Guided tour

Vatican City: Basilica, Dome, & Papal Tombs Early Bird Tour

4.2 / 5

17 reviews

Activity provider: Loving Rome

Vatican City: Basilica, Dome, & Papal Tombs Early Bird Tour

Activity provider: Loving Rome
Likely to sell out
Likely to sell out

From US$ 40.89 per person

Discover the rich history of Vatican City on this early bird guided tour. Explore St. Peter’s Square, climb the Basilica's iconic dome, view its innermost section and the Papal Tombs, and more.

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
Reserve now & pay later
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Duration 2 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Skip the ticket line
Live tour guide
Audio guide included


  • Admire the stunning frescoes, statues and mosaics of the Basilica and its square.
  • Set foot on the summit of the famous Michelangelo’s Dome
  • Explore the history behind the Vatican Grottoes and Papal Tombs
  • Get a fast entry to the St. Peter's Basilica with our local guide
Full description
Be mesmerized by the ancient history of the Vatican City with our local guide, including the marvelous St. Peter’s Square, the heart of the Vatican city, filled with statuesque columns and majestic pilasters. Our guide will walk you through the 1st balcony, decorated with amazing frescoes and works of art at a close distance up until you reach the summit of the Dome after 320 steps, where a panoramic view awaits you over the city centre. Have some free time to enjoy and take photographs at your own pace, observing from a wide-range view of the Dome’s summit, overlooking to some of the ancient monuments including the Roman Colosseum and Pantheon. There’s no need to line up again as the guide escorts you back to the Basilica with an instant access. Be captivated by the interiors filled with masterpieces of the illustrious Bernini and Michelangelo and the remains from the Renaissance and Baroque period. As the tour ends, follow your guide towards the Vatican’s historic Grottoes to get a closer look of the rooms, chapels and the papal tombs, where many Popes, royalties and other dignitaries are laid to rest.
  • Fast entry to the St. Peter’s Basilica and Square
  • Access to the St. Peter’s Dome 1st level and summit
  • Navigate around the Papal Tombs
  • Expert English speaking guide
  • Headsets when needed
  • Small groups of 15 person
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks
  • Tips
Not suitable for
  • People with claustrophobia
  • People with heart problems
  • Wheelchair users
  • People with vertigo
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Please arrive at the meeting point 15 minutes before the activity starts. The meeting point is at Piazza della Città Leonina, near the arches, where the square meets via di Porta Angelica. Our meeting point is located at the corner of the square, on the left-hand side, next to the kiosk. Our guide will be meeting you there holding a LOVING ROME SIGN.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes

Not allowed

  • Shorts
  • Weapons or sharp objects
  • Luggage or large bags
  • Short skirts
  • Sleeveless shirts

Know before you go

  • All visitors must pass through airport-style security check before entering the Basilica, during high season the waiting time may be up to 30 minutes
  • The elevator's Dome only takes you to the first balcony, to climb up to the main Dome you will have to use the stairs (320 steps) which require 20 extra minutes
  • The Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Vatican Necropoli are not part of this tour
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.2 /5

based on 17 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money

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Good info from the guide. Early bird saves you a few hours standing in line. Stairs to the top are really narrow and in some parts more difficult to access and you have to be in good shape. Unfortunately the graves don't open until 10 o'clock so you can wait but without a guide

June 9, 2022

Great experience and great knowledge

June 27, 2022

The time is tough, but awesome!! You only really notice it when you come out again! Our guide was very knowledgeable & charming!

June 10, 2022

Product ID: 415708