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Gardens of Vatican City

Gardens of Vatican City: Our most recommended tours and activities

Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

1. Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

Start your day at the Vatican early and skip the notoriously long ticket lines by following a special route through the museums that gets you to the Sistine Chapel just as it opens for the day. Enter before most of the crowd and spend a peaceful half-hour soaking up Michelangelo’s masterpiece along with stunning frescoes by other important Renaissance artists. Continue on to the Pinecone Courtyard for large buffet breakfast including hot and cold dishes, fruit juice, tea, and coffee. Once you’ve eaten your fill, head back into the museums for a tour of the most famous artifacts, including the Belvedere Torso, the Apollo Belvedere, the Laocoön Group, and the Raphael Rooms, widely considered to be among the most beautifully-frescoed interiors in the world. Visit the Gallery of the Candelabra with ancient Greek and Roman artworks. Learn about Raphael Sanzio at the Gallery of Tapestries, one of the most spectacular rooms of the museums.

Rome: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

2. Rome: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

The open-top, double-decker bus provides fantastic views and a great atmosphere to enjoy Rome's charm. From the iconic Colosseum and the famous Spanish Steps to the stunning Vatican, the city's history and majestic architecture will take your breath away. A fully narrated audio tour allows you to discover over 10 locations throughout the city with daily departures from the starting point at Termini Railway Station. You have the option to join the tour from any of the stops on the route. You may also experience the “eternal city” on foot with fantastic digital, self-guided walking tours. Some of the locations you can see on the tour route include: Colosseum Roman Forum Trevi Fountain Spanish Steps Piazza di Spagna Vatican St. Peter's Square Piazza Navona Pantheon Castel Sant'Angelo Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore Circus Maximus Piazza Venezia Altare della Patria Piazza Barberini Termini Railway Station

Vatican: Early Access Tour of Museums with Sistine Chapel

3. Vatican: Early Access Tour of Museums with Sistine Chapel

Enjoy a guided tour of Vatican City’s main tourist attractions with early access tickets to the Vatican Museums. Explore sights like the Raphael Rooms and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica before the crowds arrive for the day.  Meet your guide and save time with skip-the-line access into the Vatican Museums. See the Cabinet of Masks and the Gallery of Tapestries, one of the most spectacular rooms in the Museums.  Continue to the Raphael Rooms which are world-renowned for the frescoes painted by Raphael. Enter the Sistine Chapel to marvel at the ceiling created by Michelangelo.  View the famous “The Creation of Adam” fresco in the chapel. Once finished in the Sistine Chapel, visit the Renaissance-style St.Peter's Basilica with your special access, skip-the-line ticket.

Rome: Castel Sant'Angelo with Priority Entrance

4. Rome: Castel Sant'Angelo with Priority Entrance

Discover the history of this mausoleum-turned-museum with skip-the-line, hosted access. Located on the right bank of the Tiber only a short distance from the Vatican City, the Castel Sant'Angelo is an ancient fortress with centuries of history. Explore the museum's seven floors to discover an extensive collection of ancient artifacts and perfectly preserved frescoes from the Renaissance period. Built in 135 AD for the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the building has played an important part in Rome’s architectural history. Climb the spiral staircase to reach the Chamber of Ashes where a number of historical figures were incarcerated, before continuing up to visit the Papal Residence. Immerse yourself in the stories of each different room as you admire the art within. Finish your experience with a panoramic view over Rome and the River Tiber from the castle terrace. A great opportunity to take some photos of the Ponte Sant'Angelo bridge, also known as the Bridge of Angels.

Rome: Vatican Gardens & Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica

5. Rome: Vatican Gardens & Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica

Start your visit with an audio-guided tour of the Vatican Gardens with insightful commentary on an open bus. See the highlights including the Vatican Radio, the Academy of Sciences, the Apostolic Residence, and the Vatican Government Palace. Experience the floral glamor of the Gardens while admiring the fountains and sculptures of the Baroque and Renaissance eras. After the Vatican Gardens, discover the iconic St. Peter Basilica with our local guide. Admire the masterpieces like Michelangelo's Pietà, the statue of St Peter, visit the tomb of Pope John Paul II and stare in wonder at Bernini’s Baldacchino, the elaborate canopy alter that sits above St Peter’s tomb.

Vatican: Papal Audience and St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

6. Vatican: Papal Audience and St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

See the Pope himself during the papal audience ceremony and enjoy a guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica. Arrive at the meeting point and meet the staff. The staff will inform you about the Audience (free entrance) and your St. Peter's Basilica guided tour. Then watch the Pope make his way to the stage and join the weekly gathering which includes prayers, blessings, and a homily. After the audience, enjoy a guided tour of the iconic Basilica of St. Peter. As you tour the Renaissance-style church, with its famous dome and unrivaled architecture, see masterpieces like Michelangelo's Pietà and Bernini's Baldacchino. To get a complete experience, select the option with the Vatican Gardens and enjoy insightful commentary on an open bus.

