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Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off

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Rome, Italy
Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off

From $286.52

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon3 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 4 more


Visit the Vatican without the crowds on a private early-bird tour and enter the Vatican Museums before the complex opens to the general public. Enjoy an exclusive exploration of world-renowned art by Renaissance masters, visit the Sistine Chapel, and enter St. Peter’s Basilica directly from the museums, without waiting in the main line. Upgrade for a prime version with even earlier priority access, including the Raphael Rooms.
  • See the Vatican Museums with a private guide before they open to the public
  • Gain skip-the-line access to St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Visit the Sistine Chapel and see works by Raphael, Da Vinci, and Michelangelo
  • Upgrade for even earlier fast-track entry including admission to the Raphael Rooms
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Meet and greet service at your hotel/accommodation
Professional Licensed Blue Badge Tour Guide
Hotel pickup with Sanitized Vehicle (centrally located hotels. Within Aurelian Walls)
Priority Access (before the regular Early Morning Crowd - if Prime Option 7:20AM selected)
Sistine Chapel
Hotel Drop Off Service (if Prime Option 7:20AM selected)
Food and drinks

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Centrally located hotels in Rome (within Aurelian Walls)
PRIME Version at 7:20AM (not available till 2022)
SUMMER 2021 - Version at 7:00AM

As one of the most-visited museums in the world, the Vatican Museums are understandably crowded, so avoid the masses on a private morning tour before the general public arrives. After pickup at your hotel, explore the Vatican Museums with your private guide, who tells you about the history of the artwork and can customize the tour to your interests.

If you wish, upgrade from standard early-morning admission to a “prime tour” option and be treated like a VIP. Arrive earlier to enjoy priority entry without any lines or crowds, and gain access to the Raphael Rooms to admire Raphael's most famous frescoes.

With either tour option, hear about the legends and mysteries behind some of the pieces on display, and learn about the Renaissance masters who created the artwork. You can decide if you want to see the iconic Sistine Chapel first or last—either way, it’s the highlight of any visit with its famous frescoes by Michelangelo. Other treasures inside the museum complex include sculptures, carvings and paintings; your guide makes sure you see the most important masterpieces and interesting rooms and galleries.

Visit the Belvedere Courtyard, Gallery of Tapestries, and Gallery of Maps, and then gain fast-track entry into St. Peter’s Basilica to see more artwork, like Bernini’s baldacchino altar. Your tour ends here or back at your accommodation.
Stop At:  
Vatican Museums
With our Prime Tour, we get you inside the Museums before the regular Early Morning crowds, bypassing those already waiting in line for the Vatican doors to open - You'll really feel like the Popes Special Guest as you stroll right past everyone who has a Standard Early Morning Vatican Tour. Watch the Vatican Museum Galleries slowly come to life before their day starts.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Cortile della Pigna
The Courtyard of the “Pigna”, created from the 16th century area of the “Belvedere”
Pass By:  
Stanze di Raffaello
The Raphael Rooms, where you will admire Raphael's most famous frescoes and learn about his rivalry with Michelangelo.
Stop At:  
St. Peter's Basilica
Enjoy the breathtaking Saint Peter's Basilica, shrine of Christianity and Art. You will marvel at the Priceless Pietà, by Michelangelo, and stop by the venerable tomb of Saint John Paul II & Pope Karol Wojtyla. The Pietà (1498–1499) is a work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.
Duration: 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
La Pieta
The Pietà is a work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. It is the first of a number of works of the same theme by the artist. The statue was commissioned for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, who was a representative in Rome. The sculpture, in Carrara marble, was made for the cardinal's funeral monument, but was moved to its current location, the first chapel on the right as one enters the basilica, in the 18th century. It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.
Stop At:  
Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere (pontiff from 1471 to 1484) who had the old Cappella Magna restored between 1477 and 1480. It is known throughout the world both for being the place where the conclave and other official ceremonies of the Pope are held (in the past also some papal coronations), and for being decorated with one of the most famous and celebrated works of art of artistic civilization the frescoes by Michelangelo.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
St. Peter's Square
This monumental elliptical space, enclosed by 284 Doric columns four rows deep (196m wide and 148m long), is the masterpiece of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who laid it out during the pontificates of Alexander VII and of Clement IX.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements
  • A moderate amount of walking is involved - comfortable shoes are recommended
  • Wheelchair partly accessible: the tour is only available if the person in the wheelchair can do 6 flights of stairs without the wheelchair.
  • Please advise if anyone in your group has mobility issues
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • OPERATED BY Eyes of Rome

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off.
What is the policy on sanitization during Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off.
What is the social distancing policy during Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off.

