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Early Entry Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel and Skip-the-Line Tickets

Gain access before the daytime crowds
From US$703 privately
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Tour Details
3.5 Hours
Product Type
Photos & Highlights
  • Be one of the first to enter thanks to Context’s preferred partnership with the Vatican.
  • Dive into the highlights within the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.
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Tour Description
This early entry Vatican tour is perfect for anyone who wants to unlock the vast amount of information held inside the Vatican City before the afternoon crowds descend upon this popular holy site.

Your private, three and a half hour tour includes all three historic sites — the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Enjoy expert insight into iconic artworks as your Vatican guide peels back layers of history and intrigue. 

Let your Vatican expert know what interests you most. They can cater the tour to give you a personalized experience that’s memorable and engaging.

Begin exploring the artworks in the Vatican Museum before moving into the iconic Sistine Chapel. As one of the first in the venue, you’ll enjoy a less crowded viewing experience, allowing you to better appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty.

Use a special access to enter St. Peter’s Basilica, skipping the long lines outside to see Michelangelo’s famous Pieta, St. Peter’s grave, and the incredible detail of Bernini’s canopy, among many other breathtaking statues and mosaics.

By the end of this tour, you’ll have gained detailed insight into the Vatican's rich history and gotten to know this iconic ultimate Rome venue before most people have even had their morning coffee. 
  • You want to be one of the first to enter the Vatican when it opens. 
  • You’d like a crash course on Vatican history while being expertly ushered through the miles of Vatican hallways with a knowledgeable guide.
  • You’d like to visit the Sistine Chapel with the smallest crowd of the day.

  • Vatican Museum
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St. Peter’s Basilica

A few notes on logistical planning to make your Vatican tour experience as smooth as possible. 

Summer Crowds:
During the summer travel period, the Vatican Museums can see upwards of 35,000 visitors per day in the high season (Easter - September) and there is very little air conditioning in the buildings. 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's route.

Recommended Age for Children:
This tour is ideally suited for children aged 5 to 12. The extensive walking and noisy crowds at the Vatican Museums can be overwhelming for very young children, especially in the bustling summer months. For more tailored advice to suit your family's needs, please feel free to reach out to us.

Dress Code:
Vatican policies require modest attire to respect the sanctity of the site. This generally includes covering shoulders and knees for both men and women. It's also advisable to wear comfortable footwear.

Additional Trip-Planning Resources

A few things that pair well with this experience: 

How crowded will early entry be?
As a preferred Vatican partner, Context is able to secure tickets for this early entry time slot. However, there are other preferred tour operators who also have access to these tickets. You will not be alone in the Vatican, but the crowds will be more manageable with this early access than if you were to go later in the day. Please remember that regardless of entry time, the spring and summer months are generally more crowded than fall and winter. 

Does this walk "skip the line"?
Yes. Context, as a Vatican preferred partner, has access to timed tickets and can enter without waiting in the general entry line. Despite using the reserved entrance, "skipping the line" does not alleviate the biggest difficulty in visiting the Vatican: the crowds. We try to find the best conditions inside the museums. Please note that Roma Passes can not be used for this tour. 

Does this tour include the Vatican Gardens?
The Vatican Gardens can only be accessed through a separate tour and ticket, available exclusively via the Vatican's website, and are part of a guided experience offered by the Vatican itself. This means the general public is unable to explore the gardens on their own.

We understand that some of our valued guests may have mobility concerns, and we want to ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable experience throughout your tour. If there are any accessibility concerns that your tour guide will need to be aware of, please let our team know at the time of booking.

Is this tour wheelchair-friendly?
There is access for clients with mobility issues, and free wheelchairs are available for rent at the entrance. However, people using wheelchairs/walking devices must follow a different route and book privately. 

Guests with disabilities may be entitled to free entry to the Vatican Museums. Please contact us to find out if you qualify.

Are there areas to stop and sit along the way?
There are not many opportunities to stop and rest, especially with larger crowds during the busier spring and summer months. Please wear appropriate footwear and let us know of any mobility issues that may impact your tour experience. 

Book with confidence — see Context's flexible cancellation policy here.
Where You'll Start
281 Reviews (4.74)

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Very knowledgeable and friendly and accommodating to our individual needs. Great tour !
The tour of the Vatican was the reason for our trip and it did not disappoint! I highly recommend this tour.
Alessia is wonderful!