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St Peter's Basilica Dome

St Peter's Basilica Dome: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica Tour

1. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica Tour

Take a tour of one of the holiest sites in Christendom on this guided walking tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. First, visit the Pine Courtyard, Belvedere Courtyard, the Gallery of the Maps, Candelabra Gallery, Pio Clementino's Rooms, the Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms (only on early morning tours), and the Sistine Chapel. Then, be led by an expert guide to some of the major attractions, as well as to some lesser-known spots that other tourists often miss. You will also get to see other galleries of the Vatican corridors. Finally, visit Michelangelo's Pietà at St. Peter's Basilica before concludig your tour at the Sistine Chapel.

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Tour

2. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Tour

Discover some of the most popular attractions in Rome on a guided walking tour of Vatican City. Visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica with your guide, and admire the ornate interiors and the famed artworks housed here. Meet your guide close to the entrance to the Vatican Museums and follow them as you set out to explore the most interesting galleries within the museum. See the Rotunda, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Gallery of Maps. Take in the ornate ceilings in each room and see the ancient statues, frescoes, and tapestries that adorn the walls. Then, enter the Sistine Chapel and marvel at the intricate fresco that covers the entire ceiling and walls. Painted by Michaelangelo between 1508 and 1512, the Sistine Chapel represents a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. From the Creation of Adam to the Last Judgement, Michelangelo dedicated some of his greatest years to the Sistine Chapel, working day and night – even sleeping in the chapel – to satisfy the popes of Rome. The artist also expressed his frustration through hidden meanings in his work, which have since been uncovered and deciphered. Listen as your guide lets you in on Michelangelo's private jokes. Finally, head to St. Peter's Basilica for the final leg of your guided walking tour. The cathedral is one of the most renowned works of Renaissance architecture and holds the title of the biggest church in the world. Explore the interior of this magnificent structure with your guide and discover the many masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque art that fill the cathedral. Admire the famous Pietà by Michelangelo and the elaborate St. Peter's Baldachin by Bernini. Your tour comes to an end outside the cathedral. From here, feel free to wander around Saint Peter's Square or visit the nearby Castel Sant'Angelo on your own. 

Rome: Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb

3. Rome: Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb

Join a private or shared guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica and experience this iconic attraction. Start your tour by climbing the stairs to the top of the dome. Contemplate the interior mosaics of the dome up close while your guide shares stories about the history of this Renaissance-style church. Continue your climb to the very top of the dome and reach the viewing deck. Marvel at the striking views of St. Peter's Square and the Vatican Gardens from above. Admire Rome from a height of 136 meters, and spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Castel Sant'Angelo, and other historic sites. From here, descend directly into the Basilica, skipping the long lines outside. Marvel at the magnificent interior and learn why the church took 150 years to rebuild. Discover the colorful marbles, golden ceilings, and the impressive Michelangelo's Pietà.

Rome: St. Peter’s Basilica, Dome Climb, and Underground Tour

4. Rome: St. Peter’s Basilica, Dome Climb, and Underground Tour

Experience St. Peter's Basilica from the top of the dome and admire views of the Vatican and Rome. Follow your guide to see the dome's interior and the Vatican 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. 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.

Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

5. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

Explore iconic sights in Rome on this guided walking tour. Stroll through St. Peter's square and take in the views of the city from the top of St. Peter's Basilica. Admire artwork like Michelangelo's emotive 'Pietà' statue and go below the Basilica to uncover St. Peter's final resting place. Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square then start the tour by climbing your way to the top of the Basilica’s dome. Enjoy an exclusive look at the Dome’s impressive mosaics then head further up to the top balcony. From here, marvel at panoramic views across the city, spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and other iconic landmarks. Descend into the Basilica and admire its impressive interior and discover why it took 150 years to build. Gaze at the colorful marble, golden ceilings, and intricate mosaics that surround you. Learn about the renowned works of Renaissance and Neoclassic artists that are housed here.  Next, head underground to the Basilica’s historic grottoes and visit St. Peter’s Tomb. Touch the ancient walls of the original 4th-century Basilica and admire its beautiful frescoes. Finish the tour in St. Peter’s Square and soak up its majestic architecture. 

Rome: Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

6. Rome: Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

Visit the Vatican from top to bottom with this unique guided tour that includes a visit to the very top of the cupola designed by Michelangelo. Then it's down to the Papal Crypts and Catacombs for a fully immersive experience. Additionally, enjoy skip-the-line entry and the main Vatican Museums. Meet your expert Vatican guide by St. Peter's Square and enjoy a guided tour of the St. Peter's Basilica. Get an elevator up some of the ways to the Dome and get your daily dose of exercise in as you climb up 320 stairs. Enjoy spectacular views from the top, which is worth the hike up. Back on terra firma, you will tour the entirety of St. Peter's Basilica - this is rare as most other Rome tour operators do not include it in their Vatican tours. Take a break before making the short walk to the comfortable customer center ahead of your second tour to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Genuine skip-the-line access means you will be fast-tracked to the artistic and archaeological masterpieces that make the Vatican Museums must-sees when in Rome.

