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This is our flagship small group Vatican tour which INCLUDES St. Peter's Basilica and it runs year-round. Reviewed hundreds of times here on this page, on TripAdvisor and elsewhere online, this is your first port of call when in Rome and the Vatican City!

Skip all Vatican lines with priority access before experiencing all the major highlights of the famous Vatican City! This entire Vatican tour covers the Musei Vaticani, Sistine Chapel, "Vatacombs" (we have special access to the underground tombs of former Popes), and St. Peter's Church in c. three hours.

The tour covers the highlights of what is surely the most important art collection in the world. Such highlights include the Rooms of Raphael, the Sistine Chapel, and Ancient Roman and Greek pieces in the Belvedere Courtyard. As the Sistine Chapel is located at the far end of over 1,200 rooms, we will get you there quickly and without hassles or unnecessary waiting (while still covering the most important masterpieces along the way). Our guides provide a comprehensive background on the Sistine Chapel from before it was commissioned to the finishing touches, distinguishing between truth and popular legend as promulgated by Hollywood and popular books.

After leaving the Sistine Chapel you will be proffered direct access to St. Peter's Basilica, a privilege made available to When In Rome Tours and official guided tours only. All other visitors on other tours are forced to exit the Vatican and take the long route back into St. Peters, which involves long lines and lost time. You will be granted direct access into the Basilica straight after seeing the Sistine Chapel.

Our guide will lead you through the underground level we refer to as "The Vatacombs", a rarely seen area of the Vatican where tombs of the former popes are located. We then head up into St. Peter's Basilica, the largest basilica in the world built over what are believed to be the bones of St. Peter. Included in this visit are The Pieta', and famous Dome designed by Michelangelo, the massive Baldacchino sculpted in bronze by Bernini, the Transfiguration by Raphael and other monuments of artistic importance. Outside the magnificent Basilica we discuss the history of the Vatican State, it's Swiss Guard, and how St. Peter's Square was designed.

Please check in at our office 15 minutes ahead of whichever departure time you select.

Before e-mailing us about availability and cost, please read this page.

View and print meeting point for this tour: Via Sebastiano Veniero 21, by Vatican Museums entrance

  • Priority skip the line Vatican tickets

  • Licensed Vatican tour guide

  • Vatican tour with multiple convenient departure times

  • Vatican Museums tour

  • Sistine Chapel tour

  • Vatacombs tour

  • St. Peter's Basilica tour

  • None!
Dress Code

Inside the Vatican City, for both ladies and men, knees and shoulders must be covered. For men, no shorts of any kind are allowed. No exceptions are made.

Important Information
  • Tour runs daily excluding Sundays.
  • Tour does not run on public holidays.
  • Sturdy, comfortable footwear advised.
  • Average group size: 20 persons.
  • Exertion level: moderate.
3 hours
Meeting Point
11:00 AM (also 09:00 AM & 13:00 PM between Apr 1st - Nov 10th) at our Vatican office on Via Sebastiano Veniero 21. Full details in booking confirmation voucher.

Following payment, you will be e-mailed a confirmation voucher with comprehensive booking details therein. Payment made will be clarified, and clearly explained tour meeting point info plus maps included for you to find your way in Rome. Please print your voucher and bring it with you at the start of the tour.

When In Rome Tours Promise

** Vatican Museums tickets included!

No hidden costs, English speaking guide, personalized assistance, free Rome orientation & local maps at our customer service center when you check in for your Vatican tour. Amenities include intranet points, lounge, wi-fi, rest rooms, refreshments, and a Roman gladiator photo shoot!

Rated: 5/5 - Christina is amazing!
Melanie Taylor (13 August, 2016 - 08:34pm)

"A big thank you to Christina our tour guide! She was full of great knowledge and humour. Very engaging and kind. I loved that she was thoughtful for those in our tour group who were slower walkers while engaging those of us who were fast paced. Her knowledge of the artwork and history made it a fact filled tour. We learned a LOT. Definitely worth every penny."

