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Vatican Highlights Tour
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Key Details

  • City: Vatican
  • Duration: 2hrs 30mins
  • Start Time: 3.15PM

Tour Highlights

  • Our shortest Vatican Museums Tour is still comprehensive; covering all the major highlights of the museums and leaving you inside St. Peter’s Basilica to explore on your own.

  • With a carefully-timed visit after most guests have left, you'll avoid a lot of the huge crowds at the Vatican - particularly important in summer.

  • With Skip the Line Access, you’ll avoid the Vatican’s notorious lines (both at the Museums & St. Peter’s Basilica) while small groups of max 20 keep it intimate and expert Walks of Italy guides engage.
See the Sistine Chapel on our Vatican Museums Tour The Sistine Chapel Roof Expert guide describes Michelangelo's frescoes The School of Athens by Raphael Spot Rocky in the Raphael Rooms Nero's bath (its literally priceless!) The Belvedere Torso, Vatican Museums Ancient Greek sculptures, Vatican Museums Ancient Greek sculptures, Vatican Museums The Laocoon Group, Vatican Museums Apollo Belvedere, Vatican Museums Priceless ancient tapestries, Vatican Museums Admire the dome of St. Peter's Basilica (hidden) The Pinecone Courtyard (aptly named) Get more from your visit with an expert guide The ceiling of the Gallery of the Maps Plus skip the line entrance to St. Peter's Basilica

EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION

Get more from your visit with a great guide & good timing.

Give the Papal Palaces the attention they deserve on our Highlights of the Vatican Museums Tour. This is the shortest of all of our Vatican tours, focusing less on the details and more on the bigger picture of art, power and politics in the Vatican City.

Let our entertaining, expert guides make the Vatican’s dramatic past come to life for you. The Sistine Chapel is, of course, the highlight of our tour. By the time we reach the chapel you’ll be well prepared to appreciate the details and quirks that make it so special – and knowing Michelangelo’s history of temper tantrums and tiffs, you’ll understand what a miracle it was that he finished it at all!

We’ve timed our Vatican Museums tour to visit at one of the latest entry times so you’ll avoid the worst of the crowds, visiting the Sistine Chapel in particular, after most of the crowds have gone home. During the summer months in particular, when tens of thousands of travelers visit every day, this difference is not to be underestimated.

SKIP THE LINE ACCESS AT THE MUSUEMS AND ST. PETER’S BASILICA.

To help you make the most of every precious moment, we have privileged entrance at the Vatican Museums. This allows us to skip the notoriously long general access line, which, during high season, often stretches for hours.

We’ve also carefully chosen our finish point. If you would like to spend more time you can end your tour inside the Sistine Chapel or alternatively, follow your guide out of the chapel through the privileged, no-line passageway and directly into to St. Peter's Basilica. With new security procedures this shortcut saves you not just a 20 minute walk out of the Museums to the Basilica; but also potential hours of waiting time – and you get it at no extra cost.

After a short introduction from our guide you can visit the Basilica on your own, to explore Michelangelo's 'Pietà' among other stunning works of art and architecture.

SMALL GROUPS OF 20 OR FEWER KEEP IT CASUAL AND ENGAGING.

Key to our tour is group size. At only 20 people or fewer it’s smaller than most other operators. Smaller groups mean you’ll to engage more with your guide, hear them more easily, ask as many questions you want and guarantee that you won’t lose them during busy periods!

When you visit the Vatican, we at Walks of Italy think that you should come away with an understanding of more than just the museum’s art collection (as fantastic as it is). It takes a special person to paint the bigger picture though, which is why we’ve spent years creating the perfect team of guides – art historians, architecture buffs and storytellers, specially trained to give you a real sense of the drama and power that has played out in these very halls.

Our small group Vatican Museum tours ensure that you get the best from your Vatican visit, seeing beyond world-famous masterpieces to appreciate the bigger picture.

Sites visited

  • Sistine Chapel
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Belvedere Courtyard with Apollo Belvedere & Laocoön & His Sons
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Gallery of the Candelabra
  • Gallery of the Maps
  • Gallery of the Tapestries
  • St. Peter’s Basilica (optional)

Included

  • Skip the Line Access tickets to the Vatican Museums
  • Skip the Line Access to St. Peter’s Basilica (optional)
  • Expert Walks of Italy tour guide
  • Small groups, never more than 20 people
  • Headsets

Reviews

5-stars from over 710 Customer Reviews

Enjoyed our tour !
Really enjoyed the tour and appreciated the headphones with the wrap-around clip. Learned so much about the map rooms that I had not heard on prior tours - thank you!
Amazing guide and the tour was fantastic! Highly recommended!

Important information

Before you travel, please read our important notes about possible disruptions & site entrance requirements

As with all museums, particular galleries of the Vatican museums can sometimes be closed without prior notice and pieces removed for restoration or loan. In the case of a gallery being closed, your guide will take you to another section of the museums instead.

