VIP Vatican in a Day Tour: Experience Vatican Museums & St. Peter's Basilica

Explore the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's in-depth on our VIP Vatican tour

Price 149 €

(119 Reviews)

VIP Vatican in a Day Tour: Experience Vatican Museums & St. Peter's Basilica

duration 5 hours

group size Max. 10

Tour Overview

Want to go beyond the highlights and get the complete Vatican experience? Then our in-depth VIP Vatican tour is for you! Immerse yourself in the breathtaking art and fascinating history of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with the help of our expert guides, and get inside the minds of the geniuses of the Renaissance who changed the story of art forever. Get an up-close look at the ground-breaking masterpieces Michelangelo created for the Pope's Sistine chapel, and decipher Raphael’s iconic School of Athens fresco nearby. Marvel at the greatest artworks of antiquity and discover the only Leonardo in Rome in the Vatican Picture Gallery - a hidden gem that most tourists never get to experience. Finally skip the lines at massive St. Peter’s Basilica, where we’ll gaze on Michelangelo’s Pietà and the dramatic works of Bernini. This unique in-depth tour is the best way to get the most out of your day at the Vatican, an experience not to be missed!

Please note that due to unpredictable circumstances, the tour could last longer.

Tour includes:

  • Skip the lines access
  • Vatican tickets and reservation fees
  • In-depth Vatican Experience
  • Sistine Chapel tour
  • Expert fluent English-speaking guide
  • Headsets for groups of six or more


  • The Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo's frescoes
  • The Raphael Rooms and School of Athens
  • Ancient Sculpture Galleries, including the Laocoon and Belvedere Torso
  • St. Peter's Basilica, including Michelangelo's Pietà and Bernini's Baldachin

Hidden Gems:

  • The Hall of Maps
  • The Tapestry Gallery
  • The Vatican Pinacoteca (Picture Gallery)
  • The Pinecone Courtyard

Tour Description

Join us on a fascinating journey into the history and art of the Vatican

Our special in-depth VIP Vatican tour is the ideal way to experience the wonders of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums and Saint Peter's Basilica, allowing you to discover the stories and meanings behind great masterpieces and hidden gems along the way. There is only one route that brings you to the Sistine Chapel, passing through courtyards and palaces containing one of the best art collections in all the world. Don't rush through them; you'll be captivated by these extraordinary masterpieces and their intricate details - such as the eyes of a statue or frescoes lighting up a ceiling.

Meet the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel

Whoever explores the Sistine Chapel through the eyes of Michelangelo, whoever reads his thoughts and sentiments in these awe-inspiring frescoes, encounters a genius. Learn who Michelangelo was, discover how he lived and what he thought. Discover how he came to master the technique of fresco on the job, and how his working practices and designs changed according to his inspiration even as he painted the chapel. 

In the company of our expert art-historian guide learn all about the greatest artistic undertakings of the Italian Renaissance: together we'll relive the dramatic environment of Rome's Papal court, and unravel the context in which Michelangelo created his masterpieces. Appreciate the figures of Jonah, Adam, Eve, Noah and thousands of others on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and in the Last Judgement, and discover the incredible stories they tell us. On our tour of the Sistine chapel understand how these frescoes redefined not only art, but even the way in which we look at the world around us.

Relive the world of the Renaissance court in the Raphael Rooms

This was a period of amazing innovation, when the great characters of the Renaissance completely revolutionised our understanding of the world. The printing press, the geographic maps that Columbus used to reach the Americas, the dawning of modern science, a new conception of architecture, art and the sense of beauty (a concept frequently demonized in the Middle Ages) - all these were their innovations. The frescoes of the Raphael rooms perfectly depict the world of the contemporary courts that governed the course of this new world, where the great geniuses of the age lived and worked.

The cultured conversations fueled by the wine of sumptuous banquets, statues brought to light by a frenzied passion for excavations, new fashions, and above all new ways of thinking and living - these are all marvellously recreated by Raphael with the perfect touch of his graceful brush. On this Vatican group tour we will have the opportunity to experience this amazing world in the flesh. There's an entire world to discover here, a world of which we ourselves are the children.

