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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
2369 Reviews
GetYourGuide Original
2369

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

See all tours & things to do in Vatican City

Top sights in Rome

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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 109,116 reviews

Well organised fast track entry into the Sistine Chapel

We visited the Vatican Museums, incl the Sistine Chapel, using Get Your Guide. It was a last minute booking after being advised by a friend to buy fast track tickets. Good job we did because the Queues were very long, and in the August heat would probably have resulted in us missing the whole thing. The meeting point was just outside the main entrance, and our guide was easily identifiable and was there on time. We only bought the fast track ticket, not the full guided tour which was also available. Our guide gained our group entrance to the museuems, gave us our tickets once inside, and then we walked round at our own pace. The Get Your Guide app was very easy to use, and held our purchase voucher electronically, although I also printed ours out as a backup. We may have paid a little more than we would have paid if we'd joined the long queue to pay on the door, but it was very, very worth it. Thanks for a great experience !

Fantastic place. A lot of beatifull masterpieces

Unfortunately the noise and crowd in Vatican Museum especially Sistine Chapell is more than annoying. Stuff screaming all over the place- go, do not stop. If so... how am I supposed to see anything. Waste of time. Seen something but did not feel anything amazing about and in that place.

our guide Barbara was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

Barbara guided our group. Her knowledge and insight made for an amazing experience. Only draw back was the temperature and sun. Even so she was very accommodating stopping along the 3hr tour for water and shade.

The tour was excellent, and the guide was amazing.

The guide was very well-informed, highly perceptive, and always smiling. The tour was well planned. It covers the most important parts of the museum (in the given timeframe), the Basilica, and the Chapel.

Guide was great. Crowds were horrible and made museum tour useless.

Five stars for guide. Negative stars to Vatican for allowing unmanageable number of tourists access to museum and Sistine Chapel in one hundred degree weather.

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