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Sistine Chapel
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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
3636 Reviews
GetYourGuide Original
3636

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.

Sistine Chapel: Tours & Tickets

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Highlights of the Sistine Chapel

When it comes to touring the Vatican City, the best is saved until last: the revered Sistine Chapel. A tour de force of art and architecture by the most famous Renaissance artists, it will dazzle you. Here’s a list of highlights.

Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Sistine Chapel Ceiling

The Sistine Chapel is Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Its ceiling is divided into nine scenes from the Book of Genesis, depicting the creation of the world from light to dark, sun to moon, Adam to Eve.

The Creation of Adam

The Creation of Adam

One of the most famous artworks of all time, the centerpiece of the ceiling is a fresco painting depicting God bringing Adam to life with his fingertips.

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

Michelangelo’s fresco depicting the Last Judgment can be seen above the altar. Interestingly, he started working on it 25 years after the ceiling, and it took four years to complete.

Southern Wall: Story of Moses

Southern Wall: Story of Moses

See scenes from Moses’s life, including his journey through Egypt, portrayed by the Renaissance greats: Botticelli, Perugino and Rosselli.

Northern Wall: Story of Jesus

Northern Wall: Story of Jesus

The wall to the right of the altar shows scenes from Jesus’s life according to the great Renaissance painters.

Our insider tips

Why Is the Sistine Chapel Important?

Starting in 1508, Michelangelo spent lonely years painting the chapel's ceiling and altar, transforming these walls into one of the great masterpieces. In the words of Goethe, "If you haven't seen the Sistine Chapel, it's impossible to have any idea of what one man is capable of doing." The walls will come to life as you step in!

What to Know

Don't wear shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless shirts without bringing a scarf or covering, as you will not be allowed in. Taking photographs is strictly prohibited in the chapel.

Can You Visit the Sistine Chapel on Its Own?

Located in Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums, so can only be entered through the Museum. Admission is included in the purchase of a ticket to the Vatican Museum. Beware of anyone trying to sell you just for the Sistine Chapel, it’s a scam.

Avoiding the Lines

Over 4.5 million visitors come to the Sistine Chapel per year, so it’s difficult to completely avoid a crowd. During the Pope’s address on Wednesday mornings it’s a bit quieter, as at lunchtimes. It’s a good idea to buy tickets online in advance, and a small guided group tour is a great way to skip the line.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The Sistine Chapel is closed on Sundays and Catholic holidays. Opening hours can be erratic, so check online to avoid disappointment.
  • Is it expensive?
    €17 general entry
  • Will I need a guide?
    If you want to learn more about the amazing pieces of art, sure! There are tickets for small group tours, as well as a chance to make the Sistine Chapel part of your Rome City Pass.
  • How to get there
    The Vatican City is located inside of Rome. Bus 49 will get you there. Alternatively, take the red metro line to Cipro station.
  • Additional information

    • Beware of pickpockets, especially on crowded public transport. Hold onto your bags, and keep valuables out of sight.

    • Be sure to bring a cardigan or other long-sleeved garment to cover up your arms when entering the Sistine Chapel.

What people are saying about Sistine Chapel

Overall rating
4.3 / 5
based on 94,416 reviews

Having the right expectations is important...

Is this worth it? Yes. Is it going to blow your mind? Yes. So do I recommend it overall? Yes, for sure. However, it’s just important that you know this tour is like lightning speed version overall. You definitely save precious time with the skip the line options but know you will still have to wait at various times for various things. Also, you will have a chunk of time where you’ll stand outside and they’ll just talk at you describing certain things because you can’t talk in the Sistine chapel. There is SO much to see at the Vatican museums and you’ll probably see about 1/3 of it. Then at the end you get dropped off in St Peters Basilica and find your own way from there, which is great if you have time to wander around. The tour guide was very helpful and deepened our appreciate for the art and the experience, so I recommend a tour guide for sure. Especially if you can afford a private tour guide! So, definitely a good experience, just have the proper expectations going into it!

Good opportunity to avoid the big queues

Very helpful guide, who took us round the main collections in the Vatican museum and then into the superb Sistine Chapel. It wasn't his fault that the Pope had decided to induct new cardinals that day so we couldn't go through to St Peter's basilica and had to queue another day! Be warned - security at St Peter's was tight: we inadvertently left a picnic knife in our rucsac and had to give it up or not get in!

The tour was really good but was unable to get pictures as so busy.

The tour guide was excellent. There was lots of information. It took a while before we actually left to go to the places and then it was so busy inside that we were unable to take the time to look at the things or get pictures. There was so many people inside the chapel and the museum that it was becoming dangerous and a health and safety matter due to many people pushing and getting hurt.

This is the way to visit the Sistine Chapel

We were the first people into the Sistine Chapel on the day we visited. Within 15 minutes it was busy, but by then we'd had time to soak it up without the crowd. We were leaving St Peter's Basilica before 10am to wander round other parts of Rome, passing long queues waiting to go in. This is not an easy option and it's not cheap, but it is well worth doing.

The tour was made by the excellence of our guide, Lindy.

Thanks Lindy, the best guide we have had by far. Not only did you count numbers and check we were all there, you rotated us around so all could look at the objects and take pics. You had a sense of humour, excellent English and a good knowledge of your subject. Superb job. Thanks a million.

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