Guided tour

Rome: Early Entry to the Vatican & The Sistine Chapel

4.8 / 5

40 reviews

Rome: Early Entry to the Vatican & The Sistine Chapel

From US$ 103.18 per person

Enter the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the general public and enjoy Michelangelo’s masterpieces in peace before embarking on a thorough guided tour of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
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Duration 225 minutes
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Live tour guide


  • Enter the Sistine Chapel 45 minutes before the general public to see the chapel at its best
  • Spend 3-hours exploring of the Vatican Museums seeing highlights including the Raphael Rooms
  • Enjoy skip-the-ticket-line access at the Vatican Museums & St Peter’s Basilica, saving your hours of waiting in line
  • Take a 1-hour guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica
Full description
Beat the crowds by entering 45 minutes before the Sistine Chapel opens to the public and enjoy the incredible frescoes in peace. After spending quality time with Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Chapel, your guide will lead you on a full tour of the Vatican Museums. Stop along the way 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. When you’ve covered the museums, you’ll enter the Sistine Chapel again, much more crowded now, and pass through a special corridor that lets you skip the ticket lines into St. Peter’s Basilica. Here, 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. Afterward, you’re free to explore St. Peter’s for as long as you want. 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 an 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. To ensure that you get inside the Vatican Museums before opening times this tour has been upgraded (until the 31st of December 2021) to include an exclusive breakfast experience on a beautiful museum terrace. Spend an hour enjoying the buffet before your guide whisks you to the Sistine Chapel, ahead of the crowds and fully fueled for the adventure ahead.
  • Skip-the-ticket-line tickets for Vatican Museums
  • Skip-the-ticket-line access to St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Breakfast experience on a beautiful museum terrace (until the 31st of October 2021)
  • Groups are a maximum of 15 people
  • Expert 5 star tour guide
  • Headsets
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pick-up/ drop-off
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All required protective equipment is provided
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • All participants who are over 12 years old must present one of the following: proof of full vaccination, proof of first vaccination administered at least 15 days ago, proof of a Covid-19 infection in the past 6 months, or a negative test taken no more than 48 hours before the activity starts
  • All participants must also bring a valid government-issued photo ID (e.g. passport, driver's license, etc)

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Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

At the Green Bar (called l'Ottagono) in Piazza del Risorgimento. Meeting Point Directions: meet just outside the Green Bar in the middle of Piazza del Risorgimento Square. This is the only bar/ cafè located on the square. The bar is on the side of the square towards via Crescensio - close to the tram stop number 19. The closest metro/ underground stop is Ottaviano.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Passport or ID card
  • Comfortable shoes

Not allowed

  • Shorts
  • Short skirts
  • Sleeveless shirts

Know before you go

  • The corridor between St Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel is still closed to the public due to Covid restrictions
  • Your guide will do their best to include the Basilica but the distance between the 2 sites without this access may mean this is not always possible, in which case, your guide will give you a full introduction to the Basilica from the outside
  • All visitors must pass through airport-style security. During high season the wait at security may be up to 30 minutes.
  • Clients are advised that St.Peter's Basilica may be closed during special celebrations/festivities. If this occurs during your visit, you will spend more time inside the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. Refunds cannot be provided in such a case.
  • All members of your party must carry a valid ID (particularly guests with reduced-price tickets due to age)
  • Guests may only carry small handbags inside the Vatican Museums. Larger backpacks and other items must be left in the cloakroom.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 40 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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The guided tour was very well organized, it was exhausting because the multitude of impressions simply overwhelmed you. The early admission is expressed a little confusing, as you are admitted before the opening of the museum, but then you get an extensive and otherwise very good breakfast in the Vatican, in order to finally start with the actual tour at the opening time. It is due to Corona that after the Musseum, as planned, the tour in St. Peter's Basilica could not be continued through a special entrance. From the museum exit along the Vatican wall to the cathedral and there again subjectively perceived long queuing for the security check, control of the completed Covi vaccination and temperature control for the second time. And that at 38 degrees in the shade. But apart from that, the tour is absolutely worth seeing

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August 17, 2021

Getting up early is definitely worth it! It is currently nowhere full due to the corona, but such a good and entertaining tour is simply inspiring. For us there was surprisingly a breakfast that was not mentioned in the program. An exciting glimpse into the Vatican. During the tour, you learn that it can't be more than a glimpse in just under 4 hours.

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July 13, 2021

This was a wonderful tour and a great way to experience the Vatican. We had a short wait in line with other groups until the group entry time was open, but the tour guide leveraged the time to provide us details about the Sistine Chapel (tour guides aren't allowed to talk to groups in the chapel, so any provided discussion needs to take place outside of the chapel). The tour walk through part of the museum before going to the chapel, but the early start still leaves the group with nearly private access to many of these areas. Our tour may have been 1 of 5 in the chapel at the same time - making it a truly enjoyable experience to readily roam and take in all it has to offer. Following the chapel, we re-walk through parts of the museum to complete the tour and then enter to the Basilica. The tour covered the highlights of the Basilica and left us time after the actual tour to revisit the Basilica for additional areas of interest, to include the crypt. Great tour!

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December 11, 2019

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Product ID: 78872