Rome: Early Morning Vatican Small Group Tour of 6 PAX or Private

Rome, Italy
Early Morning Vatican Truly Small Group Tour

From $173.47

Price varies by group size

Select Date and Travelers

up to 24 hours before the experience starts (local time)

  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Admire Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel without the crowds and enjoy skip-the-line access to the Vatican Museums a full hour before opening on this small-group tour. Easily navigate the vast museums, seeing the highlights of the papal art collection, including the Raphael Rooms, and Gallery of Tapestries, the Pinecone Courtyard. Then, marvel at the beauty of the Sistine Chapel before ending at St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • Early entrance, skip-the-line Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums tour
  • Visit the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the public
  • Admire Michelangelo’s ceiling and wall frescos without the daytime crowds
  • Upgrade to a private tour for a more personalized experience

What's Included

  • Tour in a Safe and Semi Private Group of 6 people
  • Enjoy Early Entrance to the Vatican Museums before the general public
  • Skip the long ticket lines
  • Learn from a Professional Local Expert Guide
  • Private Option of this tour is Available!
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities (optional)

Meeting and Pickup

Meeting point

  • Viale Vaticano, 100, 00192 Roma RM, Italy

    In front of Cafè Vaticano, right across the street from the Vatican Museum's Entrance. Your guide will be holding a LivTours sign

Start time

07:30 AM

End point

  • St. Peter's Basilica
    Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City

What To Expect

Meet your guide and a small group of no more than six near the Vatican Museums, where you enjoy early access into the complex.

Your guide takes you through the maze of the museums to see highlights including the Gallery of Candelabras, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Pinecone Courtyard, and the Raphael Rooms.

Then head to the Sistine Chapel where you listen to an introduction to Michelangelo’s frescoes from your guide. Talking inside the chapel is not allowed, so you’ll learn about these Renaissance artworks before entering. Then, head directly inside the pope’s private place of worship.

Gaze in awe at Michelangelo’s ceiling fresco, 'The Creation of Adam,' as well as 'The Last Judgment' gracing the back wall of the chapel. Soak in unobstructed views of the works, and enjoy time to inspect them in detail.

When your time in the chapel is up, head inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Here, let your guide introduce you to the best of the treasures held in the magnificent interior. Admire Michelangelo's glorious Pietà, the marble sculpture depicting Mary holding the dead Jesus, as well as Bernini's Baldacchino altar canopy and Pope Alexander VII monument among other great works.

Your tour concludes inside the church when your guide departs. You’re free to then continue exploring independently, perhaps looking further around the interior to see the papal tombs, climbing the Dome, or strolling around St. Peter’s Square as you wish.

Vatican Museums

2 hours Admission Ticket Included

Stanze di Raffaello

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Sistine Chapel

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

St. Peter's Basilica

45 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Occasionally the Basilica may be closed due to last minute private events outside of the tour operators control and often without notice. In these uncommon circumstances the tour will operate as usual and the time spent inside the basilica will be made up elsewhere on the tour. No refunds will be granted in the event the Basilica is closed
  • Starting in 2024, the Vatican Museums will discontinue early access for ALL tour providers, instead opening to the public at 8AM. This tour will then be offered as a first entrance experience, which we recommend for a less crowded, more personalized, and fully guided experience.
  • Vatican management maintains the right to delay the opening of the Sistine Chapel for religious reasons, in this case the guide will modify the itinerary and extend your visit of the museums to ensure you make the most of your time before access to the Sistine Chapel is permitted.
  • Please note St Peter's Basilica is closed on most Wednesday's. If you book during a day in which the Basilica is closed, your tour of the Vatican Museums will be extended to compensate the closure
  • Not recommended for travelers with mobility issues
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Traveler Photos

