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The Complete Vatican Tour with St. Peter's Basilica, Sistine Chapel and Skip-the-Line Tickets

Explore the Vatican’s masterpieces with a leading expert
From US$230 for 1 person
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Tour Details
Duration
4 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
  • St. Peter's Basilica
Photos & Highlights
  • Join an engaging local expert at the top of their field, such as art history or church history, as you explore one of the world's great repositories of ancient and Renaissance art
  • Unique, personal tours for the intentional traveler. Choose from private tours for just you and you party, or join a small group tour with up 6 other travelers
Select a date
Tour Description
Your visit begins with the Vatican Museums, where you'll have a thorough overview of the papal history before traversing the halls of the museums including the Gallery of Candelabra, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Gallery of Maps. As you head to the Sistine Chapel, you'll discover Michelangelo’s work, his struggles with the medium (fresco) and his patron (the Pope), and the fantastic symbolism of the ceiling and altar. 

You will then benefit from special access through the secret stair passageway from the Sistine Chapel to reach St. Peter's Basilica, avoiding the line in St. Peter's Square. You will spend the final forty to sixty minutes of this tour exploring St. Peter's Basilica, a vast church and the symbolic center of Catholicism, situating the church and its artworks in a social and historical context, tying it back to the themes discussed earlier in the tour. 

At the end of our Vatican Tour, you will have a complete understanding of the history, importance, and artistic legacy of this expansive complex. You will have learned from our guide new ways of seeing art and thinking about history—a contextualized approach that blends history, art, architecture, politics, philosophy, and theology, connecting all of this with the city of Rome.

  • It’s your first time in Rome and you’re seeking a comprehensive and engaging tour that will help you understand the Vatican collections and its layered tapestry of art and history.
  • You’re returning to Rome and want to go deeper into the masterpieces
  • If you’re traveling with children under the age of 12, we recommend our family-oriented Vatican Tour for Kids
  • Vatican Museums
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St. Peter's Basilica
Tickets
  • Our visit to the Vatican includes advance entry tickets, which allow us to skip the general admission line. However, we will still be required to wait in the security line. At times, this line may take up to 20 minutes. Regardless, your guide will spend this time wisely by providing an overview of the history of Vatican. The most important consideration is timing your visit to avoid large tour groups and cruise ships which cause excessive crowding. We schedule our tours to try and find the best conditions inside the museums.
  • Includes special access through the stair passageway from the Sistine Chapel to reach St. Peter's Basilica, avoiding the line in St. Peter's Square.
Headsets
  • Depending on your group size, you may have headsets on the tour. 
Resources
  • For more information on planning your tour, take a read through our How to Visit the Vatican Museums resources page.
  • If you are looking to learn more about Rome prior to a visit to the Eternal City, check out our online lectures at Context Learning.
Tickets
  • People with disabilities may be entitled to free entry to the Vatican Museums. Please contact us to discuss if you qualify, and consult the Vatican Museums website for further information.
Wheelchair accessibility
  • The Vatican has a specific route for folks with mobility concerns so we are unable to bring an entire group tour on that route and, are only able to use it for private tours. While it is possible to visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel in a wheelchair, there is no wheelchair access from the Sistine Chapel to St Peter's Basilica. If you have mobility concerns, please contact us to discuss the best tour option for you.
Service Dogs 
  • Service dogs equipped with a muzzle and lead are allowed if you have a medical certificate proving the need. Please contact us to let us know so we can communicate with the Vatican Museums at least one day prior to your visit. 
For more information about Context tours, please visit our FAQs.

I have purchased the Roma Pass, can I use it on my Context tours?
Roma Passes can not be used for the Vatican. Learn more about skip-the-line tours here.

How crowded are the Vatican sites?
Please be aware that during the summer travel period, the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica can be subject to extremely high levels of visitor traffic. It’s important to anticipate slower movement, limited visibility, and potential restrictions on accessing certain areas due to the density of crowds. Our experienced guides are adept at navigating through these challenging conditions and will strive to optimize your tour experience.

Does this tour "skip the line"?
Our visit to the Vatican includes advance entry tickets, which allow us to skip the general admission line. However, we will still be required to wait in the security line. At times, this line may take up to 20 minutes. Regardless, our guide will spend this time wisely by providing an overview of the history of Vatican. The most important consideration is timing your visit to avoid large tour groups and cruise ships which cause excessive crowding. We schedule our tours to try and find the best conditions inside the museums. 
Book with confidence — see Context's flexible cancellation policy here.

Where You'll Start
3559 Reviews (4.71)

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

Absolutely worth every penny spent!
Paolo was very knowledgeable! He was very observant to continually check on our needs as well as make sure to deeply explain all exhibits. Doubtful you will find a more knowledgeable and personable guide! Well spoken and willing to repeat and offer more explanation as needed. Highly recommended!
Great service, responsive and helpful.

See the Vatican with Context

Get to know one of the art historians leading this tour

Meet Cecilia