Touring the Vatican is one of the top things to do in Rome. But deciding which tour to segregate can be overwhelming. We’re here to help you find the weightier Vatican tour for your trip.

Article contents


  • Summary of recommended tours
  • What to see on a Vatican tour
  • Why take a tour of the Vatican Museums and St Peters
  • What to squint for in a tour of the Vatican
  • The weightier Vatican tour companies
  • Best Vatican tours
  • Special Vatican tours
  • Private Vatican tours
  • Useful information for visiting the Vatican

Summary Of Recommended Tours

We’ve provided a well-constructed wringer of the weightier Vatican tours misogynist in this article. This includes dates and times available, elapsing and other useful information. Here is a summary if you’re the kind of person who wants quick answers

Best standard tours

  • Walks of Italy – Complete Vatican Tour (small groups up to 20 people)
  • Liv Tours – Skip the line Highlights of the Vatican tour (small groups up to 6 people – 5% off with lawmaking – UntoldItaly)
  • CityWonders – Skip the line tour of the Vatican (larger groups)
  • Vatican official – Standard Vatican tour (provided by the museums – historic focus)

Best early wangle tours (beat the crowds)

  • Walks of ItalyVIP Key Masters Tour (open the Sistine Chapel at 6.00am – small group tour) – this is the primeval and most sectional tour
  • Walks of ItalyAlone in the Vatican (small group and early wangle from 6.30am)
  • Liv ToursAlone in the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums(small group with early wangle from 6.30am, includes breakfast in the Pine Cone Courtyard)
  • Walks of ItalyPristine Sistine – weightier first wangle with the unstipulated public tour.

What To See On A Vatican Tour

First, let’s well-spoken up exactly what ‘the Vatican’ is so you can decide which parts you wish to tour. The Vatican is in fact an self-sustaining municipality state within Rome ruled by the Pope – the throne of the Catholic church. It is the smallest country on Earth with an zone of 0.44 square kilometers and population of just 1,000.

The main areas to visit inside the Vatican Municipality are:

  • St Peter’s Basilica including cupola (dome), tombs and square – more info
  • Vatican Museums including the Sistine Chapel – the world’s greatest art hodgepodge with works by Raphael, Giotto, Caravaggio and of undertow Michelangelo
  • Vatican Gardens – arguably the most trappy gardens in Rome with stunning views of St Peters, grottoes and lawns

Most Vatican tours will include visiting both St Peters and the Vatican Museums as part of their package. The gardens can only be accessed by a separate tour usually combined with a tour of the Vatican Museums (but not St Peters).

Why Take A Tour Of The Vatican Museums And St Peters

There are two main reasons to join a tour of the Vatican – wits and convenience.

With over 6 million visitors a year, the Vatican Museums and St Peters are among the most popular attractions in Rome and the world. And rightly so. Their hodgepodge of art is mind boggling in scale and value. And the historical importance of the buildings is scrutinizingly unparalleled.

Unless you are a highly educated art historian, there is no way you will know what to squint for among all the glitz and walls dripping with priceless paintings. And unfortunately, the information provided by the museums is disappointing.

Visit with a guide and they will be worldly-wise to point out the most important pieces and their symbolism and significance. Not to mention the major events that have taken place between those walls.

You will spend at least 2 – 3 hours visiting the Vatican no matter how you tideway your visit. This is considering it takes that value of time to move through the buildings. That stuff the case, it makes sense to have an expert guide you through the highlights.

Tours start in the Vatican Museums skipping the long lines for tickets and use a special archway to St Peter’s from the Sistine Chapel to stave the separate lines for the Basilica. So if you are not on a tour or have not pre-purchased tickets you will need to line up twice to see both main areas of the Vatican.

What To Squint For In A Tour Of The Vatican

By law, all guides operating in the Vatican must hold a license that can only be obtained by a very strict viewing process. So you know that any guide you tour with will have a thorough knowledge of the details, dates, and facts of the art and buildings you visit.

Your nomination really comes lanugo to timing, group size, inclusions, length and style and price of tour. Generally, the size and length of tour will determine the price, however, you moreover pay uneaten for sectional experiences.

