Sistine Chapel Tours
About
Sofia and her team provide private and small group tours of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums and the Basilica of St. Peter. No lines - no large groups - guaranteed.
Rome, Lazio, Italy

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Tours and Tickets by Sistine Chapel Tours
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
203 reviews
Excellent
197
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N5227OS
Kentucky41 contributions
Jan 2018
Utilized the “Skip the Line” online ticket voucher booking through Tiqets.com for the Sistine Chapel. I hadn’t chosen to do this for other Rome sites such as the Colosseum, the reason being that there is obviously a premium charged for the tickets. I decided to use it for the Vatican Museums because, from what I read, the doors for the museum don’t open until 9AM and the ticket provider offered an 8:30 tour. Price difference was €26 vs €17/tickets to walk up. Didn’t compare this price to other sites or the guides on the street.
That said, this premium was well worth it for us. We actually showed up around 8AM with our 17mo old and a moderate-sized line had already formed. We were able to walk straight around it, easily exchanged our vouchers and, to be sure we saw the main attraction in the event of a toddler melt-down, we basically raced through the museum straight to the Chapel. My goodness, what an experience - arriving that early meant there were only about 5-10 other people in the Sistine Chapel with us. Our baby stayed calm and quiet given the absence of crowds and we got to enjoy the room. Added bonus was getting through early meant that when we walked over to the Basilica afterwards, there was no line to go through security there either.

So the extra €9 each was well worth it for the convenience of skipping the line but most importantly for the special, early entry time to the Sistine Chapel. Would highly recommend taking this option - if you travel all the way to Rome, what’s the extra €9 to optimize the experience?
Written January 23, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

missjcm
Gloucester63 contributions
Jul 2015 • Family
We booked a Friday night ticket at 7pm. We arrived at the museum entrance about 6.30pm and queued up for half an hour. Once the doors opened the queue moved quickly through security and we had to collect our tickets from the booth on the left. WIth tickets in hand, we raced along the quickest route to the Chapel and after 10 mins or so we arrived. The Chapel was EMPTY! We had a good 20 mins or so sat along the sides admiring the artwork and frescoes. It was cool and quiet and we could walk around each wall. By then about 20 more people had joined us. I walked right up to the Last Judgement for a close-up view. After 20 mins or so we left through the little door at the back and went back to the beginning of the museums to look at the rest. The museums had started to get busy this time, so I was sooo glad we saw the Chapel first.
Written July 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MeLindaH00
Chicago, IL5 contributions
Jul 2014 • Friends
Let me start by saying Marta and Ilona were wonderful tour guides! Now, on to the tour.

After my mom and I finished a Mediterranean cruise in Venice we took the train and spent a few days in Rome. Since Rome is such an historic city we wanted to maximize the minimum amount of time we had. I'm so glad we booked with Sistine Chapel Tours for a full day tour of Rome. Interestingly enough, I read my cousin's review of this company on TripAdvisor, which is how we picked them.

There is no way to convey the volume of the lines at the different tourist attractions in Rome. There are people everywhere! And with all those people come significant lines. I think I heard someone say the line to get into the Vatican Museum was about a 5 hour wait. Keep in mind that Rome in July is hot. I mean it's really, really hot so, the last thing I wanted to do is stand on a long line in the sweltering heat for hours. If you go to the sights without a private tour you will be standing on line as only the licensed tour guides are allowed to enter the tourist venues without waiting in line. If for no other reason the private tour was worth it just to get around the overwhelming sea of humanity at the different venues.

We met our first guide, Marta at the Colosseum at 9 a.m. Because of the early start we wanted to grab a quick bite to eat and some coffee. Marta took us to a little café and explained how seating in Rome works (you request service when ordering and then take a seat. If you don't request seating then you remain standing down your coffee and move on your way). She ordered our food for us in Italian and gave us some of the highlights of the what we could expect to see. We went back across the street to the Colosseum and began our day our amazement. After bypassing the already growing line, Marta explained the history architecture, design, purpose and etymology of the Colosseum. She also had some images of what the Colosseum looked like in it's earliest days when the statue of Nero was outside the entrance (which is how the Colosseum got its name). Once inside, Marta led us to an elevator that took us upstairs. When providing info to book the tour I had to identify my and my mom's age, so the tour guides were aware that my mother is not a teenager. As such, thy made every accommodation to ensure she was comfortable including taking breaks during the walking (we covered miles), locating elevators and seats, keeping her close to the shade, and of course, finding all important water. After giving a very thorough and in-depth overview of the Colosseum, the current restoration activity (sponsored by Diego Della Valle, the founder of Tod's), and the culture of the time (she also showed pictures of what it probably looked like in ancient times) we moved on to The Forum, which is pretty much down the street.

