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St Peter's Basilica Dome

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

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel Tour & Basilica Entry

1. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel Tour & Basilica Entry

Discover the art collection inside the Vatican Museums on a tour with an art historian guide, with an optional entry to Castle Gandolfo. Walk through the galleries and admire masterpieces by Michelangelo inside the Sistine Chapel.  Meet your guide, an art historian who will tell you all about the masterpieces you will be encountering. Hear fascinating facts and stories as you visit the Gallery of the Maps, the Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Candelabra. Round off the tour with by encountering the marvels of the Sistine Chapel, complete with frescoes by Michelangelo. Be awed by coming face-to-face with Michelangelo’s most famous artwork: The Last Judgement. You can also make the most of your experience by selecting the option of an additional entry ticket to the Castle Gandolfo and St. Peter's Basilica which you can visit at your own pace without the guide.

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Tour

2. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Tour

Discover some of the most popular attractions in Rome on a guided walking tour of Vatican City. Visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica with your guide, and admire the ornate interiors and the famed artworks housed here. Meet your guide close to the entrance to the Vatican Museums and follow them as you set out to explore the most interesting galleries within the museum. See the Rotunda, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Gallery of Maps. Take in the ornate ceilings in each room and see the ancient statues, frescoes, and tapestries that adorn the walls. Then, enter the Sistine Chapel and marvel at the intricate fresco that covers the entire ceiling and walls. Painted by Michaelangelo between 1508 and 1512, the Sistine Chapel represents a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. From the Creation of Adam to the Last Judgement, Michelangelo dedicated some of his greatest years to the Sistine Chapel, working day and night – even sleeping in the chapel – to satisfy the popes of Rome. The artist also expressed his frustration through hidden meanings in his work, which have since been uncovered and deciphered. Listen as your guide lets you in on Michelangelo's private jokes. Finally, head to St. Peter's Basilica for the final leg of your guided walking tour. The cathedral is one of the most renowned works of Renaissance architecture and holds the title of the biggest church in the world. Explore the interior of this magnificent structure with your guide and discover the many masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque art that fill the cathedral. Admire the famous Pietà by Michelangelo and the elaborate St. Peter's Baldachin by Bernini. Your tour comes to an end outside the cathedral. From here, feel free to wander around Saint Peter's Square or visit the nearby Castel Sant'Angelo on your own. 

Vatican City: Saint Peter's Basilica Digital Audioguide

3. Vatican City: Saint Peter's Basilica Digital Audioguide

Discover the fascinating history and awe-inspiring beauty of St. Peter's Basilica with a 60-minute audio-guided tour on your smartphone. Immerse yourself in the grandeur of one of the most renowned landmarks in Rome, and delve into its rich past and magnificent architecture. St. Peter's Basilica, located in Vatican City, stands as a testament to centuries of religious significance and architectural brilliance. Originally commissioned in the 16th century by Pope Julius II, this majestic Basilica was built upon the site believed to be the burial place of Saint Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. Embark on a captivating journey as you explore the legends and myths surrounding St. Peter's Basilica. Learn about the construction of its towering dome, a marvel of Renaissance engineering, and marvel at the oculus that bathes the interior in celestial light. Discover the renowned tombs housed within the basilica, the final resting places of numerous popes and other notable figures. Through 27 listening points and a convenient digital map, the audio tour will guide you through the basilica's most significant features. Uncover the intricate details of the basilica's interior, from its ornate decorations to the intricate mosaic artwork adorning its walls. Gain insight into the symbolism and historical context behind the remarkable pavement beneath your feet. Whether you are an art enthusiast, a history buff, or a spiritual seeker, this audio-guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica offers a comprehensive and engaging experience. Immerse yourself in the grandeur and majesty of this iconic masterpiece, and deepen your understanding of its profound cultural and religious significance.

Rome: Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb

4. Rome: Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb

Join a private or shared guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica and experience this iconic attraction. Marvel at the magnificent interior of the Basilica and learn why the church took 150 years to rebuild. Discover the colorful marbles, golden ceilings, and the impressive Michelangelo's Pietà while your guide shares stories about the history of this Renaissance-style church. Take the elevator with your guide up to half the height towards the top of the Dome. Then take the steps and continue your climb to the the viewing deck at the very top. First contemplate the interior mosaics of the dome close up, then marvel at the striking views of St. Peter's Square and the Vatican Gardens from above. Admire Rome from a height of 136 meters, and spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Castel Sant'Angelo, and other historic sites.

