Free Cancellation

Key Details

City: Vatican

Duration: 10 hours

Start Time: 7:45 AM


  • Stroll through the Vatican gardens and take the Pope's train, departing from within the Vatican State, to Castel Gandolfo.
  • Sit down to an incredible buffet lunch at the Papal Palace made with local produce (including some products from the Pope's own farm!).
  • Take advantage of skip-the-line access at the Vatican Museums and Papal Palace.
  • Enjoy a comprehensive small group tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel with an expert official guide.

Tour Description

Experience the full grandeur of the world's smallest (yet most fascinating) city-state.

You could easily spend hours roaming the Vatican Museums only to realize you've missed the most significant features. With the well-thought-out itinerary on this full-day Vatican tour, you’ll go much deeper than most other visitors do. In addition to an in-depth guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Gardens, you'll even walk in the footsteps of generations of Popes as you board the official papal train and head out to the summer palace in Castel Gandolfo to further your exploration.

Begin your day early at the entrance to the Vatican Museums, skipping the long lines for immediate entry into the world's foremost art collection. To add depth and color to the impressive array of masterpieces on display, you’ll be accompanied by an official Vatican guide. There's no one better to share unrivaled insight into Vatican life and the stories behind these seminal works. Take in the very best of the hallowed halls, including the Gallery of Maps, the Octagonal Courtyard, the Raphael Rooms, and many more. The pinnacle of this journey is Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel—a truly sacred artistic experience.

Stroll through the Vatican gardens to the Pope's private train.

Next, it's time to enjoy some fresh air in the breathtaking Vatican Gardens, which are only available to guests visiting as part of a guided tour (like this one). 23 hectares of lush forests, medieval monuments, classical sculptures, and landscaped gardens will extend before you. As your guide regales you with tales of the Vatican’s past, history will blossom to life before your eyes.

Continuing through the Gardens, you’ll arrive at the Vatican Rail Station, which Pope Francis reopened in 2015. You'll be one of a select few passengers to step aboard the Pope’s very own train. (And with only one train running per week, this short journey is a treasure in itself!)

Step inside the opulent summer palaces of the Popes.

Your full day Vatican tour continues at Castel Gandolfo. One of the most scenic hill towns in Italy, it's home to the Papal Palace, where generations of Popes have escaped the heat of the city during the summer months. Accompanied by your guide, you’ll begin at Villa Barberini and wind your way towards the Barberini Gardens, where a sumptuous buffet lunch of typical Roman fare awaits.

Since Castel Gandolfo is one of the most beautiful towns in the region, you'll have about 90 minutes of free time after lunch to discover it for yourself before the return trip to Rome. Enjoy a leisurely walk, explore the main square, or take some time to soak up the tranquil views over the lake. You even have the option to embark on an audio-guided tour of the Papal Palace. Also known as the Apostolic Palace, the Pope’s summer residence is ripe for exploration. You can even visit recently opened rooms like the Pope’s private chapel and bedrooms.

  • Sites Visited
  • Vatican Museums
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Gallery of Candelabras
  • Gallery of Tapestries
  • Octagonal Courtyard
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Vatican Gardens
  • Vatican Rail Station
  • Villa Barberini Gardens
  • Papal (Apostolic) Palace
  • Castel Gandolfo
  • Included
  • Skip-the-line Vatican Museum tickets
  • Skip-the-line Papal Palace & Garden tickets
  • Journey on the Pope's train
  • Buffet lunch of local produce
  • Audio tour at the Papal Palace
  • Expertly guided walking tour
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Small group of 15 guests maximum
From $180
Free Cancellation


5-stars from over 8 Customer Reviews


May 08, 2023

This tour was well worth taking. Guides Kinga (in the Vatican) and Patrizia (at Castel Gandolfo) were very welcoming and informative. The lunch was pleasant, too.

Important Information

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