Walks of Italy

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Vatican Museums Night Tour

Key Details

  • City: Vatican
  • Duration: 2hrs 30mins
  • Start Time: 7:30 PM

Tour Highlights

  • Experience the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel like almost no one else – after hours, when the palaces are at their most tranquil and touching.

  • Visiting the Vatican by night, you’ll see the best of the museums – from the Sistine Chapel to the Raphael Rooms, sculpture galleries and beautiful courtyards.

  • Our Vatican Night Tour runs during seasonal extended hours. With privileged entrance you’ll get straight inside (with no lines!) with small groups of 15 or fewer.

Visit the Sistine Chapel at night Michelangelo's 'Creation of Adam', Sistine Chapel Sistine Chapel ceiling, the Vatican Museums Expert guide describes Michelangelo's frescoes Small group in the Rapael Rooms The Raphael Rooms, Vatican Museums The School of Athens by Raphael Spot Rocky in the Raphael Rooms Fire in the Borgo, by Raphael Fire in the Borgo, by Raphael See frescos in the Papal Apartments Visit in the evening for a more peaceful atmosphere The Vatican Museums - housed in the Papal Palace The Sobieski Rooms - Poland's gift to the Vatican Marvel at ancient (incorrect) maps The Gallery of Tapestries, Vatican Museums The ceiling of the Hall of Maps Tapestries on our Vatican Night Tour

EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION

Visit the Vatican at Night

VISIT THE VATICAN AT NIGHT, WITH FEWER CROWDS (AND LESS HEAT!)

Although it happens every year, few visitors are aware of the Vatican Museums’ extended opening hours throughout the summer months, meaning you’ll share its galleries and apartments with only those in the know. In echoing, elaborate halls and galleries, your Vatican expert will bring the Church’s fascinating history to life — from St. Peter’s martyrdom to the modern Vatican City.

We know it’s the stories that you’ll remember after your tour, so we’ve ditched the dates and history lessons in favor of these, bringing Renaissance masters and powerful Popes to life, reliving all their bitter quarrels and controversial missteps.

Polish artwork in the Vatican Museums

EXPLORE THE BEST OF THE VATICAN COLLECTION, INCLUDING THE SISTINE CHAPEL.

You’ll explore some of the finest ancient sculptures and Renaissance art in the world, including Raphael’s ‘School of Athens’, the Hellenistic ‘Laocoön’, and the beautiful ‘Belvedere Torso’, a stunning sculpture that shaped a young Michelangelo’s own work. Enjoy the ability to go right up to these world-famous pieces, a major perk of visiting the Vatican at night and with minimal crowds!

The pièce-de-resistance of your experience, of course, is the Sistine Chapel, the private chapel of the Pope. In the evening light and with fewer tourist hordes, you’ll find it easier to pick out the details in Michelangelo’s famous frescoes. You’ll be well prepared to appreciate these works, having spent time with your expert Walks guide, listening to the stories and secrets hidden within the art.

Small groups on our Vatican Night Tour

SMALL GROUPS AND PRIVILEGED ACCESS FOR A HASSLE-FREE EXPERIENCE.

Since your group is a maximum of just 15 people, you’ll have plenty of time to get all of your questions answered. A good thing too, since we’ve spent years building the perfect team of Vatican guides, choosing the best art historians, architecture buffs and storytellers.

And to be extra sure that you’re getting the best from every moment you spend with us, we’ve got privileged access at the Vatican Museums, getting you past long general access lines.

Experience the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel outside of the stifling heat of the Roman summer on our limited edition Vatican Night Tour, offering you a rare view of the papal palaces after bedtime.

Sites visited

  • Sistine Chapel (twice)
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Belvedere Courtyard with Apollo Belvedere & Laocoön & His Sons
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Gallery of the Candelabra
  • Gallery of the Maps
  • Gallery of the Tapestries

Included

  • Skip the Line Access tickets to the Vatican Museums (with special late entry)
  • Expert Walks of Italy tour guide
  • Small groups, never more than 15 people
  • Headsets

Reviews

5-stars from over 80 Customer Reviews

Excellent evening, with a competent and likable guide who tried to reach all people in the tour.
Loved going at night when it was cooler and less crowded.
Our Guide was amazing. I wish I can remember his name but he was a real pleasure and knowledgable of all the artifacts during our tour. Thank you very much.
Marta gave incredible insight into the artwork, the history, and the lives of the Vatican. She weaved us through the incredible crowds with precision all the while provided the best introduction to this massive collection.
. on time most interesting and just myself and 2 children best tour ever
This tour was absolutely amazing and one of the highlights of our Rome trip. Our guide, Marta, enthusiastically made the artwork come alive. We feel so lucky to have found both this tour and our tour guide!
Maristella is an amazing guide. I recently used 12 guides since May 28, 2016 and she is in the top two. Her personality, knowledge and story telling explanations makes her a true gem. How can I request her when I return to Rome?
Elisa was amazing! Passionate and extremely knowledgable. Well done!
Our guide was most respectful in honoring the history, political and artistic aspects, and we were very touched by his urging respectful silence, while in the Chapel.

