Guided tour

Vatican City: Early Dome Climb with St. Peter’s Basilica

4.5 / 5

24 reviews

Activity provider: Wander Italy

Vatican City: Early Dome Climb with St. Peter’s Basilica

Activity provider: Wander Italy

From US$ 41.39 per person

Admire one of the most revered landmarks in the world. Witness this marvelous combination of art, architecture, and religion by joining this early guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica’s Dome.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 2.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Skip the ticket line
Live tour guide
Audio guide included


  • Enjoy an early-morning access to the St. Peter’s Dome
  • Explore the Basilica and listen to the stories about the famous Pietà sculpture
  • Witness the Vatican Grottoes/ Papal Tombs
  • Enjoy an early-morning access to the St. Peter’s Dome
  • Small group- tour
Full description
Your tour will start early in the morning in Vatican City, the smallest nation in the world. Meet your licensed, English-speaking guide at the Fountain of the Tiare (Fontana delle Tiare), where you will be accompanied to witness the St. Peter’s Basilica Dome, the tallest Dome in the world. Start the climb to the Dome while listening to the fascinating facts and stories narrated by your guide. Avoid the 231 steps and take the elevator to the first level of the Dome, where the doors will open to the wonder that is Michelangelo’s Dome. From here you will get to admire the views of the interiors of the Basilica from above. Gaze upon the incredible mosaics, the amazing Latin Scripts up close and explore the roof of the basilica. Start you climb up 320 steps on this beautifully crafted and narrow spiral staircase to the very top of the Dome. This quite tiresome climb up will surely be worthwhile the energy spent to reach the top. You will get to admire the view from the highest place within the Vatican. This breathtakingly beautiful panoramic view of the Vatican City, its gorgeous gardens and ancient Rome that includes the Colosseum and the Pantheon will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. After having admired this splendid panoramic view from what will seem to be and feel as the “top of the world”, you will be able to descend to the St. Peter’s Basilica floors completely avoiding the long and tiresome lines outside. Let your guide accompany you through the beauty that is this marvelous architectural piece admired and revered by the entire world. The Basilica is the largest church in the world and the heart of Christianity, a place of pilgrimage in which millions of people gather every year. Prepare to be enchanted by this baroque masterpiece designed by Bernini and Bramante and to admire breathtaking art works like Michelangelo’s Pietà sculpture.This magnificent creation of Michelangelo is said to have been the perfect sculpture that helped launch his career unlike any previous work he had done. The scene of the Pieta shows the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Christ after his crucifixion, death, and removal from the cross, but before he was placed in the tomb. This is one of the key events from the life of the Virgin, known as the Seven Sorrows of Mary, which were the subject of Catholic devotional prayers, it is also said to be the only piece Michelangelo ever signed. Having soaked up the splendor that is this wonderful basilica, make your way down to the Vatican Grottoes also known as the Papal Tombs. Located inside the Grottoes are the tombs of over 90 Popes, a few monarchs and other church dignitaries, which dates to the 10th century. The Vatican Grottoes is considered to be the most visited place in Vatican City and is an absolute must -see of this glorious nation.
  • Reservation fee
  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • Skip-the-line tickets
  • Headsets to hear the guide better
  • Tips (optional)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments
  • People afraid of heights
  • People with vertigo
  • People with altitude sickness

Select participants and date



Meeting point

At Largo del Colonnato, 00120 Roma RM, Vatican City (Fountain of the Tiare/ Fontana delle Tiare)

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Important information

What to bring

  • Passport or ID card
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Long-sleeved shirt

Not allowed

  • Weapons or sharp objects
  • Oversize luggage
  • Luggage or large bags

Know before you go

  • Entrance into the Vatican is subject to a strict dress code. Shoulders and knees MUST be covered. We are not responsible for entry denied due to inappropriate clothing.
  • Due to the steep and enclosed nature of the Dome climb, people with fear of heights and uncomfortable with enclosed spaces (claustrophobic) are advised to be cautious.
  • The venues or parts of them could be subject to last minute, unpredictable closures (ongoing restoration, special events). When this occurs, we offer the customers an extended visit of the outside and/or of other attractions according to the advertised total length of the tour
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.5 /5

based on 24 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money

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Star rating:

Totally worth it! Our guide, (i forgot his name) was on time, well organized. We were a group of 14. The whole tour was smooth, we went in pretty fast, no significant line, just the airport style security at the entrance. Didn't encounter any problems. This is the perfect tour to start the day, early when its not so crowded. When we finished the tour, it was much more crowded. The guide provided us with plenty information, so much interesting stories and facts. One thing to mention, wich they dont mention, is this tour does not include ELEVATOR. So keep this in mind. Otherwise, the steps you can skip with the elevator aren't so steep. so It's not big deal, it's like a 5 min walk. We also visited the Papal Tombs under the Basilica, wich i didn't expected. Very good experience overall!

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June 21, 2022

Small group. Early 7:45am start well worth the effort: we beat the crowds and the heat. Out tour guide was great and very knowledgeable. Love the use of headphones so we didn’t need to stand near the guide all the time to hear what our guide had to say.

August 3, 2022

September 2, 2022

Product ID: 413881