8:00am Vatican, Sistine Chapel, & St. Peter's Basilica Tour

A Bespoke Vatican Experience for Those Who Can Appreciate a Private Guide and Less Crowds

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 26 Reviews · 3.50h custom · Vatican, Italy

Experience the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica with a private guide with expertise in art history. Let us create a memorable experience for you as your knowledgeable guide tells you insightful anecdotes that will make you laugh and be in awe at the amazing history that this museum possesses. Ask all the questions you want. Admission Included.

Tour Details
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Vatican Museums
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Gallery of the Candelabra
  • Gallery of the Tapestries
  • Borgia Apartments
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Baldacchino by Bernini
  • La Pietà by Michelangelo
  • MIchelangelo's Masterpiece

*The Vatican has temporarily suspended early access entrance for All Tour Companies. That said, we have adjusted our prices and times to reflect this change so you can book this tour with confidence. Customers have been overwhelmingly satisfied with the lack of crowds!

Our Pre-Opening Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Private Tour starts at 7:30 a.m. and we enter the Vatican Museums just after 8 a.m (an hour earlier than general public access). Witness the jaw-dropping Sistine Chapel before the masses stream in. As one of our most popular Rome & Vatican City tours, this 3.5-hour Vatican tour includes:

  • A memorable experience with insightful anecdotes

  • Skip the line Vatican tickets

  • 7:30 a.m. start for entry shortly after 8 a.m.

  • A Private, English-speaking guide

  • Skip the line entrance to St. Peter's Basilica (except on Wednesdays)

The Sistine Chapel

One of the top things to do in Vatican City is visiting the Sistine Chapel. Therefore after your skip-the-line access, your first stop is a visit to the Sistine Chapel before it’s open to the general public. As one of Michelangelo’s most prized masterpieces, the Sistine Chapel also serves as a gathering place for cardinals of the Catholic Church. This is also where new popes are elected.

Since you are not allowed to speak in the chapel, your expert guide will explain the chapel to you fully outside before entering. Your guide will bring alive the amazing stories of Michelangelo and his trials in tribulations in creating this Renaissance marvel.

The Sistine Chapel is a sacred place, so both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry to a portion of your Vatican tour. We understand the summers in Rome are hot - a great alternative is to bring a shawl/sweater to wrap around you when necessary.

The Best Galleries at the Vatican

Led by our fun and knowledgable guide, visit our favorite galleries including the Borgia Apartments, Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Maps. Predating a unified Italy by nearly 300 years and based on painted topographical maps of Italy, the Gallery of the Maps is one of the coolest places in the Vatican Museums.

Raphael Rooms

The term Renaissance literally means "rebirth" and refers to the period of European civilization that produced a great revival in art, literature, and learning. Raphael was one of Rome's most famous Renaissance artists who encompassed all the ideals of a Renaissance man. Among many of his famous works, discover the School of Athens.

St. Peters Basilica ( Except on Wednesdays)

St. Peter's Basilica is the grand centerpiece of the Vatican. Walk into the biggest church you've ever seen, filled with artwork from all the famous Italian artists. Skip the lines as you access the Basilica from the inside, through a special side entrance our guides can use. Once inside, admire masterpieces that include the Baldacchino, La Pietá, the statue of St. Peter, and more. While it is free to enter, this guided tour helps you make the most of it, without suffering the long lines.

Important: It isn’t possible to return to the Vatican Museums from St. Peter’s Basilica. If you want more time inside the museums, you must forgo the guided tour of the basilica. Also, if you’d like to stay in St. Peter's Basilica longer, don't leave with the guide to take photos in the piazza. Because the security line is long and re-entry on your own is not recommended, we suggest you stay inside St. Peter’s and explore on your own after the tour concludes.

Pio-Clementino Museum and Nero’s Bathtub ( On Wednesdays Only)

If you take this tour on a Wednesday, St. Peter's Basilica is substituted with a visit to the Pio-Clementino Museum, where you'll see three of the most iconic statues in the world. Learn about the myths and legends associated with the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons, and the Belvedere Torso. You'll also visit one of the biggest and oldest bathtubs you'll ever see, which is impossible to recreate, even today!

We are recommended by Rick Steves for our Vatican tours!

What you get with this tour
Experience the Sistine Chapel with Few Crowds
Enter an Hour Before General Opening
Private English-Speaking Local Guide
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26 total reviews

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Average customer rating
4.96 / 5 based on 26 total reviews
5 star 25
4 star 1
3 star 0
2 star 0
1 star 0
6/1/2020
COVID19

We wanted to take our grandson to Italy for a graduation gift. Had to cancel because of the pandemic. We are over 70 and He is entering college. I don’t know if we will ever have the opportunity to make such a trip again. It was not our fault we couldn’t go. I expect a total refund of our deposit.

W
Reviewed by
William Albu
1/11/2020
Our Guide Was Amazing!

The store was phenomenal. Our guide knew so much and got us through so many places where we wouldn't have been able to go given the crowds. The store was definitely worth the money!

1/8/2020
Dario was Fantastic

A absolute fantastic tour and our guide Dario was the best thank you

V
Reviewed by
Vicki Amabili

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

Between Hotel Alimandi and Caffé Vaticano, at the top of the big staircase (Viale Vaticano, 100). A representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.

What to bring?

Cover your knees and shoulders, there's no need to dress like the people who live in Vatican City, just avoid short pants, dresses and tank tops. If you're a woman and you are wearing something that bares your shoulders, bring a long a shawl or sweater. Comfortable shoes are always recommended for walking tours.

Is there a dress code to enter the religious sites on this tour?

We ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise you may be refused entry to religious sites and miss out on a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Rome can be hot, so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

What are the chances my tour will be canceled or the Vatican will close something.

We run the tour rain or shine all year round. Although it is rare, sometimes part of the Vatican City closes for special religious events. If an area normally covered on a tour is closed, our guide will still provide explanations of the closed areas from outside. Plus, we will show you an extra site or gallery to compensate.

Does the tour go inside at 7:30 am without waiting in any lines?

As an accredited tour operator we do not have to wait in the ticket line, but we still have to wait in a security line. For this reason, we leave the meeting point as early as possible and get in the security line reserved for tour operators. The doors open for us at 8:00 am, an hour before the general public.

Does this tour always include St. Peter's Basilica?

St. Peter's Basilica is closed on Wednesday mornings due to the papal audience. We still run the tour bc it might be your only day in Rome! Instead, we visit some of the most iconic statues in the world and Emperor Nero's enormous marble bathtub.

What to bring?

Cover your knees and shoulders, there's no need to dress like the people who live in Vatican City, just avoid short pants, dresses and tank tops. If you're a woman and you are wearing something that bares your shoulders, bring a long a shawl or sweater. Comfortable shoes are always recommended for walking tours.

Where to meet?

Between Hotel Alimandi and Caffé Vaticano, at the top of the big staircase (Viale Vaticano, 100). A representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.

I have some doubts about my mobility. Is this tour right for me?

If you have any doubts about your mobility, this is your best bet for a Vatican tour. Private Vatican tours are more easily customized to the needs of people with reduced mobility.

$59.45 per adult
+ $309.35 base price
Total: $368.80

available days discounted days

Reserve Now $59.45 / per person
$59.45 / per person
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