2 hours
6:00 AM


  • Join the Vatican Key Master on a special access tour and witness the opening of the Vatican Museums for the day.
  • Spend a few precious moments alone inside the Sistine Chapel.
  • Enjoy two exquisite hours inside the museums, sharing the space with a group of no more than 20 guests in total.
  • Follow an official Vatican guide who will reveal fascinating context and hidden details in each of the galleries you visit.
  • Spend as much time as you desire inside the museums at the conclusion of your tour.

Tour description

The Key Master's tour is the most incredible Vatican experience available.

Just before dawn in Vatican City, the Key Master moves from gallery to gallery, unlocking the various sections within the Vatican Museums. For the very first time, officials at the Vatican have invited a select few tour operators (including us!) to take part in this incredible morning ritual. For two memorable hours, join a small group before any other visitor steps foot inside, following the official Vatican Key Master to unlock the galleries (including the Sistine Chapel) for their thousands of daily visitors—none of whom you will even see.

Enjoy two full hours with an official Vatican guide.

Along with the Key Master, an official Vatican guide will join you on the tour, adding color and character to these hallowed halls. Along the way, they'll introduce you to famed frescos, marble sculptures, and artifacts of grandiose proportions. Void of the daily crowds, you'll appreciate the time and space given in one of the world's most revered spaces. Greet world-renowned works of art including Raphael's School of Athens, the celebrated Apollo Belvedere, and Laocoön and His Sons. Float through the most famed galleries such as the Gallery of Maps and Gallery of the Tapestries.

Spend time (truly) alone in the Sistine Chapel.

With great anticipation, you'll approach the small, unassuming wooden doors leading to the Sistine Chapel. Here, the Key Master graciously allows our guests a chance to turn the key and pry open the old doors, just as cardinals and popes have done for centuries. Beyond the threshold, celestial figures of Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Perugino await your arrival. Step inside and feast your gaze upon the most famous work of art in the world in unrivaled silence and peace.

Once your Vatican Key Master's Tour draws to a close, you're welcome to stay in the museums at your own leisure for as long as you choose. You'll depart full of wonder and awe, with memories of uninterrupted access to the world's greatest masterpieces that will be with you for years to come.

Sites visited

  • Vatican Museums
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Raphael Rooms (Stanze di Raffaello)
  • Belvedere Courtyard (Pinecone)
  • Octagonal Courtyard (Apollo Belvedere & Laocoön)
  • Gallery of the Candelabra
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Gallery of the Tapestries


Verified guest reviews

4.8 / 5
171 Customer Reviews
  1. Excellent


  2. Great


  3. Good


  4. Average


  5. Poor



Apr 24, 2024

Wonderful once in a lifetime experience. I would highly recommend it. Being in the Sistine Chapel with only 20 others is unbelievable.


Apr 21, 2024

Antonio was excellent. The guards at the Vatican were extremely accommodating. I could not imagine taking a Vatican tour any other way.


Apr 10, 2024

The tour was great. Our issue was that although the guide points everything out, her English had way too much Italian overcast that was very hard to understand what she was saying. This took away from what I was looking forward to with this tour for us as we wanted to know what we were looking at. The keymasters were very kind as well.


Mar 25, 2024

This tour is super expensive but delivers 'value' nonetheless because the experience of walking behind the Chief Door Opener and all the keys, is unique. It's a choice on how you wish to spend your budget vs how much time you wish to expend in a queue.


Jan 11, 2024

This was truly a once in a lifetime experience that I highly recommend.

Know before you book

Make it a perfect day


Enjoy the finer things in Rome on this one-day itinerary. Start the day with a VIP tour of the Vatican Museums and end with a food tour in the charming Trastevere for a day you won’t soon forget.

From $559
Free Cancellation