Rome Castle & palace tours

Our most recommended Rome Castle & palace tours

Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

1. Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

Take a stirring journey through art and religious history with skip-the-ticket-line entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Avoid the long ticket lines and then enjoy your visit at your own pace.  Wander through the Greek Cross Gallery to see elaborately-carved sarcophagi that might just contain the earthly remains of some of antiquity's famous kings and queens. Peek at the Cabinet of the Masks, or tour the Sala degli Animali to see a virtual menagerie of fantastic beasts, real and imagined. Walk the Upper Galleries, including the Gallery of Maps, to see how cartographers depicted the world through the ages. See masterpieces by Renaissance masters in the Raphael Rooms, and rest for a while in the Borgia Apartments. Then, it’s time to marvel at Michelangelo’s exquisite Sistine Chapel, the crown jewel of the Vatican, and perhaps even of all the world’s art treasures.

Rome: Castel Sant’Angelo Skip-the-Line Ticket

2. Rome: Castel Sant’Angelo Skip-the-Line Ticket

Uncover the secrets within the walls of the Castel Sant'Angelo, a historic mausoleum that's now a museum on the Tiber River's right bank. Explore one of the lesser-known gems of Rome with fast-track entry tickets and enjoy views of the city from above. Upgrade your visit to include an audio guide.  Skip the lines and walk inside to browse through the artifacts that narrate the building's many transformations. First erected to be a monumental tomb, then a fortress during the medieval ages, and a defensive post for barbarian invasions, the castle will offer you new insights into Roman history. Explore the 5 floors of the museum heading towards a spiral ramp, then see the cells and the rooms that served as a Papal residence, as well as a chamber of ashes where you can marvel at the remains of iconic Roman characters and frescoes preserved perfectly. End this informative trip on the Castle’s astonishing roof terrace and have a picturesque view of the whole city. Be prepared to spot Vatican City, the Tiber River, and the famous Bridge of Angels.

Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

3. 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.

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Ticket with Host

4. Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Ticket with Host

Go on a journey through art and religious history with your ticket to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Skip the long ticket lines, inform yourself before entering with the help of a host, and enjoy your visit at your own pace. Find a treasure trove of Roman statues, Renaissance paintings, and Italian artworks. Discover works by Caravaggio and Titian, as well as more recent artists such as Picasso and Rodin. Keep an eye out for Michelangelo’s self-portrait. Walk through the Upper Galleries, including the Gallery of Maps, to see how cartographers depicted the world through the ages. See masterpieces by Renaissance masters in the Raphael Rooms, the pope's private apartments.  Then, enter the Sistine Chapel and contemplate the intricate details of Michelangelo’s renowned masterpiece.

Rome: Castel Sant’ Angelo Skip-the-Line Ticket & Audio Guide

5. Rome: Castel Sant’ Angelo Skip-the-Line Ticket & Audio Guide

Experience the Mausoleum of Hadrian at Castel Sant’ Angelo with this skip-the-line admission ticket. Explore the mausoleum at your own pace and enjoy a captivating self-guided audio tour on your smartphone. Receive your ticket by email and download the app and audio tour onto your phone, prior to your visit. Head to Castel Sant’ Angelo and step back in time as you put in your headphones. Relive the glory of Emperor Hadrian’s cylindrical mausoleum. Gaze upon the frescos that line the Sala Paolina room. Discover uncommon anecdotes from ancient times and historical information with your audio guide that has been put together from in-depth research.

Rome: Castel Sant'Angelo Tour with Fast-Track Access

6. Rome: Castel Sant'Angelo Tour with Fast-Track Access

Skip the lines at the Castel Sant'Angelo to set off on a guided tour. Enter the castle with skip-the-line access and learn about its history from your guide. Explore the famous castle that was erected by Emperor Hadrian to be his tomb. See how the building was also used by popes as their private residence, as the state treasury, as a prison, and as a location for public executions throughout its history. Have the chance to discover the rich history of the castle and its magnificent architecture and paintings. Be introduced to the emperor's burial place, the papal apartment, and treasury room. Admire the beautiful angel sculptures along the Ponte Sant'Angelo bridge, also known as the Bridge of Angels. Finish off the incredible experience with a panoramic view from the castle's terrace and take stunning photos of the city.

From Rome: Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius Volcano Full-Day Trip

7. From Rome: Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius Volcano Full-Day Trip

Travel from Rome to Pompeii in an air-conditioned private bus, accompanied by an archaeologist guide. Benefit from skip-the-line entry and enjoy a guided tour of the ancient city. Throughout the ruins, come across a death cast, a plaster recreation of an unfortunate citizen preserved by the superheated volcanic ash. After visiting Pompeii, drive up the slope of Mt. Vesuvius, (from April to mid-November), one of Europe’s few active volcanoes located in the Vesuvius National Park. From here, take a short hike up to the steaming crater for stunning views of Capri and Sorrento. During the winter season between November and March, Mt. Vesuvius is closed, so your tour will follow the coastline and take you to the city of Naples. Explore the iconic Castle Nuovo, the famous art deco Umberto I Gallery, or simply wander around the monumental Plebiscito Square.