Rated: 5/5 - Fascinating insights with marvelous guide
Dave Woodward (13 May, 2016 - 01:31pm)

"Excellent tour conducted by Christina who had an encyclopaedic knowledge which she was very willing to share, answering all the questions that were fired at her. She had a delightful sense of humour which added a light note to the tour for us. She also managed to help us squeeze through crowds to give us the best position to view what she was showing us. Very helpful! Highly recommended. One point of caution - at the office and meeting point we found it difficult to find and were very glad we left plenty of time. Make sure you look up directions before you travel, as once you know where you're going, it's easy to find."

Rated: 5/5 - Vatican tour with Christina
Tone (02 May, 2016 - 06:03pm)

"We went on the Vatican and Catacombs tour with Christina. It was a very informative tour and we learned a lot. Thank you for a lovely day Christina."

Rated: 5/5 - Thank you!
Shelly (06 January, 2016 - 08:14am)

"We just did a Vatican tour with Luigi and wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed it. Luigi was wonderful, extremely knowledgable, kind, funny and very helpful. He stayed after and helped direct some of us on to other things, very appreciated. We will definitely pass this information on to our friends and our hotel. Thank you and Luigi for making our first trip to the Vatican feel successful instead of chaotic, which I think it would have been without your help."

Rated: 5/5 - Excellent
Annika (31 August, 2015 - 07:41pm)

"Fantastic tour guide Maggie was guiding us. She was so happy and willing to answer all our questions. She also spoke very good English so it was easy to understand everything. Annika"

Rated: 5/5 - Danish Princess buried in the Vatican Gardens
Susanne (07 June, 2015 - 08:25am)

"Hi - This is a message for our fantastic guide Chiara who showed us the Vatican City last Thursday! There is a Danish Princess called Charlotte Federica buried in the German graveyard in the Vatican Gardens! Have a nice summer and thank you for a great tour in the Vatican :-)."

Rated: 5/5 - Vatican tour
Angela (01 May, 2015 - 08:52pm)

"Many thanks to Christina for making our tour really enjoyable and fun. She had a great knowledge of the Vatican and was a great guide. Would definitely recommend booking a tour."

Rated: 5/5 - Daniella you are super
Eddy (14 November, 2014 - 07:15pm)

"A wonderful guiding on a warm summer like day in middle of November. Very high knowledge level and hi tempo. Lots of humour and not a moment of boring talking or undressing facts."

Rated: 5/5 - Mandatory Tour for the Vatican!
Mauricio Ruiz (13 November, 2014 - 10:50pm)

"I'll make it easy for you: DO IT! Believe me, this tour covers the most important aspects of the Vatican. If you go by yourselves without a guide, then your visit will be in vain. There's so much to learn from everything that is inside this wonderful place. My tour guide was Luigi, an amazing guide, but most importantly an incredible human being. He gave us a stunning tour and highlighted the best out of each area we went through. His expertise as an historian is outstanding and he will personally try his best to give you the best experience he can. Trust me, Luigi is the man for your Vatican trip."

Rated: 5/5 - Giuliano
Sue Larson (21 October, 2014 - 04:59pm)

"He is an exceptional guide, very knowledgable, pleasant and made the tour fun and informative. He is the best tour guide I have had any place in the world. I recommended him to others."

Rated: 5/5 - Canadian family - awesome experience!
Ashley Solomon (12 October, 2014 - 06:56pm)

"On Oct 7, 2014 we did a tour of the Vatican with Luigi as our guide. Right from the start, we noted that Luigi got to know personally each and every member of the group, which made sense as the tour went on. The musuem, Sistene chapel and St. Peter's cathedral was simply packed and the way Luigi kept us together (each by their name/nationality) was simply amazing. His english was great and knowledge was top notch. We had a great experience and would recommend Luigi to everyone. He also spoke to the Swiss Guards and got us free tickets for the papal audience the next day. Thanks a tonne Luigi!"

Rated: 5/5 - Fantastic!
3 friends from Holland (02 October, 2014 - 03:30pm)

"We had a wonderful tour full of enthousiasm by Sabrina, our tour guide. Thank you very much!!!!!! Marion."

Rated: 5/5 - Fantastic Luigi
Terje (26 September, 2014 - 06:13pm)

"Fantastic tour, Luigi!!! We are so impressed by Your detail knowlegde wich seems to be without manuscript. We will defenetly recommend this tour for everyone that's planning to visit the Vatican museum, the Chapel and St.Peter."

