15 Best Vatican Tours

Full of incredible art, outstanding architecture, and dripping in history, the Vatican is simply mesmerizing to visit. You’ll be astounded at the sheer beauty of everything you see. Exploring the extensive Papal collections in the Vatican Museums is an awe-inspiring experience, as centuries worth of frescoes, sculptures, and paintings gaze down at you. The Sistine Chapel ceiling is certainly one of mankind’s most amazing accomplishments.

With the Papal Villas and Gardens for you to enjoy, as well as the imposing Saint Peter’s Basilica and Square, you’ll have your work cut out trying to fit everything in.

To give you an idea of what is available to you, here are some of the best tours that will take you to everything that you need to see when visiting the Vatican.

1. Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel & Saint Peter’s Guided Tour

Saint Peter's Basilica

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Saint Peter’s Basilica

A wildly popular tour, this is one of the top-rated ones out there; people invariably come away raving about all they’ve seen and done.

One of the most incredible places in the world, Vatican City is jam-packed with awe-inspiring monuments, buildings, artworks and more, and this tour will certainly take you to the best of them.

With an expert guide accompanying you, the delights of the Vatican Museums will come to life before your eyes, while the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica are equally breathtaking.

2. Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Fast-Track Entry

Sistine Chapel

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Sistine Chapel

As they are such a popular tourist attraction, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are unfortunately often beset by long lines and many people end up queuing for hours.

This ticket is a great option; it will help you make the most of your time in the Vatican and avoid the crowds.

With the stunning and extensive Papal collections for you to enjoy, this fast-track entry is well worth investing in; in no time at all, you’ll be marveling at some of Michelangelo’s masterpieces.

3. Official Vatican Partner Tour with Sistine & St. Peter’s

Vatican Tour

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Vatican Tour

A very popular tour that comes highly recommended, this trip is as entertaining as it is informative and educational. You’ll come away having learned a lot about the history, culture, art, and architecture of the Vatican.

Wandering around the museums is mesmerizing, as incredible statues, frescoes and paintings cover every surface. The highlight at the end is, of course, the stunning Sistine Chapel ceiling.

With a professional guide to tell you about all of the amazing sights, you certainly won’t come away disappointed.

4. Rome in One Day: Low Cost Vatican & Colosseum Tours

Stairs of the Vatican Museums

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Stairs of the Vatican Museums

If you’re only in the capital for a short period of time, this is the tour for you. It’ll take you to many of the main sights, with visits to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill included.

The Colosseum is absolutely stupendous; the sheer size and scale of it is incredible, while the ruins of the Roman Forum nearby are lovely to explore.

Just one of the many highlights on the tour is the visit to the Vatican, with its amazing museums, chapel, and towering basilica.

5. Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica Tour

Vatican City

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Vatican City

Taking you to all of the must-see sights in the Vatican, this tour is definitely worth checking out. You’ll love all that you see and do over the course of the excursion.

With an expert guide to explain the significance of what it is you’re gazing at, you’ll come away with a greater appreciation for all the amazing artworks on display.

Passing by such incredible creations as ‘La Pieta’, Raphaels Rooms and the Gallery of the Maps is an amazing experience and the sheer quantity of beautiful pieces on display is jaw-dropping.

6. Angels and Demons Official Tour – The Path to Illumination

Angels And Demons Tour

A wonderful tour that is both fun and friendly, this one takes you to many of the filming locations that appear in the film and book by Dan Brown of the same name.

Exploring Rome’s piazzas is a delightful way to spend the day. One of the highlights of the tour is the visit to the distinctive Castel Sant’Angelo, which lies right next to the Vatican.

With a great guide on hand to show you the secret world of Dan Browns’ thriller, you’ll also get to see off the beaten path places such as ‘Il Pasetto’ – a tiny secret passage that links the castle to the Vatican.

7. The Last Judgement: A Musical and Visual Spectacle

Musical And Visual Spectacle

A spell-binding spectacle, this tour will certainly astound and awe you with all that it has to offer. It truly is a magical experience seeing Michelangelo’s work come to life before your eyes.

Based on the stunning masterpiece that resides in the Sistine Chapel, theatre, music, and technology combine to create a show that you won’t forget – the visuals are breathtaking.

A unique way to explore and appreciate the famous artwork, this visual extravaganza will leave you raving.

8. Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel & Saint Peter’s Guided Tour

Round Room of Pio-Clementino Museum

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Round Room of Pio-Clementino Museum

Taking you on a whirlwind journey around the main sights in the Vatican, this tour sees you skip the queues. As such, you’ll get a lot more time to bathe in the artistic wonders all around you.

With a trained guide to take you around, you’ll learn all there is to know about the masterpieces on show, the grand buildings all around you and, of course, Michelangelo’s famous frescoes.

