Private and Semi-Private
Guided Tours of the Vatican


The Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's Last Judgment, Raphael Rooms and St. Peter's Basilica




We also offer several full-day tours including the Vatican
and a combination of other major sites in Rome.

Private Guided Tour of the Vatican

Here is an indisputable truth: No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Basilica of St. Peter and the Sistine Chapel.


Here is another one: this paramount religious complex and artistic masterpiece is enormous! The basilica itself is a treasure trove as big as two football fields. And the Sistine Chapel, home of the most famous frescoes in the world, is at the far end of the Vatican Museums. Even if you take the museum's "short itinerary," you will be treated to thousands of fascinating artworks along the way. What are they? Who created them? If you stop to try to figure it all out you'll never make it to the Last Judgment. (We mean Michelangelo's, of course!).

Most weeks of the year, there is a two-to-five hour wait outside the museum (click here to see a picture of the line), so if you want to truly see, enjoy and understand St. Peter's and the Vatican, the only way to skip that outside line and avoid the mayhem inside is to treat yourself to a private guided tour of the complex. For the three-hour tour, these licensed guides will gently steer you to the highlights of the Museums, culminating at the Sistine Chapel, then on to the Basilica to see the dome and Michelangelo's Pietà. If you would a more in-depth visit, take the four-hour tour which also includes the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica and the popes' tombs, as well as the Vatican cemetery (closed to the general public)**. Along you will learn the story of these masterpieces' creators, the reasons they are here, and how they fit in with each other. Rather than be part of a "herd" in the large group tours sold by other web sites, straining to hear the words of a bored guide and to see the art from fifty feet away, enjoy Rome's most fundamental site with your personal guide, who will shape the visit to meet your tastes, personality and physical needs. Afterwards, when you can actually remember what you saw and what it was, you will be grateful indeed!


Available in English or Spanish. St. Peter's Basilica is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in winter and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in summer. The Museums are open Monday through Saturday (except religious holidays), 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. (doors close at 4pm). Click here for a calendar of religious holidays. Due to Papal Audiences, tours are never available on Wednesday morning. Tours are always private, for your group of 1 to 12 people. We regret that we cannot combine groups or combine individuals to make groups, or arrange to include the Scavi in your tour*. You will be met by a driver at your hotel, or you may choose the lower-cost solution of meeting at a simple pre-arranged spot near the start of the tour. If you are not staying at a hotel with a front desk, you must choose the low-cost option. Either way, your guide will be waiting at the Vatican and will have pre-booked your tickets. If there is a portion of the described tour that you prefer to stress or minimize, please tell your guide at the beginning of the tour and he or she will be very happy to accommodate your wishes. Be aware that you are welcome to linger after the tour in the basilica (but not in the Museums), in case you would like to climb to the cupola or have devotional time on your own. Dress comfortably and wear good walking shoes. For the basilica, both women and men must wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees. If you are planning a tour on the same day you arrive in Rome, please account for extra time in case you arrive late, because we cannot guarantee that we will be able to offer you a last-minute time change and in that case, the tour is totally non-refundable. Cruise passengers, please click here for rates that include pier transfers.

The basic tour lasts three hours from the time you meet your guide at the museum; the in-depth tour lasts four hours. Prices include private car transfer as described, entrance tickets including the special priority pass fee that insures you will be in the priority line, and personal tour guide. Meals are not included. You may have to wait briefly before the museum doors open but you will not have to go to the end of the long line. Children under 6 years old are free of charge. Students between the ages of 6-16 receive an 8 Euro/person discount on entrance tickets.  If your group numbers more than 6, St. Peter’s Basilica requires that you purchase audio headsets at the door for 1.50 Euro/person. Very occasionally, the Vatican may make changes that may affect your tour. Your guide will do everything possible to make appropriate adjustments but if it is impossible to complete a part of the tour we regret that no compensation can be offered.



The Vatican tour is also available for the sight-impaired and their guide dogs.
Please click here if you need to bring your guide dog with you on the tour.


2016 Prices WITHOUT Hotel Pick-up
and INCLUDING museum tickets
Special info:
If you are NOT staying at a hotel with a front desk staff,

you MUST choose this option
Price for the three-hour tour
of the Museums & Basilica
Price for the four-hour
in-depth tour
1 person 276.00 Euro/group 348.00 Euro/group
2 people 305.00 Euro/group 377.00 Euro/group
3 people 333.00 Euro/group 405.00 Euro/group
4 people 383.00 Euro/group 465.00 Euro/group
5 people 412.00 Euro/group 494.00 Euro/group
6 people 471.00 Euro/group 553.00 Euro/group
7 people 500.00 Euro/group 582.00 Euro/group


2016 Prices for the Tour INCLUDING
One-Way Transportation From your Hotel
and INCLUDING museum tickets
Special info:
This option is available only if you ARE staying
at a hotel with a front desk staff.
Price for the three-hour tour
of the Museums & Basilica
Price for the four-hour
in-depth tour
1 person 327.00 Euro/group 379.00 Euro/group
2 people 356.00 Euro/group 407.00 Euro/group
3 people 385.00 Euro/group 436.00 Euro/group
4 people 444.00 Euro/group 527.00 Euro/group
5 people 473.00 Euro/group 556.00 Euro/group
6 people 543.00 Euro/group 626.00 Euro/group
7 people 572.00 Euro/group 654.00 Euro/group


* - The Scavi tour is run by the Vatican itself. They accept applications and confirm the tour only the day before. Unless you are planning an extended stay in Rome, you will have trouble arranging this tour.

