450 USD

Viator VIP: Sistine Chapel Private Viewing and Small-Group Tour of the Vatican's Secret Rooms

Viator VIP: Sistine Chapel Private Viewing and Small-Group Tour of the Vatican's Secret Rooms

Duration: 3 hours

Location: Rome, Italy

Skip-the-line Vatican tours are so popular, even the priority lines are long! But this tour includes exclusive access through a reserved entranceway, ensuring that you will not wait in any long lines. Spend three hours here on a small-group tour, accompanied by a Vatican guard to unlock doors to secret rooms. You’ll discover the Vatican as only VIPs like presidents and royal families usually do.

Due to the nature of this special-access tour, the itinerary changes each time. Access to the secret rooms varies and is based on availability, but most tours include the impressive Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante), which is actually a ramp on the corner of the Pope's Palace. You’ll also most likely visit the Room of Gold (Sala degli Ori), an opulent, rarely seen room that holds a dazzling collection of papal gold jewelry and precious Etruscan jewels.

The Niccoline Chapel (Cappella Niccolina) is another secret room most likely seen during your tour. Every bit as beautiful as the Sistine Chapel, this secret room is adorned with gold brought back from Christopher Columbus' travels, and frescoes by Fra Angelico, a Renaissance painter whose mesmerizing artwork pre-dates Michelangelo's.

In addition to the closed rooms, see many of the Vatican Museums’ classic attractions. As your expert guide entertains you with tales of Vatican art, power and treachery, admire Apollo Belvedere and other renowned monuments. Visit Raphael’s Rooms, the public part of the papal apartments in the Palace of the Vatican, and stroll through the Pinecone Courtyard.

Your tour ends on a high note with private access to the Sistine Chapel for your small group. After the doors close to the public, you'll have 30 minutes inside this incredible (and empty!) chapel. Speaking is typically forbidden, but during this private experience, your guide will explain Michelangelo's stunning ceiling fresco, which depicts scenes from Genesis, and his wall fresco, The Last Judgment.
Age Groups:
  • Infant: Age 0 - 3
  • Child: Age 4 - 14
  • Adult: Age 15 - 99
Photos submitted by travelers
5 star rating by John B on 13 Jan 2014

I have been to Rome nine times over the past 7 years. I've been to the Sistine Chapel each time and never in my life have I enjoyed the jaw-dropped experience of standing in the Sistine Chapel when it was COMPLETELY empty. Our tour guide David knew everything about every piece in the Vatican Museum, took amazing care of our small group (there were just 10 of us) and helped make this the best trip ever. I would recommend this company and David as a guide to anyone who wants an incredible, unique experience in Rome!

5 star rating by Gary S on 7 Jan 2014


5 star rating by Stephen C on 21 Dec 2013

Wow, everything we expected and more. The highlight was 30 minutes in the Sistine Chapel with only 8 other people after closing, simply amazing!

5 star rating by mpmuller on 7 Dec 2013

Amazing tour! Our guide Nina was extremely knowledgeable and her enthusiasm was delightful. Highly recommended!

5 star rating by Jeffrey S on 1 Dec 2013

Amazing! Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and the beauty of the tour was amazing!

5 star rating by taz on 29 Nov 2013

Our tour guide Agostina is a really great guide. Her experience working for the vatican added to the experience. The rooms not open to the public are must see if you are in Rome. There were 10 people in our group and we had the sistine chapel to ourselves for 30 minutes. One of the best tours we did on our European vacation.

5 star rating by dmdped on 4 Nov 2013

Worth It!!! The best tour we've had! Rachel our guide was amazing! Very nice , knowledgeable of every detail, super entertaining . We were able to admire and enjoy the Sistine Chapel and all the other rooms especially the Raphael area. THANKS Rachel!

5 star rating by Peggy Lee H on 3 Nov 2013

Wow.. How can you beat it?? This was a splurge tour for us and was well worth it. Our guide Laura was very knowledgeable and provided a lot of info. about the frescos, rooms and history. The tour will always be an experience we will remember.

4 star rating by Daniel F on 1 Nov 2013

The tour was great and our tour guide, Laura, was extremely knowledgeable and very helpful. Our only disappointment was that we did not realize this tour was only of the Vatican Museum and did not include St. Peters Square or Basilica.

5 star rating by Diana O on 28 Oct 2013

Amazing! Nina really knows her stuff. Excellent tour and guide. I would highly recommend this tour.

Departure Point
  • Vatican Museums, Rome
Departure Time
  • This Vatican VIP Access tour departs at 3:15pm (meet strictly at 3pm). It sells out regularly so book now to save your space.
  • 3 hours
  • Mondays only
Return Details
  • Returns to original departure point
  • Entrance fees
  • Skip-the-line entry
  • Small-group tour
  • After-hours access to the Sistine Chapel
  • Professional guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Gratuities (optional)
Additional Details
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • 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
  • No large bags/tripods/umbrellas/backpacks are permitted in the Vatican and must be checked in. Only very small purses are allowed. Please do not bring these items as you will need to leave the tour early to retrieve them at the entrance
  • Due to the nature of this special-access tour, the itinerary changes each time. Access to the secret rooms varies and is based on availability
  • 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
Voucher Info
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • Classic Vatican Museums sites:· Sistine Chapel, home to artwork by Michelangelo including The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment · Apollo Belvedere statue· Lacoon statue· Raphael's Rooms· Pinecone Courtyard· Gallery of Maps· Gallery of the Candelabra· Gallery of the Tapestries· Chiaramonti MuseumSecret Rooms of the Vatican Museums (subject to change):· Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante)· Room of Gold (Sala degli Ori)· Niccoline Chapel (Cappella Niccolina)