As there is so much to see and do in the Vatican, it is well worth checking this tour out – it will help you to see a lot in a time efficient way.

9. Vatican Gardens, Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Vatican Gardens

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Vatican Gardens

Exploring the extensive Papal collections in the Vatican Museums is a bucket list experience. You’ll also get to enjoy the Sistine Chapel.

In addition to this, the ticket also includes visits to the Papal Gardens and Villas, which are a delight to wander around. The complimentary audio guide will teach you all there is to know about them.

Great value for what it includes, the ticket is valid for a day and you’ll be amazed at all the sights you can fit into your day of sightseeing.

10. Exclusive Early Morning Vatican Tour

Early Morning Vatican

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Early Morning Vatican

This tour is a fantastic option if you want to explore the Vatican Museums in peace and quiet; it gains you access to the collections a full hour before the museums actually open.

Wandering around the extensive galleries is enchanting and the statues, paintings, and frescoes truly are spectacular.

With a visit to the Sistine Chapel also included, this guided tour will certainly not disappoint.

11. Vatican City: Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition Ticket

Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition Ticket

An amazing way to get to know some of Leonardo Da Vinci’s greatest creations, this exhibition will astound you and you’ll come away with a newfound appreciation of his work.

A man of many talents, he was an artist, architect, scientist, sculptor and more, and the exhibition highlights many of his most important contributions to our world.

With fifty inventions on show, as well as a reproduction of the fantastic ‘The Last Supper’ painting for you to enjoy, this exhibition is not to be missed.

12. Audience with Pope Francis and Tour Guide

Papal Audience Experience

Attending Pope Francis’ weekly audience is a memorable affair and one that you’re not likely to forget any time soon, as he prays alongside all the pilgrims who have congregated from around the world.

Headsets are given to you so you can better hear his speech and your expert guide will tell you all there is to know about the Papal audiences and the history of the church.

A great way to start the day’s sightseeing, this tour will get you up close and personal to the Pope as he delivers his speech.

13. Vatican & Rome City Pass with Free Transportation

Vatican & Rome City Pass With Free Transportation

Well worth investing in, this three-day pass not only will save you loads of cash, but also gets you fast-track entry to many of the main attractions.

Having saved so much time that would have been spent queuing, you can see much more of the Vatican and Rome. The pass will get you lots of discounts to many of the museums, monuments and more.

With free transport also included, you’ll be whizzing around the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums and the Castel Sant’Angelo with a spring in your step, loving every minute of this amazing experience.

14. Castel Sant’Angelo and St. Peter’s Square Tour

Castel Sant’Angelo

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Castel Sant’Angelo

This combo deal takes you to two of the main sights in the city, which conveniently lie right next to each other, so you won’t waste any time getting from one to the other.

The cylindrical Castel Sant’Angelo is a very distinctive edifice in design and is marvelous to visit – your guide will tell you all about it.

After that, it’s time to take the historic Il Passetto di Borgo and follow past popes to St. Peter’s, where you’ll get to marvel at the majestic colonnades that line the impressive square.

15. Vatican Gardens, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Tour

Vatican Gardens

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Vatican Gardens

This fabulous tour takes you around many of the Vatican’s most famous sights. The beauty and luxurious wealth is mind-blowing.

With visits to the Papal Gardens and the Vatican Museums included on the guided tour, you’ll get to see some absolutely incredible paintings, sculptures, and artworks, with the Sistine Chapel ceiling being the undoubted highlight.

Culminating at St. Peter’s Basilica – which is colossal – this tour will leave you with long lasting memories of a brilliant day and comes highly recommended.

Where to stay: Best Hotels in Vatican City
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List of Image Sources

15 Best Vatican Tours:

Saint Peter's Basilica

  • Saint Peter’s Basilica: TTstudio / shutterstock
  • Sistine Chapel: byggarn.se / shutterstock
  • Vatican Tour: Monica Garza 73 / shutterstock
  • Stairs Of The Vatican Museums: The World in HDR / shutterstock
  • Vatican City: Adrian Flory / shutterstock
  • Angels And Demons Tour: getyourguide.com
  • Musical And Visual Spectacle: getyourguide.com
  • Round Room of Pio-Clementino Museum: vvoe / shutterstock
  • Vatican Gardens: PitK / shutterstock
  • Early Morning Vatican: Paolo Gallo / shutterstock
  • Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition Ticket: getyourguide.com
  • Papal Audience Experience: getyourguide.com
  • Vatican & Rome City Pass With Free Transportation: getyourguide.com
  • Castel Sant’Angelo: Noppasin Wongchum / shutterstock
  • Vatican Gardens: Przemyslaw Skibinski / shutterstock