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
1594 Reviews
GetYourGuide Original
1594

Immerse yourself in the Vatican's awe-inspiring art with no-wait access to the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, and more.

Vatican City: Tours & Tickets

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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

Overall rating
4.2 / 5
based on 104,898 reviews

Loved it! We really skipped the entire line and crowds and went in

This was a wonderful option with kids. This allows you to just skip the line, go right in and and see what you want-no tour guide. This was so important in the summer heat. With young kids, we opted to bypass a lot of the museum (the first half) and go into the Sistine Chapel... in order to get into the Sistine Chapel during the busy summer months, you still have to see a good portion of the museum anyway as you work your way on the path to the Sistine chapel. With this ticket, you aren’t with a tour so you don’t have to wait in a group... you can go at your pace. After the Sistine Chapel you can also go into St Peters Basilica-Free and open to just walk in before leaving Vatican City. Enjoy!

Carlotta was such an amazing tour guide!

It was extremely helpful that we booked this tour, otherwise we would have not thoroughly enjoyed the Sistine chapel and the rest of Vatican with the thick crowd starting to come in. Carlotta was very knowledgeable and experienced. If it wasn't for her we wouldn't have enjoyed Vatican! She was assertive which allowed us to see works of art that were heavily swarmed with spectators, but most of all, she was a lot of fun and made the tour very entertaining despite the amount of walking we did! I definitely recommend her!!!

A mind blowing exposure to more art than can possibly be comprehended

This was a very good tour of the Vatican's treasures. The guide, Adele, was knowledgeable, personable and kept us all together as a group. The meeting place was a little chaotic due to the sheer number of people milling around looking for their group. Perhaps some numbers on poles would help with identification. It was great to visit the mythical Sistine Chapel, although disappointingly some people there (not necessarily in our group) were incapable of keeping quiet as instructed by the staff.

It’s not really early access, you line up with everyone else.

Barbarina, our guid was absolutely wonderful. She showed so much enthusiasm and love for the history and displays at The Vatican it was palpable. The Vatican is worth a look and Barbarina certainly ensured you saw all the important areas and items. As mentioned above, we didn’t get early access which the blurb says, we lined up and watched the early access guys go through at 7:30. We had to wait for the 8sm start with everyone else

The most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.

Saint peters basilica is the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited my entire life. Truly spectacular. Depending on when you visit and overall amount of tourists the skip the line ticket may not be necessary. On the day I’ve visited it may have save me a little time but not a ton. I returned the next day and was able to pretty much walk right in without waiting in line. Either way visiting the Basilica is an absolute must.

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