Guided tour

Vatican City: Basilica, Dome Climb & Optional Crypts Tour

Vatican City: Basilica, Dome Climb & Optional Crypts Tour

Activity provider: City Wonders Ltd.
Likely to sell out
Likely to sell out

From US$ 30.26 per person

Discover St. Peter’s Basilica from a new perspective as you climb to the top of the dome and admire 360 degree views across the Vatican and Rome. Then explore the dome’s stunning interior on your own or opt for a guided tour of the basilica and crypts.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Reserve now & pay later
Reserve now & pay later to book your spot without any charges today. Learn more
Duration 45 minutes - 2.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide


  • Climb to the highest point in the Vatican City and enjoy spectacular views
  • Experience the splendor of the dome from the first level balcony and hear about the Renaissance era from an expert English-speaking guide
  • Enjoy fast access inside the basilica when you descend, so there’s no need to join the growing lines below
  • Upgrade to a guided tour of the basilica and Vatican Crypts to make the most of your visit
Full description

Experience St. Peter's Basilica from the top of the dome and admire views of the Vatican and Rome. See the dome's interior on your own or select a guided tour of the basilica and crypts.

Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square, then head up to the first level of the dome to the viewing balcony. Admire the array of incredible mosaics depicting the saints, the magnificent Latin scripts which circle the dome, and the top of Bernini’s 3-story canopy below.

Listen to your guide share facts and stories about the history of the dome, and everything you need to know about the Dome’s artists and Renaissance splendor. From the first level, take the spiral staircase to the top of the dome and enjoy some free time to explore at your own pace. Then head above the double structure of the dome and pass by windows that give a tantalizing glimpse of the Vatican rooftops below.

After 320 steps find yourself on the viewing platform 448 feet above the basilica floor. From the highest point within the Vatican, admire breathtaking and panoramic views of the city, including the Vatican Gardens below.

Looking into the distance, you can also marvel at the monuments of ancient Rome, including the Colosseum and the Pantheon. The only point above you is the cross containing the timbers from the True Cross. When you leave the dome there is no need to line up again to get inside the basilica, the stairs bring you directly down to the basilica floor so you can avoid the long lines which you’ll have seen growing across St. Peter’s Square from the top.

Enjoy some free time to explore the most important church in the Christian world and its many treasures, or if you opted for the extended tour, follow your guide to the Vatican Crypts that lie beneath.

With your guide, navigate through the basilica, admiring the array of statues, chapels, and pilgrim sites located here, before descending to the underground crypts. Here, you can see where hundreds of popes and members of royalty have been buried since the 11th century.

  • Entrance into St. Peter’s Dome
  • Optional entrance into St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Informative leaflet about the Basilica and Dome
  • Expert, English-speaking tour guide
  • Headsets where appropriate, so you can always hear your guide
  • Small groups of 25 people or less
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup/drop-off
  • Food/beverages
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask
  • All participants are required to bring and wear FFP2 masks. Blue surgical masks will not be accepted

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Piazza della Città Leonina, near the arches, where the square meets via di Porta Angelica. Facing the arches, our meeting point is located at the corner of the square, on the left-hand side, next to the kiosk.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes

Not allowed

  • Shorts
  • Weapons or sharp objects
  • Luggage or large bags
  • Short skirts
  • Sleeveless shirts
  • Unaccompanied minors

Know before you go

  • On arrival at The Vatican, please follow the signs for the Groups Entrance with Online Reservations, there may be a wait at this entrance of up to 10 minutes
  • All visitors must pass through airport-style security, during high season the wait at security may be up to 30 minutes
  • The dome’s elevator takes you to the first terrace, to climb to the top of the dome you will have to use the stairs (320 steps)
  • Please allow yourself approximately 20 extra minutes if you wish to climb up to the dome
  • Government-imposed COVID restrictions for entering countries and venues (e.g. booster shot, negative COVID test, vaccine certificate with a QR code…) may change with little notice. It is the responsibility of all visitors to ensure they check the official travel advice on the government websites and comply with each country’s requirements. City Wonders will not be held responsible for refused access to museums and tourist attractions and no refund will be due
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.5 /5

based on 387 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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Star rating:

Perfect - just enough information about the Basilica, then left on our own to do the dome climb in our own time - which is quite hard!! But we’ll worth the effort. You do still have to queue for security, but the guide was talking to us while waited which helped pass the time.

May 13, 2022

Die Tourleiterin Chiara hat alles gegeben, ich kann sie auf jeden Fall weiterempfehlen. Der Zugang und Aufstieg zur Kuppel verlief gut, wenngleich sich mit dem Ticket nicht die Sicherheitsmaßnahmen verhindern lassen, die - je nach Besucheranstrom- zu Verzögerungen führen mögen. Einziger Kritikpunkt meinerseits wäre die genaue Beschreibung des Treffpunkts der Gruppe: Die Google Koordinaten waren nicht genau genug, und ich war nicht darauf vorbereitet, dass sich an der Stelle parallel auch andere Gruppen sammeln. Ich hätte besser auf den Namen des Veranstalters bzw auf deren Logo achten sollen, dass die drei wartenden Mitarbeiter per Fähnchen zur Kennzeichnung hochhielten. Ich habe anstattdessen noch einem "get your guide" Logo Ausschau gehalten. Zeitlich hat zwar alles geklappt, die Suche hätte aber auch wertvolle Minuten kosten können.

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March 27, 2022

This was a most enjoyable tour. The guide excuse me for not remembering her name was very informative and pleasant. The group was small 8 and the climb to the top was worth the feeling of claustrophobia as you neared the top. At the top the view was fantastic. My wife who had reservations about making the climb loved the view, stairway to heaven.

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March 12, 2022

Product ID: 278782