St. Peter’s Basilica Tour with Dome Climb and Papal Crypts

Take a journey inside incredible St. Peter's with our expert guide, including dome climb and visit to the crypts

Price 69 €

St. Peter’s Basilica Tour with Dome Climb and Papal Crypts

duration 2.5 hours

group size Max. 10

Tour Overview

Discover the secrets of the world’s largest church on our in-depth tour of St. Peter’s Basilica. Magnificent St. Peter’s is a true Roman icon, and our special small group tour is the perfect way to learn the fascinating history of the church and appreciate its masterpieces. Enter the Basilica early to avoid the long entrance queues that form later in the day, and make the elevator-assisted journey up the church’s soaring dome before climbing on foot to the top to gaze down on all of the Eternal City spread out before you in one of the world’s most spectacular panoramas. Back on terra firma our expert guide will weave a dramatic tale of the apostles and popes, artists and architects that have left their mark in St. Peter’s. Admire Michelangelo’s Pieta and Bernini’s Baldachin, before concluding our visit in the atmospheric crypts beneath the church, where generations of Popes have been laid to rest in spectacular tombs. This is a unique opportunity to experience St. Peter’s Basilica at its best - book your place today!

Tour includes:

  • Dome climb (with elevator to roofline)
  • Expert art-historian guide
  • Visit to the Papal crypts
  • Tickets for Elevator


  • Michelangelo’s Pieta
  • Bernini’s Baldachin
  • Papal crypts
  • Spectacular view from the Dome

Tour Description

Avoid long lines and visit St. Peter’s Basilica with an expert 

When in Rome, there are certain places that you just can’t afford to miss. Magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica – venerable centrepiece of the Catholic faith and the world’s ultimate Christian pilgrimage destination – figures right at the top of the list. But as the world’s largest church, it can be difficult to navigate your way around the basilica. Our special in-depth tour of St. Peter’s will take you to see the best of St. Peter’s in the company of one of our expert guides, making sure you don’t miss a thing.

We’ll be entering the church early, at the quietest time of the day. There is no way to skip the lines at St. Peter's, but while there may be a short queue even at this time, you won't have to wait too long before entering!

From fabulous architecture to stunning artworks and hidden secrets, on our St. Peter’s Basilica tour you’ll discover why no visit to Rome is complete without a visit to this special place. 

Make the climb up St. Peter’s Dome for Rome’s most spectacular view

When in Rome, climbing the iconic dome of St. Peter’s basilica is an absolute must, and this is how our in-depth St. Peter's tour will begin. On our itinerary you’ll get the lowdown on this miracle of Renaissance design: discover how an aged Michelangelo was inspired by the Pantheon to conjure the world’s tallest dome to crown the massive new centrepiece of the Catholic faith in the 16th century, and get a unique up close and personal look at the dome as we make the thrilling climb upwards.

Our route to the top will unfold in two stages. First, we’ll be ascending the interior of the dome via elevator, where amazing views down into the basilica below will give you a completely new perspective on the stunning church. This is a perfect opportunity to admire the mosaics that decorate the dome, which are difficult to make out in detail from the floor of the church far below. Then we’ll be heading higher, up above the roof line right up to the very top of the cupola. It’s a breathless climb to make it all the way, but the jaw-dropping panorama over the city from the summit will make it all worthwhile!

Please note that the climb up to the top of the cupola is 320 steps, and the way up can be quite narrow. If you feel the climb will be too physically demanding or you are not a fan of small spaces, not to worry. You can spend additional time admiring the stunning interior of the dome with its incredible decorations instead, or pause for refreshment at the cafe located at this level of the church before continuing your tour.  

Trace the story of Christianity in the world’s most important church

The story of St. Peter’s extends all the way back to the earliest decades of the Christian faith. On our tour you’ll learn the story of Christ’s most trusted disciple, and how his crucifixion on the Vatican hill during a Nero-instigated persecution in 64 AD would help to make the future site of St. Peter’s basilica a pilgrimage destination for centuries to come. We’ll trace the history of St. Peter’s basilica from the original Constantinian basilica built way back in the 4th century to the extraordinary 16th-century church that still stands today. Learn how Pope Julius II - the man responsible for the Sistine Chapel ceiling - spared no expense in commissioning the massive basilica, and how a host of important artists and architects from Bramante to Michelangelo and Bernini all had a hand in bringing the elaborate plan to fruition over the course of 150 years. 

Admire artistic masterpieces from Michelangelo, Bernini and more

On our visit inside St. Peter’s we’ll come face-to-face with some of the greatest artistic masterpieces ever created. Gaze on Michelangelo’s incredibly moving Pieta, the sculpture that set the 24 year-old artist on the road to artistic immortality, and learn the story of Bernini’s soaring bronze baldachin guarding the tomb of St. Peter himself. We’ll also be taking a look at Bernini’s stunning statue of saint Longinus, as well as the same artist’s creepy tomb of Pope Alexander VII. Discover too how the toes of St. Peter’s right foot have been worn away by the touch of generations of pilgrims in Arnolfo di Cambio’s portrait of the apostle.   

Visit the Papal crypts and explore the atmospheric final resting place of the Popes

We’ll finish our in-depth St. Peter’s tour with a journey downwards into the atmospheric grottoes beneath the church. In these underground crypts, generations of popes have been laid to rest from as far back as the fifth century. Perhaps most famous amongst the papal tombs to be seen down here is the most recent, that of Pope John Paul II who was canonised as a saint of the Catholic church in 2014. In addition to the mortal remains of the Popes and other important figures from Roman history, a variety of fascinating early-Christian relics and artworks are also located in the Vatican Grottoes, as well as architectural remains of the old basilica of St. Peter’s, demolished to make way for the current church in the 16th century.

The highlight of our visit to the Papal crypts will be the so-called Clementine Chapel: with its origins dating as far back as the 6th century,  this beautiful chapel is traditionally held to house the remains of the Apostle Peter himself, and was an important site of veneration and oath-taking in the middle ages. It’s one of the only parts of the old basilica to survive intact, and offers a window into the millennial history of St. Peter’s - learn all about this fascinating hidden area of the basilica with our guide!


meeting point

Fontana delle Tiare
Tripadvisor Badge

69 €

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