Vatican Museums Skip-the-Line Dutch Tour

7. Vatican Museums Skip-the-Line Dutch Tour

Enjoy a 3-hour guided visit of the Vatican with a Dutch-speaking guide, and take in the incredible art collection housed in the Vatican Museums. You’ll admire antique statues such as the Laocoonte and the Apollo Belvedere and mosaics from ancient Roman villas. You’ll walk through the Gallery of Maps dating from the 16th century, and much more. Discover the secrets of the Sistine Chapel, hidden so well by Michelangelo. The frescoes are stunning, but the meanings are perhaps even more important. Michelangelo’s depictions are about much more than just beauty. Afterwards, your tour continues to the interior of St. Peter's Basilica and then St. Peter's Square. This is the site where the faithful wait for white smoke to appear from the chimney signifying the election of a new pope, and also for the papal benediction, Urbi et Orbi. Hear stories about the Vatican’s history, including intrigues and conspiracies in the papal court, displays of power, and the status and wealth of many popes. You’ll also hear about modest popes who wanted nothing more than the opportunity for contemplation and a return of the church to original Christian ideals.

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour with St. Peter's

8. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour with St. Peter's

Discover the art collection inside the Vatican Museums on a tour with an art historian guide, with an optional entry to Castle Gandolfo and skip-the-line access to St Peter's Basilica for visits before lunchtime. Walk through the galleries and admire masterpieces by Michelangelo inside the Sistine Chapel.  Meet your guide, an art historian who will tell you all about the masterpieces you will be encountering. Hear fascinating facts and stories as you visit the Gallery of the Maps, the Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Candelabra. Round off the tour with by encountering the marvels of the Sistine Chapel, complete with frescoes by Michelangelo. Be awed by coming face-to-face with Michelangelo’s most famous artwork: The Last Judgement. On tours before 2:30 PM, take advantage of skip-the-line access to St. Peter's Basilica. You can also make the most of your experience by taking advantage of additional entry to Castle Gandolfo (if option selected).

Rome: St Peter’s Basilica Early Morning Tour with Dome Climb

9. Rome: St Peter’s Basilica Early Morning Tour with Dome Climb

Explore the beautiful surroundings of St Peter’s Square and the Vatican City on an extraordinary tour with a local guide. Climb the dome and visit the basilica in the early morning before the crowds arrive with skip-the-line tickets. You will see the first viewing point through the elevator of the dome. Start climbing the remaining steps toward the summit while hearing fascinating facts and stories from your guide. Witness a breathtaking view of Vatican City and its iconic seven hills. Keep your camera ready to click photographs of the beautiful panoramic views from the top of the famous Vatican summit.  After admiring the splendid views, come down from the dome to enter the basilica. Enjoy the privilege of instant access and stroll through the area at your own pace. Marvel at the magnificent creation of St. Peter's Baldachin and Michelangelo’s Pietá. Discover every tiny detail of the historic building and admire the masterpieces adorning the space.  

Vatican: Early Entry to Museums, Sistine Chapel & St Peter's

10. Vatican: Early Entry to Museums, Sistine Chapel & St Peter's

If you are planning a visit to the Vatican and looking for the ultimate VIP experience, this 3.5-hour tour will provide a personalized experience with the guidance of a passionate tour leader. Whether you’re a first-time visitor wanting to hit all the must-sees or a seasoned Vatican connoisseur in search of hidden gems, you guide will ensure that your Vatican adventure leaves memories that will last a lifetime. Your tour group will not exceed 12 participants so that you can benefit from the personal attention of your guide. The Early Morning Vatican Tour makes it possible for you to take in all the highlights and a few lesser known parts of the Vatican’s big 3: the Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. Your expert guide has years of experience and knows this cultural complex intimately, making it possible to find the least crowded spots and the most breathtaking masterpieces.

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What people are saying about St Peter's Basilica Dome

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 54,764 reviews

Tour left on time headed by our amazing guide Ian. We were given headsets which were great as we were able to hear him all the time even in big crowds. The tour went through all the important beautiful places and we got to know great details and funny sidenotes. There’s a lot of walking on the tour so be prepared! But everything worked great and the tour was amazing. No big queues at least now in January

Antonella was just great. She told everything incredibly vividly and interestingly. Their knowledge of art and history is truly remarkable. A commodity delight.

Martine made us live this visit by sharing her passion for the beautiful works of the Vatican Thank you to her for having made this visit so interesting

We visited the Vatican with Ilaria, a real treat! Passionate and exciting, we had a great time! Thanks again !

Amazing tour! The guide is so good☺️ Thank you so much