Enter the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the general public and enjoy Michelangelo’s masterpieces in peace, before embarking on a thorough guided tour of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica.
There is simply no better way to see the highlights of the Vatican without the crowds that can overrun the galleries later in the day. The Sistine Chapel wasn’t meant to be seen standing shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of other people. Beat the crowds by entering 45 minutes before the Chapel opens to the public.
After spending quality time with Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Chapel, your guide will lead you on a full tour of the Vatican Museums, stopping to see all the most important works. Since you have started early, you’ll stay one step ahead of the crowds in most galleries as you enjoy fantastic art like the Raphael Rooms, the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoon and Sons, and more.
When you’ve covered the Museums, you’ll enter the Sistine Chapel again, much more crowded now, and pass through a special corridor that lets you skip the lines into St. Peter’s Basilica. Here, you’ll enjoy an hour-long tour of the immense Basilica, including stops at Michelangelo’s heart-wrenching Pietá and Bernini’s enormous Baldachin altar. Afterwards, you'll be free to explore the St. Peter’s for as long as you want.