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St. Peter’s Basilica

Key Details

  • City: Vatican
  • Duration: 2.5hrs
  • Start Time: 8:15 AM

Tour Highlights

  • Give St. Peter’s Basilica the time it deserves on this, the most complete tour available.

  • Climb the dome for the most beautiful view in all of Rome. You’ll also glimpse the Basilica’s mosaics up close.

  • Skip the line into St. Peter’s Basilica and save what could be hours of waiting in line.
Bernini's Baldachin inside St Peter's Basilica Bernini's Baldachin inside St Peter's Basilica Michelangelo's 'Pieta' inside St Peter's Basilica Bernini's stained glass window Rubbing St Peter's foot for luck St Peter's Basilica See the mosaics of St Peter's Basilia from the terrace Statues on the roof of St Peter's Basilica Statues on the roof of St Peter's Basilica View from the roof of St Peter's Basilica Tour St Peter's Square Colonnades of St Peter's Square

EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION

GET TO GRIPS WITH CHRISTIANITY’S MOST IMPORTANT CHURCH ON THIS COMPLETE TOUR

St. Peter’s Basilica isn’t just the most important church in all of Christianity, it’s also the most impressive. With architecture by Michelangelo and interiors by Bernini, it’s a true Renaissance masterpiece. It’s also an enormous space, making it a very difficult site to visit (and understand) alone.

Traveling with an expert guide and a small group of just 15 people or fewer, we’ll help you to understand the history that makes this particular site so sacred. Your guide will also point out the details that make the basilica such a masterpiece. This is the most complete St. Peter’s Basilica tour available, offering you a chance to explore the church from top to bottom, inside and out.

CLIMB ST. PETER’S BASILICA DOME FOR INCREDIBLE VIEWS

Your tour starts early in the morning with a tour of St. Peter’s Square and an introduction to the ostentatiously-dressed Swiss Guard. You’ll arrive before crowds gather for the climb up the dome so you won’t have to wait for long. Your St. Peter’s Basilica dome tickets include an elevator ride, taking you to the first level. Here you’ll get up close to the stunning mosaics and stucco embelishments inside the dome. Seen from below these mosaics are beautiful but up close, you’ll understand just what impressive works they really are.

From there it’s 281 steps up to the top of the dome. Before you go up, your guide will give you some notes on what to look out for up there. From the top of the dome you’ll see the most incredible views over St. Peter’s Square, along the straight avenue bulldozed by Mussolini and across the Tiber to the ancient heart of the city. There’s no competition – this is the number 1 view in all of Rome.

ENJOY A 1-HOUR TOUR INSIDE ST. PETER’S BASILICA

Back on solid ground, you’ll embark on a guided St. Peter’s Basilica tour. Explore the side chapels of the basilica with their hidden crypts; see Michelangelo’s ‘Pieta’ and learn why this is the only work he ever signed; understand the mastery in Bernini’s altarpiece; and learn how Michelangelo triumphed as the only person who could crown St. Peter’s Basilica with the perfect dome.

After you’ve seen all there is to see at ground level, your guide will lead you down into the papal crypt. This is the crypt where many of the Popes have been interred and is therefore an important pilgrimage point for Catholics. Although your guide can’t talk down here, they’ll give you full details on the most important popes to look out for.

And there you have it – St. Peter’s Basilica top-to-bottom, inside-and-out.

Sites visited

  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • St. Peter’s Basilica dome
  • St. Peter’s Basilica crypt
  • St. Peter’s Square

Included

  • St. Peter’s Basilica dome tickets
  • Expert tour guide
  • Small groups of max 15 people

Reviews

5-stars from over 85 Customer Reviews

Giovanna was a delight! It was an incredibly small group, you didn't even need headset. Enriching tour with Big Mama G, almost felt like I was on a tour with a bunch of friends. The climb to the top was amazing,definitely a must try
The tour above was exactly as described and our tour guide was very professional, informative and courteous. A very lovely person who took care to make sure no one was left behind especially in the crowded St Peter's and answered the many questions asked.
Big Mama was the best tour guide!!!

Important information

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

Please remember that St. Peter's Basilica 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.

St. Peter's Basilica is subject to unforeseen closures due to Vatican affairs. In the event that this happens, Walks of Italy will contact you as soon as possible to reschedule. In the rare case that the tombs are closed we will spend extra time in St. Peter's Basilica and Square.

Small bags and umbrellas are permitted inside the Basilica. However, large bags and objects must be left at the bag check situated at the entrance of St. Peter’s Basilica, next to the official audio-guides desk.

Please note that skip the line access is not possible at the dome or at St. Peters Basilica's security line (although it is possible for guests entering via the Vatican Museums, who use a different door), so you may need to spend some time in unavoidable queues. Your guide will use the time well though, entertaining you with stories and pointing out the incredible details of St. Peter's Square.