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2,697 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 2,697 reviews
Nice but not as historical immersion as our other tours
Erika_R, Apr 2024
Our guide was funny but rushed. I am only comparing our experience to all the others we have booked through Viator. This one had history but very little. It was more about getting to the Sistine Chapel before the crowds. I’m not sure if he could have slowed down to immerse us given the volume of people coming to the Vatican. Hard to know. But lacked history.
Vatican Tour Out of this world!
Cynthia_R, Apr 2024
Assunta was our guide on a private tour. She was extremely knowledgeable and a really good person to tell us about the history of the Vatican because she clearly loves what she does and has a great understanding of the Vatican and history. We were totally enchanted and can highly recommend her . The time went by so quickly and we look forward to having her as a guide again. Thank you so much Assunta, you are the best!
Worth it
Christina_G, Apr 2024
Pay the extra money for this tour, totally worth the early morning pass and loved our guide. Massimo was our favorite guide of all of our tours in Italy! He may have been the second most popular person at Vatican City, (first being the Pope of course!)
Perfect Private Tour of the Vatican
Linda_G, Apr 2024
We were treated to a perfect early morning tour of the Vatican complex that included the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and overview of St. Peter’s Basilica. Our LIV Guide, Martina, did an absolutely outstanding job of explaining the history, events and culture of the Vatican. We especially appreciated how she was able to get us in, out, around and through throngs of people in large tour groups so that we were at the head of lines, always in position to see the sites and special treasures that we wanted a better look at, and she guided us with such professionalism, polish and impeccable grace that crowds just parted when she created a path for us to experience each exhibit in perfect position. We highly recommend a private tour of the Vatican with Martina.. It was definitely worth the cost and turned out to be a highlight of our time in Rome.
Early birds gets the best tour.......
Rebecca_D, Apr 2024
Great tour. Highly recommend the earlier the better as the lines were very long when we left. It was very informational. It was great to get the information about the paintings of the sistine chapel and their significance before the tour started (while waiting to get in). As there is no talking in the sistine chapel this was essential. Our group was small and our guide was great!
Vatican private tour
kirstin_l, Apr 2024
Donnetella, our guide, was amazing! She is very knowledgeable and answered all of our questions and has a delightful personality. The 7:30 tour was a great way to start our Rome experience. Well worth the cost.
Great tour of the Vatican
John_A, Apr 2024
Our morning tour was with David, he was so knowledgeable about all things Vatican. We were on an “English” speaking, small group tour, he was very easy to understand which I enjoyed. Because we were in a group tour our entry thru security was very quick and we were able to view the first part of our tour before it got crowded. David prepared us before we entered the Sistine Chapel so that we knew what we were looking at before we went in. All throughout our time with David you could really tell that he was passionate about his city and sharing the Vatican with us. We would definitely take this tour again and ask for David.
Leslie_M, Apr 2024
Amazing experience! Deborah was our guide and a wealth of knowledge!! Highly recommend!! The only way to see the Vatican and miss the lines!
Fabulous tour, breathtaking works of art
Jill_L, Apr 2024
Annalisa was FANTASTIC! She has a wealth of knowledge and a great sense of humor. Seeing the Vatican museum, Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica was an incredible experience and it was wonderful to share with a fabulous guide. This tour requires a lot of walking and being able to keep pace with the group was important. We had a tour member who struggled so if walking is a struggle, especially stairs, this may not be a place you want to visit. The volume of art, sculptures, tapestries was astounding and we saw only a small portion of the collection. It was great to be in early and be done early. I highly recommend Annalisa and this tour!
Donald_B, Apr 2024
Barbara was nothing short of FANTASTIC! She was extremely informative and very responsive to all of our questions. Her depth of knowledge was impressive about the Vatican when we went off-topic, was impressive.
Expensive but worth it
Uma_M, Apr 2024
A group of 4 and the tour was great. Our guide was informative and very knowledgeable. Excellent tour
You won’t regret it!
Nehemiah_N, Apr 2024
Our tour guide was awesome, unfortunately I forgot her name. The best part was her knowledge and really explaining everything to us. The Vatican is huge but she really took her time to highland the important things to the group. It was really enjoyable.
Visiting the Vatican
Angie_L, Apr 2024
What an amazing tour visiting the Vatican. Our tour guide was fantastic and so knowledgeable. We were fortunate to have a private tour and the money was well worth the experience. Would highly recommend this tour!
Great tour
Jenny_Z, Apr 2024
Our guide was knowledgeable and answer any questions. This is a very good tour. We learned so much from our tour guide. Guide was extremely knowledgeable in religion, art history and Vatican history. Great time to go before the crowds
Once in a life time
Tracy_P, Apr 2024
You may question the early tour and small group. DON'T!!! Its worth it!!. Skip the line. Early access before the crowds, aka 'barbarians" join you on the tour. Amazing! Humbling. One in a life time. If you think you can do the Vatican without a tour, good luck. The line was at least 4.hours to get in. Our guide Carletta was amazing. She knew the histoy and artists. In addition, she explained all areas of the tour well.
Unforgettable Vatican Private Tour
Sarah_B, Apr 2024
Lucy was a fantastic guide. We learned so much and truly enjoyed our time exploring the Vatican. We will definitely use Viator again on our future visits to Italy.
Great tour
Jeff_C, Apr 2024
Amazing experience - would highly recommend! Our guide PauolaF was so knowledge and informative. It was well worth the time and money!
Great early morning visit-SKIP the crowds, take a nap later!
Lois_H, Apr 2024
All of it! Carlotta was terrif and best part NO crowds, hardly anyone till we got to St Peters Basilica at the end of our tour.
Fantastic tour, well organised.
Reshie_P, Apr 2024
We had an amazing few hours on this tour. Small group of 6 made it so easy to get around. Our guide, Valeria, was just brilliant. She was so informative but not boring, really well informed, fun and so friendly and interesting to chat to. Well worth it. Thank you!
Great tour and guide!
Tracie_C, Apr 2024
Great tour! Our guyed, Serafina, was amazing! She was also very patient with my 12 yr old son's constant questions. :)

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