Skip the lines to see the best of the Vatican City, in groups of only 14 or less. This is the perfect semi-private tour for those who want to see the major highlights of the Vatican City.
Availability: Monday – Saturday
Group Size: Maximum of 14
Meeting Point: Via Leone IV, close to Vatican Museums entrance (full details sent with confirmation email)
Departure Time: 8.30am & 1.30pm
Check In Closes: 15 minutes prior to departure time
Duration: 3 Hours. Optional add-on of a Guided Tour of St Peter’s Basilica, lasting 45 minutes extra.
What’s Included: Skip the line early entry tickets to the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel, expert guide who speaks fluent English, headsets that enable you to explore your surroundings without missing anything.
Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip The Lines Tickets & Semi-Private Tour
In the Vatican Museum, your guide will take you on a highlights tour of the most interesting artifacts, sculptures and artwork that have great stories and scandals behind them.
During the Vatican Museums portion of the tour, you’ll get to visit the picturesque Vatican garden, Cortile della Pigna. Your local guide will take you to the most interesting galleries within the museums – the Rotunda, Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of Maps. Each of these rooms contain ornate ceilings with the walls decorated with ancient statues, frescoes and tapestries. Your guide will point out a few tricks used by the artists, which will enhance your appreciation of their works of art, as well as their sense of humor!
Of course, the greatest gem of the Vatican collection is not a painting on any wall, but an entire ceiling and wall completely frescoed by the greatest genius of the Renaissance period – Michelangelo Buonarotti. From the Creation of Adam to the Last Judgement, Michelangelo dedicated some of his greatest years to the Sistine Chapel, working day and night – even sleeping in the chapel – to satisfy the popes of Rome. He also expressed his frustration with his employers with jokes hidden in his work, which only he would understand – today these have been uncovered and understood and your guide will explain these to you so you too can share in Michelangelo’s private jokes!
Optional Extra: Skip The Line Guided Tour of St Peter’s Basilica
You may finish the tour in the Sistine Chapel, or continue with your tour guide into the Basilica of St Peter. Known as the greatest architectural masterpiece in Rome, St Peter’s took over a century to complete. Your guide will tell you the story of the nine master architects who each carried the project forward until their deaths; including how that genius Michelangelo – again! – would be the one to finally complete the design for the most challenging aspect of the ambitious design – the great dome which is one of the most iconic images of Rome today.
Inside St Peter’s you will visit a selection of the many ornate monuments, statues and mosaics (there are no paintings in the Basilica – find out why from your guide!), and stand in front of the sacred altar of St Peter, from where the Pope says mass on very special occasions.
Unfortunately, due to unavoidable steep stairways in the Vatican Museums, we cannot accommodate guests with mobility impairments or strollers on this tour. Please send us an email and we will work with you to find a suitable alternative.
This tour is not suitable for cruise arrivals. It is not possible to join the group tour within the time frame that you will have in Rome. Please see our Cruise Excursions Page for options created specifically for cruise ship arrivals.
*Must be aged under 18 on the day of the tour and must have a photographic ID to present to the tour coordinator.
**Must be aged under 13 on the day of the tour and must have a photographic ID to present to the tour coordinator.