Vatican Museums Skip-the-Line Tour with Bramante Staircase

Cultural & Theme Tours in Italy

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4.6 out of 5

Tour description provided by Viator

While many Vatican tours include whistle-stop views of the art, this exciting 4.5-hour tour focuses on the Vatican Museum’s bounty of artistic treasures, with historical tales and anecdotes that bring the artwork to life. With a skip-the-line ticket and a knowledgeable guide, the tour includes visits to the captivating Pinacoteca painting gallery, Chiaramonti Museum and Bramante Staircase as well as must-visit halls such as Raphael’s Rooms and Gallery of Tapestries. Finish with a visit to the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica to see Michelangelo’s 'Creation of Adam' and more!This tour provides VIP access to the Vatican Museums through a reserved door, allowing you to skip all the lines — even the priority lines.
Meet your guide outside the Vatican Museums and head straight inside with your skip-the-line ticket. Wait lines are often lengthy at the Vatican, but your tour provides access through a reserved door, allowing you to skip all the lines — even the priority ones!More than 9 miles (15km) of artwork is inside, so follow your guide to discover the artistic highlights of the vast museum complex. Hear tales and tidbits of art history as you walk, and learn little-known facts about the treasure trove of artifacts that the Vatican popes amassed over centuries.Your first stop is the Pinacoteca, the Vatican’s painting gallery, where masterpiece upon priceless masterpiece awaits. Founded by Pope Pius XI, the gallery is home to some of the most influential pieces of Western art in the world. See treasures including Caravaggio’s Deposition from the Cross, Da Vinci’s unfinished St Jermone and Raphael’s Transfiguration, and hear stories that bring the pictures to life.Continue to either the Pinecone courtyard or the Giardino Quadrato, and then step inside the front section of the Chiaramonti Museum to see its hundreds of statues. After walking amid the stone cherubs and intriguing Roman gods, wander through the Octagonal Courtyard to see Apollo Belvedere and the Laocoon — two intriguing ancient statues.Prepare for one of the highlights of your tour, next: your visit to the Bramante Staircase. Once used by the popes, Vatican staff and even horses, the spiraling staircase is now rarely visited, making your stop to see it all the more tantalizing. Exit from the staircase directly into the bronze figurines, Etruscan tombs and gold bling of the Gregorian Etruscan Museum.Wander through more exciting, art-laden halls such as Raphael’s Rooms, the Gallery of Candelabra, Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of Maps, and on to the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. No visit to the Vatican is complete without a visit to the two sites— each art galleries in their own right — to discover their delights. Gaze at Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel, and then stop in St Peter’s Basilica to admire La Pietà, a sculpture that propelled a young Michelangelo to fame.Your tour finishes just outside St Peter’s Basilica, but you can spend longer inside the church or out in St Peter’s Square, if you wish.

What’s included

  • Skip-the-line entrance fee
  • Professional guide
  • Access to the Bramante Staircases
  • Headset to hear the guide clearly

What’s not included

  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks


  • Fully narrated tour
  • Led by an art historian
  • Perfect introduction for first-time visitors
  • Skip the line