** - Because of the extremely unique nature of the crypt and the cemetery, they are occasionally closed due to visits by foreign dignitaries, pilgrims and so on. We regret that it is not possible to know this in advance, and so it may be impossible to include these areas in your tour. Be assured that this is a very brief part of the tour and in the unlikely event that you are not able to do it, the length of your tour will not change.




2.5-Hour Vatican, St. Peter's & Sistine Chapel

Whether your family is religious or not, you will surely want your children to experience the art and history of the Vatican City. But let's make it fun, too! This tour starts with St. Peter's Square, where you'll learn how one lone sailor risked his life to save the monumental obelisk by shouting, "Water on the ropes!" After making the acquaintance of several dozen statues atop the colonnade, you'll climb the Dome to the very top, where you'll be able to see the whole Eternal City, including the arched secret passageway Popes used to escape marauding invaders. Afterwards, you'll have a look inside the Basilica, and continue on to see the tombs of the popes.
picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Ready for a little reward? Good, because you'll stop for a soda and ice cream before strolling round the corner to the Vatican Museums. The major attractions here are the Egyptian mummies, the ancient statues and the popes' automobile museum. And let's not forget the Sistine Chapel, where you'll end the tour.

This tour is available on request any Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. It lasts 2.5 hours and does not include the secret passageway. Prices include entrance tickets at the Vatican, and personal tour guide; if you choose hotel pick-up, that transportation is also included; if your group numbers more than 6 people, whisper headsets are also included. Entrance to the Dome costs 7 Euro/person extra, paid in cash at St. Peter's. Children under 6 years old are free of charge.  Students between the ages of 6-16 receive an 8 Euro/person discount on entrance tickets.  If your group numbers more than 6, St, Peter’s Basilica requires that you purchase audio headsets at the door for 1.50 Euro/person.


2016 Prices for the Tour
WITHOUT Hotel Pick-up
1 person 276.00 Euro/group
2 people 305.00 Euro/group
3 people 333.00 Euro/group
4 people 383.00 Euro/group
5 people 412.00 Euro/group
6 people 471.00 Euro/group
7 people 500.00 Euro/group


2016 Prices for the Tour
WITH Hotel Pick-up
1 person 327.00 Euro/group
2 people 356.00 Euro/group
3 people 385.00 Euro/group
4 people 444.00 Euro/group
5 people 473.00 Euro/group
6 people 543.00 Euro/group
7 people 543.00 Euro/group





Click here for information about Papal Audiences

Semi-Private Three-Hour Guided Tour of the Vatican

The semi-private three-hour guided tour of the Vatican is an economical alternative if your own personal group includes 1-3 people (if your own personal group includes more than 3 people, then it will cost you the same or even less to take a private Vatican tour). The semi-private tour covers the same areas of the Vatican as the private tour. Tour groups number no more than 10 people, and tours are guaranteed with a minimum of two people. The semi-private tour starts at 10:00 or 10:30 a.m. outside the Vatican Museums and is available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Children 6-16 pay only 72 Euro/each. Children under 6 are not admitted, and we suggest families with children of any age book the private Vatican tour where the guide can gear the tour towards the children's interests. If you need a wheelchair or have any other special needs (which we will be happy to address), you must book a private Vatican tour.

The price of the tour includes guide and entrance tickets to the museums, including the special priority pass that insures you will be in the priority line. Please note that booking a semi-private tour means all members of the group will affect and be affected by the others. For instance, your guide will wait 15 minutes if there are any latecomers, so other people may affect the start of your tour, and thus the tour will be accordingly shorter for everyone. Very occasionally, the Vatican may make changes that may affect your tour. Your guide will do everything possible to make appropriate adjustments for this, and to compensate for any disturbances caused by other group members, but if it is impossible to complete a part of the tour we regret that no compensation can be offered.


Click here to see a Photo Album of the Vatican and St. Peter's

Click here to see what days the Vatican museums are closed

Calendar


2016 Prices for the Semi-Private Tour
INCLUDING museum tickets
  Price for the three-hour
semi-private tour at 10:30 a.m.
1 person 99 Euro/group
2 people 198 Euro/group
3 people 297 Euro/group

For four people or more the price is the same as for a private tour.
Please click here for details about the private tour.




Early Entrance to the Sistine Chapel

If you are willing to get up early one morning, here is a unique opportunity to start your tour at the Sistine Chapel, before the crowds arrive. Your driver will meet you at your central Rome lodgings at 7:15am and take you by private vehicle to the Vatican, where you will meet your guide, enter the museums and go straight to the Sistine Chapel. After 45 minutes viewing the exquisite frescoes and learning about their meaning, their creators and the techniques they used, you will head back to visit the Museums and then end up in the Basilica. The tour lasts 3.5 hours in all.


Entrance tickets to the museums cost an additional 38 Euro/person. These include the special reservations and priority pass. Please be sure to have Euros cash on hand because tickets are paid in cash at the beginning of the tour (your tickets will be pre-booked by the guide, and ticket prices may vary slightly without notice). The Vatican requires mandatory use of audio systems for groups of more than 5 people. The cost for audio headsets is 3 Euro/person, paid for in cash directly at the Vatican.

2016 Prices for the Early Sistine Chapel Tour
Special info:
You may have to wait briefly before the museum doors
open but you will not have to go to the end of the long line.
1-2 people 412 Euro/group
3-4 people 432 Euro/group
5-6 people 442 Euro/group