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.

Please note that St. Peter’s Basilica is closed at the time of this tour and therefore cannot be visited on this tour, nor can access be provided from the Sistine Chapel, as it can on other tours.

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 Musuems (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.

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Excellent evening, with a competent and likable guide who tried to reach all people in the tour.
Loved going at night when it was cooler and less crowded.
This tour was the perfect way to see the Vatican Museums. It was less crowded and less hot in the museums in the evening. We were actually able to stay with our guide and hear what he was saying. I will never take a day tour again! The bonus was that we had more time in the Sistine Chapel as well, enough time to take it all in. This tour was totally worth it, and Dario was very knowledgeable. There were 5 children in our group and he tried to make it interesting for them.
Very knowledgeable guide who did an excellent job. Perhaps a bit less detail about selected paintings and objects and more time to ask questions would have been better, but the very crowded conditions would have made that difficult. My only complaints were that the museum was EXTREMELY crowded and VERY hot. I've done this tour before at a different time of year, and it was much more enjoyable before without crowding and sweating out your clothes. I strongly recommend not going during the peak summer season, but in the spring or fall.
Our Guide was amazing. I wish I can remember his name but he was a real pleasure and knowledgable of all the artifacts during our tour. Thank you very much.
Marta gave incredible insight into the artwork, the history, and the lives of the Vatican. She weaved us through the incredible crowds with precision all the while provided the best introduction to this massive collection.
. on time most interesting and just myself and 2 children best tour ever
This tour was absolutely amazing and one of the highlights of our Rome trip. Our guide, Marta, enthusiastically made the artwork come alive. We feel so lucky to have found both this tour and our tour guide!
(No comment)
(No comment)
(No comment)
Maristella is an amazing guide. I recently used 12 guides since May 28, 2016 and she is in the top two. Her personality, knowledge and story telling explanations makes her a true gem. How can I request her when I return to Rome?
Elisa was amazing! Passionate and extremely knowledgable. Well done!
Our guide was fun and interesting. He was very clear on meet ups and entry/exit and bathroom instruction which is always nice.
(No comment)
Massimo was fantastic, one of the most exciting and educational tours my wife and I have taken. We have talked to 3 people on our return, and told them, if they make it to Rome, have to take the Walking Tours, ask for Massimo. His education on Michael Angelo and his work in the Sistine Chapel was just right. It was educational and funny and interesting.
Our guide was most respectful in honoring the history, political and artistic aspects, and we were very touched by his urging respectful silence, while in the Chapel.
Our guide was excellent.   Friendly, up to the point. Good time management too. Please say hello to her.
Excellent guide
Moved very quickly. Too much to see in the small amount of time
Guide was great and entertaining.
Cecilia was very kind, enthusiastic, and patient with the group. She was exceptionally knowledgable about the subject matter
(No comment)
Great tour with detailed information.
Guido's knowledge and passion for the museum made it a truly memorable evening.
Our guide Fernando was excellent and filled with useful information! The tour was beautiful and amazing. This is my third time and I never get tired of seeing the sites. I brought my mother and two friends and they were blown away. The night tour was far more comfortable than during that day; I will definitely book again when I have visitors in town. Thank you! Cecilia
(No comment)
Guido was so enthusiastic he sometimes spoke too quickly. There is, by necessity, so much information, that it can be hard to make sense of it! I also disliked the officials in the Sistine, and wished non-flash photography was allowed there.
Guide was excellent. Museums more crowded than we had hoped, but that is not your fault.
The museum was more crowded than I anticipated. Overall, I enjoyed the experience. Our guide was superb.
A very good tour with a very good guide. Very knowledgeable, friendly guide- gave enough information to give us a good understanding without going on too long. We very much enjoyed our time at the Vatican Museum. One comment - my fault for not reading more carefully. I did not understand when booking that St. Peter's Cathedral was not part of this tour. Our guide explained that it closes at 7 and our tour began at 7:30. I was disappointed, but understood the situation. I really did appreciate the night tour with a smaller crowd. It was already too crowded for my comfort, so I really wouldn't have liked to go earlier. Overall a really great experience. Thank you, Caryl
Very good tour, amazing experience, Luigi was an excellent guide - graze mille!
