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Gallery of Maps: Our most recommended tours and activities

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

1. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tour

Discover the wonders of the art collection inside the Vatican Museums on a tour with an art historian guide and skip-the-line entry tickets. Walk through the Raphael Rooms and admire masterpieces by Michelangelo inside the Sistine Chapel, including The Last Judgement. Start your visit by meeting your guide and enjoying a streamlined entry inside the museums. Listen to the explanations of your art historian guide as you visit the Gallery of the Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Candelabra. Arrive at the Raphael Rooms and marvel at Raphael’s incredible frescoes, including the School of Athens. Round-off the tour with the marvels of the Sistine Chapel and the frescoes by Michelangelo. Inside, you’ll get to see Michelangelo’s most famous artwork: The Last Judgement.

Vatican Museums Early Entry Tour with Buffet Breakfast

2. 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, 1.5 hours before anyone else enters the museums! While the general public waits in line outside, you’ll 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, you’ll 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.

Vatican: Gardens, Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour

3. Vatican: Gardens, Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour

Enjoy an exclusive visit to Vatican City on a guided tour with a professional guide. Discover the beautiful Vatican Gardens, the collections of the Vatican Museums, and the enchanting Sistine Chapel. Start your journey with a minibus tour into the Vatican Gardens: look at the Pope Emerito House, the Vatican Radio Station, the Academy of Science, the Pope’s former Summer Residence, a piece of the original Berlin Wall and the “Fontana dell’Aquilone.” Look at St. Peter’s Basilica from behind and admire the Cupola from a unique perspective. Visit the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries and Candelabras, and the Chapel of Pio V. Next, enter the Sistine Chapel and marvel at Michelangelo’s frescoes that changed the course of art forever. Then, you can explore at St. Peter’s Basilica at your own pace. Stroll through the striking aisles of the world’s largest church. Admire Michelangelo's "Pieta" and the beautifully carved Bernini Pulpit.

Rome: Vatican City Complete Semi-Private Tour

4. Rome: Vatican City Complete Semi-Private Tour

Save precious time with skip-the-line access to the popular monuments of the Vatican City, and explore on a guided tour for only your party for a more personalized experience. Follow a meticulously designed itinerary to see the best of the city-state and admire priceless treasures such as the massive bronze statue in the Pinecone Courtyard and the historic maps in the dedicated Gallery of Maps. Look at the enigmatic sculpture of Laocoön and His Sons, and discuss techniques used by different artists with your expert guide. Marvel at Michelangelo's miraculous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, and get inside details about the 4 years of back-breaking labor it took to complete. Conclude your tour inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Witness the incomparable grandeur of its mosaics, golden ceilings, gigantic statues, and the spectacular dome.

Vatican and Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tour

5. Vatican and Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tour

Save precious time and avoid the boring history tours of the Vatican City on a small group, skip-the-line tour with an English-speaking guide. Head straight to the most important areas of the Vatican Museums to marvel at the masterpieces of the papal collections. Discover statues from ancient Greece and look inside the Pinecone Courtyard and Belvedere Courtyard, along with the Hall of the Muses, Round Room, and Gallery of the Candelabra. Admire Flemish tapestries from some of Raphael's pupils in the Gallery of Tapestries, and historical maps by fine cartographers in the Gallery of the Maps. Contemplate Michelangelo's miraculous Sistine Chapel in silence. Feel free to stay and explore other areas of Vatican City on your own once you've said goodbye to your guide.

