St. Peter's Basilica

The center of the Catholic world, this magnificent basilica was built on the burial site of the apostle Peter.

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

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica Tour

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

Take a tour of one of the holiest sites in Christendom on this guided walking tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. First, visit the Pine Courtyard, Belvedere Courtyard, the Gallery of the Maps, Candelabra Gallery, Pio Clementino's Rooms, the Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms (only on early morning tours), and the Sistine Chapel.Then, be led by an expert guide to some of the major attractions, as well as to some lesser-known spots that other tourists often miss. You will also get to see other galleries of the Vatican corridors. Finally, visit Michelangelo's Pietà at St. Peter's Basilica before concludig your tour at the Sistine Chapel.

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. 

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

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

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 Tour with St. Peter's

4. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour with St. Peter's

Discover the art collection inside the Vatican Museums on a tour with an art historian guide, with an optional entry to Castle Gandolfo and skip-the-line access to St Peter's Basilica for visits before lunchtime. 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. On tours before 2:30 PM, take advantage of skip-the-line access to St. Peter's Basilica. You can also make the most of your experience by taking advantage of additional entry to Castle Gandolfo (if option selected).

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel with Basilica Access

5. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel with Basilica Access

Take a guided tour of the extensive papal collection of statues, artifacts, and paintings by some of the world’s most distinguished artists in the endless corridors of the Vatican Museums. See work by historic cartographers in the Gallery of the Maps, admire the Gallery of the Candelabras and more. Enter the Sistine Chapel and admire Michelangelo’s acclaimed masterpiece. Afterward, explore St. Peter’s Basilica at your own pace without a guide. Discover highlights include Bernini's high altar and the stunning "La Pieta" by Michelangelo.

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour with Early Access

6. Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour with Early Access

Enter the Vatican Museums ahead of other tour groups and the general public and enjoy privileged access to the Sistine Chapel. Explore in peace and take in the artwork by Michelango and other masters. Your early access ticket also provides access to the Vatican Museums and Papal Palace. Your guide will help you to discover the must-see works of art in the museum's endless corridors of collections. Your guide will show you the extensive papal collection of statues and artifacts, as well as paintings by some of the world’s most distinguished artists. See work by historic cartographers in the Gallery of the Maps, admire the Gallery of the Candelabras, and more. Finally, enter the Sistine Chapel and admire Michelangelo’s acclaimed masterpiece. Learn about the chapel's importance, its construction, and works of art that can be found inside it. Admire the world-famous frescoes, like the Last Judgement and the Creation of Adam.

Saint Peter's Basilica Official Audioguide

7. Saint Peter's Basilica Official Audioguide

Explore St. Peter's Basilica, one of Rome's most famous and magnificent sites with an official audio guide. Marvel at the iconic masterpieces of the church while hearing about Roman history.  St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican is the primary temple of Christianity and is built in the Renaissance style, with a central dome dominating the skyline of Rome. As you enter the church, you will see that its interior is much bigger than those of any other cathedral. Using an official audio guide of the Basilica, you can start your visit at any point of the church, without having to follow the order dictated by the presence of a guide. The audio guide is available through an app on your phone, which you can download to your smartphone ahead of your visit. Or, if you prefer to use a traditional audio guide, you can request one by showing your booking voucher at the reception desk located in the atrium of the Basilica. You can decide, for example, to begin with, the heart of the Basilica, beneath the high altar and the Bernini's Baldachin, where you will discover the “Confession” or “Chapel of the Confession”, in reference to the confession of faith by St. Peter, which led to his martyrdom and burial place. You may choose to end with "La Pietà", the masterpiece of Michelangelo Buonarroti, or with the St. Peter's bronze statue (so worshipped by all the pilgrims visiting over the centuries).

Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

8. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

Explore St. Peter's Basilica, the Renaissance-style church with its dome that dominates the skyline of Rome. Discover why the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson described it as "an ornament of the earth...the sublime of the beautiful". Marvel at the interior, lavishly decorated with marble, reliefs, architectural sculpture, and gilding. Discover the underground Chapel of the Confession and marvel at its curving marble staircases. After the tour, you can use the online Rome City Guide, a self-guided audio tour with stories from local experts, which is included in the experience. Learn about the city's points of interest, hidden gems, public transport, Wi-Fi access points, and best photo stops.

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

9. 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. Start your tour by climbing the stairs to the top of the dome. Contemplate the interior mosaics of the dome up close while your guide shares stories about the history of this Renaissance-style church. Continue your climb to the very top of the dome and reach the viewing deck. 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. From here, descend directly into the Basilica, skipping the long lines outside. Marvel at the magnificent interior and learn why the church took 150 years to rebuild. Discover the colorful marbles, golden ceilings, and the impressive Michelangelo's Pietà.

St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

10. St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

Admire the majesty of St. Peter's Basilica in the company of an art historian tour guide. Go up to the summit to take in spectacular panoramic views, and learn about the artistic and architectural significance of the basilica. Meet your art historian guide in St. Peter's Square and stroll across the piazza into Vatican City. In the basilica, take the elevator part of the way up and then climb the remaining 171 steps. You can climb at a leisurely pace and enjoy the journey up with frequent stops. At the summit, witness the breathtaking 360-degree views of the Vatican City as it extends out into Rome and its seven hills. Take as many photographs as you can because you are very high and will be able to see for a long distance. Return to ground level, and take a break before entering St. Peter's Basilica. Marvel at this triumph of architecture, where Bernini's sculptures and Michelangelo's art rise above holy papal tombs and the necropolis of St. Peter. 

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What people are saying about St. Peter's Basilica

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 111,469 reviews

Our tour was absolutely amazing! I would not recommend going to visit Vatican without a tour guide, and this one basically covered all the important aspects. From a brief presentation of the history of Vatican, to then going through the amazing museums, the absolutely mind-blowing Sistine Chapel and finishing with the overwhelming basilica San Pietro, our guide kept us focused, and led us though the history and the creative process, with Michelangelo's figure and genius always at the centre of everything. Having a guided tour is an excellent idea, especially if it's your first time there, but also as a returning visitor who's never had a guided tour. As a piece of advice, it is preferable to choose the morning tour, because you can have the rest of the day to wonder around on your own and even climb the dome, which gives a breath-taking view of Rome. Wear comfortable shoes, have a bottle of water, and expect to be amazed!

The early morning tour was the best idea as we avoided long lines a lot of crowds. Our guide was very knowledgeable, although somw times was a bit fast. It is a long tour, but is excellent.

Wonderful experience. We had Massimo as guide who was very charismatic and funny, and made our tour considerably more enjoyable and meaningful:)

Throughly enjoyed this tour. Our guide, Rita was knowledgeable, passionate, and patient. I will definitely recommend.

A must experience and definitely worth every penny!!!