  • Timing – early morning and evening tours are misogynist and are strictly limited so you will have fewer crowds to contend with
  • Group size – if upkeep allows, try to typesetting a tour with a group size less than 20. Any increasingly than this and you’ll be struggling to hear (despite headsets) or engage with your guide

Authorized stock photo of the Sistine Chapel. Please note photography is not allowed

  • Inclusions and itinerary – vital and express tours of the Vatican focus on the highlights of the Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel, Gallery of Maps, Michelangelo’s masterpieces, Pinacoteca Courtyard) plus St Peter’s interior. Longer tours will take you to the Underground Crypts, the Carriage Pavilion and Nero’s bath
  • Length – the shortest tours misogynist are virtually 2 hours and you can moreover join full day tours of the Vatican.
  • Budget – vital tours start at virtually €40 for large group tours while you can pay between €300 – €500 per person for a private tour of the Vatican

Worth Noting

  • We have not found a tour that includes visiting St Peter’s dome. If you want to escalade the dome you will need to buy a ticket at the minster office at the conclusion of your tour
  • If you find yourself waiting in line for tickets and wishing you had booked a tour, please do not join one of those offered by the scammers that work the crowd. They are not recommended – expensive and basically just entry tickets (if that!)

The Weightier Vatican Tour Companies

Here are some of the most popular operators and our towage of how they differ. There are literally hundreds of tour operators working in the Vatican so we have chosen the weightier for variegated types of travelers.

  • Walks of Italy – working closely in partnership with the Vatican Museums to create unique and engaging experiences for English speaking visitors, the Walks of Italy offerings Pristine Sistine and VIP Key Masters tours are outstanding 
  • Vatican official tours – The Vatican Museums tours are often the least expensive option but note that group sizes start at 16 people. Expect a focus on religious history and the church. Their Art and Faith tours are focused on the relationship between art and religion in the context of the history of the Catholic Denomination in Rome – view all official Vatican tours
  • Liv Tours – this Rome based visitor is known for their very small group and private tours and knowledgeable guides who are expert at adjusting tours for their guests’ interest and knowledge level – view all Liv Tours Vatican tours PLUS 5% off with lawmaking ‘UntoldItaly’ 

Best Vatican Tours

We chose the weightier small and larger group tours of the Vatican offered by the tour companies mentioned above. We used our own wits and navigate checked this with ratings on tours on TripAdvisor, GetYourGuide and other media. This is updated on an ongoing understructure so we can bring you the weightier tours available.

Please note – If you are visiting on a Wednesday, your tour group will not be worldly-wise to enter St Peter’s minster due to the weekly Papal Address. In this case, the tour will include spare galleries of the museums.

If you are looking for a private Vatican tour please skip forward to the section below.

Standard tours of the Vatican

Most tour operators offer a standard 2 – 3 hour Vatican tour that includes highlights of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s. These tours start at the same time the museums are unshut to the unstipulated public.

Your tour includes skip the line for tickets and have a defended guide escorting you and explaining the art and history.  But, there is no escaping the crowds, unfortunately. You will however be worldly-wise to use the group archway into St Peter’s lamister a half hour walk when to the main archway and line for the basilica.


Tour operator Duration
Group Size Price
Liv Tours* 3 hours
Monday to Saturday
10:00 and 14:30
6 max €104 per person
To typesetting Liv Tours Vatican tour - click here

Don't forget to add lawmaking - UntoldItaly - for your 5% discount
Take Walks 2.5 hours
Mon, Tue, Thurs, Fri, Sat
(time of year dependent)
20 max €92 per person
To typesetting the Take Walks Vatican tour click here
Vatican Museums* 2 hours
Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri, Sat
10:00, 14:00
09:30, 10:00, 11:30, 14:00
16 min - up to 40 €35 per person
To typesetting the Vatican Museums tour - click here
*Tours moreover misogynist in Spanish, German, French and Italian

Early Morning Vatican Tours

We think that early wangle tours are the weightier way to wits the Vatican. You can see the priceless artwork in relative solitude as you pay a premium to enter without the crowds. If these tours are within upkeep then we strongly suggest choosing the primeval tour available.

  • Walks of ItalyVIP Key Masters Tour (open the Sistine Chapel at 6.00am – small group tour) – this is the primeval and most sectional tour
  • Walks of ItalyAlone in the Vatican (small group and early wangle from 6.30am)
  • Liv ToursAlone in the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums(small group with early wangle from 6.30am, includes breakfast in the Pine Cone Courtyard)
  • Walks of ItalyPristine Sistine – weightier first wangle with the unstipulated public tour

The Vatican Museums indulge a very limited number of people each day in to the galleries at 6:00am with the “clavigero” or key keeper of the Museums. You can join this unforgettable tour led by the wonderful team at Walks of Italy – increasingly info and booking instructions here. Note – this applies to the museums only and does not include wangle to St Peter’s. If you would like to read our well-constructed review of this wits – visit this page

Complete Vatican Tours

If you’re an art and history lover it is pearly to say that 2-3 hours will barely scratch the surface of the 54 galleries and 20,000 works on display. These early start tours ensure you see the highlights as well as some of the lesser known treasures in the museums such as Nero’s bath, the Borgia apartments, Pinacoteca Vaticana and 16th century double helix Bramante staircase which inspired the modern version of the same name. Visit the Vatican Museums ticket office to learn well-nigh openings of special galleries and sections of the Museums.

