Vatican Museums
Architecture Tours

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Our most recommended Vatican Museums Architecture Tours

Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

1. Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

Skip the ticket line and gain fast access to both the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Once inside, meet your guide who will conduct your tour and reveal the intriguing story behind the seminal design. Enter the Pio Clementino Museum and get up close to the astonishing classical Roman and Greek sculptures, before walking through to the Gallery of the Candelabras which is populated with majestic marble structures throughout. Continue on to see the 40 maps frescoed on the walls of the Gallery of the Geographical Maps, the hanging renaissance artworks at Gallery of the Tapestries, and the four Raphael Rooms. Finally, marvel at Michelangelo's fresco "The Creation of Adam" in the Sistine Chapel.

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tickets

2. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tickets

Visit the Vatican Museums and marvel at the breath-taking collection of renowned Roman sculptures and some of the most seminal works of Renaissance art without having to wait an eternity to do so, thanks to the Skip-the-Line Tickets. From there, take in the magnificence of the Sistine Chapel, known as the Cappella Magna and see Michelangelo’s masterpiece, The Last Judgement. A local and professional Host will welcome you and assist you through the entrance while giving you the most important tips for maximum enjoyment. 

Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

3. Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

Start your day at the Vatican early and skip the notoriously long ticket lines by following a special route through the museums that gets you to the Sistine Chapel just as it opens for the day. Enter before most of the crowd and spend a peaceful half-hour soaking up Michelangelo’s masterpiece along with stunning frescoes by other important Renaissance artists. Continue on to the Pinecone Courtyard for large buffet breakfast including hot and cold dishes, fruit juice, tea, and coffee. Once you’ve eaten your fill, head back into the museums for a tour of the most famous artifacts, including the Belvedere Torso, the Apollo Belvedere, the Laocoön Group, and the Raphael Rooms, widely considered to be among the most beautifully-frescoed interiors in the world. Visit the Gallery of the Candelabra with ancient Greek and Roman artworks. Learn about Raphael Sanzio at the Gallery of Tapestries, one of the most spectacular rooms of the museums.

Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica: Early Morning Tour

4. Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica: Early Morning Tour

Join the more than five million annual visitors of the global heart of the Catholic Faith. Experience the Vatican City, the entirety of which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, fully with privileged access to the main attractions before the general public arrives. From its stunning beauty to its ancient history and artistic and religious significance, the Vatican is a one-stop-shop for any traveler. Whether the paintings, sculptures, religious art, architecture, or even the Pontifical Swiss Guards that have protected the Pope since 1506, little else compares to the utter majesty of the Holy See. Start discovering the beauty of the Vatican at 7:30 AM in the absence of crowds. Wander the Vatican Museums, the famous Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica surrounded by very few. Explore the museums at your own pace and leave the rest of the day free to enjoy Italy. Follow your expert guide into the Museums to discover the world’s most extensive collection of art, including the greatest sculptures and artwork of the Renaissance period. Continue through the Candelabra Gallery, divided into six splendid rooms containing artworks found throughout the country, bringing relics of the Roman Empire into the modern-day. Then explore the astonishing Gallery of the Tapestries, host to an extensive collection of Raffaello Sanzio’s tapestries depicting different Catholic stories and myths. From there, walk through the Gallery of Maps with your guide, the perfect place for travelers with a taste for the sciences. Check out the global maps created by Roman topographers — a glimpse into what the world was thought to look like centuries ago.

