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Pristine Sistine Tour

Key Details

  • City: Vatican
  • Duration: 3 hrs 45 mins
  • Start Time: 7:30AM and 8AM

Tour Highlights

  • Enter the museums before the general public to see the Sistine Chapel at a quieter time. During Easter & summer, the Chapel may have some groups inside but never the hoards you'll see later. On quieter days you'll have it pretty much to yourself!

  • See the best of the Vatican City in under four hours. With a guided tour of the Sistine Chapel, a Vatican Museums tou (including the Raphael Rooms) and a St. Peter’s Basilica tour, you’ll cover all the bases.

  • Engage with the art and architecture of the Vatican. Our guides are passionate art experts, full of stories and familiar with even the smallest details of these massive museums. With groups of just 14 or fewer, you'll find them easy to engage with.

Enter the Vatican before the crowds Rush to the Sistine Chapel before the public Busy Vatican Museum corridors See the Sistine Chapel when it's almost empty Guide uses aids to explain Sistine frescoes The Sistine Chapel Ceiling Visit the Raphael Rooms The School of Athens by Raphael Raphael Rooms: Can you spot Raphael? Raphael Rooms: Do you see Rocky? This sculpture inspired Michelangelo The Belvedere Torso Ancient Greek sculptures, Vatican Museums Nero's bath (its literally priceless!) The Laocoon Group, Vatican Museums Apollo Belvedere, Vatican Museums The Gallery of the Maps, Vatican Museums St. Peter's Basilica, included on our Pristine Sistine Tour Inside St. Peter's Basilica Bernini's 'Baldachin' altar, St. Peter's Basilica Michelangelo's 'Pieta', St. Peter's Basilica The ceiling of St. Peter's Basilica Bernini's stained glass window, St. Peter's Basilica Rubbing St. Peter's foot for luck Pristine Sistine Chapel tour ends at St. Peter's Square



Visiting the Sistine Chapel can be the highlight of your vacation, but only if you beat the crowds. Our Pristine Sistine Chapel tour is the product of 7 years of constant development and refinement. Through it's finely tuned itinerary, you'll use skip the line Vatican tickets to enter the Vatican the Museums a full hour before the general public and enjoy the most peaceful experience of the Chapel available. Along the way you'll also get a peek at famous rooms like the Gallery of the Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries or the Raphael Rooms.

The guide for your small group Sistine Chapel Tour is a seasoned expert. They know how to read the crowd and their aim is to get you to the Chapel at the most peaceful time (always before the 9am opening). During the peak months of high season and a few days over Easter, there will be some groups inside the Sistine Chapel when you visit, but you'll always have much more space than other times of day.

Take your time and enjoy some of the most iconic works of art on earth. After 15 or 20 serene minutes visiting the Sistine Chapel, You'll embark on a full-guided Vatican Museums tour and St. Peter’s Basilica tour.


Visiting the Vatican Museums can be daunting but our guides have been carefully chosen as the perfect travel companions. They'll show you the highlights of the collection and enrich your visit with witty anecdotes and entertaining details to bring world-famous works to life. Traveling in small groups of only 14 people or fewer (with personal headsets) you’ll always be able to hear your guide and engage with their stories, asking all the questions you can think of. We won’t finish at the Vatican Museums though. Our next stop is the world’s largest Basilica.


From the Vatican Museums, we use a special-access corridor to enter St. Peter's Basilica, skipping the enormous general-access lines. Inside, you'll enjoy a full St. Peter's Basilica tour including Bernini’s monumental altar canopy, Michelangelo’s moving 'Pietà' and the titanic dome.

Most people only visit the Vatican once in a lifetime. Our Pristine Sistine™ Chapel Tour guarantees that you have a once-in-a-lifetime experience when you're there.

NOTE: Due to increased demand, we're offering an additional time slot on our Pristine Sistine tour, entering the Museums at 8.30AM, 30 minutes before general opening rather than one hour, for those who need a little more time in bed. Let's call it our Still-Quite-Pristine Sistine Tour.

At €86 per adult, it is €3 cheaper than our earlier departure. To book select the 8.00AM start time during booking.

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
  • St. Peter’s Square


  • Skip the Line Access tickets to the Vatican Museums (with early entrance an hour before the general public!)
  • Skip the Line Access to St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Expert Walks of Italy tour guide
  • Small groups, never more than 14 people
  • Headsets


5-stars from over 6183 Customer Reviews

Very knowledgeable guide and an amazing experience from start to finish. The highlight of our trip to Rome!
Davide was fantastic. Informative but funny with great pacing. Very happy to have booked this tour.
Emma was our guide and she was fantastic. She really knows the history well. The only issue, which isn't her fault or Walks of Italy, is there are so many people. I agreed with her assessment that the Vatican needs to do a better job of managing how many people can visit at a time.