Traveler Photos


338 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 338 reviews
Well worth it
, Sep 2021
Our tour guide Maria Linda was spectacular. She was incredibly knowledgeable and gracious with our time, allowing us to move at our own pace. It was a pleasure to be picked up by private car so early in the morning. The tour was by far my favorite! The stroll back to our apartment was a great opportunity to see more of this beautiful city
Great and knowledgeable tour guide!
, Aug 2021
Everything was amazing from the on-time pickup at our hotel to the drop off to our tour guide Dennis. Very professional, knowledgeable and fun! He also took great pictures of us. Highly recommend the early bird option because you’ll basically have everything to yourselves!
1 traveler found this review helpful
Great experience!
, Aug 2021
This tour is fantastic! We were picked up around 7am and arrived at St. Peter's Basilica, where we were greeted with a beautiful view! Our tour guide was wonderful! He took his time explaining and sharing a lot of information. You could tell he is passionate about what he does! He also gave lots of pointers on where to take a great picture. This is a great tour for people who don't like crowds, as it is early and you beat the rush! A must do!
, Aug 2021
Flavio was patient, kind and knowledgeable. We truly enjoyed our experience. Thank you for a wonderful time!
Amazing early entry with a great guide.
, Aug 2021
We had a wonderful tour with Serena and Eyes of Rome. Definitely do this private tour with early entry, to avoid massive crowds. Serena's English was excellent and as an art scholar, she had some incredible insight into St Peters and especially the Sistine chapel. High recommended!!!
Amazing experience
, Aug 2021
My son and I had a memorable visit to the Vatican and Saint Peter Basílica. Our italian guide Lorenzo was extremeny useful and passionate explaining the history and helping us to understand what we were seing. Amazing tour!
Best Way to tour the Vatican
, Aug 2021
HIGHLY RECOMMEND...... My husband and I traveled to Rome in August 2021. My husband had been to Rome before but this was my first trip. I researched and reviewed information regarding tours. This tour IS A MUST DO. We recommend the early bird tour which helped us escape the heat and crowds. We choose the private guide and were thankful we did. Our guide, Marta, was a knowledgeable and charming teller of stories of the Vatican buildings, and construction. As she was a art history major she was able to share with us facts and information regarding the many sections and art within the Vatican. There is so much wonder and beauty to take in.
Not recommended for the outrageous price
, Aug 2021
Lorenzo was the absolute best and I commend his incredible knowledge and ability. I am personally dissatisfied with the booking experience, drop off was not covered as mentioned in the beginning and overall this is a rip off - and the package is misleading, because once the order has been completed, it is stated in the conditions that drop off is not included - really, for a whopping 450 euros? I am so glad Lorenzo was my guide and he deserves the absolute best praise - but I will not book Viators tours again. Price is outrageously high.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2021
Dear Chiara, Thank you for leaving your review, we strive incredibly hard here to make every guest's experience enjoyable and we’re really sorry to hear your disappointment. To clarify, our "Private Early Bird Vatican and St Peter's Basilica Tour: Hotel Pick-up Drop-off" is the name of the main product we sell on Viator, during the booking process you can decide if to purchase the Prime option or the Early Morning option. Due to security reasons related to covid, the Prime Tour 07:20 option (with Drop off service included) is currently not available, that's why the service you have booked is our Early Morning 2021 Tour 07:00. As mentioned in our reminder and as per your voucher, the Drop off service is not included. Regarding the price, please note that it's comparable to other similar tours you find on Viator, and we feel we provide good value for money given the experiences that we offer and the quality of the services. Plus, we collaborate only with experts and professional blue Badge guides. By the way, we are happy you enjoyed your tour and that you had a nice time with Lorenzo, he will be glad to hear your positive feedback. Keeping our customers satisfied is our number one priority. We really hope you give us another chance next time you'll be in Italy. Sincerely, Francesca Eyes Of Rome Team
Visiting Vatican City
, Jul 2021
Our tour guide, Katie, did a splendid job of showing us the Vatican. Her deep background in art and history really showed. Arriving early, before the large crowds, to see St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the museum was a real treat. We deliberately waited until the last day of our trip to see the Vatican and we enjoyed the tour very much.
, Jul 2021
Marta, our guide, was FANTASTIC! She was a true professional explaining all the rich history of the Vatican and Saint Peters Basilica. I recommend Viator whole heartedly.

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