Rome: City Highlights, Vatican Pass and Free Transport

5. Rome: City Highlights, Vatican Pass and Free Transport

Make your stay in Rome an unforgettable and unique experience with the 3-day OMNIA Vatican Card and Roma Pass. It’s actually 2 passes rolled into one. Roma Pass grants you free entry to 2 out of 5 top attractions plus discounts at a further 30 top sights and a travel card. The OMNIA Vatican Card allows entry to all top sights in Vatican City plus a 3-day hop-on hop-off bus tour. You will also receive a free guidebook and map to help you plan your itinerary as well as dedicated itineraries that allow you to explore the city at your own pace. The OMNIA Card includes: • Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel - advanced reservation needed (instructions on the confirmation voucher) • Entrance to the Basilica of St. John in the Lateran and cloister with multimedia audio-guide • Entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica including multilingual audio-guide app - advanced reservation needed (instructions on the confirmation voucher) • Carcer Tullianum / Mamertine Prison (St Peter's Prison) - advanced reservations required (instructions on the confirmation voucher) • Vox City Guide app • Open Bus Vatican and Rome / Roma Cristiana The Roma Pass includes free admission to 2 of the following attractions (adult tickets only): • Capitoline Museums • Castel Sant'Angelo • The Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill - advanced reservation needed (instructions on the confirmation voucher) • Borghese Gallery - advanced reservation needed (instructions on the confirmation voucher) It also includes price reductions to many museums and attractions, including the following: Museums: • Castel Sant'Angelo National Museum • National Roman Museum – Palazzo Massimo alle Terme • National Roman Museum – Palazzo Altemps • National Roman Museum – Crypta Balbi • National Roman Museum – Baths of Diocletian • National Gallery in Palazzo Barberini • Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia • Musei Capitolini • Centrale Montemartini • National Museum of Oriental Art • MACRO - Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Roma • MAXXI - National Museum of XXI Century Arts • Planetarium and astronomical museum Attractions: • Trajan's Market • Palazzo Valentini – Archaeological Area of the Domus Romane • Ara Pacis Roma Cristiana Open Bus Tour. This panoramic hop-on hop-off bus tour stops at: 1. Saint Peter's Basilica 2. Piazza Navona 3. Santa Maria ad Martyres Pantheon 4. Santa Maria in Aracoeli 5. Termini Central Station 6. Santa Maria Maggiore 7. San Giovanni - Holy Stairs 8. Colosseum - Roman Forum 9. Circus Maximus 10. Tiber Island 11. Palazzo Farnese

Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Guided Tour

6. Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Guided Tour

The Vatican Museum is the largest and most prestigious of its kind in the entire world. The vaults of the Holy See, the heart of the Catholic Church and the crowning jewel of this magnificent micro-city state, it is said that it would take more than a lifetime just to spend two minutes with each artifact in this vast and mysterious labyrinth of treasures and secrets. Our standard Vatican and Sistine Chapel Tour takes a little under three hours. In that time, with the assistance of our expert, fully licenced guides you’ll discover some of the greatest treasures and most magnificent works of art ever created by humankind. Our tour begins on the verdant lawn known as the Pine Cone Courtyard, so named after the ancient Roman Pine Cone sculpture that sits in the center. Once upon a time this charming feature sat upon the field of Mars in Pagan Rome - not far from where the Pantheon is located. Upon entering the Vatican Museum we’ll visit the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of Maps and that of the Tapestries. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is possibly the most famous and precious artwork in the world, Michelangelo’s depiction of the story of Creation. To see this awesome masterpiece in real life is an essential experience and one which every visitor to the eternal city should enjoy.

Rome: 3-Hour Private Early Morning Vatican Tour

7. Rome: 3-Hour Private Early Morning Vatican Tour

This tour offers the opportunity to visit the Vatican Museums at your own pace with entry before regular opening time. Skip the ticket line and first discover highlights of the Vatican Galleries, with its collection of precious artworks. Your guide will then take you to see the spectacular Sistine Chapel, where you will be able to admire Michelangelo’s work free from the crowds you find during the regular opening hours. Then, get privileged access to the Cabinet of the Masks, which is usually a restricted area of the Vatican. Enjoy a unique experience with your professional and knowledgeable guide and discover one of the Vatican's most precious treasures.

