St Peter's Basilica Dome

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St Peter's Basilica Dome: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

1. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

Explore iconic sights in Rome on this guided walking tour. Stroll thorugh St. Peter's square and take in the views of the city from the top of St. Peter's Basilica. Admire artwork like Michelangelo's emotive 'Pietà' statue and go below the Basilica to uncover St. Peter's final resting place. Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square then start the tour by climbing your way to the top of the Basilica’s dome. Enjoy an exclusive look at the Dome’s impressive mosaics then head further up to the top balcony. From here, marvel at panoramic views across the city, spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and other iconic landmarks. Descend into the Basilica and admire its impressive interior and discover why it took 150 years to build. Gaze at the colorful marble, golden ceilings, and intricate mosaics that surround you. Learn about the renowned works of Renaissance and Neoclassic artists that are housed here.  Next, head underground to the Basilica’s historic grottoes and visit St. Peter’s Tomb. Touch the ancient walls of the original 4th-century Basilica and admire its beautiful frescoes. Finish the tour in St. Peter’s Square and soak up its majestic architecture. 

Rome: St Peter’s Basilica With Dome Climb Early Morning Tour

2. Rome: St Peter’s Basilica With Dome Climb Early Morning Tour

Experience an extraordinary tour with our local guide who will take you across the in-depths of the ancient history revolving around the St. Peter’s square and the Vatican City. In the Basilica, the guide will take you to the 1st viewing level through the Dome's elevator and then climb up to the remaining steps towards the summit of the Basilica’s Dome. Be among the few to witness a breathtaking view from the above the Vatican city along with its iconic seven hills. Make sure to take photographs as a proof of a lifetime experience from the top of the famous Vatican summit. As you go back inside the sacred Basilica with an instant access, enjoy your time and stroll around as much as you can. Get a closer look and don't miss the historical insights that the Archeological site has to offer.

Rome: St. Peter's Basilica, Square and Grottoes Guided Tour

3. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica, Square and Grottoes Guided Tour

Embark on a guided tour of Rome to discover the history and the secrets of St. Peter's Basilica, the largest Basilica in the world. Admire the stunning architecture, famous artworks, and visit the Papal Grottoes. After meeting your guide, explore the wonders that fill the Basilica. Follow your guide as you discover the past of St. Peter’s Basilica and marvel at its grand interior, covered in gold and breathtaking colors. See the artworks that were created by Michelangelo, Bernini, and Bramante, a focal point for religion and a representative of the beauty of the Renaissance and Baroque eras. After visiting the Basilica, head to the Papal Grottoes, where the previous pontiffs were buried. Get indications to visit the St. Peter’s Dome on request at the end of the tour.

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

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

See the Pope himself on a special early-access visit to the Papal Audience ceremony and guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica. Receive your invitation for the Papal Audience from the staff at Piazza del Sant'Uffizio, just in front of St Peter's Square. 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.

Rome: Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

5. Rome: Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

Meet your expert Vatican guide by St. Peter's Square - a quick ascension by elevator later will carry you up to the top of the dome from where you can see all of Rome and far beyond Rome too. The views are absolutely spectacular. Back on terra firma you will tour the entirety of St. Peter's Basilica - this in itself is rare as most other Rome tour operators do not include it in their Vatican tours. Take a break before making the short walk to the comfortable customer center ahead of your second tour to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Genuine skip-the-line access means that you will be fast tracked to the artistic and archaeological masterpieces which make the Vatican Museums absolutely must-sees when in Rome.

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

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

Be mesmerized by the ancient history of the Vatican City with our local guide, including the marvelous St. Peter’s Square, the heart of the Vatican city, filled with statuesque columns and majestic pilasters. Our guide will walk you through the 1st balcony, decorated with amazing frescoes and works of art at a close distance up until you reach the summit of the Dome after 320 steps, where a panoramic view awaits you over the city centre. Have some free time to enjoy and take photographs at your own pace, observing from a wide-range view of the Dome’s summit, overlooking to some of the ancient monuments including the Roman Colosseum and Pantheon. There’s no need to line up again as the guide escorts you back to the Basilica with an instant access. Be captivated by the interiors filled with masterpieces of the illustrious Bernini and Michelangelo and the remains from the Renaissance and Baroque period. As the tour ends, 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, royalties and other dignitaries are laid to rest.

Vatican Museums Early Entry Tour with Buffet Breakfast

7. Vatican Museums Early Entry Tour with Buffet Breakfast

Have the Vatican to yourself on this exclusive early morning tour that whisks you through closed doors for a buffet breakfast in the peaceful Pinecone Courtyard, 1.5 hours before anyone else enters the museums! While the general public waits in line outside, you’ll feast on an Italian-American breakfast buffet of cooked-to-order eggs, meats, cheeses, muffins, croissants, fresh fruits, cereals, and even pancakes, flipped by the Vatican's pancake chef. Dining in the beautiful Pinecone Courtyard, alongside one of the Vatican Museums' most beautiful works of modern art, experience a level of tranquility rarely seen by Vatican visitors. Then follow your guide to explore the Vatican Museums. Still closed to the general public, the Museums are quieter now than throughout the rest of the day. With only 10 people per group, you’ll have time and space to really appreciate the art. See rooms such as the Hall of Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries, Gallery of the Candelabra and incredible Raphael Rooms. Your guide will bring works of art to life, pointing out things you would have missed on your own. Continue to the legendary Sistine Chapel. Then, skip the ticket lines to enter St. Peter’s Basilica. See the altar and marvel at Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture.

