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St. Peter's Basilica

The center of the Catholic world, this magnificent basilica was built on the burial site of the apostle Peter.

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

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

Take a guided tour of the extensive papal collection of statues, artifacts, and paintings by some of the world’s most distinguished artists in the endless corridors of the Vatican Museums. See work by historic cartographers in the Gallery of the Maps, admire the Gallery of the Candelabras and more. Enter the Sistine Chapel and admire Michelangelo’s acclaimed masterpiece. Afterward, explore St. Peter’s Basilica at your own pace without a guide. Discover highlights include Bernini's high altar and the stunning "La Pieta" by Michelangelo.

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

6. 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

7. 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.

Rome: Vatican, St Peter's Basilica & Colosseum Full-Day Tour

8. Rome: Vatican, St Peter's Basilica & Colosseum Full-Day Tour

Start the day with a border crossing into Vatican City, where you’ll breeze past the long lines and through an exclusive Partner Entrance into the ornate Vatican Museums. Over 200 tour operators have skip-the-ticket-line entry to the Vatican, but this Official Partner Tour grants you special access to the Private Partner Entrance, which allows us to enter immediately, saving 3 to 4 hours during peak season and giving you even more time to explore the beauty of the Museums. Once inside, you and your small group will enjoy all the highlights of the Vatican with an expert guide by your side. The tour takes in a treasure trove of artistic wonders, from masterworks like Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescos and ‘La Pietà’ in St. Peter’s Basilica to the precious relics, paintings and tapestries adorning the Museums’ gilded galleries. Throughout the tour, your expert, English-speaking guide will share fascinating insights only a local could know. After your Vatican tour, enjoy free time to sample some authentic Italian cuisine before meeting your next expert guide for a tour of the historical heart of Ancient Rome. You’ll begin by skipping yet another ticket line to enter the Colosseum immediately. Dominating the center of the Eternal City, this ancient arena puts modern stadiums to shame. And that’s not all. The tour continues to the Palatine Hill, where Rome originated in a battle between two brothers. You’ll then be taken from the origin of ancient Rome to its hub: the Forum, that bustling marketplace where business, politics and religion mixed. No other tour takes you so close to so much of the history, significance and fabulous riches of Rome. At certain times during the year, this tour's itinerary is reversed and guests will visit the Colosseum first, followed by the Vatican Museums. Please check your tour voucher for exact itinerary and meeting points.

Vatican Museums Skip-the-Line Dutch Tour

9. 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

10. 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).

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What people are saying about St. Peter's Basilica

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 111,469 reviews

This was an extensive tour! It was all inclusive and our guide was extremely kind and knowledgeable. She took care of everyone so well and made sure we were all together even with the crowds. This is a long tour because there is so much to see so it's great because you can do everything in one go but be prepared to have the energy to keep up!

I took thd touf on Dev 27th with Nela. I was also a tour guide in Athens, Greece, and I have to admit Nela did a fabulous job. She is a well- informed and excellent tour guide. She spoke slowly so that everyone could understand the information of the Vatican and the Dome Thank you, Nela Petros and Sophie

God option for make a tour of main attractions in Rome. However, prepare yourself for walking.

really works with skip the line ticket, it's worth to pay it, the queue line really long

Excellent experience visiting Vatican museum and very knowledgeable guid