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Waking Up the Vatican: VIP Small-Group Tour Before Museums Open provided by City Wonders

Waking Up the Vatican: VIP Small-Group Tour Before Museums Open

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Overview
This first-of-its-kind experience gets you inside the Vatican Museums before all other early access and VIP tours. A guide and your small group follow the clavigero (key keeper) as he unlocks doors and flips on lights to the galleries that attract some 25,000 people a day. Walk the empty halls, and be the first to see the Raphael Rooms and the Gallery of Maps, among other rooms. Your guide also provides commentary inside the Sistine Chapel—a rare perk as talking is usually prohibited. End with breakfast in the Pinecone Courtyard as other visitors are just starting to arrive.
Itinerary
+
You'll start at
Vatican Museums
00120, Vatican CityVatican Museum Entrance Meet your guide at the main entrance of the Vatican Museums, on Viale Vaticano.
See address & details
  • Pass by City Wonders
    Pass by Vatican City
  • 1
    Sistine Chapel
    Stop: 30 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 2
    Stanze di Raffaello
    Stop: 30 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 3
    Vatican Museums
    Stop: 2 hours - Admission included
    See details
You'll end at
Vatican Museums
00120, Vatican CityVatican Museum Entrance Meet your guide at the main entrance of the Vatican Museums, on Viale Vaticano.
See address & details
Highlights
  • Enter the Vatican before anyone else, including standard early access groups
  • Guide permitted to speak inside the Sistine Chapel, which is usually forbidden
  • Unlimited time in the Vatican after breakfast
  • One-of-a-kind experience limited to 20 participants
What to Expect
This tour takes you to one of the busiest tour locations in the world, and it allows you to follow a Vatican clavigero (key keeper) inside the iconic landmark an hour or more before other early access tours. Along with 20 people (or fewer), your guide leads you through the main areas of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, Raphael's Rooms, and the Gallery of Maps. Be one of the first that day to enter each room right as the clavigero finds the right key and switches on the lights. Because of the size of your group and the early start time, you can enjoy a quiet walk through religious areas for more spiritual experience. Plus, this is the only Vatican Museums tour where a guide goes inside the Sistine Chapel to provide commentary up close to Michelangelo’s artwork to your group. It's an experience that has never before been offered to the public. Afterward, head to the Pinecone Courtyard for breakfast, where you will see all the early access groups starting their tours for the day. Once you wrap up your meal, you are able to stay in the museums as long as you like.
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Important Information
Departure Point
Vatican Museums, 00120, Vatican City
Duration
2h 30m
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
Inclusions
  • Expert, English-speaking tour guide
  • Small groups of 20 people or less
  • Guided visit in the Sistine Chapel before it has been opened to the public
  • Buffet breakfast
  • Breakfast
  • Entry/Admission - Sistine Chapel
  • Entry/Admission - Stanze di Raffaello
  • Entry/Admission - Vatican Museums
Exclusions
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pick-up/drop-off
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • This service ends at around 08:30AM inside the Vatican Museums.
  • Due to heightened security measures, you may experience delays in clearing security checks when entering the venue.
  • Large purses, bags, and backpacks are not allowed inside the Vatican Museums.
  • It is the responsibility of all visitors to be at the meeting point 10 minutes before departure. Guests arriving after departure cannot be accommodated & missed tours or tickets cannot be refunded.
  • This tour involves a fair amount of walking and stairs; comfortable shoes are recommended.
  • This activity is not wheelchair accessible. We are also unable to accommodate strollers or baby carriages on our group tours.
  • Entrance into the Vatican Museums requires a strict dress code. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women.
  • Photography is permitted in certain sections of the Vatican Museums. Your guide will inform you of restricted areas.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travellers
Cancellation Policy
All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.
303Reviews
106Q&A
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Popular mentions
LiraFamily wrote a review Apr. 2020
San Antonio, Texas26 contributions9 helpful votes
DId you ever think about opening the doors to the Sistine Chapel at first morning light? It is an overwhelming experience as is the rest of this guided tour, hosted by Vatican guards who turn on the lights in the holy corridors of the Vatican. Very small group gathers in the
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Date of experience: November 2019
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PatG wrote a review Dec. 2019
53 contributions5 helpful votes
+7
I am not sure if I can express the amazing experience we had on this tour. We were up at 4:30 am to be at the Vatican Museum entrance by 6:00 am. We were with a small group of 15 when we enter the Museums. We met the "clavigero" the key keepers and then began our tour of opening
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Date of experience: November 2019
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James M wrote a review Nov. 2019
1 contribution
To experience the Vatican museums in the early morning darkness without crowds was amazing. To walk the halls in the darkness and quiet is simply amazing. We went back into the Museums after breakfast and the true value of the tour was immediately apparent because the halls
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Rick B wrote a review Nov. 2019
Exeland, Wi232 contributions53 helpful votes
Two years ago we took the Vatican Garden tour as well as the self guided tour of the Vatican Museum. The garden tour was very nice however the Vatican Museum tour was horrible. The number and concentration of people made for an awful experience. By the time we got to the
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Date of experience: October 2019
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BAC262 wrote a review Nov. 2019
Newark, Delaware73 contributions6 helpful votes
words can't describe this tour - it is beyond fantastic!! Worth every penny! we opened doors and turned on lights and walked thru the Vatican museums with only 20 people! We got pictures of the galleries with no one in them!! It was our own personal time in the vatican
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Date of experience: October 2019
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About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: City Wonders
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Pleased with our Guide, wish we hadn't gone to Rome in August !
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Cancellation
Just wanted to say these folks accepted my caoncellation without question, a very simple process. When travel restr
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Key Details
  • Duration: 2h 30m
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Languages Offered: English
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