Rome: Best of Rome Pass with Public Transport

8. 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 reserve all of your attractions. 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 72 hours 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.

Vatican City: Early Dome Climb with St. Peter’s Basilica

9. Vatican City: Early Dome Climb with St. Peter’s Basilica

Your tour will start early in the morning in Vatican City, the smallest nation in the world. Meet your licensed, English-speaking guide at the Fountain of the Tiare (Fontana delle Tiare), where you will be accompanied to witness the St. Peter’s Basilica Dome, the tallest Dome in the world. Start the climb to the Dome while listening to the fascinating facts and stories narrated by your guide. Avoid the 231 steps and take the elevator to the first level of the Dome, where the doors will open to the wonder that is Michelangelo’s Dome. From here you will get to admire the views of the interiors of the Basilica from above. Gaze upon the incredible mosaics, the amazing Latin Scripts up close and explore the roof of the basilica. Start you climb up 320 steps on this beautifully crafted and narrow spiral staircase to the very top of the Dome. This quite tiresome climb up will surely be worthwhile the energy spent to reach the top. You will get to admire the view from the highest place within the Vatican. This breathtakingly beautiful panoramic view of the Vatican City, its gorgeous gardens and ancient Rome that includes the Colosseum and the Pantheon will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. After having admired this splendid panoramic view from what will seem to be and feel as the “top of the world”, you will be able to descend to the St. Peter’s Basilica floors completely avoiding the long and tiresome lines outside. Let your guide accompany you through the beauty that is this marvelous architectural piece admired and revered by the entire world. The Basilica is the largest church in the world and the heart of Christianity, a place of pilgrimage in which millions of people gather every year. Prepare to be enchanted by this baroque masterpiece designed by Bernini and Bramante and to admire breathtaking art works like Michelangelo’s Pietà sculpture.This magnificent creation of Michelangelo is said to have been the perfect sculpture that helped launch his career unlike any previous work he had done. The scene of the Pieta shows the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Christ after his crucifixion, death, and removal from the cross, but before he was placed in the tomb. This is one of the key events from the life of the Virgin, known as the Seven Sorrows of Mary, which were the subject of Catholic devotional prayers, it is also said to be the only piece Michelangelo ever signed. Having soaked up the splendor that is this wonderful basilica, make your way down to the Vatican Grottoes also known as the Papal Tombs. Located inside the Grottoes are the tombs of over 90 Popes, a few monarchs and other church dignitaries, which dates to the 10th century. The Vatican Grottoes is considered to be the most visited place in Vatican City and is an absolute must -see of this glorious nation.

In-depth Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica & Square

10. In-depth Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica & Square

Start your tour in St. Peter's Square and be fascinated by its architectural secrets. Discover the optical illusions as were thought by its designer, Bernini. Enter the Basilica and be amazed by its magnificence. Marvel at the mosaics all around you and see why it took 150 years to rebuild. Walk past renowned masterpieces of Renaissance and Neoclassical art with your expert guide. Stand in front of the harmonious 98.5-foot high canopy, and appreciate the expressive power and delicate beauty of Michelangelo's "Pietà". Conclude your tour by descending to the underground grottoes to see St. Peter's tomb. Touch the ancient walls of the original 4th-century Basilica while you admire the work of the beautiful frescoes within.

Other Sightseeing Options in St Peter's Basilica Dome

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What people are saying about St Peter's Basilica Dome

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 913 reviews

You can’t come to Rome and not see St Peters and the Dome but be prepared for crowds. We went in April which is lower season and it’s still very busy, particularly up to the dome (which if your not mobile and somewhat claustrophobic can be an issue BTW). We did the 9am tour and the queuing to get into St Peters was manageable. A guide is definitely the best way to do this if you can afford it, Richie had huge amounts of information on the artefacts, the buildings and the people. Also helped to get the queues moving faster!

Amazing tour and guide Chiara! Very well organized with radios and entrances tickets, rarely had to wait in lines. Chiara was knowledgeable, entertaining, and made the tour special. The dome climb is not easy, >500 winding narrow steps, the panoramic view is beautiful

Rich was extremely informative and was happy to answer any questions. He moved at a pace that suited everyone and provided detailed explanations of the history and symbolism.

Super tour, Val our guide was fantastic. A great blend of history and Roman culture. Everything on the tour ran smoothly. Couldn’t recommend enough!

Our guide, Patricio, was an excellent guide who knows a lot about the basilica. And he knows how to keep it interesting.