Early Access: Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums

pin_dropLocation:Rome (Italy)
eventSeason:Varies
check_circle Availability: Varies
watch_later Duration: 60 minutes
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Early Access: Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums


Excursion Overview

Visit the Sistine Chapel before the doors are opened to the public, and see its Renaissance treasures without the crowds! After gazing in wonder at Michelangelo’s ‘The Last Judgement’ fresco and other astounding works of art, head inside the Vatican Museums, bypassing all the entrance lines outside. Then, spend as long as you want inside, exploring independently with a map and seeing highlights like Raphael’s Rooms and more.

Tour Includes

  • Early access entrance fee
  • Headsets (to hear host on way to Sistine Chapel)
  • Small-group tour

Tour Exclusions

  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks, unless specified

What You Can Expect

Rise early to meet your host outside the Vatican Museums, and then head straight inside to the Sistine Chapel, hearing about its history and treasures on the way (talking is not permitted inside). As one of the first visitors of the day, make the most of this sacred room without the crowds, and stand up close to incredible artwork such as Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement – the iconic blue fresco that adorns the chapel’s back wall.

The Renaissance-era genius was also responsible for the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling frescoes, collectively representing one of the largest bodies of artwork to be painted by just one person. Gaze upward and marvel at scenes depicting Old Testament tales like the world-famous Creation of Adam, where God brings Adam to life with the touch of his finger.

After strolling around the chapel, admiring the works and soaking up the sacred atmosphere of the pope’s private chapel, head into the Vatican Museums with your entrance ticket and map. Then, explore at leisure, enjoying seeing more incredible art work before the later-morning crowds arrive.

Your visit to the museum complex is independent, meaning that you can see whatever you want to see and spend as long as you want inside. Explore must-visit halls like the Gallery of Maps and Raphael’s Rooms, and see classical antiquities, Etruscan artifacts and some of the world’s most exquisite pieces of Renaissance artwork.

Additional Important Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements
  • Pre-booking this tour enables you to skip the long lines (which can take up to two hours!) to enter the Vatican Museums. Please note, all visitors must pass through metal detectors at the security check point. Please expect to wait 20-30 minutes to clear security.
  • This tour involves a fair amount of walking, comfortable shoes are recommended
  • Wheelchair information: This tour is not wheelchair accessible. For your information, Vatican Museums provide wheelchairs free of charge in the main lobby. You can easily pick one up after entrance, before starting your own independent visit. If you are looking for a guided tour with wheelchair access, we recommend booking our private tour so a guide can lead you through the alternate routes.
  • St Peter's Basilica, the grottos and the dome: After the tour, you may visit these attractions on your own. Your tour will end at the front of St Peter's Basilica, which is a very convenient location to leave for lunch, visit the Vatican bookstore, visit the Vatican post office, enter St Peter's Basilica, continue to the grottos below St Peter's or climb to the dome. Your tour guide will be happy to point you in the right direction!
  • Backpacks, tripods and big umbrellas must be left inside a cloakroom on entering the Vatican Museums. To reduce any disruption for your group, we recommend that these items are not taken on this tour
  • Small-group tour of 20 people maximum

Voucher information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Products standard cancellable

Products with Viator standard terms and conditions are fully refundable, without charge, up to 48 hours prior to travel, based on the time/date of the Product Location.

Departure point

Vatican City

Departure time

7.20am

Return Details

Sistine Chapel

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