The Vatican; a small city-state, surrounded by the city of Rome, that holds some of the finest examples of architecture and art in the world. Without doubt one of the finest collections of religious art exists in the Vatican Museums and religious buildings, associated with household names like Michelangelo, Raphael and Botticelli, who contributed some of their finest work there.
While it is possible to visit places like the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica on your own, these marvellous places are so densely packed with art and creative flourishes that it can be overwhelming, and much can be missed. However, an expert guide can help point out the more noteworthy features, while also providing valuable time-saving solutions to the popular tourist spots like fast-track entry.
FROM: €58/per person
Passing through the no-wait entrances to sites like the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums can end up saving you hours, and a skip-the-line pass on this tour is a worthwhile investment on its own. While tour groups can reach up to 20 people, each person is provided with a headset so it is easier to hear your guide, who will help shed light on such highlights as the Hall of Maps and Pinecone Courtyard. Background information on what kind of effort it took for Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel adds interest to the remarkable sights on offer.
From €99/ per person
There is much to appreciate in the Vatican outside of the marvellous structures. The Vatican Gardens contain pristine flower beds and their own sights like Our Lady of Lourdes grotto. The walking tour then passes into the Vatican Museums to see some of the great masterpieces of the Renaissance, such as The Last Judgement by Michelangelo. Tours start at around 8am in order to reach the Sistine Chapel before closing time, lasting approximately five hours in total. While that may sound quite tiring, there is much to see and this tour does a great job of highlighting the best bits.
From €28/ per person
For those who would prefer to explore the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel at their own pace, this fast-track entry pass is a great way to cut down on queuing time to maximise the experience of the sights that matter. The fee includes an audio guide, available in many languages, as well as an escorted entry into the sites so that you can skip the lines. That way you can spend as much time as you’d like absorbing frescos like The Creation of Adam, before taking a quick break in the Borgia Apartments.
From €96.50/ per person
Perhaps the pick of the bunch, this exclusive tour is limited to just 12 people and allows early access to the UNESCO-listed area a full hour before the doors are opened to the public. As such, the tour begins at 8am, exploring the extensive museums, laden with renowned works of art, before the space gets filled with other visitors. Naturally, by the time the tour ends three hours later, it will be much busier, but the chance to glimpse the works of Raphael and Michelangelo in relative peace and quiet is hard to beat.
From €60/ per person
If you would like to have a combination of the queue jump passes, a knowledgeable guide who can illuminate some of the most noteworthy creations, and fewer people on the tour, then this private trip is the solution. The itinerary focuses on the main highlights of the Vatican Museums because over the course of the three-hour tour it would not be possible to see everything. Highlights include the Candelabras and Tapestry galleries, the Sistine Chapel and the enormous expanse of St. Peter’s Basilica.