St. Peter's basilica with the Tiber river

Full Day Vatican Tour with Major Basilicas and Sistine Chapel

Faster Than Skip The Line
4.78
Out of 1251 Reviews
  • Duration
    8.5 h.
  • Start time
    08:30
  • Meeting Point
    Near Museum Entrance (Details at Booking)
  • Operating Days
    Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat
  • Language
    English
See the Vatican‘s most beautiful architecture and art in just one day! Our expert guide will show you four Roman basilicas – including St. Peter‘s Basilica and St. Paul Outside the Walls – the Holy Stairs, and the Museums‘ incredible masterpieces.

We got to see all of Rome's most important churches and hear their stories in a single day without the walking!

Judy

Tour Highlights

  • Official No Wait Partners’ Entrance at the Vatican Museums
  • Skip the Line Access at St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Comfortable bus transport to the Major Roman Basilicas: St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major and St Paul Outside the Walls
  • Visit to the Holy Stairs
  • Expert, English-speaking guide to accompany you for the day
  • Audio headsets so you can always hear your guide
  • Small group sizes of only 25 people or less
  • This tour is divided into two parts. Between the first and the second part there will be some free time
St. Peter's Basilica Panoramic Shot

Explore the Four Major Basilicas of Rome

Our full-day tour sees four Major Roman Basilicas in just one day, including St. Peter’s Basilica, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls.

The Holy Stairs exterior

Climb the Holy Stairs

Our Full-Day Major Roman Basilicas tour visits the Holy Stairs, said to have been climbed by Jesus himself. Take some time here to say a prayer or listen to your guide as they explain the history behind the staircase.

Group in front of the Last Judgment's fresco in Sistine Chapel

See the best of the Vatican Museums

We also cover the Vatican Museums – seeing all the highlights of this incredible collection and visiting The Sistine Chapel!

Description

There are few places in Rome where you’ll find as much beautiful art and architecture as the churches and basilicas of the city. Throughout the Renaissance artistic masters such as Raphael, Bernini and Michelangelo, were supported by successive Popes and Cardinals. Once completed, their work was mounted in the Churches of Rome and the Vatican. Get a full appreciate of the art, architecture and culture of not just the Vatican, but all of Rome on our Full-Day Major Roman Basilicas & Vatican Museums Tour.

On this full-day adventure we’ll take you to the four Major Roman Basilicas. We’ll see St. Peter’s Basilica where we’ll admire Michelangelo’s Pieta, the stunning carved altar and one of the world’s most impressive altars. At the Basilica of St. John Lateran you’ll find what is actually the most important church in Christianity as the official seat of the Pope (whose title is Cardinal of Rome). Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major) is known for its size and beauty as well as housing the tomb of Rome’s favorite sculptor Bernini. Meanwhile the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls is a less extravagant affair, most significant as the resting place for the remains of St. Paul.

With an expert, English-speaking guide on hand to teach you about the significance, art and architecture of all the sites you visit, you’ll also visit the Holy Stairs. Widely accepted as the stairs climbed by Jesus Christ during the Passion, the Holy Stairs draw huge numbers of pilgrims every year, who climb its length on their knees while reciting the rosary. Take some time to say a prayer here or listen to our guide as they teach you about the history behind this incredible relic.

Our full-day tour goes beyond the Four Major Roman Basilicas though. We’ll also visit the Vatican Museums for a fully guided tour – so you really do see all the best Christian sites in Rome and the Vatican. Throughout the day we’ll have audio headsets for every guest so you never miss a word.

You’ll be happy to have these at the busy Vatican Museums, where your guide will lead you on a carefully-planned route of the 9-mile long Museums (don’t worry, you won’t have to walk all of that!), seeing all the highlights of the collection. We’ll visit ancient sculpture galleries, ornate courtyards, medieval map rooms and stunning tapestries.

Of course we’ll see all of the big-name sights too when your guide shows you the four beautiful Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel. Having commentary from an expert guide here will make your visit all the more worthwhile, since you’ll be able to pick out the little characters and private jokes painted into the frescos by Michelangelo.

In just one day, we’ll show you the most beautiful art and architecture in all of Rome. With comfortable, air-conditioned transport and pre-reserved No Wait Access tickets you won’t have to worry about the hassle of navigating these far-flung sights of Rome on your own. And with an expert, English-speaking guide on hand throughout the day you can rest assured that you’re getting the very best from this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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What's included

  • Expert, English-speaking tour guide
  • Small groups of 25 people or less
  • Vatican Museums entrance ticket and reservation fee
  • No Wait Access to the Vatican Museums
  • Skip the Line entrance into St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Entrance into the four churches and to the Holy Stairs
  • All transfers in an air-conditioned coach bus
  • Audio headsets, so you can always hear your guide

What's not included

  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pick-up/drop-off
  • Transfer between tours
  • Food/Beverage

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.

FAQs

  • Is there a mandatory dress code?

    Yes, the Vatican has a strict dress code. Men, women and children must have their shoulders and knees covered at all times.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Full Day Vatican Tour with Major Basilicas and Sistine Chapel Reviews

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4 star
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Georgia was fantastic!...

Georgia was fantastic! She was both knowledgeable and entertaining, able to answer all of our questions and her enthusiasm never wavered. She was our favorite guide out of all of our City Wonders tours!

Anna was welcoming and so...

Anna was welcoming and so knowledgeable about the Basilicas and Rome in general- her enthusiasm was infectious!

Georgia was amazing! She...

Georgia was amazing! She explained everything in a way the entire group could understand. She's knowledgeable and delivers the subject matter professionally but with a sense of humor. We could only hope to get on another one of her tours.

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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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