$530 CAD
(375 USD)

Viator VIP: Sistine Chapel Viewing and Vatican


Duration: 3 hours

Location: Rome, Italy

Skip-the-line Vatican tours are so popular, even the priority lines are long! But this exclusive VIP tour includes 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 the statue of 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 Judgement.
Age Groups:
  • Infant: Age 0 - 3
  • Child: Age 4 - 14
  • Adult: Age 15 - 99
Photos submitted by travelers
5 star rating by Elizabeth C on 19 Jan 2016

It was an amazing experience. Be able to appreciate SIstine Chapel in a small group is an incredible experience. Have been to SIstine Chapel over five times. This was no comparison. The guide was knowledgeable and very professional. Thumbs up for sure. Would do this one all over again.

4 star rating by mbink on 15 Jan 2016

Seeing the 'secret' Vatican is a wonderful thing. The Sistine Chapel for ten people? Incredible. Value for money? This is VERY expensive for people like us who are not rolling in money - but a once in a lifetime treat. Does it live up to what you'd expect for the price. Yes and no.
So, what did we get:
Our guide was great. The tour was too brief for 1000 each. Our fellow group members? Call me a reverse snob, but some people with lots of money should be excluded from such tours: droning on about their view of the world so that the guide can't explain what we are looking at, asking the dumbest, loudest questions in the world totally unrelated to the masterpieces we were viewing ... and then there was the young couple who decided this was the perfect time to have a falling out so that she sulked in a corner throughout our 30 minutes in the Sistine Chapel while her boyfriend remonstrated with her. What can I say?
As for the tour itself, the information warns that not all potentially viewable rooms are accessible in a given tour but we missed out on several we'd hoped to see. Luck of the draw I know but a little disappointing. I wonder if any of these tours gets all the listed rooms... Caveat emptor!
BUT the Raphael Rooms as the last of the crowd is ushered out and 30 minutes private viewing of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel? Unless you're some eminent person or the cleaners you will never get that except with this tour. And how do you put a price on that?

5 star rating by Brian L on 14 Jan 2016

Wow. Just Wow.

5 star rating by Mick on 9 Jan 2016

All I can say is WOW! This was worth every penny. To be able to walk into the Sistine Chapel with 7 other people and be able to take pictures makes this worth it. We also got to visit an old apartment of a former pope and Leonardo da Vinci's apartment. This is definitely worth doing!

2 star rating by kmisener on 2 Jan 2016

You can completely skip the lines with this tour. That being said, it is 3 hours long and gets quite tedious - particularly if you're traveling with kids. It does give you private access to the Sistine Chapel, however, that is the very last stop on the tour. Your art-loving teenagers will be on overload well before you even get there.

5 star rating by Peter R on 21 Dec 2015

The trip was better than I'd hoped. Our guide, Laura, was great. There were twelve of us in the group and we did get access to a lot of interesting spaces that wouldn't ordinarily be accessible.

The main event, of course, was the Sistine Chapel and yes, we were there alone except for one guard. I think we had it to ourselves for 45 minutes. It was a great value!

4 star rating by Lsarpa on 5 Dec 2015

Worthy of the Vatican! Very well organized. Our guide was comfortable in her surroundings - yet totally professional and knowledgeable. This was one of the most memorable moments of our trip.

5 star rating by Anthony J on 22 Nov 2015

This private tour was The Highlight of our six week Italian holiday

4 star rating by brendanelson on 22 Nov 2015

We enjoyed the tour immensely. Seeing all the private rooms, artwork and Mama Bear Nina was an awesome guide.
The one thing I would change is the headsets. They were very cheap and it was extremely difficult to hear Nina when she was talking. For the price of this tour, better headsets should be provide.

That being said this was an awesome tour. Being in the Sistine Chapel for 30 minutes with only our small group, guide and guard was awesome. :

5 star rating by Joseph W on 21 Nov 2015

Astonishing, stunning... This was well worth every cent. Of course the Sistine was breathtaking, but the art we saw up to that point also was incredibly rich and beautiful. Our guide spoke perfect English and was nothing short of brilliant. He provided insightful comments on art pieces as well as lots of fascinating history. He also answered every question with impressive knowledge. Fantastic!!

Departure Point
  • Vatican Museums, Rome
Departure Time
  • 3:15pm (meet strictly at 3pm) This tour sells out regularly so book now to save your space.
Duration
  • 3 hours
Operates
  • Varies
Return Details
  • Returns to original departure point
Inclusions
  • Entrance fee
  • Skip-the-line entry
  • After-hours access to the Sistine Chapel
  • Professional guide
Exclusions
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Gratuities (optional)
Additional Details
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 2 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, 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
  • Please be aware that due to Holy Easter Holidays, St. Peter's Basilica will be closed during the selected date (March 24th, 25th, 26th) for this tour. We will substitute other areas of the Vatican to ensure you have the best possible experience
Voucher Info
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
Itinerary
  • Classic Vatican sites:Apollo Belvedere Chiaramonti MuseumSistine Chapel, home to artwork by Michelangelo including The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment Gallery of MapsGallery of the CandelabraGallery of the TapestriesLacoon Pinecone CourtyardRaphael's RoomsSecret rooms (subject to change):Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante)Niccoline Chapel (Cappella Niccolina)Room of Gold (Sala degli Ori)