The Best Vatican Tours in Rome

vatican tours

A visit to the Vatican during your visit to Rome is a must.

Tours of the Vatican are the perfect way to explore one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. Expert guides will take you on a journey through time, from the ancient Roman Empire to the present day, and teach you the history of architecture, artifacts, and the Catholic Church.

The highlight of any visit to Rome is a tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. With skip-the-line tickets and private guides, you can avoid long lines and get right up close to Michelangelo’s masterpiece with a Vatican tour tailored to your interests.

The Vatican is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Rome, and for good reason. Located in the heart of the city, the Vatican boasts a wealth of awe-inspiring art and architecture. Visitors can explore the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museums, to name just a few of the highlights. Guided tours are available to ensure that you don’t miss a thing, and private tours can be arranged for a more personalized experience. For those who want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit in the morning or evening when the Vatican is less busy. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking to take in some of the world’s most breathtaking sights, a visit to the Vatican is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Vatican tour tickets are essential to book in advance as spots are limited. These are a few of my favorite and top rated Vatican tours in Rome. You should be able to find one that suits your needs.

Don’t have time to read a bunch of reviews and blog posts? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Rome:

Our Favorite Hotels in Rome:

Our Favorite Tours in Rome

Full Day Vatican Tour

Vatican Day Tour with Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, Papal Palaces, Pope’s Railway, and Lunch

best vatican tours

Spend a day in the life of a Pope with this full-day Vatican insider tour. Skip the line to enter the Vatican Museums with an official Vatican guide and discover its extensive, precious art collection, before taking a moment to breathe in the magnificent Sistine Chapel.

If you’re looking for guided tours of Vatican gardens, this will be a great choice for you. Next, you’ll venture off the beaten path, walking through the pristine Vatican Gardens, entry to which is strictly limited. From there take the Pope’s private train to Castel Gandolfo, where you’ll explore the recently opened Villa Barberini Gardens and the Papal Palace (where generations of Popes have spent their summers), along with a generous buffet lunch of local food and wine.

This is the best Vatican tour if you want to dedicate an entire day to exploring and learning about the area and if you want an intimate experience.

Note: This private Vatican tour is only offered on Saturdays.

Duration10 Hours

VIP After Hours Vatican Tour

VIP Sistine Chapel After Hours & Vatican Museums Tour with Drinks in the Palace Courtyard

Explore the Vatican in style with a tour specially designed to be both enlightening and refreshing! The VIP After Hours Vatican Tour.

You’ll take in the many wonders of the Vatican Museums in the expert hands of an official Vatican guide before watching the gates close to visitors – all while you remain inside!

This is when we’ll wind our way to the Sistine Chapel where you’ll have an uncrowded view of Michelangelo’s masterpiece.

We’ll top this off with some traditional Italian aperitivo in the gorgeous surrounds of the Pinecone Courtyard, allowing you to take in the full glory of the Vatican buildings.

This is the best private Vatican tours for avoiding the crowds.

Note: This tour is available Monday-Thursday.

Duration3.5 Hours

Early Breakfast Vatican Tour

VIP Pristine Sistine Vatican Tour with Museum Breakfast

best vatican tours

On this VIP tour, you’ll skip lines into the Vatican before they open to the general public. Head straight to the magnificent Raphael rooms before you enter the Sistine Chapel for a low-crowd visit to Michelangelo’s masterpiece, then enjoy a full buffet breakfast in the peaceful Pinecone Courtyard followed by a guided tour of the Vatican Museums.

Note: This tour is not offered on Sundays

Duration4 Hours

Vatican Night Tour

Vatican Museums Night Tour with Sistine Chapel

vatican tours

Be one of the lucky few to enter the Vatican at night, after it closes for the evening in this VIP Night Tour. During extended seasonal opening hours you’ll enjoy the museum with fewer crowds and see the Papal Palaces in a new light. This special access tour includes a full tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. However, this tour excludes St. Peter’s Basilica, which is closed at this time.

Note: Only available Fridays and Saturdays.

Duration2.5 Hours

Family Friendly Vatican Tour

If you’re planning a family trip to Rome with kids or with teens, this family-friendly Vatican tour. Any parent who’s tried to bring young kids to a museum knows the struggle of keeping little ones amused and engaged; why not leave the heavy-lifting to us? After skipping the lines, go on a Vatican Treasure Hunt with clues that reveal hidden secrets and uncover meaning behind the treasured art in the collections. With a private child-friendly guide, this tour is best suited for families with kids between 4 and 10 years old.

Duration3 Hours

Highlights & St. Peter’s Dome

Vatican Highlights Tour with St. Peter’s Dome Climb

See the best of the Vatican Museums and climb to the cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica Dome on this highlight-of-your-trip tour. With our expert guide on hand, you’ll have special access to the elevator in St.Peter’s, and skip-the-line tickets to explore legendary galleries like the Raphael rooms.

The Vatican Museums and courtyards are filled with the most important classical sculptures ever discovered, and you’ll end up in the Sistine Chapel with time left to explore the Vatican Museums even further.

Note: This tour is available Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Duration5 Hours

Complete Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

The Complete Vatican Tour With Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Vatican Tours

This comprehensive tour takes you deep into the Vatican Museums with an expert licensed guide to reveal the best of the museum’s collections at a relaxed pace. Admire the Sistine Chapel, an innumerable amount of ancient sculptures such as the Apollo Belvedere and the Laocoön, and hear about the stories that make up the Raphael Rooms. Enjoy skip-the-line entrance into the Vatican museums.

Note: This tour is not available on Sundays.

Duration3 Hours

Vatican City Tour

Vatican Museums Sistine Chapel and Vatican Basilica

On the Vatican city tours, enjoy the luxury of skip-the-line tickets and bypass the stressful lines. Enter the Vatican and start your tour with a visit to the Vatican Museum, a true spectacle for everyone who visits.

Your tour itinerary through the museum is specialized to focus on the most important parts of the site. Next, you will visit the Sistine Chapel. Once inside you will get to marvel at this glorious place, see Michelangelo’s masterpiece depicting the last judgment, on the ceiling.

Finish your tour in front of the Basilica of St. Peter, the biggest church in the world. Our guide will give you an introduction to the Basilica and you are free to stay inside as long as you like.

Note: This tour is not available on Sundays.

Duration2.5 Hours

History of Christianity Tour

With Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and Catacombs with the Roman Guy Tours

Since St. Peter became the first Bishop of Rome, the city has been integral in the history of Christianity and the Church. Join us on this tour with a journey from early Christian burial grounds to the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel.

Spend a day in Rome immersed in the history of the Church as you travel through time from the second century CE to the present. On this tour you will visit the Catacombs of Domitilla, the ancient Appian Way, the Capuchin Crypts as well as a full three hour tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.  This tour is an amazing experience for those who are religious, art and history fanatics, and those who want a spooky Catacombs experience.

Duration8 Hours

Vatican Photoshoot

If you’re looking for a Vatican tour that’s a little different and you’d like some great pictures to remember your visit, this is a fun way to see the Vatican.

Duration30 minutes

I hope this was helpful and you’ll be able to to choose the right Vatican tour for you.