2,000 years of art and history on our Vatican Museums tour

Some of the the most important works that we will discover on our group tour of the Vatican, such as timeless Greek masterpieces like the Laocoon, the Belvedere Torso and the Apollo Belvedere, were excavated at the time of Michelangelo and Raphael; the great Renaissance artists studied and admired them in the same architectural context in which they are preserved today, and the artworks that they created are the fruit of their careful study. Following in their footsteps, you'll pass through the Pinecone courtyard, the Belvedere courtyard and the tapestry galleries in the company of a guide capable of recreating the climate of the epoch -  allowing you to appreciate the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel in their historical context.

Leonardo, Caravaggio and Raphael's Last Painting in the Pinacoteca

Some of the finest paintings of the Vatican Museums are collected in the Pinacoteca (Picture Gallery), still ignored by most tours. On our extended Vatican Tour you will explore this tranquil part of the Museums, appreciating the explosive force of Leonardo's Saint Jerome and the spectacular realism of Caravaggio's Deposition, an artist of absolute and ungovernable genius. We will also encounter Raphael's Transfiguration, a work that would be his last when, struck down by a terrible fever, he died at the height of his fame at the tender age of 37. To learn more about the masterpieces of the Picture Gallery, check out our guide to 5 Highlights of the Vatican Pinacoteca.

Discover the dramatic story of Christianity on our St. Peter's tour

From the Sistine Chapel we will directly enter St. Peter's Basilica, without having to wait in line. This part of our Vatican tour will bring us to the heart of the Christian faith, and along the way we will discover an incredible collection of relics and religious tokens that have accumulated here over the course of nearly 2,000 years at the site of St. Peter's tomb. Our Vatican group tour is optimized to allow you to experience these amazing objects in their original context. At the same time you will have the chance to admire and understand enchanting works of art such as Michelangelo's Pietà, whose tender intimacy moves all who gaze upon it. St. Peter's is also home to the masterpieces of Bernini, the greatest genius of the Italian Baroque, and the spectacular square he designed to lead up to the basilica dazzles with astounding optical effects. Crowds of devoted faithful have gathered for centuries to celebrate the most important events of Christianity, from the election of new popes to solemn masses. History seems to be alive in this beautiful place, and it's the perfect spot to conclude our fascinating Vatican group tour itineraries.

*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. For this reason we will not provide any refunds.

*To obtain student discounts, 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.

Get the full picture of Rome’s cultural heritage by pairing your Vatican tour with our Immersive Colosseum tour, and explore the majesty of the ancient empire. 

meeting point

You will receive full details, with a map and photo, on booking

Tour Reviews

5.0 (119 reviews)

John’s knowledge of the Vatican and its history was extensive. He was funny and well presented. He was able to give us sight of some closed areas from the public tour. I recommend John and his company for the Vatican tour.

Lee - Dec 29, 2023

We participated in the VIP Vatican In a Day Tour: Experience Art and History As Never Before tour. Our guide (Eugenia D'Andrea) was truly wonderful. We (2 couples) had a small, intimate tour on a rainy day in mid-January. We met at 10AM and had a full day touring the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, the Raphael rooms, and St. Peter's. My wife and I have professional backgrounds in architecture and art history and booked the longer tour (5 hours, instead of the 3 hour version). We walked in knowing a lot but were still blown away with how good of a job Eugenia did guiding us through the works and weaving together interesting stories to explain the significance of what we were seeing. I think the tour was supposed to run from 10:00 - 3:30 but she stayed with us longer to answer questions and ensure that we saw everything we could. What a wonderful tour guide and professional! I can't imagine trying to tackle this museum alone, especially during high season. It is so big and can get really crowded. Our guide did a remarkable job showing us the highlights and some lesser known pieces to explain the cultural and historical context of the collections and their broader significance. I know that many people visit this place successfully on their own and have a good time. For us, it was absolutely worth it to take a guided tour. It made the experience more manageable, less stressful, and more meaningful to be able to learn from Eugenia and benefit from her vast experience and knowledge of this important place.

PairOBears - Feb 05, 2023

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