I had no idea that the Forum was the center of Roman culture. I always thought of it as more like a City Hall, but it was so much more than that. We saw: the pyre where Julius Caesar was cremated, which is still pretty well preserved; the complex of the Vestal Virgins and the Temple of Vesta. We saw where republican government began with the Senate ruins along with numerous other ancient ruins. Absolutely breathtaking! And, Marta's detail of the history made the ruins come to life.

After leaving the Forum we began the trek towards the Pantheon which is a little more than a mile (appx. 2k). There are ruins all along the way as well as other historical sights including the palace once occupied by Mussolini, the monument to Vittorio Emanuelle, and the Galeria de Pamphilij (which is apparently still occupied by the Pamphilij family). The walk was beautiful and the information Marta gave was fascinating. We also took plenty of pictures along the way and at the sights.

We finally got to the Pantheon, which is awe-inspiring. After looking at it for a while we went inside and I was further blown away. Once again, I did not realize the Pantheon is an active church. Marta also explained the dedication outside to Marcus Agrippa. And who knew that queen who is the namesake of the Margherita pizza is buried there as well? I'm still amazed that I saw the tomb of Raphael.

Despite our running behind schedule and Marta having another commitment, she offered to take us to the Piazza Navona, but we declined and took a taxi to Vatican City instead so we could have lunch and then meet Ilona for the second part of our tour. Marta was fantastic and we discovered we share a love of the same music in addition to history and culture. She put us in a taxi and told the driver where to take us near The Vatican so we could get lunch.

I didn't think our next guide would be able to measure up, but Ilona was just as fantastic as Marta. Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel was the second half of the tour in the afternoon. We met Ilona at 2 p.m. outside of the Vatican Museum where the line was about 5 hours to enter. I must admit I was a little nervous when I saw that line, but we breezed right by al of that.

Now, The Vatican Museum is huge and old, so the limited places where there is air-conditioning probably have much cooling impact. Plus, 20-25,000 people visit there daily. So even after bypassing the lines outside there is still an overwhelming sea of humanity inside. However, the art residing inside is absolutely amazing and well worth the heat and crush of people. Plus, with the licensed tour guide you get the back story on the pieces you are seeing, which helps move things along. Of course, there will be those pieces that you just need to stare at a little longer.

In order to get to the Sistine Chapel you have to go through a series of collections in various halls throughout the museum. You also get to go through the Borgia apartments, which are also a part of the tour and contain artwork and exhibits. As you're walking through the museum you will spend a lot of time looking at ceilings. The craftsmanship, detail and overall beauty is literally everywhere from the original mosaic tiled floors (Ilona didn't like walking on the tiles that are open to walk across because she was concerned about preserving them) to the intricately designed walls and frescos.

After a few hours of visiting different halls and seeing the markings of the popes responsible for the rooms, we are almost to the Sistine Chapel. Ilona explained everything we would be seeing prior to entering the chapel because once inside you are not supposed to speak. There are benches along the side to sit and it still seemed pretty noisy (I assume that is from the shear volume of people), but there is nothing like seeing the Sistine Chapel in person. Who knew that Michelangelo didn't want to do it at first?! We met back up with Ilona near the exit for the chapel and then we began our next trek towards St. Peter's Basilica.

There is no way to justly describe St. Peter's Basilica, so I won't attempt to. I will say I never need to see another church, cathedral or basilica again as they just won't measure up.

Our tour concluded in St. Peter's Square, which was surprisingly uncrowded. We looked at the rest of Bernini's works including standing on the one spot where the pillars of the courtyard appear to be one despite being four, took a few more pictures, and then accepted that the heat and walking had taken their toll on us both. Besides, it was around 6 p.m. so we needed to get going back to our hotel. We took a taxi back to the location where our hotel shuttle would meet us. I couldn't remember the name of where we needed to be, so I showed Ilona a picture and she told the taxi driver where to take us. Simple.