Rome: Early Entry to the Vatican & The Sistine Chapel

8. Rome: Early Entry to the Vatican & The Sistine Chapel

Beat the crowds and enter the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the public. Enjoy the incredible frescoes in peace. After marveling at the beautiful Raphael Room, spend quality time with Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Chapel before your guide leads you on a tour of the Vatican Museums. Stop along the way to see all the most important works. Since you started early, stay one step ahead of the crowds in most galleries as you enjoy fantastic art like the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoon and Sons, and more. Next up is the Pinacoteca Gallery. Housing works by Caravaggio, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Raphel, the modern wing of the Vatican Museums contain a remarkable array of precious masterpieces. Led by your expert guide, visit this area without the crowds and spend time truly immersed in the atmosphere. End your Vatican tour at a special spot overlooking the dome of St Peter's Basilica. Learn about the history and architecture of this incredible church and get tips on what to look out for during an independent visit. From there the choice is yours. Grab lunch inside the Vatican Museums and continue your exploration of these incredible palaces, or follow the dome to St Peter's Basilica.

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

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

Meet your expert Vatican guide by St. Peter's Square - a quick ascension by elevator later will carry you up to the top of the dome from where you can see all of Rome and far beyond Rome too. The views are absolutely spectacular. Back on terra firma you will tour the entirety of St. Peter's Basilica - this in itself 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 that you will be fast tracked to the artistic and archaeological masterpieces which make the Vatican Museums absolutely must-sees when in Rome.

Vatican Museums Early Entry Tour with Buffet Breakfast

10. Vatican Museums Early Entry Tour with Buffet Breakfast

Have the Vatican to yourself on this exclusive early morning tour that whisks you through closed doors for a buffet breakfast in the peaceful Pinecone Courtyard, before anyone else enters the museums. While the general public waits in line outside, feast on an Italian-American breakfast buffet of cooked-to-order eggs, meats, cheeses, muffins, croissants, fresh fruits, cereals, and even pancakes, flipped by the Vatican's pancake chef. Dining in the beautiful Pinecone Courtyard, alongside one of the Vatican Museums' most beautiful works of modern art, experience a level of tranquility rarely seen by Vatican visitors. Then follow your guide to explore the Vatican Museums. Still closed to the general public, the Museums are quieter now than throughout the rest of the day. With only 10 people per group, have time and space to really appreciate the art. See rooms such as the Hall of Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries, Gallery of the Candelabra and incredible Raphael Rooms. Your guide will bring works of art to life, pointing out things you would have missed on your own. Continue to the legendary Sistine Chapel. Then, skip the ticket lines to enter St. Peter’s Basilica. See the altar and marvel at Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture.

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What people are saying about Vatican Museums

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 12,906 reviews

We were completely satisfied with the tour. Unfortunately our German speaking tour was canceled 2 days before. We were contacted and offered other alternative tours. Unfortunately, we weren't in Rome for long and we already had some other excursions planned, so we only had the option of taking the booked tour on the planned day in English instead. But it was totally okay. The lady who guided us spoke good, clear English, so that we could still understand everything. She has a very extensive knowledge, told us everything in a very interesting way and showed us everything important and also left a lot of time with us to stay somewhere in between. The Vatican was very busy but you will probably always have that. We never had to queue or wait anywhere, it was very well organized.

Sabrina was an amazing guide! She was very knowledgeable, detailed and friendly! Always with a smile on her face as she shared the history of this amazing place! This tour was so much more than expected. I’ve previously been here but hadn’t gotten the experience I had with Sabrina! Absolutely amazing! I definitely recommend this tour and Sabrina!

It was truly amazing. The wonders and beauty in the museum and Sistine Chapel so extraordinary that it would be possible to spend a year and not see them all. Locating the tour was the easiest of all tours we enjoyed over two weeks. Antonio, our guide, was also great.

Alessandra, our guide, guided us through the museums in 3 hours in a way that was easy to understand and with excellent expertise. Questions were also answered competently. This tour is well organized and will be remembered for a long time. Thanks very much!

Excellent guide. Super professional and attentive to details!