Family Friendly Tour Of The Vatican

Do you want to take the whole family to tour the Vatican Museums? We suggest giving this a lot of consideration expressly if you have very young children. They will need to do a lot of walking, often in hot and stuffy rooms and remain silent in the Sistine Chapel.

If you do decide to go, booking a family friendly tour is a unconfined idea. Your tour will be tailored to the interests of children and your guide will squire in keeping your kids entertained so you can enjoy the wits too.

Liv Tours offer a fun family friendly interactive tour in the Vatican designed expressly for families. This is a unconfined way to introduce your children to the history and stories overdue this precious art collection.

Special Vatican Tours

Evening Vatican Museum Tours

During the summer months the Vatican Museums unshut from 19:00pm to 23:00pm on Friday evenings. With limited numbers unliable into the galleries you can enjoy them without the crowds and in the potation night air. This sectional wits will no doubt be a highlight of your trip to Rome.

Note – this wits does not include visiting St Peter’s minster so you would need to go there separately

Recommended night Vatican tours

  • Vatican Museums official [group size up to 30]  
  • Walks of Italy [group size max 15] at 19:30pm 

Vatican Garden Tours

The Papal gardens are among the finest in Europe that are centuries old. A stroll through the gardens reveals sculptures, fountains and stunning views of the basilica. They are an oasis yonder from the unconnectedness of the municipality beyond.

A tour of the gardens will help you fathom the history and stories overdue the many works of art within the gardens and their significance to the Catholic church. There is a replica of the sacred Lourdes grotto in France as well as monuments and statues placid by and defended to former popes.

An wholesomeness of doing a tour of the gardens is that it moreover includes ticket to the Vatican Museums. And yes, you skip the lines. No tour is provided in the museums, however.

Vatican Scavi Tours

If you have a particular interest in Christianity and history, there could be no worthier thrill to see what is said to be the tomb of St Peter the apostle, deep unelevated the minster that bears his name. Only 250 people per day are unliable into this sacred zone as part of escorted 90 minute tours run by the Vatican. Tour groups are small with only 12 people visiting the excavation site and tomb.

You need to typesetting this tour months in whop by pursuit the instructions on the official Vatican excavations office page. Please note – children under 15 years may not go on this tour. You may not take photos on the tour.

Private Vatican Tours

Would you prefer a fully private tour of the Vatican Museums? Private tours are a unconfined way to enjoy the Vatican at your own pace and to see those things you really want to see. Starting at virtually €350, they can moreover be increasingly forfeit constructive if you are traveling in a larger group. We recommend Liv Tours for private Vatican tours.

Useful Information For Visiting The Vatican

What is the Vatican dress code?

Both the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s minster are religious sites. Men and women should imbricate knees and shoulders as a sign of respect. You may be refused entry if you are not suitably attired.

During the hot Roman summers you might like to bring a light shawl or scarf as an volitional to wearing suit that covers your shoulders.

What are the weightier days to do a tour of the Vatican?

Tours are not offered on Sundays when the museums are either sealed or unshut to the public for self-ruling admission.

Tour itineraries do not include St Peter’s minster on Wednesday due to the usual Papal regulars in the piazza.

The weightier day to do a standard Vatican tour is probably Tuesday when you stave the extended long weekend European visitors.

If you want to do an early morning tour segregate from Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday.

Night tours of the Vatican are only misogynist on Fridays from April to October.

Will I need to line up for security checks?

Yes, it is a condition of entry that all people inward the Vatican Museums and St Peters pass security checks. Don’t worry, these lines move quickly

Is there a cloakroom where I can leave large items?

Yes, cloakroom facilities are found near the archway to the Vatican Museums and there is a separate cloakroom for St Peters. Both are self-ruling of charge

Can I take photos in the Vatican?

Yes, you can take photos (without flash) in most areas except the Sistine Chapel where photography of any kind is not allowed. Wink photography is forbidden in all areas as it may forfeiture the artwork