Vatican Museums

See where the Vatican exhibits some of its most priceless paintings, including works by Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci.

Vatican Museums: Our most recommended tours and activities

Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

1. Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

Take a stirring journey through art and religious history with skip-the-ticket-line entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Avoid the long ticket lines and then enjoy your visit at your own pace.  Wander through the Greek Cross Gallery to see elaborately-carved sarcophagi that might just contain the earthly remains of some of antiquity's famous kings and queens. Peek at the Cabinet of the Masks, or tour the Sala degli Animali to see a virtual menagerie of fantastic beasts, real and imagined. Walk the Upper Galleries, including the Gallery of Maps, to see how cartographers depicted the world through the ages. See masterpieces by Renaissance masters in the Raphael Rooms, and rest for a while in the Borgia Apartments. Then, it’s time to marvel at Michelangelo’s exquisite Sistine Chapel, the crown jewel of the Vatican, and perhaps even of all the world’s art treasures.

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica Tour

2. 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.

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Private Tour

3. Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Private Tour

Beat the crowds with a private tour of the Vatican Museums. Explore the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel with your personal and highly professional tour guide, who will tailor the experience to fit your needs and requirements. Learn about the fascinating history of the Vatican, from its creation to its modern status as the world’s smallest state. Explore the second largest museum in the world, home to the Raphael Rooms, Pinacoteca, and Gallery of the Geographical Maps. Visit a location with more than 1400 galleries that hosts one of the largest art collections in the world. Witness for yourself pieces by master painters like Perugino, Pinturicchio, Ghirlandaio, Rosselli, Botticelli, Signorelli, della Gatta and, of course, Michelangelo. See the Sistine Chapel through the eyes of an experienced tour guide, officially licensed by the Vatican. With this exclusive private tour, it will just be you and your own guide.

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour

4. Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour

Discover one of the greatest art collections in the world on a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.  Your local guide will take you to the most interesting galleries within the museums – the Rotunda, Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of Maps. Each of these rooms contains ornate ceilings with the walls decorated with ancient statues, frescoes, and tapestries. Of course, the greatest gem of the Vatican collection is not a painting on any wall, but an entire ceiling and wall completely frescoed by the greatest genius of the Renaissance period – Michelangelo Buonarotti. Learn all about how Michelangelo dedicated himself to painting the Sistine Chapel, working day and night, and even sleeping in the chapel. Discover how he expressed his frustration with his employers as your guide lets you in on private the jokes hidden within his work.

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

5. 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 Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour at Night

6. Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour at Night

See the immense and impressive art collection at the Vatican Museums that has been carefully built up over the centuries. Enjoy this 3-hour evening walking tour as your expert guide’s commentary brings the architecture and the art to life. Admire the stunning statues and sculptures from ancient Rome, and see mosaics and crafts from imperial times. Surrounding yourself with such historical artefacts will make you feel like you're taking a walk back in time. Follow your guide past the ticket line at the entrance and be escorted inside the Vatican Museums, where you’ll visit the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the famous Raphael Rooms. Step inside the remarkable Sistine Chapel to see The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment, two of Michelangelo’s masterpieces. The guided tour ends in the Sistine Chapel. Leave this tour full of knowledge and interesting facts, and with marvellous architecture and art imprinted in the back of your mind.

Vatican City: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Guided Tour

7. Vatican City: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Guided Tour

Discover one of the greatest art collections in the world on a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Learn the fascinating history and facts about these sites from your licensed guide, marvel at the frescoes, and leave the tour with a wealth of information. First, your local guide will show you around the Rotunda, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Gallery of Maps. Marvel at the ornate ceilings, ancient statues, and intricate tapestries found throughout the Vatican Museums including an entire ceiling and wall completely frescoed by Michelangelo. Visit the world-famous Sistine Chapel, and see the Creation of Adam in real life. Listen as your guide tells you about Michelangelo’s private jokes and secret messages that were hidden amongst the painted frescoes on the ceiling of the chapel

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

8. 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

9. 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.

Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

10. Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

Skip the ticket line and gain fast access to both the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Once inside, meet your guide who will conduct your tour and reveal the intriguing story behind the seminal design. Enter the Pio Clementino Museum and get up close to the astonishing classical Roman and Greek sculptures, before walking through to the Gallery of the Candelabras which is populated with majestic marble structures throughout. Continue on to see the 40 maps frescoed on the walls of the Gallery of the Geographical Maps, the hanging renaissance artworks at Gallery of the Tapestries, and the four Raphael Rooms. Finally, marvel at Michelangelo's fresco "The Creation of Adam" in the Sistine Chapel.

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What people are saying about Vatican Museums

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 136,118 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:)

Loistava kierros hyvän oppaan kanssa. Kristiina on amerikkalainen, eli englannin kuelistä kierrosta oli helppo seurata.

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