Visiting the Vatican is a little different this year. Tourists are returning in trickles, but the crowds that once thronged the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel seem something of a distant memory. This makes visiting the Vatican at the moment a delightful experience, as you have the space, and serenity, to enjoy its collection in peace.
Reserving tickets in advance is essential. Covid-19 safety measures mean you have to book in advance to visit practically all museums and galleries in Rome – a service we provide for our tours. But as the summer sets in and the city starts to swelter, picking your timing for tours becomes essential. And some times are better than others for visiting the Vatican.
Earliest access Vatican tour with breakfast
Be the first inside the Vatican City through this immersive private tour. Meeting your guide at 7:00 a.m. outside the Vatican Museums, you’ll step inside the Vatican Museums and make your way straight to the Pinecone Courtyard. Here, the Vatican has laid on a full breakfast buffet, giving you all the energy you need before starting your tour.
After your Vatican buffet breakfast, you’ll be treated to a thorough, immersive tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Your expert licensed guide will bring the Vatican Museums’ immense collection to life, condensing it down so you see the very best. You’ll then come face-to-face with Michelangelo’s undisputed masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel, whose frescoed ceiling and Last Judgment mural he completed single-handedly over the course of nine years, before stepping inside Saint Peter’s Basilica to see another of his masterpieces: the Pietà.
Early morning Vatican tour
Our most popular Vatican tour gets you inside the Vatican Museums at 8:00 a.m. sharp, one hour before general opening. Lasting three-and-a-half hours, this is our most complete tour of the Vatican, guiding you through the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s Basilica. And we run it on either a private or small group basis (the latter with a maximum of 6 participants, so it really feels like your own tour!)
While visiting the Vatican on an express tour has its merits if you just want to tick off the must-see sites (the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica), our early morning Vatican tour is the most comprehensive, meaning there’ll be no need to return for a second visit. Your expert licensed guide will bring you face-to-face with such attractions as the Raphael Rooms and the School of Athens, the Laocoon Statue, the Pinecone Courtyard, and the galleries of the Candelabra, Maps, and Tapestries, nourishing you with knowledge and making sure you don’t miss any of the highlights.
Afternoon Vatican tour
Journey through the splendour of the Rome of the Popes on your own private tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Your dedicated guide, an expert in their field and fluent in your language, has selected the very best of the Vatican’s collection and condensed it just for you. So you can be sure that during your time in the Vatican City you don’t miss anything.
This is our most flexible Vatican tour, departing at a time of your choice, and encompassing all the main highlights: the Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Lasting three-and-a-half hours, it is also among our most in-depth Vatican tours on offer this year.
Because the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica are active places of worship, certain rules are in place. Here is our essential advice for visiting the Vatican.
- Because the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica are active places of worship, certain dress rules are in place. Vatican guards might refuse entry to those wearing knee-length shorts or short skirts, or exposing knees, shoulders, or mid-riff. Sandals and jeans are fine.
- If you find you have nothing to cover your shoulders or knees, there are plenty of vendors outside the Vatican selling t-shirts, scarves, or sarongs (though at a predictably inflated price).
- Bring some comfy shoes! There’s lots to see in the Vatican Museums (and Rome in general) and even with transfers between attractions, museums, and your accommodation you’re going to be doing lots of walking. So pack a good pair of sneakers or some comfortable sandals – especially for Rome’s famous ‘sampietrini’ cobblestones.
Discover the Italian capital with Walks Inside Rome
For more than 20 years, Walks Inside Rome has been offering immersive, authentic, and educational private and small-group tours in the Eternal City and beyond. Our local, licensed guides are seasoned experts in art, history, archaeology, and food. Our combined expertise and experience transforms your time in Rome into something truly exceptional.
To check out our catalogue of tours and experiences, visit our website or contact us directly. We can’t wait to hear from you so we can customize your Vatican tour and start exploring together!