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Pristine Sistine Tour

Key Details

  • City: Vatican
  • Duration: 3 hrs 45 mins
  • Start Time: 7:00AM and 7:30AM

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 tour (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 this tour select the 7.30AM 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 6632 Customer Reviews

This was a fabulous tour and we are so glad we did it. Learnt a lot and was able to skip the very long lines. Our tour guide was great and the group sizes are nice and small.
Very informative and entertaining tour and host. Well worth the price especially on the day after a holiday. My guide was very pleasant and did a fantastic job
Given the fact that there were mass numbers of people, our guide cared upmost for the care of the group. Exceptional

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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This was a fabulous tour and we are so glad we did it. Learnt a lot and was able to skip the very long lines. Our tour guide was great and the group sizes are nice and small.
Claudia was amazing! So professional and informative. She did a great job keeping the group together, moving forward and explaining history at the same time! What a talent! She was also very encouraging to us as we moved through out the very crowded Vatican. She explained were we were in relation to distrance to the desired site and kept us going. I personally thanked her and told her how much I admired how she handled the tour. She is 5 Stars all the way.
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Very informative and entertaining tour and host. Well worth the price especially on the day after a holiday. My guide was very pleasant and did a fantastic job
Given the fact that there were mass numbers of people, our guide cared upmost for the care of the group. Exceptional
Maria Laura was tremendous! Awesome effort and extremely knowledgeable
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It was a interesting and beautiful tour. Camilla was fantastic in providing historical facts as well as giving insight into the local sights and sounds of Rome.
Luigi is great and you can tell right away that he is knowledgeable with the tour he is facilitating.
Emma was a wonderful tour guide. She was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic. She made the tour very worthwhile. I will definitely recommend this tour to others.
One cannot appreciate the value of the early entrance to the Sistine chapel until one is there and experiences the crowds at the Vatican museum. When we walked through a second time, I fully understood the value of this and was glad I did it. I wish a few minutes could have been spared to catch some pictures of the museum halls leading into the Sistine Chapel on the walk in there. I would have liked a picture of the map room. The second time through the map room was just so crowded.
Guide (sorry, can't remember her name at the moment--but female, short brown hair, glasses--I think she said she was an art historian major) was so awesome. Funny and super knowledgeable. Navigated the vatican like a pro. I couldn't imagine doing vatican without a guide--took all the stress out of the day! Thanks so much! Will definitely use walks of italy again!
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We were in the light pink group, I wished I remembered our guides name because he was absolutely fabulous. Knowledge, entertaining and had a clear plan to navigate the hectic Vatican. We had our two children ages 9 and 7 and he did a fabulous job of engaging and including them. We could not have been more impressed with our guide.
Amazing tour. Early entry was great. Antoinette was very knowledgeable and a pleasure to be around.
Absolutely wonderful! Highly recommended!
He did well considering the crowds in the museums
Vincenzo did a wonderful job of leading us through the Vatican. It was a bit hot and crowded later in the morning but that is not in your control. It was a good day.
So knowledgeable, and very nice disposition!
Loved our guide. Very knowledgeable and friendly
What a wonderful tour! Our guide (Claudia, I believe?) was fantastic! Super knowledgeable, very friendly, and clearly expert at navigating the crowd of the Vatican—and there were lots of crowds. The early access to the Sistine Chapel was the highlight of the tour, as was getting to walk through the galleries while they were empty. Seeing the Map room, etc. on the way back was much less enjoyable because of the sheer number of people, but our guide did a wonderful job at still explaining everything and keeping everyone on track. I would highly recommend this to anyone!
Our guide (whose name we have forgotten - light blue sticker!) was amazing - really knowledgeable and fun during the tour - providing a lot of information around all of the building, artwork and architecture! Was a great experience
Our tour of the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museum and St. Peters was simply amazing. The most memorable event and tour of our 2 week tour through Paris, Rome and Salzburg. Ilaria was the consummate professional, offering a wonderful historical perspective, including fascinating details. She was very kind and considerate and patiently answered any questions that we had. I will remember the tour for my lifetime, and I'm truly thankful to Ilaria for making it so memorable.
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Fantastic early tour. Love the time allowed in the Sistine chapel. Luigi was great. Knew what he was talking about.
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Amazing tour! Worth every euro!!
Dario was an amazing tour guide! Funny, witty and extremely knowledgeable! We loved our tour very much ☺️
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Our guide (Julietta?) was fantastic! She knew so much about the area and was able to answer questions that we had. She was funny and warm and made sure that we were as comfortable as possible in the heat. It was an awesome tour!
Excellent tour. I would have booked another one but it was a bit pricey for our family. However, we really loved the tour we had.
David was most knowledgeable and helpful.
Maria was a wonderful and enthusiastic guide with an incredible amount of knowledge! Very much enjoyed the tour.
Excellent! Maria Grazia was really great! Very knowledgeable and experienced. I'm so glad we did the early tour.
Luigi was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and amusing and was a big reason the tour was so enjoyable. The tour was high paced, but needed to be in order to pack everything into the time. Overall a fantastic experience and one I would highly recommend.
We also did 2 other tours which impressed us. Monica - Pristine Sistene Monica was fabulous. We had the early morning tour meeting at 7 and it was the best thing we did. After a short walk to the Vatican we had a short wait before entering. Rather than rush straight to the Sistene Chapel we explored the Vatican museum and grounds 1st. You cannot put into words what you see in front of you. Monica had so much knowledge and kept us informed of all the history. We then made our way to the Chapel. Monica’s knowledge was amazing and her way of keeping everyone included was great. We then went to St Peter’s Basilica which was amazing. In total the tour went for 4 hours and was thoroughly worth it, particularly the early start.
Vincenzo is a fantastic guide. In addition to being very knowledgeable and patient, I liked how he encouraged questions and was very considerate of a couple of guests who had difficulty with the stairs.
Elisabeth was fantastic!
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The Sistine Chapel/Vatican Tour was exceptional. Our guide, Sev, was punctual, well organized, informed, interesting and an all around great communicator for all ages (as we had a 15 and 12 year old and another family was present)! We all felt as if we could have listened to him more, as he presented everything so thoughtfully with so many intriguing tidbits of information. We loved that we saw the Sistine chapel early on before everyone else. I will recommend your service to anyone that asks.
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Elisabetta was knowledgeable, professional and courteous to all despite the heat, humidity, and crowds. She answered every question while ensuring that we all saw the most important exhibits. She was also especially attentive to the young ones in our family. She represents your company in an exemplary fashion.