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Ticket-Line Tour

5. Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Ticket-Line Tour

Take a 3-hour guided tour of the holiest site in Christendom on a guided walking tour of the Vatican Museums including a comprehensive visit to the Sistine Chapel. With exclusive skip-the-ticket-line access through the Vatican Museums partners' entrance, save the long wait in the lines that usually form outside one of the world’s most popular attractions. Considered one of the most important places in the history of human civilization, start your tour at the museum to see the important collections of art that various popes have acquired throughout the centuries. Look out for renowned sculptures and masterpieces of Renaissance art. Feel the weight of history and get a sense of the sacred as you spy paintings by Raphael, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Michelangelo, including his masterwork in the Sistine Chapel.

Rome: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour

6. Rome: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour

Discover the best of the Vatican in a single visit. Skip the ticket line to the key attractions and see outstanding examples of art and architecture in the company of your expert guide. Enjoy an optimized itinerary designed to allow you to get the best out of your visit to the Vatican Museums in a limited time frame, taking in the remarkable Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, and St. Peter’s basilica among other highlights in the company of one of our expert guides. Visit the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll get the chance to gaze up at Michelangelo’s ceiling as your guide explains the secrets behind Michelangelo’s masterful paintings. Close to the Sistine Chapel is the suite of private papal apartments known as the Raphael Rooms. These exquisitely decorated rooms contain some of the finest examples of Raphael’s work, including the “School of Athens," a group portrait of antiquity's most famous philosophers, many of them in the guises of Raphael’s contemporaries. Often overlooked by visitors who are in a hurry to get to the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms deserve more than a brief pitstop — your guide will ensure that you have plenty of time to admire Raphael’s works at your leisure. Your visit to the Vatican Museums is a great opportunity to discover its remarkable collections of ancient sculptures, including the legendary Laocoon and Apollo Belvedere. These classical artworks had a profound impact on the artists of the Renaissance, and their muscular anatomies and psychological intensity strongly influenced the work of Michelangelo and Raphael. Accompanied by an expert art historian, you’ll learn all about these ancient masterpieces and gain a greater appreciation of Greek and Roman art. Walk through the famous Gallery of Maps, admire the Pinecone Courtyard and visit the Belvedere Courtyard. Although it’s impossible to see the entire extent of the Vatican’s enormous collection in a few hours, on this tour, you'll see a series of unmissable highlights. After exiting the Sistine Chapel, enter St Peter’s Basilica directly, without having to wait in line. The basilica has been enriched over the centuries by the hands of countless artists and architects. During your St Peter’s Basilica tour, your guide will tell you the fascinating history of the basilica and put it in the context of Christian history, from its origins as a burial ground to its current state of splendor and international importance.

Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Tour with Dome and Papal Tombs

7. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Tour with Dome and Papal Tombs

Explore iconic sights in Rome on this guided walking tour. Stroll through 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: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica Tour

8. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica Tour

Discover the Vatican Museums on this guided tour with skip-the-line guaranteed. Visit St. Peter's Basilica and marvel at the works of Michelangelo and Bernini. Begin your guided walking tour at the Vatican Museums, with their immense collection built by the Popes throughout the centuries, and discover one of the world's most remarkable art collections. See the Pio Clementino Hall, the Laocoon and Apollo Belvedere. Marvel at works by ancient cartographers in the Gallery of Maps and wander the Candelabra Gallery and the Gallery of Tapestries to see Flemish works by pupils of Raphael. Go inside the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo's legendary frescoes. From the Museum, exit directly into St. Peter's Basilica, the most important Christian church in the world, where you will admire, among others, Michelangelo's masterpiece the Pietà and the impressive Baldachin Altar by Bernini. The tour ends in St. Peter's Square, dominated by Michelangelo's imposing Cupola and surrounded by the famous Bernini's double Colonnade.

