376 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 Katherine M on 24 Jun 2015

Shannon our guide was personable, very knowledgable and a delight. The tour was nice and so great to get out of the crowds! The time in the Sistine Chapel was a treat - again no crowds! Another highlight was the time in the Raphael rooms. The tour is pricey but worth it. Big thumbs up!

5 star rating by Ann P on 19 Jun 2015

Very good tour. Guide was very informative.

5 star rating by Eve W on 18 Jun 2015

Really special. Tour guide Zeb did a great job bringing it all to life. Worth the (very high) price.

5 star rating by Drew (United States of America) on 17 Jun 2015

We had an excellent experience with Shannon as our guide on the private tour. We returned the next day for the Papal audience and did the regular tour in the afternoon so we could get into the Bascillica of St. Peter. We saw the difference of touring with the crowds and without them.

5 star rating by James J on 17 Jun 2015

This tour was unbelievable! Our guide, David, was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining! we definitely felt that we were truly getting a tour that most people didn't even know about! I highly recommend this tour!

4 star rating by Phillip H on 15 Jun 2015

Excellent, David was very knowledgeable , enthusiastic and entertaining. The B stairs and admission to other private areas was great. To be in the Sistine Chapel for 30 minutes with just 14 people was priceless. We were really able to appreciate the artworks.

5 star rating by Linda S on 14 Jun 2015

I hope you get David. It exceeded my expectations!!!

5 star rating by outerbrd on 14 Jun 2015

I was a little hesitant to book this because of the price but it was well worth it! Our guide Shannon was so knowledgeable she made art history fun. Our 10 year old was with us and talked for days about Michaelangelo, Raphael, etc.

5 star rating by Jeff D on 14 Jun 2015

5000 STARS!!!!! WOW!!!! This was one of the most incredible tours my wife and I have ever taken. Yes, it was expensive, but you definitely get you money's worth plus memories and insights that are truly priceless. Our tour guide, David, was a walking encyclopedia of Vatican knowledge and a comedian all wrapped up into one. He made the tour both fun and highly educational. From the visits to hidden recesses of the vatican to the intimate and priceless time in the Sistine Chapel with only our small group, I can only encourage you to take this tour above and beyond any other tour in Rome. Truly exceptional and outstanding.

5 star rating by marxjanis on 13 Jun 2015

Absolutely awesome! Worth every penny!

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
  • Varies
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
  • 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  
  • 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    
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)