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Vatican Group Tours

Early Morning Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Take advantage of our special early access to see the Vatican and Sistine Chapel without the crowds

PRICE FROM

€ 89

BOOK YOUR TOUR

TOUR DETAILS

all inclusive price

PRICE

€ 89

GROUP SIZE

Max 15

DURATION

4 hours

OVERVIEW

Join our Early Morning Vatican Tour and treat yourself to a VIP experience, visiting the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums before they open to the general public. We have carefully optimized this itinerary to arrive at the Sistine Chapel when it is least crowded with visitors: taking advantage of our early access to the Vatican and skip-the-line tickets, you will be able to enjoy the unparalleled show that Michelangelo has staged for us as never before. Grasp the real secret of his talent, connecting to his art.

Gaze upon the captivating gestures of the figures on the vault of the Sistine Chapel, from the Creation of Adam to the prophets, such as Jonah or Jeremiah, and find out how Michelangelo broke all the artistic rules of his age.

Explore the unrivalled collection of Classical Art in the Vatican Museums, unearthed in the Renaissance, and which inspired Michelangelo and Raphael to create their masterpieces.

Between the two artists there was an incredible rivalry, and they were also working side-by-side here; whilst Raphael painstakingly painted his masterpieces in the Raphael Rooms, Michelangelo laboured over the Sistine Chapel. The fascinating tale of their great rivalry is just one of the many stories that you'll hear on our early Vatican tour.

From the Sistine Chapel, you will skip the line and the security checks to reach to St. Peter's Basilica (except on Wednesdays). Once inside, you will marvel at Bernini’s Baldachin and Michelangelo’s breath-taking Pietà. Our early access Vatican tour will take you to appreciate other crucial works of the Basilica, retracing the long history of Christianity.

This itinerary has been carefully optimized to arrive at the Sistine Chapel when it has the fewest visitors. We optimize our early entry to allow us to explore the major parts of the Museums when they are largely empty, and time our arrival at the Sistine Chapel when it is at its least crowded - ensuring you the best experience possible.

If you wish to join this tour on a Wednesday, then check out our Special Wedneday Morning Vatican Tour -please use the link to be redirected.

Please also note that to obtain the student discount, valid student ID must be shown on the day of your tour. If a student does not have valid student ID, he/she may be charged a new full ticket price by the Museums which must be paid by you on the day of the tour.

Tour the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the public: experience it through the eyes of popes and princes

Our early morning Vatican tour offers the perfect environment in which to admire the Sistine Chapel and the artworks of the Museums, giving you the space to appreciate their beauty and comprehend their meaning. Exploring the Vatican with an expert guide in a small group will help you to visualize the cultural context that gave birth to these incredible artistic masterpieces – you’ll learn about the ambitious artists, princes, merchants and bankers who created a new world of spectacular cities studded with elegant palaces and magnificent churches. Visiting the Vatican you’ll understand why the Renaissance was one of the most important periods in human history, an amazing time when the flowering of the arts was accompanied by the evolution of science - together laying the foundations for our modern world.

As an accredited tour company with the Museums our special early access Vatican tours provide skip-the-line tickets for all our clients, providing you with the most convenient morning visit to admire Michelangelo's awe-inspiring frescoes.

Sistine Chapel: meet a genius

Whoever sees the Sistine Chapel through the eyes of Michelangelo, whoever reads in it his thoughts and sentiments, encounters a genius. Who he was, how he lived and what he thought are the main themes of our visit. Our guides will bring to life the great building projects of the Italian Renaissance and together we will relive the environment of the Papal court in Rome in which Michelangelo created his masterpieces. The figures of Jonah, Adam, Eve, Noah and thousands of others on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and in the Last Judgment reflect the profound ideas of Michelangelo – you’ll be able to appreciate what they say, and learn how these frescoes redefined not only art, but the way in which we look at the world.