Guido was the most clear and professional guide, with a gift of storytelling. I enjoyed the tour despite the heat and the crowd (which was not as bad as at daytime!). I warmly recommend!
Very impressed with Guido on our guided night tour of the Vatican. He was clearly highly educated and knowledgeable and his enthusiasm for art came across. He guided us through the overwhelming Vatican museum, drawing our attention to the most important exhibits and helping to put the Sistine Chapel art in context. Excellent. Only criticism would be that, in his keenness to share so much with us, he sometimes spoke a little too quickly and some of what he said was not audible through the headsets.
Both the tour and the guide were excellent. We booked a private tour because we walk VERY slowly and sometimes have trouble with stairs. Ferdinando adjusted to our needs and arranged for us to avoid many stairs on our way to the Sistine Chapel. We never felt rushed and made it through in excellent form. Thank you,
The tour was excellent. The guide was very knowledgeable and he set good historical context. It was wonderful to see so much of the museums in a short period of time. I was a bit surprised to see that it was still somewhat crowded in some of the museums and Sistine Chapel. I expected that the private, after hours tour would be more intimate. Not a big problem. Just not as special as I imagined. The other aspect that was somewhat disappointing was not seeing St Peter's. Given that we started and finished at the museums entrance, it would be helpful to have a bit more information on how to best incorporate other aspects of the Vatican in the information provided. Overall, a great experience.
(No comment)
He took good care of us. Was very knowledgeable and made the information come to life.
Guide was extremely knowledgable, enthusiastic and pleasant. Perfect on entrance and flow throughout the tour, although a little rushed. Tour was very informative. Just slow down a lil bit.
Tiberio was fantastic! He was so passionate about art and history, it really brought it home for our group. We had a few people who had been there before and some who hadn't. His spirit engaged our newbies and the folks who already knew some of the basics. His talk about the Sistine before the tour was invaluable!
Giovanni was great. The cost seemed excessive though, especially because a group of very loud and rude women decided to sit near us and talk as loud and obnoxiously as possible. Giovanni tried to move but he didnt have many options given how ridiculously loud they were. Despite your wonderful headsets, they actually managed to talk so loud it ruined about 20 minutes of the tour. I wish you had more clearly explained that he couldnt come into the Sistine Chapel with us. It was ok, but I would have preferred to know that in advance. I wish we had known it could be very challenging to get to the Vatican if the Pope was speaking. We left with plenty of time but the metro was stopped, then extremely overcrowded, then stopped again with no explanation. Found out later this was due to the Pope's address. We were very stressed. And the name of the bar we met at isnt listed the same way in Google maps as you described it in the email. But we found it.
Very informative guide. Very knowledgeable about everything related to the tour. Took his time and explained everything. Answered all questions. Very warm. The tour guide I would also highly highly recommend. Has his phd in archeology. Can't remember his name. He was wonderful.
We really enjoyed the tour, the evening atmosphere was great. We were delighted with our guide who was informative, answered our questions and gave a great deal of background information. I have already recommended this tour to friends
Was very happy with the tour, especially with our guide.
Our guide was wonderful! If we had attempted the museums on our own we would have spent hours just looking, knowing no back stores or importance. The guide was very detailed in her explanations and knew exactly which pieces she wanted to show us. I am so glad we took this tour!
I found the Sistine Chapel an anti- climax to the tour. The guide told us we couldnt speak or make any noise or take photos and the fact it is advertised as small groups going into the chapel. When we arrived in the chapel there were hundreds of people being extremely noisy AND TAKING PHOTOS
Again wonderful.
Hello, our family of 4 adults took the tour with Jowita, and her very professional and engaging tour prompted me to write a positive review on Tripadvisor. Jowita was fantastic. She was enthusiastic, even though she has probably done the tour a million times, and she was very knowledgeable. She structured her talk very well, giving us lots of historical context before we entered, when we were together and relaxed on the terrace. I liked the sequence of her information. It seemed to give a broad understanding of how what going on, then she gave lots of specifics. The way she explained things made it easy to absorb. I thought it was great that she finished her talk and gathered the audio devices before we entered the Sistine Chapel, meaning we could at that point just admire it as long as we wanted. We are very glad we did this tour, and especially that we had Jowita as a guide. Great job!