Vatican City: Basilica, Dome, & Papal Tombs Early Bird Tour

7. Vatican City: Basilica, Dome, & Papal Tombs Early Bird Tour

Uncover the history, art, and architecture of the Vatican City on this guided walking tour. Visit sites like St. Peter’s Square and Basilica in the morning light before the crowds arrive for the day.  Meet your guide in Piazza della Città Leonina and dive into the ancient history of the Vatican City. Admire the statuesque columns and majestic pilasters in St. Peter’s Square. Walk through the walk close to the 1st balcony, decorated with amazing frescoes. Enter the Basilica with skip-the-line access and reach the summit of the Dome after 320 steps, where you are rewarded for the climb with views of the city center. Have some free time to enjoy views of monuments like the Roman Colosseum and Pantheon. Be captivated by the Basilica's interiors which are filled with masterpieces from masters like Bernini and Michelangelo. See pieces from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Follow your guide towards the Vatican’s historic Grottoes to get a closer look of the rooms, chapels, and the papal tombs, where many Popes, royals, and other dignitaries are laid to rest.

Vatican: St.Peter's Basilica and Vatican Museums Guided Tour

8. Vatican: St.Peter's Basilica and Vatican Museums Guided Tour

Experience the highlights of Vatican City with this walking tour. Discover the treasures at the Vatican Museums with the help of a knowledgeable guide. Gaze up as the masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. View the tombs and relics in St. Peter’s Basilica. Meet your guide and make your way to St. Peter’s Basilica which is thought to be located above the burial spot of St. Peter. Appreciate the architectural and artistic merit of this iconic church with the help of your informative guide. Continue to the Vatican Museum to see a massive collection of art spread throughout 54 galleries. Let your guide help you navigate through 7 kilometers of artistic treasures, including the Gallery of Maps and the Gallery of Tapestries. Finish with the Sistine Chapel which is home to Michelangelo’s incredible frescoes. See first-hand the artwork that earned Michelangelo his global legacy. Find out more about Michelangelo's life and work from your guide.

Rome: Best of Rome Pass with Public Transport

9. Rome: Best of Rome Pass with Public Transport

Discover the Eternal City at your own pace with an all-access pass to the main monuments of Rome. Redeem your voucher at the office at your selected booking time and the staff will help you plan and reserve all other attractions included in the Pass. Visit St Peter’s Basilica at your own pace. Stroll through the striking aisles of the largest church in the world, admire Michelangelo's "Pieta", and the beautifully carved Bernini Pulpit. Take the stress out of your visit with accompanied entrance to each attraction. Encounter masterpieces of art in the corridors, courtyards, and galleries of the Vatican Museums. See Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and pay your respects to former popes at the site of their tombs. Journey back to the days of the Roman Empire with a ticket to the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Follow in the footsteps of Roman citizens at the Via Sacra and discover where the city was founded on Palatine Hill. Use your unlimited public transport card to explore the city. Enrich your base option with the Vatican Gardens by minibus and discover the architectural wonders of the Vatican Gardens with a multi-lingual audioguide.

Rome: 2.5-Hour Family Vatican Highlight Scavenger Hunt

10. Rome: 2.5-Hour Family Vatican Highlight Scavenger Hunt

This family orientated tour of the marvels of Vatican City will have your kids engaged throughout the whole 2.5-hour experience. Today you and your children will learn with entertaining anecdotes full of details the stories that bring the art works to life. All guides have been carefully chosen as the perfect travel companions for you and your family. The tour starts in front of the Vatican Museums, where you will meet your guide and go through the priority entrance with them to buy your tickets. See and feel the history while your kids are engaged with scavenger hunts, stories and games throughout the Vatican Gardens, the Gallery of the Carriages, and the Gallery of Maps. You will have priority exit from the Museums and conclude the trip at St. Peters Square.

Other Sightseeing Options in Gardens of Vatican City

Want to discover all there is to do in Gardens of Vatican City? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Gardens of Vatican City

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 19,739 reviews

With a three year old and six year old, the tour was absolutely fantastic for our party! Our guide kept the six year old fully engaged for almost three hours. Should we stop over in Rome in the near future, we’ll be using the same guide service for other attractions in Rome!!

Walking through the door of the Sistine Chapel was one of those great WOW! moments in life. The preparatory talk by the guide added enormously to the whole experience.

Claudia was outstanding, spoke very clearly and described the art and basilica in a way that maintained your interest

Very good tour, showing all the highlights of Rome, helpful staff, good audio guide, comfortable bus

Great way to spend a few hours. Well worth the money and the views over Rome are amazing.