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Sistine Chapel Early Access & St Peter’s Express Tour

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Key Highlights
  • Smartphone voucher accepted – No need to print!
  • The only group tour that offers Early Access to the Sistine Chapel
  • Covers major highlights of the Vatican in shortest time
  • The English speaking guides ensure you don’t miss a thing
  • Group tour of maximum 20 persons ensures a personal experience
  • Activity Schedule
    When does it run?

    19 Nov 18 - 31 Dec 18: Friday & Saturday
    01 Jan 19 - 03 Mar 19: Monday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday
    04 Mar 19 - 17 Nov 19: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday
    18 Nov 19 - 31 Dec 19: Friday & Saturday


    2 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.
    Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the departing time for pre-departure briefing.

    Ending Point

    St. Peter's Square

  • Overview & Itinerary

    Looking for a short and sweet tour of the Vatican? Then the Sistine Chapel Early Access & St Peter’s Express Tour is perfect for you. The only group tour offering Early Access Sistine Chapel tickets guarantees that you get into the Sistine Chapel 15 minutes before other tour groups and 1 hour, 15 minutes before the general public. This tour focuses only on the biggest highlights of the Vatican, perfect for those with limited time.

    With no endless queues and crowds, you will not only have a detailed, but one of the best experiences of the sights. Gazing at Michelangelo’s pristine artworks adorning the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to the splendid architecture and interiors of the St. Peter’s Basilica is a surreal encounter with history and art.

    Expert guides speaking fluent English will escort the small group around the sites, making sure that you don’t miss a thing.


    To begin your Sistine Chapel Early Access St Peter’s Express Tour, meet your guide before official opening hours on the wide steps across the street from the entrance of the Vatican Museums, to become the first group to step inside with a 15 minute head start on other tour groups and a 1 hour and 15 minute head start on the general public. The steps are located between Caffè Vaticano and Hotel Alimandi Vaticano, on the corner of Viale Vaticano and Via Tunisi.

    The guide will lead you to the majestic Sistine Chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope. Every corner of the chapel is decorated; with mosaics on the floor and intricate frescoes on the wall painted by the early Renaissance artists. Feast your eyes by looking at the luminous paintings on the ceiling and behind the altar painted by Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists of all time. It is a moving experience to see the enormity of Michelangelo's Creation frescoes on the barrel-vaulted ceiling with the figures exuding strength and elegance. Contrary to the optimism and elegance of the ceiling, Michelangelo’s Last Judgement, which he painted on the back wall a decade later, is darker and pessimistic.

    Your tour guide will provide you with some basic information on what to look for once you enter the chapel, then you are free to take in the beauty of the chapel on your own.

    With Skip the Line Access you will gain direct entry from the Sistine Chapel to the world’s largest church, the St. Peter’s Basilica. Built on the site of St. Peter’s tomb, the basilica has been the centre of the Catholic faith and is listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Dating back to almost 2000 years and built over a span of almost 100 years by the greatest Italian architects of the time, the major highlights of the church are its masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Pietà, the Papal altar and Bernini’s ingenious use of optical illusion in the Throne of St. Peter.

    After exploring the main level of the Basilica, your tour escort will lead you down to the Crypts of the Popes, housed in the space between the older 4th century Basilica and St. Peter’s, which was built on top of it. Here, you will find the tombs of many of the Church’s most important Popes and the architectural fragments found here makes it worth the visit.

    In the final lap of your tour, the guide will lead you outside the entrance of the Basilica, leading on to Bernini’s architectural masterpiece, St. Peter’s Square, which is an elliptical esplanade bordered by a massive colonnade with 140 beautiful statues depicting different saints and sculpted by various artists of the 17th century. Your tour ends at this point.

  • Inclusions & Exclusions
    • Small groups of 20 people or fewer
    • Access to the Vatican Museums 15 minutes before other tour operators and 1 hour, 15 minutes before the general public
    • Expert, English-speaking tour guide
    • Skip the line to St Peter Basilica
    • Visit to the Crypts beneath the Basilica
    • Gratuities
    • Hotel pick-up/drop-off
    • Food/Beverages
  • Please note & Additional info
    Please note

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

    Non-flash photography is permitted throughout the tour, except in the Sistine Chapel where talking and photography are prohibited.

    Voucher information: No need to print! If you are travelling with a smartphone or a tablet you can present the voucher on your device for this activity.

    Entrance into the Vatican requires a strict dress code. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. isango! cannot be held responsible for refused entry due to improper dress.

    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. The group will not be able to wait for those who need to check their baggage.

    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.

    This service ends at St. Peter's Square at around 9:30 am.

    We regret that we are unable to accommodate guests with wheelchairs or any impairments requiring special assistance. We are also unable to accommodate strollers or baby carriages on our group tours.

    St. Peter's Basilica and other religious sites may be subject to unscheduled closures for religious ceremonies. When this occurs, we will provide guests with an extended tour of the Vatican Museums, or an alternative. We endeavor to inform guests beforehand if there are any planned disruptions to the Basilica's opening hours, however, this is not always possible. In such cases, we are unable to provide any refund or discount.

  • Customer Reviews
    • Visiting the Vatican City

      I loved my visit to the Vatican City, and I am very glad that I paid extra to visit early , and beat the crowds. When we finished the queue was so long. Our guide spoke...

      i h donaldson, New Zealand, 09/Sep/2015

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