Rome: Castel Sant'Angelo with Priority Entrance

8. Rome: Castel Sant'Angelo with Priority Entrance

Discover the history of this mausoleum-turned-museum with skip-the-line, hosted access. Located on the right bank of the Tiber only a short distance from the Vatican City, the Castel Sant'Angelo is an ancient fortress with centuries of history. Explore the museum's seven floors to discover an extensive collection of ancient artifacts and perfectly preserved frescoes from the Renaissance period. Built in 135 AD for the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the building has played an important part in Rome’s architectural history. Climb the spiral staircase to reach the Chamber of Ashes where a number of historical figures were incarcerated, before continuing up to visit the Papal Residence. Immerse yourself in the stories of each different room as you admire the art within. Finish your experience with a panoramic view over Rome and the River Tiber from the castle terrace. A great opportunity to take some photos of the Ponte Sant'Angelo bridge, also known as the Bridge of Angels.

Castel Gandolfo: Palace Ticket and Gardens Minibus Tour

9. Castel Gandolfo: Palace Ticket and Gardens Minibus Tour

Explore the Papal Palace at your own pace with a multilingual audio guide. Admire the architecture, learn its history, and discover its many collections of art, relics, and more. Extend your visit with a minibus tour of the Barberini Gardens and admire the intricate displays. Once you arrive at the Castle doors, pick up your audio guide and begin your walk through the palace. Gaze at the many treasures, from uniforms and relics to artworks and furniture. Learn the interesting history of the Pontifical Residence, commonly known as the Second Vatican. Designed by the Swiss-Italian architect Carlo Maderno for Pope Urban VIII, and it has served as a summer retreat for various popes since the 17th century. Don't forget to pay your respects to the sedan chair of Pope Pius IX, and the BMW used by Pope John Paul II, before taking the option to visit the Barberini Gardens on a 45-minute minibus tour. The gardens offer views of intricately designed shrubbery and unique fountains, the perfect finisher to the palace experience.

Rome: Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo Walking Tour

10. Rome: Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo Walking Tour

Travel along the dreamy Italian countryside, far away from the hustle and bustle of Rome. a true treasure trove of art and history. Visit the quaint village of Castel Gandolfo, perched atop the sapphire blue waters of Lake Albano, mushroomed around the Pope’s Summer Palace. Be accompanied by a member of the Vatican staff on a walking tour of the "green heart" of the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo. Castel Gandolfo, which served for centuries as a summer residence and vacation retreat for the pope, is spread for 55 hectares. Enjoy the walk through the botanical and architectural wonders of the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo. Its Barberini Garden produces and ships a basket of fresh produce to the Vatican. See beautifully maintained orchards, vineyards, and over 1000 olive trees around the farm. You can upgrade your walk in the Pontifical Villas with 2 wonderful options: Popes' Summer Residence Visit the Papal Apartment to delve into 500 years of history. Wander from the bedroom to the private chapel, from the library to the studio. Look at the balcony from where the Popes pronounced the Angelus every summer Sunday. Picnic in the Papal Gardens Enjoy lunch with traditional food in the garden picnic area. Savor a porchetta or vegetarian sandwich with bottled water, wine or beer, and typical wine biscuits. Immerse yourself in this treasure trove in the outskirts of Rome. Walk in the footsteps of the Popes around the 7 rooms and summer offices inside the Palace.

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Frequently asked questions about Rome

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Rome?

The best day trips and excursions from Rome are:

Pompeii

Other Sightseeing Options in Rome

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What people are saying about Rome

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,420 reviews

Skipping the line is a good thing, especially in hotel and sunny weather. Once inside we were sorry I did not order the audio guide for free, so I paid 8 € extra to get one and, then I was sorry to do it. Nobody needs the talk provided, trust me. Overa experience (all the crowds aside) is good. Can not imagine to do it with a living guide as we saw many people do - to herd crowds and talk and talk and talk. We did the mistake with guided tour through Colosseum. Without guide we would not be able to get in at all, so I shall not complain, but… Don't do it, simply book your tickets for less and earlier. Vatican - museum and the Sistine Chapel excellent, can not say about the gardens, didn't see any way in, so we did not care. Some gardens, no? No Pope poopin there anyway.

Vatican is a fascinating place of history, religion and art. Firstly, we thoroughly enjoyed an informative and relaxing bus tour through beautiful Vatican gardens. The Vatican Museum was big and busy. I wish we had a guided Museum tour rather than audio guides which we had to additionally hire in order to get some guidance. Audio guides were not very helpful, because we had to decide what to focus on and the information provided was not always engaging. Therefore, we stopped using audio guides and enjoyed the experience. For such a large museum I would prefer to have a guide who could select stops and give more relevant information. The Sistine Chapel was breathtaking. Vatican City is not to be missed.

I was led around the castle with the company Touriks and my guide was Samuele. It was genuinely the best tour I have ever received. Samuele was knowledgeable about the grounds, general history, translated inscriptions, answered odd historical questions from my nerdy wife and I, and pointed out things we might find interesting. He did such a fantastic job. I highly recommend this building as a tour and we sprung for the private tour with Samuele and it was worth it ten times over.

Great not queuing to get in. Easy to use x change voucher for official ticket inside. It was hugely busy inside, going around in a pack! So all people are equal once inside. But your time is taken up in the museum not in long queues outside. I would go for guided tour around museum. I didn’t liked the audio guide.

Jump the line tickets and audioguide were excellent. Real insight into the museums and artefacts.