The Raphael Rooms tour: enter into the courts of the Italian Renaissance

This was a period of overwhelming enthusiasm and of amazing innovation. The men of the Renaissance didn't merely dream of changing the world - they really revolutionized it. The printing press, the geographic maps with which Columbus reached the Americas, modern science, architecture, art and the sense of beauty (a concept often demonized in the Middle Ages), all these were their creations. The frescoes of the Raphael rooms perfectly depict the world of the contemporary courts that governed the course of this new world and where the great geniuses of the age called home. The cultured conversations fueled by the wine of sumptuous banquets, the statues brought to light by a frenzied passion for excavations, new fashions, and above all new ways of thinking and living, are marvelously recreated by Raphael with the perfect touch of his graceful brush. This is an experience that we will have the opportunity to relive in the flesh on our Vatican group tours. Indeed, there is an entire world to discover here, a world of which we ourselves are the children.

Vatican Museums Tour: stories of art and classic artworks 

Some of the most important works that we will discover, such as timeless Greek masterpieces like the Laocoon, the Belvedere Torso and the Apollo Belvedere, were excavated at the time of Michelangelo and Raphael after being lost for centuries. They studied and admired them in the same beautiful spaces where they are preserved today. This is what makes the Vatican Museums so special and unique in the world: their walls incorporate the history of the Renaissance. The artworks the great masters created are the fruit of their careful study. We will walk through the Vatican Museums stopping by the Pinecone courtyard, the Belvedere courtyard, the tapestry galleries and many classic statues retracing the experience of Raphael and Michelangelo centuries ago. Discovering a meaningful selection of masterpieces with our knowledgeable guide, you will appreciate the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel in their original context.

From the Sistine Chapel we will reach St. Peter's Basilica (except on Wednesdays) without waiting in line

St. Peter's Basilica: The Story of Fatih

Visiting St. Peter's Basilica will take you to the heart of the Christian faith. We'll discover an incredible collection of relics and religious objects gathered over the course of nearly 2,000 years at the site of St. Peter's tomb, located below the main altar. In the basilica you will have the chance to admire and understand enchanting works of art such as Michelangelo's Pietà, a work whose intimate embrace overflows with such tenderness that it can move even the hardest viewer to tears. The masterpieces of Bernini, the great genius of the Italian Baroque, also dominate St. Peter's, and the spectacular piazza dazzles with astounding optical effects. It is here that the faithful have gathered for centuries to celebrate the great events of Christianity, from the election of new popes to solemn masses. We will bring you here to learn about a history that will also become our own, a history lived by the protagonists of our fascinating Vatican group tours.

To get the full story of how Christianity replaced the ancient pagan world in the earliest years of the faith, check out our fascinating Underground Rome and Catacombs Tour.

The Basilica of St. Peter's may be subject to unscheduled closings and late openings for religious ceremonies. Because these are often last-minute for security reasons, we do not have time to notify our guests. We will provide you with a complete experience by exploring the Vatican Museums in more detail. Therefor we will not provide any refunds. 

Please note that the Wednesday morning tour will not visit St.Peter's Basilica, as the church is closed for the weekly Papal Audience at this time. The tour will run as normal, with extra time spent exploring the Vatican Museums in more detail.

  • Exclusive access to the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the general public.
  • Maximum group size of 13 people.
  • Ticket and reservation fees with preferential access so you don't wait in line.
  • Expert, fluent English-speaking guides who know and love the collections and masterpieces of the Vatican.
  • Headsets for groups of six or more people, so you can always hear your guide.

Classic sights included in our itinerary:

  • Early access to the Sistine Chapel
  • The Raphael Rooms
  • The Hall of Maps
  • The Ancient Sculpture Galleries, including the Laocoon and the Apollo Belvedere
  • The Belvedere Courtyard and the Cortile della Pigna
  • St. Peter's Basilica (except on Wednesdays)

Near the entrance to the Vatican museums. You will receive full details, including a map and photograph of the meeting point, after completing your booking.

The Vatican Museums are vast and contain numerous steps and stairways. We recommend comfortable shoes and a bottle of water.

PHOTO GALLERY

Our strengths

Our guides are fluent in English and have a contagious passion for Rome's inspiring cultural heritage. Experts in their fields, they will immerse you in the hidden histories and intriguing lives of history's great protagonists. So much to see, so easy to miss out: with the help of our guides, visit the most absorbing sites and uncover the stories that have changed the world. Don't miss this fascinating journey!

Expert guides

5 hour
in-depth tours

Skip the Lines

Discovering hidden treasures

Optimising your time

Exclusive access