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.

Note: We advise our clients that St.Peter's Basilica may be closed during special celebrations/festivities, including the Easter ceremonies. If this occurs during your visit, we will spend more time inside the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. 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.

IMPORTANT: 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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We had a lovely time on our Vatican tour with walks of italy! Although it is a bit early to get up and going for the day it is well worth it because the Vatican is slightly less crowded in the morning and it is more enjoyable this way. That being said it is still fairly busy since did is one of the most popular tourist locations in Rome.
Very knowledgeable guide and an amazing experience from start to finish. The highlight of our trip to Rome!
Davide was fantastic. Informative but funny with great pacing. Very happy to have booked this tour.
Emma was our guide and she was fantastic. She really knows the history well. The only issue, which isn't her fault or Walks of Italy, is there are so many people. I agreed with her assessment that the Vatican needs to do a better job of managing how many people can visit at a time.
Excellent tour. Dario was a great guide... kept us moving through the throngs of people. Very informative .. we cannot imagine doing this tour without a guide. It would have been overwhelming. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone considering a visit to the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. We learned so much about history that we would never have known if we had not done the tour!
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour and GiGi our guide. He was very knowledgeable and entertaining. I would highly recommend the tour to friends and colleagues.
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Barbara was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and also very considerate. I would highly recommend this tour of the Vatican, but deifinitely do not just go try to buy a ticket and wait in line!
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Our guide was smart and capable. Of all the tours we took in our time in Italy, this guide was by far the best. Thanks, Mike and Jen Fogarty
Great tour! The early access to the chapel was nice.
We enjoyed our tour with Maria very much. Everything was very well organized and she was a wonderful tour guide!
Our Sistine Pristine tour came highly recommended from friends and we were not disappointed. Under Luigi’s knowledgeable and entertaining guidance, we moved through the Vatican and St Peters at a comfortable pace. Luigi also made sure our 2 children understood, were included and answered their questions as well. Having now undertaken several tours since then with other operators in other areas, we can truly appreciate just how good this small group tour was.
Wonderful tour and Francesca was knowledgeable and interesting and spoke great English.
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We adored Maria Teresa. She is incredibly knowledgeable about Italian and art history in general and Michaelangelo and the Vatican Museums in particular. She spoke clearly, explained everything very well, and really brought the museum to life. We highly recommend her!
Loved our tour! Our guide was very knowledgeable and professional. She was able to provide so much insight about every part of the tour. Having an early tour made a huge difference in the number of people there - we were some of the first to enter. Would recommend this to everyone.
Great tour but maybe a bit to long.
Toni was a fabulous tour guide!
Jon was very knowledgeable and had such passion. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour.
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Jeb was a fabulous guide, he really brought the history to life. My family thoroughly enjoyed the tour and would highly recommend it.
John was a fantastic guide. We loved our experience through the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's. It couldn't have been a better tour!
Gigi was fantastic!
Our guide was Maria Christina (not Ferdinando). Maria Christina was a wonderful guide! We have already recommended her to friends who are booking this tour later this summer.
Claudia was a fantastic guide. She gave a superb tour and her enthusiasm was contagious. I highly recommend her and the tour for anyone interested in visiting the Vatican.
Gigi was a fantastic guide!
Excellent tours!
Francesco was a great guide that made our visit to the Vatican a memorable one
Lovely tour guide with immense knowledge!
Great tour! Loved the early start time without the crowds! Our tour guide was great - very friendly and informative
The information provided by the guide about the Sistine chapel was very interesting and the Rafael rooms
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Our guide was excellent. The galleries with the Raphael frescoes was ridiculously crowded, we couldn't hear our guide because of interference from other guides on the same frequency. I'm not sure this should be part of the tour because it is so stressful to tourists and guides alike.
She was amazing! Emma was very knowledgeable, funny and welcoming. We were glad that we booked the tour. I couldn’t imagine touring the Vatican without the information Emma provided. We felt the price of the tour was well worth it! We will be booking more tours in the future.
Our guide was passionate about the our tour. He was awesome.
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Very good tour, little trouble with headsets throughout tour, but overall satisfied.
We enjoyed the tour.
Enjoyed Luigi as a tour guide very much.
Our guide , Julia, was very knowledgeable about the historical facts
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Great tour and tour guide!