Rome: Vatican Pass, City Highlights and Free Transport

9. Rome: Vatican Pass, City Highlights and Free Transport

Make your stay in Rome an unforgettable and easy experience with the 3-day OMNIA Vatican Card and Roma Pass combo. These 2 passes cover everything you'll want to do in Rome - historic attractions, top museums, a sightseeing bus tour - and public transportation to help you get around the Eternal City. Let's break it down: OMNIA Vatican Card allows entry to all the top sights in the Vatican City plus a 3-day hop-on hop-off bus tour. Roma Pass grants you free entry to 2 out of 5 top attractions plus discounts at a further 30 top sights and a travel card. The OMNIA Card includes: • Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel (R) • Entrance to the Basilica of St. John in the Lateran and cloister with multimedia audio-guide • Entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica including multilingual audio-guide (R) • Carcer Tullianum / Mamertine Prison (St Peter's Prison) (R) • Vox City Audio-Guide* • Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour - access Open Bus Vatican and Rome, Big Bus, and City Sightseeing services The Roma Pass includes free admission to 2 of the following attractions (adult tickets only): • Capitoline Museums • Castel Sant'Angelo (R) • The Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill (R) • Borghese Gallery (R) It also includes price reductions to many museums and attractions, including the following: Museums: • National Roman Museum – Palazzo Massimo alle Terme • National Roman Museum – Palazzo Altemps • National Roman Museum – Crypta Balbi • National Roman Museum – Baths of Diocletian • National Gallery in Palazzo Barberini • Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia • Centrale Montemartini • National Museum of Oriental Art • MACRO - Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Roma • MAXXI - National Museum of XXI Century Arts • Planetarium and astronomical museum Attractions: • Circo Maximo Experience • Trajan's Market • Palazzo Valentini – Archaeological Area of the Domus Romane • Ara Pacis and more! (R) Reservation required. Instructions can be found on your confirmation voucher. *Download the Vatican & Rome App (available on Play Store or Apple Store) so you can enjoy the Vox City audio guide.

Rome: St. Peter’s Basilica, Dome Climb, and Underground Tour

10. Rome: St. Peter’s Basilica, Dome Climb, and Underground Tour

Experience St. Peter's Basilica from the top of the dome and admire views of the Vatican and Rome. Follow your guide to see the dome's interior and the Vatican crypts. Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square, then head up to the first level of the dome to the viewing balcony. Admire the array of incredible mosaics depicting the saints, the magnificent Latin scripts which circle the dome, and the top of Bernini’s 3-story canopy below. Listen to your guide share facts and stories about the history of the dome, and everything you need to know about the Dome’s artists and Renaissance splendor. From the first level, take the spiral staircase to the top of the dome and enjoy some free time to explore at your own pace. Then head above the double structure of the dome and pass by windows that give a tantalizing glimpse of the Vatican rooftops below. After 320 steps find yourself on the viewing platform 448 feet above the basilica floor. From the highest point within the Vatican, admire breathtaking and panoramic views of the city, including the Vatican Gardens below. Looking into the distance, you can also marvel at the monuments of ancient Rome, including the Colosseum and the Pantheon. The only point above you is the cross containing the timbers from the True Cross. When you leave the dome there is no need to line up again to get inside the basilica, the stairs bring you directly down to the basilica floor so you can avoid the long lines which you’ll have seen growing across St. Peter’s Square from the top. With your guide, navigate through the basilica, admiring the array of statues, chapels, and pilgrim sites located here, before descending to the underground crypts. Here, you can see where hundreds of popes and members of royalty have been buried since the 11th century.

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What people are saying about St Peter's Basilica Dome

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 54,439 reviews

Our tour guide was excellent, her name was Christa. She was very knowledgeable but better she organised the group well, educated us a bit on paintings before we went in, she was funny and moved us well around the crowds, no stress. By far the best tour guide, I’ve ever experienced. To steal a advertising slogan, ask for her by name, I think where ever you go, she will make it exceptionally good.

Marzi was exceptional. She was very detailed in her description of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, and St. Peter's. Her discussion on "The Ceiling", "The Last Judgement", and "The Sistine Chapel" was excellent. We really enjoyed the detailed discussion she provided. Good work!

Amazing experience with amazing guide! Vatican is a beautiful place full of history, but definitely needs a good guide, otherwise you will miss all the cheeries on the cake.

It was an amazing experience. Our guide was Marianne and she was fantastic. She had a ton of great information and was a very fun guide.

Amazing place, the paintings, the basilica, just wow. I'm not in the least bit religious but was in awe of it all.