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Vatican Museum Tour including Jubilee of Mercy Basilicas

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Key Highlights

  • This combination tour covers the four main Basilicas of Rome during the Jubilee of Mercy
  • Enjoy No-wait Access to the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica
  • Includes a trip to the Holy Stairs, 28 sacred marble stairs commonly known as the Scala Santa
  • Learn more about these incredible religious sites with an English speaking expert local guide with audio headsets
  • Travel in a comfortable, air-conditioned coach between sites
  • Our handpicked local partner for this tour has been awarded the TripAdvisor certificate of excellence
  • Activity Schedule
    When does it run?

    01 Jan 16 - 20 Nov 16: Monday, Thursday & Friday


    9 hours

    Start time


    Meeting Point

    At the bottom of the wide steps across the street from the entrance of the Vatican Museums. The steps are located between Caffè Vaticano and Hotel Alimandi Vaticano, on the corner of Viale Vaticano and Via Tunisi. The coordinators will be wearing blue City Wonders polo shirts or jackets for easy recognition.
    Arriving by metro: The closest metro stop is Ottaviano - Musei Vaticani on line A. 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 three and a half 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 centre. 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 centre 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 round 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. The 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).
    GPS Coordinates: 41.907262, 12.45304
    Meeting Point: See on map

    Ending Point

    Outside Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, near Termini Station

  • Overview & Itinerary


    If you have limited time on your hands and wish to escape the crowds that congregate in the Vatican to celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy, this tour is perfect for you. Follow the traditional pilgrim path and visit all the four major basilicas in the Vatican - St. Peter’s, St. John of Lateran, St. Paul Outside the Walls and St. Mary Major.

    This specially-designed tour ensures that you don’t miss out on any significant sites in Catholicism’s history during the auspicious Jubilee of Mercy year.

    Escape the long queues and enjoy exclusive no-wait access to the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica. Stand in awe under the magnificent dome in St Peters Basilica and admire the genius of Michelangelo when viewing his spectacular frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.

    Your expert English-speaking guide will detail the historical and religious significance of these ancient places of worship, revealing the antiquity and work behind these incredible sites. You will also visit the 28 sacrosanct marble stairs, better known as ‘Scala Santa’ or ‘The Holy Staircase’ which, according to tradition, Jesus climbed during the events of the Passion.

    See Christianity in a new light and get an insight into the history of the Vatican, the religious headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.


    Meet your expert guide at the bottom of the wide steps across the street from the entrance of the Vatican Museums. The steps are located between Caffè Vaticano and Hotel Alimandi Vaticano, on the corner of Viale Vaticano and Via Tunisi. The tour lasts for approximately nine hours. Whisk past lengthy queues and enjoy privileged no-wait access to the Vatican Museums with this exclusive tour.

    The Vatican Museums boast one of the largest collections of art in the world. Inside the Vatican Museums, your expert guide will escort you to the breathtakingly beautiful Raphael’s Rooms. Alongside Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, the grand frescoes in Raphael’s Rooms mark the High Renaissance in Rome.

    You will then be escorted to the world-famous Sistine Chapel. Your expert guide will tell historical facts and relay the significance of the altar and ceiling frescoes painted by Michelangelo, considered one of his greatest achievements. From here your guide will take you through a special access door leading to what has been described as the “greatest of all churches in Christendom”, St Peter’s Basilica. Marvel at the exquisite detailing and sheer brilliance of one the most celebrated pieces of Renaissance architecture.

    After St Peter’s Basilica take a break for lunch at an Italian café. After lunch, meet your expert guide at the original meeting point.

    The second part of the tour starts with a trip to the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls built on the burial site of Saint Paul. The sarcophagus of Saint Paul can be seen in the interior of the Basilica. Admire the stunning frescoes depicting scenes from the life of St Paul while your expert guide narrates interesting tales about this famous basilica.

    Next, you will be taken to the most ancient church in the world, the Basilica of St John Lateran. This is also known as the Arch Basilica as it is the official episcopal seat of the Roman Pontiff, ranking first among the five Papal Basilicas of the world. You will then be escorted to Scala Santa, also known as the “Holy Staircase”, consisting of 28 sacred marble stairs. According to tradition, Jesus Christ walked up these stairs on his way to trial during the events known as the Passion.

    The last destination on this exclusive Jubilee tour is the Basilica of Saint Maria Major, the largest of the 26 churches in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary. This basilica boasts incredibly beautiful mosaics and houses the Bethlehem crypt, built to resemble the cave of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

    The tour ends at the Basilica of Saint Maria Maggore and you should make your arrangements to return to your accommodation.

  • Inclusions & Exclusions


    • English speaking expert guide
    • 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 Basilicas of Rome and to the Holy Stairs
    • All transfers in an air-conditioned coach bus
    • Audio headsets


    • Gratuities
    • Hotel transfers
    • Transfer between tours
    • Food/Beverage
  • Please note & Additional info

    Please note

    The morning service ends at St. Peter’s Basilica/St. Peter’s Square around 11:10am . The afternoon service ends at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, near Termini, around 5:00pm .

    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.

    It is the responsibility of all visitors to be at the meeting point 15 minutes before departure. Guests arriving after departure cannot be accommodated & missed tours or tickets cannot be refunded.

    The coordinators will be wearing blue City Wonders polo shirts or jackets for easy recognition.

    Entrance into the Vatican Museums and the basilicas requires a strict dress code. Knees and shoulders must be covered for both men and women. Non-flash photography is permitted throughout the tour, except in the Sistine Chapel where talking and photography are prohibited.

    The Vatican Museums are among the most highly trafficked sites in the world. Our tour routes are designed to minimize exposure to crowds as much as possible, but be aware that the museums are very busy by nature.

    All four Basilicas are subject to last minute closures for religious ceremonies during the Jubilee. Furthermore, we are not able to grant access through the Holy Doors, as the sites might be very busy.

    Kindly note that more people will be joining the second part of the tour.

    Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the departure time.

    Voucher information: You must print and surrender a paper version of your booking voucher for this activity (showing your voucher on a smartphone is not accepted). No refund can be given for customers reserves without a printed copy of their voucher.

    Additional info

    The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have. Unfortunately, this tour is not suitable for those with mobility problems. We are also unable to accommodate strollers or baby carriages on our group tours.Our local operators reserve the right to refuse participation on its tours to any guest under the influence of drugs or alcohol or to any guest whose behavior is disorderly, or poses a threat to other guests or the staff.