Rated: 5/5 - Must do!
Couple from Holland (26 September, 2014 - 10:20am)

"We've had a wonderful tour with a fantastic guide called Sabrina."

Rated: 5/5 - Daniella is the best
Ole (16 September, 2014 - 07:55pm)

"5 * to this woman. It is ubeleavely how must she knows abouth the things we passed at our tour. It was a bad start corse some problems with the woucher - but she continued the greau tour. Thanks a lot."

Rated: 5/5 - Luigi sei fantastico
Corina (17 August, 2014 - 10:02pm)

"We've booked a Vatican tour for 16th August and we had Luigi as a tour guide. I've never met such an energetic person and his sense of humour makes the tour even more enjoyable, the tour took 4 hours and beside the Sixtine Chapel where is not aloud to talk, Luigi was talking and giving great information the whole time. He has a great knowledge and there isn't any question that he cannot answer. If everybody would be as passionate and dedicated to his job as he is, the world would definitely be a better place. Thanks a lot Luigi!"

Rated: 5/5 - "Luigi"...Vatican encyclopedia!
Alex (07 July, 2014 - 12:28pm)

"My wife and I just did the Vatican tour with Luigi... What a great experience! Luigi was awesome and his knowledge of just about everything was clear. He navigated us through a maze of corridors and people with great attention to all of us. Thank you from the Spaniard from Houston!"

Rated: 5/5 - Vatican tour at its best
Maesy (19 June, 2014 - 09:41pm)

"Our guide Chiara is filled with passion and enthusiasm when she brought us around the museum, Sistine Chapel and Basilica. Her professionalism and love for her job makes the tour memorable for us."

Rated: 5/5 - Excellent Vatican Tour
Timo (18 June, 2014 - 05:49pm)

"We were on a guided tour to Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel, Vatacombs and St. Peter's Church on May 19th 2014, guided by excellent Christina. We skipped the lines and had an amazing tour through all the beauty in Vatican. Christina was a humorous and competent guide. We loved the whole tour and we recommend!"

Rated: 5/5 - Excellent guided tour!
Susanna (15 May, 2014 - 06:17pm)

"We had a fantastic guide - Aurora - on our guided tour around the Vaticans. She was enthusiastic, inspiring and had lots of humour! She brought the history to life and made this guided tour a pleasure. She continued after our Three hours had passed, and she also provided excellent restaurant tips for our remaining stay in Rome."

Rated: 5/5 - Super tour with outstanding guide Luigi!
Wouter (05 May, 2014 - 12:33pm)

"We had a fantastic tour and all the complements goes to the guide Luigi who really loved his job and wants to show the logic and interesting things behind all the art! Many thanks, it made our stay in Rome memorable!"

Rated: 5/5 - Vatican and St. Peter's
Claus Hansen (15 March, 2014 - 08:20pm)

"11. march 2014 the competent guide Chiara guided us in a fantastic way. She is very competent it was absolutely superb. Thanks for a very good tour."

Rated: 5/5 - Vatican tour
John Dentton (01 November, 2013 - 01:38pm)

"We met at the smart and well presented tour centre a short distance from the Vatican museums and met our guide 'Toni'. The group was small numbering around 17 people which made movement within and around the vatican easy. With the aid of radio microphone and ear pieces Toni's guidance and knowlege was excellent pointing out a number of details that would have gone un noticed this was essential to the first time visitor. Thanks again a very good tour and would use your services again on a return trip."

Rated: 5/5 - Wonderful Tour
Philippe (28 October, 2013 - 06:06pm)

"Today whe have taken the tour with Tony i must say i do it again, if you dont take a guide to walk around your crazy en if you take Tony you know you gonne enjoy yourself, she know everything what you wanne know, you dont have to wait in lines, perfect tour Thanks Tony from Philippe."

Rated: 5/5 - Amazing (22nd october 2013)
caruana (26 October, 2013 - 11:10pm)

"We were not really interested in paying for a tour, but we are so glad we did. Our tour guide Giuliano was wonderful, he spoke excellent english and boy did he know what he was talking about. He was very passionate about everything and it was worth every penny."

