St Peter's square! Tour was a bit long in the Museum portion, but I had three children 7, 11, 13 and they got a bit bored. But, the tour itself was wonderful! Took us to all the great places, stopped long enough to see the best sites, gave us time to look around and take photos, was overall a wonderful experience!!

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