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“Visiter un tel trésor avec un guide en or, vivement conseillé.” Le rdv et la prise en charge par notre jeune guide, désolé j'ai mangé son nom mais c'est un jeune homme passionné et très drôle qui a su faire passer l'attente sans problème, plan Vigipirate oblige!! Plein d'anecdotes et d'humour, reservez vous ne serez pas déçu!!
We are here for a trip of a life time and to say we are disappointed in the tour we received from your company is an understatement. Not only was the tour guide not informed of what we were supposed to see but she rushed us through the entire tour. We had to show paperwork to prove we were supposed to have a tour of the crypts so we could get what we paid for. She rushed us through the entire tour. We barely got to enjoy what we paid to see. I am very disappointed and nervous of what I am going to get tomorrow on the tour to the coliseum and forum. I would not at this point recommend your tours to anyone coming here. It is disappointing when people come on a trip to feel that they were inconveniencing the guide and she could not even take the time to tell us her name. I will review this on trip advisor to make sure other people do not make the same mistake using your tour guides. When there are so many others to chose from. Cindy Williams
Giovanna was a delight! It was an incredibly small group, you didn't even need headset. Enriching tour with Big Mama G, almost felt like I was on a tour with a bunch of friends. The climb to the top was amazing,definitely a must try
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The tour above was exactly as described and our tour guide was very professional, informative and courteous. A very lovely person who took care to make sure no one was left behind especially in the crowded St Peter's and answered the many questions asked.
(No comment)
Big Mama was the best tour guide!!!
Our guide was FANTASTIC! We appreciated her experience, perspective and humor. It was not a tour that we originally planned to take, but we are so glad that we did.
Loved this tour from top to bottom. Luigi was so knowledgeable and personable. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting Rome!
Guide was good but walked fast. She could have explained what she wanted once on site. Also some things not covered eg foot of st. peter. Perhaps due to its limitation on the day.
Sev was a wonderful guide. He was very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor. We loved everything about this tour!
once again the tour was great, we learned so much and we look forward to our return.....thank you for making it a great trip
Giovanna was the perfect guide. She was funny, enthusiastic, and wonderfully knowledgeable! She made sure everyone took exactly the amount of time they needed to take everything in. Seeing the view in the morning from the top of the most beautiful building was breathtaking. If you are planning a trip to St. Peter's you must do this tour.
The guide was very very nice - but speaks maybe a bit too fast. My husband had difficulties in understanding the Italian accent. But she knows a lot and is very nice and charming.
The tour was great and the guide was very knowledgeable.
Mauro was an incredible guide. This tour was the highlight of my trip.
susanna was fantastic! i could have toured with her all day! she was a wealth of knowledge and captivated my husband and i the whole time! i want to tour all of italy with her. she was also so helpful - offering advice for anything we needed. finally, she looked like my mother, which was just so adorable!
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Very nice Guide. Thank you for the good service.
Our tour of St. Peter's Basilica was fantastic! Our guide did a great job of giving us details but also letting us explore on our own a little!
Oyr guide was excellent; she answered all our questions and made the tour one of the best we've taken
Martina is a lovely lady and a very helpful and knowledgeable guide. We really enjoyed the tour with her!!
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Maria was an awesome guide. She is very knowledgeable and passionate. We loved this tour! Thank you!
Loved tge tour. Katia was very personable and knowledgeable, giving us precise information at every step of the way, even correcting some mistaken information overheard from abother tour guide. She kept the group engaged and we absolutely loved the ebtire experience!
Mauro was incredible. He knows everything and is so kind and professional. I learned so much! I will recommend Walks of Italy to everyone!
Excellent guide knowledgeable, good pace, thoughtful & charming.
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Sabrina was an excellent guide and very knowledgeable. We enjoyed the visit so much that we stayed in the Basilica after the tour ended.
Suzanna was very knowledgable, charming and good company. She is clearly well-travelled, so could relate to other buildings in the world that the group might know better. She also recommended we go to Giolitti's for the best gelato -- and she was right!
Our guide was brilliant, knowledgable and a perfect host to your city.
A most enjoyable tour! Well organised and efficient. Our guide was very knowledgeable and it was a joy listening to her. Thank you for a great walk!!
Fantastic tour all around ... The guide - Sabrina - was fabulous, I would have loved to have her walk us all around Rome! It was great not to have to wait in long lines, and to be guided through such an amazing place. St Peter's Basilica is beautiful, and the Dome Climb was so worth it! This tour was top notch! Thank you! I would highly recommend this tour.
Fantastic tour all around ... The guide - Sabrina - was fabulous, I would have loved to have her walk us all around Rome! It was great not to have to wait in long lines, and to be guided through such an amazing place. St Peter's Basilica is beautiful, and the Dome Climb was so worth it! This tour was top notch! Thank you! I would highly recommend this tour.
Fantastic tour all around ... The guide - Sabrina - was fabulous, I would have loved to have her walk us all around Rome! It was great not to have to wait in long lines, and to be guided through such an amazing place. St Peter's Basilica is beautiful, and the Dome Climb was so worth it! This tour was top notch! Thank you! I would highly recommend this tour.
The dome climb was great. The tour was billed as a tour of the crypt as well. Our guide never took us in the crypt and we had to go through it ourselves. That was disappointing. Don't call it a dome to crypt tour if you're not going to take us in the crypt.
Great tour and terrifc guide.
David was an awesome guide. Fun and friendly!
Great job! Very knowledgeable and professional.
A very passionate and knowledgeable guide.
We really enjoyed the tour despite setting out a bit late because our guide was held up in a transport strike. Our guide was excellent and the whole experience was very good. Thank you!
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Camila was an excellent guide. She was on time and very informative. She was very pleasant to speak with and she ample time in areas that were most special to her. She spoke English very well and she took her time discussing the details inside the Vatican. My husband and I really enjoyed this tour and we feel a greater part of it was because of our guide. She is an asset to the Walk of Italy company and I look forward to having her again when we come back to Italy. I would highly recommend Camila and this specific tour.
Julia was amazing. She is very informative and very caring with the group, which I seldom feel with other tour guide. I will definitely recommend this tour to my friends who are planning to go to Rome.
We had trouble following the written instructions for the meeting place. We were looking for a wall at the end of the street with three arches, but the wall only appeared to have two arches. We were confused and thought we were at the wrong place. We were helped by a information person inside the square, but we're almost late to the meeting place. Everything else was very good. Sometimes we could not hear our guide through the headsets, but that was not his fault for sure!