La Pieta of St. Peter's Basilica

Extended Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour with Bramante Staircase & St. Peter's Basilica

  • Duration
    4.5 h.
  • Start time
  • Meeting Point
    Near Museum Entrance (Details at Booking)
  • Operating Days
    Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
  • Language

Tour Highlights

  • No Wait Entry to the Vatican Museums through our exclusive Vatican Partners Entrance
  • See the treasures of the Holy See including the Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms and more
  • Explore the masterpieces of the Vatican Painting Gallery and the normally off-limits Bramante Staircase
  • Skip the Line Access to St. Peter's Basilica and the Pietà with possibility to explore after the tour
  • Enlightening commentary from a local Vatican expert throughout the tour
  • Group size limited to 20 people or less
  • Headsets so you can always hear your guide

As an Official Vatican Museums Partner, we can show you more of their collection, including the Bramante Staircase and the Vatican Art Gallery, and enable you to see St. Peter‘s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel without the crowds.
Bramante Staircase Vatican

Visit the Bramante Staircase, Usually Closed to the Public

We have special access to visit the stunning Bramante Staircase. Usually closed to the public we travel with a Vatican guard who unlocks the gate for us.

deposition by caravaggio

Admire Rarely Visited Masterpieces

Our Extended Vatican Tour includes the little-visited Vatican Painting Gallery, home to works by Caravaggio, Raphael and the only Da Vinci work in Rome.

St. Peter's Basilica Altar

Experience all the Most Famous Works

As well as those extra sights, we visit all the most famous works on our Extended Vatican Tour, including The Raphael Rooms, The Sistine Chapel and even St. Peter’s Basilica.


Dig a little deeper at the Vatican on our Extended Vatican Tour – visiting all the highlights of the collection plus some incredible little-visited gems. With special access to the historic Bramante Staircase, we take you past velvet ropes to experience more of the history, art and architecture of this enigmatic state, while still visiting all the most iconic sights of the Vatican.

Our Vatican tour starts at a central location near the Museums where you’ll meet your expert, English-speaking guide. We have No Wait Access here so they’ll lead you past long lines through a special partners’ entrance saving you time better spent inside.

As experts in their field, specially-qualified to lead tours at the Vatican, our guides are the perfect people to lead your journey through the art, history, architecture and culture of the world’s most enigmatic state. And with small group sizes of 20 people or less and audio headsets for everyone, your guide will be easy to hear and interact with and difficult to lose.

With your guide on hand to tell you the stories behind the works, you’ll visit the Pinacoteca, the Vatican Art Gallery. Rarely visited by independent travelers (who mostly sprint from the entrance to the Sistine Chapel), this is one of the quietest parts of the Museums. View masterpieces by Raphael, Caravaggio and the only Da Vinci work still in Rome. As you wander this modern gallery your guide will tell you about not just the techniques and subjects of these works, but the lives of their creators – Caravaggio in particular will surprise you.

A sure highlight of the tour comes when we visit the Bramante Staircase. Usually closed to the public, the Bramante Staircase was once an entrance from street level to the Papal apartments, built to accommodate even horses. You’ll have this stunning helical staircase to yourself on our Vatican tour, with space to admire the views and listen to your guide as they tell you about the architecture that inspired countless copycats.

Of course we’ll see all the iconic sights of the Vatican too. We’ll visit the stunning Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll be able to pick out the little details and stories your guide has highlighted (like the punishment Michelangelo envisioned for his enemies). We’ll also see some of the less famous (but no less interesting) sights such as ancient sculptures in the Gallery of the Candelabra, medieval maps in the Gallery of the Maps and perhaps the first optical illusion in the Gallery of the Tapestries.

With Skip the Line Access directly from the Sistine Chapel, we’ll gain immediate entry to St. Peter’s Basilica where your guide will show you around the world’s biggest ancient cathedral. Admire the incredible carved altar, spot the carving in the belt of Michelangelo’s ‘Pieta’ and discover whether St. Peter really is buried underneath Christianity’s most iconic house of worship.

Our Extended Vatican Tour is the perfect option for visitors who want to experience a little more of the world’s finest art collection, not to mention one of its most interesting histories. With an expert, English-speaking guide on hand you’ll spot details you never would have seen on your own and with our team taking care of all the details you can relax and enjoy, confident that you’re getting the very best from your Vatican visit.

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What's included

  • No Wait Entry to the Vatican Museums
  • Entrance tickets and reservation fees
  • Access to the Sistine Chapel
  • Skip the Line Access to St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Headsets so you can always hear your guide
  • Small groups of 20 people or less
  • Expert, English-speaking tour guide

Sites Visited

  • Vatican Museums
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Bramante Staircase
  • Pinacoteca (Vatican Art Gallery)
  • Raphael's Rooms
  • Gallery of Tapestries
  • Gallery of Maps
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • St. Peter's Square

Meeting Point

Important notes

  • St. Peter's Basilica and other religious sites are subject to occasional closures for religious ceremonies. When this occurs, we will provide guests with an extended tour of the Vatican Museums, or appropriate alternative. In these cases we are unable to provide refunds or discounts. Appropriate dress is required for entry into some sites on this tour. Knees, shoulders and backs must be covered. Due to increased security measures at many attractions some lines may form on tours with 'Skip the Line' or 'No Wait' access.


  • I am taking a Vatican Tour that includes Saint Peter’s Basilica, will we go up the dome?

    It is possible to climb the Dome on your own if you wish, however you will need to purchase a ticket directly on site.  Our tours do not include a visit to the Dome. Please note that if you intend to climb the Dome after your tour ends, you should make sure to book a morning tour (not on a Wednesday) as the Dome access is already closed in the afternoon before our afternoon tours reach Saint Peter’s Basilica, and the Basilica is often closed on Wednesday mornings.

  • Where does the tour meet?

    The tours meet at a location very close and convenient to the entrance of the Vatican Museums. Full details of the exact location are included on the confirmation voucher you will receive when you book your tour.

  • Is photography permitted during the tour?

    Throughout most of the Museums and in St. Peter's Basilica it is possible to take photographs. However, photography is strictly prohibited inside the Sistine Chapel.

Extended Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour with Bramante Staircase & St. Peter's Basilica Reviews

4.92 726
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Excellent guide...


Excellent guide, Biliana certainly explained the history of the places we went. Excellent English also.

Manuela was the sweetest...


Manuela was the sweetest, most wonderful guide of all the tours we took in Italy. She knew so much and helped us understand the art and background of all that we saw. She was gracious and kind, working hard to keep us engaged and keep us from getting lost (not an easy feat in the wall-to-wall crowds of the Vatican.) We did end up losing two people when it got really crowded and while she made an effort to find them, she did not do it at the expense of everyone else. She really handled the group professionally, even those who clearly didn't want to be there and complained a lot. I really liked her a lot and believe she is a great asset to your company.

Fabiana was very...


Fabiana was very knowledgeable and really highlighted the beauty and history of the Vatican

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Get to Know City Wonders

A City Wonders tour is the product of meticulous research, detailed planning, and a passion for providing customers with travel experiences they will cherish forever.

With City Wonders it's not just facts, our passionate guides tell you the stories that bring the sights to life.

  • All of our guides are experts in their field
  • We only hire fluent English-speakers so nothing is ever lost in translation
  • We focus on the little details and anecdotes that make City Wonders so special

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