For those who want to know the logistics of how this works, you purchase your tickets to the exhibits prior to booking the tour and provide them to the company via e-mail The tour guides will have the tickets, so you don't need to worry about printing them or bringing the entrance tickets. There is a lot of walking so wear comfortable shoes. The tour is on foot, so be prepared to either take a taxi or other form of public transportation. The taxi ride from the Pantheon to Vatican City was about 6 Euro for2 people, so not expensive at all.

My cousin said in his review that this is the only way to go, and I must agree. Sistine Chapel Tours is way more than the name suggests.
Written July 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DebbieY76
Killeen4 contributions
Mar 2013 • Friends
Isabella and her staff handled our group of 6 with kid gloves! We communicated by email and text prior to our tour, which was convenient & reassuring. Our awesome guide, Roberta, handled all the tickets and we avoided the long lines. Those of us who had visited before learned new and different things-- Roberta was an encyclopedia of knowledge. Sistine Chapel Tours was recommended to us by friends and they were right-- The best private tours in Rome at a price comparable to the large group tours. Do not hesitate to contact them for all your Rome excursions (even airport shuttle). They made us feel like we were their only clients.
Written April 5, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Keith D
Greater Melbourne, Australia5 contributions
Jun 2017 • Friends
It is suggested you use a tour operator to see the Sistine Chapel. Walking up to the Vatican City museum entrance you can see why. The queue stretches forever. Had we not booked a tour with Sistine Chapel Tours, we would have turned around and gone back. Our tour guide Elisabetta was waiting for us at the Museum entrance with our name clearly spelt on a card above her head. This is where all Tours start. There were 4 of us and we skipped the line and walked straight in. That alone was worth every cent. We spent the next 3 hours being gently guided through the Museum, Sistine Chapel and Basillica. Elisabetta spoke perfect English and was remarkable in her knowledge and stories. Her explanations brought to life what we were looking at. I simply cannot stress how good this tour and the tour company is. They are professional, respond promptly to any contact, instructions are clear and concise and they are courteous. I have full confidence in recommending them to anyone that wants to see one of the wonders of the world.
Written June 24, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

alex s
Canada277 contributions
Oct 2015 • Couples
A fantastic tour, started off with a special breakfast which allowed us entry approx 90 minutes prior to the general pubic access. Worth every penny. We saw so many things its hard to remember it all. The highlight was the Sistine Chapel, words cannot describe the feeling and awe inspiring art that covers this gem. Michelangelo is surely the best artist ever ! One cannot take photos inside and was a bit difficult to take it all in as you look up to see it all and so much to see, one could spend days in this enjoying all of its beauty. So happy we saw this and once out of the chapel tons to see and take in, Would go again if ever back in Rome which is now high on the list of places to return to. There is a lower museum that has all the vehicles and horse driven special transport for the Pope, well worth seeing and quite relaxing with very good signage telling you about each of them, excellent outdoor grounds.
Cant say enough good things about this, well done !
Written November 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

naplesinsider1
Naples fl62 contributions
Jun 2019 • Family
Extremely knowledgeable and enlightening. My wife and I had been to Sistine and Vatican before but missed 90% of what our guide (Franco) showed us on this tour. He was very friendly and accommodating. Highly recommended!
Written June 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ed K
Longboat Key, FL20 contributions
Jan 2015 • Couples
The Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum are obsoletely fantastic. By taking a private tour your get to hear all about the history but best of all you do not have to wait in the long lines to get in.
Written January 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joseph P
Vero Beach, FL8 contributions
Sep 2014 • Couples
Thank you very much Sofia and Simona for the best Vatican tour in Rome! My wife and I were celebrating our 5 year anniversary, and we wanted an excellent private tour. Sofia was able to set up the whole tour by email. She arranged our transportation to and from our hotel lobby. Our driver was punctual, friendly, and drove us in a nice Mercedes van. Simona was amazing. We toured at the perfect pace, and she was very knowledgeable and nice. She even emailed us photos a few days after the tour! Look no further- this is the tour you want to book! We recommend Sistine Chapel Tours without hesitation.
-Joseph and Chrissy
Written September 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Eric S
Stuart, FL365 contributions
We booked a tour to see the museums and Sistine chapel!! It was worth every penny and you get special entrance to St Peter church!! The guide was very knowledgable and it was about 2 hours long. After the Sistine chapel you can go down the group exit and it takes you directly to St Peters church entrance and you don't have to wait on that long 3 hour wait. High suggest this.
Written May 20, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Sistine Chapel Tours (Rome) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go