Also, please remember that the Sistine Chapel is a holy place, and attire must be appropriate for the visit. Both men and women are asked to wear clothing that covers at least the shoulders and knees. Walks of Italy cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress. Please note that, since the chapel is at the end of the Vatican visit, it is sufficient to bring extra coverings with you and put them on before our entrance to the holy areas.

On rare occasions, when St. Peter's Basilica is being prepared for high masses or a special private event, including the Easter ceremonies, the tour group exit and/or the basilica itself can be closed without prior notification. Your guide will still give you an introduction to the church should you wish to visit this on your own at a later occasion. We are unable to provide refunds or discounts.

While the Vatican Museums are equipped with elevators for wheelchair access, they are not conveniently located on the group tour route and only give access to specific sections of the Museums. Please contact us at info@walksofitaly.com if you have walking disabilities or if you are in a wheelchair. We can then work out a suitable alternative.

Please ensure that all members of your party have a valid ID on them on the day of the visit. This is particularly important for guests who have qualified for a senior, student, or child reduction.

For details of what you may and may not bring inside the Vatican Museums (you may not, for example, carry backpacks), click here. Guests who do bring these items will be required to leave them in the Vatican cloakroom and will be responsible for collecting them at the end of the tour. Please note that it is a 15 to 20 minute walk from St. Peter’s Square back to the entrance of the Museums.

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Enjoyed our tour !
Really enjoyed the tour and appreciated the headphones with the wrap-around clip. Learned so much about the map rooms that I had not heard on prior tours - thank you!
Amazing guide and the tour was fantastic! Highly recommended!
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Excellent tour and guide!
Ambra was so knowledgeable, engaging and humorous! She loves what she does and it shows. My family of four really enjoyed learning about all of the lesser known facts, stories, and anecdotes that she shared. We would do it all over again should the opportunity present itself! Thank you Ambra and Walks of Italy for making it a day to remember.
Flavia was a charming young woman who was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Liked the shorter length of the tour. Would take this tour again.
Hi! The tour and our guide were great! The only issue is the headphone was an issue for our guide and all of us listening. He did try to fix the problem as best he could but there was a lot of 'crackling' that was distracting when trying to hear everything he had to say! I would recommend the tour however to anyone!
Our guide, Jeb, was great. He was funny, dynamic, and knowledgeable. He did a great job of making sure everyone in the group had a good time. The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are incredible. This tour was fantastic--perfect for getting the highlights in a relatively short period of time.
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Our guide was Irene and she was excellent!
Going on a tour was definitely the way to go. Jeb’s knowledge of the history and tips when inside made it more enjoyable than if we had done it on our own.
Burcu was amazing. She was super knowledgeable and had a great attitude despite the heat and crowds. The time flew and we learned a lot!
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Great tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable. We were very pleased.
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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED... EXCELLENT!!!
I enjoyed the tour immensely and I look forward to returning in the future. It is a lot of material to cover but our guide kept things light and moving. The crowds detracted from the tour but there is nothing your firm can do about that. If I had any issue, the plastic that went over the ear became uncomfortable after some time.
Despite another tour participate misplacing his mobile phone and causing a delay at the entrance security check, Enza handled it well and seemed to "make up" the lost time. Her commentary was professional, relevant, and yet concise which enriched the tour experience. She is a great asset for your company!
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Our guide was great if it wasn’t for her guilting the guard into letting us in I don’t think we would have seen the sisteen chapel due to the crowds
Jeb was great, he knew everything. Only disappointment was when tour finished up in St Peter's we then went back to the shop run by nuns close by and it had just closed. My wife was very dissapointed.
Thank you!
Very happy with the amount of knowledge and professionalism. Will recommend
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I will use your services again and recommend it to my friends.
Marta was an excellent guide. The weather was terrible so the marble floors were like ice, so she was patient and careful. Most of all she was entertaining and kept our interest.
Very enjoyable tour. Guide was aware of large crowds and worked to find room to keep us together as we moved through, this allowed us all to see and hear the guide. Guide was welcoming with questions. Well worth the trip. Thanks
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Our tour guide was brilliant.. It was extremely packed and long queues but the tour guide kept is entertained throughout which made a real difference. Thank you.
Our guide was Amazing, knowledgeable and entertaining! Highly recommend the highlight tour. So much to see but lots of walking, stairs and when we went it was holy day so lots of waiting to get into the Sistene Chapel. Only regret was St. Peters Basilica was closed in preparation for Easter.
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Excellent guide.
Excellent guide.
The tour was a good short tour that showed us the main parts of the Vatican and also our guide was very enthusiastic so it made us feel excited to listen. The audio receivers had a bit of static on it but nothing too bad as to ruin an altogether good tour. Keep up the good work!
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Camilla was well-informed on the history of The Vatican and told her "story" in an informative and interesting way that kept my attention and fascination. I would definitely recommend having a tour guide, specifically Camilla, when one tours The Vatican.
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The Sistine chapel was rushed at the end but appreciate it was a lot to get through. I very much enjoyed it and the guide was very engaging.
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