Rated: 5/5 - Vatican tour
Christer and Marianne (21 September, 2013 - 08:20pm)

"A successful morning. Well trained and competent guide, Sabrina, who engaged and created a more interest. Since we participade in the guided tour we were excluded from the queuing system which saved us at least 2 ours, and we were able to spend our time and energy on the beautyful environment and the history around. One of the delights of the trip thanks to the guide!"

Rated: 5/5 - Vatican tour
Heather and John White (17 September, 2013 - 04:16pm)

"Thanks for a wonderful trip around the Vatican museums and Basilica on Monday (16th sept). We would especially like to thank and congratulate our guide, Chiara. She was so welcoming, helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. She made our trip! Best wishes."

Rated: 5/5 - Vatican trip 20-08-2013
Joyce (20 August, 2013 - 01:46pm)

"We're just back from this trip. Guide Luigi was very enthuosiast and a great storyteller. This trip is well worth the money!"

Rated: 5/5 - A great and knowledgeable tour with Chiara
Pietro Family (16 August, 2013 - 03:39pm)

"We did both the Vatican Tour and Colisseum tour with Chiara who was a FANTASTIC tour guide. She gave us a very knowledgeable and detailed tour of Rome's attractions. She is very funny and passionate about what she does which made the experience wonderful and very enjoyable. Highly recommended!"

Rated: 5/5 - Great tour with Antionetta
Steffen and Camilla (02 August, 2013 - 01:44pm)

"Our guide Antionetta (Toni) made this tour a super experience. She has great knowledge, good humor and made the day for us!"

Rated: 5/5 - Great tour with Antoinetta
Ida and Iben (24 July, 2013 - 09:55am)

"We had a great tour in the vatican museum, the basilica and the vatacombs. Our guide Antoinetta was so sweet and easy to understand. We really enjoyed the experience."

Rated: 5/5 - Excellent tour
Flormark (19 July, 2013 - 09:41pm)

"Sabrina made the tour both intressting and fun. She made us a part of her "familly". She knew much about the subject and even the teenage daughter thought it was intressting."

Rated: 5/5 - Excellent tour
Kari (10 June, 2013 - 03:21am)

"We used When in Rome for this tour of the Vatican and also for Ancient Rome, and we very much enjoyed both. It's a very professional organization, with spacious headquarters where we met our tour guide. The tour lasted about 3.5 hours, and even that amount of time isn't enough to cover everything there is to see. Our tour guide, Toni, was great about highlighting the most important information. She also prepped us well in advance for what we would be doing and to stick close (the Vatican gets incredibly busy), and of course she was very knowledgeable and was able to answer any questions we might have had. It was a wonderful experience."

Rated: 5/5 - Fantastic visit to the Vatican guided by Luigi
Jan Hesdorf (09 April, 2013 - 03:07pm)

"We were a mixed group of 15 people visiting the Vatican (Museum, St. Peters Church and Vatacombs) 8 April 2013 guided by Luigi. The tour took a little bit more then 4 hours and was a great experience lead by a passionated knowledgeable, inspiring and a good facilitator. Luigi's knowledge is second to none and he is doing this in lively way where everybody can join and get a lot out of the tour. He knows so many details that one gets exhausted and impressed. We do highly recommend Luigi if you want to have something extra when visiting the Vatican."

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received in writing. Cancellation requests by telephone only are not accepted, but you may call us to confirm that you have submitted a cancellation request to us in writing. If you cancel your booking greater than seven (7) days before the scheduled tour departure, you will be entitled to a full refund less a 10 Euro cancellation fee per transaction. If you cancel your booking less than seven (7) days before the scheduled tour departure, you will be entitled to a full refund less a 20% cancellation fee per transaction. No refunds will be issued for cancellation requests received less than 24 hours before the scheduled tour departure. Similarly, no refunds will be issued for failure to cancel (no show), or failure to arrive at the designated meeting point at the departure time displayed in your booking confirmation. When In Rome Tours SRL may not be held responsible for acts of god, nor alterations to tours made necessary by unforeseen or unannounced closure of all or part of venues including monuments in the tour package. In the event of such closings, When In Rome Tours SRL will not reimburse the package, but may honor the ticket on another day.

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+39 06 839 04705

Office hours:
08:30 AM - 16:00 PM (CET)
Mon - Sat
Emergency number:
+39 327 001 3364
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When In Rome, do as the Romans do!
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