Take part in a special day-long pilgrimage – the most important four major Basilicas of Vatican followed by the treasure trove of art through the ages in the Vatican Museums.
See the most beautiful sites of the Vatican in a single day, including the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Stairs and more.
Your journey traverses a traditional pilgrim route covering the four major basilicas of the Vatican (the highest-ranking Catholic churches in the world) – St. Peter’s, St. John of Lateran, St. Paul Outside the Walls and St. Mary Major, as well as the Holy Stairs.
Skip the legendary queues at the Basilica of St. Peter to enter and marvel at the exquisite beauty of Michelangelo’s Pieta. Stand within the ‘payer-soaked walls’ to absorb the atmosphere of one of the holiest places in Christendom.
The Rome Sightseeing – St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Museums Tour is actually a package composed of two separate tours.
Your day starts with a Skip the Line tour of the Vatican Museums. You will bypass the long line snaking into the Vatican Museums to gain entry to one of the world’s most incredible art collections. Visit the sumptuous Raphael Rooms among other treasures before arriving at one of the highlights of our tour, the Sistine Chapel.
From the Sistine Chapel we’ll use a special access door, allowing us to bypass another long line on the way into St. Peter’s Basilica. Feast your eyes on the largest Church in Christianity – guardian of St. Peter's tomb, Michelangelo’s Pietà, and Bernini’s immense baldachin.
St. Peter’s Basilica is one of only four major basilicas in the world – the other three being St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. John of Lateran and Santa Maria Maggiore, all visited on this tour. Although scattered around the city of Rome, the other three basilicas are technically part of Vatican City territory, not to mention some of the most important places of worship in the Catholic Church.
After an ample lunch break and a rest, you will go on to the next major basilica on our tour – the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here lie the remains of Saint Paul amidst a beautiful display of 5th Century mosaics, which shimmer alongside brilliantly colored frescoes.
You will then visit the imposing Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Cathedral of Rome and traditional seat of the Pope, which was built by Constantine even before St. Peter's. Contrary to what you might think, this is actually the most important church within the Catholic Church (even more important than St. Peter’s Basilica) as the official seat of the Pope.
You won't miss the chance to see the Holy Stairs - the twenty-eight white marble steps said to be climbed by Christ during his passion. There won’t be time to climb all the steps (to do so takes an hour and a half since you must say a prayer on each step) but your guide will give you time to do one step if you please.
Our next stop is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, which boasts exuberant mannerist sculptural decorations, stunning 5th century mosaics, enchanting frescoes and Bernini’s tomb.
Follow in the footsteps of emperors, saints and popes as you as you explore these incredible houses of worship and museums – long considered to be the most important in all of Christianity.
Watch the video and see why this tour is so fantastic
The trip was excellent. We were only a small group, and our guide (Marina) was really knowledgeable person....Kunjumon Baby
The tour was great - friendly tour guides who really knew their stuff. We had plenty of time to look around, take pictures and ask questions. Would definitely go back....Mr Jack Hart
Our guides were knowledgeable and could answer all questions asked. They made it very interesting with levity....Helen Paton
01 Apr 15 - 15 Nov 15: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday
16 Nov 15 - 31 Dec 15: Monday & Friday
07 Mar 17 - 31 Mar 17: Monday & Friday
(Please make sure you arrive at the meeting point 15 minutes before departure time as the tour cannot wait)
Duration: 8.5 hours
At the bottom of the steps across the street from the Entrance of the Vatican Museums. The steps are located right next to Caffè Vaticano on the corner of Viale Vaticano and Via Tunisi. Tour coordinators will be wearing blue Dark Rome/Guideman polo shirts or jackets for easy recognition.
The closest metro stop is on line A (red line): Ottaviano - Musei Vaticani.
Arriving from Ottaviano - Musei Vaticani metro A station: When you step off the metro, exit the turnstiles, walk straight to the back of the station and go to the left-side exit. Once you've reached the left-side exit, go out on the side marked V.le Giulio Cesare (to your right). Leave the station and walk straight (west) down Viale Giulio Cesare (which turns into Via Candia) for 3½ blocks, crossing three junctions (1. Via Vespiano 2. Via Leona IV and 3. Via Santamaura) before getting to Via Tunisi, the fourth junction. Turn left down Via Tunisi and walk straight for a block. In front of you will be a set of wide steps with a handrail running down the center. Your meeting point is at the BOTTOM of these steps. In total, the walk from the metro station to the meeting point should take around 10 – 15 minutes.
Arriving from St. Peter's Square: Facing St. Peter's Basilica from the center of piazza (near the obelisk), turn right (north) and exit the piazza through the columns. Follow the Vatican walls (which will always be on your left side) all the way around to the entrance of the Vatican Museums (the entrance is on the left as you go uphill on Viale Vaticano.) This walk should take around 15 – 20 minutes. At the Vatican Museum entrance, cross the street at the pedestrian crossing. Straight ahead of you at the intersection of streets Viale Vaticano and Via Tunisi you should see Caffè Vaticano and Hotel Alimandi Vaticano. Between these buildings you will see a wide set of steps with a handrail running down the middle. Our meeting point is at the BOTTOM of these steps.
Arriving by taxi: Please notify driver to arrive at the "Ingresso dei Musei Vaticani in Viale Vaticano" (entrance to the Vatican Museums on Viale Vaticano). The taxi should leave you at the entrance of the Vatican Museums, situated along the long, high wall that marks the border of the Vatican. From here, cross the street at the pedestrian crossing. Straight ahead of you at the intersection of streets Viale Vaticano and Via Tunisi you should see Caffè Vaticano and Hotel Alimandi Vaticano. Between these buildings you will see a wide set of steps with a handrail running down the middle. Our meeting point is at the BOTTOM of these steps.
Both morning and afternoon tours end at St Peter’s Basilica/Square
The tour involves a fair amount of walking so wear comfortable shoes. For entry into churches please make sure your shoulders and knees are covered. No sleeveless tops or shorts for men or women. No low-cut tops for women Non-flash photography is permitted throughout the tour, except in the Sistine Chapel where talking and photography are prohibited
Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour to confirm all departure details.
This tour is a package composed of two separate tours. The information for the meeting points and times are separated into the morning and afternoon tours. Guests should be made aware that they need to check in for both tours.
We strongly recommend you to consult a map before leaving for the meeting point.
You should arrive at the designated meeting point 15 minutes prior to the scheduled tour time and present your tour voucher to the tour coordinator/guide. Guests arriving after departure cannot be accommodated & missed tours or tickets cannot be refunded.
Entrance into the Basilicas requires a strict dress code. Shoulders and knees must be covered, no low cut or sleeveless tops or shorts for either men or women. Clients who do not adhere to the dress code will not be permitted entry. The tour operator cannot be held responsible for entry denied due to improper dress.
Unfortunately this tour is not suitable for those with mobility problems.
Voucher information: No need to print! If you are travelling with a smartphone or tablet you can present your voucher on your device for this activity.
Extra measures may be implemented at some venues due to heightened global security. As a result, we may experience delays in getting through mandatory security checks when entering these venues. Extra measures may also restrict the size of bags that can be brought inside. To avoid disruptions or possible denied entry, we strongly suggest that you avoid bringing large purses, bags, or backpacks on your tour. The Vatican only permits very small bags, and specifically prohibits large bags, tripods, umbrellas, and backpacks. Any such items must be checked into the free luggage storage area which may result in your having to leave the tour early to retrieve them at the entrance.
See the Cancellation policy for this product