Vatican & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Ticket-Line Tour for Kids

6. Vatican & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Ticket-Line Tour for Kids

Prepare to be amazed on this private, child-centered two-and-a-half-hour tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel. Imagine your children immersed in rich tradition and ancient wonders with a local English-speaking guide who makes learning fun. Give your family the experience of a lifetime on this tour that’s designed and priced for up to 15 participants. Sightseeing can be overwhelming for children when it involves waiting in boring lines to see places and artifacts they don’t understand. On this tour, your children are the center of activity. With privileged, reserved admission to historic sites, there is no boredom or fidgeting in the long ticket lines. Interactive visual learning tools, pop-up books, iPad games, and trivia are all incorporated into the experience to provide a realistic glimpse into life in ancient times. You’ll be escorted through the Vatican Museums for the thrill of a lifetime. Following a treasure hunt theme, children will engage in conversations about the fascinating history of Roman civilization. Through the works of Michelangelo, Raphael, da Vinci, Caravaggio, and a host of other artists, your family will become acquainted with what it was like to live in ancient times, as an artist, a parent, a child, or even an emperor or soldier.

Rome: 2.5-Hour Family Vatican Highlight Scavenger Hunt

7. Rome: 2.5-Hour Family Vatican Highlight Scavenger Hunt

This family orientated tour of the marvels of Vatican City will have your kids engaged throughout the whole 2.5-hour experience. Today you and your children will learn with entertaining anecdotes full of details the stories that bring the art works to life. All guides have been carefully chosen as the perfect travel companions for you and your family. The tour starts in front of the Vatican Museums, where you will meet your guide and go through the priority entrance with them to buy your tickets. See and feel the history while your kids are engaged with scavenger hunts, stories and games throughout the Vatican Gardens, the Gallery of the Carriages, and the Gallery of Maps. You will have priority exit from the Museums and conclude the trip at St. Peters Square.

Rome: Audio Guide for the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

8. Rome: Audio Guide for the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Waltz in the Vatican Museums & the Sistine Chapel with a self-guided audio tour on your phone designed by an accredited expert. Listen to fascinating stories, based on an award-winning storytelling concept, and gain great insights into the most iconic landmark of the Vatican. Set out on a riveting journey through religious history and art in the museum where the heart of Catholic Rome beats. From the first stop in the dazzling Cortile del Belvedere to the very last in front of the iconic “Last Judgement”, this is a vivid medley of color & arresting stories about some of the most famous artworks in the world! Guided by your immersive audio tour, you will explore the Gallery of the Candelabras, Raphael’s Rooms, the Gallery of the Maps & the Gallery of Tapestries among many more richly adorned rooms of the Museum. Your visit culminates with Michelangelo’s masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel. * Ticket/entrance fee to the Vatican Museums & the Sistine Chapel is not included

Vatican Museums: Exclusive Opening the Sistine Chapel Tour

9. Vatican Museums: Exclusive Opening the Sistine Chapel Tour

Tour Vatican City's Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel before dawn with the Vatican’s Museum Key Master. Enjoy two hours of exploration time in the Museums without anyone else but your small group around, an experience usually reserved for the Key Master and the Pope. Follow behind as the Key Master unlocks the doors and lights up the long, empty galleries for you to explore. The highlight of your tour will be opening the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll enter completely alone and watch Michelangelo’s frescoes flicker to life. Accompanied by an official Vatican tour guide, get up close with some of the finest artworks in the world appreciating every detail. See the Raphael Rooms, home to a collection of frescoes revered by art historians. Enjoy the ample space free of crowds as you walk along historic galleries like the Gallery of the Maps and the Gallery of the Tapestries. At the end of the tour, choose to stay inside the museums to explore more on your own or head out, passing the crowds who are only now getting inside the doors.

Vatican City: Private Guided Tour

10. Vatican City: Private Guided Tour

You will admire antique statues such as the Laocoonte and the Apollo Belvedere and mosaics from ancient Roman villas. You will 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Gallery of Maps

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What people are saying about Gallery of Maps

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 8,708 reviews

Great way to see the Vatican museums and skip the queues. It's definitely worth staying afterwards to see St Peters Bascilla and the Dome too.

The tour with Hildegard was very good and at a high level. We were very happy with everything. Again any time.

Fabulous experience in the Vatcan museum Plenty to see, and St Peters Basilica is just spectacular.

It was great! Very informative, super professional, the guide was wonderful.

Nice experience the guide, Claudia, very good and kind.