Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour
- Skip the ticket line
- Duration options: 2.5 - 3.5 hours
When in Rome, don’t miss out on the Vatican’s world-famous Vatican Museums. Over the centuries, popes have built up a truly astounding collection of artistic masterpieces. There are countless things to see, but make sure not to miss these 5 highlights.
The Sistine Chapel alone would be worth a trip to the Vatican Museums. Painted by the greatest Renaissance painters, the chapel’s famous frescoes are quite simply sublime.
The 4 dazzling Raphael Rooms form the public part of the Pope’s apartments. Raphael’s magnificent frescoes decorating the walls give those of the Sistine Chapel a run for their money.
This stunning sculpture of a muscly male torso was highly influential for Renaissance artists like Michelangelo (note Christ’s similar pose in the Sistine Chapel’s Last Judgement).
Despite being unfinished, this gorgeous painting is a glorious demonstration of Leonardo’s painterly prowess. Unbelievably, it was once cut up and used to cover a barber’s stool.
A masterpiece of neo-classical architecture, this majestic room is shaped like a miniature pantheon, with lavish mosaics covering the floors and ancient statues lining the walls.
Although the Vatican Museums are extremely popular with tourists all year around, if you’re looking for a quieter visit, your best bet is during the low season between November and February.
On the last Sunday of every month, entrance to the Vatican Museums is free during opening hours, from 9:00 AM until 12:30 PM. This is a great way of saving money, but be warned: these free days are also the most popular. If you’d rather avoid the large crowds, you’re better off going on a regular day.
The ticket office opens at 9:00 AM. If you want to see as much as possible, then you should arrive early, as the Vatican Museums are huge (over 9 miles!) and long lines can start forming at the entrance even before opening time. However, if you’re more interested in avoiding the queues, come around 1:00 PM. Most people will be headed for lunch at that time and it’s often possible to walk straight in without wait.
Even if you’re intending to avoid the queues, don’t come too late. The ticket office closes at 4:00 PM and the Vatican Museums close at 6:00 PM. If you want to have time to see the Sistine Chapel, you should arrive at the Vatican Museums by 3:00 PM at the latest.
Esperienza molto positiva. Sono riuscita a vedere tutta la città con una guida personale ( guida esperta e molto preparata). L’esperienza è molto ben fatta perché nella piena autonomia ti permette di visitare la città sfruttando 2 circuiti. Il promo parte dal Colosseo e il secondo da San Pietro. Entrambe hanno una frequenza di circa 1,5 ore tra una partenza e l’altra. La guida attraverso il suo smartphone parlava e spiegava la città e io la ascoltavo dal mio telefono attraverso l’integrazione di una radioguida digitale. Ho potuto godere appieno della libertà di seguire, lasciare e riprendere il tour guidato e sfruttare pure percorsi alternativi utilizzando a volte l’audio guida geo-localizzata che sempre attraverso il mio smartphone mi offriva percorsi e informazioni. La società sembra essere italiana e sono fiera di questa eccellenza nazionale. Ottima esperienza. La suggerisco
We were very happy with our guide on this tour - he was very knowledgeable, answered all of our questions, kept the tour moving, kept it interesting for our 12 & 14 year old girls, and also helped entertain / interact with the 3 & 6 year old also in our tour group. He was energetic, fun, and seemed to be sure that EVERYONE got what they wanted out of the tour. He definitely knows his stuff, and I would recommend this tour to anyone - including families with teens or kids.
This was a fantastic tour made particularly good by our excellent tour guide Matej. The wealth of art and architecture on display was incredible, and Matej's knowledge of it all was very impressive. If anything, 3 hours wasn't enough, and in fact by the time we left St Peter's Basilica it had been closer to 4. It was nice to go at a time when it was less busy due to Covid, and I would highly recommend it to anyone in Rome.
All the important areas of the Vatican were covered in great detail without going on too long. The Vatican may be the single most impressive site on the entire planet, and we were able to see it in great and splendid detail. Our guide was top of the line and was able to develop a great relationship with everyone in the group. Plus, no queues for obvious reasons, so that made it a pretty unique experience.
Wonderful tour full of information and all the perfect highlights! Would highly recommend to anyone traveling to the area and wanting to see the Vatican and St. Peters Basilica. David was an amazing tour guide that was experienced and knowledgeable. Thankful to have had this tour otherwise we would have been so lost and not known what to do or what we were seeing.