- 3 hours
- Product Type
- Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
- Join an immersive experience led by a knowledgeable local expert, a renowned authority in the field of art history. Together, you will uncover the treasures of the Vatican Museums and behold the magnificence of the Sistine Chapel.
- Context offers unique, personal tours for the intentional traveler. Choose from private tours for just you and your party, or join a small group tour with up to 10 other travelers.
Please Note: This tour does NOT include St. Peter's Basilica. If you would like to combine all three iconic sites in a four-hour tour, please consider booking The Complete Vatican Tour with St. Peter's Basilica, Sistine Chapel, and Skip-the-Line Tickets.
If you would like to experience just the Basilica on your tour, we offer a shortened St. Peter's Basilica Tour.
- You want to explore the Vatican Museums with a local, specialized guide who can provide in-depth insights, stories, and historical context that go beyond the surface.
- You prefer a more personalized and enriching experience compared to standard group tours.
- You value the expertise of a guide who can unravel the secrets of the Vatican Museums, which house a world-class collection of artworks, without feeling lost in the crowds.
And for families traveling with children under the age of 12, our Vatican Tour For Kids offers a more engaging adventure led by guides who specialize in making the Vatican's wonders accessible to young minds.
- Vatican Museum - Home to one of the world's most extensive art collections, including ancient sculptures, Renaissance masterpieces, and Egyptian mummies.
- Sistine Chapel - The iconic ceiling, painted by Michelangelo, contains over 300 figures and took approximately four years to complete.
- This tour includes advance entry tickets, to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
- These tickets allow us to bypass the general admission line. However, there's still a security line, which may involve a wait of up to 20-30 minutes. During this time, your guide will offer an introduction to the Vatican's history.
- This tour does not enter St. Peter’s Basilica or the Vatican Gardens.
- You will meet your Context Expert at a location near the entrance to the Vatican. Further details along with a map will be provided once your booking is confirmed.
- Your tour will generally conclude in St. Peter's Square. Once you have exited the Museums, you cannot re-enter without waiting in line and purchasing a new ticket.
- All guests must adhere to a modest dress code, as we will be touring the Vatican City, a religious and sacred site. Here are the key points to keep in mind:
- Both men and women should wear clothing that covers their shoulders. This typically means avoiding tank tops, spaghetti straps, and other sleeveless shirts.
- Skirts, dresses, and shorts should be at least knee-length. This applies to both men and women.
- Guests are often expected to remove hats or caps when entering the chapel.
- As there's a lot of walking involved, comfortable shoes are recommended. However, avoid flip-flops and overly casual footwear.
- Depending on your group size, you may need to wear headsets on the tour.
- 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.
- Guests 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.
- Wheelchairs are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis at the Vatican Museums. Visitors can request a wheelchair at the cloakroom.
- The Vatican Museums have designed specific routes that are wheelchair accessible. These routes avoid steps and offer lifts and ramps where necessary. However, due to the historical nature of the buildings, some areas might be less accessible than others.
- Service dogs are permitted in the Vatican Museums if they have a leash and you can provide a medical certificate.
- Please inform us in the “Additional Details” box when booking, so we can coordinate with the Vatican Museums staff.
Please be aware that during the summer travel period, the Vatican Museums, the 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.
Roma Passes can not be used for the Vatican. Learn more about skip-the-line tours here.
Can we skip the Vatican Museums and go directly to the Sistine Chapel?
Unfortunately, this is not possible. All guests are required to follow the designated flow of traffic as determined by the Vatican. This route is designed to ensure the safety of all visitors. As such, it's necessary to move through the Vatican Museums to reach the Sistine Chapel.
Can some areas of the Vatican be unexpectedly closed to guests?
Yes, it's important to remember that the Vatican is not only a historic site but also an active place of worship. As such, certain rooms or areas within the Vatican Museums may be closed to the public without prior notice due to religious events or ceremonies.
Why isn't this tour available on Wednesdays?
Why isn't this tour available on Sundays?
The Vatican Museums are typically closed on Sundays, with the exception of the last Sunday of each month when they offer free entry. However, these free-entry Sundays tend to attract extremely large crowds, making it challenging for our guides to lead walking tours safely and effectively.
Does Context offer tours of the Scavi under the Vatican?
No. These are organized by the Vatican itself. You need to email them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does this tour include the gardens?
No, unfortunately, it’s not possible to visit on one’s own. It’s a separate admission ticket only available on the Vatican website and only as part of a tour with the Vatican (no one can wander the gardens). You would have to book that yourself for after our tour if you wish to see the gardens.
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