Vatican City stands at the heart of the Catholic religion and is the Pope’s domain. When visiting Rome, the Vatican makes for a fascinating destination, with its many museums full of priceless Renaissance art and the remarkable Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s masterpiece. The Vatican Museums were founded in the 16th century by Pope Julius II and display around 20,000 works of art across the galleries and museums. There is also a collection of more contemporary religious art on display. With such a choice of options to visit and view, it is important to plan your visit carefully. Browse our top picks of the best GetYourGuide tours in Vatican City to avoid queuing for hours.
This comprehensive tour offers the option to skip the line of tourists queuing for the attractions. A private guide will take visitors on a tour of Rome’s magnificent monuments, including the Pyramid of Caius Cestius, the marvelous Colosseum, Piazza Navona and Trevi Fountain, where you can toss in a coin for good fortune. It also heads into Vatican City to visit Michelangelo’s classic Sistine Chapel, some of the art museums and the iconic St. Peter’s Basilica.
Classic & Imperial Rome Full Day Tour
Duration: 8 hour
This tour will give you full insight into Vatican City, touring all the museums, art galleries, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, but with the added fun of climbing the dome with the help of your expert guide. Roman law decrees that no buildings in the city can be taller than the basilica’s dome, so this gives an idea just how high you will go.
St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour with Dome Climb
Duration: 2 hour
If you have read Dan Brown’s book “Angels & Demons,” or seen the movie of the same name, this tour is a must. Your expert, German-language guide takes you in the footsteps of Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks in the movie, to the Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Petersplatz, Santa Maria della Vittoria and Vatican City. Along the way, learn about the secrets of the Illuminati. A similar tour in English is included under number eight, below.
Rome: Illuminati Tour in German by Minivan
Duration: 3.5 hour
This three-hour tour takes you through the Vatican Museums an hour before they officially open for business. This allows you to see the Sistine Chapel in all its glory without the crowds, along with the stunning frescos by Michelangelo. Head into the museums and learn about the beautiful Renaissance art on display. Enter a secret passage to take you into St. Peter’s Basilica direct from the museums, as long as no special ceremonies are going on. Explore the Basilica at your own leisure.
First Entry Morning Tickets Sistine Chapel & Vatican Museums
This 3.5-hour tour takes you in the steps of Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) in the famous novel by Dan Brown. Follow Langdon’s path, from the Pantheon to the church of Santa Maria del Popolo. Next is St. Peter’s Basilica and the obelisk in the heart of St. Peter’s Square. You then head from the Vatican to the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, with the Bellini sculpture, Estasi di Santa Teresa. Explore the old city center of Rome, visiting Navona Square and Repubblica Square, ending up in the final location, Castel Sant’Angelo, the Illuminati’s gathering place.
Rome: Half-Day Angels and Demons Semi-Private Tour
Duration: 3.5 hour
Experience this private walking tour without the need to queue, taking you through the most famous landmarks of the Vatican together with a knowledgeable guide. Gaze at the Michelangelo and Raphael masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel as your guide explains their secrets. Visit the Raphael Rooms, a set of private papal apartments, with some fine examples of the artist’s work. Then, head into the Vatican Museums to see a selection of the remarkable art collection of the Vatican. From here, head directly to St. Peter’s Basilica to learn about its fascinating history relating to the Christian religion.
Rome: Sistine Chapel, Vatican & St. Peters Private Tour
Duration: 3 hour
Avoid the hour-long queues at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. This affordable self-guided tour will take you through the basilica at your own pace. Use your tablet or mobile phone to download the audio guide and learn about the 31 important and interesting points of St. Peter’s Basilica. View the beautiful, soaring dome, which Michelangelo redesigned in 1547 and completed by Dominico Fontana and Giacomo della Porta in 1590. Explore the pilasters in Maderno’s nave, along with all the remarkable architectural features created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Reserved Entrance: Saint Peter Basilica Self-Guided Tour
Duration: 1 hour
The ultimate Vatican City experience is to join the Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square. Before you start, a guide will explain the rich history and tradition behind the Papacy and the Papal Audience. Your ticket will give you the best view of the event, as the Pope passes you by while mixing with the assembled crowd. Watch Pope Francis take to the stage to address the crowd and perform blessings in several languages. Hymns will be sung and homilies performed.
Papal Audience Experience Tickets with Expert Guide Included
Duration: 4 hour
This spectacular, 60-minute show is based on the Last Judgment, Michelangelo’s famous masterpiece which is the Sistine Chapel’s crowning glory. Art, music and light come together in a magical show produced by Marco Balich and presented in collaboration with talented artists and musicians in a theatrical performance. There are also 270-degree immersive light projections, full of emotion and spirituality.
The Last Judgement: A Musical and Visual Spectacle
Duration: Wheelchair accessible
The Vatican Mosaic Studio was formally established in 1727 and has several highly talented craftsmen and artists who have restored around 10,000 square meters (11,959.9 square yards) of beautiful mosaics in St Peter’s Basilica. They also create original mosaic masterpieces for the Vatican. This exclusive tour of Vatican City also includes a visit to the beautiful St Peter’s Basilica, where the results of their efforts can be viewed in the Renaissance church.
Rome: Exclusive Vatican Mosaic School and Basilica Tour
See the Vatican City in style
Enjoy visiting the many remarkable attractions of Vatican City without having to join endless queues. Learn all about the exquisite Renaissance art and architecture and attend the famed Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square.
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